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Teaching Artists

Meet Our Teaching Artists

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Martin Beaver

violin & chamber music

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-8

Canadian violinist Martin Beaver was First Violin of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet from June 2002 until its final concert in July 2013.  As such, he appeared to critical and public acclaim on the major stages of the world including New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Berliner Philharmonie, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

As a member of the Tokyo String Quartet, Mr. Beaver was privileged to perform on the 1727 Stradivarius violin from the “Paganini Quartet” set of instruments, on generous loan to the quartet from the Nippon Music Foundation.  Recordings of the Tokyo String Quartet during his tenure notably include the complete Beethoven quartets on the Harmonia Mundi label.

Mr. Beaver’s concerto and recital appearances span four continents with orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra and under the batons of Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Raymond Leppard, Gilbert Varga and Yannick Nézet-Séguin among others.  Chamber music performances include collaborations with such eminent artists as Leon Fleisher, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Sabine Meyer and Yefim Bronfman.

Mr. Beaver is a regular guest at prominent festivals in North America and abroad. Among these are: the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla SummerFest, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Edinburgh Festival (U.K.) and Pacific Music Festival (Japan).

Mr. Beaver’s discography includes concerti, sonatas and chamber music on the Harmonia Mundi USA, Biddulph, Naim Audio, René Gailly, Musica Viva, SM 5000, Toccata Classics and Naxos labels.  His recorded repertoire ranges from Bach, Beethoven and Brahms to the music of living composers Alexina Louie, Gerard Schurmann and Joan Tower.

Following his early studies with Claude Letourneau and Carlisle Wilson, Mr. Beaver was a pupil of Victor Danchenko, Josef Gingold and Henryk Szeryng.  He is a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth, Montreal and Indianapolis competitions. Subsequently, he has served on the juries of major international competitions including the 2009 Queen Elisabeth and 2010 Montreal violin competitions, the 2014 and 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competitions and the 2015 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Beaver has been the grateful recipient of generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts.  This includes Arts Grants for his studies at Indiana University, Career Development Grants and the 1993 Virginia-Parker Prize.  In 1998, through the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Canada Council awarded Mr. Beaver the loan of the 1729 “ex-Heath” Guarnerius del Gesù violin for a four-year period.

A devoted educator, Mr. Beaver has conducted masterclasses throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.  He has held teaching positions at the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of British Columbia and the Peabody Conservatory.  More recently, he served on the faculty of New York University and as Artist in Residence at the Yale School of Music, where he was awarded its highest honor – the Sanford Medal.  He joined the faculty of the Colburn School in Los Angeles in August 2013 where he is currently Professor of Violin and Chamber Music.

Martin Beaver is proud to be a founding member of the Montrose Trio with pianist Jon Kimura Parker and cellist Clive Greensmith.

Mr. Beaver performs on a 1789 Nicolo Bergonzi violin.

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Sibbi Bernhardsson

violin

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Residency
Festival weeks 3-8

Icelandic violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson joined the Oberlin Conservatory faculty in 2017 after performing for the previous 17 years with the Pacifica Quartet, with which he won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance, Musical America Ensemble of the Year honors, and the Avery Fisher Career Grant.

As a member of the Pacifica Quartet, Bernhardsson appeared in more than 90 concerts worldwide each year, including engagements in Wigmore Hall (London), the Vienna Konzerthaus, Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall (New York), and other major venues. He has performed at the Edinburgh Festival, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, and the Reykjavík Arts Festival, and has collaborated with Menahem Pressler, Yo-Yo Ma, Jörg Widmann, Lynn Harrell, Leon Fleisher, the Emerson String Quartet, Johannes Moser, and members of the Guarneri and Cleveland quartets. His television appearances include The Tonight ShowSaturday Night Live, and the MTV Europe Music Awards with Icelandic artist Björk. He appears on 16 recordings with the Pacifica Quartet and has recorded the violin music of Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson and the sonatas for violin and piano by Franz Schubert.

Bernhardsson serves as director of the Cooper International Violin Competition at Oberlin and as artistic director of Iceland’s Harpa International Music Academy. He gives regular concerts and master classes in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and has appeared as a soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra, CityMusic Cleveland, and other ensembles.

Bernhardsson is a 1995 graduate of Oberlin Conservatory. His teachers include Guðný Guðmundsdóttir, Almita and Roland Vamos, Mathias Tacke, and Shmuel Ashkenasi. He previously served on the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

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Nathan Cole

violin & string leadership

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 7-8

LA Phil’s First Associate Concertmaster Nathan Cole, who joined the LA Phil in 2011, has appeared as guest concertmaster with the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Houston, Ottawa, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon. He will transition to the role of Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in July of 2024. He was previously a member of the Chicago Symphony and Principal Second Violin of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. A native of Lexington, KY, he made his debut with the Louisville Orchestra at the age of 10 while studying with Donna Wiehe. After eight years working with Daniel Mason, Cole enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music. In addition to his studies there with Pamela Frank, Felix Galimir, Ida Kavafian, and Jaime Laredo, Cole formed the Grancino String Quartet, debuting in New York’s Weill Hall. Several summers at Marlboro enriched his love of chamber music. 

Cole’s articles and videos on practicing, performing, teaching, and auditioning have helped thousands of violinists worldwide. Visit natesviolin.com for the complete collection. In addition to his online teaching, Nathan is on faculty at the Colburn School for the Performing Arts, with classes at the Colburn Conservatory and USC. His articles and photographs have also appeared in Strings, Symphony, and Chamber Music magazines. 

Cole is married to Akiko Tarumoto, the LA Phil’s Assistant Concertmaster. Together they host the weekly podcast Stand Partners for Life, an inside look at orchestra life, which can be heard at standpartnersforlife.com. Nathan and Akiko live in Pasadena with their three children. 

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Glenn Dicterow

violin, orchestral studies & string leadership

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-5

Violinist Glenn Dicterow has established himself worldwide as one of the most prominent American concert artists of his generation.

Mr. Dicterow has enjoyed a storied career. The concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic for 34 years, an all-time record in that major orchestral position, he became the first holder of the Robert Mann Chair in Strings and Chamber Music at the USC Thornton School of Music in 2013. He is also the Chairman of the Orchestral Performance Program at New York’s Manhattan School of Music. More than ever before, Dicterow performs as a soloist with orchestras around the nation and beyond, while participating in musical festivals and chamber music, teaching in musical academies and leading masterclasses around the world, while adjudicating competitions, among a plethora of musical assignments in a “second act” easily as active as his much lauded years with the Philharmonic.

Glenn Dicterow first came to prominence at the age of 11, making his solo debut in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where his father, Harold Dicterow, served as principal of the second violin section for 52 years. He first appeared with the New York Philharmonic in 1967, at the age of 18, performing the Tchaikovsky Concerto under the baton of André Kostelanetz.

Dicterow joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Associate Concertmaster in 1971, becoming Concertmaster there before turning 25. He came to New York as that orchestra’s Concertmaster in 1980, while soloing annually with the Philharmonic in each of his 34 years. In that time, he served as the orchestra’s “leader” (to use the British term) in collaboration with four very different music directors, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel and Alan Gilbert

In a New York Philharmonic concert tour Dicterow was featured as the soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade After Plato’s Symposium, with Bernstein himself conducting. He performed the Waxman/Bizet Carmen Fantasy under Zubin Mehta as part of the New York Philharmonic’s “Live From Lincoln Center” telecast, and he was a soloist in the orchestra’s 1982 concert at the White House. Another career highlight was his performance of the Barber Violin Concerto at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China during the Philharmonic’s 1998 tour of Asia.

His shelf of recordings is endless, as the Philharmonic’s Concertmaster, in a large array of solo assignments, both of the great romantic concerti and of the 20th Century classics that he has championed, and in a wide range of chamber music. He has twice recorded Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade with the New York Philharmonic, once with Yuri Temirkanov conducting, once with Kurt Masur. He and his wife, violist Karen Dreyfus, have committed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante to disc, alongside the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Carl St.Clair. He has recorded violin sonatas by such heroes of American music as Ives, Copland, Bernstein, and John Corigliano.

“The Glenn Dicterow Collection,” a three-CD set on the New York Philharmonic label, surveys his career with the orchestra, in performances spanning thirty years, from 1982 – 2012, featuring his performances of concerti by Bruch, Bartok, Barber, Korngold, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Szymanowski, plus the Bernstein Serenade, Kernis’s Lament and Prayer, and John Williams’s Theme From Schindler’s List, among many highlights.

As a sidelight, Dicterow has also provided the violin solos for numerous Hollywood films, including such modern classics as The Turning Point, The Untouchables, Altered States, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Interview With the Vampire, among others.

A graduate of The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Ivan Galamian, he also studied with Joachim Chassman, Naoum Blinder, Manuel Compinsky, Erno Neufeld, Gerald Vinci, Eudice Shapiro, Jascha Heifetz and Henryk Szeryng.

Today, Dicterow is as committed to passing on the great musical legacy that spurred his own career as he once was in his orchestral duties. Beside his endowed chair at the USC-Thornton School and his innovative work in the Manhattan School’s orchestral program, he is the leader of the String Leadership Program at Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West, training new generations of concertmasters and principal second violinists.

Among his many honors, the Young Musicians Foundation, a Los Angeles institution which has spurred the careers of innumerable artists, honored Dicterow in February 2015 with its “Living the Legacy Award.” It should be noted that in his early teens, Dicterow, who is now on the YMF Advisory Board, won that organization’s Debut Concerto Competition in 1963.

Glenn Dicterow and his wife, Karen Dreyfus, are founding members of the Lyric Piano Quartet and the Amerigo Trio, performing, recording, teaching and proselytizing at leading festivals and musical institutions around the world.

He joined the Music Academy faculty in 2014.

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Yoonshin Song

violin & string leadership

ABOUT
Residency
Festival week 6

Acclaimed as “a wonderfully talented violinist…whose sound and technique go well beyond her years”,  violinist Yoonshin Song was born in South Korea, where she began her musical studies at age 5. Making her solo debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at age 11, she has since built a successful performing career internationally.

Yoonshin was appointed as Concertmaster of the Houston Symphony in August 2019. Prior to that she has held the same position with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for seven seasons. Yoonshin has also served as guest concertmaster of the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer.

Beyond her first chair duties, Yoonshin has performed as a soloist with many orchestras around the world, including the Houston Symphony, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, the Paul Constantinescu Philharmonic Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the KBS Philharmonic Orchestra, among many others. The highlights of her 2020-2021 season as a soloist include concertos with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Houston Symphony and the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra.

She has also participated as a soloist and chamber musician in numerous leading music festivals, including the Marlboro, Deer Valley, Great Lakes, and Aspen Music Festivals in the United States; the Miyazaki Chamber Music Festival in Japan; and the Verbier, Lucerne, and Bayreuth Festivals in Europe.

Yoonshin has earned many prestigious prizes throughout her career, including top prize awards in the Lipizer International Violin Competition in Italy; the Lipinski & Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Poland; the Henry Marteau International Violin Competition in Germany; and first prize at the Stradivarius International Competition in the United States. She studied under the tutelage of Donald Weilerstein at the New England Conservatory and continued her studies with Robert Mann and Glenn Dicterow at the Manhattan School of Music.

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Bing Wang

violin

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Residency
Festival weeks 1-2

Violinist Bing Wang joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Associate Concertmaster in 1994. She previously held the position of Principal Second Violin of the Cincinnati Symphony and has served on the faculty and as concertmaster at the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2003. Since 2009, she has also been Guest Concertmaster of her hometown orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, where her tenure was highlighted by a televised New Year’s concert conducted by Riccardo Muti. 

As a soloist, Wang has won critical praise for her appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In September 1997, during the Philharmonic’s celebration of the Brahms anniversary year, she performed the composer’s Double Concerto with Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Hollywood Bowl. She made her Walt Disney Concert Hall concerto debut in May of 2005 and appears annually as both concertmaster and soloist at the Hollywood Bowl under the baton of composer John Williams, performing his signature movie classics such as Schindler’s List and his arrangement of Fiddler on the Roof. Wang has appeared regularly with the American Youth Symphony since 1997, and she has also been featured as a soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Manhattan Symphony, and other orchestras. In 2002, she gave her first performances in China since emigrating to the U.S., touring as a soloist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. 

Active as a chamber musician, Wang has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Lang Lang, Yefim Bronfman, Emanuel Ax, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, among others. Chamber music appearances include performances at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, Germany. She also performs regularly on the Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella and Chamber Music series. 

Bing Wang began studying the violin with her parents at the age of six. She entered the middle school of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she was concertmaster of the school orchestra, and graduated with highest honors. After coming to the U.S. to study with Berl Senofsky at the Peabody Conservatory, she received her master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Glenn Dicterow. In 2012, Bing Wang was named an Adjunct Associate Professor at the USC Thornton School of Music. 

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Karen Dreyfus

viola, chamber music

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-5

Karen Dreyfus enjoys a wide-ranging career as a noted soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician and as a pedagogue. She has performed extensively in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America, and has toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Musicians from Marlboro, and the New York Philharmonic. Her numerous honors include prizes at the Naumburg, Lionel Tertis, Washington International, and the Hudson Valley competitions. Along with her work in the classical music field, Dreyfus has performed on many film scores, pop, jazz, and rock recordings.

The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Award, Ms. Dreyfus has recorded many CDs as a soloist and chamber musician. Her premiere recording with Bridge Records, Romanze, met with considerable critical acclaim. She has recorded William Walton’s Viola Concerto, Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante”, as well as solo works by American composers. Such composers as Ezra Laderman, Jon Deak, George Tsontakis, Paul Chihara, William Thomas McKinley, Elizabeth Brown, and others have written works expressly for her. Dreyfus has toured with jazz pianist/composer Chick Corea and recorded a Grammy- nominated work entitled “Lyric Suite for Sextet.”

In 2014 Ms. Dreyfus was invited to teach on the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music where she continues to teach viola, chamber music, and orchestral studies. Dreyfus has taught on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Mannes School along with the Manhattan School of Music where she was honored with an Emerita Award in 2022 after more than 30 years on faculty. Many of Karen Dreyfus’ students have gone on to win positions in orchestras, teach on university faculties, as well as play in chamber ensembles.

Karen Dreyfus is a founding member of the Lyric Piano Quartet and the Amerigo Trio.

She has been a Music Academy teaching artist since 2014.

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Milan Milisavljević

viola

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 6-7

Milan Milisavljević is Principal Viola with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. His performances combine intense expression with an immediate and profound link to his listeners and have won much critical acclaim.

The Strad magazine has described his playing as “very imaginative, with a fine, cultured tone.” Milan’s solo album Sonata-Song, released by Delos Music, has received glowing reviews, with the recording of Aram Khachaturian’s solo sonata on the album hailed as “definitive”.

He has won prizes at competitions such as Lionel Tertis and Aspen Lower Strings and has performed at Marlboro, Cascade Head, Classical Tahoe, Mostly Mozart, Josef Gingold, and Grand Teton music festivals.

Milan has appeared as soloist throughout the world, with orchestras such as the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonic orchestras of Belgrade, Medellín, and Boca del Río, Aspen Sinfonia, New York Classical Players, Classical Tahoe, and others. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with members of the Guarneri and Mendelssohn String Quartets, as well as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Joseph Kalichstein, Augustin Hadelich, Cho-Liang Lin, and many others.

Milan has been heard worldwide on countless recordings and broadcasts of the MET. He previously served as its Assistant Principal Viola for 11 seasons. He is a former member of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and has served as guest Principal Viola of many orchestras, such as the Toronto Symphony.

As an educator, Milan has given classes at universities and conservatories worldwide, such as at the Juilliard School and the Rubin Academy of Music, the Verbier Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Milan is on the viola faculty of the Mannes School of Music as well as New York University.

He is also increasingly in demand as a conductor, serving on the conducting faculty of the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division as head of one of its orchestras.

Deeply committed to music of today, Milan has given the world premiere of Afro-Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s Solo Viola Sonata, and regularly performs new music by Ana Sokolovic, Jessie Montgomery, and others. One of his recent projects has been Slow Beethoven, collaborating with Lara St. John, Miranda Cuckson and Jeffrey Zeigler, in a unique creation of a lush sonic landscape based on the world of Beethoven’s late string quartets.

Milan’s teachers include Jutta Puchhammer, Atar Arad, James Dunham, Nobuko Imai, and Samuel Rhodes. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rice University.

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Richard O’Neill

viola & chamber music

ABOUT
Distinguished Alumni Awardee
2021
Alumni
1998, 1999
Distinction
The Hyon Chough and Maurice Singer Chair in Viola
Residency
Festival weeks 3-4

Newly appointed violist of the Takács Quartet, Richard O’Neill has distinguished himself as one of the great instrumentalists of his generation. GRAMMY Award winner for Best Classical Instrumental Solo Performance in 2021, O’Neill is only the second person to receive an award for a viola performance in the history of this category. Also an EMMY Award winner and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, O’Neill has appeared as soloist with the world’s top orchestras and conductors including Andrew Davis, Vladimir Jurowski and Yannick Nezet-Seguin. An Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Principal Violist of Camerata Pacifica, he also served as Artistic Director of DITTO, his South Korean chamber music project, for thirteen seasons, leading the ensemble on international tours to China and Japan and introducing tens of thousands to music. A Universal Music/Deutsche Grammophon recording artist, he has made 10 solo albums and many other chamber music recordings, earning multiple platinum discs. Composers Lera Auerbach, Elliott Carter, Paul Chihara, John Harbison, and Huang Ruo have written works for him. He serves as Goodwill Ambassador for the Korean Red Cross, The Special Olympics, UNICEF and OXFAM and serves on the faculty of the Music Academy of the West and is an Music Academy alumnus (‘98, ‘99).

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Cynthia Phelps

viola, orchestral studies

ABOUT
Distinguished Alumni Awardee
2001
Alumni
1979, 1983
Residency
Festival weeks 2, 5, 8

Esteemed violist Cynthia Phelps’s wide-ranging career has taken her to stages across the world as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. Principal Violist of the New York Philharmonic for over two decades, she is a regularly featured soloist with the orchestra both at home and abroad, in a variety of repertoire, including two world premieres written solely for her. Other concerto appearances have been with the Minnesota Orchestra, Shanghai, Vermont, Santa Barbara, Eastern Music Festival, and San Diego Symphonies, Orquesta Sinfonica de Bilbao, and Rochester and Hong Kong Philharmonics.  Known for her emotional nuance, virtuosic technique, and plush tone, she is a founding member of both the New York Philharmonic String Quartet and Les Amies trio and is a frequent guest with chamber series across the globe. She has been featured in several nationwide “Live from Lincoln Center” telecasts, on National Public Radio, Radio France, Italy‘s RAI, and in regular broadcasts from the 92Y, including collaborations with Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov. She is on the faculty of The Juilliard School Shanghai Academy, Music Academy of the West, and Mannes College of Music.

Ms. Phelps attended the Music Academy in 1979 and 1983, and was named a recipient of the Music Academy’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001.

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David Geber

cello & chamber music

ABOUT
Distinction
The Susie and Ted Cronin Chair in Cello
Residency
Festival weeks 6-8

David Geber had his early musical training in Los Angeles, where he was raised in a family of professional cellists.  He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Juilliard School.  Mr. Geber has been recipient of numerous cello and chamber music awards, including the Walter W. Naumburg Award and the Coleman Chamber Music Prize.  He has appeared as soloist at Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival, as well as with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Montreal Symphony and New York Chamber Symphony.  A strong supporter of new music, he has premiered numerous works for cello and chamber ensembles.  As founding cellist of the American String Quartet, he concertized and recorded internationally with that ensemble for nearly thirty years, having given concerts in all 50 of the United States and playing up to 100 annual engagements.

Mr. Geber is a longtime cello and chamber music faculty member at Manhattan School of Music cello and served as a senior administrator of the school for 15 years.  In addition to being artist/faculty at Music Academy of the West, he maintains other festival relationships with National Arts Centre of Canada and Heifetz Institute. Prior festival posts have included Aspen Music Festival & School, Meadowmount School of Music and Tanglewood Music Center. He is also an exclusive, worldwide artist/representative for Jargar Strings.

Mr. Geber has recorded for Albany Records, Capstone Records, CRI, Musical Heritage Society, New World Records, Nonesuch Records, and RCA.  He has served as adjudicator for major international string competitions including Bordeaux, Evian, Naumburg, Isang Yun and Coleman.  He is Vice President of both the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation (New York City) and American Friends of Kronberg Academy (Germany).  He plays a rare Ruggieri cello, made in Cremona in 1667.

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Steven Isserlis

Mosher guest artist, cello

ABOUT
Residency
Festival week 4

Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a uniquely varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster. He appears with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, including the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras; and gives recitals every season in major musical centres. As a chamber musician, he has curated concert series for many prestigious venues, including the Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd St Y and the Salzburg Festival. Unusually, he also directs chamber orchestras from the cello in classical programmes.

He has a strong interest in historical performance, working with many periodinstrument orchestras and giving recitals with harpsichord and fortepiano. He is also a keen exponent of contemporary music and has premiered many new works, including John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil, Thomas Adès’s Lieux retrouvés, and Gyorgy Kurtag’s ‘For Steven’.

Steven’s award-winning discography includes Bach’s Cello Suites for Hyperion (Gramophone’s Instrumental Album of the Year); Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano with Robert Levin; and the Elgar and Walton concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra/Paavo Jarvi. His latest recordings include the Brahms Double Concerto with Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and – as director and soloist – concertos by Haydn and CPE Bach, with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, which was shortlisted for a Grammy Award. A special First World War-inspired disc with Connie Shih was also released in 2017, including pieces performed on a travel cello which was played in the trenches.

Since 1997, Steven Isserlis has been Artistic Director of the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, Cornwall. He also enjoys playing for children, and has created three musical stories, with the composer Anne Dudley. His two books for children, published by Faber’s, have been translated into many languages; and his latest book, a commentary on Schumann’s famous Advice for Young Musicians, has recently been published, also by Faber’s.

The recipient of many awards, Steven Isserlis’s honours include a CBE in recognition of his services to music, the Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau, and the Piatigorsky Prize in the USA. In 2017, he was awarded the Glashütte Original Music Festival Award, the Wigmore Hall Gold Medal, and the Walter Willson Cobbett Medal for Services to Chamber Music.

He gives most of his concerts on the Marquis de Corberon (Nelsova) Stradivarius of 1726, kindly loaned to him by the Royal Academy of Music.

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Alan Stepansky

cello

ABOUT
Distinction
The Susie and Ted Cronin Chair in Cello
Residency
Festival weeks 1-6

Alan Stepansky is recognized as one of the most gifted and versatile cellists of his generation. After a distinguished orchestral career playing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, serving as Principal Cellist of the Boston Pops, and culminating in a ten-year tenure as Associate Principal Cellist of the New York Philharmonic, he is in demand as a soloist, chamber musician, principal cellist, and recording artist. He is currently Chair of Strings and Professor of Cello at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and cello faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.

Mr. Stepansky has performed as a guest artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and has appeared in concert with a diverse array of artists including the Takács and American String Quartets. He has recorded a series of chamber music and solo discs for EMI, which were honored by Gramophone Magazine, BBC Magazine, the New York Times, and the British Music Industry Association, and has been engaged as the solo cellist for numerous major motion picture soundtracks. He has also appeared on the albums of many noted recording artists across many genres, including Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Merchant, David Byrne, Audra McDonald, Joss Stone, and Sting, with whom he has also appeared in concert.

Recently, Mr. Stepansky served as the Principal Cellist for six major fund-raising events held in Carnegie Hall, Beethoven’s Ninth for South Asia, Requiem for Darfur, Mahler for the Children of AIDS, Beethoven for the Indus Valley, Shostakovich for the Children of Syria, and the Scheherazade Initiative, which featured an international orchestra drawn from leading symphonic, chamber music, and solo artists from around the world. He has appeared as soloist with many orchestras and frequently as Guest Principal Cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. After studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Stepansky graduated from Harvard University with the Horblit Prize, conferred for his outstanding musical accomplishments.

Mr. Stepansky has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 2003.

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Seth Parker Woods

cello

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 2-3

Hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace” who possesses “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” cellist Seth Parker Woods has established his reputation as a versatile artist and innovator across multiple genres. His projects delve deep into our cultural fabric, reimagining traditional works and commissioning new ones to propel classical music into the future. Woods is a recipient of the 2022 Chamber Music America Michael Jaffee Visionary Award.

In the 2022-2023 season, Woods premieres a new version of his evening-length, multimedia tour de force Difficult Grace at 92Y, UCLA, and Chicago’s Harris Theater; curates and performs a program honoring the centennial of composer George Walker at The Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.; premieres Freida Abtan’s My Heart is a River, commissioned by the Seattle Symphony; and performs a world premiere by Anna Thorvaldsdottir at Carnegie Hall as part of Claire Chase’s Density Series. The Great Northern Festival in Minneapolis will present Woods in his critically acclaimed performance installation, Iced Bodies, in which Woods, in a wetsuit, plays an obsidian ice cello.

Recital appearances this season include concerts with pianist Andrew Rosenblum at Dumbarton Oaks in D.C., Boston’s Isabella Gardner Museum, and The Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills, and a return to his former home Brussels for a solo recital at Das Haus. He also tours to Washington Performing Arts, Krannert Center, Stanford Live, California Center for the Arts, Count Basie Center for the Arts, Auburn University, and Emory University with the Chad Lawson Trio. In addition, Woods will hold residencies at Montclair State University and Oberlin Conservatory. The season will also see the release of a new solo album on Cedille Records and the soundtrack of the PBS documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust – a film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein – to which Woods contributed.

In addition to solo performances, he has appeared with the ICTUS Ensemble (Brussels, BE), Ensemble L’Arsenale (IT), zone Experimental (CH), Basel Sinfonietta (CH), Ensemble LPR, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Atlanta and Seattle Symphonies, and in chamber music with violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Andreas Haefliger. A fierce advocate for contemporary arts, Woods has collaborated and worked with a wide range of artists ranging from the likes of Louis Andriessen, Elliott Carter, Heinz Holliger, G. F. Haas, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang, and Peter Eötvos to Peter Gabriel, Sting, Lou Reed, Dame Shirley Bassey, and Rachael Yamagata to such visual artists as Ron Athey, Vanessa Beecroft, Jack Early, Adam Pendleton, and Aldo Tambellini. In the 2021-2022 season, he premiered concertos by Rebecca Saunders and Tyshawn Sorey.

In recent years, Woods has appeared in concert at the Royal Albert Hall – BBC Proms, Aspen Music Festival, Ojai Festival, Snape Maltings Festival, the Ghent Festival, Washington Performing Arts, Strathmore, Musée d’art Moderne et Contemporain, Le Poisson Rougel, Cafe OTO, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Klang Festival-Durham, INTER/ actions Symposium, ICMC-SMS Conference (Athens, GR), NIME-London, Sound and Body Festival, Instalakcje Festival, Virginia Tech, La Salle College (Singapore), and FINDARS (Malaysia), amongst others. Recent awards include a DCASE artist grant, Earle Brown/ Morton Feldman Foundation Grant, McGill University-CIRMMT/IDMIL Visiting Researcher Residency, Centre Intermondes Artist Residency, Francis Chagrin Award, Concours [Re]connaissance-Premiere Prix, and the Paul Sacher Stiftung Research Scholarship.

His debut solo album, asinglewordisnotenough (Confront Recordings-London), has garnered great acclaim since its release in November 2016 and has been profiled in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, The Guardian, 5against4, I Care If You Listen, Musical America, Seattle Times, and Strings Magazine, amongst others.

Woods recently joined the faculty of the Thornton School of Music at The University of Southern California as Assistant Professor of Practice – Cello and Chamber Music. He previously served on the faculties of the University at Buffalo, University of Chicago, Dartmouth College, and the Chicago Academy of the Arts and as Artist in Residence at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and Northwestern University – Center for New Music. Woods holds degrees from Brooklyn College, Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel, and a PhD from the University of Huddersfield. In the 2020-21 season, he was an Artist in Residence with the Kaufman Music Center, and from 2018-2020 he served as Artist in Residence with Seattle Symphony and Creative Consultant for the interactive concert hall, Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center.

Seth Parker Woods is a Pirastro Artist and endorses Pirastro Perpetual Strings worldwide.

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Nico Abondolo

double bass

ABOUT
Alumni
1987, 1988
Residency
Festival weeks 1-8

An internationally recognized double bass soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist, Nico Abondolo was appointed principal double bass of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra during the 2011-12 season. He made his debut at age 14 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and in 1983 became the first double bassist to win first place in the International Competition for Musical Performers in Geneva, Switzerland. He has since appeared with orchestras and in recital throughout the United States and Europe.

Mr. Abondolo regularly performs chamber music at the La Jolla Music Society SummerFest and the Ojai and St. Barts festivals, and with the experimental chamber ensemble Concert Nova. Recent highlights include performances of Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Schubert’s Trout Quintet with the Brentano String Quartet, John Adams’ Shaker Loops, and Tan Dun’s Quintet, the latter two with the composers conducting. He has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has toured with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Claudio Abbado, Sir Georg Solti, and Lorin Maazel.

Mr. Abondolo has premiered solo works by Sofia Gubaidulina and Henry Brant, and has received composition commissions from Concert Nova and Chamber Music Unbound. He was the double bassist for the New York-based ensemble Continuum and for eight seasons served as principal bass for San Francisco’s Grammy-nominated New Century Chamber Orchestra. He has composed for several New York and West Coast dance companies, performing with them at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Merce Cunningham Studio, and the La MaMa Experimental Theatre (New York). He was the composer for two PBS documentaries, “Half the Sky”, and “A Path Appears”. He has also served as principal bass for many motion picture composers, including John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Alan Silvestri, and Thomas Newman.

Maintaining a busy schedule of masterclasses at music schools throughout the country, Mr. Abondolo is currently on the faculty of Westmont College, and previously was a faculty member at the USC Thornton School of Music and UC Santa Barbara. He studied with Dennis Trembly, Peter Mercurio, and Gábor Rejt at USC; David Walter and Albert Fuller at The Juilliard School; and Franco Petracchi in Italy.

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Takács Quartet

quartet-in-residence

ABOUT
Distinction
The Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation / Peggy Maximus Fund quartet-in-residence
violin
Edward Dusinberre
violin
Harumi Rhodes
viola
Richard O\’Neill
cello
András Fejér
Residency
Festival weeks 0-2

The world-renowned Takács Quartet, is now entering its forty-eighth season. Edward Dusinberre, Harumi Rhodes (violins), Richard ONeill (viola) and András Fejér (cello) are excited about the 2022-2023 season that begins with a tour of Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, and includes the release of two new cds for Hyperion Records. A disc of Haydn’s opp. 42, 77 and 103 is followed by the first recording of an extraordinary new work written for the Takács by Stephen Hough, Les Six Rencontres, presented with quartets by Ravel and Dutilleux. As Associate Artists at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Takács will perform four concerts there. In addition to programs featuring Beethoven, Schubert and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, one concert consists of works by Britten, Bartók and Dvořák that highlight the same themes of displacement and return explored in Edward Dusinberre’s new book Distant Melodies: Music in Search of Home. The book is published by Faber and the University of Chicago Press in the Fall of 2022. The quartet will perform the same program at several venues in the USA, complemented by book talks. During this season the quartet will continue its fruitful partnership with pianist Jeremy Denk, performing on several North American series.

Throughout 2022 and 2023 the ensemble will play at prestigious European venues including the Edinburgh and Schwetzingen Festivals, Madrid’s Auditorio de Música, Bilbao’s Philharmonic Society, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Bath Mozartfest. The group’s North American engagements include concerts in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tucson, Portland and the Beethoven Center at San Jose State University.

The Takács Quartet is known for innovative programming. In 2021-22 the ensemble partnered with  bandoneon virtuoso Julien Labro to premiere new works by Clarice Assad and Bryce Dessner, commissioned by Music Accord. In 2014 the Takács performed a program inspired by Philip Roth’s novel Everyman with Meryl Streep at Princeton, and again with her at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in 2015. They first performed Everyman at Carnegie Hall in 2007 with Philip Seymour Hoffman. They have toured 14 cities with the poet Robert Pinsky, and played regularly with the Hungarian Folk group Muzsikas.

The Takács records for Hyperion Records, recently winning awards for their recordings of string quartets by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, and – with pianist Garrick Ohlsson – piano quintets by Amy Beach and Elgar. Other releases for Hyperion feature works by Haydn, Schubert, Janáček, Smetana, Debussy and Britten, as well as piano quintets by César Franck and Shostakovich (with Marc-André Hamelin), and viola quintets by Brahms and Dvorák (with Lawrence Power). For their CDs on the Decca/London label, the Quartet has won three Gramophone Awards, a Grammy Award, three Japanese Record Academy Awards, Disc of the Year at the inaugural BBC Music Magazine Awards, and Ensemble Album of the Year at the Classical Brits. Full details of all recordings can be found in the Recordings section of the Quartet’s website.

In 2014 the Takács became the first string quartet to be awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal. In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the first string quartet to be inducted into its Hall of Fame. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London. Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, the members of the Takács Quartet are Christoffersen Faculty Fellows, and the grateful beneficiaries of an instrument loan by the Drake Foundation. The members of the Takács are on the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where they run a summer string quartet seminar, and Visiting Fellows at the Guildhall School of Music, London.

The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér, while all four were students. The group received international attention in 1977, winning First Prize and the Critics’ Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. The Quartet also won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and First Prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition in 1978 and the Bratislava Competition in 1981. The Quartet made its North American debut tour in 1982.

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Timothy Day

flute

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 3-8

Timothy Day was appointed principal flute of the San Francisco Symphony in 2006 and occupies the symphony’s Caroline H. Hume Chair. Previously, he served as principal flute with the Baltimore Symphony for 12 seasons.

Mr. Day has served as acting principal flute for the Minnesota Orchestra and the Boston Symphony. In addition to participating in festivals in Moab, Mohonk, and Montreal, he has been a featured soloist during San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival and has appeared many times as part of the San Francisco Symphony Chamber Music Series.

A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied with Robert Willoughby. Mr. Day taught at the Peabody Conservatory for ten years, and since 1987, he has been on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He also has served as a wind coach with the New World Symphony.

Mr. Day has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 1992.

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Jim Walker

flute

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-2

Few flutists in history have made such indelible marks in so many musical circles. From jazz to pop to classical (orchestra, chamber, and solo) to television and film to the concert hall and his teaching studio, Jim Walker has enjoyed tremendous success.

In 1969 he was named associate principal flute in the Pittsburgh Symphony after a stint playing in the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point. In 1977 he won the principal flute position in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. After seven successful seasons of performing, recording, and touring with the Los Angeles Philharmonic — during which time the New York Philharmonic briefly borrowed him as principal flute for its 1982 South American tour — he left the orchestra to focus on jazz, studio recording, and teaching.

In 1980 he organized his jazz quartet Free Flight, playing jazz-classical fusion (including four appearances on The Tonight Show and 16 recordings). In the 1990s he was a first-call studio flutist prized for his bold, expressive playing; he can be heard on hundreds of soundtracks. Along the way he collaborated with everyone from John Williams and Paul McCartney to Leonard Bernstein, James Galway, and the LA Guitar Quartet.

Mr. Walker is professor of flute, chamber music, and music technology at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, and professor of practice/coordinator of flute studies at the USC Thornton School of Music, where he was awarded with the Mellon Mentoring Award. His summer masterclass, “Beyond the Masterclass,” is now in its seventh year

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Eugene Izotov

oboe

ABOUT
Distinction
The David Weiss Faculty Chair in Oboe
Residency
Festival weeks 2-8

Eugene Izotov is one of the leading wind players of his generation. His playing continues to receive wide acclaim for its “luminous beauty” (San Francisco Chronicle), “lyrical gold” (Chicago Tribune), and “fiery Russian temperament” (Boston Globe). Appointed by Michael Tilson Thomas in 2014, Eugene Izotov is the principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony. He previously served as the principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony, appointed by Daniel Barenboim, principal oboist of the Metropolitan Opera, appointed by James Levine, and as guest principal oboist with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Izotov is the first Russian-born musician in history to hold a principal wind position in any major American symphony orchestra. His numerous awards include top prizes at solo competitions in Saint Petersburg (1991), Moscow (1990), New York (1995), and at the Fernand Gillet International Competition (2001).

Izotov has appeared over 70 times as soloist with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Pacific Music Festival Orchestra, and has collaborated with Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Nicholas McGegan, Edo De Waart, Ludovic Morlot, Ton Koopman, and Michael Tilson Thomas performing works by Mozart, Strauss, Marcello, Haydn, Martinu, Vivaldi, Carter, Hummel, Krommer and Bach. Eugene Izotov has recorded for Sony Classical, BMG, Boston Records, Elektra, SFSMedia, CSOResond, and was a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony under the baton of John Williams on the Oscar-nominated recording for Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln. He has also recently been a guest soloist on NPR’s Live from Here with Chris Thile. A prolific chamber musician, Eugene Izotov has collaborated regularly with the MET Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, as well as with Yefim Bronfman, Pinchas Zukerman, Jamie Laredo, Yo Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, André Watts, and the Tokyo String Quartet.

Eugene Izotov teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and at The Colburn School. He has also served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, DePaul University, and Pacific Music Festival. He regularly presents master classes at conservatories across the nation and abroad, such as Aspen, Oberlin, New World Symphony, Boston University, Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Vanderbilt, University of Michigan, Tanglewood, Verbier, Domaine Forget, and Interlochen. Eugene Izotov has served as an oboe mentor for the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra during its residency at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, which included a live internet simulcast to over 30 million of worldwide viewers. In 2019 Eugene Izotov was invited by Valery Gergiev to serve on the first-ever woodwind jury of the Tchaikovsky International Competition. Izotov’s former students are enjoying careers in symphony orchestras of Chicago, San Francisco, Saint Louis, Montreal, Kansas City, Buffalo, San Diego, Lexington, Ontario, Atlanta, Osaka, Fort Worth, Jerusalem, and others.

 

Born in Moscow, Russia, Izotov studied at the Gnesin School of Music with Ivan Pushechnikov, Sergey Velikanov, and Alexander Izotov (his father). After immigrating to the United States, he studied at Boston University with Ralph Gomberg.

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Xiomara Mass

oboe

ABOUT
Residency
Festival week 1

Oboist Xiomara Mass was appointed to the position of Second Oboe of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 2020 by Music Director Stéphane Denève. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ms. Mass began her musical training at the age of four and made her solo debut with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra when she was 13. Two years later Ms. Mass was accepted into the “Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico” where she studied with David Bourns, former Principal Oboe of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, and Pedro Díaz, solo English Horn of the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. Mass has also worked with such renowned oboists as Elaine Douvas, Hansjörg Schellenberger, and Scott Hostetler.

Xiomara Mass has been invited to participate in many prestigious music festivals, including the John Mack Oboe Camp, “Tercer Festival de Dobles Cañas” in Panama, The Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Domaine Forget, St. Barth’s Music Festival, The Sunflower Music Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, and The New Hampshire Music Festival. Ms. Mass was selected to participate in the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra during its residency at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, which included a live Internet simulcast to over 30 million viewers worldwide.

In 2014, Xiomara Mass won The Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Scholarship award at the Musicians Club of Women Competition in Chicago. Ms. Mass is also the first prizewinner of the Tuesday Musical State Scholarship Competition in Akron, Ohio, and the first Chamber Music Competition at the “Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico” as a member of her woodwind quintet. Most recently, Ms. Mass was a finalist and winner of the audience choice award in the inaugural Virtual Oboe Competition 2020, an entirely digital contest for oboe players formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Mass was the only oboist representing the United States in the finals of this global competition.

Xiomara Mass is a former member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and was a featured soloist with the Civic Orchestra in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin. During her years in Chicago Ms. Mass was an active freelancer in the area and often performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Winds as a substitute oboist as well as with many orchestras in the area, among them Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra and Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Mass also played as a substitute with the San Francisco Symphony and has performed with them as assistant principal.

In addition to working as a performer, Ms. Mass taught as an adjunct professor at the DePaul University School of Music. Currently, she maintains a small private studio.

Xiomara Mass holds a bachelor’s degree in Oboe Performance and an Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory, where she graduated with highest honors under the tutelage of Alex Klein and Robert Walters. After relocating to Chicago, Ms. Mass studied privately with Music Academy faculty artist Eugene Izotov, principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony.

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Richie Hawley

clarinet, orchestral studies & chamber music

ABOUT
Distinction
The Keston Chair in Clarinet supported in memory of Michael Keston
Residency
Festival weeks 1-8

Richie Hawley ranks among the most distinguished clarinetists of his generation. As principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO), he impressed audiences around the world with his virtuosity and the velvety, sonorous tone that has become his trademark. The Cincinnati Enquirer has praised him for the “seamless flowing tone so many clarinetists long for and few can achieve.”

In 2011, Mr. Hawley left the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and moved to Houston, Texas to become the Professor of Clarinet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Mr. Hawley appears on stages around the world regularly as a soloist, chamber musician and recitalist. During the summer he is in residence as the clarinet teaching and performing artists at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. Highlights of this year’s season include the premiere of Georgina Derbez’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra with the UNAM orchestra of Mexico and the debut duo album with Conor Hanick featuring the music of Higdon, Copland, Tower and Jalbert. Mr. Hawley made his debut at the Marlboro Music Festival in 1999 and toured with the legendary “Musicians from Marlboro” for the 50th anniversary performance at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Hawley has garnered awards as both performer and educator. He won the Coleman-Barstow prize at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in 1988 with Trio con Brio, and that same year was one of five musicians to receive the Gold Medal as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts from Ronald Reagan in a ceremony at the White House. He has received the Léni Fé Bland Foundation Career Grant twice, and was awarded the 2009 Glover Award for outstanding teaching at University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

Originally from Los Angeles, Mr. Hawley began his clarinet studies with Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn School of Performing Arts at age 9. He made his orchestral solo debut at age 13 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and at age 14 performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic. While a student of Donald Montanaro at the Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Hawley appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

As a D’Addario performing artist, Mr. Hawley performs exclusively on a reeds and mouthpieces that he helped to develop. He is also an artist for Buffet Crampon and performs on the Tosca model of clarinet.

He has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 2005.

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Benjamin Kamins

bassoon, alexander technique

ABOUT
Alumni
1968, 1969
Benjamin Kamins
Festival weeks 5-8

Since entering the world of professional music in 1972 as the associate principal bassoonist of the Minnesota Orchestra, Benjamin Kamins has enjoyed a wide-ranging career as an orchestral musician, chamber player, solo performer, and educator. In 1981 he was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Houston Symphony, a position he held until 2003.  He is currently the Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Bassoon at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.  In addition, he has served as a guest principal with other major symphony orchestras in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York.

Mr. Kamins’ interests have also taken him into the world of historical performance where he performs on baroque bassoon.  He can be heard playing with many fine period instrument ensembles, especially Ars Lyrica Houston. In addition to his musical activities, Ben Kamins is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique through Alexander Technique International.

An alumnus of the Music Academy (’68, ’69), he has been an Academy faculty member since 1999.

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Dennis Michel

bassoon

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-4

Dennis Michel is second bassoon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and an ensemble artist with the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He also serves as Artist Teacher of Bassoon and serves as Director of Woodwind Chamber Music at The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Prior to establishing his career in Chicago, he served as principal bassoon of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra for 16 years, and was a founding member of the Arioso Wind Quintet, an ensemble that toured widely and recorded for Koch International Classics.

Mr. Michel has been a featured performer with the Da Camera Society of Houston and in the chamber music series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, among others. He has appeared at numerous festivals including Tanglewood, The Grand Teton Festival, The Bard College Festival, The San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, and for 10 seasons performed with Summerfest LaJolla.  In 1996 Mr. Michel was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for advanced study with Milan Turkovic at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna. During that time he also performed with the Vienna State Opera.

Mr. Michel is a graduate of Yale University, where he was a student of Arthur Weisberg. He previously served on the faculties of Northwestern University, the University of Southern California, the University of California at San Diego and San Diego State University.

He has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 1988.

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Julie Landsman

horn, orchestral studies

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-8

Principal horn with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 25 years, Julie Landsman is a distinguished performing artist and educator. She received a bachelor of music degree from The Juilliard School in 1975 under the tutelage of James Chambers and Ranier De Intinis, and has served as a member of the Juilliard faculty since 1989 to 2024.  Her appointment to the faculty at USC Thornton School of Music began in 2020.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Landsman achieved her dream of becoming principal of the MET in 1985 and held that position until 2010. She has also shared her talent to many other ensembles within the city as a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and having performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic. Additionally, she has performed with numerous groups outside the city, including her co-principal position with the Houston Symphony, substitute principal position with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra as Associate principal horn, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

She has recorded for RCA, Deutsche Gramophone, CRI, Nonesuch and Vanguard labels, and is most famous for her performance of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle as solo horn with the MET Opera under the direction of James Levine. Landsman has performed as chamber musician at numerous festivals and concert series, including the Marlboro Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she appeared as a guest artist with the Guarneri Quartet. In the summers she currently performs and teaches at the Music Academy of the West, the Sarasota Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival.

World renowned as a master teacher, Julie Landsman held faculty positions at The Juilliard School and Bard College Conservatory. Her current position is adjunct professor of music at USC. She has presented master classes at such distinguished institutions as The Colburn School, Curtis Institute, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, USC Thornton School of Music, Cal State Long Beach, Rowan University, University of Oklahoma, and University of Southern Mississippi, to name a few. She is also a visiting master teacher at the New World Symphony in Miami. Her international presence includes master classes in Norway, Sweden, and Israel.  In 2016 Landsman was an honored jury member at the ARD horn competition in Munich, Germany.

Her students hold positions in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras, Washington National Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Nova Scotia Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, and the American Brass Quintet. She recently received the “Pioneer Award” from the International Women’s Brass Conference and was a featured artist at the International Horn Society Conference in 2012 and 2015.  She was featured in the International Musician magazine in February, 2022. https://internationalmusician.org/julie-landsman/  She was interviewed by Local 802 in 2013 https://www.local802afm.org/allegro/articles/telling-it-like-it-is/

Her series of Carmine Caruso lessons on YouTube have led to further fame and renown among today’s generation of horn players. Landsman currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA.

 

 

 

 

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Jennifer Montone

horn

ABOUT
Residency
Festival week 6
Music Academy alum
1995

Grammy Award winner, Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, and Music Academy alum Jennifer Montone has been hailed by The New York Times for her “flawless horn solos… and warm and noble sound”. The Principal Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, she has been on the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School since joining the orchestra in 2006. Previously she served as the Principal Horn of the Saint Louis Symphony and Associate Principal Horn of the Dallas Symphony. She regularly performs as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the National Symphony, the Polish National Radio Symphony, and the Warsaw National Philharmonic. Montone studied with Music Academy teaching artist Julie Landsman at The Juilliard School. Her recording of the Penderecki Horn Concerto, “Winterreise” with the Warsaw National Philharmonic won a 2013 Grammy Award in the category of “Best Classical Compendium”.

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Barbara Butler

trumpet

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 7-8

Barbara Butler is a soloist with Music of the Baroque, Chicago Chamber Musicians, and Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra. She is a former member of Eastman Brass, Eastman Virtuosi, and the Vancouver and Grant Park Symphony Orchestras. She has performed, recorded, and appeared in broadcasts with the St. Louis, Chicago, and Houston Symphony Orchestras and the New York Philharmonic. She has made solo appearances with many major orchestras and festivals and presented recitals and master classes worldwide. She appears on recordings and international broadcasts with Eastman Brass, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Chamber Musicians, and CBC Radio. Her most recent recordings include “Carmen Fantasia” on Warner Brothers and “With Clarion Voice” on D’Note Records with Charles Geyer. She is a former faculty member of the Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music and University of British Columbia, and studied with Vincent Cichowicz and Adolph Herseth. Ms. Butler began as Professor of Trumpet at Rice University in 2013.

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Paul Merkelo

trumpet, chamber music

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-6

“A GREAT VIRTUOSO …DAZZLING” (LA PRESSE – MONTREAL)

JUNO nominated artist Paul Merkelo is recognized as “a spectacular soloist …a most impressive master of his instrument” (Montreal Gazette) who “knows no limits” (Der Spiegel online – Germany) with “unusual lyrical gifts’’ (Gramophone). Principal trumpet with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal since 1995, he has been featured frequently with the OSM, including tours to South America and at the Lincoln Center in New York, and is the first member of the orchestra to be invited to record a debut solo album with the orchestra (French concertos – Kent Nagano).

In 1999, he was appointed Canadian musical ambassador to China for the inauguration of the Montreal Park in Shanghai, and as soloist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in a national telecast. Mr. Merkelo made his New York debut at Lincoln Center with the New World Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas in 1998. He has worked with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Charles Dutoit, Lorin Maazel, Sir Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta and Valery Gergiev, and has been invited as guest principal trumpet in the Pittsburgh Symphony orchestra and New York Philharmonic.

Mr. Merkelo’s first solo recording, A Simple Song was ranked #1 in Quebec’s classical recording chart in 2000. In 2004, Analekta released a highly praised second CD, Baroque Transcriptions, which was nominated by ADISQ for Best Classical Album of the Year. French Concertos with OSM/KENT NAGANO was nominated by the JUNO Awards as Best Classical Album of the Year -Soloist with large ensemble in 2016.

In 2020, the English Chamber Orchestra featured him with the Haydn and Leopold Mozart concerti on a UK tour, and MediciTV released a DVD concert of his “Gershwin Romance Music” project showcasing his jazz and improvisation skills.

Also in 2020, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra commissioned Gabriela Ortiz to write a new concerto for trumpet featuring soloist and the principal trumpet of the orchestra.

Paul has been on the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara since 2005, and is also on faculty at McGill University in Montreal. He is on the board of directors for the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (Canada), and is the founder of the Paul Merkelo Scholarship, which helps young, gifted brass players with financial aid and career guidance.

Paul Merkelo is a Yamaha artist.

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Mark H. Lawrence

trombone & tuba, orchestral studies

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-4

Hailed as one the greatest classical trombonists of his generation, Mark Lawrence has had a long and successful career as an orchestral musician, soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he was Principal Trombonist with the San Francisco Symphony for 34 years . In that capacity, he traveled the world performing and giving master
classes. As a chamber musician, he has been a member of the world famous and groundbreaking Empire Brass Quintet, the Center City Brass Quintet, the Four of a Kind trombone quartet, the Summit Brass Ensemble, and San Francisco’s Bay Brass Ensemble. He was a featured soloist with the San Francisco Symphony on many occasions, and has been a frequent recitalist in this country and abroad. In 2005 Mr. Lawrence was asked to join Sir George Solti’s World Orchestra for Peace, comprised of orchestral musicians from all over the world. As a member of that group, he performed wildly successful concerts in New York, London, Moscow, and Beijing. Mr. Lawrence has also been guest Principal Trombone with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and is currently a member of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque. Teaching has always been a big part of his life, and many of his students have successful orchestral and chamber careers in the U.S., Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Japan. In addition to The Colburn School, he has been on the faculty of Boston University, Northwestern University, Tanglewood Institute, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and currently, Music Academy of the West. As a recording artist, his impressive discography includes 3 solo recordings, 16 chamber music recordings with Empire Brass Quintet, Center City Brass Quintet, The Four of a Kind Trombone quartet, Summit Brass, and Bay Brass, and over 30 recordings with the San Francisco Symphony, including their Grammy winning recordings of Mahler Symphonies number 3 and 7.

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Weston Sprott

trombone & tuba

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 5-8

A prominent leader, performer, and educator in classical music, Weston Sprott is Dean and Director of the Preparatory Division at The Juilliard School, a Co-Founder of the Black Orchestral Network, and a trombonist in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Weston Sprott’s work is based on mission-driven values developed over a twenty-year career in the arts. His approach to all elements of his career is steeped in basic principles—a commitment to excellence and fairness, an abiding sense of kindness and compassion towards others, and an unwavering sense of optimism that is not naive. Sprott grew up in Spring, TX, immersed in the fabric of sports, marching bands, soul and R&B music, hip-hop culture, and the Pentecostal church. From an early age, his parents raised him to take pride in his identity, cultivate an industrious spirit, and embrace the heritage of leaders in arts and culture who speak truth to power and understand the implications of being Black in America. In a visit to his office, one will find photos of several individuals he views as inspirations, like Muhammad Ali, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Wynton Marsalis, and Malcolm X.

Following studies at Indiana University and the Curtis Institute of Music, Sprott began a robust performance career that includes orchestral, chamber, and solo performances. Hailed as “an excellent trombonist” with a “sense of style and phrasing [that] takes a backseat to no one,” he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South Africa. In addition to being a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, since 2005, he has held positions with the Zurich Opera and Philharmonia, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Delaware Symphony. He has performed with several of the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, Chineke! Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, and the Oslo Philharmonic. He can be heard on numerous solo, chamber, symphonic, opera, and film recordings, from “Live from Lincoln Center” broadcasts to the recent “Lion King” live-action movie. His chamber music and festival engagements include Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Gateways Chamber Players, Classical Tahoe, Festival Napa Valley, Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, PRIZM Ensemble, and numerous others.

Growing up in a home of educators, the value and importance of teaching was reinforced from an early age and informs Sprott’s approach to his work. His commitment to working with young people is evidenced by his prolific teaching career. Sprott’s former students hold positions in leading ensembles across the world as well as others who have forged successful careers in other fields. He holds faculty positions at Juilliard, Bard College, and Music Academy of the West. He frequently appears as a guest teacher for the New World Symphony and The Orchestra Now, and has presented over a hundred masterclasses at conservatories and colleges around the world. Previous faculty positions include Mannes College, Rutgers University, Purchase College, Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program (MAP), PRIZM, Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Artist Summer Program, National Youth Orchestra-USA (NYO-USA and NYO2), Aspen Music Festival and School, and Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (SICMF).

The inclusion of arts administration into his career was inspired by a pivotal conversation with mentor Wynton Marsalis, who encouraged Sprott to “switch from the me agenda to the we agenda.” In 2019, Sprott was named Dean of the Preparatory Division at The Juilliard School—comprising the Pre-College and Music Advancement Program (MAP)—becoming the first Black dean in the institution’s history. During his tenure as Dean and Director, Sprott has played a central role in securing multiple transformative gifts for both the Pre-College and MAP, including permanent endowment and episodic funding to increase access to music education and build a more inclusive repertoire for young musicians. With this support, Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program, which actively seeks students historically underrepresented and underserved in classical music, now serves over 50% more students and provides full-tuition scholarships to all students in perpetuity. The Preparatory Division has contributed substantially to the creation of new work, having commissioned over 50 new works and counting—including etudes, solos, chamber, choral, wind ensemble, and orchestral works—with a focus on increasing the diversity of composers introduced to young musicians, creating a more inclusive future, and meaningfully elevating the work of talented creators from every walk of life. In 2020, upon receiving the Sphinx Medal of Excellence—the highest honor bestowed by the organization—and recognizing the importance of year-round educational opportunities, he established the “Weston Sprott and Anthony McGill MAP Summer Scholarship Fund” in partnership with MAP Artistic Director, Anthony McGill. In 2021, he was awarded the Sphinx Venture Fund for “Composing Inclusion,” a partnership between Juilliard, the New York Philharmonic, and American Composers Forum that commissioned and premiered nine new works with flexible orchestration by Black and Latinx composers, performed side-by-side by Preparatory Division students and the New York Philharmonic.

In 2021, Sprott co-founded the Black Orchestral Network (BON), an organization that supports Black orchestral musicians whose mission is “cultivating community, lifting our voices, and telling our stories.” Since its inception, BON has released multiple open letters to the field shedding light on inequitable practices and policies affecting Black musicians in the industry and created the podcast Black Music Seen to capture the stories of important Black figures in classical music. Sprott’s advocacy efforts have also led to the creation of the National Alliance for Audition Support, Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions Excerpt Competition, and Classical Tahoe Academy, as well as numerous other initiatives that are shifting the landscape of the industry.

Regularly sought after as a speaker and panelist, Sprott recently delivered the keynote address for SphinxConnect and the alumni commencement address at his alma mater, the Curtis Institute of Music. He has consulted for various organizations, authored several articles in publications including Local 802’s Allegro, and been featured in the Wall Street Journal and on the cover of the International Musician, the national publication of the American Federation of Musicians. Sprott has been the recipient of the Atlanta Symphony’s Aspire Award and the Community Music Center of Boston’s John Kleshinski Award.

Sprott is the Board Chair of the Friends of Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival, a member of the Sphinx National Advisory Board, and the Avery Fisher Artist Program’s Recommendation Board. He has served as an advisory board member for Project STEP, the Community Music Center of Boston, and the Bronx Arts Ensemble. As an artist and clinician for the Antoine Courtois Instrument Company, Sprott performs exclusively on the Creation New York trombone, an instrument he designed.

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Jeffrey Anderson

tuba

ABOUT
Alumni
1982
Residency
Festival week 4

Jeffrey Anderson joined the San Francisco Symphony as Principal Tuba, occupying the James Irvine Chair, in 2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree and performer’s certificate from Indiana University, where he studied with Harvey Phillips, and he completed his master’s degree at Arizona State University as a student of Daniel Perantoni. As a member of the New Mexico Symphony from 1989 to 1998, he made several solo appearances. Previously a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, he was featured as soloist in Vaughan Williams’s Tuba Concerto with that orchestra in 2000. He has also performed with the National Repertory Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, and he appeared as guest principal tuba with the Chicago Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic and in the 2009 Seattle Opera production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. With the SFS, he has been heard as soloist in David Lang’s are you experienced? in the SoundBox series, and in the North American premiere of Robin Holloway’s Europa & and the Bull.

Mr. Anderson is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he teaches tuba and coaches chamber music. He is in demand as a clinician and performer, making appearances at International Tuba and Euphonium Association international and regional conferences as well as in master classes at Indiana University, Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music, and the Shanghai Orchestra Academy. Mr. Anderson is Buffet-Crampon Group artist and exclusively plays B&S tubas.

Mr. Anderson attended the Music Academy of the West in 1982.

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Joseph Pereira

timpani

ABOUT
Distinction
The Marilyn & Richard Mazess Chair in Timpani
Residency
Various festival weeks

Joseph Pereira (1974) enjoys a multi-faceted career as a timpanist/percussionist, composer, conductor, and teacher. His work in all areas has been widely hailed for his creativity and virtuosity, and has been profiled in feature articles in both The New York Times (2006) and The Los Angeles Times in 2012 and 2015. In 2015 Pereira was featured on the PBS series, “Craft in America”.

Pereira has been the Principal Timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2008. As a versatile performer, Pereira is in demand as an orchestral timpanist, studio recording percussionist. He regularly appears as a solo percussionist in the orchestra’s “Green Umbrella” new music series and has also conducted his music and other world premieres on the orchestra’s chamber series. In Los Angeles, he also can be found in the recording studios and can be heard on many major motion pictures. Previously Pereira was a member of the New York Philharmonic from 1997 to 2008, as a timpanist and percussionist. His line of signature timpani mallets by JGPercussion are sold worldwide.

Pereira currently runs the percussion studio at USC Thornton School of Music, and is also on the faculty of the Music Academy, and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo Japan. Pereira was previously on the faculty of The Juilliard School, from 2004-2012.

As a composer, Pereira’s music has been described as “restless yet lucidly textured” (The New York Times), “striking atmospherics of colour” (The Guardian), and “one sonic surprise after another” (The Los Angeles Times). His works have been commissioned and performed worldwide, most notably by the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel, the Singapore Symphony, the New York Philharmonic Chamber Series, the Miro Quartet, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, percussionist Colin Currie, Duo Harpverk, French Ensemble TM+, and the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. In 2013 the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet recorded his piece Repousse’ (2009), which was nominated for three 2013 Grammy Awards. The following year LAPQ recorded Pereira’s Mallet Quartet (2013), and it was rated “Best of 2014 Classical Music” on iTunes. Pereira’s works can be heard on Sono Luminus, Yarlung Records, and New Focus Recordings. His works are published in the US by Bachovich Music and Black Dot Press in London.

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Michael Werner

percussion, orchestral studies

ABOUT
Distinction
The Marilyn & Richard Mazess Chair in Percussion
Alumni
1990
Residency
Festival weeks 0-8

Before joining the Seattle Symphony as Principal Percussionist in the fall of 2009, Michael Werner was a percussionist with the Metropolitan Opera for 13 years, and Principal Percussionist for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for two years.

Mr. Werner is currently the Principal Percussionist at the Seattle Symphony, and was also acting Principal for the 2014-2015 season at the LA Philharmonic, including the 2015 Asia Tour. In the spring of 2016 he was invited to perform with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as a Percussion Teacher and Guest Artist. In 2014, Michael was the featured soloist at The Seattle Symphony Orchestra where he performed F. Gruber’s “Rough Music Concerto”. Michael has performed with The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Pittsburgh Symphony,  The Metropolitan Opera Chamber Ensemble, The Metropolitan Opera Percussion Ensemble,The Seattle Chamber Music Society,The Canadian Brass and Empire Brass Ensembles, and at The Santa Barbara International Percussion Festival.

Mr. Werner has been a faculty member at The Mannes School of Music in New York since 2002. He has served as a Clinician and Instructor for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Percussive Arts Society, The New World Symphony, Oberlin Percussion Institute, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, The Cleveland Institute of Music, and The New England Conservatory. He also serves as an Artist and Clinician for Pearl Percussion, Zildjian Symbols, and Freer Percussion.

Michael started his secondary studies at the Eastman School of Music, under John Beck. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Richard Wiener. Michael also studied with Tom Freer at Cleveland State University.

An alumnus of the Music Academy of the West (1990), Mr. Werner has been a faculty member since 2005.

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JoAnn Turovsky

harp

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-8

JoAnn Turovsky is principal harpist with the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra. She also serves as a professor of harp at the USC Thornton School of Music, the Colburn Conservatory, and the Colburn School of Performing Arts.

Ms. Turovsky has received numerous honors for her solo and chamber repertoire interpretations. These include first prize in the American Harp Society National Competition, Young Professional Division; first prize in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition; a prize at the Fifth International Harp Competition in Jerusalem; and numerous local awards from Mu Phi Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Iota, the Etude Music Club, and the Young Musicians Foundation. She serves as chair of the American Harp Society National Competition.

Ms. Turovsky appears frequently as a soloist with musical organizations throughout California and is busy in the motion picture and television industry. The composer John Williams wrote a solo piece for harp that she performed on the Angela’s Ashes soundtrack, while her performances also grace such films as AvatarRaiders of the Lost Ark, The Karate KidToy Story (plus its sequels), The Kite Runner, and Thirteen Conversations About One ThingStar Wars, Frozen, and Avatar, among the more than 400 movie soundtracks in which she has participated.

She has received the Schoenfeld Artist Teacher Award for Harp from the California Chapter of the American String Teachers Association and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Harp Society.

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Timo Andres

guest artist, solo piano

ABOUT

Composer and pianist Timo Andres (b. 1985, Palo Alto, CA) grew up in rural Connecticut and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

2023/24 highlights include a solo recital debut for Carnegie Hall, new commissions for the Moab Music Festival and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, a tour with the Calder Quartet including performances at San Francisco Performances and Chamber Music Albuquerque, and the world premiere of a piano concerto for Aaron Diehl at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by John Adams. Andres’s orchestrations and arrangements for Justin Peck’s new production of Sufjan Stevens’s Illinois, were premiered in a sold-out Summer 2023 run at The Fisher Center at Bard; the production has upcoming dates in Chicago, New York and elsewhere.

Notable works include Everything Happens So Much for the Boston Symphony; Strong Language for the Takács Quartet, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the Shriver Hall Concert Series; Steady Hand, a two-piano concerto commissioned by the Britten Sinfonia premiered at the Barbican by Andres and David Kaplan; and The Blind Banister, a concerto for Jonathan Biss, which was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize Finalist.

As a pianist, Timo Andres has appeared with the LA Phil, North Carolina Symphony, the Albany Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Metropolis Ensemble, among others. He has performed solo recitals for Lincoln Center, and Wigmore Hall.

Collaborators include Becca Stevens, Jeffrey Kahane, Gabriel Kahane, Brad Mehldau, Nadia Sirota, and Philip Glass, who selected Andres as the recipient of the City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize.  He was nominated for a Grammy award for his performances on 2021’s The Arching Path, an album of music by Christopher Cerrone.

Andres’s collaborations with Sufjan Stevens also include his May 2023 recording with Conor Hanick of Stevens’s latest album, Reflections; arrangements of ballets for New York City Ballet, and a solo piano album, The Decalogue.

A Nonesuch Records artist, Timo Andres has multiple solo albums on the label (with more set for upcoming release) and is featured as composer and pianist on the May 2020 release I Still Play, an album celebrating Robert Hurwitz. A Yale School of Music graduate, he is a Yamaha/Bösendorfer Artist and is on the composition faculty at the Mannes School of Music at the New School.

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Jeremy Denk

solo piano

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-4

Jeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists. Winner of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the Avery Fisher Prize, Denk was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Denk returns frequently to Carnegie Hall and in recent seasons has appeared with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and The Cleveland Orchestra, as well as on tour with Academy of St Martin in the Fields and at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms.

In 2019-2020, until the COVID-19 pandemic led to the shutdown of all performances, Denk toured Bach’s Well-Tempered Klavier Book 1 extensively, and was to have performances culminate with Lincoln Center in New York and the Barbican in London. He returned to Carnegie Hall to perform Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and made his solo debut at the Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. He also made his solo recital debut at the Boulez Saal in Berlin performing works by Bach, Ligeti, Berg, and Schumann, and returned to the Piano aux Jacobins Festival in France, as well as London’s Wigmore Hall. Further performances abroad included his debut with the Bournemouth Symphony, his returns to the City of Birmingham Symphony and the Piano Espoo Festival in Finland, and recitals of the complete Ives Violin Sonatas with Stefan Jackiw.

Highlights of the previous season included a three-week recital tour, culminating in Denk’s return to Carnegie Hall; play-directing Mozart Concerti on an extensive tour with Academy of St Martin in the Fields; and a nationwide trio tour with Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis. He also performed and curated a series of Mozart Violin Sonatas (‘Denk & Friends’) at Carnegie Hall.

Denk is also known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its “arresting sensitivity and wit.” He wrote the libretto for a comic opera presented by Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, and the Aspen Festival, and his writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New Republic, The Guardian, and on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a book for future publication by Random House in the US, and Macmillan in the UK.

Denk’s recording of the Goldberg Variations for Nonesuch Records reached No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Charts. His recording of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111 paired with Ligeti’s Études was named one of the best discs of the year by the New Yorker, NPR, and the Washington Post, and his account of the Beethoven sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as the best available version recorded on modern piano. Denk has a long-standing attachment to the music of American visionary Charles Ives, and his recording of Ives’s two piano sonatas also featured in many “best of the year” lists. His recording c.1300-c.2000 was released in 2018 with music ranging from Guillaume de Machaut, Gilles Binchois and Carlo Gesualdo, to Stockhausen, Ligeti and Glass.

Jeremy Denk graduated from Oberlin College, Indiana University, and The Juilliard School. He lives in New York City, and his website and blog are at jeremydenk.net.

Mr. Denk has been a Music Academy of the West faculty artist since 2015.

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Conor Hanick

solo piano, chamber music

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-8

Pianist Conor Hanick is regarded as one of his generation’s most inquisitive interpreters of music new and old whose “technical refinement, color, crispness and wondrous variety of articulation benefit works by any master.” (New York Times) Hanick’s playing, “a revelation of clarity and bite,” reminds the Times’ Anthony Tommasini of a “young Peter Serkin.” His performance of John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes was, according to the Times’ critic David Allan, “the best instrumental concert I have seen all year”; praise echoed by the Boston Globe, which named the performance “Best Solo Recital” of 2019.

Hanick has recently been presented by The Gilmore Festival, the New York Philharmonic, Caramoor, Cal Performances, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Park Avenue Armory, and performed with the Seattle Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Orchestra Iowa, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. A fierce advocate for the music of today, and “the soloist of choice for such thorny works” (NYT), Hanick has premiered over 200 pieces and collaborated with composers both emerging and iconic; among them, Hanick has worked with Pierre Boulez, Kaija Saariaho, Steve Reich, and Charles Wuorinen, in addition to the leading composers of his generation, including Nico Muhly, Caroline Shaw, Tyshawn Sorey, Matthew Aucoin, and Christopher Cerrone.

In the 2022-23 season, Hanick premieres a new piano concerto by composer Samuel Carl Adams with the San Francisco Symphony and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen; appears with soprano Julia Bullock at the Aix en Provence Festival in Olivier Messiaen’s Harawi; and presented in recital by the Library of Congress, Hancher Auditorium, Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis, the 92nd Street Y, and elsewhere. He is a founding member of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), a group of artists focused on developing discipline-colliding work. With that group, Hanick served as co-artistic director of the Ojai Festival in 2022 and present work the Spoleto Festival, Carolina Performing Arts, Saint John the Devine, and LaMaMa Theater.

Since 2014 Hanick has been a teaching artist at the Music Academy. He has given lectures and masterclasses in Asia, Europe, and throughout the US, including Northwestern University, the New England Conservatory, UCLA, The University of Washington, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the University of Iowa. He is a member of the piano and chamber music faculty of The Juilliard School, Mannes College, and the Peabody Institute of Music. A Yamaha Artist, Hanick a graduate of Northwestern University and the Juilliard School, and lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife, son, and Westies.

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Jonathan Feldman

director, collaborative piano

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-8

Recognized by colleagues and critics worldwide as a leading chamber musician and collaborative pianist, Jonathan Feldman has performed on four continents with some of the world’s greatest instrumentalists, among them the legendary Nathan Milstein, Itzhak Perlman, Gil Shaham, James Galway, Sarah Chang, and Joshua Bell. He performed regularly with the New York Philharmonic as a keyboard player within the orchestra and as a chamber musician appeared in concert with the New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensembles and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City. He was a featured performer in a Live From Lincoln Center with Gil Shaham, which was broadcast throughout the United States on PBS.

A graduate of The Juilliard School, Mr. Feldman joined the Juilliard faculty in 1989 and was chairman of the school’s collaborative piano department from 1991-2015. He joined the faculty of New England Conservatory in 2010. He has given masterclasses throughout the United States and the Far East, and has lectured at international festivals and competitions. He is the Director of Collaborative Piano at the Music Academy of the West, a post he has held since 2005. He has appeared in other summer festivals, such as Tanglewood, Bridgehampton, Music from Angel Fire, Bravo Festival in Vail, Colorado, Hidden Valley Music Seminars, and the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival.

Mr. Feldman’s most recent recordings, with his wife, New York Philharmonic principal bassoonist Judith LeClair, and principal flutist Robert Langevin, are available on Avie Records. He has also recorded for Angel/EMI, Columbia Masterworks, DGG, RCA Red Seal, Naxos, Nonesuch, Summit, and Cala Records. He can be heard on soundtracks for many movies, including Music of the Heart with Meryl Streep and The Man Who Wasn’t There by the Coen Brothers.

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Natasha Kislenko

collaborative piano

ABOUT
Alumni
2001
Residency
Festival weeks 1-8

Natasha Kislenko has performed extensively as a soloist and a collaborative pianist across Russia, Europe, Asia and the United States. She has appeared in recital and chamber music performances with numerous distinguished soloists, including Torleif Tedeen, James Buswell, Zvi Zeitlin, Theodore Kuchar, Tadeu Coelho, and Leone Buyse.

As a soloist, Ms. Kislenko has received top prizes in international piano competitions in Germany, Portugal, France, the Slovak Republic, and the United States. She made her solo recital debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1996, and most recently has appeared with Orquesta del Congreso Nacional in Paraguay, the Varna Chamber Orchestra in Bulgaria, the Eskisehir Municipal symphony orchestra in Turkey, and the Santa Barbara Symphony.

Ms. Kislenko holds graduate degrees in piano from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) and the Stony Brook University, NY, where she completed her doctorate with Gilbert Kalish in 2004.

In 2007 Ms. Kislenko moved to Santa Barbara to assume a teaching position at UC Santa Barbara. Previously, she served on the faculties of California State University Fresno and Meadowmount School of Music (New York).

An alumna of the Music Academy (2001), Ms. Kislenko has been a member of the faculty since 2004.

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Margaret McDonald

collaborative piano

ABOUT
Alumni
2000, 2001, 2002
Residency
Festival weeks 1-8

Pianist Margaret McDonald, a native of Minnesota, is an Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano at the University of Colorado Boulder.  She joined the College of Music keyboard faculty in the fall of 2004. She helped to develop the College’s graduate degree program in Collaborative Piano and the undergraduate collaborative curriculum. Praised for her poetic style and versatility, Dr. McDonald enjoys a very active performing career and has partnered many distinguished artists including the Takács Quartet, Kathleen Winkler, Zuill Bailey, Paula Robison, Carol Wincenc, Ben Kamins, David Shifrin, David Jolley, Ian Bousfield, Joseph Alessi, Steven Mead, and Velvet Brown.  She has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Dr. McDonald received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of California – Santa Barbara.  Her principal teachers include Lydia Artymiw and Anne Epperson.  She received fellowships to study at both the Music Academy of the West and the Tanglewood Music Center where she worked closely with Dawn Upshaw, Robert Spano, and Osvaldo Golijov.

Dr. McDonald is active throughout the country giving master classes at institutions including The Juilliard School, Indiana University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Arizona State University, University of California – Santa Barbara, and Louisiana State University.  She has released recordings with Velvet Brown, tuba, Aaron Tindall, tuba, and Erika Eckert, viola for Potenza Records and Meridian Records.

Dr. McDonald has been a staff accompanist at the Meadowmount School for Strings in New York and an official accompanist at the Music Teachers National Association competition and the National Flute Association annual convention. McDonald is an alumna of the Music Academy of the West and has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 2005.

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Sasha Cooke

co-director, Vocal Institute

ABOUT
Alumni
2002
Distinction
The Pat Toppel Artist in Residence
Residency
Festival weeks 4-7

Two-time GRAMMY Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a “luminous standout” by the New York Times and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” by Opera News. Sasha has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Gran Teatre del Liceu, among others, and with over 80 symphony orchestras worldwide frequently in the works of Mahler. This season marks Sasha’s appointment at the Music Academy as Co-Director of the Lehrer Vocal Institute.

Sasha Cooke opened the 2022-23 season with a return to Houston Grand Opera in her role debut as Thirza in the company’s new production of Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers conducted by Patrick Summers. On the concert stage, she performs throughout the U.S. and abroad: in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with Wiener Konzerthaus, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Houston Symphony conducted by Juraj Valčuha, Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke with the New York Philharmonic conducted by the composer, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra alongside Gemma New and Mozart’s Requiem with the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Klaus Mäkelä and later with Nashville Symphony. She debuts with Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano and the Utah Symphony in Mendelssohn’s Elijah which she later performs with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert. She makes returns to Chicago Symphony for works by Vivaldi, to Philadephia Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah and to Kansas City Symphony for Hindemith’s When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d. Special collaborations on the recital stage include Jake Heggie’s Intonations: Songs for the Violins of Hope with Music of Remembrance; recitals with guitarist Jason Vieaux at San Francisco Performances and Round Top Festival; and a recital at Kaufman Music Center, alongside pianist Kirill.

Last season marked the release of Sasha Cooke’s new CD on Pentatone, entitled how do I find you, now nominated for the 65th GRAMMY Awards that will be held in February 2023 as Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. The recording, which features 17 newly written songs by Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Jimmy Lopez, and others, is intended as a tribute to both the struggles and hopes of artists that have been wrought by the pandemic. The album can be listened to on all streaming platforms.

As a dedicated recitalist, Sasha was presented by Young Concert Artists in her widely acclaimed New York and Washington debuts at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and the Kennedy Center. She has also appeared in recital at Alice Tully Hall, The Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center and the 92nd Street Y. Her recordings can be found on the Hyperion, BIS, Chandos, Pentatone, Naxos, Bridge Records, Yarlung, GPR Records, and Sono Luminus labels. Most recently she appears on recordings including Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer on Pentatone, Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke with the San Francisco Symphony with won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium, L’enfance du Christ with Sir Andrew Davis and the Melbourne Symphony on Chandos, Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs on Pentatone which won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra on BIS and Sasha Cooke LIVE a collection of her performances from the Music@Menlo chamber music festival released on their label.

A graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School, Sasha also attended the Music Academy, the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, the Wolf Trap Foundation, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and Seattle Opera and Central City Opera’s Young Artist Training Programs. She has given masterclasses throughout the United States, Australia and Canada. Sasha lives near Houston, Texas with daughters Evelyn and Julia, and husband baritone Kelly Markgraf.

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John Churchwell

co-director, Vocal Institute

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 0-8

One of the leading collaborative pianists of his generation, John Churchwell enjoys a career on the concert stage as well as in the nation’s leading opera houses.

In August 2011, John was named Head of Music for San Francisco Opera. Previously, he was an assistant conductor for both the Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera for 14 years. He has assisted on more than 140 productions and has collaborated with some of the world’s leading conductors including James Levine, Nello Santi, Nicola Luisotti, James Conlon, Donald Runnicles, Sir Charles Mackerras, Marco Armiliato, Fabio Luisi, and Eun Sun Kim. John Churchwell has been a Music Academy teaching artist since 2000.

A champion of American music, John was involved in the world premieres of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby and Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. In recent seasons, he has prepared the world premieres of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Christopher Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier, as well as the Philip Glass opera Appomattox, the Stewart Wallace/Amy Tan collaboration The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, as well as the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West by John Adams, all for San Francisco Opera. From 2005-2008 John was the official accompanist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.

This summer saw John appear in recitals with Renée Fleming, Sasha Cooke, and Susanna Phillips. He has partnered with some of today’s most sought-after vocalists including Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Diana Damrau, Larry Brownlee, Lisette Oropesa, Isabel Leonard, Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, and Carol Vaness. Recent appearances include San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall and the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis, California with tenor Michael Fabiano and the Hollywood Bowl for Prairie Home Companion with soprano Ellie Dehn. In addition to song recitals, John is an active chamber musician and has appeared regularly with members of the Metropolitan and San Francisco’s Opera Orchestras.

A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, John studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and Tufts University where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano and a Bachelor of Arts in French, respectively. He continued his studies at the University of Minnesota where he earned a Master of Music and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Accompanying. John studied song literature at the Banff Centre for the Arts and remains the only pianist to be invited for three summers as a Tanglewood Fellow. He is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program.

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Mary Birnbaum

creative project director

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Mary Birnbaum, whose stage direction of opera and theatre New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini called “viscerally overwhelming” (Rape of Lucretia at Juilliard) and “genuinely insightful…vibrant” (The Classical Style at Carnegie Hall), works both internationally, from Taiwan (Otello) to Central America (L’elisir d’amore and La bohème at the National Theatre of Costa Rica and Querido Arte in Guatemala), Australia and Israel, and across the U.S. (Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Opera Columbus, Virginia Arts Festival (Kept), Ojai Festival, Boston Baroque).

Birnbaum’s 2020-21 season included productions of Das Rheingold at Virginia Opera, L’Orfeo (Rossi) at The Juilliard School, In a Grove (Cerrone/Fleischmann) at Pittsburgh Opera, and The Sound of Music at the Virginia Arts Festival. Her production of La bohème opened the season at the Santa Fe Opera in 2019, the first new female-led production at the company since 1997.

Birnbaum’s production of Dido and Aeneas played Opera Holland Park in London and Opera de Versailles. In Opera Magazine, George Loomis wrote that Mary Birnbaum’s “thoughtful direction [of Eugene Onegin at Juilliard] was rich with imaginative touches” and the Houston Press termed her Hansel and Gretel a “stunner, perhaps the company’s most perfect realization. [The Company] has found a director of real quality in Mary Birnbaum.”

Currently Associate Director of the post-graduate Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program at Juilliard, Mary has taught acting for singers at Bard College and in the Lindemann Young Artists Program at the Metropolitan Opera. A graduate of Harvard College, Mary also trained professionally in physical theater at L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

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Lawrence Brownlee

Mosher guest artist

ABOUT
Residency
Festival week 6

American-born tenor Lawrence Brownlee captivates audiences and critics around the world, and has been hailed as “an international star in the bel canto operatic repertory” (The New York Times), “one of the world’s leading bel canto stars” (The Guardian), and “one of the most in-demand opera singers in the world today” (NPR). Mr. Brownlee was named 2017 “Male Singer of the Year” by the International Opera Awards, and also serves as Artistic Advisor at Opera Philadelphia, helping the company to expand their repertoire, diversity efforts and community initiatives.

In the 22-23 season, Brownlee performed a program with Rossini expert Michael Spyres titled “Amici e Rivali” at the Theatre des Champs-Élysées in January 2023, in addition to the premiere of “Rising” featuring commissioned songs by composers Shawn Okpebholo, Damien Sneed, Joel Thompson, and others with texts drawn from Black writers of the Harlem Renaissance. He made his role debut as Rodrigo in Rossini’s Otello as part of Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O22, and returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago for the title role of Le comte Ory, and as Elvino in Bellini’s La Sonnambula at Teatro Real in Madrid. Brownlee also performed one of his signature Rossini roles as Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, and returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Tamino in a new production of Die Zauberflöte.

In spring 2021, Brownlee joined The Juilliard School as a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member. He serves as artistic advisor for Opera Philadelphia, where his responsibilities include increasing and expanding audience diversity, advocating for new works, and liaising with the General Director from the perspective of a performing artist. “As an artist, I think it is important that we are actively advocating for this beautiful art form we love so much,” said Brownlee, “ensuring that it will be alive and well for many years to come.” Mr. Brownlee also serves as an Ambassador for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited, and is an Ambassador for Opera for Peace.

Mr. Brownlee has performed with nearly every major orchestra in the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, and the festivals of Salzburg and Baden Baden.

In addition, Mr. Brownlee has appeared on the stages of the top opera companies around the globe, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Bayerische Staatsoper, Royal Opera House – Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra national de Paris, Opernhaus Zürich, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Teatro Real Madrid, and Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie. Broadcasts of his operas and concerts—including his 2014 Bastille Day performance in Paris, attended by the French President and Prime Minister—have been enjoyed by millions.

Mr. Brownlee’s album Allegro Io Son, received a Critic’s Choice from Opera News, among numerous other accolades, and followed his previous Grammy-nominated release on Delos Records, Virtuoso Rossini Arias, which prompted New Yorker critic Alex Ross to ask “is there a finer Rossini tenor than Lawrence Brownlee?” His opera and concert recordings include Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, Armida at the Metropolitan Opera, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Accademia di Santa Cecilia, and Carmina Burana with the Berliner Philharmoniker. He also released a disc of African-American spirituals entitled Spiritual Sketches with pianist Damien Sneed.

Mr. Brownlee is the fourth of six children and first discovered music when he learned to play bass, drums, and piano at his family’s church in Youngstown, Ohio. He was awarded a Masters of Music from Indiana University and went onto win a Grand Prize in the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Alongside his singing career, Brownlee is an avid salsa dancer and an accomplished photographer, specializing in artist portraits of his on-stage colleagues. A die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers and Ohio State football fan, Brownlee has sung the National Anthem at numerous NFL games. He is a champion for autism awareness through the organization Autism Speaks, and he is a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity Inc., a historically black fraternity committed to social action and empowerment.

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Daniela Candillari

principal opera conductor

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Conductor Daniela Candillari continues to garner praise for her dynamic and compelling performances at opera houses and concert stages throughout North America and Europe. Recognized for her “confidence and apparently inexhaustible verve” (The New York Times) and “powerful and breathtaking performances” (Review STL), Candillari enters her second season as both Principal Conductor at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Principal Opera Conductor at Music Academy.

In the 2022-23 season, Candillari conducts the New York Philharmonic and Yo-Yo Ma, American Composers Orchestra and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street at Carnegie Hall, Orchestre Métropolitain Montreal, the Symphonic Orchestra of Slovenian National Theater in Maribor, Toledo Symphony, the world premiere of Peter Knell and Stephanie Fleischmann’s Arkhipov at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, Deutsche Oper Berlin’s concert version of Lakmé, New Orleans Opera’s Hansel and Gretel, Tosca at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera’s Gala concert version of Aida, and Music Academy’s La bohème.

Last season, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut conducting Aucoin’s Eurydice; led Jeanine Tesori’s Blue with Detroit Opera; Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Carmen; the North American premiere of Caroline Shaw, Andrew Yee, and Asma Maroof’s Moby Dick; or The Whale at The Shed with members of the New York Philharmonic; Music Academy’s Eugene Onegin; the 2021 made-for-film world premiere of Clint Borzoni’s The Copper Queen with Arizona Opera; and the 2022 film of Ana Sokolović’s Svadba with Boston Lyric Opera. As a composer, Candillari has been commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Met Opera, and New York City Ballet Orchestras.

Candillari grew up in Serbia and Slovenia. She holds a Doctorate from the Universität für Musik in Vienna; a MM from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music; and a MM and Bachelor’s degree from the Universität für Musik in Graz.

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César Cañón

principal coach, studio artists

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 3-6

Equally devoted to instrumental chamber music as he is to art song and operatic repertoire, César Cañón alternates his activity as a pianist with vocal coaching, teaching and conducting. He has performed in his native Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Norway and across the United States. His concert appearances include the Kennedy Center, the Norwegian National Opera, Detroit Symphony, and San Francisco Opera’s Taube Atrium Theatre at the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera. He has been a guest performer and lecturer at Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Emory University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of Texas at Austin, Universidad Central de Colombia, Universidad Sergio Arboleda, and Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Cañón is an alum of the Aspen Opera Theatre Center and the Merola Opera Program. He has also been a vocal coach and repetiteur for the Ad Astra Music Festival; assistant conductor and pianist for Opera de Colombia, the Bogota philharmonic, Teatro Colón de Bogotá and Festival Amazonas de Opera in Manaus, Brazil. Cañón was an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera in 2018 and 2019. As a fellow, he was featured in the Schwabacher recital series, in which he performed Johannes Brahms’ Die Schöne Magelone alongside baritone Christian Pursell and soprano Felicia Moore. In the summer of 2019, he conducted Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera with Accademia Europea dell’Opera in Lucca, Italy. While in San Francisco, Cañón worked with several Bay Area cultural institutions. He was music director for productions of Pocket Opera in their 2019 and 2020 seasons, pianist for the 2019 and 2022 James Toland Vocal Competition, and rehearsal pianist in selected projects with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera Parallèle. In 2021 he was awarded a Bayreuther Festspiele Stipendiat by the Wagner Society of Northern California, allowing him to attend the prestigious festival in Bayreuth. As a staff pianist, Coach and conductor for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he closely collaborated with mezzo soprano Frederica von Stade.

Cañón holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and a Master of Music and Doctorate in Collaborative Piano from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Martin Katz. He is currently part of the music staff of the San Francisco Opera and the Norwegian National Opera, where he works as staff conductor, repetiteur and assistant chorus master.

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Ken Cazan

opera director

ABOUT

Ken Cazan has directed over 180 international productions of operas, musical theatre and plays. He is also a librettist for opera, and has written the book and lyrics for the musical Prodigy. He is currently collaborating on two other musicals with composers Billy Pace and Patrice Rushen. Most recently, he directed the musicals Carousel and The Light in the Piazza for the Central City Opera. In the spring of 2022, Cazan directed the world premiere of All the Truths We Cannot See for the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. He subsequently directed the American premiere as well, which was a collaboration between the Sibelius Academy and the USC Thornton School of Music.

He directed the world premiere of Thomas Morse’s opera Frau Schindler for the Gärtnerplatz Theatre in Munich, for which he also served as librettist along with Morse. Other world premieres include the Kaminsky/Campbell/Reed opera AS ONE for American Opera Projects and the BAM Festival in 2014, and the Lieberman/McClatchy collaboration, Miss Lonelyhearts which was commissioned by the Juilliard School for their 100th anniversary and was a co-production with the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and the USC Thornton School of Music.

Cazan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting and Directing from Syracuse University in 1979. Before that he attended Kent State University Stark County Campus from whom he has received the Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Outside of opera, he has directed plays and musicals for various theatre companies across America and in Europe. In Norway, he directed West Side Story for the inauguration of the spectacular, new Kilden Theatre in Kristiansand. In Venice, Italy, he directed a production of the Gershwins’ Lady be Good for the venerated Teatro la Fenice which marked the first time an Italian opera-theatre company had created an original production of an American musical. He is also well known for directing musicals for opera companies, everything from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim. Additionally, Cazan conceived of and wrote the book and lyrics for a new musical titled Prodigy in collaboration with pop composer Billy Pace. Prodigy is the story of the professional life and death of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the great 1980s African-American fine artist. Combining hip-hop, pop, Latino music, and ballads, Prodigy received two successful staged readings with the Los Angeles Festival of New American Musicals.

Ken Cazan is a full Professor, Resident Stage Director, and the Chair of Vocal Arts and Opera at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for whom he has worked since 2004. At USC, he has been awarded both “Excellence in Teaching” and “Excellence in Service” awards. He has taught masterclasses and acting for the Metropolitan Opera and Central City Opera Young Artist Programs, the Chautauqua Opera, and at Indiana University, Ohio State University, Kent State University, Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, and CalState University Long Beach. He is on the Board of Advisors for the Classical Division of the Orange County High School of the Arts.

In 2017, Cazan was inducted into the Grove Dictionary of Music. It was the first time in 25 years that the esteemed musical dictionary had been edited. The dictionary cited Ken Cazan as an expert in the works of Benjamin Britten and praised his skill in working with singer-actors on characters and relationships.

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Margo Garrett

teaching artist

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 5-8

Margo Garrett has enjoyed a long and respected career as an internationally performing collaborative pianist. Her relationships with many of the most noted singers and instrumentalists before the public today include long partnerships on the stage as well as in the recording studio with sopranos Kathleen Battle, Barbara Bonney, Elizabeth Futral, the late Judith Raskin, Lucy Shelton, and Dawn Upshaw.  With these and a number of leading instrumentalists and chamber music groups, including violinists Jaime Laredo, and Daniel Phillips, cellists Sharon Robinson, the late Stephen Kates, and clarinetist David Shifrin, Ms. Garrett has premiered over 35 works. Her recordings can be found on Albany, CRI, Delos, Deutsche Grammophon (1992 Grammy for Best Vocal Recital), Delos, Dorian, Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch, Orion and Sony Classical. Her 2018 Delos release of the works of Ernest Bloch with violist Paul Neubauer, at this writing, is nominated for an International Classical Music Award.

A devoted teacher, Ms. Garrett co-directed the newly created Collaborative Piano Department at New England Conservatory from 1986 to 1992 while simultaneously heading the Collaborative Piano department at The Juilliard School from 1985 to 1991 at which time she became the first holder of the Ethel Alice Hitchcock Chair in Accompanying and Vocal Coaching at the University of Minnesota’s School of Music, the first privately endowed collaborative chair in the US. She returned, in 2000, to The Juilliard School where she remained until May, 2018. Ms. Garrett directed the Tanglewood Music Center vocal fellowship program for the last 6 of her 19 years there (1979-1997) and has now returned since 2016 to again teach in the TMC Vocal Program. Ms. Garrett was awarded the 1989 American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) Most Creative Programming Award for her curation of programs for the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival, where she was Co-Director with her mentor, Samuel Sanders, during her early Tanglewood years. From 1999 through 2006, Ms. Garrett served as Faculty Chair of The Steans Institute for Young Artist’s vocal programs at Chicago Symphony’s Ravinia Festival.

Ms. Garrett has held residencies at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, Germany; at Vancouver International Song Institute; Taiwan Normal Teacher’s University; Soochou University in Suzhou, China; Music Academy of the West (2015); Internationale Meistersinger Akademie (IMA) in Neumarkt, Germany; presented a master class at Carnegie Hall/Marilyn Horne’s “The Song Continues…” in 2018, was a member of the jury of the 15th International Schumann Vocal Competition in Zwickau, Germany, repeatedly at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and Joy in Singing, both in New York, and at dozens of American schools of music.

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Manuel Gutierrez

teaching artist

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 2-3

The blood of Córdoba: Manuel was born in Montpellier, France, but in his veins, the blood flowing is that of Córdoba. Flamenco would enter his life the day he was born given that it has been a family tradition for years & a lifestyle. By the age of 8, Manuel would win his first flamenco dance award.

Profound and charismatic: On stage he demonstrates his tremendous rhythmic formations, vigorosity & sensible way of dancing. Manuel began his successful career in the best spanish tablaos such as, Casa Patas, Palacio del Flamenco & Cordobes. He continues to tour the most prestigious stages with artists such as Juan Carmona, Chispa Negra, Chicuelo, Esperanza Fernández, Duquende. He would also collaborate with Luis Winsberg, Qawwali Flamenco, Kevan Chemerani, Eric Fernández & Souad Masse. His love for music doesn’t end with dancing, Manuel’s other artistic talents include composing, singing & percussion.

Dancer, choreographer & instructor: Manuel’s lead performances never go unrecognized. His solo acts in spectacles such as “Romancero Gitano” & “Barrio Flamenco” are brilliant. He has contributed to the choreography of these & many other shows around the world both on stage & television. One work that he is most proud of is his first creation dedicated to his father “El Emigrante”, a moving tribute to Spanish immigrants in the post-war period. His work included a 5 year running piece “Flamenka”, with much success in both London & Paris, as both lead dancer & choreographer. Manuel has been privileged to teach in the best studios in Paris, including of having the honor to teach at L’Opéra de Paris. Manuel’s passion is infinity for the art that makes him a fearless artist.
The Telegraph in London called his work “Fiery.” Danse Magazine nicknamed him, “The Young Flamenco Prince.” Figarro Newspaper raved “The dance is strong, voluptuous, and spectacular… a profound type of Flamenco and incredibly explosive.”

Manuel also had the opportunity to be performing with LA Opera as principal and captain dancer on productions like, “Carmen”, “Barbier de Seville”, “El Gato Montes”.
Artistic Director: Manuel has contributed his time as Artistic Director for the charitable “The Global Gift Gala” which works alongside actress, producer and philanthropist Eva Longoria in benefit of Eva Longoria Foundation, Ricky Martin Foundation, Global Gift Foundation and many more.

Currently residing in Los Angeles, Manuel is a very established prolific choreographer and Artistic director throughout the U.S., having created productions like, “KOMPAZ”, “FIVE” and recently “NAVIDAD FLAMENCA” a flamenco musical strorytelling of Christmas in Spain featuring Carmen Ledesma, Maria Juncal, Laura Santos, Jose Cortes, Andres Vadin And Diego Alvarez “El Negro”.
Manuel now leads “Flamenco District” a platform all about flamenco in the City of Angels.

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Kirill Kuzmin

teaching artist

ABOUT

Kirill Kuzmin is a Grammy-nominated collaborative pianist and vocal coach. He is currently Principal Coach at Houston Grand Opera. In the summer of 2023, he also joined Wolf Trap Opera and Aspen Music Festival.

Recital appearances included San Francisco Symphony and War Memorial Opera House, Opera America in New York, Balliol College in Oxford, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

A Russian native, Mr. Kuzmin spent three years with the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. While in Moscow, he also served as pianist and coach for a number of operatic undertakings by the acclaimed Moscow Philharmonic.

Mr. Kuzmin holds degrees in piano performance from the Moscow Conservatory and in collaborative piano from the Moscow Conservatory and the University of Michigan, where he studied with renowned collaborative pianist Martin Katz.

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William Long

conductor (L’Enfant), assistant conductor & chorusmaster (Carmen)

ABOUT

London-based conductor William Long continues to showcase his “masterful command of challenging, multi-stylistic works” (Opera News) with some of the world’s premier musical institutions. Recent highlights include his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra at The Barbican, conducting Washington National Opera’s production of Carmen and the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones with Opera Theater Saint Louis and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

This upcoming season, Long returns to The Metropolitan Opera to cover Terence Blanchard’s Champion, San Francisco Opera for the world premiere of John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra and concerts with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra & Chorus, and Washington National Opera for La bohème. Long will also continue his relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra as a Cover Conductor where he has assisted in a wide variety of programs since 2020, working with Sir Simon Rattle, Gianandrea Noseda, and John Wilson. He also continues his posts at the prestigious Music Academy in Santa Barbara, California.

Long’s previous work has included appearances as Cover Conductor at the Kennedy Center for productions of Eugene Onegin, Candide, and the world premieres of Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up and Terence Blanchard’s Champion. A native of California, he has worked extensively with San Francisco Opera as Assistant Conductor on productions of Arabella, Hänsel und Gretel, Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, and with Los Angeles Opera as Cover Conductor for Gordon Getty’s Usher House and The Canterville Ghost.

From 2013-2018 Long served as Assistant Conductor at San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle, where he prepared productions of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and At the Statue of Venus, Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Jonathan Dove’s Flight, Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness, and Philip Glass’ Les enfants terribles, among other projects.

Long holds a B.A. in Piano Performance and an M.A. in Conducting from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied with Maria Ezerova and Nicole Paiement. He also studied with Harold Farberman at the Conductor’s Institute at Bard College and Vance George at Westminster Choir College.

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Mario Antonio Marra

teaching artist

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-2
Alumni
2013, 2014

Sought after pianist, coach, and conductor, Mario Antonio Marra currently serves as the Head of Music at Minnesota Opera where he also stewards the development of the company’s Resident Artists. He has served on the music staff at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and Oper Frankfurt among others. Recent conducting credits include Minnesota Opera’s production of Don Giovanni and Season Preview Gala. Passionate in his work nurturing and coaching the next generation of singers, Mario has served on the faculties of numerous summer training programs including the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco where he returns for his third summer in 2024.

An active recitalist, he has recently performed with many of today’s most sought after singers including Željko Lučić, Eric Owens, Quinn Kelsey, Ramón Vargas, and Stephanie Blythe. He has been presented at prestigious venues internationally, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Palazzo Davanzati in Florence, Oper Frankfurt, and the Civic Opera House in Chicago.

Lauded by the legendary Marilyn Horne for his “superb technique,” Marra was a winner of the Marilyn Horne Song Competition at Music Academy where he was a fellow in 2023 and 2014, along with the critically acclaimed young baritone John Brancy. He is a graduate of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center young artist program at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. His mentors and teachers include Norma Verrilli, Marilyn Nonken, and Warren Jones.

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William McGraw

teaching artist

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 5-7

William McGraw, baritone, retired from CCM in May of 2021 after a 35-year tenure as Professor of Voice. McGraw studied voice with the renowned Wagnerian soprano Margaret Harshaw and began his professional singing career under the care of the inestimable Boris Goldovsky. McGraw’s operatic roles include Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Marcello in La bohéme, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Germont in La Traviata, Konrad Nachtigall in Die Meistersinger, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, and John Proctor in The Crucible. McGraw has performed with opera companies including Boston Opera (with the late Sarah Caldwell), Goldovsky Opera on Tour, Greater Miami Opera (now Florida Grand Opera), Cincinnati Opera, Dayton Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Maracaibo, Venezuela Opera, Shreveport Opera, and Kentucky Opera.

Professor McGraw has had the good fortune of sharing the solo stage with internationally acclaimed artists soprano Deborah Voigt, tenor Ben Heppner, and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe at Cincinnati’s May Festival, under the baton of maestro James Conlon. In the summers of 2010 and 2011, Professor McGraw taught at the CCM Spoleto Music Festival in Spoleto, Italy. In the summers of 2013 and 2014, Professor McGraw taught at Opera On The Avalon under the direction of Cheryl Hickman in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In the summers of 2016 and 2017, Professor McGraw teaches in the wonderfully unique art song festival, SongFest, which features influential living composers of song as well as high visibility coaches of art song and is the creation of Rosemary Hyler Ritter. In May of 2024, Mr. McGraw will join the faculty of Fellowship of the Song founded by Samuel Martin in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Professor McGraw was a CCM faculty member from 1986-2021, and many of his former students have gone on to successful careers in the performing arts. Additionally, his current and former students have performed in the major opera houses of Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Paris, Mannheim, Freiburg, Salzburg, San Francisco, Houston, Indianapolis, Santa Fe, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Cincinnati. Students have also performed in numerous young artist programs such as those of Cincinnati Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Des Moines, Central City, Chautauqua, Wolf Trap, Glimmerglass, Houston Grand Opera, Merola, Music Academy with Marilyn Horne, Florida Grand, and Chicago Lyric Opera. Professor McGraw is proud to have students teaching in leading universities and colleges in the United States.

Professor McGraw has been named Omicron Delta Kappa Man of Merit by Baylor University in recognition of outstanding accomplishments.

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Patricia Kristof Moy

diction coach

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-2

Patricia Kristof Moy was born and raised in Paris, France, and educated in Romance Languages and Literatures at Princeton University and New York University. Based in San Francisco, she has been the French Language and Diction Coach of the San Francisco Opera and a member of the Merola Opera Program faculty since the early 1980s. She has also coached productions at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Parallèle, and a number of regional companies in the United States. She teaches privately in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Patricia maintains a parallel career as an arts administrator and concert presenter, and in this capacity, has served as Assistant Company Administrator of the San Francisco Opera, Administrator of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Executive Director & Producer of the Stern Grove Midsummer Music Festival, and since 2005, Executive/Artistic Director of Music at Kohl Mansion, an international chamber concert series, and music education program in San Mateo County, California.

Moy has coached French, Spanish, Hungarian, and Italian diction for singers. She loves working with young artists and is especially interested in exploring relationships between text, story, character, style, historical context, and music.

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Nils Neubert

diction coach

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 5-7

Tenor Nils Neubert was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, and maintains careers as a performer, coach, educator, scholar, and administrator in the United States and abroad. He is a sought-after interpreter of song, oratorio, opera, and chamber music, and has appeared as a soloist and small ensemble singer throughout North America and Europe.

Nils Neubert teaches German diction and repertoire at the Manhattan School of Music (since 2015) and The Juilliard School (since 2013) and has served frequently as language coach at the Music Academy since 2016. He joined the Glimmerglass Festival and the Wolf Trap Opera Company in that same capacity during 2020 and 2022, respectively, as well as the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera in 2022, where he also began teaching for the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program in 2023. Previously, he taught at the Mannes School of Music (2014–2022), William Paterson University (2010–2016), Kaufman Music Center, and the Music Conservatory of Westchester, as well as the Summit Music Festival and Potomac Vocal Institute (USA), the International Academy of Music (Italy), and the Puigcerdà and Burgos International Music Festivals (Spain). He has done German and Latin language preparation for soloists, opera and choral ensembles, conductors, actors, and record producers/engineers, and has led master classes, workshops, and residencies across the United States, as well as in Europe and Canada. In 2023, he helped prepare performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Musica Sacra and the New York Philharmonic.

Publications as author or contributor include chapters, articles, translations, reviews, liner notes, and educational sound materials in the fields of musicology, music education, language diction, voice pedagogy, musical performance/interpretation/analysis, and exile studies with Bärenreiter, Brill, Henle, Nimbus Records, Oxford University Press, Rowman & Littlefield, the Journal of Singing, the Papers of the International Concertina AssociationMusic Education Research, and the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society Journal. His dissertation on the song composer Max Kowalski (1882–1956) was nominated for the Barry S. Brook Award. He can be heard on Voices in the Wilderness: Music of the Ephrata Cloister (Christopher Dylan Herbert [dir./prod.], Bright Shiny Things, 2020).

As of the 2023–24 academic year, Nils Neubert holds a full-time appointment in Vocal Arts at the Manhattan School of Music. He is also the current president of NATS-NYC (2022–2024) and has served on the University Faculty Senate at the New School (2017–2020).

Nils Neubert holds degrees from The Juilliard School (BM), Teachers College, Columbia University (MA), and the CUNY Graduate Center (DMA). He also trained at the Internationale Sommerakademie Mozarteum, Bel Canto at Caramoor, the Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci, the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service, the FernUniversität Hagen, and the Harvard Extension School, and is an alumnus of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. He is a student of Dr. Robert C. White, Jr., and resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yuri Kim.

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Nino Sanikidze

teaching artist

ABOUT
Distinction
The Barbara and Ray Robins Chair in Vocal Piano, in memory of Ray Robins
Alumni
2001, 2002
Residency
Festival weeks 2-5

Georgian pianist Nino Sanikidze has held the position of a Head Coach for the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera since the program’s inception in 2006. In addition, she works closely with LA Opera’s Richard Seaver Music Director James Conlon as a pianist and a prompter for mainstage productions.

Outside of LA Opera, she has been engaged with such companies as Teatro Real in Madrid, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Royal Opera House Muscat, Teatro Municipal di Santiago, Washington National Opera, Bard Summerscape, Cleveland Opera, and Wichita Grand Opera. A frequent collaborator with the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, her notable concert appearances include a recital with tenor Marcelo Alvarez and a recital with mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca. In addition she has performed in a recital with world-renown guitarist Angel Romero at Palm Springs Life Festival.

Since 2008 she has been an official pianist for Placido Domingo’s World Opera Competition Operalia.  In this capacity she has performed on the illustrious stages of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Royal Opera House in London, Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos in Lisbon, National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara, Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, Grand Théâtre de Québec, among others.

Dr. Sanikidze serves on a judging panels of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Richard Tucker Music Foundations Study and Career Grant Auditions, Marcela Sembrich International Voice Competition, Classical Singer Convention, Music Center Spotlight Awards, and Center Stage Opera Competition. A sought-after clinician, she has been a principal guest coach for the USC Thornton School of Music and has conducted masterclasses at Chapman Conservatory, Opera Santa Barbara, University of Kansas, Songfest, Music Center Spotlight, and YoungArts Los Angeles.

Ms. Sanikidze is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is an alumna of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera, as well as the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Opera Center, Cleveland Art Song Festival, and SongFest. She has served on the faculty of prestigious Vocal Institute at the Music Academy of the West since 2014.

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Tamar Sanikidze

head of vocal piano

ABOUT
Alumni
2005, 2006, 2007
Residency
Festival weeks 0-8

“Technically nimble and supportive pianist” (New York Times), “Accompanist with wondrous tact and virtuosity” (San Francisco Chronicle), “Vigorous and versatile” (Washington Post) and “Extraordinarily sensitive collaborative synch throughout the evening” (VOICE Magazine) Tamara Sanikidze gave her first performance with the Georgian Symphony Orchestra at age eight and has since appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout the Republic of Georgia, Russia, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Since 2009, in capacity of an official pianist for Plácido Domingo’s annual World Opera Competition “Operalia” Dr. Sanikidze has performed in such renown opera houses as Hungarian State Opera house in Budapest, La Scala in Milano, Galina Vishnevskaya’s Opera Centre in Moscow, Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, Royal Opera house in London, Dorothy Chandler Auditorium in Los Angeles, Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara, São Carlos in Lisbon, and National Theater in Prague.

As a winner of the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying she has performed regularly in the Marilyn Horne Foundation’s “The Song Continues…” and “On the Wings of Song”. Active Song Recitalist she has partnered with such luminaries as Thomas Hampson, Nino Machaidze, Isabel Leonard, Quinn Kelsey, Marjorie Owens, Elizabeth Futral, Nicole Cabell, Leah Crocetto, Nadine Sierra and Amanda Majeski in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall and other prestigious venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. By the special invitation, she has traveled to Beijing, China to perform with Mo. Plácido Domingo and also has performed at the White House for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.
In May 2019 Sanikidze joined the much acclaimed Camerata Pacifica ensemble for a concert tour throughout South California.

Between 2007- 2012 Ms. Sanikidze was a Young Artist Coach at the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera and an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, where she served as an Assistant Conductor and Coach for productions of Don Giovanni (Mo. Plácido Domingo), Rigoletto (Mo. Giovanni Reggioli), Hansel and Gretel (Mo. Steven Gathman), La Traviata (Mo. Plácido Domingo and Mo. Dan Ettinger), Carmen (Mo. Julius Rudel), Turandot(Mo. Keri-Lynn Wilson), Falstaff (Mo. Sebastian Lang-Lessing), La fanciulla del West (Mo. Nicola Luisotti), Aida (Mo. Nicola Luisotti), The Makropulos case (Mo. Jiří Bělohlávek), Die Walküre (Mo. Donald Runnicles), Carmen (Mo. Nicola Luisotti), and Xerxes (Mo. Patrick Summers).

Upon finishing the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program, Sanikidze joined the Music Staff at both San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera where she works closely with Mo. Plácido Domingo, Mo. James Conlon and Mo. Nicola Luisotti. In the capacity of a Pianist, Prompter, Coach and an Assistant Conductor she has prepared and performed a wide range of operatic repertoire, including Simon Boccanegra starring Plácido Domingo, Tosca, Der fliegende Holländer, La Cenerentola, Falstaff, Evgeny Onegin, Die Zauberflöte, Billy Budd, Lucia di Lammermoor, Madama Butterfly, Un ballo in maschera, Le nozze di Figaro, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Aida, Turandot, Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Rusalka, and Manon Lescaut.

Ms. Sanikidze is a prize-winner of numerous national and international piano competitions. She has received top scholarships, including a personal scholarship from the former president of the Republic of Georgia Edward Schevardnadze. She has also received the Vocal Piano Fellowship Award from the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and participated in summer programs at Wolf Trap Opera Company, Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, SongFest, Cleveland Art Song Festival and Aspen Music Festival. She has made several recordings for the Excelsior label and her performances have been broadcast on NPR, as well as Georgian and Russian National Television and Radio.

Sought after for her coaching skills and extensive experience, Ms. Sanikidze has been invited to work with young singers at the Merola Opera Program, Wolf Trap Opera Center, and the Young Artist Programs both at Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera.

In 2015 Tamara joined faculty of Butler School of Music at University of Texas, Austin and Music Academy of the West.  In January 2019 Ms. Sanikidze became Director of Butler Opera Center.

Tamara Sanikidze holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Bill Schuman

teaching artist

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 1-3

Bill Schuman is internationally celebrated as one of the world’s leading teachers of singing. His students represent some of the most important names in the music world.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Mr. Schuman began his vocal studies under B. Gibner King, the coach of such Met luminaries as Ezio Pinza and Margaret Harshaw. Following his studies with Margaret Woodward at Brigham Young University and with Rita Streich at the Conservatory of Music in Vienna, he became a protégé of the famed vocal pedagogue, Luisa Franceschi Verna, herself the teacher of Zinka Milanov, among others. He finished his studies in New York, studying Italian style and repertory with Rita Saponaro Patanè.

Since beginning his teaching career, Mr. Schuman’s success has been completely unique in the opera world. His operatic students are not only major stars in the great opera houses around the world, but they have won an unprecedented number of international vocal competitions and awards. For four years in a row, his students were honored with the Richard Tucker Award, America’s most prestigious award for opera singers. Three of his students were also consecutively bestowed the Beverly Sills Award.

Over the years, Mr. Schuman has also maintained his work with non-classical singers, where his students have included some of the biggest stars from the Broadway, film, TV and popular music worlds and have included numerous Tony, Grammy and Emmy award winners and Academy Award nominees.

Mr. Schuman has been associated with the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program, the Curtis Institute of Music and was personally invited by Placido Domingo to be one of the inaugural teachers at the Washington Opera Young Artist Program. Since 1989, Mr. Schuman has been on the faculty of the Academy  of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where he has exclusively based his academic career.

Mr. Schuman is in demand worldwide for master classes and lectures. He has been featured in numerous articles and books on the art of singing and has been the subject of articles in various publications including Opera News and the Wall Street Journal. In 2008, Mr. Schuman was honored by the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, becoming the youngest voice teacher to ever receive their coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

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Maureen Zoltek

teaching artist

ABOUT
Alumni
2010, 2012
Residency
Festival weeks 5-8

Collaborative pianist Maureen Zoltek enjoys a diverse career working with leading vocalists, instrumentalists, orchestras, and opera companies across the United States.

Dr. Zoltek currently serves as the Music Director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. She was previouly an assistant conductor, vocal coach, and orchestral keyboardist on the staff of San Francisco Opera and as a member of the Vocal Institute Faculty at the Music Academy of the West. Her 2020-21 scheduled engagements (pre-Covid cancellations) included a return to San Francisco Opera for productions of ErnaniRigolettoThe Handmaid’s Tale, and Der Zwerg, to Opera Omaha for Eugene Onegin, and to the Music Academy of the West for Ellen Reid’s Odysseus Cycle and Philip Glass’ Les Enfants Terribles. An active proponent of new music, she recently served on the music staff for the world premieres of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber, and John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West, as well as the west coast premiere of Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life.

Dr. Zoltek is a graduate of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center and has collaborated with the Lyric Opera of Chicago on several productions, including La clemenza di TitoToscaIdomeneo, and the world premiere workshop of Jimmy López and Nilo Cruz’s Bel Canto. At the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis she served as music staff, pre-concert lecturer, and keyboardist for Puccini’s La rondine, as well as a coach for Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. Dr. Zoltek has also been an assistant conductor at Canadian Opera Company (Elektra) and Opera Omaha (Les enfants terribles, Die Enfürung aus dem Serail).

As an orchestral keyboardist, Dr. Zoltek has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with major conductors including Boulez, Salonen, Conlon, Dudamel, Gilbert, and Gergiev, in addition to premiering works by composers-in-residence of the CSO Augusta Read Thomas and Marc Anthony Turnage. She has appeared with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Chicago’s Latino Music Festival, and at the 2010 Fischoff Competition, in which she was a semi-finalist.

Dr. Zoltek attended both the Aspen Music Festival and School (2009) and Music Academy of the West (2010, 2012). During her second summer as a fellow at the Music Academy, she won first prize in the pianist division of the Marilyn Horne Song Competition. Her association with Marilyn Horne also includes participation in the legendary mezzo-soprano’s series “The Song Continues” (2011, 2012), with performances and masterclasses held through Carnegie Hall’s “Marilyn Horne Legacy” program. Among the other star performers with whom Zoltek has recently collaborated are mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, soprano Patricia Racette, bass-baritone Eric Owens, and Welsh singer-songwriter Katherine Jenkins. Ms. Zoltek is also featured alongside mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges in Nicole Miller’s new commission and installation, “To the Stars,” a multi-sensory work that weaves together film, sound, and laser light at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Phyllis Wattis Theater.

Dr. Zoltek completed her D.M.A. degree at the Manhattan School of Music, and holds a master’s degree in piano performance and musicology from Roosevelt University in addition to a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from DePaul University. Her teachers include Mary Sauer and Warren Jones. When she is not in rehearsal, Zoltek enjoys true crime podcasts, baking various and sundry desserts, and going out and about with her standard poodle and travel companion, Henry.

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Marilyn Horne

The Mercedes Millington & John C. Mithun Emeritus Program Director

ABOUT
Distinguished Alumni Awardee
1995
Alumni
1953
Distinction
Faculty Emeritus

She has been called the “Star-Spangled Singer” and “the Heifetz of singers.” In 2002, following a career that had seen her dominate her field for more than four decades, Opera News declared, “Marilyn Horne – whose face and song have been in the light – in so many places, in so many styles, through so many media, for so many years – may be the most influential singer in American history.”

Ms. Horne’s distinguished career has garnered her numerous honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gramophone magazine. She was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1995, received the National Medal of Arts in 1992, and has been inducted into the American Classical Music and Hollywood Bowl halls of fame. Among her worldwide prizes are the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from France’s Ministry of Culture. She was named a National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors recipient in 2009.

Ms. Horne began her music studies with her father and first sang in public at age 2. She studied voice and song/recital works at the University of Southern California and participated in many masterclasses conducted by Lotte Lehmann in Los Angeles and at the Music Academy. With her 60th birthday gala at Carnegie Hall in 1994, Ms. Horne launched the Marilyn Horne Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to the art of the vocal recital in the United States. In 2010 the foundation’s programs became part of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Horne has performed in more than 1,300 recitals, made well over 100 recordings, and received three Grammy Awards. Her most recent release, Marilyn Horne – Just for the Record: The Golden Voice, is a retrospective of her career and includes classical songs, opera, and American standards. Her autobiography, Marilyn Horne: The Song Continues, written with Jane Scovell, was published in 2004.

Ms. Horne was the Academy’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner in 1995, has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 1995, and in 1997 was appointed Voice Program director. She transitioned to the role of Honorary Voice Program Director from 2018 to 2021, and is now Faculty Emeritus.

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Joshua Bell

Mosher guest artist, violin

ABOUT

With a career spanning almost four decades, GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. Having performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world, Bell continues to maintain engagements as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, conductor and Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

Bell’s highlights in the 2022-23 season include leading the Academy of St Martin in the Fields on tour in South America to Sao Paulo, Bogotá, and Montevideo as well in Europe, in Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Joshua appears in guest performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Sofia Philharmonic, Franz Schubert Filharmonia as well as a European tour with pianist Peter Dugan. This season in the U.S., Bell will perform alongside the New York Philharmonic, as well as the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, Baltimore, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestras.

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell began violin at age four, and at age twelve, began studies with Josef Gingold. At 14, Bell debuted with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and debuted at Carnegie Hall at age 17 with the St. Louis Symphony. At age 18, Bell signed with his first label, London Decca, and received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. In the years following, Bell has been named 2010 “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America, a 2007 “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, nominated for six GRAMMY® awards, and received the 2007 Avery Fisher Prize. He has also received teh 2003 Indiana Governor’s Arts Award and a Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 1991 from the Jacobs School of Music. In 2000, he was named an “Indiana Living Legend.”

Bell has performed for three American presidents and the sitting justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. He participated in Barack Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’ first cultural mission to Cuba, joining Cuban and American musicians on a 2017 Live from Lincoln Center Emmy nominated PBS special, Joshua Bell: Seasons of Cuba, celebrating renewed cultural diplomacy between Cuba and the United States.

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Brian Cho

guest performing artist, piano

ABOUT
Alumni
2023
Music Academy Award
2023 Marilyn Horne Song Competition winner

Brian Cho, based out of Toronto, Ontario, is a seasoned collaborator and active repetiteur. He is currently an intern coach and staff pianist at the Canadian Opera Company under the mentorship of Liz Upchurch. Cho’s talent has been recognized through various prestigious fellowships; In 2019, he was a fellow with the Magisterra Soloists, in 2021, a collaborative piano fellow at the Académie Orford Musique, and in 2023 he attended the Music Academy of the West as a vocal piano fellow where he was a winner of the Marilyn Horne Song Competition. Cho has been nominated twice for classical musician of the year at the London Forest City Music Awards in recognition for his work co-founding the not-for-profit opera organization “Can of Soup Collective”. Brian Cho earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Western Ontario studying with Leslie Kinton, Tina Yanchus, John Hess, and Marianna Chibotar-Rutkevich.

 

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Navasard Hakobyan

guest performing artist, baritone

ABOUT
Alumni
2023
Music Academy Award
2023 Marilyn Horne Song Competition winner

Baritone Navasard Hakobyan is a studio member with Houston Grand Opera and won 3rd Prize of the 2023 Operalia World Opera Competition. Current and upcoming season highlights include roles as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Houston Grand Opera, Gregorio in Romeo et Juliet with Dallas Opera, and a house debut with Dresden Semperoper. Previous highlights include role debuts with Yerevan Opera Theater as Silvio in I Pagliacci and as Germone in La traviata. A native of Armenia, Navasard also performed as Antonio in Il viaggio a Reims with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra. He graduated from the vocal studio of Armenian State Song Theater and is currently completing a master’s degree at Yerevan Conservatory. Since 2018, he has also been a soloist of the Young Opera Singers Program of the Yerevan Opera Theater. Navasard won the Music Academy’s 2023 Marilyn Horne Song Competition and was a winner of the 2024 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition.

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Leila Josefowicz

guest performing artist, violin

ABOUT

Leila Josefowicz’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programmes and enthusiasm for performing new works. A favourite of living composers, Josefowicz has premiered many concertos, including those by Colin Matthews, Luca Francesconi, John Adams and Esa-Pekka Salonen, all written specially for her.

Artist-in-Residence of Iceland Symphony Orchestra for the 2023/24 season, Josefowicz will perform Helen Grime’s Violin Concerto with Daniel Bjarnason and Bartók’s Violin Concerto No.2 with Eva Ollikainen, as well as present a solo recital at Harpa Hall. Elsewhere, Josefowicz’s season includes engagements with Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Musikkollegium Winterthur, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Lahti, Milwaukee, Taipei and Antwerp symphony orchestras. Josefowicz also presents the world premiere of Jüri Reinvere’s Concerto for Violin and Harp alongside Trina Struble and The Cleveland Orchestra, and tours Germany and Austria with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie with concerts Berlin, Vienna and Dresden.

Highlights of recent seasons include appearances with Berliner Philharmoniker; Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich; Royal Concertgebouworkest; Konzerthausorchester Berlin; Dresden Philharmonie, Oslo, Helsinki and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras; NDR Elbphilharmonie; the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, The Cleveland, and The Philadelphia orchestras, where she worked with conductors at the highest level, including Matthias Pintscher, John Storgårds, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Louis Langrée, Hannu Lintu and John Adams.

Josefowicz enjoyed a close working relationship with the late Oliver Knussen, performing various concerti, including his violin concerto, together over 30 times. Other premieres have included Matthias Pintscher’s Assonanza with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, John Adams’ Scheherazade.2 with New York Philharmonic, Luca Francesconi’s Duende – The Dark Notes with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Steven Mackey’s Beautiful Passing with BBC Philharmonic.

Together with John Novacek, with whom she has enjoyed a close collaboration since 1985, Josefowicz has performed recitals at world-renowned venues such as New York’s Zankel Hall and Park Avenue Armory, Washington DC’s Kennedy Center and Library of Congress and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as in Reykjavik, Trento, Bilbao and Chicago. This season their collaboration continues with recitals in California, appearing at Festival Mozaic, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco Performances and Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Colburn Celebrity Recital series.

Josefowicz has released several recordings, notably for Deutsche Grammophon, Philips/Universal and Warner Classics and was featured on Touch Press’s acclaimed iPad app, The Orchestra. Her latest recording, released in 2019, features Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Violin Concerto with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. She has previously received nominations for Grammy Awards for her recordings of Scheherazade.2 with St Louis Symphony conducted by David Robertson, and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer.

In recognition of her outstanding achievement and excellence in music, she won the 2018 Avery Fisher Prize and was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2008, joining prominent scientists, writers and musicians who have made unique contributions to contemporary life.

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Connie Shih

guest performing artist, piano

ABOUT

The Canadian pianist, Connie Shih, is repeatedly considered to be one of Canada’s most outstanding artists. In 1993 she was awarded the Sylva Gelber Award for most outstanding classical artist under age 30. At the age of nine, she made her orchestral debut with Mendelssohn’s first Piano Concerto with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. At the age of 12, she was the youngest ever protégé of Gyorgy Sebok, and then continued her studies at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia with Claude Frank, himself a protégé of Arthur Schnabel. Later studies were undertaken with Fou Tsong in Europe.

As soloist, she has appeared extensively with orchestras throughout Canada, the U.S.A. and Europe. In a solo recital setting, she has made countless appearances in Canada, the U.S., Iceland, England, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan and China. Connie has given chamber music performances with many world-renowned musicians. To critical acclaim, she appears regularly in recital with cellist Steven Isserlis. Including chamber music appearances at the Wigmore and Carnegie Halls, she performs at the prestigious Bath Music Festival, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Weill Hall (N.Y.), and at the Kronberg Festival. Her collaborations have included Maxim Vengerov, Tabea Zimmerman, and Isabelle Faust.

In 2019/20 Connie will tour North America and Europe with Steven Isserlis, and includes a tour of Asia with Joshua Bell. In addition she appears at concert venues across Germany with the cellist Manuel Fischer-Dieskau with whom she recorded the first-ever CD of the Sonatas for piano and cello by Carl Reinecke and the complete Beethoven sonatas. Her CD with Steven Isserlis on the BIS label was recently released.

Connie’s performances are frequently broadcast via television and radio on CBC (Canada), BBC (U.K.), SWR, NDR, and WDR (Germany) as well as on other various television and radio stations in North America and Europe.

She is on faculty at the Casalmaggiore Festival in Italy.

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Szuyu Su

guest performing artist, piano

ABOUT
Alumni
2023
Music Academy Award
2023 Solo Piano Competition winner

Born in Tainan City, Taiwan, Szuyu began to learn the piano at the age of four. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and master’s degree from The Juilliard School. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in piano performance at Rice University under the instruction of Jon Kimura Parker. Szuyu is the winner of the 2023 Solo Piano Competition at the Music Academy of the West. She is a recipient of the CHIMEI Arts Award and the second prize winner at the 2022 Mieczyslaw Munz Piano Competition. In 2019, she won Second Prize and best mazurka performance at Beijing Chopin Piano competition. She participated in the 2021 Warsaw Chopin International Piano Competition and advanced to the second stage. Since then, she has been invited to play with orchestras and give recitals in major venues.

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Daniela Candillari

principal opera conductor

ABOUT

Conductor Daniela Candillari continues to garner praise for her dynamic and compelling performances at opera houses and concert stages throughout North America and Europe. Recognized for her “confidence and apparently inexhaustible verve” (The New York Times) and “powerful and breathtaking performances” (Review STL), Candillari enters her second season as both Principal Conductor at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Principal Opera Conductor at Music Academy.

In the 2022-23 season, Candillari conducts the New York Philharmonic and Yo-Yo Ma, American Composers Orchestra and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street at Carnegie Hall, Orchestre Métropolitain Montreal, the Symphonic Orchestra of Slovenian National Theater in Maribor, Toledo Symphony, the world premiere of Peter Knell and Stephanie Fleischmann’s Arkhipov at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, Deutsche Oper Berlin’s concert version of Lakmé, New Orleans Opera’s Hansel and Gretel, Tosca at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera’s Gala concert version of Aida, and Music Academy’s La bohème.

Last season, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut conducting Aucoin’s Eurydice; led Jeanine Tesori’s Blue with Detroit Opera; Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Carmen; the North American premiere of Caroline Shaw, Andrew Yee, and Asma Maroof’s Moby Dick; or The Whale at The Shed with members of the New York Philharmonic; Music Academy’s Eugene Onegin; the 2021 made-for-film world premiere of Clint Borzoni’s The Copper Queen with Arizona Opera; and the 2022 film of Ana Sokolović’s Svadba with Boston Lyric Opera. As a composer, Candillari has been commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Met Opera, and New York City Ballet Orchestras.

Candillari grew up in Serbia and Slovenia. She holds a Doctorate from the Universität für Musik in Vienna; a MM from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music; and a MM and Bachelor’s degree from the Universität für Musik in Graz.

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Hannu Lintu

guest conductor

ABOUT

With a ​“scrupulous ear for instrumental color and blend” (Washington Post) and bringing ​“a distinctive dynamism to the podium” (Baltimore Sun), Hannu Lintu begins his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. The appointment follows a series of hugely successful collaborations with the company – including Tristan und Isolde in 2016, Sibelius’s Kullervo in 2017, Berg’s Wozzeck in 2019 and Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos in 2020 – and reflects Lintu’s shifting focus into the field of opera. The upcoming season commences with Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Future productions will include the majority of the house’s rescheduled Ring Cycle which will recommence with Die Walküre in Autumn 2022.

Lintu recently completed his eighth and final season as the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Conductor. Highlights included Schumann’s Faust Szenen, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust and the second-ever FRSO Festival – devoted in 2019 to new and large-scale works by national composer Magnus Lindberg.

In the upcoming 2021/22 season, Lintu makes his highly anticipated debut with Opéra national de Paris, conducting Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer. Lintu also regularly conducts at the Savonlinna Festival, most recently for productions of Verdi’s Otello (2018) and Sallinen’s Kullervo (in 2017, as part of Finland’s centenary celebrations).

Guest highlights of the 2021/22 season include returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, Gulbenkian Orchestra, and Tampere Philharmonic. Lintu also guest conducts the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

Recent engagements include debuts with the Chicago and Boston symphony orchestras, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich and returns to the Baltimore, St Louis and Cincinnati symphony orchestras, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and NDR Elbphilharmonie.

Lintu has made several recordings for Ondine, BIS, Naxos, Avie and Hyperion; recent releases include the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with Stephen Hough, Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten and Violin Concerto with Leila Josefowicz, Lutoslawski’s Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 and Nos. 2 & 3 and works by Kaija Saariaho with Gerald Finley and Xavier de Maistre, all of which feature Lintu’s principal recording partner, the FRSO.

Lintu has received several accolades for his recordings, including two ICMA awards for Bartók’s Violin Concertos with Christian Tetzlaff (2019) and works by Sibelius featuring Anne Sofie von Otter (2018), a 2021 GRAMMY nomination in the Best Orchestral Performance category for his recording of Lutoslawski’s Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3, a 2011 GRAMMY nomination for Best Opera CD (Rautavaara’s Kaivos), and Gramophone Award nominations for his recordings of Enescu’s Symphony No.2 with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and the Violin Concertos of Sibelius and Thomas Adès with Augustin Hadelich and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Lintu studied cello and piano at the Sibelius Academy, where he later studied conducting with Jorma Panula. He participated in masterclasses with Myung-Whun Chung at the L’Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, and took first prize at the Nordic Conducting Competition in Bergen in 1994.

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William Long

conductor (L’Enfant), assistant conductor & chorusmaster (Carmen)

ABOUT

London-based conductor William Long continues to showcase his “masterful command of challenging, multi-stylistic works” (Opera News) with some of the world’s premier musical institutions. Recent highlights include his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra at The Barbican, conducting Washington National Opera’s production of Carmen and the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones with Opera Theater Saint Louis and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

This upcoming season, Long returns to The Metropolitan Opera to cover Terence Blanchard’s Champion, San Francisco Opera for the world premiere of John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra and concerts with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra & Chorus, and Washington National Opera for La bohème. Long will also continue his relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra as a Cover Conductor where he has assisted in a wide variety of programs since 2020, working with Sir Simon Rattle, Gianandrea Noseda, and John Wilson. He also continues his posts at the prestigious Music Academy in Santa Barbara, California.

Long’s previous work has included appearances as Cover Conductor at the Kennedy Center for productions of Eugene Onegin, Candide, and the world premieres of Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up and Terence Blanchard’s Champion. A native of California, he has worked extensively with San Francisco Opera as Assistant Conductor on productions of Arabella, Hänsel und Gretel, Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, and with Los Angeles Opera as Cover Conductor for Gordon Getty’s Usher House and The Canterville Ghost.

From 2013-2018 Long served as Assistant Conductor at San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle, where he prepared productions of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and At the Statue of Venus, Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Jonathan Dove’s Flight, Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness, and Philip Glass’ Les enfants terribles, among other projects.

Long holds a B.A. in Piano Performance and an M.A. in Conducting from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied with Maria Ezerova and Nicole Paiement. He also studied with Harold Farberman at the Conductor’s Institute at Bard College and Vance George at Westminster Choir College.

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Anthony Parnther

guest conductor

ABOUT

American conductor, Anthony Parnther, has forged a singularly unique career that melds his love for the music of all genres with his prowess as a conductor, producer, bassoon soloist, recording artist, opera singer, storyteller, comedian, voice-over artist, and activist.

Anthony is the Music Director of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra in San Bernardino, California. He was appointed Music Director of the historic Los Angeles-based Southeast Symphony & Chorus in 2010. In 2020, Anthony was appointed Conductor of the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra, succeeding its longtime founding conductor, Michael Morgan. He has conducted a long list of the world’s greatest artists in virtually every genre, including Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman, Yundi Li, Lynn Harrell, Frederica von Stade, Roderick Williams, The Canadian Brass, Rihanna, Jennifer Holliday, Kanye West, Imagine Dragons, Omar Apollo, Ry X, Zedd, and Alan Walker.

Parnther is in demand to conduct symphonic, opera, contemporary, avant-garde, popular music, and film scores internationally. His recent guest appearances include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Opera, Chineke! Orchestra, Long Beach Opera, Mann Center Festival Orchestra, The Philly Pops, Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Jacaranda – Music at the Edge, Hear Now Music Festival, Pittsburgh Microtonal Festival, BrightworkNewMusic, and the World Opera Forum in Madrid, Spain.

In the 2021-22 season, Anthony will premiere Kris Bowers’ Concerto for Horn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Tamar-kali Brown’s We Hold These Truths with the Los Angeles Opera. Anthony will also lead the Long Beach Opera as they record Anthony Davis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning opera The Central Park Five. In April of 2022, he will lead the Gateways Festival Orchestra at Carnegie Hall as they premiere I Can for Piano and Orchestra, composed by and featuring Oscar and Grammy-winning Jon Batiste.

In addition, Anthony will also appear with the San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Hawaii Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Long Beach Symphony, Cleveland Institute of Music, Rochester Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Austin Symphony, Grant Park Music Festival, and Charlotte Symphony.

He has premiered and recorded works by Anthony Davis, George Walker, Tamar-kali Brown, Florence Price, Adolphus Hailstork, Zenobia Powell Perry, Errollyn Wallen, John Wineglass, Gary Powell Nash, Marian Harrison, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, James Wilson, Phillip Herbert, Daniel Kidane, Chanda Dancy, and James Newton. In 2015, Anthony was profiled by Los Angeles’ KCET/TV as a “Local Hero” for his extensive community outreach and advocacy for the performance of works by Black, Latino, and Women artists.

On the scoring stages of Los Angeles, London, Nashville, Budapest, and San Francisco, Anthony has led and conducted recording sessions for many of the top international feature films, television series, and video game franchises in the world.

Recent films include Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Avatar: The Way of Water, Tenet, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, The Adam Project, Slumberland, The Way Back, Cheaper By The Dozen, Lost City, Little, The Hunt. He has conducted the scoring sessions for animated features Encanto, Turning Red, Ice Age: Adventures of Buck Wild, Diaries of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules. His television series credits include Star Wars: The Mandalorian, Star Wars: Book of Boba Fett, Fargo, The Night Of, 4400. He led the sessions for video games League of Legends, The Lamplighters League, Guild Wars, and animated series like American Dad, Arcane, and many more.

Anthony studied at Northwestern University and Yale University and resides in Los Angeles.

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David Robertson

guest conductor

ABOUT

David Robertson – conductor, artist, composer, thinker, American musical visionary – occupies the most prominent podiums in opera, orchestral, and new music.  He is a champion of contemporary composers, and an ingenious and adventurous programmer.  Robertson has served in numerous artistic leadership positions, such as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a transformative 13-year tenure as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, with the Orchestre National de Lyon, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and, as protégé of Pierre Boulez, the Ensemble InterContemporain.  He appears with the world’s great orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, and many major ensembles and festivals on five continents.  Since his 1996 Metropolitan Opera debut, Robertson has conducted a breathtaking range of Met projects, including the 2019-20 season opening premiere production of Porgy and Bess, for which he shared a Grammy Award, Best Opera Recording, in March 2021.  In 2022, he conducted the Met Opera revival of the production, in addition to making his Rome Opera debut conducting Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová.  Robertson is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, and is the recipient of numerous artistic awards.  He serves on the Tianjin Juilliard Advisory Council, complementing his role as Director of Conducting Studies, Distinguished Visiting Faculty of The Juilliard School, New York.

 

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Osmo Vänskä

guest conductor

ABOUT

Conductor Laureate of the Minnesota Orchestra, where he held the Music Directorship for 19 years, and Music Director of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra from 2020 to 2023, Osmo Vänskä is recognised for his compelling interpretations of repertoire of all ages and an energetic presence on the podium. His democratic and inclusive style of work has been key in forging long-standing relationships with many orchestras worldwide.

Performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Minnesota Orchestra in June 2022 provided a fitting culmination for Vänskä’s tenure as Music Director. Together they undertook five major European tours, as well as an historic trip to Cuba in 2015 – the first visit by an American orchestra since the two countries re-established diplomatic relations. They also made a ground-breaking tour to South Africa in 2018 as part of worldwide celebrations of Nelson Mandela’s Centenary – furthermore the first visit by an American orchestra – drawing together South African and American performers in musical expressions of peace, freedom, and reconciliation on a five-city tour. Vanska and Minnesota Orchestra also made an acclaimed return to London’s BBC Proms in Summer 2018.

Osmo Vänskä will conduct Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra on a major European tour in Autumn 2022, including concerts in Vienna, Salzburg, Amsterdam, and London. He will return to guest conduct the Seoul Philharmonic several times in spring 2023.

He returns this season to the Symphony and Philharmonic orchestras of Bamberg, Chicago, Los Angeles, Helsinki, Israel, Houston, Montreal, and Pittsburgh amongst others, while past guest conducting invitations include renowned international ensembles such as Cleveland, Philadelphia, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras in North America, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Iceland Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin as well as London Philharmonic Orchestra.  He is regularly invited to guest conduct in Asia including with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and China, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and Taiwan Philharmonic Orchestras.

Vänskä continues to develop a visiting and touring relationship with Curtis Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra, leading conducting seminars as well as tours in Europe, the US and Asia. He has also been invited to guest conduct New World Symphony in Miami, where he additionally coaches its Conducting Fellows.

A distinguished recording artist for the BIS label, Vänskä is currently recording all of Mahler’s symphonies with Minnesota Orchestra. The Fifth Symphony received a Grammy nomination in 2017 for Best Orchestral Performance. Vänskä and Minnesota have also recorded the complete symphonies of Beethoven and Sibelius to critical acclaim, winning a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2014 as well as being nominated on several occasions. In 2021 they were voted Gramophone’s ‘Orchestra of the Year’.

Vänskä studied conducting at Finland’s Sibelius Academy and was awarded first prize in the 1982 Besançon Competition. He began his career as a clarinetist, occupying the co-principal chair of Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. He regularly performs chamber music, having been invited to La Jolla Summerfest, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Naantali Summer Festival, Sysmä Summer Sounds and Music in Ruovesi, to name a few. He has recorded Bernhard Henrik Crusell’s three Clarinet Quartets and Kalevi Aho’s Clarinet Quintet for the BIS label and is in the process of recording several duos for clarinet and violin which he has commissioned with his wife, violinist Erin Keefe.

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Xian Zhang

guest conductor

ABOUT

2023/24 will mark Zhang’s eighth season as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, who celebrated their centennial last season. Zhang also holds the positions of Principal Guest Conductor of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, having previously held the position of Music Director between 2009–2016.

In high demand as a guest conductor, Zhang juggles an exceptionally busy diary of guest engagements alongside her titled commitments. Throughout 2023/24, she conducts Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Anthony Minghella’s acclaimed production features a starry cast with Aleksandra Kurzak, Eleanora Buratto and Asmik Grigorian sharing the role of Cio-Cio-San, and Matthew Polezani as Pinkerton.

Following a busy summer 2023 season which saw her conducting Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, Zhang’s upcoming symphonic highlights include returns to the Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Houston Symphony, Orchestra of St Luke’s, and National Symphony Orchestra DC. Zhang remains a popular guest of London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, NAC Ottawa, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Belgian National Orchestra, and Norwegian Opera where she returned last season for Puccini’s Tosca.

Letters for The Future (released 2022), Zhang’s recording on Deutsche Grammophon with Philadelphia Orchestra and Time for Three, won multiple GRAMMY awards in both the Best Contemporary Classical Composition (Kevin Puts’ Contact) and Best Classical Instrumental Solo categories.

Zhang previously served as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales, the first female conductor to hold a titled role with a BBC orchestra. In 2002, she won first prize in the Maazel-Vilar Conductor’s Competition. She was appointed New York Philharmonic’s Assistant Conductor in 2002, subsequently becoming their Associate Conductor and the first holder of the Arturo Toscanini Chair.

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Erin McKibben

Sing! Program Artistic Director

ABOUT
email
emckibben@musicacademy.org
phone
805-695-7906

Erin McKibben is an active Grammy-nominated performer, educator, and conductor in Southern California, originally from Portland, Oregon. She is the Director of the Music Academy’s Sing! choral program and Director of the Santa Barbara School of Music. Erin is principal flutist for the Los Angeles-based experimental classical ensemble, Wild Up, whose performances have been listed in both the LA and New York Times “Best Of” lists.  Their album “The Pieces that Fall to Earth” was nominated for a Grammy and their latest album, “Femenine,” listed on NPR’s Top 10 albums of 2021.  She has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hahn Hall at the Music Academy, Colburn’s Zipper Hall, Warner Brothers Studios, The Granada Theatre, Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, several National Flute Association Conventions as a prize winner, as a soloist at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood, and with the LA Philharmonic, the experimental LA-based Opera company, The Industry (performing in the acclaimed productions, “Hopscotch” and “Sweet Land”), and the International Contemporary Ensemble. As a chamber musician, Erin has participated in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and has been heard on Santa Barbara’s classical music radio station as a featured artist. Erin has also been engaged as the Keynote Speaker for the College Music Society. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Amy Porter as a fellow.

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Francisco J. Núñez

SING! guest conductor, YPC National

ABOUT

Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America’s 2018 Educator of the Year, is a composer, conductor, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the Founder/Artistic Director of the Emmy award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York (YPC). Mr. Núñez launched YPC National in response to requests for guidance, training, and assistance from choruses across the country and the Caribbean inspired by the YPC model.

His commitment to the arts, youth, and diversity have been recognized through numerous awards and honors, including: an ASCAP Victor Herbert Award, the New York Choral Society’s Choral Excellence Award, and Bang on a Can’s Visionary Award. NYU Steinhard presented him with its Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award, and he holds honorary Doctor of Music degrees from both Ithaca College and Gettysburg College.

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Elizabeth Núñez

SING! guest conductor, YPC National

ABOUT

Elizabeth Núñez is a conductor, clinician and speaker, soloist, and Creative Director of the Emmy award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City. Since joining YPC in 2004, she has played a significant role in fostering key YPC programs as well as providing vision for new initiatives. As a conductor she has led YPC choruses in highly acclaimed and widely viewed performances in New York City, on national television, and abroad.

In addition to her work at YPC, Elizabeth leads performances and workshops for regional and national conferences. She has conducted numerous All-State Honor Choirs, the OAKE National Children’s Honor Choir, and led YPC as a featured choir at the 2023 ACDA National Conference. She is also the Founding Artistic Director of the intergenerational SoHarmoniums Women’s Choir.

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Doreen Rao

SING! guest conductor, YPC National

ABOUT

Doreen Rao is a distinguished conductor and master teacher committed to the dynamic intersections joining music performance and music education.  The values of artistry, diversity, and social consciousness mark her celebrated career.  Recipient of the Robert Shaw Life-Time Achievement Award by the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) for her extraordinary contributions to choral music, Doreen’s seminal work has inspired generations of young singers, accomplished choral teachers and admired conductors.

Doreen’s illustrious career began as a professional singer and choral teacher. During her formative years in Chicago, she served as Assistant Professor of Voice at Roosevelt University, and began her long association with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Orchestra. At the invitation of Margaret Hillis, Doreen prepared the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus for concerts and recordings, winning four Grammy Awards and a Grand Prix du Disque with Sir George Solti, Maestro Hillis, Claudio Abbado, and James Levine. As the first female assistant conductor of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Doreen’s apprenticeship with Miss Hillis informed her choral and conducting practice with a legacy of deep musicianship and enduring professionalism.

Doreen founded and chaired the first ACDA National Committee for Children’s Choirs, organizing divisional and state leadership across the United States. Commissioning and premiering the music of living composers throughout her career, Doreen created and edited a massive library of choral repertoire for music education, published by Boosey & Hawkes as Choral Music Experience (CME), https://www.halleonard.com. During the same period, she founded the CME Institute and Certification Courses in Choral Teacher Education, an innovative and on-going professional development curriculum for emerging conductors and choral educators, www.choralmusicexperience.com.

Following her graduate studies at Northwestern University, Doreen accepted a dual- appointment as Director of Choral Programs and Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Toronto. The first woman to hold an endowed chair in conducting in Canada, Doreen carries the prestigious Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting Emeritus in perpetuity. During her two-decade tenure at the Faculty of Music, she regularly conducted the University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a wide range of choral-orchestral masterworks. She founded and conducted the MacMillan Singers and Bach Festival Singers for frequent concert collaborations with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Collaborating with the distinguished German conductor and Bach scholar Helmuth Rilling, Rao also led Canada’s International Bach Festival.

From 2008, Doreen prepared and conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus for concerts with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.  She made regular appearances with both the BPO and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestras, conducting choral masterworks.

Doreen stepped down from the University of Toronto in 2012, returning to Chicago to maintain an active career guest conducting and teaching. She enjoyed her tenures with the Chicago Chamber Choir and the Tampa Bay Master Chorale, where she worked with Maestro Michael Francis and the Florida Orchestra.  As a Visiting Professor at Ionian University, Doreen led graduate conducting and summer academy courses in Corfu, Greece. She currently teaches at the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music.

Among many other books and award-winning choral publications with Boosey & Hawkes, Doreen is the author of Circle of Sound Voice Education, a landmark text that serves as the philosophical and practical foundation for her innovative Zen approach to singing, conducting and choral teaching. She recently signed with GIA Publications in Chicago as Series Editor of the new Global Encounters for Young Choirs, www.giamusic.com.

Doreen Rao is the 2024 Artist-in-residence for the YPC National summer residency in partnership with the Sing! Program and Music Academy of the West.

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Steven Thomson

SING! Senior Choral Director

ABOUT
email
sthomson@musicacademy.org

Steven Browning Thomson is Director of Music and Organist at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito. He recently completed his master’s degree in Choral Conducting at UCSB, studying with Dr. Nicole Lamartine and directing the university’s Tenor/Bass choir, the Singing Gauchos. Steven also serves as the Assistant to the Conductor of the Santa Barbara Choral Society. Steven holds a master’s degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago, with a specialization in Ethnomusicology. He has a particular passion for Armenian choral music, inspired in large part by his 27 months living and working in the Republic of Armenia as a teacher with the US Peace Corps. While in Armenia, Steven formed and directed a 40-member children’s chorus, sang with the Hover State Chamber Choir of Armenia under the direction of Sona Hovhannisyan, and studied voice with Anna Mayilyan. At UCSB, along with Choral conducting, he pursued advanced coursework and research in ethnomusicology and continued voice studies with Dr. Isabel Bayrakdarian. In June 2022, Steven was pleased to present a program of Armenian choral music to the Santa Barbara community as the guest conductor of the Adelfos Ensemble.

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Anthony Cheung

composer

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Composer/pianist Anthony Cheung writes music that explores the senses, a wide palette of instrumental play and affect, improvisational traditions, reimagined musical artifacts, and
multiple layers of textual meaning. His music has been commissioned and performed by leading groups such as the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, New York Philharmonic,
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Scharoun Ensemble, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and many others. From 2015-17, he was the Daniel R. Lewis Composer Fellow with the Cleveland Orchestra. He is the recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as a 2012 Rome Prize, and received First Prize at the 2008 Dutilleux Competition. As a co-founder of New York’s Talea Ensemble, he served as pianist and artistic director of the group. Recordings include three portrait discs: Cycles and Arrows (New Focus), Dystemporal (Wergo), and Roundabouts (Ensemble Modern Medien). He studied at Harvard and Columbia, and was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. He taught at the University of Chicago from 2013-20, and is currently Associate Professor of Music at Brown University.

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Yuka C. Honda

composer

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EUCADEMIX, also known as Yuka C. Honda, is an electronics instrumentalist, composer, and producer (though she enjoys calling herself a “decomposer”). As EUCADEMIX, she performs solo electronic music. She calls it “Sensory Music”.

Yuka is primarily known for founding the band Cibo Matto in the 1990s. They released two LPs and one EP on Warner Brothers Records. As a producer, she has produced albums by Sean Lennon and Martha Wainwright, among others.

Recently, Yuka created a multi-media opera titled “No Revenge Necessary,” which tells the story of a post-apocalypse world in which humans survive and coexist with A.I. entities. It was performed at National Sawdust (Brooklyn, NY) in 2019, where Yuka was an Artist In Residence.

She has won multiple awards including the London International Animation Festival’s Best Sound Awards, for the music she composed for the animation film “Anxious Body” by Yoriko Mizushiri which premiered at Cannes 2021 Director’s Fortnight. Other current projects include a duo with her husband Nels Cline (Wilco) called CUP, and also a duo with YoshimiO (Boredoms, OOIOO) called Mycorrhiza.

Yuka Honda is the 2024 Composer-in-residence for the YPC National summer residency in partnership with Sing! and Music Academy of the West.

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Joel Thompson

composer

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Emmy Award-winning composer, Joel Thompson (born in 1988) is a composer, pianist, conductor, and educator from Atlanta.

His largest work to date, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed for TTBB chorus, strings and piano, was premiered in November 2015 by the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club under the direction of Dr. Eugene Rogers.

Recently, Thompson was a composition fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School where he worked with composers Stephen Hartke and Christopher Theofanidis. Thompson taught at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta 2015-2017, and also served as Director of Choral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music at Andrew College 2013-2015. Thompson is a proud Emory alum, graduating with a B.A. in Music in 2010, and an M.M. in Choral Conducting in 2013. His teachers include Eric Nelson, William Ransom, Laura Gordy, Richard Prior, John Anthony Lennon, Kevin Puts, Robert Aldridge, and Scott Stewart. Thompson is currently pursuing his D.M.A. in composition at the Yale School of Music

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Benjamin Kamins

bassoon, alexander technique

ABOUT
Alumni
1968, 1969
Benjamin Kamins
Festival weeks 5-8

Since entering the world of professional music in 1972 as the associate principal bassoonist of the Minnesota Orchestra, Benjamin Kamins has enjoyed a wide-ranging career as an orchestral musician, chamber player, solo performer, and educator. In 1981 he was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Houston Symphony, a position he held until 2003.  He is currently the Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Bassoon at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.  In addition, he has served as a guest principal with other major symphony orchestras in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York.

Mr. Kamins’ interests have also taken him into the world of historical performance where he performs on baroque bassoon.  He can be heard playing with many fine period instrument ensembles, especially Ars Lyrica Houston. In addition to his musical activities, Ben Kamins is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique through Alexander Technique International.

An alumnus of the Music Academy (’68, ’69), he has been an Academy faculty member since 1999.

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Janet Rarick

alexander technique

ABOUT
Residency
Festival weeks 5-8

Janet Rarick is a graduate of the Houston School for the Alexander Technique and is certified to teach through Alexander Technique International. Her long-time interest and study of the Technique has included extensive work with nationally and internationally noted teachers. A musician and professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, she teaches courses and private lessons in the Alexander Technique for Rice University undergraduates, Shepherd School of Music students, and for the Rice Community at Large. She also teaches workshops and classes in the Alexander Technique throughout the Greater Houston Area. As Associate Professor of Music Career Development at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Rarick coaches chamber music, teaches classes in professional development and performance skills, and directs outreach activities.

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Jerome Lowenthal

ABOUT
Distinction
Faculty Emeritus

Jerome Lowenthals influence on generations of pianists can never be underestimated. In addition to his residency in Santa Barbara each summer, he has been teaching at The Juilliard School since 1991. He brings forward the legacies of his distinguished teachers, William Kapell, Eduard Steuermann, and Alfred Cortot (with coachings from Arthur Rubinstein). Jerry has performed a prodigious amount of repertoire that includes more than 63 different concerti, which he has played and recorded with many of the world’s greatest conductors, including Maurice Abravanel, who was on the faculty of the Music Academy for more than two decades

Hes had a dominant presence at chamber music festivals around the world, and performed in duo concerts with violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Nathaniel Rosen, and pianists Ronit Amir, Ursula Oppens, Carmel Lowenthal, Vassily Primakov, and Michael Brown. A frequent adjudicator, Jerry has served on the juries of the Cliburn, Tchaikovsky, Rubinstein, Cleveland, and Leeds piano competitions.

2019 marked his 50th summer at the Music Academy.

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Donald McInnes

viola

ABOUT
Distinguished Alumni Awardee
2012
Alumni
1954, 1955, 1956
Distinction
Faculty Emeritus

Donald McInnes has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, and l’Orchestre National de France, among others, and for many years was a resident member of Camerata Pacifica. His career includes associations with many of the world’s major artists, including Leonard Bernstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Lynn Harrell, and Yo-Yo Ma.

An active recording artist, Mr. McInnes can be heard on the Columbia, RCA, Deutsche Grammophon, Angel/EMI, and Laurel labels. He has introduced many new works for viola, including those commissioned for him by William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, William Bergsma, Robert Suderberg, Paul Tufts, and Thomas Pasatieri.

A frequent guest artist and teacher at leading music schools, including the University of Michigan, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the University of Washington, Mr. McInnes was named the 2004 American String Teachers Association Teacher of the Year. He has been associated with the Banff Centre in Canada, the Menuhin Schools in both England and Switzerland, and the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in England, as well as festivals at Interlochen, St. Barts, Marlboro, and Sunflower, and the International String Workshop. He was long associated with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles at the Thornton School of Music.

Last year, Mr. McInnes was a guest professor at the Royal Conservatory in Barcelona, the Shanghai Conservatory, and the Central Conservatory in Beijing.

Camerata Pacifica, the Music Academy of the West, and USC recently honored Mr. McInnes with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the International Viola Society presented him with the Silver Alto Clef, its highest honor, at the 2007 International Viola Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

Mr. McInnes is an alumnus of the Music Academy (1954 to 1956), was the Distinguished Alumni Award winner in 2012, and has been a member of the faculty since 1982. He recently retired from professional performance, but continues to teach and give masterclasses.

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Peter Salaff

chamber music

ABOUT
Distinction
Faculty Emeritus

Peter Salaff was director of string chamber music at the Cleveland Institute of Music for 23 years. As a founding member of the Cleveland Quartet he recorded more than 50 chamber works and received a Grammy Award, six Grammy nominations, and Best of the Year honors from Time and Stereo Review. The quartet toured the former Soviet Union, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Israel, the United States, Europe, and Canada.

Mr. Salaff has served on the faculties of the University of Concepción (Chile), State University of New York at Buffalo, and the Eastman School of Music. He has also taught at numerous festivals, including Interlochen, Chamber Music in the Mountains at Echo Glen, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, the Perlman Music Program, PhoenixPhest in Ann Arbor, and the Chamber Music Connection in Columbus, Ohio, and has coached chamber music and given masterclasses at conservatories and universities in the United States, Germany, Japan, Israel, and New Zealand.

Mr. Salaff has been a judge at many chamber music competitions, including the Yellow Springs Competition, the London International String Quartet Competition, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, and the Coleman Chamber Music Association Competition.

He has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 1996.

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