SSMF Faculty for 2014
Lin He, violin
Brittany MacWilliams, violin
Jonathan Magness, violin
Katherine Lewis, viola
Daphne Gerling, viola
Anthony Kitai, cello
Paul York, cello
Sidney A. King, double bass
Marian Shaffer, harp
Patricia George, flute
Robert Stephenson, oboe
Hunter Thomas, bassoon
Chad Burrow, clarinet
Ellen Dinwiddie Smith, french horn
Peter Bond, trumpet
Mark Babbitt, trombone
Eric Bubacz, tuba
John Kilkenny, percussion
Amy I-Lin Cheng, piano
Gary Hammond, piano
Shannon Hesse, piano
Radek Materka, piano
Violinist Lin He will make his Rapides Symphony Orchestra debut with the Korngold Concerto and his LSU Symphony Orchestra debut with the Beethoven Triple Concerto during the 2013-2014 season. At a recent concert in Carnegie Hall for the Children of Syria, he shared stage with principal players from the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra. Solo and chamber recitals will take him from the states of Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee and mainland China to orchestral leadership of the Baton Rouge Symphony, Lake Charles Symphony, and Rapides Symphony. In April, 2013, he will appear as the soloist with the Louisiana Sinfonietta, give series of solo and chamber concerts and master classes in San Jose, Costa Rica.
As a soloist and chamber musician, violinist Lin He has performed concertos with the Drake Symphony, the Houghton Philharmonia, the Jiang Su Symphony, the Lake Charles Symphony, the Louisiana Sinfonietta, the Southern Tier Symphony, the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, and the Wooster Symphony. He has also presented recitals at universities across the United States as well as at the East China Normal University, the Nanjing School of the Arts, the Xi’an Conservatory of Music and the Xinghai Conservatory of Music. Most recently, he performed solo recitals and gave master classes at Arizona State University, Florida State University, Pennsylvania State University, SUNY Fredonia, Tulane University and University of North Texas.
As an orchestral player, Mr. He has performed with the Shanghai Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and New World Symphony, and has worked under the direction of Marin Alsop, James Conlon, James DePreist, Seiji Ozawa, Andre Previn, David Robertson, Christopher Seaman, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, Edo de Waart, and David Zinman. He is a regular addition to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
Summer festival appearances have taken Mr. He to venues such as the Music Academy of the West and the Tanglewood Music Center where he had a solo performance in Ozawa Hall in 2001. In 2005, Mr. He appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, where he served as Assistant Principal Second Violin for the Festival Orchestra and was the featured violinist for the world premiere concert of American-Chinese composer Huang Ruo. Lin He has been a laureate of the Padesta Solo Competition, the ASTA competition, and a finalist for the Marlboro Music School and Festival. Mr. He received the Creative Achievement Award, the William Forest Chamber Music Award, and the 2003 John Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music from the Eastman School of Music. Mr. He has been featured on several live radio broadcasts and on the 8 CD set of The Complete Musician (a theory textbook written by Steven Laitz at the Eastman School of Music).
Mr. He has previously taught at Eastman School of Music and Pennsylvania State University. He is now serving as the Associate Professor of Violin at the Louisiana State University School of Music, and the President of the American String Teachers Association Louisiana Chapter. During the summer, he teaches at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and the Alfredo De Saint Malo Festival in Panama City, Panama.
Born in Shanghai, China, Mr. He began his musical training at the age of five. Mr. He received his doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of Zvi Zeitlin. Other major influences include Sylvia Rosenberg, Paul Kantor, Kyung Sun Lee, James Lyon, Joanne Feldman, and Peiwen Yuan.
His recent CD release from Centaur Records of French Sonatas for Violin and Piano with colleague Gregory Sioles received favorable reviews.
His website is www.linheviolin.com.
Brittany MacWilliams, violin
Violinist Brittany MacWilliams has an active career both as performer and educator. She made her professional violin debut at age ten with the Louisville Orchestra and went on to win numerous competitions including the Music Teachers National Association competition. Since then, Ms. MacWilliams has performed extensively as soloist and concertmaster in such diverse locales as Istanbul, Beijing, Salzburg, Munich, Lisbon, and New York. She has had solo engagements with such orchestras as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Munich Hochshule Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony, and Aspen Chamber Symphony. Ms. MacWilliams can be heard as soloist on two critically acclaimed compact discs of Giornovichi Violin Concerti for the Arte Nova Classics / BMG label.
As a frequent recitalist and avid chamber musician, Ms. MacWilliams performs in duos, piano trios, and string quartets throughout the United States. She is a founding member of the Baur Quartet and the Xavier Trio and has recorded four compact discs for the Vital Sounds label, including the Ten Celebrated String Quartets of W.A. Mozart. She can also be heard on Passion from the Romantic Era, a CD featuring Brahms Violin Sonata in D minor. She was chosen as resident artist for the Next Generation Music Festival where she toured and performed with the Baur Quartet and pianist Awadagin Pratt.
Ms. MacWilliams is currently a member of the violin faculty at the University of Louisville School of Music. She is also the founder and director of the Oldham County Chamber Ensemble, where she conducts the Chamber Orchestra and teaches chamber music. She taught at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a member of the Violin faculty from 2001-2008. She was also a member of the violin faculty at Xavier University, where she taught violin, viola, and chamber music for six years. She was the Director and a member of the Violin faculty of the Starling Preparatory String Project at the University of Cincinnati for twelve years. During the summers, she has served on the faculties of the Aspen Music Festival and the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing.
Ms. MacWilliams was the first winner of the prestigious Dorothy Richard Starling Teaching Fellowship in 2001, and over the years her students have won national competitions, performed with major orchestras, and received music scholarships to many top universities and conservatories. Ms. MacWilliams received her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a student of Kurt Sassmannshaus and Dorothy DeLay.
Alabama native Jonathan Magness was appointed the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate principal second violin in September 2008, after performing as a regular substitute with the Orchestra’s first violin section for one full season. He has performed chamber works at several Orchestra concerts, including Schumann’s Piano Quartet at the 2009 Sommerfest. He was featured as soloist at Inside the Classics and Young People’s Concerts in 2010, performing music by Vivaldi and Piazzolla.
Magness has been acquainted with the Twin Cities since his teenage years, when he studied at the University of Minnesota, working with Sally O’Reilly. He has also earned a bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School and a master’s, with high distinction, from the University of Graz in Austria.
Magness has won prizes in numerous competitions. In 2004 he received the grand prize in the International Sparkasse Musikstipendium competition in Austria. In 2005, in the Luis Sigall Violin Competition in Chile, he was awarded the audience prize, prize for best interpretation of a commissioned work, and second prize overall; that same year he was a prizewinner in the Manchester International Competition in the United Kingdom, which brought him the opportunity to appear as soloist with the BBC Symphony under Vassily Sinaisky. He has also been soloist with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Klagenfurt Musikverein, Regional Orchestra of Chile and additional orchestras in the U.S. and Austria, and has performed chamber music and solo recitals across the U.S., South America and Europe. Magness has been on the faculty at Bravo! Music Festival since 2006.
Violist Katherine Lewis enjoys a multi-faceted career as a teacher, chamber musician, solo performer, and orchestral musician. She is Assistant Professor of Viola at Illinois State University and Master Teacher for the ISU String Project, and currently performs as principal viola in the Peoria Symphony, Heartland Festival Orchestra, and Peoria Bach Festival Orchestra. Her previous orchestral experience includes appointments in the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, TX and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as frequent work with the Houston and New World Symphonies
An avid chamber musician, Dr. Lewis regularly performs with the ISU Faculty String Quartet, the MYA Chamber Players, and the Lewis Trio. She recently premiered Libby Larsen’s viola duo “In Such a Night,” written for her and violist James Dunham for a performance at the 38th International Viola Congress. She has also recorded chamber music by composers Karim Al-Zand and John Allemeier for recordings on the Naxos Record Label.
A recipient of several awards and grants for her teaching and research, including the ISU College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teaching Award and the ISU College of Fine Arts Research Initiative Award, Dr. Lewis has given recitals, presentations, and master classes at venues throughout the country. She has presented sessions at several conferences including the International Double Reed Society Conference, the American String Teachers Association National Conference, the College Music Society Great Lakes Conference, and the Chicago Viola Festival. Recent recital and master class highlights include appearances at the University of Tennessee Viola Celebration, Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory, Kansas State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Lawrence University, and Valdosta State University.
Dr. Lewis earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she was a Brown Foundation Scholar. She holds a Bachelor degree from Lawrence University and a Master’s degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music. Her principal teachers include Jeffrey Irvine, James Dunham, Karen Ritscher, and Matthew Michelic.
Dr. Lewis is a native of Evanston, IL. In her free time she enjoys training for and running marathons and triathlons, gardening, and spending time with her dog Charley.
Violist Daphne Gerling currently enjoys an active career as a teacher, chamber musician, recitalist and solo performer. Since the fall of 2011 she has been on the faculty of the University of North Texas College of Music, where she is Artist Teacher of viola and chamber music. Her performances have taken her to leading venues in the U.S., Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Italy, Austria, England, the Netherlands, and Germany, and to music festivals including Aspen, Bowdoin, Encore, NYU, Sarasota, Bad Leonfelden, Norfolk (UK), Staunton (VA), Dusseldorf-Benrath, Internationale Handel Festspiele Karlsruhe, and Neuburg, Bavaria. Born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, she is a graduate of the Walnut Hill School and New England Conservatory, and holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Rice University, where she studied primarily with Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, Karen Ritscher and James Dunham. She furthered her studies with Thomas Riebl, Simon Rowland-Jones and Heidi Castleman, among others.From 2005-2007 Dr. Gerling was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Music in England, and violist of the Anglian Ensemble.
She has recently been a guest artist or clinician at James Madison University, Rice University, Illinois State University, Florida State University, University of South Carolina, Sewanee, University of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University, Texas Tech University, University of Virginia, and the Federal Universities of Rio Grande do Sul, BrasÌlia (UNB), Belo Horizonte (UFMG), Santa Catarina (UDESC), Rio de Janeiro (Uni-Rio) and Uberlandia, Brazil. From 2008-2010 she served as Lecturer in Viola at Valdosta State University (GA), Principal Violist of the Valdosta Symphony, violist of the Azalea String Quartet, and Director of the South Georgia String Project. In the 2010-11 season she was invited by the VSO to return as soloist in Mozartís Sinfonie Concertante. Every year since 2007 she has served as coordinator for viola and chamber music at the Festival de Cordas Nathan Schwartzman in Uberlandia Brazil, where she also made several concerto appearances. As an adjudicator she recently served on the panel for the 2013 Houston Symphony Orchestra league competition. In summers she is on the faculty at the Rafael Trio Chamber Music Workshops in New Hampshire and the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, with whom she has broadcast twice for National Public Radio. She spent the 2010-11 year studying baroque performance practice in Amsterdam and Cologne, and served as principal violist for the Karlsruhe International Handel Festspiele Opernwerkstatt at the Badische Stadtstheater. This season she joins the roster of Dallas Chamber Music International Series performing Brahms String Sextet Op. 18. Other solo and chamber performances in recent years have revealed a wide-ranging repertoire including works by Durufle, Hahn, Schulhoff, Kurtag, Larsen, Faure, Milhaud, Enesco, Bach, Gubaidulina, Debussy and others. Dr. Gerling is married to Coulter George, a professor of classics at the University of Virginia, with whom she enjoys traveling around the world.
Anthony Kitai joined the Houston Symphony in 2001, serving as Acting Associate Principal Cellist from 2003-2005. Previously, he was a member of the Memphis Symphony and the Iris Chamber Orchestra.
As a soloist, Anthony Kitai has appeared with many orchestras including the Galveston Symphony, Houston Civic Symphony, Symphony North of Houston, Texas Medical Center Orchestra, Jonesboro Symphony, Fort Smith Symphony, and Pine Bluff Symphony. Music festival appearances include Grand Teton, Schleswig-Holstein, AIMS, AFA, Texas, and Aspen.
As a chamber musician, Anthony Kitai has performed with Mercury Baroque, and on Aperio, Col Canto, Foundation for Modern Music and Woodlands Salon Series Concerts. He frequently collaborates with his wife, pianist Shannon Hesse, and has performed with her on the Galveston Island Arts Academy Concert Series, Greenbriar Consortium Concerts, Houston Community College Chamber Music Series, Imperial Performing Arts, and Westminster Summer Concerts.
Anthony Kitai enjoys teaching and maintains an active private studio where his students regularly play in Texas All-Region and All-State Orchestras. During the summers, he is on the faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival.
Anthony Kitai received his BM and performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music and his MM from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. His major teachers have included Desmond Hoebig, Steven Doane, Paul Katz, and Peter Spurbeck.
An accomplished soloist, chamber musician and teacher, Paul York has appeared in recital and with orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. York serves on the string faculty at the University of Louisville, where he maintains an active teaching and performing schedule. Recent solo appearances include a performance of Karel Husaís Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Colored Field for Cello and Orchestra by Aaron Jay Kerniswith the Louisville Orchestra and Vivaldiís Double Concerto in G Minor with internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Of his performance at Carnegie Hall, New York Concert Reviews said “The fiendishly difficult solo part was brilliantly played by cellist Paul York; one had to be in awe of his playing.”
An avid chamber musician, Mr. York is a member of the Louisville String Quartet and was a founding member of The Logsdon Chamber Ensemble, a Texas Commission of the Arts Touring ensemble as well as ensemble-in-residence at Hardin-Simmons University. In April of 2006, he performed recitals throughout Japan. As a champion of contemporary music, Mr. York has commissioned works for the cello by such composers as Stefan Freund, Marc Satterwhite, Steve Rouse, Paul Brink, and Fredrick Speck. He also premiered the work Ballad for Solo Cello and Seven Cellos by Grawemeyer and Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Aaron Jay Kernis as well as Alfred Bartleís’ new orchestration of Bartokís First Rhapsody for cello with the Sewanee Festival Orchestra.
Mr. York has participated in numerous summer festivals. He is currently a member of the artist faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, where he performs solo and chamber works, in addition to his teaching schedule. He has also performed at Strings in the Mountains in Colorado, the Abilene Chamber Music Series, and served as principal cello with the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra. He has held principal cello positions with numerous regional orchestras and performed as a member of the cello section of the Saint Louis Symphony under the direction of Leonard Slatkin.
Mr. York received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and his master of music degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he studied with Ronald Leonard. Other teachers include Gabor Rejto, and Louis Potter. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Mr. York was selected to participate in the prestigious Piatigorsky seminar at the University of South California. Mr. York can be heard on the Centaur, Arizona University Press and CRS labels. His most recent CD of premiere recordings entitled Cello Vision was released on the Centaur label in 2009.
Sidney A. King is the instructor of double bass at the University of Louisville School of Music. He has retired the position of assistant principal bassist of the Louisville Orchestra, having held it from 1984-2006. As an active soloist and chamber musician, Mr. King performs frequently throughout the Midwest in various recital settings, including service for fourteen years as a core member of the Kentucky Center Chamber Players. He has also held a position on the board of directors of the International Society of Bassists (2003-2006).
He has been a performer at the Grand Teton Music Festival since 1992, often serving in titled positions with that orchestra. Mr. King has also performed as principal bassist with the Houston Grand Opera, the Texas Opera Theater, the Sunflower Music Festival, and the Des Moines Metro Opera. He has also performed with the Detroit Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony. Mr. King also served as the double bass instructor at Indiana University Southeast and has long been involved in music education, teaching and coaching many youth ensembles as well as giving numerous solo performances in public and private schools.
Marian Shaffer is Principal Harpist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Iris Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stephens College, graduating summa cum laude with a concentration in both harp and piano. She studied both instruments for one year at the Vienna Academy for Music and the Performing Arts and then received a Fulbright scholarship to Cologne, Germany for further study. Her principal teachers include Mimi Allen, Marjorie Tyre, Lucile Lawrence, and Hans Joachim Zingel. In 1974 she graduated from Memphis State University with an M.A. in music and German. She has performed with the Memphis Symphony since that time, four seasons as pianist and 34 seasons as Principal Harpist. As a charter member of the Iris Orchestra, Mrs. Shaffer has held the principal harp position since the orchestra’s formation in September of 2000. In 1995, Mrs. Shaffer was awarded a Rockefeller cultural exchange grant to collaborate on a harp method book based on the traditional “Sones” of Mexico. In May of 2007 she toured China, giving master classes and performing at the Shanghai Conservatory and Shanghai Middle School. She also performed in the Festival Virtuosi in Recife, Brazil in 2007 and 2011. In the 2009-2010 Blair Concert Series, Mrs. Shaffer was soloist with the Vanderbilt String Orchestra and performed on Nashville Public Television. She is on the faculty of Vanderbilt University, University of Memphis, the Hutchison School, and the Sewanee Summer Music Festival since 1980.
Internationally known performer and teacher, flutist Patricia George travels the world performing and teaching. She has presented her Famous Flute Spa masterclasses for more than 300 universities, conservatories, public schools, and flute associations. In January 2011, George became Editor of Flute Talk Magazine and continues to write the monthly column ‘The Teacher’s Studio.” She has also written for the Idaho Music Educator’s Notes, the National Flute Association’s Flutist Quarterly, Keynotes Magazine, and Chamber Music America.
As a performer George has toured the United States, Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Her performances have been heard on National Public Radio affiliates in Tennessee, Idaho and Utah. With Trio Terra Nova (Flute, Bassoon, Piano), she has appeared at the International Double Reed Conventions held in Arizona, Wisconsin and at the Centre for the Arts in Banff, Canada, in addition to regularly scheduled performances at Temple Square Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City, UT, Brigham Young University – Provo; Brigham Young University – Idaho; and throughout the Intermountain West. With the Amadeus Trio (Flute, Cello, Piano) she presented over 90 concerts a year for several years throughout the Intermountain West. She has soloed with the Amarillo Symphony, Eastman-Rochester Symphony, Quincy Symphony, Brigham Young University – Idaho Symphony Orchestra, the Magic Valley Symphony, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Elkhorn Music Festival Orchestra, the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and Cumberland Orchestras, the Idaho Symphony, the Idaho State Civic Symphony, and Wisconsin Lutheran College Orchestra. She has co-authored: Flute 101: Mastering the Basics for the Beginning Flutist, Flute 102: Mastering the Basics for the Intermediate Flutist, and The Flute Scale Book, all published by Theodore Presser Company. Patricia George is an active member of the 5,500 member National Flute Association. She has served as Secretary of the Board of Directors, a member of the Flutist Quarterly Review Board, and is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Directors. She has performed or presented workshops at the NFA yearly conventions since 2001. She has also presented workshops at the Western International Band Clinic (Seattle, WA) and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (Chicago, IL). Patricia George has been the flute professor at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival since 1998. Many of her SSMF students have continued their musical education at elite flute institutions such as Juilliard, University of Southern California, Rice, Ohio State University, University of Texas, Florida State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Rutgers, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Boston University. Previously she has served on the faculties of the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department, Brigham Young University in Idaho, and Idaho State University where in 1996 she was awarded the Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Service. She is also flute professor at the American Band College (Sam Houston State University).This July she will teach a masterclass at the Totally Flute Forum masterclass at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. George earned the Bachelor of Music degree (with distinction) in Applied Flute, the Master of Music degree in Performance and Musical Practice and the Performer’s Certificate in Flute from the Eastman School of the University of Rochester. Her teachers include the legendary American flutists Joseph Mariano (Eastman School of Music and the Rochester Philharmonic), William Kincaid (Philadelphia Orchestra), Julius Baker (New York Philharmonic) and Frances Blaisdell. She performs on sterling silver Verne Q. Powell flutes, one made in 1964 and the other in 1997. The results of her experiments into the acoustics of the flute, particularly those relating to the crown, are now being used by many flute manufacturers. She is a clinician for Conn-Selmer, Inc and is a Verne Q. Powell Artist. Patricia George is married to American composer Thom Ritter George and is the mother of three musical children (Dr. Samantha George, Lawrence University Violin Professor; Dr. Alexander George, Metropolitan State University Horn Professor; and Clara George, San Francisco-Based Free-Lance Musician).
Robert Stephenson joined the Utah Symphony Orchestra in 1980. He has served as Principal Oboe under Music Directors Varujan Kojian, Joseph Silverstein, Keith Lockhart and Thierry Fischer. He has twice been a member of the Utah Symphony Music Director Search Committee and the orchestra’s Artistic Committee. Prior to coming to Salt Lake City, Mr. Stephenson played Principal Oboe for three years with the Savannah Symphony and Georgia Chamber Orchestra under Christian Badea. He is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Curtis Institute of Music.Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mr. Stephenson has performed at the National Music Camp (Interlochen, MI), the Academy of the West with Maurice Abravanel, the Spoleto Festival in Italy and Charleston, SC and Tanglewood. He has also played at festivals across the nation such as the Blossom Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Elkhorn Music Festival (Sun Valley, Idaho), the Temple University Music Festival, The Park City Music Festival and the Deer Valley Music Festival. He has been on the faculty at the Symphony School of America, the University of Utah, the Aspen Music Festival and the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop.
The Southern Music Company publishes his “Twinkle Variations” for solo oboe and Jeanne, Inc. is the publisher for both his 40 New Melodic and Technical Etudes and Dance Etudes for oboe or saxophone. Versions of Dance Etudes will also be made available for flute and for bassoon in 2011. Mr. Stephenson has often appeared as soloist, having performed concertos by Bach, Barlow, Barbirolli, Bellini, Telemann, Handel, Haydn, Cimarosa, Vivaldi, Albinoni, Mozart, Salieri, Corigliano, Strauss, Rimsky Korsakov and Vaughan Williams and in July, 2008, the new oboe concerto by Thom Ritter George at the International Double Reed Society Convention in Utah. Robert performs often with the woodwind quartet, Three Fish and a Scorpion.
He teaches privately and at the University of Utah, makes and sells a lot of high-altitude oboe and English horn reeds and enjoys being the father of three bright and beautiful future taxpayers. Robert also finished his second oboe etude book, “Dance Etudes”. It is one of the only etude books available for all woodwinds. He is married to flutist Lisa Byrnes. He likes to spend time exercising, making ceramics, watching PBS and listening to NPR, cooking, going out to restaurants, watching good movies, renovating an old house and traveling.
Since 1996, Hunter Thomas has served as the Principal Bassoonist of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra in Alabama, an orchestra with which he has performed since high school. Following a recent performance, The Huntsville Times refers to his “hauntingly lovely first solo” in Tchaikovskyís Symphony No. 6. Hunter has made numerous solo appearances with the HSO, including his acclaimed performance in 2005 of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto under the direction of Carlos Miguel Prieto. As an orchestral player, Hunter performs regularly with the Chattanooga Symphony, the Tuscaloosa Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Alabama Symphony and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, with which he has recorded for the Dorian CD label. From 1980-1985, Hunter was the Principal Bassoon of the National Orchestra of Colombia, South America.
Since 2007 Hunter has been artist faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Sewanee, Tennessee. In March 2011, Hunter appeared as Guest Artist Clinician at the Middle Tennessee State Bassoon Festival in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
In recent seasons he has performed the Weber Concerto with the Huntsville Youth orchestra, the Mignone Concertino with the Sewanee Philharmonia Orchestra, the Andriessen Concertino with the Huntsville Chamber Winds, and the Telemann Concerto for Flute and Bassoon with the Huntsville Symphony. He currently serves as the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra’s personnel manager and librarian, bringing a high degree of professionalism and efficiency to that organization’s artistic operations.
Hunter has inspired and mentored countless North Alabama music students. He maintains an active private studio of bassoonists at all playing abilities and serves on the faculty of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Many of his students have been accepted to prestigious schools and festivals nationwide. His students have appeared on the radio show From the Top, and have been finalists in the Marine Band Concerto Competitions. Hunter is in demand throughout the region as a chamber music coach and festival teacher, and has spent numerous hours in public school band rooms and youth orchestra rehearsals, volunteering his time and expertise in support of music education. Hunter was named the 2003 Harold J. Wilson Music Educator of the Year and served on the Board of Trustees of the Huntsville Youth Orchestra.
Hunter attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Louisville, and has studied with many distinguished teachers including as George Goslee (Cleveland Orchestra), Sol Schoenbach (Philadelphia Orchestra), Leonard Sharrow (NBC Symphony), Dan Welcher (Louisville Orchestra) and Kenneth Moore (Oberlin College). He is a Sewanee Summer Music Festival alumni (1973, 1974), and attended the Sarasota Music Festival two summers.
Chad Burrow is recognized as one of the premiere clarinetists of his generation. In 2009, Chad was appointed to the clarinet faculty of the University of Michigan, where he teaches clarinet, chamber music and serves as the director for the Michigan Chamber Players. Additionally, he serves as co-artistic director for the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma, which includes regular performances throughout the year and an early summer music festival in Oklahoma City. Chad is the former principal clarinetist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony, the Quartz Mountain Music Festival and the Arizona Musicfest Orchestra.
Chad’s recent concert engagements abroad have included the Alpenkammermusik Festival in Austria, Denmark’s Thy Chamber Music Festival, a recital in the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, concerts in Strasbourg, France and Concerto appearances with the Taichung Philharmonic, and the Classic Orchestra of Taichung. Recent performances in the United States have included appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in Alice Tully Hall, Chamber Music Northwest and performances on a series of Benny Goodman centennial concerts in Carnegie Hall and Yale University. Other performances have included venues at Rice University, the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, the University of Houston, three International Clarinet Association conferences, Northwestern University, the Music Mansion in Providence (RI), University of North Texas, University of, the University of Texas, Louisiana State University and the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, among many others.
Chad has recordings released by Albany Records, CD Baby and Wei Studios in Taiwan. The most recent recording features works of Brahms and Schumann on CD Baby. Chad is also a member of Trio Solari (cl, vln, pno), which has had a regular touring schedule around the world since 2006. Trio Solari is anticipating the release of a new recording in the spring of 2014.
Chad is the winner of prizes and awards from the 2001 Young Concert Artist International Competition in New York City, the 2000 Woolsey Hall Competition, the 2000 Artist International Competition, and the 1997 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and Yale University.
Ellen Dinwiddie Smith, Acting Associate Principal Horn with the Minnesota Orchestra, contributes to Minnesota’s Twin Cities musical life as a chamber music series creator, guest soloist, chamber music performer and private instructor. In demand as a clinician and soloist throughout the United States, Smith will be a featured artist in April at the MidSouth International Horn Society Workshop in Austin, Texas.
Smith is Artistic Director of the Colonial Chamber Series, which she developed and launched in 2006, and spearheaded the Musicians for Tsunami Relief benefit concert as well as a benefit for Emergency Family Service, with concerts held at Colonial Church in Edina. She has performed with the Lakes Chamber Music Society in Alexandria, Minnesota, and the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival, among others. Smith has been privileged to collaborate with the world- renowned Dale Warland Singers, exploring repertoire for chorus and solo horn and appears on the Chorus’ Bernstein & Britten CD as featured soloist in Aharon Harlap’s Bat Yiftach (Jephthah’s Daughter).
At the International Horn Society Workshop in Bloomington, Indiana, Smith was a featured artist, performing in recital, orchestra, and as a competition judge. As a guest soloist, she has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Ft. Worth Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, Kenwood Symphony Orchestra and Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra. During the recent Minnesota Orchestra lockout, Smith performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Orchestra, and as acting Principal Horn for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Smith is a 1987 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she was a student of Myron Bloom and was a member of the Curtis Wind Quintet, which won a top prize in the Fischoff Chamber Music competition. Prior to studies at Curtis, Smith attended the Juilliard School and the University of Texas at Austin. Her teachers included Wayne Barrington, Greg Hustis and Michael Hatfield. She was named third horn of the Charleston (South Carolina) Symphony Orchestra while still a student at Curtis and later joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as co-principal horn. As a student she performed at the Spoleto, Waterloo, Chautauqua, Keystone, Colorado Philharmonic and Aspen summer music festivals.
Smith maintains an active teaching studio in the Twin Cities and is adjunct professor of horn at Bethel and Augsburg Colleges. She serves on the board of the Twin Cities Horn Club. Smith has been on the faculty of Kendall Betts Horn Camp and has given masterclasses around the country and world.
Peter Bond has played trumpet in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1992. He studied with John Head of the Atlanta Symphony, Robert Nagel of the New York Brass Quintet and Yale School of Music, as well as Vincent Cichowicz, Arnold Jacobs, and Adolph Herseth; all renown teachers and members of the Chicago Symphony. While living in Atlanta in the 1980′s he was a busy freelance musician, working frequently with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet, and lead trumpet for most visiting musicals and entertainers including Evita, 42nd Street, Sugar Babies,Chorus Line, West Side Story, Ann Margaret, Mitzi Gaynor, Ben Vereen, Johnny Mathis, and Tony Bennett. In 1987 Mr. Bond left Atlanta to become Principal Trumpet of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra where he remained until his appointment to the “Met.” He has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Opera, the New York City Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, the New Jersey Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera and Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Bond taught for ten years an the Mason Gross School of Music of Rutgers University. His philosophy of teaching is using singing and speech as models for easier, more natural, and more musical brass performance.
In constant demand as soloist, orchestral musician and teacher, Mark Babbitt enjoys a high degree of success in all areas of trombone performance.
Mark has performed extensively with the Seattle Symphony and Opera. In 2009 he performed Wagner’s Ring Cycle with the Seattle Opera. With the Seattle Symphony he has recorded the music of Bodine, Borodin, Brahms/Sheng, Dvorak, McKinley, Mahler, and Schuman. He has performed as guest principal trombone with the Seattle Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. Additionally, he has worked with numerous orchestras throughout the country, including: Rochester Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, and Erie Philharmonic.
Mark has been active in the recording and film soundtrack industry, including: Valkyrie, The Incredible Hulk, Alpha and Omega, The Forbidden Kingdom, the video game Prince of Persia, and Trey Anastasio’s critically acclaimed album Time Turns Elastic. He can be heard on Naxos, Albany, MCC, Mark, and R.E.D. Distribution record labels.
Active as a soloist, Mark has performed with numerous ensembles throughout the country. He has won a number of competitions, including the National Solo Competition in Washington, D.C. and the Washington Awards Tour sponsored by the Ladies Music Club of Seattle.
Dr. Babbitt is associate professor of trombone at Illinois State University. Prior to ISU, he was associate professor of trombone for ten years at Central Washington University. Since 2007 he has been on the artist faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee. He holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music (B.M. and Performerís Certificate), Cleveland Institute of Music (M.M.), and the University of Washington (D.M.A.).
Eric Bubacz has an extensive career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral performer. He studied for three years at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY before transferring to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he completed his Bachelor of Music. While in school, Eric was a member two different brass quintets, both of which competed and placed second at the New York Brass Conference Quintet Competition. During the summers, he attended several noted festivals including: The National Repertory Orchestra, Rencontres Musicales d’Evian, Sully Music Festival, Centre d’Arts Orford, Harmony Ridge Brass Seminar, Festival of Art and Musical Excellence and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, where he was the first tubaist to win the Chamber Music Prize. Shortly after graduating from Curtis, he attended the Colonial Euphonium and Tuba Institute where he won second prize at the International Tuba Solo Competition. He also placed first on tuba in the International Women’s Brass Conference Solo Competition.
As an orchestral player, Eric has been named Principal Tuba of the Haddonfield Symphony (1992-1997), the Canton Symphony (1998-2007) and the Reading Symphony (1996-present). He has also performed as an extra musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Blossom Festival Band. In 1997, Eric began working as an extra with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. By 2000, Eric was also playing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass and can be heard on several of their recordings, including Cantate Hodie, Sing Forth this Day and The Spirit of Christmas. From 2002-2005, Eric regularly acted as Principal Tuba of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of his work with them include four European Tours, three performances at Carnegie Hall and a performance at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II.
Since moving to Atlanta in the 2006, Eric has become an active teacher and performer throughout the Southeast. In 2007, he was appointed Principal Tuba of the La Grange Symphony. He has also substituted regularly with the Atlanta Symphony, Birmingham Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Greenville Symphony, Columbus Symphony and Augusta Symphony. That year he was also invited to be the guest artist for Jacksonville State Universityís premier Octubafest in Jacksonville, Alabama. Most recently, he has been appointed adjunct professor of tuba at Georgia State University, in addition to his extensive studio of private students in the Atlanta metro area.
John Kilkenny is currently Director of Percussion Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He enjoys a multi faceted career that includes orchestral performances with the National Symphony, Washington National Opera and Ballet, Washington Concert Opera, Cathedral Choral Society, Washington Chorus, Choral Arts Society, the Master Choral of Washington, and virtually every other Washington DC area performing arts organization. Chamber music appearances include collaborations with flautist Karen Johnson, pianist Carlos Rodriguez, the Folger Consort, Verge Ensemble, Talujon Percussion, Chris Deviney, John Tafoya, Robert Van Sice, Gregory Zuber, and She e Wu. Michael Daughertyís UFO Percussion Concerto, and the Washington DC area premiere of the Philip Glass Concerto Fantasy for two Timpanists and Wind Symphony are included in his highlights of his recent concerto appearances.
John appeared as the solo percussionist for a 2008 award winning production of Macbeth at the Folger Shakespeare Theater and completed writing the solo percussion music for Don McCulloughís choral work in Let my People Go, a Musical Journey through the Underground Railroad, which premiered in April 2008 at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He has been a part of several recent and upcoming commissions, including works from Peter Erskine, Jonathan Newman, Jesse Gessford, Dennis Hoffmann, Peter Klatzow, and Alejandro Vinao and Don McCullough.
John was an Artist in Residence for the Indiana University Summer Percussion Workshop/Academy from 2007-2010. From 2005-2007 John was the coordinator of the University of Maryland Summer Percussion Workshop. Sought after as a clinician and guest conductor, he has appeared at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Juilliard Summer Percussion Academy ( summer 2011), John Philip Sousa Foundation National High School Honor Band, the Music for All Summer Symposium, Western International Band Conference, The Virginia Music Educators Conference, and at several universities throughout the country. John Kilkenny is a Yamaha Performing Artist and proud sponsor of Vic Firth mallets, Remo drumheads and Sabian cymbals.
John received his Bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School and a Master’s degree from Temple University. His primary instructors include Jonathan Haas, Gregory Zuber and Alan Abel.
Born in Taiwan, pianist Amy I-Lin Cheng has been described by the New York Concert Review as a pianist whose “control of the keyboard is complete, technique easy and relaxed, with a wide range of touch.” Pianist Claude Frank describes her as “a brilliant, sensitive, imaginative and most beguiling pianist.” Amy enjoys a career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. Amy has appeared in recitals at venues such as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, and National Concert Hall in Taipei and has been invited to perform in concerts across the United States, in Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Taiwan, Brazil and Israel. Amy’s live performances have been heard on WGBH, KCSC, WHYY, La Radio Suisse Romande-Espace 2, and NPR in Houston. Amy has won many awards including the Heida Hermanns International Young Artist Piano Competition, and the Rising Young Artist Series in Taipei. As a concerto soloist, she made her Boston concerto debut at the age of 17 at Jordan Hall playing Liszt Concerto No. 2 under the direction of Benjamin Zhander, and has appeared with the ‘Musica Viva’ Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Recent concerto performances include concertos with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma Community Orchestral, Taichung Philharmonic in Taiwan, Orchestra of the Pines in Texas, and Classic Orchestra in Taiwan.
An avid chamber musician, she is the co-Artistic Director of the Brightmusic Society in Oklahoma City and is an artist member of the America’s Dream Chamber Artist. A sought after collaborator, Amy has performed with the Van Dingstee String Quartet from the Netherlands and the American Chamber Players on tours, and was invited to be a resident pianist for the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) 2010 and 2011 Conferences, as well as IWWF 2012, 2001 and 2002, directed by Jonathan Cohler. As a founding member of the former Goffriller Trio, she performed in The Third Jerusalem International Chamber Music Encounters in Israel directed by Isaac Stern, and the 1999 La Jolla SummerFest. Amy has been on faculty for the 2009 Interharmony International Music Festival and Quartz Mountain Music Festival in the summer of 2010 and 2011. Since 1999, Amy has been performing with husband and clarinetist Chad Burrow as Duo Clarion. The duo has concertized extensively in the US, Asia and Europe. In 2009, the duo was invited to appear in a festival celebrating the 100th birthday of America’s legendary clarinetist Benny Goodman in Sprague Hall at Yale University, and Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall. Cheng and Burrow received rave reviews in The Yale Daily News and The New York Times for their performance of Poulenc’s Clarinet Sonata. The duo made its debut CD appearance on “Chamber Music of Edward Knight” on Albany Record in 2005, and in 2013 the duo released “Schumann and Brahms” through CD Baby. The duo also forms Trio Solari with violinist Sean Yung-Hsiang Wang. Other CD recordings include “Chamber Music by Laura Elise Schwendinger” on Centaur and recording with Trio Solari, as well as projects through the Block M Records, to be released later in 2014.
Amy holds degrees in Piano Performance from The Curtis Institute of Music (BM), Yale University School of Music (MM and Artist Diploma), and the New England Conservatory (DMA). Her principal teachers include Claude Frank, Wha-Kyung Byun and Rolf-Peter Wille. Ms. Cheng was the Assistant Professor of Piano at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma from 2002-2006. She also served as the Head of the Piano Area at Oklahoma City University Wanda L. Bass School of Music from 2006-2009. Amy is currently on faculty at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance and the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts.
Pianist Gary Hammond has been praised in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America as a recitalist and chamber musician of the first rank. The New York Times has described his playing as “eloquent — a strong feeling of musical expression and intelligent thought.” Mr. Hammond’s performances have taken him to Glazunov Hall in the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Russia; the Musikdagar Festival in Sweden; the Auditorio Nacional in Costa Rica. He has appeared at Weill Hall and Merkin Hall in New York; Ordway Hall, St. Paul; Boston’s Gardner Museum; Glenn Memorial Hall, Atlanta; Meany Hall, Seattle; the Hochschule in Munich, and Hong Kong’s City Hall. He has been heard on New York’s WQXR, National Public Radio’s Performance Today, and on live broadcasts from WNYC and Radio 4 Hong Kong.
Mr. Hammond performs regularly with the acclaimed cellist Astrid Schween as part of the Schween-Hammond Duo. In New York he opened the Young Concert Artists series at the Morgan Library with soprano Marvis Martin and baritone Randall Scarlata, and presented the complete piano and violin sonatas of Beethoven with violinist Frank Almond for the New York chapter of the American Beethoven Society. A recording at WQXR of a Paquito d’Rivera piece with flutist Marina Piccinini resulted in an invitation to perform on d’Rivera’s set at the Blue Note.
A native of Seattle, Mr. Hammond is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Juilliard School. His teachers include Randolph Hokanson, Bela Siki, Josef Raieff and Herbert Stessin. He is on the faculties of Hunter College, City University of New York; the Graduate Center, CUNY; and the Sewanee Music Festival at the University of the South. He has served as Artist-in-Residence at Emory University, and has appeared at other festivals including the Academies Internacionales du Grand Nancy, France; Musiques en Mer, Italy; the Colorado College Music Festival, Colorado Springs; the Hot Springs Music Festival, Arkansas; and the Oregon Coast Music Festival, Coos Bay. Mr. Hammond has recorded for the Altarus and Partita labels; the American Record Guide commented on his all-Brahms disc with cellist Astrid Schween and clarinetist John Marco, “This is a fantastic release, with performances at or near the top of the list. Do search out this recording-it is outstanding.” His release on the Naxos label of the Celebre Tarantelle by Gottschalk and other Creole Romantic pieces has also received critical acclaim. Mr. Hammond has been a frequent participant in the Friends and Enemies of New Music series in Manhattan, has collaborated with the American Composer’s Orchestra, with singer Marni Nixon and actresses Claire Bloom and Luise Rainer.
Shannon Hesse, Assistant Professor and keyboard area coordinator at Houston Baptist University, has performed extensively both nationally and internationally as a soloist and collaborative pianist. Her concert schedule consists of recurring guest appearances in recitals sponsored by organizations such as the College Music Society, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Society of Composers, Inc., Tuesday Musical Club, Galveston Island Arts Academy Concert Series, Imperial Performing Arts series, Greenbriar Consortium, and the Houston Composers Alliance. She regularly performs with musicians from the Houston Symphony, including her husband, cellist Anthony Kitai. A devoted teacher, Dr. Hesse is a long-standing member of Music Teachers National Association, where she is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music. She is frequently in demand as an adjudicator and her students have been prizewinners in competitions at the local and state levels.
Dr. Hesse has served on the faculties of Texas Southern University and Valdosta State University, and spent many wonderful summers teaching at Westminster Choir College’s High School Piano Camp and at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, where she served as Coordinator of Collaborative Piano. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Dr. Hesse holds additional degrees from Catholic University and Westminster Choir College. She is a member of the honors societies Phi Kappa Lambda and Alpha Lambda Delta and has had the great honor of working with outstanding teachers and mentors, including Jean Barr, Ingrid Clarfield, Marilyn Neeley, and Rita Sloan.
The Polish-born pianist Radek Materka has appeared in solo recitals and with orchestras in Europe, North and Central America and Asia performing in concert venues such as the Carnegie Recital Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
He has made recordings for Polish, British, American and Mexican radio and television and has won top prizes in piano competitions in Europe and the United States. He has been a frequent participant in master classes led by world-renowned pianists such as Duransky, Czerny-Stefanska and Alicia de Larrocha. In 1999, Materka was selected as one of the pianists-participants in the First International Piano Symposium under the Auspices of the Moscow Conservatory where he was mastering his pianistic development under the tutelage of some of the most renowned piano professors of the Conservatory: Voskressensky, Trull, and Petrov.
He has appeared as a guest pianist in concert series and international music events such as the 2003 International Paderewski Conference, and the Polish Music International Conference in Los Angeles, “Polish Birthdays” Gala Concert, commemorating birthdays of the Polish composers W. Lutoslawski, H.M. Gorecki and J. Bruzdowicz, Festival Internacional FAOT 2012 and 2013, Tamaulipas International Festival 2013, and, recently, joining a group of internationally recognized pianists, performed recitals during the International Piano Festival, En Blanco y Negro at the National Art Center in Mexico City, and an all-Liszt recital performed as a part of a highly-acclaimed music festival Liszt y Otros Mundos Sonoros at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City- one of the most important performing venues in the Latin America.
As a young pianist, he worked with some of the world’s most esteemed piano professors: John Perry and Daniel Pollack at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he received his Doctoral Degree in Piano Performance.
Dr. Materka is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society. His diverse stylistic interests permit him to perform repertoire that embraces virtually all musical periods and styles. Apart from his solo career, he is a sought-after chamber music pianist and is a professor of piano at the Escuela Superior de Musica del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, where he works with highly gifted young pianists.