Tobin Endowment Music Director Chair
German conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing is among the most versatile and cultivated musical artists of his generation. Fluent in multiple languages, interested in a wide range of repertoire, and equally experienced in orchestra culture and opera theatre, his dynamic performances have garnered praise from the international press.
Mr. Lang-Lessing began his tenure as music director of the San Antonio Symphony in the 2010–11 season; he is the orchestra’s eighth director in its history.
The 2013-14 season in San Antonio includes a Dvorak Festival, featuring Symphonies Nr. 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, the Cello Concerto with Jian Wang, Violin Concerto with Nancy Zhou, and Piano Concerto with Michel Dalberto, as well as concert performances of Rusalka. Other soloists this season include Joshua Bell, Karen Gomyo, Jonathan Biss and Tine Thing Helselth. He also conducts Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt with Dallas Opera, debuts with Seattle Opera for their prestigious International Wagner Competition, and conducts a tour by Teatro San Carlo of Naples to the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman, featuring Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and a Verdi Gala concert. On the concert stage he leads Mendelssohn’s 2nd Symphony with the Gran Canaria Orchestra, the Naples Philharmonic (Florida) for a concert programme with Renée Fleming, the Belgrade Philharmonic in a programme with the Schumann Cello Concerto and excerpts from Berlioz’ and Prokfiev’s Romeo and Juliet, and the Tianjin Symphony in China with Brahms’s Symphony Nr. 3 and Bruckner’s Symphony Nr. 6. In September 2013, Renée Fleming’s new album Guilty Pleasures was released on Decca, featuring the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Mr. Lang-Lessing.
The 2012-13 season included a very successful debut with the Milwaukee Symphony, a return to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra for a Rachmaninov and Brahms programme, and a return to the Deutsche Oper Berlin for Wagner’s Rienzi, a production he premiered at the theatre. With the San Antonio Symphony he conducted a Brahms Festival with the four symphonies, both piano concerti, the violin concerto and the double concerto for violin and cello, all in 10 days, as well as numerous other exciting programmes. Other concert dates included the Cincinnati Symphony, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, and Orquestra Filarmonica de Malaga. His 2011-12 season in San Antonio included all the Beethoven Symphonies. He also served as chief conductor and artistic director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2012.
Lang-Lessing regularly appears on the podiums of the world’s preeminent opera houses, including the Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Bordeaux Opera, Washington National Opera, Hamburg State Opera, and in Oslo, and Stockholm. He has a particularly close connection with Cape Town Opera, having conducted many performances in Cape Town and on tour with the company. Among his recent opera engagements was a highly acclaimed new production of Wagner’s Rienzi with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the DVD of which was released by Unitel. Other recent engagements include Falstaff at Washington National Opera, Les Pêcheurs de Perles and La Bohème with Opera Colorado and Porgy and Bess at Norwegian National Opera in Oslo.
Sebastian Lang-Lessing was awarded the Ferenc Fricsay Prize in Berlin at the young age of 24, and he subsequently took up a conducting post at the Hamburg State Opera. His other previous posts include eight years as resident conductor at Deutsche Oper Berlin, and chief conductor and artistic director of the Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy for seven years. Under Maestro Lang-Lessing’s direction, the Nancy Opera was elevated to national status, becoming the Opéra National de Lorraine. His early music studies were at the Hamburg State Conservatory.
Equally renowned for his work on the concert stage, Lang-Lessing has led performances with major orchestras across the globe, including the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de Toulouse, Orchestre de Bordeaux, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Lyon, Orquesta Filarmonica Malaga and top orchestras in Australia, among others.
Sebastian Lang-Lessing also has an extensive discography with the Tasmanian Symphony, highlighted by the complete symphonies of Mendelssohn and Schumann, as well as recordings of music by Saint-Saëns, d’Indy, Franck, Ravel, Bruch and Australian contemporary composer Brett Dean. Further recordings with the orchestra include Mozart’s three final symphonies; a disc featuring pianist Kirill Gerstein in the piano concertos of Ravel and Mendelssohn; and a recording of Grieg’s Peer Gynt and Holberg Suites. Lang-Lessing is also well known for his rediscovery of the music of French composer Joseph-Guy Ropartz; CD releases of his symphonies with Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy received critical acclaim.
Sebastian Lang-Lessing holds the Tobin Endowment Music Director Chair.
Akiko Fujimoto is increasingly recognized as one of the most dynamic and versatile conductors of her generation. As the Associate Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony, Fujimoto conducts over 40 performances annually including classical, pops, education and baroque concerts and ballet. In addition, she assists Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing and guest conductors and hosts “Classical Conversations,” the pre-concert lectures for the Classics Series.
Highlights in San Antonio during the 2015-2016 season included a debut on the Classics Series conducting an all-French program and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake with Ballet San Antonio. In the 2016-17 season, she will conduct the spring gala featuring violinist Gil Shaham.
As a guest conductor, Fujimoto has performed with the Houston Symphony, the Round Rock Symphony and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and will make her debut with the Corpus Christi Symphony in 2017.
Prior to moving to Texas, Fujimoto was the Conducting Associate for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Director of Orchestras at the College of William & Mary, and the Music Director of the Williamsburg Youth Orchestras. Fujimoto’s extensive experience working with young orchestral musicians began at Harvard University as the Music Director of the Mozart Society Orchestra and continued at Stanford University as the Interim Music Director of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Japan, Fujimoto moved to the United States at age 14 and went on to Stanford University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in music and psychology. She holds her Master of Music degrees in Orchestral Conducting and Choral Conducting from Boston University School for the Arts and the Eastman School of Music, respectively.
Dr. John Silantien
San Antonio Mastersingers
San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers conductor Dr. John Silantien has taught and conducted choirs on the secondary and collegiate levels in Texas, the Washington, D. C., area, and on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois. His awards include a Rockefeller grant for choral conducting at Aspen, Colorado, and a Fulbright award for research in London, England. Dr. Silantien presently serves as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Director of the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers, and Director of Choral Music at University Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Silantien’s orchestral conducting credits include performances with the San Antonio Symphony, the San Antonio Pops, and New York’s West Side Chamber Orchestra, as well as CD recordings of three Mozart piano concertos with the Moscow State Radio Orchestra. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in May 1994 conducting Mozart’s Requiem. In May 2008, he returned to Carnegie Hall to conduct the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers in a performance of Mozart’s Vespers.
The San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers performed as the featured choir at the Texas Choral Directors Association in July 2012 and toured to Italy in May 2013. In June 2015, the group has been invited to sing in major venues in Lisbon, Seville, Madrid, and Granada.
Music Director Emeritus
As a guest conductor, Christopher Wilkins has appeared with many of the leading orchestras of the United States, including those of Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. He has also appeared overseas, with numerous concerts in the UK, New Zealand, Spain, and throughout Latin America.
Mr. Wilkins currently serves as Music Director of the Akron Symphony and Boston’s Landmarks Orchestra, a summer orchestra performing weekly on Boston’s Esplanade and throughout the neighborhoods of Boston.
For ten seasons he was Music Director of the San Antonio Symphony, and since 2001 has served the orchestra as Music Director Emeritus.
During his tenure in San Antonio, the orchestra made extraordinary gains artistically, increased its profile and reputation within the community, and gained national acclaim for several new programs. Together they received six programming awards from ASCAP, including the first-ever Morton Gould Award for creative programming.
He has also served as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic, and the Colorado Springs Symphony, and is currently Artistic Advisor to the Opera Theatre of the Rockies in Colorado Springs. Mr. Wilkins also served as resident conductor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, helping in the formation of that orchestra in its inaugural season, and subsequently leading it on tours throughout the Americas.
In 1992 Mr. Wilkins was winner of the Seaver/NEA Award, designed to identify exceptionally talented American conductors in the early stages of major careers. He served as the associate conductor of the Utah Symphony from 1986-89, assisting his former teacher Joseph Silverstein, and was assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1983-86, as assistant to Music Director Christoph von Dohnányi. Previously, he was conducting assistant with the Oregon Symphony under Music Director James DePreist, and a conducting fellow at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood.
Born in Boston, Mr. Wilkins earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 1978. As an oboist, he performed with many ensembles in the Boston area, including the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra at Tanglewood, and the Boston Philharmonic under Benjamin Zander. He studied at Yale University with Otto-Werner Mueller, receiving his master of music degree in 1981. In 1979-80, he attended the Hochschule der Künste in West Berlin, as a recipient of the John Knowles Paine traveling fellowship, awarded by the Harvard music department.
Described as “eloquent” (Dallas News) and “spellbinding . . . a disciplined musician beyond his years” (San Antonio Express News), 25-year-old violinist Eric Gratz is rapidly gaining recognition as a major musical personality. Currently in his fourth season as concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony, he enjoys a multi-faceted career of chamber, solo, and guest concertmaster appearances throughout the United States and abroad. His recent/upcoming debuts include Cactus Pear Music Festival, Incontri Musicali, Austin Chamber Music, and the Mainly Mozart Festival.
At the age of 17, Mr. Gratz made his solo debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall, as well as a recital debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has since appeared with the National Repertory Orchestra, Rice University Campanile Orchestra, Lexington Bach Festival Orchestra, and enjoys regular solo appearances with the San Antonio Symphony. Highlights for the 2015–2016 season include the release of Mr. Gratz’s debut recording of virtuoso works with pianist Euntaek Kim, a Beethoven Sonatas project with Sejoon Park presented by the San Antonio International Piano Competition, and continued performances with the Olmos Ensemble.
Mr. Gratz began violin studies at the age of four. His teachers have included Cho-Liang Lin, William Preucil, Linda Cerone, and Claudia Shiuh. A prizewinner of national and international competitions, he holds a Young Artist Diploma and Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, as well as a master’s degree in Violin Performance at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and was a recipient of the Anne and Charles Duncan Concertmaster Chair award. For more information, please visit ericgratz.net.
Bonnie Terry is the Associate Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony and during summers a violinist with the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra in Chicago.
She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Cleveland Institute of Music where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Violin Performance and was a student of William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. She attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan where she graduated with honors. While at Eastman she won the Starling Foundation Scholarship competition and was awarded the Performer’s Certificate. She has also studied with Paul Kantor, Andres Cardenes, Gerald Elias, Doris Preucil, and Hiroko Primrose.
A native of Salt Lake City, Bonnie began playing the violin at age six. At age ten she made her solo debut with the Utah Symphony under the direction of Joseph Silverstein. Summer festivals and fellowships have included the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado where she was a member of the Aspen Chamber Orchestra for three summers, the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, the Alexander Schneider New York String Seminar, and the Tanglewood Young Artist Quartet Program.
After graduate school, Bonnie spent a year with the New World Symphony Orchestra in Florida as both concertmaster and section violinist. Then, at age 25 she won her first job as concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra where she also taught at the University of Arizona. During her three years there she regularly soloed with the orchestra. In 2001 she soloed with the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra in Germany performing Barber’s Violin Concerto. A career highlight came in 2003 when Ms. Terry filled in at the last minute as the soloist for Edgar Meyer’s Violin Concerto in New York City for American Ballet Theatre’s production of a ballet called “Sin and Tonic.”
Prior to moving to San Antonio in 2006, she spent a year as concertmaster and Lecturer in Violin at the University of Virginia. Other orchestra engagements have included performances with the Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Pinchas Zukerman’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ontario, Rochester Philharmonic, and Utah Symphony.
Bonnie plays on a Vuillaume violin made circa 1870.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Sarah Silver, Assistant Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony, recently was a violinist with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. She also has received a Master of Music degree at The New England Conservatory of Music under the instruction of Malcolm Lowe.
Previously, she earned a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from Carnegie Mellon University studying with Andrés Cárdenes, along with a certification in music education. Ms. Silver has performed as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, and Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra. Recently, she has played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in several performances, both in Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall.
She has attended numerous music festivals, including Kneisel Hall, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, Aspen Music Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was fellow for three years before returning this past summer as a member of the contemporary chamber ensemble, the New Fromm Players. While there, Ms. Silver performed Elliott Carter’s String Quartet No. 1 as well as the United States premiere of Epigrams, Carter’s last written work. Those performances prompted MusicalAmerica.com to feature her as the New Artist of the Month for September 2013. Along with the rest of the New Fromm Players string quartet, she was invited to be part of the ensemble in residence for The Intimacy of Creativity / The Bright Sheng Partnership / Composers Meet Performers in Hong Kong.
Aside from performing, Ms. Silver is passionate about math tutoring and artistic community engagement, particularly educational outreach.
Joan Christenson, violin, is a graduate of the University of Michigan and served as Associate Concertmaster of the Shreveport Symphony before joining the first violin section of the San Antonio Symphony in 1983.
She has performed with many summer music festivals of distinction including the Aspen Music Festival, the Tanglewood Festival, the Santa Fe Opera, the Colorado Music Festival and presently the Sunriver Festival and the Grand Teton Festival.
Joan has also been the Artistic Director of the chamber group, Musical Offerings, since 1989, and has collaborated with musicians from many avenues of professional life in San Antonio. She has presented unique concert formats like Music on the Move and the highly acclaimed series, Jazz Meets Classical, a unique collaboration of jazz and classical musicians in San Antonio now in its 22nd season. Joan is a winner of the 2004 Arts and Letters Award presented by the Friends of the Public Library for her contributions to the cultural life of San Antonio.
Beth Stoppels Girko
Elizabeth Stoppels Girko, a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been a violinist with the San Antonio Symphony since 1990. She was formerly assistant principal second violin with the Jacksonville Symphony and principal second violin with the Virginia Symphony and the Virginia Opera.
Ms. Girko received violin performance degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music, studying with Marilyn McDonald and Peter Salaff. In addition to performing with the San Antonio Symphony and San Antonio Opera, she is also a member of the Austin Symphony. In the summer, Beth performs with the Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel, California.
Ms. Girko is an adjunct teacher of violin at Our Lady of the Lake University and San Antonio College. She maintains a private studio at home. Her favorite hobbies are collecting art and pets. She has three cats and five long-haired miniature dachshunds.
Philip Johnson began learning violin at the age of 10, studying with symphony players in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music degree in violin performance from Baylor University. His teachers include Bernard and Rivka Mandelkern, Sally Thomas, Charles Castleman, and Kristin Lindley, and he has coached with concertmasters of eight major orchestras.
His summer studies were at the Meadowmount School of Music, Quartet Program, and Tanglewood Music Institute.
Since joining the San Antonio Symphony in 1983, he has been an active performer throughout San Antonio and South Texas. He was Concertmaster of the Mid-Texas Symphony for ten years, and from 2004-07 he served as Operations Manager for Youth Orchestras of San Antonio.
In addition to local freelance playing, he currently teaches at St. Mary’s University, conducts sectional rehearsals at several local high schools, and has a studio of nine private students. His wife, Deana, is an oboist and high school orchestra director, and they have three children, one of whom is pursuing a career in violin performance.
For fun, Phil hits the biking trails and tennis courts with Deana, and in the summers, the family vacations all around the country, visiting baseball parks wherever possible!
Bassam Nashawati’s performance has been described as “displaying the stamina of an athlete” while playing what one critic describes as the “mother of all violin concertos” Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D in the 1998 United States debut of the Syrian National Orchestra at UCLA’s Royce Hall. His playing has also been described as “exquisite” by the violinist/founder of the Juilliard String Quartet, Robert Mann.
Born in Damascus Syria, Bassam began playing the violin at the age of seven. After graduating from the Arab Institute of Music, he immigrated to the United States to pursue his musical studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he earned a Bachelor’s degree studying with the late Isadore Tinkleman. Subsequently, he continued his musical education with renowned professor Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), where he earned a Master’s and a Professional Studies degree.
While in his last year at CIM, Mr. Nashawati performed Dvořák ’s Romance for violin and orchestra as a soloist and also as a first violinist with The National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado in 1996. In addition, he has participated in numerous other music festivals including Pacific Music Festival in Japan and the Kent Blossom Music Festival in Ohio, which culminated with a joint concert with the Cleveland Orchestra. During this time period, he performed under the batons of world-renowned conductors/performers including Christoph Eschenbach, Pinchas Zukerman, Vladimir Spivakov, and Jahja Ling among others.
From 1996 until 1999, Mr. Nashawati played with the New World Symphony in Florida as Principal Second Violin and later as Concertmaster under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. He led the second violin section in a tour with the New World Symphony in Europe, celebrating the orchestra’s 10th anniversary. During his tenure at the New World Symphony, Mr. Nashawati participated in several recording projects including PBS’s Great Performance production of the orchestra’s Beethoven Festival in 1999.
Bassam joined the San Antonio Symphony’s first violin section in fall 1999 and held a position as an adjunct faculty at St. Philip’s College for several years. Since that time he has been active performing locally in recitals, chamber music, and teaching, including coaching and leading sectionals with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA). Bassam has been an active participant and performer with an enthusiastic audience at the yearly fund-raising event “Music at the Museum” sponsored by the San Antonio Art Museum and the San Antonio Symphony League.
In addition, Nashawati has appeared many times as a recitalist and soloist with the Syrian National Symphony in his native country performing the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor in 2005 and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in 2009 in an all-Mendelssohn program as part of a special concert in honor of the composer’s 200th birthday commemoration. Many of his performances have been televised on Syrian Satellite channels.
Since 2004, Bassam has toured with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (WEDO) as Associate Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin. WEDO is an orchestra comprised of Israeli, Palestinian and other Arab musicians, led by world-renowned conductor/pianist Daniel Barenboim, promoting peace and dialogue among its musicians. While touring with West Eastern Divan Orchestra, he played to sold-out audiences in Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Scotland, Russia and in live televised broadcasts from the Royal Albert Hall in London and most notably in Ramallah, Palestine (West Bank). The journey to the performance and the concert in Ramallah in 2005 was recorded and appears on the DVD documentary film “Knowledge is the Beginning – West Eastern Divan Orchestra; Daniel Barenboim,” which won an International Emmy award in 2006. He rejoined the West Eastern Divan Orchestra in December of 2006 to perform at Carnegie Hall and at the United Nations in a farewell concert in honor of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.
During the last few seasons with the WEDO, Mr. Nashawati has been part of a three-year project performing Beethoven’s cycle which took the orchestra on an extensive tour in South America. While in Argentina in 2010, Mr. Nashawati had the privilege to perform with Mr. Barenboim and members of Berlin Philharmonic including concertmaster Guy Braunstein in Schumann’s Piano Quintet in a sold-out chamber music concert at the historic Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Mr. Barenboim’s first public concert at the age of 7. In summer 2011, the orchestra went on a tour to China and South Korea, playing an important symbolic concert at the border between South and North Korea to promote peace and dialogue between the two nations. The tour that summer ended in Cologne, Germany with week-long concerts performing the complete Beethoven symphonies, which were recorded live on Warner Classics from Cologne Philharmonic Hall. In the summer of 2012, the WEDO continued touring Europe and performing at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms London 2012 Festival in a complete Beethoven symphony cycle culminating on July 27, the opening night of the London Olympics. These performances were recorded live on DVD.
Bassam has also pursued a theological degree in Orthodox Christian Studies and has been serving as a deacon at St. Ephraim Orthodox Church in San Antonio, Texas, of which he is a founding member, since 2005. He has been married to his beautiful wife Melissa since 2002 and they have two wonderful boys, Stefan and Ilyan.
Anastasia (Stacey) Parker
Anastasia (Stacey) Parker, praised for her “voluptuous tonal hues” and “nuanced phrasing” by the South Florida Classical Review, joined the San Antonio Symphony in the fall of 2011. Since then she has enjoyed performing with Camerata San Antonio and The Mid-Texas Symphony, as well as coaching students in the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio and Trinity University’s Symphony Orchestra. Prior to her appointment with the symphony, she was a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, where she often sat as concertmaster and collaborated in multiple chamber music concerts during her tenure.
Anastasia has recorded and toured with the Pittsburgh Symphony, taking her across Europe and Asia. During her time in Pittsburgh, she was a member of the tango ensemble, Tangueros De Ley, which allowed her to follow her passion for tango to Argentina in the summer of 2009. There she performed and taught classically, while immersed in the milongas and Pugliese-inspired bands of Buenos Aires. Anastasia also enjoys contemporary music, and aside from Piazzolla projects, she has appeared as a soloist playing David Stock’s The Philosopher’s Stone and a staged version of William Bolcom’s Orphée Serenade.
During the summer months, Anastasia has performed with the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas, and the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado where she was featured as a soloist. She has collaborated with artists such as Andrés Cárdenes, Anne Williams, Rebecca Albers and David Allen Wehr.
Anastasia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and Performance from Duquesne University, where she studied violin with Rachel and Charles Stegeman, and a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from Carnegie Mellon University, under the tutelage of Andrés Cárdenes. Aside from music, she has an affinity for horses and the art, and sport, of dressage.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Laura Scalzo’s love of the violin was sparked by the great violinist, Itzahk Perlman, when she heard him play on “Sesame Street.” She began lessons at the age of 4 and has been playing ever since. She graduated from Temple University (BA) and pursued her MM at the University of Delaware. Her primary teachers have included William dePasquale, Xiang Gao, and Ellen dePasquale.
Ms. Scalzo has had the privilege of attending many prestigious summer festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, and Kent/Blossom. She has had the opportunity to work with such well known artists as the Emerson String Quartet, Corigliano String Quartet, the Juilliard String Quartet, Roger Tapping, Mark Sokol, Pamela and Claude Frank.
She has played under the baton of Maestros Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Herbert Bloomstedt and Sir Andrew Davis. In 2009, Ms. Scalzo was honored to perform as the principal second violin of the Tanglewood Orchestra with Maestro Kurt Masur conducting. Prior to joining the San Antonio Symphony in 2011, Ms. Scalzo was a member of the Delaware and Allentown Symphonies.
As a passionate chamber music lover Ms. Scalzo has performed with various ensembles in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. She performed for two years as the first violinist of the University of Delaware String Quartet.
In addition to performing, Ms. Scalzo is an enthusiastic teacher and has maintained a private studio since 2000. An avid animal lover and amateur chef; Ms. Scalzo can often be found at home in the kitchen cooking for friends, gardening, or, when not working, attempting to entertain the cat.
Renia Piotrowski-Shterenberg is currently a member of the San Antonio Symphony’s first violin section. Formerly Principal Second Violin of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, she has also been a member of the Baton Rouge Symphony and the Austin Symphony.
She is originally from Manchester, New Hampshire, and her teachers have included Emanuel Borok, Kevork Mardirossian, Jorja Fleezanis, Sally O’Reilly, Paul Biss, and Joseph McGauley. She has also performed for such great artists as Andrés Cárdenes, Yfrah Neaman, Ruggiero Ricci, and Joseph Silverstein. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Music degree from Louisiana State University.
She has participated in such prestigious festivals as Breckenridge Music Institute, Spoleto Festival U.S.A., and the Britt Classical Festival.
She performs on a violin she commissioned from Andrew Ryan in 2011.
Violinist Andrew Small joined the San Antonio Symphony first violin section in 2004 after previously performing as a member of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. His principal teachers included Domenick Saltarelli, Ben Sayevich, and Masao Kawasaki and Itzhak Perlman of The Juilliard School.
He also performs regularly as a staff musician at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in San Antonio. Music festivals attended include Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, Israelʼs Shira Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival.
Today, Mr. Small enjoys an eclectic mix of solo recitals, chamber music, symphony performances, Suzuki-inspired private teaching, and endless outdoor activities.
In 2003, Mr. Small founded the musical performance and entertainment agency Monte Vista Strings and Jazz. The critically acclaimed company today performs for numerous public and private events in the San Antonio / Austin, Texas region.
Craig Sorgi has been a member of the San Antonio Symphony First Violin section since 1982 and during the 2004-06 and 2012-13 concert seasons he was appointed Acting Assistant Concertmaster. Craig was also the Concertmaster of the San Antonio Opera from 1999 until it ceased operations in 2012. In 2005, he was invited by Music Director David Mairs to be the Concertmaster of the Mid-Texas Symphony.
Craig has been very active as a chamber music performer and solo recitalist in the South Texas area for the last 31 years and has also been a frequent performer of new music. Since the 2011 season Craig has been programming and leading chamber music concerts by the Mid-Texas Chamber Players—a new chamber music ensemble made up of members of the Mid-Texas Symphony. Music education has also played an important part in Craig’s career. While in San Antonio he has been active in the public school music programs as a teacher and guest clinician and in 2003 he joined the music faculty of Trinity University. In the summers, he serves as the Director of the Cactus Pear Music Festival’s Young Artist Program.
Craig is married to Melanie, a career music educator. He and his wife are the proud parents of two wonderful sons: Baltimore-based violinist and composer Colin; and Los Angeles-based visual effects artist Cameron.
Mary Ellen Goree
Mary Ellen Goree, principal second violin of the San Antonio Symphony, received the BM in violin performance and BA in mathematics from Oberlin College, where she studied violin with Stephen Clapp, piano with Sanford Margolis, and chamber music with Marilyn McDonald, Stephen Clapp, and Denes Koromzay. While at Oberlin, she was awarded the Louis and Annette Kaufman Prize in violin, and was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda. She continued her education at Indiana University as a student of Paul Biss, receiving the M.M. with distinction in violin performance.
Following a six-month appointment as associate concertmaster of the Yamagata Symphony in Japan, Ms. Goree accepted a position as co-concertmaster of the Shreveport Symphony in Louisiana and violinist in the symphony’s Premier Quartet.
In 1988, she joined the San Antonio Symphony as a member of the second violin section, moving to the assistant principal second chair in 1989 and receiving her current appointment as principal second violin in 1991.
Ms. Goree has also been the principal second violin of the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, which has a summer season in Boulder, since 1994. She teaches violin at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is sought after as a private teacher and clinician. Her solo playing has been described as “delicate, inspired work” in the Shreveport Times, and as “highly polished, confident solo work” in the San Antonio Express-News.
She is married to David Goree, the SAISD Leadership Coordinator, and they are the parents of three children.
Karen Stiles was born in Rochester, New York and began studying the violin at age 5. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College where she studied violin with Stephen Clapp and Gregory Fulkerson. She went on to earn a Master of Music degree at Indiana University and New England Conservatory where she studied violin with James Buswell and baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie. She toured throughout Europe and Scandinavia as a member of the New American Chamber Orchestra, an eleven member string ensemble, performing at many of the major European music festivals including the Korsholm Music Festival in Finland and the Uppsala Festival in Sweden.
Karen was Principal Second Violin of the Knoxville Symphony and Chamber Orchestra for two seasons. She joined the San Antonio Symphony in 1991 and is currently Assistant Principal Second Violin. Karen has appeared as a soloist with the Knoxville Chamber Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony and the Laredo Philharmonic. She was a member of the Sierra Grande String Quartet and a founding member of the Sierra Grande Chamber Music Festival in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. She has performed with several local chamber ensembles including the River City Consort, Olmos Ensemble, Soli Chamber Ensemble and Camerata San Antonio.
Cleo Aufderhaar was born and raised in San Antonio. She joined the San Antonio Symphony in October of 1975 and is now in her 38th Season. In younger years Cleo played in the San Antonio Youth Symphony under G. Lewis Doll, and in Domenick Saltarelli’s Community Orchestra.
Her education included San Antonio College (AA), Baylor University (BME), and University of Iowa (MA). Cleo participated in Early Music and Baroque Ensembles (playing on period instruments) and was a member of Mu Phi Epsilon. Her violin teachers included Lino Bartoli, Leopold La Fosse, Margaret Pardee (at Meadowmount), Fredell Lack, and Chamber Music with Lev Aronson (at Baylor).
Other orchestra memberships have been in Waco, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Corpus Christi, Mid-Texas, Laredo, the Winters Chamber Orchestra, and San Antonio Opera. Besides teaching and coaching at her home she has taught at the Pecan Valley Arts Center, YOSA, Dacbert’s Music Plaza, UTSA, San Antonio College, and as a substitute string class teacher in the public schools.
In addition to playing for many social events, she has also donated time to churches, nursing homes, and hospitals. Southern Music Company published two volumes of her Wedding Music arrangements for string quartet with optional bass. A third volume is nearing completion.
When not involved with the violin, Cleo’s special interests include playing the accordion and traveling. Additional hobbies include bowling, motorcycle riding, westerns, and science fiction. Favorite composers are Vivaldi, Beethoven, Wagner, and Richard Strauss.
Angela Caporale has been a member of the San Antonio Symphony for the last 13 years. She has also been a member of the San Antonio Opera Orchestra. Here in San Antonio Ms. Caporale has taught at the University of the Incarnate Word as well as maintaining a private studio, where she has a number of students who have been with her for many years.
Ms. Caporale began violin at the age of 3 studying with the Suzuki Method. She continued her musical education at the University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music. While there, Ms. Caporale studied violin with Dorothy Delay and Naoko Tanaka, as well as chamber music with the Tokyo String Quartet.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Music, violin performance, Ms. Caporale went on to play in the New World Symphony, in Miami Beach, an orchestra for training professional musicians. She then won a position in the Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon, in Valladolid, Spain. She stayed there for 4 years and, besides learning the orchestra repetoire, also enjoyed traveling around Europe and learning about different cultures.
When she returned to America, she moved to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area where she was a member of the Dallas Opera Orchestra and earned a principal position, until deciding to settle in San Antonio.
Beth Johnson joined the San Antonio Symphony in 1994 and was a soloist with the orchestra in the1997-98 season. A student of Naoka Tanaka and in quartet classes with the Tokyo and LaSalle Quartets, she received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the College/Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
Beth is on the music faculty at St. Philip’s College and Northeast Lakeview College and has a home teaching studio. Locally she has performed with the San Antonio Opera, Musical Offerings, Olmos Ensemble, Cactus Pear Music Festival, and the Viva Tango Orchestra.
Beth served as associate concertmaster of the Dayton Philharmonic and in the winter and spring of 2003 as concertmaster for the U.S. tour of “Phantom of the Opera.” A fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival where she was a member of the Aspen Chamber Symphony for several summers, she also participated in the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, the Lancaster Festival in Ohio, and the American Institute for Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.
Before joining the San Antonio Symphony, Beth was a substitute player with the Cincinnati Symphony and the Columbus Symphony.
Judy Levine-Holley, a member of the second violin section of the San Antonio Symphony, joined the orchestra in 1981. She began her studies on the violin at age 9. A native of Fairway, Kansas, Judy went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City – Conservatory of Music where she was a student of Tiberius Klausner. She continued on to her graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied under David Cerone. Judy received a Ford Foundation Fellowship to be part of a string quartet at UMKC and returned there to complete her Master of Music degree, continuing her studies with Klausner.
Judy has performed in various other capacities in the San Antonio area, including the San Antonio Opera and the Winters Chamber Orchestra as well as with the Klezmer band, “Hallel.” Judy began specializing in Jewish music in high school and has been arranging music for string quartet in the style ever since. In 2000 many of her arrangements were published in her collection entitled “Jewish Wedding Music” for string quartet. She continues to arrange and perform her arrangements on a regular basis.
Judy maintains a private violin studio in her home where she lives with her husband, Steve. They have three children, all of whom have been very involved in music.
Sayaka Okada was born in Kanagawa, Japan, and began playing the violin when she was five years old. Ms. Okada graduated from the Toho High School of Music in Tokyo in 1993 where she studied with Kenji Kobayashi. She continued her education in the United States at the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied violin with Jaime Laredo, Jascha Brodsky and Joseph De Pasquale on the viola. While in Philadelphia, Ms. Okada also studied chamber music with Felix Galimir, Peter Oundjian, Peter Wiley, Michael Tree, and Karen Tuttle. In 1995, she was a finalist in the Philadelphia Orchestra competition.
After graduating in 1995, Ms. Okada join the Century Orchestra Osaka in Japan as Principal Second Violin. At this time she performed many concerts with Ruben Gonzalez, former concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1999, Ms. Okada join the San Antonio Symphony. In 2003, She returned to join the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan as Principal Violin, alternating between Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin, and making CD and DVD recordings with this orchestra. She came back to the San Antonio Symphony in 2008.
In addition to playing in these orchestras, Ms. Okada has been involved in many other orchestras including Ft. Worth Symphony, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Osaka Symphony Orchestra, and Kobe Chamber orchestra. Ms. Okada appeared in many chamber concerts including Camerata San Antonio, Cactus Pear Music Festival, and the Olmos Ensemble.
Ms. Okada also plays viola. She began viola studies in 1991 and has performed solo recital and chamber music. She recently performed on a CD as violist for the Cactus Pear Music Festival.
Eric Siu has been a member of the San Antonio Symphony since fall 2013. A native of Hong Kong, Eric began playing the violin at the age of six. Following early studies with Catherine Lord and Patricia Noall at Wells Cathedral School in England, Eric moved to the United States where he studied at the Mannes College of Music and The Juilliard School with Sally Thomas. He completed his doctorate at Rice University under the guidance of Kathleen Winkler. His research at Rice focused on the relatively obscure genre of English violin concertos from the Classical era.
A multi-faceted violinist, Eric has performed in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. He has given concerto performances at numerous venues in the United Kingdom and in New York, and has been heard on radio stations including KUHF Houston Public Radio and Classic FM. Recent projects include a recital of the complete violin sonatas of Eugene Ysaÿe, and a lecture-recital on Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin. As a chamber musician, Eric has performed at the Three Cities Chamber Music Marathon at the Kennedy Center and the Cali de Camara festival in Colombia. He also performs regularly with the Ritter Piano Trio, a collaboration which began at Rice University as a student ensemble. During his time in Houston, Eric frequently performed with the Houston Symphony as a substitute, and has toured with the orchestra in New York and Moscow.
Eric has attended the Meadowmount School of Music, the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, where he served as concertmaster for two consecutive years. An avid pedagogue, Eric earned his Suzuki Teaching Certification (books 1-8) at the School for Strings in New York, and served as Sally Thomas’s teaching assistant at the Meadowmount School of Music for five years. He has taught masterclasses at the Antonio Maria Valencia conservatory in Colombia.
Aimee Toomes Lopez
Violinist Aimee Toomes Lopez, a Washington, D.C. native, joined the San Antonio Symphony in 2008. Prior to that she performed for four years with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.
During her time with the New World Symphony, Aimee enjoyed opportunities to work with such artists as the Orion Quartet, Robert Spano, and Gil Shaham; and to perform at such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Opera Comique de Paris. She has performed with the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in Lenox, Massachusetts.
A lover of Baroque and Renaissance music, Aimee is a founding member of the Collegium Noctuarum ensemble at Rice University. She has appeared in solo recitals in Houston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Aimee received her Master of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and her Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of Music. Her major teachers were Kathleen Winkler, Violaine Melancon, and Shirley Givens. Aside from loving her job, Aimee enjoys teaching her students, designing and sculpting decorative cakes, and any activity out-of-doors.
Amy Venticinque joined the San Antonio Symphony in 1999. She received her undergraduate degree in Violin Performance from the University of Maryland where she studied with Gerald Fischbach and Daniel Heifetz, and was also frequently coached by Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley of the Guarneri String Quartet. She went on to get her Masters Degree at Rice University, Shepherd School of Music, studying with Kathleen Winkler and Raphael Fliegel.
Since moving to San Antonio, in addition to performing with the Symphony and her quartet, as well as teaching a studio of fifteen students, Mrs. Venticinque has become devoted to battling San Antonio’s animal overpopulation problem. After learning that this city has one of the worst per capita euthanasia rates in the country, she has spent countless hours volunteering mass spay/neuter clinics and doing hands on rescue work with Spay Neuter Inject Protect San Antonio (SNIPSA) and Stray Cat Adoptions of Texas (SCAT).
Amy’s other hobbies include Krav Maga training and marksmanship.
Stephanie Teply Westney
Stephanie Teply Westney holds a D.M.A. in Violin Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.M. from Yale University, a B.M. degree from Vanderbilt University and attended Interlochen Arts Academy. Her principal teachers include Brian Lewis, Wendy Sharp, Christian Teal, Connie Heard, Julia Bushkova and Joan Rooney. Dr. Westney is an active performer, coach, and teacher, and especially enjoys performing solo recitals, chamber music, and new music.
Dr. Westney has been a member of the San Antonio Symphony since 2005, the Sunriver (Oregon) Music Festival since 2006, and has performed with the San Antonio Opera, Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera, Waco Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, Huntsville (Alabama) Symphony, Wallingford (Connecticut) Symphony, Victoria Bach Festival orchestra and numerous chamber music ensembles.
Dr. Westney is currently a Senior Lecturer of Violin and String Area Coordinator at The University of Texas at San Antonio and maintains a private Suzuki violin studio. She additionally held the position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola and Director of the Community Music Academy at Texas Lutheran University for 2007-2008 and was an Instructor of Viola at San Antonio College from 2007-2011. She has served on the faculties of the UTSA Summer Music Institute, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Auberon Chamber Music Festival, The University of Texas String Project, Longhorn Music Camp, and was a Teaching Assistant for Brian Lewis at the University of Texas at Austin
Allyson Dawkins, Principal Violist of the San Antonio Symphony has won consistent admiration for her playing as both orchestral soloist and recitalist. Critics have praised the “great sensitivity and intelligence” of her playing, as well as her “full-bodied, velvety tone.”
Ms. Dawkins is on the faculty of the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is highly sought after and widely respected as a private teacher. During the summer she serves as Dean of Students, teaches viola, and coaches chamber music at the Castleman Quartet Program at State University of New York at Fredonia. She is co-author, with Charles Castleman, of a technical instruction book titled Fingerboard Memory for both viola and violin. As a teacher and coach she has taught at the New World Symphony, and participated in a workshop there on the topic of Orchestral Leadership.
She has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Victoria Bach Festival, and as Principal Violist of both the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin and the Sunriver Music Festival in Oregon. She is currently a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Dawkinsreceived a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the State University of New York at Purchase, and a Master of Music degree and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music.
Ms. Dawkins also has substantial practical organizational experience having served on many boards. She was a musician representative to the Board of Directors of the San Antonio Symphony from 2004-11. Since 2004 she has also served on the board of the San Antonio Chamber Music Society where she is Chair of the Outreach Committee and a member of the Artists Committee. Since September 2012 she has been a member of the Executive Committee of the American Viola Society where she is Chair of the Orchestral Excerpt Competition.
Strongly committed to community service, Ms. Dawkins is director of the San Antonio Symphony Caroling Project, a program that takes musicians to area hospitals, hospices, correctional institutions, and shelters during the December holiday season.
Emily Watkins Freudigman
Emily Watkins Freudigman joined the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra in 2002 as Assistant Principal Viola and is Co-Founder of Camerata San Antonio. Emily holds degrees in viola performance from Southern Methodist University, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Michigan and has been a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival and School.
She has studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Muir, Concord and Tokyo string quartets, and she has performed with the Grand Rapids, Maryland, Fort Worth and Boston symphony orchestras. She maintains an active viola studio in San Antonio – her students perform in the Texas All-State orchestras, attend prestigious summer music camps, including the Eastern and Killington Music Festivals and Interlochen Center for the Arts and have gone on to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Peabody Conservatory of Music.
Emily’s first studio recording with Camerata San Antonio, called Salon Buenos Aires and featuring chamber music by Miguel del Aguila, came out on Bridge Records in Fall 2009 and received two nominations for a Latin Grammy Award.
A native New Yorker, violist Marisa Bushman’s musical career has reached all corners of the world. Ms. Bushman is currently a member of the San Antonio Symphony’s viola section. From 2008 to 2010 she was a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach where she frequently sat principal under Michael Tilson Thomas and was a prominent fixture in the New World Symphony’s Chamber Music Series. Ms. Bushman is a three-time recipient of the Gluck Chamber Music Fellowship, a winner of the UCLA Collaborative Concerto Competition, and a former member of the prestigious Kuttner Quartet at Indiana University.
She has attended the Aspen Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, traveled extensively throughout South and Central America with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and performed with her string quartet at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in South Africa.
Aside from performing, Ms. Bushman is also a passionate educator who has consistently found involvement in youth education, no matter where she resides. She is currently involved in Project440, a non-profit organization that strives to bring music education and awareness to less advantaged youth in the Savannah, Georgia area. She has also been passionately involved with the New World Symphony’s Music Outreach program, the String Academy at Indiana University and the UCLA Music Outreach program where she taught underprivileged children in Compton, Califoria.
Marisa received her Bachelors Degree in Viola Performance from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Masters in Viola Performance at Indiana University. Her principal teachers have included Atar Arad, Paul Coletti and Ralph Fielding. In her free time, Marisa enjoys taking walks with her husband Ignacio and their dogs, Maggie and Emma, shopping for shoes and cooking up a storm.
Kayleigh Miller, a recent addition to the San Antonio Symphony, enjoys a varied career of teaching, performing, and yoga instruction. She previously played in the National Arts Centre Orchestra as an apprentice under Pinchas Zukerman, and toured to China with the ensemble.
She is additionally an avid supporter and performer of contemporary music, and has performed in numerous regional and world premieres, including performances of the Penderecki Viola Concerto with the Reno Philharmonic. Recent festival appearances include the Banff, Prussia Cove, and Orford masterclasses, Spoleto Festival USA, Domaine Forget, Lucerne Festival Academy, and the International Ensemble Moderne Academy workshop. As an ensemble member, she has performed with the New World Symphony, Discovery Ensemble, Reno Philharmonic, and Reno Chamber Orchestra.
She completed her bachelors and masters degrees with Carol Rodland at the New England Conservatory and Eastman School of Music, and continued studying with Roger Tapping at the New England Conservatory.
Kayleigh is additionally a committed educator and arts advocate, and has written educational programs for soloists and ensembles. Her interest in community service began in high school, where she performed at local senior centers, elementary school classrooms, and on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. She has since taught strings, music history, yoga, and sight-singing in a wide variety of settings from North Africa to California. She has additionally taught music to students with developmental disorders, autism, visual limitations, and down’s syndrome. In addition to her musical interests, she is a registered yoga teacher and recently completed trainings in the fields of kids yoga and adapting yoga for cancer. She is especially passionate about musicians health and wellness, and is currently working on an online musicians health resource, bringing together research and information from the medical and alternative health communities.
In her spare time, she can be found reading, baking, taking photographs, and spending time with her mostly-blind Chihuahua.
For more info, see her website, www.kayleigh-miller.com
Amy Pikler received her BM viola degree with highest honors from the University of Michigan where she studied with Professor Yizhak Schotten. She currently serves as section violist in the San Antonio Symphony and Austin Symphony, has been a member of the New World Symphony and Ann Arbor Symphony, and has served as co-principal violist of the University of Michigan Symphony. She has participated in the New York String Orchestra Seminar, YOA Orchestra of the Americas, Aspen Music Festival and American Academy of Conducting Orchestras, National Repertory Orchestra, Chautauqua Music Festival, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
She was first place winner of the American Viola Society 2014–15 Orchestral Excerpts Competition, has received a Farwell Trust award from the Musicians Club of Women (Chicago), and was a finalist in the NFAA/YoungArts program.
Amy is also an accomplished recorder player. She was featured as recorder soloist with flutist Mary Stolper in Telemann’s Concerto for Recorder and Flute with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque under the direction of Maestro Nicholas Kraemer. In 2011, Amy presented the United States premiere of Sir Malcolm Arnold’s Recorder Concerto with the I’Solisti Chamber Orchestra. Recently, Amy served as recorder player with the New World Symphony in performances of Water Music by Telemann and Handel.
Amy has also appeared as violin, viola, and recorder soloist with several Illinois orchestras.
Terry Stolow has been a member of the San Antonio Symphony Viola section for twenty seven years. Prior to coming to San Antonio she was the Principal Violist with the Shreveport Symphony. She studied with Robert Vernon at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she earned a B.M. and M.M. in Viola Performance. Terry was heard last season in the Music on the Move Series with Musical Offerings.
She is the yearly soloist for the Kol Nidre solo at Congregation Beth Am along with pianist, April Abraham. She has taught violists privately for many years and was an after school strings teacher early in her career.
When not practicing or spending time with her family, Terry enjoys reading and jogging.
Violist Daniel Wang has recently become a member of the San Antonio Symphony after being offered a section viola spot in January 2016. Daniel is originally from Lake Jackson, Texas and spent his teenage years in Taipei, Taiwan. He began playing the violin when he was 8 and viola when he was 16. Very quickly, he fell in love with the rich sound of the viola and has never looked back.
He went on to get his Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, studying with Alan de Veritch, and Master of Music from Rice University, studying with James Dunham. Some of his other major mentors have been Jay Liu and Jonathan Vinocour of San Francisco Symphony, and Joan DerHovsepian of Houston Symphony.
Daniel is a two time fellow of the Pacific Music Festival and has also participated in Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and Sarasota Music Festival. He spends most of his free time reading or composing. He is also a die-hard San Antonio Spurs fan and is thrilled to be in the same town as his favorite sports team.
Kenneth Freudigman is Co-Founder of Camerata San Antonio, Principal Cello of the San Antonio Symphony, Adjunct Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Education Director of the Cactus Pear Music Festival, and a highly-respected cello pedagogue.
Mr. Freudigman began playing the violin at age six and found his true love, the cello, at the age of nine. After six years of study, he was accepted to attend the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts. After graduating with honors in music performance he went on to receive a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music. He began his orchestral and chamber music career while at Eastman, winning a position with the Rochester Philharmonic and was also a founding member of the Esterhazy Chamber Ensemble. In 1992, Mr. Freudigman joined the New World Symphony, an advanced training orchestra for recent graduates of music schools, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. He has also performed with the Grand Rapids, Charleston, and Virginia Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Sarasota Opera and the Mexico City Philharmonic. Mr. Freudigman was also a founding member of the American Sinfonietta.
His orchestra engagements have taken him to the major concert halls of Europe, the Middle East, and throughout South and North America. In addition to his orchestral experience, Mr. Freudigman has performed chamber music with members of the Amadeus and Cleveland quartets and with the pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. He has been a featured soloist with the World Youth and New World Symphony Orchestras and the Mexico City Philharmonic. Mr. Freudigman can be heard in recordings on the Argo and Summit record labels and is featured with Renée Fleming and the New World Symphony Orchestra performing Bachianas Brasileiras by Heitor Villa-Lobos on BMG Classics.
David Mollenauer received his BM and MM from The Juilliard School while studying with Harvey Shapiro, and pursued doctoral studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with Lynn Harrell. While in Los Angeles, David recorded several film scores including Ghostbusters II, Her Alibi, Little Monsters, and television scores, including Lonesome Dove. David is currently Assistant Principal Cello of the San Antonio Symphony and professor of cello at Trinity University. Davd is also a founding member of the SOLI Chamber Ensemble.
Barbara George became a member of the San Antonio Symphony cello section in 2009. Before coming to Texas she was principal cello of the Orlando Philharmonic for six seasons. During that time she made several solo appearances with the orchestra and was also a member of the Orlando Philharmonic String Quartet.
Barbara served as cello professor on the music faculties of The University of Florida at Gainesville and The University of Central Florida. Prior to her principal position, Barbara was a member of The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. She also performed, recorded and toured extensively with The Los Angeles Philharmonic,The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The LA. Opera Orchestra, The Los Angeles Master Chorale and The Lyric Arts Chamber Ensemble.
Barbara was awarded a Master of Music Degree from The University of California at Los Angeles as a student of Ronald Leonard.
She has performed at the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, the Spoleto Italy Festival, The Sarasota Music Festival and at the Victoria Bach Festival. She also toured the former Soviet Union, Europe and the United States as a member of the American Soviet Youth Orchestra.
Since moving to Austin, Barbara has performed in the Austin Chamber Music Center festivals as well as the Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra. She currently resides in Westlake Hills with her husband and two children.
Hailed for his “seriousness and depth of an authentic concert soloist,” Holgen Gjoni has been steadily gaining a reputation as one of the most sought-after cellists of his generation and has performed as soloist and recitalist throughout United States, Europe and Asia. Winner of the 1st Prizes at the “John Hsu” Cello Competition, “Nancy Tumarkin” Cello Concerto Competition, Bucharest Music University Concerto Competition, 2nd Prize at the Mihail Jora International Cello Competition, Special Prize at Jeunnesse Musicales International Cello Competition, Karl Zeise Memorial Cello Award for Outstanding Commitment of Talent from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Presidential Award from The Boston Conservatory, Jerome L. Greene Fellowship Award from The Juilliard School and the Gregor Piatigorsky Fellowship at the New England Conservatory, he has been praised by critics for his “technique, beauty of sound and emotional projection,” “tempestuous musical sensibility, marked by an ineffable luminosity of expression,” “an elite musician,” while the legendary Yo-Yo Ma called him “a cellist of great talent.”
Highlights of his versatile career include performances at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher, Alice Tully and Merkin Halls, Kennedy Center, Strathmore, Jordan, Seiji Ozawa and “Tchaikovsky” Concert Halls, Berlin and Budapest Opera Houses, Vatican, Tokyo City Opera, Shanghai Center Theatre and Beijing Century Theatre. Since his prize-winning debut with Korca String Orchestra (Albania) at the age of twelve, Mr. Gjoni went on to play as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Radio Chamber Orchestra (Romania), Radio and Television Orchestra (Albania), Kosovo Philharmonic, Greeley Philharmonic, and SBS Orchestra (USA), while touring extensively around the world as the featured soloist of the Symphonia Orchestra (Italy) and the Philharmonie of the Nations, in solo performances as an Ambassador of Peace, including for the Papal audience in Vatican.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Gjoni’s recent collaboration with the Borromeo String Quartet (Avery Fisher Grant winner) was praised by The Boston Musical Intelligencer: “The round, fullbodied tones of guest cellist Holgen Gjoni were especially notable.” He is a founding member of Arpello Duo (cello and harp, together with acclaimed harpist Ina Zdorovetchi), featured in a recital at the 2011 World Harp Congress in Vancouver, Canada and is set to give the World Premiere performance and CD recording a new Concerto for Cello and Harp (dedicated to them) by composer Geoffrey Gordon with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in Boston’s Jordan Hall. Orchestral collaborations have included the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, New World Symphony, and Philharmonia of the Nations under the directions of Maestros Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Colin Davis, Leonard Slatkin, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, and many others.
A Virtu Foundation scholar, Mr. Gjoni was a visiting cello faculty at The Boston Conservatory, where his master classes on the topic of “Cello Physics” were enthusiastically received by a sold out audience. He has been invited to teach at Vianden International Music Festival, Luxembourg, Saarburg International Music Festival, Germany and the Academy of Arts in Tirana, Albania, and has served as substitute teacher at The Juilliard School and New England Conservatory Preparatory Division. Mr. Gjoni joined the cello section of the San Antonio Symphony in September 2015 and is Adjunct Professor of cello at Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.
Holgen Gjoni holds degrees from New England Conservatory, the Juilliard School, Boston Conservatory and Bucharest University of Music, having studied with cellists Paul Katz (former cellist of the Cleveland String Quartet), Bonnie Hampton (disciple of Pablo Casals and Zara Nelsova), Andrew Mark and Marin Cazacu. He played in masterclasses for Yo-Yo Ma, Janos Starker, Natalia Gutman, Franz Helmerson, Radu Aldulescu and has extensively worked with chamber music experts such as Joel Smirnoff, Samuel Rhodes and Joel Krosnick of the Juilliard String Quartet, Martha Katz of the Cleveland String Quartet, Michael Tree of the Guarneri String Quartet, Norman Fisher and Mark Sokol of the Concord String Quartet and Pamela Frank, to name a few.
With a passion for music, Morgen Johnson has established herself as a cellist of wide musical abilities. Her creative enthusiasm has led to performances of a vast array of repertoire in concert halls throughout Asia and North America, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Shanghai Grand Theater.
Originally from Michigan, she attended both The Juilliard School and Rice University, studying with Bonnie Hampton, Norman Fischer, and Christopher French.
As a chamber musician, Ms. Johnson has coached with many renowned ensembles such as the Juilliard String Quartet, the Maia Quartet, and the Pacifica Quartet. In the 2007 season, Ms. Johnson’s professional ensemble, the Toomai Quintet, was awarded first prize in New York’s 92nd St. Y Chamber Outreach Competition. They performed an interactive concert for 900 Kindergarten through 4th Graders, entitled, “Traveling with Toomai” in which they successfully unlocked musical doors for the children, allowing greater absorption of musical concepts and increasing interest in classical music.
Ms. Johnson is very happy to have joined the San Antonio Symphony at the beginning of the 2010 season, and enjoys spending her free time practicing yoga, knitting, baking, and volunteering with SNIPSA, an organization dedicated to helping homeless and unwanted animals.
While still a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Stephen Geber, Ryan Murphy had already made his solo debut with the Detroit Symphony followed by an additional appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra. Both performances came as the result of placing second in the Sphinx Competition in 2003. His radio appearances have included the From the Top radio show at the Kennedy Center where he won the audience choice award and two appearances on Classic 99’s Young Heroes in Music in St. Louis.
Mr. Murphy is an avid orchestral player and joined the San Antonio Symphony in the 2012-2013 season. In the previous season he participated in the Pittsburgh Symphony’s OTPAAM program which is an orchestral training program for African-American musicians. During the summer he plays in the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder. He also partook in the Juilliard Centennial Orchestra tour across America in 2006 as well as participated in the PMF, Tanglewood, Kent Blossom, and Round Top Festival. In addition he is a former member of the National Philharmonic, the Canton Symphony, and served as the assistant principal cellist in the World Youth Orchestra for Peace, presenting concerts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of those two cities.
He has participated in master classes with Peter Salaff of the Cleveland Quartet, the Cavani , Miro, and Brentano quartets as well as master classes and coachings with Janos Starker, Norman Fischer, and while at The Juilliard School participated in classes with Curtis Macomber, Margo Garrett, Martin Menking of the Berlin Philharmonic and Desmond Hoebig.
The aspect of cello Mr. Murphy finds to be the most gratifying is the various cultural experiences it has afforded him over the years. In addition to playing in the World Orchestra for Peace mentioned above, Mr. Murphy was fortunate enough to travel to the African country of Zimbabwe. There he worked with orphans and school children in and around the capital of Zahare teaching music composition and other related musical subjects. He has also done various outreach concerts across the country in such cities as St. Louis, Seattle, Austin, Cleveland, New York, Pittsburgh and many other cities.
Mr. Murphy performs on a 1998 Peter Staszel cello on permanent loan to him from the Chicago workshop of William Harris Lee & Co.
Thomas David Huckaby, has been Principal Bass of the San Antonio Symphony since 1997. Tom began studying the double bass at the age of 9 He has received numerous awards and scholarships from The Curtis Institute, Indiana University at Bloomington, Interlochen Arts Academy, Aspen Music Festival.
Tom participates in the Symphony’s community outreach program performing for students throughout Bexar County in an effort to promote the double bass as means of personal fulfillment for students. As an instructor of the double bass Tom has an extensive private studio teaching beginning students through college and professionals. His students have gone on to some of the most respected music schools in the country as well as successful professional positions.
Tom and his wife Dr. Alejandra Moreno M.D., Pediatrician and Epidemiologist, share a love of San Antonio, including all things River Walk, our rich and varied musical heritage, including the Symphony’s 70 seasons of orchestral music, the world-class medical centers we have here, including the Barshop Longevity Center, and the distinguished University of Texas Health Science Center.
An avid pedagogue and academic, Tom has an intense interest in human longevity, regenerative medicine, and theoretical biogerontology. He is currently a student at UTSA in working toward multiple degrees in biology.
Tom performs on a double bass made in 1690 by Mr. Carlo Testore
Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, David Milburn has been performing with the San Antonio Symphony since 2008 and was appointed Assistant Principal Bass in 2012. He holds a bachelor degree from the University of Southern California under the guidance of David Moore. His other teachers include Dennis Whittaker and Bruce Bransby.
Mr. Milburn has performed with the Atlanta, Alabama, Austin, and Cincinnati symphonies and at festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival and Pacific Music Festival in Japan. David was the Principal Bass of the YouTube Symphony 2011 in Sydney, Australia.
In addition to performing, David is an instructor for Texas Lutheran University, the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, and has a small studio of private students.
Nicholas Browne joined the bass section of the San Antonio Symphony in 2014. He also currently performs as a substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Browne was previously a member of the Canton Symphony (OH) and has also performed with the Houston Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and Grand Rapids Symphony.
A native of Pittsburgh, Browne earned a Bachelor of Music from Duquesne University under the guidance of Jeffrey Turner and completed his Master of Music degree at Rice University where he was a student of Timothy Pitts. Browne has spent summers at Brevard Music Center, Chautauqua Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and Tanglewood Music Center.
James Chudnow joined the San Antonio Symphony in 1975. Mr. Chudnow, a native of Philadelphia, started playing the bass in 1964. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree and a Bachelor of Music Education from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts and was a student of Dr. Edward Arian, Roger Scott, and Fred Maresh of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Further studies included summer festivals with the Colorado Philharmonic, Temple University Music Festival, and he was rewarded a stipend fellowship scholarship to study with the former principal bass of the Boston Symphony at the Tanglewood Music Festival.
Further playing was with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, Concerto Soloist of Philadelphia, and he worked under Columbia Artist Management from 1972 to 1975 when he toured with the Bolshoi Norwegian Ballet and further performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company. In 1976-78 he spent his summers working with the Houston Grand Opera in a new production of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Mr. Chudnow taught at the University of Texas San Antonio for 12 years. He was also a principal player of the locally popular Winters Chamber Orchestra that was started in 1976 and established a tradition of performing free concerts for area audience. He also played for the San Antonio Lyric Opera.
James believes that playing with the San Antonio Symphony has contributed greatly to his musical growth and personal development.
Zlatan Redzic has been a member of the San Antonio Symphony since 1999. Zlatan also performed with Atlanta Symphony, Atlanta Opera, Jacksonville Symphony and San Antonio Opera. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music from Indiana University where he studied with Bruce Bransby. At Indiana and at Aspen Music Festival, he was a winner of numerous awards as a soloist.
Zlatan has served as a mentor at the Aspen School of Music which he attended for three years. He is an active chamber musician and performs regularly with major San Antonio chamber groups.
Steven Bernard Zeserman received his diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music. He has played principal bass with the Charleston Symphony, and currently plays bass with the San Antonio Symphony. He has also performed with Sunflower, Colorado, Grand Teton, and Lake George Music Festivals. He has received fellowships to Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals, as well as the New York String Seminar, where he played principal bass.
His main teachers were Roger Scott, John Hood, Peter Lloyd, and Jack Budrow. He has taught at The College of Charleston, and Incarnate Word College. Mr. Zeserman’s teaching responsibilities at U.T.S.A. include teaching both bass majors and bass secondaries.
Introduced as “shining in the storm” by the San Antonio Express-News, Mark Teplitsky, was appointed principal flute with the San Antonio Symphony in the summer of 2016. Born to Russian immigrants in Jerusalem, Israel, Mark began his musical studies when moving to the United States at age 12. Mark has attended, on full scholarship, the prestigious Colburn Conservatory of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music, and the Rice University Shepherd School of Music, where he received his Master’s diploma. His former teachers include Jim Walker, Timothy Day, Mark Sparks, Leone Buyse, Brian Gordon, and Thomas Robertello.
As winner of the Rice University Concerto Competition, Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, Los Angeles Center for the Performing Arts Spotlights Competition, Music Teachers’ Association VOCE competition, National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts Competition, Orange County’s Stars of Tomorrow competition, Brentwood-Westwood Concerto competition, and NPR’s “From the Top” competition, he has performed in halls throughout the United States. Among these performances, Mark appeared as soloist with the Shepherd Symphony Orchestra, Academy of the West Festival Orchestra, Colburn Conservatory Orchestra, Brentwood-Westwood Symphony, San Diego Sinfonia, San Diego Philharmonia, Torrey Pines Wind Ensemble, and the Houston Hear and Now Contemporary Ensemble. Highlight concerts featured the Reinecke flute concerto under the baton of Jacksonville Symphony Artistic Director, Courtney Lewis, and the Mozart G major concerto under the baton of Larry Rachleff.
As an orchestral musician, Mark was invited to perform works by Strauss and Sibelius with the New York Philharmonic as the 2015 New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellow. While in high school, Mark appeared in a side-by-side concert of Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony with the San Diego Symphony. A few years later, Mark was announced the principal flutist of the American Youth Symphony, a position he held for two years. Other invitations have included the Fort Worth Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, and Mercury Baroque Ensemble of Houston.
Mark is thrilled to have been invited to be a core member of the Olmos Ensemble upon his arrival in San Antonio and will appear this summer as a guest artist at the Cactus Pear Music Festival.
Jean attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance and oboe performance. She moved to Europe with an opera festival orchestra, lived the good life in Geneva for awhile, then won a position on piccolo with the Hofer Symphoniker, a German orchestra. After six years in a place known as “Germany’s Siberia,” Jean returned to her home town of Sonoma, California, hoping to land a flute job somewhere warmer. Four months later she won an audition with the San Antonio Symphony and joined the woodwind section as Second Flute, where she remains to this day.
Jean is a Bexar County Master Gardener and in 2000, on sabbatical from the Symphony, attended Texas A&M’s School of Landscape Architecture in College Station. During a period of extra free time in 2003-2004, Jean launched her own landscape design business and became mother to a baby girl, the excellent Miranda, a native of Amatitlan, Guatemala. Miranda now attends NEISD’s Dual Language Program. Jean recently completed a design for the Animal Defense League of Texas on Nacogdoches Road and has a project under construction at the Guadalupe River State Park in Spring Branch, Texas.
Julie Luker started playing the flute in 5th grade, and in 8th grade her parents bought her a silver piccolo which had survived being drowned by Hurricane Beulah. She cut her piccolo teeth playing that instrument in Texas high school marching band, mostly at Austin’s John H. Reagan High School. She received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, and three months later won her very first professional symphony audition – the Assistant Principal Flute and Piccolo position with the San Antonio Symphony.
Today she is a proud elder statesman of the San Antonio Symphony, who adores her energetic, inspiring younger colleagues, and is overjoyed that our audiences can finally hear what the San Antonio Symphony actually sounds like, in the H-E-B Performance Hall at The Tobin Center!
Hideaki Okada was born in 1970. Beginning his musical studies in Japan, Mr. Okada moved to Montreal in 1986 to study with Bernard Jean at the Conservatoire de musique de Montreal. At the age of 18, he was appointed second oboe in the L’orchestre des Jeunes des Quebec and played for 1 year. In 1993 he received his Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School where he studied with John Ferrillo.
After that, Mr. Okada went to study with Richard Woodhams at Temple University. In 1995, he was appointed Principal oboe in Osaka Philharmonic and played 4 years before moving to San Antonio Symphony as an Assistant Principal oboe and 2nd oboe.
He is the recipient of many awards including “Winner of the Concerto Competition” at Temple University (and performed Mozart Oboe concerto with the Temple orchestra), 3rd prize of the Fishoff Chamber Competition, and runner-up in the Juilliard Concerto Competition.
Paul Lueders, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, recently completed his studies at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) where he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Oboe Performance. He studied with Boston Symphony Orchestra principal oboist John Ferrillo and Los Angeles Philharmonic second oboist Anne Gabriele. Paul has made principal oboe appearances with the symphony orchestras of Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and he is a regular substitute of the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida.
While at NEC, Paul participated in two honors-distinguished chamber music ensembles: The Zephyrus Wind Quintet, and Trio Auloi, a trio comprised of oboe, bassoon, and piano. As the Honors competition winner, Paul was granted two chamber music recitals in the world-renowned Jordan Hall. Paul has also made many solo appearances with orchestra, including a performance of Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto in A minor with the Boston Accompanietta. He also performed the Bach Double Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor with the un-conducted NEC Bach Ensemble.
Among his summer festival experiences include two summers at the Aspen Music Festival, and one summer at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. In 2011, Paul was accepted as a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in Lenox, Massachusetts. His performances during the 2011 season granted him an invitation to the festival for the following summer in 2012.
A San Antonio native, Jennifer Berg received her Bachelor’s from Indiana University, graduating with Honors in Music under the tutelage of Linda Strommen. She continued her education with John Ferrillo of the Boston Symphony at the New England Conservatory and received both a Graduate Diploma and a Master’s in Music with Academic Honors. During her education, she performed as a soloist with IU’s Chamber Orchestra and NEC’s Bach Ensemble and was awarded NEC’s Gillet Scholarship.
Outside of her studies, Jennifer performed in Boston as English horn with the Boston Philharmonic, was a soloist and orchestra member with the Boston Latin-American Orchestra, and was the principal oboist of Discovery Ensemble, a highly reputable young group whose mission is to educate children in underprivileged schools about classical music. Additionally, Jennifer was named principal oboe for two consecutive years with the New York String Orchestra Seminar in Carnegie Hall under the direction of Jaime Laredo, was a member of the National Repertory Orchestra in 2011, and attended the Aspen and Brevard Music Festivals.
Jennifer is currently the English hornist of the San Antonio Symphony, principal oboist of the Mid-Texas Symphony, and hopes to train the next generation of young professionals like her former teacher, Mark Ackerman.
In her free time, Jennifer is an avid swing dancer, CrossFit athlete, and loves playing with her dog, (An)Dante
Principal clarinetist of the San Antonio Symphony and former principal clarinetist of the Charleston Symphony, Ilya Shterenberg balances a busy career as soloist, chamber music performer, and orchestral musician. Hailed by the press as “natural and expert interpreter,” “warm, elegant tone,” “among the best in the business,” he has been featured as a soloist with both Charleston and San Antonio symphonies, performing works by Mozart, Weber, Rossini, Debussy, and Strauss.
A native of Ukraine, Ilya began his music education at the Kosenko Music College, in Zhitomir, city of his birth. After his immigration to the United States in 1989, he received an Artist Certificate diploma from the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, after which he did further study at DePaul University in Chicago. His principal teachers have included Larry Combs, Stephen Girko, and Charles Neidich.
He has been featured as Principal clarinetist with Cincinnati and Seattle Symphonies, and has collaborated with such conductors as Roger Norrington, Seiji Ozawa, Dennis Russell Davies, Herbert Blomstedt, Daniel Barenboim, George Solti, Pierre Boulez and others.
Away from the orchestras, Ilya is very active as chamber musician, festival performer, and educator. He is a member of Olmos Ensemble, a chamber group made up of principal woodwind players from the San Antonio Symphony. His summer appearances have included the Colorado Music Festival and Britt Festival, as well as the Piccolo Spoleto Festival – USA. As an educator, he has been a faculty member of the College of Charleston, the University of Texas San Antonio, and UT Austin.
Mr. Shterenberg’s performances have been heard on National Public Radio stations throughout the country as well as Chicago’s WFMT nationwide classical music network. He performs frequently as a recitalist and chamber music artist with Cactus Pear Music Festival, Camerata San Antonio, and the North Shore Music Festival. Ilya is a Buffet Group USA performing artist.
Stephanie Key received her BM with Distinction in Performance from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. A champion and avid performer of the music of our time, Stephanie co-founded the award-winning SOLI Chamber Ensemble with her husband, cellist David Mollenauer in 1993. Having performed throughout the United States and internationally, she has commissioned several works for clarinet and for SOLI. She appears on several recordings, including a compilation of the works of John Cage, for which she recorded his Sonata for Clarinet on the MODE label under the composer’s supervision.
She is currently Assistant Principal/E-flat Clarinet with the San Antonio Symphony and is an adjunct member of the music faculty at Trinity University. During the summers she performs at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming. And now in addition to cross-country cycling and mountain climbing, she includes long-distance running as her newest obsession.
Rodney Wollam joined the San Antonio Symphony in 1975 as a protege of Robert Marcellus, the incomparable Principal Clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra. He is from the Cleveland area and developed as a musician following the disciplined musical philosophy of George Szell and the many brilliant principal players in the Cleveland Orchestra during Szell’s tenure.
He started his studies under the disciplined training of Carl Marks, Jr. and continued for six years with Robert Marcellus. For additional focusing on technique, he simultaneously studied with Thomas Thompson, Co-Principal Clarinetist of the Pittsburgh Symphony. For Bass Clarinet he worked with Alfred Zetzer and for E-flat coaching, Theodore Johnson, both with the Cleveland Orchestra. Mr. Wollam is an advocate and teacher of the Daniel Bonade School of Clarinet Playing.
His musical philosophy follows that of George Szell . . .“In music one must think with theheart and feel with the brain.” Mr. Wollam believes musicians must always work for logic of phrasing, musical structure, clarity of articulation, and purity of sound. He disagrees when musicians inappropriately, if not vulgarly, over phrase or actually fail to phrase. Regarding Mr. Wollam, critics and colleagues have praised him saying “astonishingly well played” . . . “beyond excellence” . . . “gorgeous clarinet sound” . . . “deserves special praise.”
Having a particular love of chamber music, during Mr. Wollam’s early years in San Antonio he shared recitals with artists such as pianists Tamas Vasary, Peter Frankl, John Browning; Emerson String Quartet; Rafael Druian, violinist; and ensemble conductor Robert Marcellus to mention a few.
Other musicians he greatly admires are Leon Fleisher, Ji-Yong Kim, and Xiaotang Tan, piano; Myron Bloom, french horn; Pierre Fournier, cello; Budapest String Quartet; Marc Lifschey, oboe; Dick Smith trumpet; vocalists Jussi Bjorling, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; and Joe Williams, jazz vocalist.
During the lockout of the symphony musicians in 1987, he was Director of Marketing for the competing Orchestra San Antonio. When the lockout concluded, Rick Lester recruited him for the same position with the San Antonio Symphony. His two seasons of marketing were marked with substantially increased ticket sales, growth in subscribers, and tripling the pops season. He occasionally freelance consults for other marketing/public relations campaigns.
In the early 1990’s, Mr. Wollam was one of the two founding members of the Olmos Ensemble. After a few years, he decided to leave the ensemble due to artistic differences. Having taken a hiatus from producing and performing chamber music programs, his new series of private concerts continues in its third season this year. Mr. Wollam wholeheartedly believes that musicians should never compromise in striving for the highest level of “artistic integrity.”
Sharon Kuster obtained her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of California where she studied with the late Norman Herzberg. She is the Principal Bassoon of the San Antonio Symphony, with which she has been a featured soloist. Before moving to San Antonio, Sharon performed with La Orquesta Sinfónica de Veracruz in Mexico.
In the summers, Sharon has performed with the Breckenridge Music Institute, the Sunriver Music Festival, the Cactus Pear Music Festival, and the Masterworks Festival in Indiana. She is in her 21st summer with the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming. Sharon also plays with the Olmos Ensemble, a chamber music group in San Antonio, and teaches privately.
Brian Petkovich is currently the Assistant Principal/Second Bassoon with the San Antonio Symphony. He attended the University of Michigan studying with Hugh Cooper and Richard Beene and the University of Southern California studying with Steven Maxim.
When not playing the bassoon, Brian enjoys yoga and spending time with his children.
Ron Noble was born in Chicago. He went to DePaul University in Chicago and received a masters in music performance from UTSA. Ron has been a member of the San Antonio Symphony for 31 years. He is also principal bassoon of the San Antonio Opera. He also performs with the Santa Fe Opera and the Naples (Florida) Philharmonic.
Mr. Noble is the bassoon instructor at UTSA as well as the bassoonist in the faculty woodwind quintet. He has also performed with the Austin Symphony, Miami Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony and the Victoria Symphony. He has also been the bassoon coach at the summer Kammermusik Workshop.
Ron likes to read and exercises every day.
Adedeji Bailes Ogunfolu hails from Washington, D.C. Ogunfolu attended the University of Maryland, College park for two years before graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree. He graduated with a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Adedeji studied with Gregory Miller, Jennifer Montone, Adam Unsworth and Bryan Kennedy. He has had additional studies with Randy Gardner, Jeffrey Lang, James Ross, and Denise Tryon.
Immediately before joining the San Antonio Symphony, Ogunfolu was appointed as the 2013 OTPAAM [Orchestra Training Program for African American Musicians] fellow with the Pittsburgh Symphony. While in Pittsburgh, he frequently performed with the symphony and participated in community engagement across the Pittsburgh area. He has also performed with the Detroit, Flint, and Windsor Symphony orchestras.
In previous summers, Adedeji has attended the Colorado College, Pacific (Sapporo, Japan), and Sarasota Music Festivals. He has also twice been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. This past summer he was a featured artist at the Fontana Chamber Arts festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he performed the Harbison trio. In his free time, Adedeji enjoys exercise and fitness, and his dog, Kira.
Peter Rubins has performed in the top European concert halls and around the world. He has been a soloist at Carnegie Hall, and has played for many symphonic recordings, as well as for TV and radio commercials. Mega Musicals such as Cats and Les Miserables have taken him across the country, and his extensive history with the Pittsburgh Symphony goes back to 1986. He is a San Antonio Symphony member and teaches at The University of Texas at San Antonio. His major teachers have been Dale Clevenger, Forrest Standley, and Arthur Goldstein.
You can hear him in symphonic recordings on the labels of Sony Classical, Telarc, Exton, and New World Records. In addition, his freelance credits include ensembles such as the Chicago Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Ballet, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Renaissance City Woodwind Quintet, Olmos Ensemble, and the Hemisphere Brass Quintet.
Mr. Rubins has held all four Horn positions within the section of the San Antonio Symphony and was the Principal Horn of the former San Antonio Opera. Additional long-term theater credits include the origination of the national tours of Miss Saigon, and The Phantom of the Opera. He has played for pop stars and local theater productions too numerous to mention.
Dana Cullen, born in Reading, Pennsylvania, began piano lessons at the age of 4 and horn lessons at the age of 9. At age 17, she performed Gliere’s Horn Concerto with the Reading Symphony Orchestra as first-place winner of their concerto competition. She did her undergraduate studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, graduating in 2015. Her principal teachers there were Jennifer Montone, principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Jeffrey Lang, associate principal. She then went on to pursue her Master’s Degree at Rice University, studying with William VerMeulen, principal horn of the Houston Symphony.
Dana has played with numerous orchestras; subbing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony, Reading Symphony, and Charleston Symphony. While studying at Curtis, she performed the Penderecki Sextet for String Trio, Clarinet, Horn, and Piano, with renowned violist and president of Curtis, Roberto Diaz. She was also coached by Krzysztof Penderecki himself and performed his piece at Carnegie Hall.
Born into a musical family, Dana has recorded on several of her mother’s albums, including “Mesa Verde Soundscapes” and “Zion and Bryce National Park Soundscapes,” as well as on One Alternative’s latest album, “Air Sculpture.”
Dana has been to numerous summer festivals and performed in many countries such as Italy, Germany, China, Japan, and Korea. Her summer festivals include Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Pacific Music Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra.
In addition to music, Dana enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.
Bio coming soon.
John Carroll studied piano and trumpet with his father, Ward Carroll, Jr. Weekly piano lessons began at age 4 1/2 with Mildred Orado, Mrs. Klumpner during high school and Dane Evans at Indiana University. Formal trumpet lessons began at age 14 with Austyn R. Edwards, Ray Makeever and Ron Modell progressively during high school. John obtained a B.M. in Trumpet Performance and was awarded a Performer’s Certificate, by unanimous approval, from Indiana University where he studied with Louis Davidson and Charles Gorham. Other teachers include Armando Ghitalla, Thomas Stevens, Ray Sasaki, Roger Voisin, Vincent Cichowicz, Leonard B. Smith, and Ray Crisara.
John studied conducting with Robert Rustowicz and Eugene Dowdy and composition (emphasis jazz) with David N. Baker and John Mills. He received his Master of Music degree in conducting from the University of Texas, San Antonio in May of 2007 and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas, Austin in August of 2008.
Dr. Carroll is principal trumpet of the San Antonio Symphony and was previously principal trumpet of the Boston Opera, third/assistant first trumpet of the Springfield Symphony, and fourth/utility trumpet of the Detroit Symphony. He has also played principal trumpet with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Sunriver Music Festival Orchestra, Winters Chamber Orchestra and Cactus Pear Music Festival.
He is the trumpet instructor at the University of the Incarnate Word and formerly conducted Brass Ensembles and Jazz Ensemble at Our Lady of the Lake University.
Dr. Carroll is a founding member and the Executive director of the San Antonio Brass, Inc., a 501(c)3 musical organization dedicated to education through music as well as the preservation of brass literature and performance. He is the conductor of the San Antonio Brass Band and recently took 2nd prize in the Solo Cornet division at the North American Brass Band Association (NABBA) Competition (2017) in Ft. Wayne Indiana, playing Herbert L. Clarke’s Carnival of Venice.
John’s other interests include chamber music, composing and arranging, recording and the use of the computer in making music. He has many music making instruments.
Lauren Eberhart is currently Second Trumpet with the San Antonio Symphony, Assistant Principal Trumpet with the San Antonio Opera Orchestra and Third Trumpet with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, California. She has performed as Acting Principal Trumpet of the San Antonio Symphony for the 2007-08 seasons and has also served as Second Trumpet with the Savannah Symphony. Solo performances include Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.2 with the San Antonio Symphony and solo recitals throughout the country. She has been a guest Principal Trumpet for the Charleston (South Carolina) Symphony Orchestra numerous times and has performed as an extra with the Dallas Symphony on several occasions.
In addition to her playing duties, Lauren is adjunct instructor of trumpet at San Antonio College and has previously served as adjunct faculty at Texas A&M University, Kingsville and Savannah State Colleges. She has also performed extensively over the years with the San Antonio Brass and was a founding member of the Hemisphere Brass Quintet.
Lauren holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, and a Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Her principal teachers were the late Mary K. Squire, James Darling and Thomas Booth.
When she’s not playing the trumpet Lauren can be found enjoying time with her husband, Andrew, and daughter, Julia Gignac. She enjoys Yoga, swimming, hiking, reading, gardening and is a certified Reiki Master.
Daniel Taubenheim, born in Lake Bluff, Illinois, is a recent Master’s Degree recipient of the Shepherd School of Music where he studied with Barbara Butler and Charlie Geyer. Daniel began his trumpet studies at the age of eleven under the guidance of Christopher Richardson. Just a few years later he won the Chicago Union League Civic and Arts Competition in 2008, took second place at the National Trumpet Competition, and won the Concerto Competition at Eastern Music Festival in 2009.
Moving to New York in 2010, he began his studies with Raymond Mase and Mark Gould at The Juilliard School. Among frequent appearances with The Juilliard Orchestra, Daniel played in a wide variety of groups including the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Symphony in C, The New World Symphony Orchestra, and guest appearances with The American Brass Quintet.
Beginning in 2012, Daniel began to study with the highly esteemed baroque trumpet soloist John Thiessen. Daniel then took this skill on two international tours including visits to France, Japan, and Singapore playing with the Yale Schola Cantorum under the direction of Maestro Masaaki Suzuki. In France, he played alongside William Christie’s group, Les Arts Florissants, and The Juilliard School’s baroque ensemble, Juilliard 415.
Daniel has attended the Aspen Music Festival and Music Academy of the West.
Steve Peterson is an active performer and teacher in the Dallas and San Antonio areas. In addition to performing as principal trombone with the San Antonio Symphony, Steve often performs with the Dallas Symphony and has also performed with the Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. He has a Bachelor of Music in trombone performance from the University of Michigan where he studied with David Jackson and a Masters of Music from Southern Methodist University where he studied with John Kitzman.
Steve is a member of many chamber groups including DFW Brass, Bishop Arts Brass, and the Dallas Symphony “Yes” Brass Quintet. Previous to moving to Texas in 2011, Steve played in jazz and commercial ensembles on Princess Cruise lines, which allowed him to travel to Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean. Steve is also a videographer and creates many original satirical and documentary videos that can be found on his youtube channel: stevepetersonproject.
Patrick Montgomery began his musical studies at the piano at the age of six and after a brief stint with the violin in the fourth and fifth grade, he discovered his true calling as a trombonist at the age of twelve. Patrick started with the San Antonio Symphony in 2014. Prior to that, he received his Bachelor’s of Music from the University of Michigan under David Jackson followed by his Artist’s Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Nitzan Haroz, Matthew Vaughn, and Blair Bollinger.
Patrick was awarded an honorable mention at the 2009 Eastern Trombone Workshop Solo Competition, where he returned in 2011 as a member of EuFouria, comprised of members of the University of Michigan trombone studio, who were co-winners of the quartet competition. Also in 2011, EuFouria was a finalist in the International Trombone Festival (ITF) Quartet Competition and Patrick was a finalist in the ITF Marsteller Solo Competition.
In addition to playing the trombone, Patrick is an avid runner and enjoys hiking.
Trombone & Bass Trombone
Ilan Morgenstern is the bass trombonist of the San Antonio Symphony as well as the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, and teaches trombone at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. Ilan began his musical studies at the municipal youth conservatory in his hometown of Rehovot, Israel. At age 18 he joined the Israel Defense Forces as a trombone and euphonium player in the IDF Army Band. Following completion of his service, Ilan earned a Bachelor’s degree in trombone performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Master’s degree in trombone performance from the University of Michigan School of Music.
Prior to his current positions, Ilan has held positions with the Jacksonville Symphony and Kansas City Symphony, and in addition has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Utah Symphony, Virginia Symphony New Israeli Opera, and the Israel Philharmonic.
As a soloist, Ilan has performed concertos with the with the United States “Pershing’s Own” Army Orchestra, the Millennium Orchestra (Seoul, Korea), the Jeju Symphony Orchestra (Jeju, Korea), and the National Repertory Orchestra, and has won numerous awards for his playing including the Alessi Seminar Solo Competition, Jeju International Brass and Percussion Competition, Baur Competition, Zellmer-Minnesota Orchestra Competition, Van Haney Bass Trombone Philharmonic Prize, National Solo Competition at the Eastern Trombone
Workshop, and the National Repertory Orchestra’s Concerto Competition.
To find out more about Ilan please visit ilanmorgenstern.com
Lee Hipp, principal tuba of the San Antonio Symphony and the San Antonio Brass since 1989, has also performed with the Dallas, Houston and Atlanta symphonies, the Miami City Ballet Orchestra and the Southwest Florida Symphony. Mr. Hipp spent the 1998-2000 seasons performing as acting principal tuba with the Utah Symphony. Lee has also taught tuba and euphonium at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Utah and is currently instructor of tuba and euphonium at St. Mary’s University.
Lee Hipp is a native Texan and received his B.M. in Education from Texas Tech University studying with David Payne. He earned his M.M. in Tuba Performance at Southern Methodist University studying with Everett Gilmore and Sandy Keathley. Mr. Hipp has also studied with David Kirk of the Houston Symphony, Dennis Miller of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Donald Little of the University of North Texas/ Dallas Opera.
Mr. Hipp has performed as a soloist, in concert and recital, with groups such as the San Antonio Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Winters Chamber Orchestra, the San Antonio Brass, the King William Winds and the University of Utah Wind Symphony. He has also conducted educational clinics across the country as well as the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Bandmasters Association.
Along with his many performing and teaching duties, Lee has also devoted much of his time as a volunteer representative for the musicians of the San Antonio Symphony. He served several terms as Chair of the Orchestra Committee as well as negotiating several contracts for the orchestra.
Mr. Hipp spends six weeks every summer as the principal tuba of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina where he performs with the Eastern Philharmonic and teaches gifted, young musicians from across the United States.
Lee has recorded with the Utah and Atlanta symphonies and can be heard on the 1999 Telarc recording of the Brahms Requiem with the Utah Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as well as the 2005 Grammy Award winning Atlanta Symphony and Chorus recording of the Berlioz Requiem.
Mr. Hipp enjoys living in northwest San Antonio with his wife, Melinda, who is a local mortgage professional and their two dogs Redman and Sassy. Both Lee and Melinda enjoy playing golf and traveling throughout the Texas Hill Country.
Peter Flamm is a native of Evanston, Ilinois. He holds BM and MM degrees from the University of Michigan, where he was a recipient of the Charles Owen Memorial Scholarship, named after one of his most influential teachers (former Principal Percussionist with the Philadelphia Orchestra). Peter studied privately with Paul Yancich and Richard Weiner of the Cleveland Orchestra. Additional major teachers include Cloyd Duff, Jack Moore and Doug Howard.
In San Antonio, Peter has performed with many local groups including the Lyric Opera of San Antonio, Musical Offerings, and chamber performances at Trinity University and UTSA. In 1995, he performed William Kraft’s Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra with the San Antonio Symphony and Christopher Wilkins under the composer’s supervision. Peter has also performed as a concerto soloist with the Mid-Texas Symphony. Peter has served on the faculties of the Music Advancement Program at St. Philip’s College and Trinity University.
Peter has performed with orchestras across the country, including the Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, and the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Timpani & Percussion
Riely Francis is a native of Houston, and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Performance at Rice University. He was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and performed at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. With The New World Symphony, he toured 4 continents and made numerous orchestral recordings under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.
For 13 years, Riely held the position of Associate Principal Percussion at the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. Riely has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and Atlanta Symphony, as well as the Houston Symphony, Houston Ballet, and Houston Grand Opera.
Since 2004, he has performed chamber and orchestral music each summer at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
He is currently adjunct teacher of percussion at San Antonio College.
Prior to coming to San Antonio, Bill was a member of the “President’s Own,” U. S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C. where he performed for numerous events in the White House as well as national broadcasts, recordings and tours. A graduate of the University of Houston, he holds a Master’s of Performance from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. His teachers include Alan Abel, formerly of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the legendary snare drummer Buster Bailey, formerly of the New York Philharmonic, Chris Deviney and Don Liuzzi of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Bill has been the Principal Timpanist for the former San Antonio Lyric opera, and has been a frequent performer with the Houston, Austin, Corpus Christi, and Mid-Texas symphony orchestras.
His passion for music education includes ongoing outreach in the public schools, working with directors and students with clinics, master classes, performances, as well as being a frequent consultant with school districts developing curriculum for percussion.
He has been a featured clinician for Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association and the Percussive Arts Society International Conference (PASIC), and he has been on the faculties of Trinity University, St. Mary’s University, Texas Lutheran College and the Trevino Performing Arts School in Laredo, Texas, as well as being a clinician and endorser for Sabian Cymbals and Majestic Percussion.
Bill maintains a very active teaching studio in San Antonio and coaches players at all levels. His work with younger players includes coaching percussion for the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, as well as collaborations with the “Make a Wish Foundation.”
He is also the inventor and owner of www.PattersonSnares.com, and his cable snares are now used by almost every major orchestra in the world.
In his spare time, he and his wife, Ann, enjoy spending time with their daughter and two sons and their families who live in the Austin, Texas area. He enjoys wilderness backpacking and hiking in the Rocky Mountains, plus fishing and other outdoor activities. His most recent adventure included extensive hiking in the Fiordsland and mountains of New Zealand with his older son, Ryan.
David Reinecke begins his first season with the San Antonio Symphony in 2015 shortly after finishing his Master’s Degree. He was previously a member of the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra and has also performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
A Texas native, David received his B.M. from the University of North Texas, and his M.M. from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He also spent two summers at the Round Top Festival Institute. His principal teachers include Christopher Allen, Christopher Deane, John Soroka, and Edward Stephan.
Rachel Ferris currently holds the position of Principal Harp with the San Antonio Symphony. She enjoys a varied career as an orchestral harpist, soloist, and chamber musician. Originally from rural upstate New York, she attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied with Joan Raeburn-Holland and graduated with honors.
Ms. Ferris received a Bachelor’s Degrees in Religion and Harp Performance from Oberlin College and Conservatory, studying harp with renowned harpist and pedagogue, Alice Chalifoux. Ms. Ferris has participated in several music festivals including Aspen, Chautauqua, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival, Breckenridge Music Festival, and the New Hampshire Music Festival.
She has recorded a CD on the Centaur label, featuring French works for cello and harp with former Chicago Symphony cellist Donald Moline. Ms. Ferris has also held the position of principal harp with the Florida West Coast Symphony and Tulsa Philharmonic. She has performed with several orchestras, including the Houston Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Florida Orchestra, and the New World Symphony. She has appeared as a soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, and the San Antonio Symphony. Ms. Ferris has appeared as a guest artist with several area chamber music groups, including the Olmos Chamber Ensemble, Camerata, Cactus Pear, and Musical Offerings.
Greg Vaught has served as principal librarian of the San Antonio Symphony since 1983. Before coming to Texas, Greg played bassoon in the North Carolina Symphony for seven years. He grew up in Boise, Idaho, beginning his music studies on the clarinet before switching to the bassoon. He received a degree in bassoon performance from the Indiana University School of Music, where he was a student of Leonard Sharrow, former principal of the NBC and Chicago Symphonies; Milan Turković of the Vienna Symphony and baroque bassoonist for the Concentus Musicus Wien; and William Waterhouse of the BBC Symphony, London.
Greg served for three years on the governing board of the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association (MOLA), including a year as president. MOLA’s membership now comprises the performance libraries of 270 orchestras, bands, conservatories, music festivals, and other ensembles in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
An obsession for detail has led to his editing several corrected publications of orchestra music by the Edwin F. Kalmus Co., including works of Debussy, Griffes, Paganini, Holst (The Planets), and Richard Strauss (Don Quixote).
Greg’s previous employment also includes spraying yards with toxic pesticides, sweeping parking lots, pre-dawn hours stuffing inserts into newspapers, bucking hay bales on an Idaho farm, shoveling piles of lung-clogging wheat chaff, moving sprinkler pipe in vine-tangled potato fields, and two years as an emergency room orderly. In hindsight, all of these can be seen as training for his ultimate occupation as an orchestra librarian.
When not working with stacks of music in the library at the Tobin Center, Greg enjoys reading, watching old movies, and exploring the Hill Country.
Allison Bates is the Associate Librarian of the San Antonio Symphony. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she received the Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She then received the Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where she worked as a Performance Library Assistant and later held the position of Assistant Performance Librarian after the completion of her degree. Allison was also previously Head Librarian of the Aspen Music Festival and School, Orchestra Library Apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera, and Assistant Orchestra Librarian at Columbia University.
DeAnna D’Egidio is a 2012 Graduate from the University of Akron in Ohio where she received her BA in Technical Theatre with focus on Light Design and Stage Management. After graduation DeAnna expanded her horizons by becoming a certified Assistant Pyro technician, allowing her to add fireworks and special effects to shows. Since college, DeAnna has worked as an Electrician for IATSE 101, provided Technical Theatre Instruction for TrueNorth Cultural Arts, and served as Assistant Stage Manager and Lighting/Sound Assistant for CATCO is Theatre where she became an Equity Membership Candidate.
For the last two years DeAnna has been developing her skills in major theme parks serving as the Props/Puppets Mistress on the World Premiere of London Rocks at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2014, followed by being serving as a Stage Manager for Sol Celebration and Surprise Squad at Sea World San Antonio. DeAnna also served as a Stage Manager and Safety Coordinator for Hydro Power 2.0, an extreme ski and boat stunt show.
DeAnna has an accomplished musical and acting background having performed in various theatrical plays and musicals as well as being a part of her church house band and chorus. She has performance with a variety of bands and her musical abilities include singing, flute, piccolo, violin, piano, and mallet percussion. DeAnna happy to be working with the San Antonio Symphony and being around her one true love, music.