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Tobin Endowment Music Director Chair
Tobin Endowment Music Director Chair Tobin Endowment Music Director Chair
German conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing has been Music Director of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra since 2010.
In the 2018-19 season, Lang-Lessing debuts with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec and Odense Symfoniorkester, and he returns to the Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy, and an immediate re-invitation with the Korean National Opera conducting Guillaume Tell. Highlights of the 2017-18 season include his debut with Korean National Opera conducting Manon, and a return to the Brevard Music Festival.
Lang-Lessing was Chief Conductor of the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy and Artistic Director of the Nancy Opera, which, under his direction, was promoted to Opéra National de Lorraine. From 2004 until 2011, Mr. Lang-Lessing was Music Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, which grew to become one of the leading orchestras in the Pacific Rim. With this orchestra, Sebastian Lang-Lessing built a comprehensive, award-winning discography, especially of Classical and Romantic repertoire. He appears regularly as guest conductor with leading French orchestras including the symphony orchestras of Bordeaux and Toulouse, as well as with leading orchestras in North America such as the Vancouver, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee Symphonies, and European orchestras including regular appearances with the Copenhagen Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Gran Canaria, Malaga, and Palermo.
Lang-Lessing, who received the Ferenc Fricsay Award when he was twenty-four years old, began his career at the Hamburg State Opera. Based on Sebastian’s work as assistant conductor to Gerd Albrecht in Hamburg, legendary stage director and opera manager Götz Friedrich engaged him as Resident Conductor at Deutsche Oper Berlin. Today, Sebastian Lang-Lessing regularly appears with the leading opera companies of the world, including those in Paris, Hamburg, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. His operatic repertoire is exceptionally wide, with seventy-five works ranging from Baroque to contemporary opera.
Maestro Lang-Lessing led the Philharmonia Orchestra in the 2013 recording performance for Renée Fleming’s Guilty Pleasures album (Decca). Other notable recordings have included the complete symphonies of Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Schumann with the Tasmanian Symphony, and the sensational re-discovery of the works of Joseph-Guy Ropartz with the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy. Late 2017 saw the release of the DVD of his critically acclaimed production of Der Rosenkavalier from the NCPA in Beijing, and of a Christmas CD with Pavel Sporcl and the Royal Liverpool Orchestra.
Lang-Lessing has been at the forefront of educational programming for classical music with a younger audience, an area in which he has shown great passion and commitment with orchestras throughout the world.
Sebastian Lang-Lessing holds the Tobin Endowment Music Director Chair.
Noam Aviel is the Assistant Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony, leading the Young People’s Concerts, Pops Series, Community and Outreach concerts, and acting as the cover conductor for the Classics Series. She also conducts the Symphony in the annual, fully-staged production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, in collaboration with Ballet San Antonio.
This season, she proudly makes her conducting debut with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavík.
An opera enthusiast, Aviel serves as the Assistant Conductor at OPERA San Antonio, a position she has held since 2016. With them, she has assisted in productions of La bohème, Macbeth, Carmen, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Las Fundaciones de Béjar by Joseph Julian Gonzalez. She was also Music Director and Conductor of the opera A Dinner Engagement by Lennox Berkeley as part of the Illinois Festival Opera, and conducted performances of Street Scene by Kurt Weill at Illinois State University, where she served as Assistant Director of Orchestras. Aviel has served in Assistant Conductorships with Angels Vocal Art in Los Angeles and McCall SummerFest in Idaho.
Aviel holds a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from Illinois State University and Bachelor’s degrees in Voice Performance and Orchestral Conducting from Tel-Aviv University. She was also fortunate enough to participate as a Conducting Fellow at the Eastern Music Festival, working closely with Maestro Gerard Schwarz. A native of Israel, Aviel’s earliest performance experience was as a chorus member with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Zubin Mehta.
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.
San Antonio Mastersingers
San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers conductor Dr. John Silantien has taught and conducted choirs on the secondary and collegiate levels in Texas, in 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. In May 2018 Dr. Silantien retired as Professor Emeritus from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He serves as Director of Choral Music at University Presbyterian Church and is in his thirty-fifth year as Director of the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers.
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, returning in 2008 for a performance of Mozart’s Vespers. In May 2016, he conducted the Mastersingers in the Carnegie Hall premiere of Robert Cohen’s Alzheimer’s Stories. During June 2018 he toured France with the Mastersingers. The group performed at the American Cemetery in Normandy, at the Abbey Church of Mont St. Michel, during the High Mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and at the prestigious Church of La Madeleine.
Elizabeth H. Coates | Concertmaster Chair
Elizabeth H. Coates | Concertmaster Chair
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.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Sarah Silver, Associate 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.
Renia Piotrowski-Shterenberg is Acting Assistant Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony and Executive Director of Olmos Ensemble, a San Antonio-based chamber music group. Originally from Manchester, New Hampshire, she attended Indiana University, University of Minnesota, and Louisiana State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Music. Formerly Principal Second Violin of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, she has also been a member of the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Austin Opera, and Austin Symphony. As a soloist, Renia has performed with New Hampshire Philharmonic, Breckenridge Music Institute, and Charleston Symphony.
Renia performs on a violin she commissioned from Andrew Ryan in 2011.
Joan Christenson, violin, holds bachelor and master of music degrees from the University of Cincinnati and 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, and the Grand Teton Music Festival.
Since assuming the directorship of Musical Offerings in 1989, Ms. Christenson has collaborated with musicians from many avenues of professional life in San Antonio and has presented many unique concert formats like the highly-acclaimed series, Jazz Meets Classical, now in its 23rd season. Joan has also presented 30 years of gallery concerts in conjunction with the San Antonio Museum of Art. In 2004 Joan was named a winner of the Arts and Letters Award presented by the Friends of the Public Library for her contributions to the cultural life of San Antonio.
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, 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, Itzhak Perlman, when she heard him play on “Sesame Street”. She began lessons at the age of 4 and has been playing ever since. Laura joined the First Violin section of the San Antonio Symphony in 2011, and also serves as the Assistant Concertmaster of the Mid-Texas Symphony. Prior to joining the San Antonio Symphony, she was a member of the Delaware and Allentown Symphonies.
Laura is a passionate chamber musician and has performed with various ensembles in Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. She has been performing as a member of the Mid-Texas Symphony Chamber Players since 2014. Currently, she is working with some of her fellow San Antonio Symphony members to launch the Trivium Chamber Ensemble in early 2019.
In addition to her orchestral duties, Laura is an enthusiastic teacher and maintains a robust private studio and served as Adjunct Professor of Violin at Texas Lutheran University from 2013-2015.
Laura holds degrees from Temple University (BA) and the University of Delaware (MM) and has attended the Tanglewood, Aspen, and Kent/Blossom summer festivals. Her primary teachers have included William dePasquale, Xiang Gao, and Ellen dePasquale. When not working, Laura can often be found potting up succulents in the greenhouse, digging in the vegetable garden or attempting to entertain the cats.
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 musician and solo recitalist since his arrival in the South Texas area. From 2011-2018 Craig was the founder and Artistic Director of the Mid-Texas Symphony Chamber Players. Late 2018/early 2019 will see the launch of a new chamber music project, the Trivium Chamber Ensemble, which Craig has started with several of his SA Symphony colleagues and for which he will also serve as Artistic Director. Music education has also played an important part in Craig’s career. In 2003 he joined the music faculty of Trinity University where he served as Adjunct Professor of Violin until 2016. And since 2008 Craig has served 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 Symphony violist Colin; and Los Angeles-based visual effects artist Cameron. In spring of 2018 Craig and Melanie were excited to welcome Clara, their first grandchild, to the family.
Principal Second Violin
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.
Assistant Principal Second Violin
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 joined the Second Violin section of the San Antonio Symphony in 1981. A native of Fairway, KS, Judy began violin studies at the age of nine then went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Missouri Kansas City – Conservatory of Music where she was a student of Tiberius Klausner. She continued her graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with David Cerone, ultimately completing her Master of Music degree from UMKC.
Judy has performed as a member of many other San Antonio area organizations, including the San Antonio Opera and the Winters Chamber Orchestra. She was a member of the local Klezmer band “Hallel” and has specialized in Jewish music. Judy has been arranging Jewish music since high school and has published a collection of her arrangements, Jewish Wedding Music for String Quartet. She continues to arrange and perform Jewish music on a regular basis.
Judy is married to Steve and has three grown children, all of whom have been very involved in music, and one of which became a professional cellist.
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.
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
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
Christine Wang joined the San Antonio Symphony for the 2017-2018 season after completing her M.M. at Rice University with Ms. Kathleen Winkler. Prior to this, she gained her B.M. under the tutelage of Professor Oleh Krsya at Eastman School of Music. Christine goes home to Australia regularly and has played in various Australian orchestras including the Queensland Symphony, and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Col. and Mrs, Ran Watson | Principal Chair
Col. and Mrs, Ran Watson Principal Chair
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.
Alice Viola Winters Eidson | Assistant Principal Chair
Assistant Principal Viola
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.
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.
Daniel Wang is a Taiwanese American violist. He joined the San Antonio Symphony in January 2016 and is also a substitute violist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Daniel is originally from Lake Jackson, Texas, and spent his teenage years living in Taipei, Taiwan. He began learning the violin when he was eight, but was encouraged to switch to viola after failing multiple times to make it into his high school orchestra on the violin. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as very quickly, at the age of sixteen, he fell in love with the beautiful sound of the viola and never looked back.
Daniel has degrees from Indiana University and Rice University, where he studied with Alan de Veritch and James Dunham. While he was a music student, he had opportunities to perform in many places around the world as a participant of the Pacific Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and Sarasota Music Festival. His other mentors are Jay Liu and Jonathan Vinocour of San Francisco Symphony, and Joan DerHovsepian of Houston Symphony. Daniel considers his career to be a miracle and feels privileged to make music on his viola.
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
Mary Rohe Principal Chair
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.
Assistant Principal Cello
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.
Qizhen Liu joined the San Antonio Symphony in 2017. Prior to that, she was the principal cellist of Topeka Symphony Orchestra.
Qizhen is a prizewinner in the 2015 Kansas City Music Club Competition, 2014 MTNA Young Artist String Solo Competition, 2014 Sigma Alpha Iota Competition, 2012 Sorantin International String Competition, and Internationaler Jugendmusikwettbewerb in Ehigen, Germany. She has appeared in the Fontainebleau Music Festival (France), Zephyr Chamber Music Festival (Italy), Schleswig Holstein Music Festival (Germany), Morningside Bridge Music Festival (Canada), Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and Sarasota Music Festival in USA.
In addition to performing, Qizhen currently teaches at the University of Incarnate Word. She has also taught as adjunct instructor of cello at Ottawa University, as faculty member at Morse Music Academy at Yale School of Music, as teaching assistant at Casalsmaggorie Music Festival in Italy, and as teaching artist in the Musical Bridges Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.
Qizhen Liu holds a BM in Cello Performance and BA in German Studies from Bard College. She earned her MM from Yale School of Music and a Doctorate of Music Arts from University of Missouri-Kansas City.
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 the Principal Bassist of the San Antonio Symphony since 1993. Thomas began studying the double bass at the age of 9, receiving numerous awards and scholarships during his studies. Advancing quickly at Southern Methodist University with Thomas Lederer of the Dallas Symphony from age 10 to 14. He then attended the Aspen Music Festival from ages 14 through 19 studying with Eugene Levinson and Stuart Sankey, He further excelled at the Interlochen Arts Academy studying with Thomas Knific, then went on to receive full scholarships from The Curtis Institute studying with Roger Scott, and Indiana’s University at Bloomington studying with Lawrence Hurst and Bruce Bransby, with specializations in Baroque and Modern music. Thomas became a professional bassist at 19 with the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago while also performing part time with the Indianapolis Symphony.
After appearing as soloist with the San Antonio Symphony to great applause, Mike Greenberg, of the Express News, Senior Critic, said in his review “Luscious singing tone—and impeccable rhythm”, and Jay J. Faraker, of the Southside Reporter, said in his review “Virtuoso–who exhibits extraordinary abilities on his instrument”.
Thomas participates in the Symphony’s community outreach program and more, performing for students throughout Bexar and Atascosa County in an effort to promote the double bass as means of personal fulfillment for all students. As an instructor of the double bass Thomas has an extensive private, high tech, and modern studio. Teaching beginning students through the college age, as well as professionals. His students have succeded as scholarship recipients at some of the most respected music schools in the country, as well as attaining professional positions. For a free to your school performance/demonstration please contact Mr. Huckaby at: Octabass@mac.com
An avid pedagogue, medical academic, and medical administrator. As C.E.O. he most recently tripled the gross revenue of My Kid’s Pediatrician, in 4.5 years, thereby greatly expanding medical availability for children in a medically underserved area. Thomas has an intense interest in human longevity, regenerative medicine, and theoretical biogerontology. He is a 4.0 student at UTSA working toward multiple degrees in biology.
Thomas performs on a double bass made in 1690 by Mr. Carlo Giuseppe Testore, restored to its full beauty by Don Robertson of Robertson’s violins in 2017.
Assistant Principal Bass
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Casey Karr is currently the one-year Assistant Principal Bassist of the San Antonio Symphony. He has performed as Principal Bass with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and Firelands Symphony Orchestra. Casey holds degrees from Northwestern University and Oberlin Conservatory, where his primary teachers were Andy Raciti, Scott Dixon, and Tom Sperl. He is a founding member of the Chicago-based Zafa Collective and a former member of The Orchestra Now. Casey’s summer appearances have included Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Domaine Forget Music Academy, and National Repertory Orchestra.
Nicholas Browne is a member the Bass section in the San Antonio Symphony, and also serves as Principal Bassist of the Breckenridge Music Festival. Previously a member of the Canton Symphony, he was recently invited to play guest Principal Bass with the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra.
In addition to his duties in San Antonio, Nicholas regularly performs with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and has played with the Pittsburgh, Houston, and Grand Rapids Symphonies, and the Rochester Philharmonic.
A native of Pittsburgh, Nicholas earned a Bachelor of Music from Duquesne University and a Master of Music at Rice University, studying with Jeffrey Turner and Timothy Pitts, respectively. As a student, he enjoyed 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.
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.
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.
Associate Principal Flute/Piccolo
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!
Ewing Halsell Foundation | Principal Chair
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.
Assistant Principal/Second Oboe
Known for his bold and charismatic playing, oboist ZACHARY BOEDING enjoys an exciting, varied performing career throughout the United States and Canada.
Recently appointed the Assistant Principal/Second Oboist of the San Antonio Symphony, Zachary has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Kansas City, Princeton, and Bay Atlantic Symphonies, and Boston’s Discovery Ensemble. Additionally, he was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and a core member of the new orchestral training program, The Orchestra Now (TŌN) at Bard College.
As a recitalist and emcee, he has presented across North America in venues like Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Jordan Hall in Boston, and the Salle Bourgie of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. A dedicated performer of contemporary music, Zachary has premiered and performed new works with Boston Musica Viva, Boston’s New Music Initiative, Philadelphia’s Network for New Music, among others.
Zachary, a Kansas City native, holds a Master’s degree from McGill University Schulich School of Music and a Bachelor’s degree from New England Conservatory of Music; he studied with Theodore Baskin and John Ferrillo, respectively. Further studies with Anne Marie Gabriele, Jonathan Blumenfeld, Barbara Bishop, and Daniel Stolper have been equally integral to his formation.
English Horn/Utility Oboe
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 Principal clarinetist of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (Columbus, OH), Ilya Shterenberg balances a busy career as an orchestral musician, chamber music performer, and a soloist. Hailed by the press: “He possesses that miraculous gift of an innate musical sense…music seemed to flow toward the infinite, as if divinely ordained”, he has been featured as a soloist with San Antonio and Charleston symphonies, performing works by Mozart, Weber, Rossini, Debussy, and Strauss, as well as rarely heard clarinet concertos by Krommer and Kurpinsky.
He has been featured as Principal clarinetist with Cincinnati and Seattle Symphonies, and has collaborated with some of the most notable conductors of our time, including 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 the Olmos Ensemble, a chamber group made up of principal woodwind players from the San Antonio Symphony. His summer appearances have included 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.
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.
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 and the North Shore Chamber Music Festival.
Ilya is a Buffet Group USA performing artist.
Assistant Principal/E-flat Clarinet
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.
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.
Assistant Principal/Second Bassoon
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.
A Chicago native, bassoonist Ron Noble has been a member of the San Antonio Symphony for 44 years. He received a Bachelor of Music from DePaul University and a Master in Music performance from University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA).
In his long career, Ron has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, the Grant Park Music Festival, the Naples (Florida) Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, Austin Symphony, Miami Philharmonic, Corpus Christi Symphony, and the Victoria Symphony. He was also Principal Bassoon of the San Antonio Opera and the Winters Chamber Orchestra, as well as a member of the Grove Winds and King William Winds.
Ron was the Bassoon Instructor at UTSA from 1996 to 2012. He developed his own contrabassoon reed shaper tip with the Fox Products Company.
Ron likes to read, travel with his wife, Kathy, and spend time with his four lovely grandchildren.
Ron likes to read and exercises every day.
Jeff Garza is the Principal Hornist of the San Antonio Symphony and the Britt Festival Orchestra. He has previously held principal positions with the Houston Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera and Festival Mozaic Orchestra, and has served as guest Principal Horn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, and the Fort Worth Symphony. Jeff has held fellowship positions with the New World Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra. He regularly performs and tours with the San Francisco Symphony and was an acting member of the orchestra during the 2016-17 season.
Jeff has appeared as a soloist with the San Antonio Symphony, the Britt Orchestra, and the Festival Mozaic Orchestra and has been a featured artist at music festivals, horn workshops and chamber music series throughout the United States including the Menlo School Summer Brass Institute, Chamber Music International, Concordia Chamber Players, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Cactus Pear Music Festival and the Texas Music Festival.
Jeff earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and is an alumnus of the Interlochen Center for the Arts where he was awarded an Emerson Scholarship and the Young Artist Certificate, Interlochen Arts Academy’s highest artistic honor. He is currently the Instructor of Horn at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.
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.
Associate Principal/Third Horn
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.
The 2018-19 Season marks Dr. Carroll’s 40th season as Principal Trumpet of the San Antonio Symphony. He has twice served on the Orchestra Committee, once as chair, as well as the Conductor Search and Hall Search Committees and has appeared as soloist three times, performing the concertos of Franz Joseph Haydn, Alexander Arutunian, and Bill Conti.
John began his professional career, while still a graduate student at the New England Conservatory, as Principal Trumpet of the Boston Opera Orchestra under the leadership of Sarah Caldwell. During this time he also performed as a freelance musician with the Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops Orchestras. He has played lead-trumpet for many jazz and pop artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight and Dizzy Gillespie.
Dr. Carroll is a dedicated teacher. His students have placed first in All-State orchestra and jazz and have held positions in some of the top orchestras, jazz groups, and music school faculties in the US and Mexico.
An avid chamber musician, John has performed hundreds of brass quintet recitals and educational concerts for students throughout the U.S. and has also performed with the Olmos Ensemble, Cornucopia, Camerata San Antonio, Musical Offerings, an the Cactus Pear Music Festival
He is a charter member of the International Trumpet Guild, and a founding member and current CEO and Artistic Director of the San Antonio Brass, Inc.
John’s other interests include musical composition and the use of the computer in making music. Click Here To Hear Dr. Carroll play Honegger’s Intrada.
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.
Associate Principal Trumpet
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.
Assistant Principal/Second Trombone
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.
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.
Assistant Principal 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.
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.
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.
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.