Strings

Violin

Vahn Armstrong, Concertmaster

Dorothy Redwood Cooke Sutherland Concertmaster Chair

In his career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader, recording artist and pedagogue, Vahn Armstrong has established himself as a leading violinist of his generation. He is now in his twenty-sxith season as Concertmaster of the Virginia Symphony, an orchestra which has garnered national praise for its performances and recordings. Mr. Armstrong is also Concertmaster of the Virginia Opera, and during the summer he serves as Concertmaster for Chautauqua Opera and Associate Concertmaster of the Chautauqua Symphony in Chautauqua, New York.

Mr. Armstrong has appeared as soloist on many occasions with the Virginia and Chautauqua symphonies, as well as many other orchestras throughout the U.S. He is a member of Apollo, an ensemble whose premiere recording of John Luther Adams’ Clouds of forgetting, clouds of unknowing was recently released by New World Records. He is also a charter member of the Virginia Waterfront International Arts Festival Chamber Music Series, and leader of the Chautauqua String Quartet. For ten years, Mr. Armstrong performed with the award-winning New World String Quartet, concertising throughout the U.S. and Europe. The New World Quartet made several recordings; one of these, Ainsi la nuit by Henri Dutilleux, was awarded a Prix du disc.

Mr. Armstrong gave the world premiere of Larry Bell’s Book of moonlight for violin and piano in Boston in 1989. In fact, throughout his career he has been committed to performing music of this century. He includes in his repertoire not only works of Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Berg, Prokofieff, Bartok, and Barber, but also those of Ligeti, Dutilleux, Arvo Part, Elliot Carter, Richard Danielpour, Gwyneth Walker, and many others.

Mr. Armstrong has recorded for MCA Classics, New World Records, Musical Heritage Society, and others. He has been a frequent guest on NPR’s Performance Today, WGBH’s Morning Pro Musica, WNED’s Music from Chautauqua, and BBC London. He was also Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University, University of Michigan, Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California and MusicWest at Utah State University.

A native of Michigan, Mr. Armstrong holds BM and MM degrees from the Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay. He now resides in Norfolk, Virginia, and enjoys sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Yun Zhang, Associate Concertmaster

Yun ZhangYun Zhang began his violin studies under the tutelage of his father at the age of three and gave his first public performance when he was five years old. While studying in the renowned Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Yun Zhang was awarded the Fu Cheng Xian Memorial Scholarship for excellence in performance and artistic potential. In 1998, he arrived in Bloomington to study with Henryk Kowalski and Stephen Boe, the former teaching assistants of Josef Gingold at the Indiana University. In the 2001-2002 season, Yun Zhang was a recipient of the prestigious Helen F. Whitaker Fellowship and served as the concertmaster for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under the direction of conductors Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman, David Robertson, Anne Manson, William Eddins, Cliff Colnot, Giancarlo Guerrero, and Duain Wolfe. In 2002, Yun Zhang joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra as Associate Concertmaster. He has performed frequently in recitals and chamber music series throughout the United States and Asia. Recent solo appearances with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra include the “Butterfly” Violin Concerto, Brahms Violin and Cello Double Concerto, Beethoven Violin Concerto, Haydn Symphony Concertante, and Mozart Violin Concerto in D major. His performances have been broadcasted on Classical 88.7 FM of Indianapolis, WFMT Radio Network of Chicago, WSVH of Savannah, Georgia and WHRO of Hampton Roads, Virginia. Yun Zhang is active in teaching. He holds the positions of guest professor of violin at Yunnan Arts Institute in China and the artist in residence at Christopher Newport University.

Jonathan Richards, Assistant Concertmaster

Hailed by the Washington Post for “…bringing real drama” to his performances, violinist Jonathan Richards has performed throughout the United States and Canada as both a chamber musician and soloist. He has won numerous competitions and has appeared as soloist with the Kishwaukee Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Vincent’s of Chicago, the Judson College Symphony, the Northern Illinois University Philharmonic, and the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra. Richards has gained recent accolades in DC’s new music scene for his performances with the esteemed VERGE ensemble, the Grammy nominated Inscape Chamber Orchestra, and the New Music Ensemble of Towson. As an orchestral musician, he has performed regularly with the Fairfax Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, Alexandria Symphony, Chesapeake Symphony, and National Philharmonic along with the Concert Artists of Baltimore, Post-Classical Orchestra, Washington Soloists, and is now performing full-time with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Richards was a founding member of the Adelphi String Quartet as well as a member of the critically acclaimed Excelsa Quartet. As a recording artist, Richards has recorded Walter Gieseking’s works for string quartet and string trio for the Naxos label with the Adelphi Quartet, and has recently recorded world premiers for the Sono Luminus label with the Inscape Chamber Orchestra.

Elizabeth Coulter Vonderheide, Principal Second

Lee A. & Helen G. Gifford Principal Second Violin Chair

Elizabeth Coulter Vonderheide, originally from Lynchburg, VA, began violin studies at age 5. She studied with Dr. Svend Ronning at the University of Virginia while in high school, and earned the Bachelor of Music from The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in the studio of the late Franco Gulli, Distinguished Professor of Violin, where she was a Dorothy Richards Starling scholarship recipient. While in Indiana she held contracts with the Camerata Orchestra, the Owensboro Symphony in Kentucky, and the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. Elizabeth earned the Master of Music in the prestigious Orchestral Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Glenn Dicterow, Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.

While in New York she served as Concertmaster of both the Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia and Chamber Orchestras, where she had the opportunity to play under such renowned conductors as Kurt Masur, David Robertson, Pierre Boulez, and Julius Roudel. She also appeared as a soloist both with the Claremont Ensemble and in a live broadcast on Soundcheck with John Schaeffer on 93.9 WNYC FM, and performed regularly with Dicappo Opera and the Kalaiope Quartet. Elizabeth won the job of Assistant Principal Second Violin with the Virginia Symphony in 2003, and since then has also played a season as Acting Principal Second.

Since 2008 she has been a regular substitute with the St. Louis Symphony, and has joined them for both their Opera Season and their Carnegie Hall tour. Elizabeth has soloed with the Virginia Symphony, the Lynchburg Symphony and the National Repertory Orchestra, and performed as a member of the National Symphony of the Dominican Republic, the orchestras of the Spoleto, Italy Festival, the American Institute of Musical Study (Graz, Austria), the Crested Butte Music Festival, The Colorado Music Festival, and the Conducting Institute at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. An avid chamber musician, she is a regular performer on the Organ Swell Recital Series in Hampton Roads and the Midday Music Recital Series in Lynchburg, and has performed with the Ambrosia Quartet on the Feldman Chamber Music Series in Norfolk, with the Virginia Symphony Quartet featured on NPR’s Performance Today, and with the Quartet-in-Residence at Quisisana Resort in Center Lovell, Maine. She has also been a Guest Artist at Randolph College in Lynchburg. Elizabeth is married to VSO Principal Trumpet David Vonderheide, and they live in Portsmouth with their dog Marty.

Omari Abdul-Alim

Omari Abdul-Alim is one of the musicians taking part in the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s African American Fellowship Program.

Jorge Aguirre

Jorge Aguirre was born in Lima-Peru. Following studies at the Conservatorio Nacional in Peru, Mr. Aguirre received a scholarship to study with Mr. Henryk Szeryng in Mexico and later with Mr. Szimzia Bajour. He received a scholarship to attend the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado to study with Ms. Dorothy Delay for two summers. Meanwhile he performed professionally with of orchestras in Mexico such as the Guadalajara Symphony, Guanajuato Orchestra, Estado de Mexico Symphony, and the Xalapa Symphony. He moved to Europe to play with The Sinfonietta de Roma (Italy), Royal Opera of Brussels (Belgium) Mannheim Opera (Germany) and later with Madrid Symphony, all in different title chairs. He had the privilege to play professionally under great conductors such as, Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Metha, Lorin Maazel and James Levine among them.

In the USA he began playing as Assistant Concertmaster in the Coronado Music Festival (Arizona) Colorado Music Festival (Boulder), South Florida Symphony (Fort Lauderdale), Miami Chamber Orchestra and briefly with the Florida Philharmonic. He was the Assistant Concertmaster for the New American Chamber Players based in Detroit.

After his wife Sherie Aguirre won the first oboe position in the Virginia Symphony, he came to Hampton Roads area to play with the Virginia Symphony where he has been heard as a soloist and a Concertmaster in several occasions. He plays with the Virginia Opera and serves as first violinist for the Hampton Roads String Quartet and the Four Seasons String Quartet. He is Concertmaster of the International Todi Festival in Virginia under the baton of Maestro Walter Atanassi and Associate Concertmaster of The Santo Domingo Music Festival under the baton of Maestro Philippe Entremmont.

As a teacher and conductor Mr. Aguirre has been an adjunct professor at Conservatorio Real de Madrid in Spain, Old Dominion University, Hampton University, and Christopher Newport Universities in Virginia. He has conducted orchestras such as The Bay Youth Orchestra, All City Orchestras in Norfolk and Newport News, the Governor’s School for the Arts and the College of William and Mary. He is presently the conductor of the acclaimed Hampton Roads Chamber Players.

Anna Bishop

Anna Bishop is a native of Virginia Beach who grew up behind the scenes of the VSO as the daughter of two musician parents in the orchestra. Prior to her time with VSO, she was a member of the Richmond Symphony from 2015-2018, Civic Orchestra of Chicago,  and Opera on the James. She continues to be a member of various groups in the area such as the Williamsburg Symphony and Williamsburg Opera.

Anna was an emerging artists at festivals such as the Garth Newel Music Institute, Brevard Music Center, Colorado Quartet Institute and the Nova Scotia International Young Artist Program. During her summer festival studies she was fortunate to study with leading concertmasters such as William Preucil, David Coucheron and Jonathan Carney.

Mrs. Bishop holds a B.M. from Virginia Commonwealth University as well as attended the graduate program at Chicago College of Performing Arts on scholarship. Her principal teachers have been Susanna Klein and MingHuan Xu.

Anna is also a studio violinist and teacher. Her playing is featured on the podcast, S-Town, created by Serial and This American Life. She resides in Richmond with her husband, two cats, and retired greyhound.

Lesa McCoy Bishop
A native of Illinois, Lesa attended the University of Iowa pursuing a degree in music performance and the study of contemporary music. She worked as the violinist for the Center for New Music under the direction of the late William Hibbard. Upon graduation, she worked as a violinist in Mexico with the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Veracruz Symphony and the Toluca State Orchestra. She also was a violinist with the Symphony Nova Scotia in Canada. She has been a member of the Virginia Symphony since 1988. She performs regularly with the Four Seasons String Quartet and the Norfolk Chamber Consort.

Recently Lesa began her professional bodybuilding career. In the 2006-2007 season, she won first place overall titles in the following: NASF 2006 Old Dominion Championships, NASF 2006 American National Championships, the 2007 North Carolina Open, the 2007 Virginia Open, the NPA Masters Universe Pro Qualifier, and the NPA Fall Pro Classic. Lesa combines the discipline of music and bodybuilding by guest posing at bodybuilding shows playing her violin. She was recently honored as the NPA top female pro athlete of 2007.

Mayu Cipriano

Mayu Kuroda Cipriano was born in Tokyo, Japan and began studying the violin at the age of five. At 12, she won the Special Prize in the All Japan Mainichi Competition; and at 13, played with the NHK second symphony. At the behest of Cho-Liang Lin, she came to the United States to study with Ms. Dorothy Delay and Masao Kawasaki at the Juilliard Pre-College. Mayu continued her undergraduate studies at Juilliard, earning a Bachelor of Music in 1998. In addition to Juilliard, she also attended the Aspen Music Festival for six consecutive summers beginning in 1991, earning second prize in the Nakamichi concerto competition. As a result, she performed in recital at the Wheeler Opera House Aspen.

Mayu joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in 2003. She is also regular substitute with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, joining them for their 2010 Carnegie Hall performance. She previously held positions with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, and has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and the New City Ballet.

Mayu has been a member of the Ambrosia Quartet since 2005. In 2016, the quartet recorded the String Quartets of Adolphus Hailstork for Albany Records.  They have been also featured performers for the Virginia Arts Festival, the Feldman Chamber Music Society Series, and the Salon Series with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Mayu has also performed numerous solo recitals in New York City and Japan with her sister Ai, also a Juilliard graduate in piano. The Sisters Duo have performed at the Cremona Exhibition at the Christoph Landon Gallery, Columbia University, the Russian Tea Room, Oji Hall in Tokyo, and were featured on Radio City 84.0 MHz Tokyo and the Japanese Television show Zoom In Asa live from New York. Mayu is married to James Cipriano, who is a tuba player with the United States Army Music program and resides in Norfolk, VA with their beloved cats Eddie and Velvet.

Amy Taira Danielson
Coming Soon.
Jeanne DeDominick
Coming Soon.
Linda Dennis
Coming Soon.
Brendon Elliott

Bio Coming Soon.

Angelina Gandolfo
Canadian violinist Angelina Gandolfo graduated from McGill University (Montreal, QC) in 2014 with a Master of Music degree, having studied with Mark Fewer and Alexander Read. Previously, Angelina attended the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY) where she studied with Lynn Blakeslee and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance, with Distinction.

She has participated in numerous summer music festivals including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Meadowmount School of Music, The Castleman Quartet Program, Classical Music Festival in Austria, as well as summer studies at Indiana University. She has played in masterclasses for Rachel Barton Pine, Irvine Arditti, Charles Castleman, Sally Thomas, Cynthia Roberts, and members of the Chiara, Ying, and Takacs String Quartets.

As an avid orchestral musician, she has played with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, the Strauss Symphony of Canada, Pronto Musica, Indiana University Festival Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute Festival Orchestra, McGill University Symphony Orchestra, and Eastman Philharmonia. Angelina has performed as guest soloist with the Concordia Symphony Orchestra in Edmonton, and is an Alberta Provincial Music Festival award recipient in the category of Strings, Voice, and Creative Music. Currently, Angelina maintains a private violin studio at the Virginia Beach School of the Arts. She lives in Norfolk with her husband, VSO trumpet player Adam Gandolfo.

Amanda Gates

Amanda GatesViolinist Amanda Gates joined the VSO in 1996, and was appointed Assistant Concertmaster in 2002.  She was awarded a first violin position with the Chautauqua Symphony in upstate New York in 2001.

A native of Reston, Virginia, she graduated summa cum laude from Catholic University in 1996, where she studied with Robert Gerle.

She has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Catholic University Orchestra, and the Chautauqua Symphony Chamber Players. She has also performed as soloist in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Vaughn Williams’ The Lark Ascending, and John Adams’ Violin Concerto, all with the Virginia Symphony.

A versatile musician, she is proficient on guitar, mandolin, viola, cello, hammered dulcimer, and well versed in many styles of music. She has performed for the VSO on electric violin on several occasions, covering Eric Clapton’s “Crossroads,” and accompanying a beatbox track, featuring her own arrangement. She has also performed solo electric violin in Windborne Music’s  “The Music of Led Zeppelin” with the Phoenix, Minnesota, and Louisiana symphonies. She was commissioned to compose, arrange, perform and direct string arrangements for Portland-based punk band emberghost’s album, “Not Long for this Earth,”  released in 2012. More recently, she arranged and performed Bill Monroe’s “Scotland” for the Virginia Stage Company’s production of Honky Tonk Angels.  In addition, she has been featured as Celtic fiddle soloist in the Virginia Arts Festival’s International Tattoo on three separate occasions.

Ms. Gates performs on a violin by Pietro Giacomo Rogeri, Brescia, 1699, and a six-string fretted electric violin, “Viper” model by Mark Wood.

Kirsty B. Green

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Kirsty Barnett Green has been a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra since 1996, where she has served as both core and Principal Second violin positions, and occasionally as concertmaster during the summer season. Ms. Green has appeared as soloist with orchestras in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland and the United States, as well as with her own orchestra, the VSO. She has been featured on classical radio programs including the Vermont Public Radio and Radio Geneva and produced “The Violin music of Arthur Foote” recording for New World Records. Previously, Kirsty has played chamber music as a member of the Ghent Trio, and currently makes regular guest appearances with the Ambrosia Quartet as well as the Harbor Quartet. She has been a guest artist on the Virginia Arts Festival Organ Swell Series since 2003.

Kirsty began studying the violin at the age of six as a student of Judith Berenson, and graduated with honors from the Conservatoire Populaire. She then moved to the United States where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the North Carolina School of the Arts while studying with Kevin Lawrence. In addition she has had the opportunity to study with several of the great pedagogues including Josef Gingold and Arnold Steinhart during the course of various festivals and masterclasses. Ms. Green is a licentiate of the British Royal Schools of Music.

In addition to performing, Kirsty is a dedicated teacher. She began her teacher-training formation at an early age first as assistant to Judith Berenson, and then in college where she held assistantships at both the N.C. School of the Arts and the Killington Music Festival. Shortly thereafter she formed her own studio at the Tanglewood Academy of Music in Clemmons, N.C. and went on to teach at Norfolk’s Academy of Music. She has held adjunct positions at Christopher Newport University (where her position included teaching pedagogy, orchestral repertoire class and coaching the CNU orchestra), and Virginia Wesleyan College where she currently teaches. She has spent several summers performing and instructing at the Eastern Music Festival, and the Portsmouth Chamber Festival, and is a coach for Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia as well as the Hampton Roads Chamber Players. Her students have won numerous awards, and many have gone on to successful careers in music.

Allegra Tortolano Havens
Allegra Tortolano Havens enjoys an array of performing opportunities across the country. She has been a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for over 25 years. In 1998 she founded the Harbor String Quartet, a professionally active chamber ensemble. She often serves as concertmaster for Virginia Musical Theater productions. Allegra is also first call violinist for national touring Broadway shows including The Lion King, Chicago and Phantom of the Opera. Past work experience also includes Glimmerglass Opera, Ash Lawn Opera and the New Mexico Symphony. She is currently on national tour with Windborne Music’s production of Music of Led Zeppelin and Music of the Who where she is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform classic rock on an electric violin. Allegra studied at Boston University (undergraduate) and the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts (graduate degree). She currently lives in Virginia Beach with her husband, daughter and various rescued Golden Retrievers. She is a devoted Red Sox fan.
Yu-Chia Hsiao

Violinist Yu-Chia Hsiao has been with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra since 2014. Miss Hsiao, born in Taiwan, began studying violin at the age of seven. As a top prize winner of the Academy of Taiwan Strings Concerto Competition, she made her solo debut with the Academy of Taiwan Strings at the age of thirteen. In 2006, she performed Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy with Fu-Jian Dance Drama and Opera House Orchestra in Fu-Jian, China. She also gave well-received solo recitals in Taiwan in the summers of 2007 and 2010. Miss Hsiao’s numerous awards include the first prize in the Taiwan Music Competition, the Hsing-Tien Temple Competition, and the 5th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians—Taiwan Pre-Audition; the finalist for the 7th Junior Arts of Toshiya Edo Violin Competition in Japan.

Miss Hsiao has participated in several festivals and master classes, including the Christian Tetzlaff Master Class in Library of Congress, the 38th Tibor Varga International Music Festival, the Taiwan Music Festival, and the Shuan-Yin International Music Festival where she studied with Victor Pikayzen, James Buswell, Christian Tetzlaff , Dmitri Berlinsky, and Tanaka Chitashi.

Miss Hsiao enjoys sharing classical music with a wide range of audience. She engages herself in various community outreach concerts. In 2010, she performed for the Elderhostel Program at the Peabody Conservatory as well as the “Wednesdays at Weinberg” at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, Kimmel Cancer Center. Through these experiences, she witnessed the magical powers of music: uplifts spirits and brings peace to mankind. In 2011, at the invitation of the Piatigorsky Foundation, Miss Hsiao toured with violinist Keng-Yuen Tseng and musicians in Montana where they brought concerts to audiences that would not have the opportunities to attend such performances otherwise. In the same year, she also participated in the Taiwanese American Charity Education Association (TACEA) annual concert at the Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center. Miss Hsiao holds Master of Music and Graduate Performance Diploma degrees from the Peabody Conservatory where she was awarded a full scholarship to study with Keng-Yuen Tseng.

Linda Hurwitz
Linda Hurwitz is a violinist who has been performing and teaching in Hampton Roads for over twenty years. Before moving to Virginia, Linda resided in the Boston area as a graduate student and free-lance musician and performed regularly with the Portland Symphony (Maine) and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also performed with the New Orleans Symphony (now Louisiana Philharmonic), Charleston, Baltimore, Richmond, and Roanoke Symphony. Linda teaches with the Suffolk Public Schools where she instructs middle school and high school strings students in group classes. She has taught private lessons at The Academy of Music’s Suzuki violin program, The Williams School, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Norfolk Academy, as well as the Governor’s School for the Arts. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colby College (Waterville, Maine) and her Master of Music in Violin Performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston where she studied with Paul Kantor. Linda escapes to the mountains to perform with the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the Ash Lawn Opera Festival in Charlottesville during the summer months.
Christine Allison Kilbride

Bio Coming Soon

Allison Kim

Allison Kim began playing the violin after receiving a quarter size violin as a gift from her grandfather for her eighth birthday. She grew up in Asunción, Paraguay and Busan, South Korea before moving to Colorado, where she began her formal training under the tutelage of Jesse Ceci, former concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Music at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Master of Music at Indiana University, and Advanced Music Studies certificate at Carnegie Mellon University. During the summers, she attended numerous festivals including Aspen Music Festival as an Orchestral String fellow, National Repertory Orchestra, Brevard Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Garth Newel Music Center, Encore School for Strings, and Madeline Island Music Camp. She is a substitute of the Colorado Symphony and New World Symphony and has been a member of various regional orchestras in Indiana and Colorado. In addition to Jesse, her teachers have included Lina Bahn, Ik-Hwan Bae, Yumi Hwang-Williams, and Andrés Cárdenes. During her free time Allison loves playing with dogs and cheering on Denver sports teams.

Simon Lapointe

Simon Lapointe was born in Quebec, Canada, in 1979. He showed interest in the violin at the age of 2, and received his first violin lesson 2 years later. He obtained his Bachelor’s of Music from the Conservatoire de Trois-Rivières in 2000, studying with Helmut Lipsky and Joanne Pothier. He then went on to get his MM at the Peabody Conservatory of Music with soloist and now Tokyo String Quartet 1st violinist Martin Beaver.

Simon joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra as Principal Second Violin in 2005. He previously played with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and the West Virginia Symphony, as Assistant Principal Second Violin and Concertmaster, respectively. He served as Assistant Concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra during the 2009-2010 season, and since 2010, is also Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.  He is also a substitute violinist with the Baltimore Symphony and the Washington National Opera.  His chamber music experience includes being first violin for the Montclaire String Quartet and the Ambrosia Quartet.  He is Adjunct Professor of Violin at the Virginia Commonwealth University.

Simon was a prizewinner of many competitions in the US and Canada. He is regularly invited as a soloist and recitalist in Baltimore, Quebec and Hampton Roads, as well as at the Lanaudière Festival.  He also offers masterclasses, chamber coachings and orchestral exerpt coaching for the Bay Youth Orchestras, Richmond Youth Symphony, and the Hampton Roads Chamber Players.

Violaine Michel

Bio coming soon.

Seiko Syvertsen

SeikoSeiko (Sato) Syvertsen grew up in a music-loving family who listened to not only classical music, but all different kinds of music, such as jazz, big band, and the Argentina Tango.

Ms. Syvertsen started piano lessons at age 5, violin at age 7, and music dictation/solfeggio at age 10. During her senior year at Kyoto City University of Arts & Music in Japan, she was invited to the Tanglewood Music Festival as a scholar of the Festival Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Oliver Knussen, and Leon Fleisher, and to join their European tour.

After receiving her Bachelor of Music in Kyoto, she moved to the United States to enter the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and studied violin with Yuval Yaron. She studied string quartets with Rostislav Dubinski, who was a member of Borodin Quartet.

While she was working on a Master of Music degree, Ms. Syvertsen started her career as an orchestra player, and started having more passion for larger ensembles. She auditioned for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and was chosen by the concertmaster and a principal violinist of Chicago Symphony to be its concertmaster of two seasons.

Besides performing there under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, Sir George Solti, Pierre Boulez, Placido Domingo, and Pinchas Zukerman, Ms. Syvertsen also received a full scholarship from the Music school of DePaul University of Chicago. There she received a Performer Diploma. She also served as a concertmaster for the University Orchestra, took violin lessons with Joseph Genualdi, viola lessons with Rami Solomonow, and was chosen to be their concert soloist.

After a short period of time serving as an assistant concert master for the South Bend Symphony, Ms. Syvertsen joined the Virginia Symphony and resides in Chesapeake, Virginia with her husband, two boys, and a Boston terrier, “Fenway”.

Viola

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Celia Daggy, Principal Marshall Family Principal Viola Chair

Coming soon.

Anastasia Migliozzi
Anastasia, or Stacey, as her friends call her is originally from New York. She received her Bachelor’s degree from The Julliard School and her Master’s degree from Rice University, Shepherd School of Music. Stacy has played viola with the Virginia Symphony and many other area arts organizations since 1990. She also teaches violin and viola at the Governor’s School for the Arts, Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and maintains a private lesson studio. Prior to coming to Virginia, Stacey played with the Houston Ballet Orchestra and Sinfonica D’ell Emigliz Romagne; Parma, Italy. Stacey lives in Norfolk with her daughter and her neurotic whippet. In her spare time, she is an avid knitter, and loves being a member of the Harbor Quartet.
Satoko Rickenbacker

SatokoSatoko Rickenbacker, a violist with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra since 2003, began studying violin and piano and vocal at an early age while attending Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, Japan. She earned an honor scholarship to study violin in Austria with Ruggiero Ricci at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg. She later moved to New York to study with Lewis Kaplan and Rebecca Young at the Mannes College of Music while completing her master’s degrees in Violin and Viola Performance.

After graduation, she continued to study viola with Nobuko Imai and Roberto Diaz. In 1999, she served as principal violist with the New World Symphony where she performed Bartok’s Viola Concerto as the winner of the NWS concerto competition. She has also participated at the Pacific Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Verbier Festival and collaborated with numerous artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Claudio Abbado, Seiji Ozawa, Yuri Bashmet, Itzhak Perlman and Bobby Mcferrin. Satoko Rickenbacker has also appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra as a sub. In addition, She had performed as a chamber musician in many countries as Japan, France, England, Czech, Hungary, Austria and Swaziland.

As a passionate Chamber Musician, Satoko has performed chamber music throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. She was also featured on CNN headline News at the Rialto. She has performed as guest principal viola with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra with Mark O’Connor and Joel Smirnoff. In addition to performing, she is an accomplished teacher. Satoko has taught masterclasses and coaching sessions for many schools in the Hampton Roads Area including the College of William & Mary.Satoko is a former professor of viola at Christopher Newport University. She is also a member of The Chesapeake String Quartet along with Virginia Symphony musicians Yun Zhang, Seiko Syvertsen, and Mike Daniels. Recently, she was appointed Co Principal with Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, where she has served as a guest principal for many years.

Jocelyn Smith
Violist Jocelyn Smith is currently in her twelfth season as a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. She finds summer employment in Colorado, where she has performed with the Crested Butte Music Festival since 2001.  She is also a founding member, along with husband and cellist Peter Greydanus and violinist Tara-Louise Montour, of the Clivia String Trio, which was named Performing Artists of the Year by Young Audiences of Virginia in 2008. Ms. Smith grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and earned her Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.  She lives in Norfolk with her husband Peter, their daughters Mirabelle and Eda, and their cat Lily.
Alexandra Takasugi

 

 

 

Originally from Pasadena, California, violist Alexandra Takasugi began her career participating in The Colburn School orchestras, Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra, and attended the Suzuki summer camps at Occidental College. Recently, Takasugi has completed her Graduate Performance Diploma at The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University with Victoria Chiang, and additional studies with Choon-Jin Chang, Karen Ritscher, and Dr. Amber Archibald. Not only has she been awarded first-place in the inaugural Seattle University Concerto Competition in 2010 and 2012, but has also solo debuted with Orchestra Seattle in October 2010. Takasugi has also participated in master classes with Daniel Ching, Emma McGrath, Ilya Kaler, Paul Silverthrone, James Dunham, Atar Arad, Hariolf Schlichtig, Miro and Pacifica Quartets. She has attended several prestigious festivals, including The Meadowmount School of Music, Le Domaine Forget, and Aspen Music Festival and School, where she was a mentor for two summers. Takasugi joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of the 2017-2018 season.

Matthew Umlauf
 

Matthew Umlauf holds a M.M. from Ball State University where he studied with Harold Levin and a B.M. from Bob Jones University where studied with Achim Gerber. Additionally, he has studied with Charles Pikler and was mentored by Jorge Sutil, Michael Isaac Strauss, and Roland Vamos. Matthew joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago shortly after his graduate work where he collaborated with artists such as Lorin Maazel and Gidon Kremer. After his tenure in Chicago he joined the viola section of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta. As a member of the VSO, he has continued to perform with some of the leading musicians of our time such as Midori, Van Cliburn, Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell, and Emanuel Ax among others.

Matthew’s performances in various ensembles have been broadcast on WFMT Chicago, WHRO Hampton Roads, and NPR’s Performance Today. He has also recorded for Naxos and the VSO label, including a recent performance of Mahler’s 8th symphony. In addition, Matthew has enjoyed performing abroad. He has been invited to play principal viola for Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in Dominican Republic on repeated occasions. In Mexico, he was asked to perform the world premier of the string quartet “La Tierra es nuestra casa” by Venezuelan composer, Adina Izarra in a festival in Puebla and Mexico City. Recently, he has enjoyed being part of the 2015 Santo Domingo music festival as well as the 2013 and 2015 AIMs Festivals in Austria.

Matthew enjoys performing on a modern viola by Helmuth Keller with a ca. 1820 bow by Étienne Pajeot .  He and his family live in Virginia Beach near the Chesapeake Bay. In his free time he enjoys chamber music, fishing, and playing with his two daughters.

Cello

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Michael Daniels, Principal


Elise Nusbaum Hofheimer, Principal Cello Chair

Michael Daniels began studying the cello at age 12 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and continued further studies at the Brevard Music Center, in Brevard, North Carolina. He later received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. While in Cincinnati, Mr. Daniels was a member of the Dayton Philharmonic and performed with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Pops.

He has been a member of the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, a faculty member at the Brevard Music Center, and a participant in the Grand Teton Summer Music Festival. He is also a founding member of the Adagio Trio (harp, flute, and cello), which has produced five seasonal CDs: Stillpoint, Sanctuary, Evensong, Winter Gift, and Celtic Heart. Mr. Daniels has performed as soloist regularly with the Virginia Symphony.

His solo appearances include the Saint-Saens Concerto in A minor, Haydn Cello Concerto in C, Beethoven Triple Concerto, Elgar Concerto, and duo performances with Bobby McFerrin of the Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto. He has also performed chamber music concerts with Robert McDuffie, Anthony Newman, Awadagin Pratt, and Nadja Salerno-Sonenberg, and the Miami String Quartet. Mr. Daniels is currently the principal cellist of the Virginia Symphony.

Rebecca Gilmore Phillips, Assistant Principal

 


Rebecca Gilmore Phillips, native of North Carolina, joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 1999.  Currently she is Assistant Principal Cello with the VSO.  In 2010, Ms. Gilmore Phillips was broadcast live on NPR for a performance of Schubert’s Guitar Quartet with JoAnn Falletta.  In February 2016 she is thrilled to be performing the “Beethoven Triple Concerto” with her VSO colleagues.     

Prior to being in Virginia, she performed as Principal Cellist of The Greensboro Symphony where she made her solo debut of Tchaikovsky’s “Rococo Variations”.  Much earlier in her career she soloed with the Charlotte Symphony and the Charlotte Repertory Orchestra and the latter with which she performed Haydn’s “Cello Concerto in D Major”. 

Around the Hampton Roads area, Ms. Gilmore Phillips has been a featured solo and chamber artist with the Virginia Arts Festival, The Virginia Symphony and the Norfolk Chamber Consort.  Her cello career has traveled up the east coast to perform with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as well as in countries all over the world. Within the United States she has both taught and performed with numerous music festivals including the New England Music Camp (Maine), the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, The Brevard Music Center, Garth Newel Chamber Music Center and the North Carolina School of the Arts’ International Music Program where she performed Saint-Saens’ “Cello Concerto” with their orchestra in ten major cities throughout Europe. During a residency in Canada with pianist/composer, Gabriela Frank, a world premiere performance of “Ríos Profundos” led to a recording titled, “It Won’t Be The Same River”.  In 2006, her Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra recorded Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons”.

Ms. Gilmore Phillips’ passion for chamber music has been the impetus for a quartet journey, comprised of professionals from the VSO, notably, Ambrosia Quartet, which began in 2002.  The group has been featured twice on the Feldman Chamber Music Society Series and the Williamsburg Regional Library series.  Ambrosia Quartet is exploring future recordings and travel abroad.

Ms. Gilmore holds degrees in Cello Performance from Indiana and Rice Universities. Her teachers include Janos Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Norman Fischer and Desmond Hoebig. As a teacher herself, Ms. Gilmore Phillips “carries the torch” by working with kids throughout the Hampton Roads area through the VSO’s Community Engagement Program as well as maintaining a private cello studio.

Lui Berz

Lui BerzLui Berz received her Master of Cello Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music.  A member of the Virginia Symphony since 2000, Lui performs cello, erhu and horsehead fiddle for events and concerts.  In addition to teaching cello privately, she is the creator of successful “Notes From the Far East” Chinese presentation and “Notes From The Silk Road” multi-cultural presentation reaching over 4500 kids and adults each year in the Hampton Roads area.  Lui enjoys story telling with traditional Chinese shadow puppets and plays Chinese instruments when she is away from her cello. 

Ismar Gomes
Award winning cellist, Ismar Gomes, performs across the US and Europe as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Hailed for his “impressive virtuosity, energy, and a handsome tonal range” (Berkshire Review), Mr. Gomes has established himself as a captivating young artist with a commanding voice and a growing reputation for delivering exciting performances and innovative programming.

Mr. Gomes’ busy international performance schedule includes dozens of solo and duo recitals, concerto performances, chamber music, early music and new music.  Most recently, Mr. Gomes has appeared at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Evolution Contemporary Music Series, String Fest, Le Petit Salon, Early Music at St. Mark’s, and Old Town Hall Concerts, among others, including many appearances with his Duo partner, pianist Wan-Chi Su, with whom he has been touring for several seasons. Aside from his regular work as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral cellist, Mr. Gomes has given 50+ world premiere performances, and is engaged in several commissioning projects. Recent collaborators include members of the Pittsburgh and Baltimore Symphonies, as well as members of the Johannes, and Brentano String Quartets. During the 2015 – 2016 season, Mr. Gomes will serve as Fellow of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of the Virginia Symphony.

On faculty at Loyola University of Maryland and Notre Dame of Maryland University, Mr. Gomes has enjoyed teaching young musicians for well over a decade, offering guest master classes at universities and in preparatory programs around the country. Most recently, Mr. Gomes was a faculty member and guest artist for StringFest at Merkin Hall, the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary, and the CIM Summer Chamber Music Program, as well as a Young Artist at the Three Bridges International Music Festival – he is currently a Faculty Artist at the Rushmore Music Festival. In 2014, Mr. Gomes traveled to Africa for a series of Chamber Music concerts in Cameroon.

As a recording artist, Mr. Gomes recently made the premiere recording of a chamber opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, David Lang, in collaboration with the Harlem Quartet, and looks forward to recording his Duo’s debut album in the summer of 2016. He appears on Naxos and Cantaloupe Records.

Mr. Gomes attended the Peabody Conservatory where he studied with Alison Wells and Amit Peled. Prior to his time at Peabody, Mr. Gomes was a student of Marc Johnson, long-time cellist of the Vermeer Quartet. Further studies were undertaken with Clive Greensmith and most recently with Colin Carr. Mr. Gomes has appeared in Masterclasses for eminent cellists including Steven Doane, Janos Starker and Steven Isserlis, in addition to being mentored in chamber music by members of the Vermeer, Jerusalem, Brentano, Juilliard, Tokyo and Emerson String Quartets.

Please visit www.ismargomes.com for up to date information about Mr. Gomes’ projects.

Peter Greydanus

Bio Coming Soon.

Nancy Keevan
Nancy Keevan has over 30 years of professional orchestra and teaching experience.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in music from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where she studied with Alan Harris.  She has studied with Nathan Stutch of the New York Philharmonic, Ron Leonard of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Robert Gardner, and Giorgio Ricci.  She is currently a cellist with the Virginia Symphony, and has performed in the Eastern Music Festival and the Rochester Philharmonic.  She was also the Assistant Principal Cello for the Des Moines Metropolitan Opera and the New Jersey Symphony, as well as serving as Principal Cello for the Maracaibo Symphony in Venezuela.
Emmanuel Tolu Losa

Emmanuel Tolu Losa is one of the musicians participating in the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s African American Fellowship Program.

J. Carter Melin
Coming Soon.
Daniel Mumm
 

Cellist Daniel Mumm began his cello studies at age 10 in New Jersey and shortly thereafter attended the pre-college program at the Manhattan School of Music.  He subsequently received a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University and did doctoral studies at Rutgers University. 

An accomplished orchestral cellist, Daniel has served as principal cello of the Asheville Symphony and Augusta Symphony orchestras and has performed with many well-respected ensembles including the Charleston Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, and Symphony in C.  His recent concert engagements have included solo appearances with the Orchester der Künstuniversität Graz (Austria) and the Augusta Symphony. 

Daniel has extensive experience with contemporary music, including performances of the works of Harry Partch featuring the composer’s original instruments.  He is also an active studio musician and has recently recorded music for NFL films.  In addition to his career as a performer, Daniel is a passionate music educator.  He has served as adjunct professor at Seton Hall and William Paterson Universities and as cello instructor at the Rutgers University extension division.  Daniel currently lives in Charleston, SC with his wife Mitsuko and dog Winston.

 

Elizabeth Richards

Coming soon.

Bass

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Christopher White, Principal
A Rhode Island native, Christopher White has been a member of the Virginia Symphony since 1998, and was appointed as the symphony’s principal bassist in 2014.  He attended the University of Rhode Island where he studied with David Cobb, and then went on to major in Orchestral performance at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Timothy Cobb, principal bassist of the New York Philharmonic. In 1993, he was appointed as principal bass of the New Bedford Symphony in Massachusetts, and section bass in the Vermont Symphony. In 1996, Mr. White earned a spot in the prestigious New World Symphony in Miami under Michael Tilson Thomas where he served as co-principal bass until he joined the Virginia Symphony as assistant principal bass. In 2000, Mr. White won the double bass audition for the Grant Park orchestra in Chicago where he continues to perform for 10 weeks each Summer in Millennium Park.

Mr. White also enjoys an active solo and chamber career as well,  most notably as a soloist with the Virginia Symphony, performing Bottesini’s Grand Duo Concertante with violinist Pavel Ilyashov, and more recently Stravinsky’s “A Soldiers Tale” under JoAnn Falletta. Working under the Symphony’s Community Engagement Program, he has enjoyed performing for thousands of children.   He currently teaches double bass at Old Dominion University and the Governor’s School for the Arts as well as teaching privately. He resides in Norfolk with his wife, Joanne Meyer White, second flute of the Virginia Symphony and their 2 children.

Scott Harris, Assistant Principal
Scott Harris, current Assistant Principal Bass since 2014, was Principal Bass for the previous 23 seasons with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. He joined the orchestra the year Maestro JoAnn Falletta assumed the music directors position. During his tenure with the orchestra, he has performed the Koussevitsky concerto with Maestro Falletta and the Dragonetti concerto with staff conductor Robert Shoup. He has performed chamber music with the Virginia Arts Festival. Mr. Harris performed as a section bassist with many orchestras in his freelance career prior to moving to Virginia. Including the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida and the Charlotte (N.C.) Symphony as well as the Atlanta Symphony on their outdoor concerts. While primarily an orchestral player, Scott has collaborated with Singer-songwriter’s as well. He has worked with Hampton Roads residents Charlton Phaneuf and Julie Clark. He has worked with Keller Williams on his early album, “Spun”. Mr. Harris has held teaching positions at Old Dominion University, Hampton University, and the Virginia academy of music. Mr. Harris has held principal positions with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and the Macon (GA.) Symphony. He is active today as a teacher privately and is proud to serve the community with the Virginia Symphony’s outreach programs. His teachers include the late Ralph Jones of the Atlanta Symphony, Peter Rofe of the LA Philharmonic and Lew Norton of the New York Philharmonic, while at the Manhattan School of music. Mr. Harris studied performance at Manhattan School and Georgia State University.
Alec Hiller*

A Baltimore native, Alec Hiller met the bass at age nine. Studying with Paul Johnson in the years that followed, he continued this relationship as an undergraduate at the Peabody Conservatory, where he would also study with National Symphony bassist Ira Gold. Alec then traveled to Montreal, where he earned a master’s degree from McGill University studying with Ali Yazdanfar, Principal Bass of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. In addition to Virginia Symphony Alec is also a member of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra. Alec has also appeared with many premier orchestras up and down the east coast including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra. Having taught at the Peabody Preparatory, Alec also receives a great amount of joy from working with children. He currently teaches at Morgan State University and The Bryn Mawr School while also maintaining a private studio in Baltimore City. During the summer Alec can be found teaching at Bass Works and the Baltimore String Orchestra Camp.

*Denotes a leave of absence

Ian Saunders

Bio Coming Soon.

Kynan Horton-Thomas

Bio Coming Soon.

William McPeters

Bassist Will McPeters was born and raised in New Jersey. He began playing bass in the sixth grade, studying with Nate Lienhard and Dennis Masuzzo. In 2008 he was accepted into the Juilliard Pre-College to study with Albert Laszlo. He continued studying with Mr. Laszlo and attended The Juilliard School from 2010-2016 for both his Bachelors and Masters of Music. During this time he was Principal bass of the Juilliard Orchestra as well as Principal bass at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and the Atlantic Music Festival. Following his time at Juilliard, Will attended The Orchestra Now for two years. In his free time he enjoys playing electric bass and guitar as well as painting and fishing. 

 

 

Avery Robinson

Avery Robinson is one of the musicians participating in the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s African American Fellowship Program.

 

 

Zacherie Small

Zacherie Small is one of the musicians participating in the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s African American Fellowship Program.

 

 

Woodwinds

Flute

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Debra Wendells Cross, Principal

H. Lee Kanter, Principal Flute Chair

Debra Wendells Cross has held the position of Principal Flute in the Virginia Symphony and Virginia Opera, and made Norfolk her home since 1980.  The Seattle native graduated with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she studied with Boston Symphony member James Pappoutsakis.  From there she went on to study with Michel Debost in Paris, France under the auspices of the Harriet Hale Woolly Scholarship.

Ms. Cross serves on the faculty of Old Dominion University, and for many summers was Principal Flutist of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. She spent the 2004-2005 season as interim Principal Flutist of the Buffalo Philharmonic. She has participated in many other festivals including Tanglewood, the Colorado Philharmonic, the Music Academy of the West, the Skaneateles Festival, and the Virginia Arts Festival. She is a founding member of The Virginia Chamber Players, a chamber music group that has released several recordings of the works of American composers, and has been broadcast on NPR’s Performance Today.

With the Virginia Symphony’s Principal Harpist, Barbara Chapman, she recorded American Mosaics for Flute and Harp, a Christmas CD entitled Love’s Pure Light, and a lullaby CD called Dream Sweet Dreams.  She can also be heard with JoAnn Falletta and Robert Allemany on a two recordings of chamber music entitled Schubert’s Guitar and Borrowed Treasures, and with the Miami String Quartet on a Musical Heritage Society recording of two Mozart Quartets. Her solo appearances with the Virginia Symphony include Mozart’s Concerto in G, Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto, the Faure Fantasy, Halil by Leonard Bernstein, and the Flute Concertos of Carl Nielsen, and Lowell Lieberman.

Ms. Cross is interested in musical research and has prepared several concerts of historical significance including a program called American Flute Music of the 1920’s for the National Flute Association, and a chamber concert of American composers for the Jamestown 2007 Celebration. Debbie’s other interests include yoga, and her Labrador Retrievers, Rusty and Charlie whom she enters in dog sports trials, and takes on pet therapy visits to nursing homes and schools. She is married to Virginia Symphony Principal Percussionist and Virginia Arts Festival Director, Robert W. Cross.

Joanne Meyer White

Joanne White

Joanne Meyer White plays Second Flute with the Virginia Symphony, a position she has held since 1996. A native of Massachusetts, Joanne began her career in the New England area most notably as principal flute of the Vermont Symphony. She has performed with many orchestras including the Atlanta Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Albany Symphony, Williamsburg Symphonia and Opera in Williamsburg. She completed her musical training at Boston University and McGill University in Montreal, earning her bachelors and masters degrees, respectively. She teaches at The College of William & Mary, The Governor’s School for the Arts and in her private studio. Joanne served as Coordinator of The Hampton Roads Flute Faire for six years and continues to serve on its Advisory Board.

Rachel Ordaz, Flute III/Piccolo

Rachel OrdazRachel Ordaz has held the position of Third Flute/Piccolo with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra since 2012. In 2011, she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University under the instruction of Jeanne Baxtresser and Alberto Almarza. Ordaz completed her Master’s degree in Piccolo Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University in 2013, where she studied with Piccoloist Laurie Sokoloff. In 2016, Ordaz took 2nd place in the National Flute Association’s Piccolo Artist Competition, and was recognized for having the best performance of the newly commissioned work with the Carl Hall Prize. An avid soloist, she was featured by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Vivaldi’s Piccolo Concerto in C Major, RV 443. Ordaz has performed with numerous orchestras including the Richmond Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, and can be heard on the Oregon Symphony’s CD release, Aspects of America: Pulitzer Edition (2020).  Committed to Hampton Roads music education, she maintains a private studio and is adjunct faculty at Virginia Wesleyan University. As a community-focused musician, she currently employs her talents as the coordinator of Piccolo Competitions for the National Flute Association, while also serving on the Advisory Board of the Hampton Roads Flute Faire.

Piccolo

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Rachel Ordaz, Flute III/Piccolo

Rachel OrdazRachel Ordaz has held the position of Third Flute/Piccolo with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra since 2012. In 2011, she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University under the instruction of Jeanne Baxtresser and Alberto Almarza. Ordaz completed her Master’s degree in Piccolo Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University in 2013, where she studied with Piccoloist Laurie Sokoloff. In 2016, Ordaz took 2nd place in the National Flute Association’s Piccolo Artist Competition, and was recognized for having the best performance of the newly commissioned work with the Carl Hall Prize. An avid soloist, she was featured by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Vivaldi’s Piccolo Concerto in C Major, RV 443. Ordaz has performed with numerous orchestras including the Richmond Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, and can be heard on the Oregon Symphony’s CD release, Aspects of America: Pulitzer Edition (2020).  Committed to Hampton Roads music education, she maintains a private studio and is adjunct faculty at Virginia Wesleyan University. As a community-focused musician, she currently employs her talents as the coordinator of Piccolo Competitions for the National Flute Association, while also serving on the Advisory Board of the Hampton Roads Flute Faire.

Oboe

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Sherie Lake Aguirre, Principal

Sherie AguirreVirginia Symphony League Principal Oboe Chair

Sherie Lake Aguirre has been the Principal oboist of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Opera since 1987. She graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s degree in Performance and continued her graduate studies with Ray Still at Northwestern University.

Ms. Aguirre has held principal positions with the Singapore Symphony, La Sinfonica de Maracaibo, La Sinfonica de Tenerife, and La Sinfonica de Madrid. She appears regularly as soloist with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and performs frequently in the Chamber Music series of the Virginia Arts Festival as well as the Norfolk Chamber Consort programs.

From 1990 to 1997 she spent her summers in Boulder, Colorado performing with the Colorado Music Festival. For the past 15 summers, Ms. Aguirre has performed and recorded several CD’s with the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival in Florida. Ms. Aguirre also maintains a private teaching studio full of young, local, talented oboe students in addition to fulfilling adjunct faculty positions at William and Mary College and Old Dominion University.

George Corbett
George Corbett traverses the eastern United States and beyond to meet the demands for his services as oboist, English hornist and clinician. As English hornist and oboist, Mr. Corbett debuted with the Virginia Symphony, under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, in the fall of 1999 and currently maintains this position. Previously, he has held positions as principal oboist with Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and Riverside Symphonia in addition to being English hornist with the Harrisburg Symphony. Mr. Corbett’s career has taken him abroad to Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Japan and most recently the Dominican Republic, where he represented the Virginia Symphony in the international ensemble in residence at the Santo Domingo Music Festival under the baton of Phillippe Entremont. Included amongst the ensembles that he has recorded with are the Virginia Symphony, Santo Domingo Music Festival and Eastman Wind Ensemble.

In addition to being a symphonic musician, Mr. Corbett is also an active soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. In concert with keyboardist Tom Marshall, the Washington Post heralds their performance as a model of elegant restraint and level headed shaping. Solo performances with Concerto Soloists include Mozart’s Symphonia Concertante for Winds, J. S. Bach’s Double Concerto for Oboe and Violin, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Oboes in d minor, and the world premiere of Arthur Cunningham’s Adagio for Oboe and Strings. With Riverside Symphonia he was a featured soloist for Franciax’s L’horloge de flore and Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in c minor. The Virginia Symphony presented him to perform three selections: Debussy’s Rhapsodie and Donizetti’s Concertino for English Horn as well as the recent world premier of Kenneth Fuch’s Eventide for English Horn, Strings and Percussion. His playing has been highlighted by the Virginia Gazette as “marked (with) expression and feeling, superbly displaying his rich tone, musicianship, virtuoso skills and sensitivity.”

A graduate of Eastman School of Music New England Conservatory, Mr. Corbett has been on faculties of notable schools such as Lehigh University (Pennsylvania), Moravian College and Music Institute (Pennsylvania), and has appeared during the summers at Kinhaven Music School (Vermont), Summertrios (New York), Music at Gretna (Pennsylvania) and the American Institute of Musical Studies (Austria). He began playing oboe in the 8th grade under the instruction of Judith Famous, sitting next to her in the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sheldon. Amongst his instructors were James Ostryniec, Peggy Pearson, John Mack, Richard Kilmer, Al Genovese, Johathan Blumenfeld and Keith Underwood, to name a few.

Intensive studies in yoga and breathwork have led Mr. Corbett to teach workshops for professional and amateur performers alike in developing a higher level of body awareness, especially of the breathing mechanism, for performance enhancement and injury prevention. During the summers he hosts OBOE HOLIDAY, a camp for young oboists in teaching all aspects of oboe performance. He currently resides in Norfolk, Virginia.

David Garcia
Oboist David Garcia, a native of South Texas, joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2016. An active freelancer throughout the Baltimore/Washington D.C. Metro area, he has performed with many of the region’s leading orchestras including the Washington National Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Richmond Symphony, Maryland Symphony, and the New Orchestra of Washington, among others.

From 2010-2013, Garcia performed across the United States and Canada with the 25th Anniversary Tour of Les Misérables. He has also been heard in concerts at the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection, and during the summer at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Radio broadcasts include: WETA 90.9 Front Row Washington and NPR’s Performance Today as principal oboist of the New Orchestra of Washington (NOW) and guest principal oboe of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, respectively.

A CD released in March 2015 with the NOW features Garcia as the solo oboe/English horn in Klaus Simon’s arrangement of Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 for chamber orchestra on the Acis label. In the spring of 2016, he had the privilege of performing Wagner’s Ring Cycle with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Maestro Philippe Auguin.  Garcia received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory. His teachers include Katherine Needleman, Erin Hannigan, Robert Atherholt, and John Snow.

English Horn

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George Corbett
George Corbett traverses the eastern United States and beyond to meet the demands for his services as oboist, English hornist and clinician. As English hornist and oboist, Mr. Corbett debuted with the Virginia Symphony, under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, in the fall of 1999 and currently maintains this position. Previously, he has held positions as principal oboist with Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and Riverside Symphonia in addition to being English hornist with the Harrisburg Symphony. Mr. Corbett’s career has taken him abroad to Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Japan and most recently the Dominican Republic, where he represented the Virginia Symphony in the international ensemble in residence at the Santo Domingo Music Festival under the baton of Phillippe Entremont. Included amongst the ensembles that he has recorded with are the Virginia Symphony, Santo Domingo Music Festival and Eastman Wind Ensemble.

In addition to being a symphonic musician, Mr. Corbett is also an active soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. In concert with keyboardist Tom Marshall, the Washington Post heralds their performance as a model of elegant restraint and level headed shaping. Solo performances with Concerto Soloists include Mozart’s Symphonia Concertante for Winds, J. S. Bach’s Double Concerto for Oboe and Violin, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Oboes in d minor, and the world premiere of Arthur Cunningham’s Adagio for Oboe and Strings. With Riverside Symphonia he was a featured soloist for Franciax’s L’horloge de flore and Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in c minor. The Virginia Symphony presented him to perform three selections: Debussy’s Rhapsodie and Donizetti’s Concertino for English Horn as well as the recent world premier of Kenneth Fuch’s Eventide for English Horn, Strings and Percussion. His playing has been highlighted by the Virginia Gazette as “marked (with) expression and feeling, superbly displaying his rich tone, musicianship, virtuoso skills and sensitivity.”

A graduate of Eastman School of Music New England Conservatory, Mr. Corbett has been on faculties of notable schools such as Lehigh University (Pennsylvania), Moravian College and Music Institute (Pennsylvania), and has appeared during the summers at Kinhaven Music School (Vermont), Summertrios (New York), Music at Gretna (Pennsylvania) and the American Institute of Musical Studies (Austria). He began playing oboe in the 8th grade under the instruction of Judith Famous, sitting next to her in the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sheldon. Amongst his instructors were James Ostryniec, Peggy Pearson, John Mack, Richard Kilmer, Al Genovese, Johathan Blumenfeld and Keith Underwood, to name a few.

Intensive studies in yoga and breathwork have led Mr. Corbett to teach workshops for professional and amateur performers alike in developing a higher level of body awareness, especially of the breathing mechanism, for performance enhancement and injury prevention. During the summers he hosts OBOE HOLIDAY, a camp for young oboists in teaching all aspects of oboe performance. He currently resides in Norfolk, Virginia.

Clarinet

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Michael Byerly, Principal

Michael ByerlyAnn Lee Van Buren Principal Clarinet Chair

Principal clarinetist Michael Byerly joined the Virginia Symphony at the start of its 2014-2015 season. Originally from Oregon, he studied clarinet with William McColl and Yehuda Gilad, completing degrees at the University of Washington and the University of Southern California and earning an Artist Diploma at The Colburn School. While in Los Angeles, he gained formative orchestral experience as a substitute player with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As a soloist, he won First Prize at the International Clarinet Association Young Artist Competition and the Pasadena Showcase House Competition. He spent three years in Nishinomiya, Japan, as a member of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, and he served for two seasons as Principal Clarinetist with the Tucson Symphony. He resides in Virginia Beach with his wife, Christina Havens, who is Director of Orchestral Activities for the Virginia Symphony.

Scott Boyer
Coming Soon.

E-Flat Clarinet

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Scott Boyer
Coming Soon.

Bass Clarinet

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Margaret Albrecht

Coming soon.

Bassoon

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Laura Leisring, Principal
Laura Leisring, Principal Bassoon of the Virginia Symphony since 2007, can be heard on more than 35 CD recordings on labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, and Auvidis Valois as Principal with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Canary Islands, Spain 1989-2003, and as Acting Principal of the Milwaukee Symphony 2003/2004. Highly praised for her work by critics in Spain, she has performed with more than 100 world-class artists, and has been a soloist under conductors Yoel Levi, Antoni Wit, Leopold Hager, and Anne Manson, with whom she performed the European Premiere of the Concerto for Bassoon by Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Composer, Ellen Taaffe-Zwilich. She has served as Principal with the Music in the Mountains Festival, Durango, CO. since 2002, where she was a featured soloist in 2007.
David Savige

David SavigeDavid Savige, Second Bassoon

David Savige the second bassoonist of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. For two years he was the second bassoonist of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C., and performed with them on an Asian tour in 2009.  He was the Assistant Principal/Second bassoonist of the Nashville Symphony in their 2001-2002 season, and in 2014, played bassoon and contrabassoon with the St. Louis Symphony in their opera season.  Before moving to the Tidewater area of Virginia, he was the Principal bassoonist of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera and the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, and played second bassoon with Atlanta Ballet and Macon Symphony orchestras.  He has also performed extensively and recorded with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, served as the second bassoonist with the Florida Orchestra, and has performed with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, the Savannah Symphony, and numerous chamber ensembles.  He and former VSO Principal bassoonist, Andy Gott, were featured soloists with the Virginia Symphony in Vanhal’s Concerto in F for two bassoons and orchestra in 2004.  He is an Artist in Residence at Christopher Newport University, and holds degrees in Performance from Temple University and the Eastman School of Music, where he also earned the Performer’s Certificate.

Contrabassoon

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Elizabeth Roberts

Elizabeth Roberts joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra as their Contrabassoonist in 2017.  She has served as Principal Bassoon and Director of Youth Education for the Charlottesville Symphony since 2001, and joined the music faculty at the University of Virginia the same year.  She has played Second Bassoon with the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra since 2015, and has substituted on bassoon and contrabassoon with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Washington National Opera, and Baltimore Symphony.  Ms. Roberts was the Visiting Assistant Professor of Bassoon at the University of Missouri for the 2013-2014 academic year.  She joined the faculty of the New England Music Camp (Sidney, Maine) in 2017, and was a 2008 Virginia Governor’s Award for the Arts nominee.

Brass

Horn

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Jacob Wilder, Principal

Kriner Family Principal Horn Chair

Jacob Wilder completed both a Bachelor’s degree and an Artist Diploma in French Horn performance at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in downtown Los Angeles. During his time in Los Angeles, Jacob played substitute french horn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the Santa Barbara Symphony. Jacob has also served as a full time section member in the Colburn Orchestra, American Youth Symphony, the Industry Opera Company, Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, and Colorado College Music Festival. Beyond making music, Jacob enjoys being outdoors biking, hiking, or playing basketball.

Everett Burns

Everett Burns
Everett Burns joined the Virginia Symphony as Third/Associate Principal Horn in 2016. Prior to this, he was active as a freelance musician, performing with groups including the Houston Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Hawaii Symphony, and Sarasota Orchestra. He was a member of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic for four years, first as Second Horn and later as Principal Horn.

In 2012 he was a member of the pit orchestra for the tour ofShrek the Musical, which performed in the United States, Canada, China, and Malaysia. As a soloist,Everett was awarded first prize in the International Horn Society’s Premier Solo Competition in 2009.Everett holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with Jeff Nelsen, Richard Seraphinoff, and Dale Clevenger.

He received his Master of Music Degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with William VerMeulen. He grew up in Richardson, Texas.

John Shawger*

John Shawger joined the Virginia Symphony as 4th horn in the fall of 2015. He served as principal horn for the VSO’s2016-17 season and 2nd horn for the 2018-19 season. He has performed as guest principal horn with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Filarmonica de Jalisco, in Guadalajara, Mexico. John has also performed as an extra musician with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Milwaukee Symphony.

Originally from Milwaukee, John completed his undergraduate degree in horn performance at Northwestern University in Illinois, also earning a minor in computer science. He continued his studies in the Masters program at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.

John has been featured as a chamber musician in the Hampton Roads area with members of the Virginia Symphony. While attending the Colburn School, John performed regularly on the Colburn Chamber Music Society series, collaborating with clarinetist Joaquin Valdepeñas and pianist Jon Kimura Parker. As a member of the LA-based 2nd Street Brass Quintet, John performed in venues across Los Angeles and California and in the spring of 2014 traveled to Bellingham, Washington for a week-long residency in association with the Bellingham Music Festival. John’s principal teachers include Andrew Bain, Gail Williams, and William Barnewitz.

*Denotes a leave of absence

Stephen Slater
Currently on a one-year appointment as Fourth Horn of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Stephen A. Slater is recognized worldwide, having performed in five continents in some of the most treasured concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Macau Cultural Centre, Frederic R. Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex in Caracas, & Teatro Bibiena in Italy, among others.

Mr. Slater recently performed as one-year Second Horn with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra (2017-18) and performed Benjamin Britten’s Serenade with the Blue Bell Symphony in Pennsylvania. During the 2013/14 season, Mr. Slater performed Mozart’s Horn Concerto in D, K. 412 again in Blue Bell. Stephen was Assistant/Utility horn of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra from 2007-09. While in Israel he performed on tour as Guest Principal horn with the Israel Chamber Orchestra of Tel Aviv and Substitute horn of the iconic Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Before his work in the Middle East, Stephen was awarded Principal horn of the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra in Daejeon, South Korea. In February 2007, he was invited to play and performed with the Macau Symphony Orchestra in the S.A.R. of Macau (Asia). From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Slater was Solo horn of the ensemble Tales & Scales, spinning music, story, theatre, and dance into over 200 ‘musictelling’ performances.

A recent Graduate Performance Diploma graduate at the Peabody Institute with Denise Tryon, Stephen also completed his master’s degree at the University of Colorado, studying with Michael Thornton, and undergraduate degree with David Jolley at the Manhattan School of Music. Other instructors include Richard Deane, Jerome Ashby, John Cerminaro, and John Zirbel. Stephen lived in Denver, Colorado from 2001 to 2004 playing Second horn with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, founding the award-winning ensemble Tonic Brass, and was soloist with the Aurora Symphony Orchestra. He kept solo engagements in New York City with Manhattan Virtuosi and the Montauk Music Festival, as well as frequently performing with the critically-acclaimed Atlanta Boys Choir. Stephen has also performed at length with the Atlanta, Colorado, Charleston, Savannah, Hilton Head, Evansville, and Wyoming Symphony Orchestras.

During the summer months, Stephen Slater performed with the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder (2015 & 2007), the Aspen Music Festival & School (2014, 1999, & 1998), was guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet at the Madison Music Festival (2007), substitute horn of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, CO (2002 & 2003), was a fellow at the Cape May Music Festival in New Jersey (2000 & 2001), and guest of the 2000 Venezuelan Music Festival in Caracas. He was guest artist at the 31st Annual International Horn Symposium and grand prizewinner of the Sixth Annual Sister Mary Faustina Memorial Concert Competition in Marylhurst, Oregon.

More information can be found at www.stephenaslater.com

 

Hirofumi Tanaka

Coming soon.

 

Helen Wargelin

Coming soon.

 

Trumpet

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David Vonderheide, Principal

Marc & Connie Jacobson, Principal Trumpet Chair

A native of Madison, Indiana, David Vonderheide began trumpet studies at the age of twelve. After studying with John Rommel, former Principal Trumpet with the Louisville Orchestra and current Indiana University professor of trumpet in Louisville, KY, he was admitted to Northwestern University in the prestigious studio of Vincent Chicowicz, former Second Trumpet of the Chicago Symphony. It was there that he received his Bachelor of Music in 1996.

David joined the Virginia Symphony in 1998 as Second Trumpet, a position he held until 2009 when he stepped into the role of Principal Trumpet. As principal he can be heard in the VSO’s most recent recordings, The Music of Adolphus Hailstork, and on Mahler’s Eighth Symphony on the Naxos label. With the VSO, he has been featured several times as a soloist, including a performance of Haydn Trumpet Concerto during the 2012-2013 season.

As a teacher he has been on the faculties of Christopher Newport University and The College of William and Mary. At W&M he has had occasion to appear as a faculty guest soloist with several ensembles. In 2012 he performed the world premier performance of Brian Hulse’s Margins, Afterwards, a piece for solo trumpet and chorus. This work was re-imagined as a piece for trumpet, organ and percussion which David recorded in 2013. Along with another Hulse composition to be recorded in the spring of 2014, these works will be featured on a cd for national release. He is also scheduled to be the featured soloist on the Wind Ensemble’s tour of China with a preceding performance in the Kennedy Center in the spring of 2015.

In 2012, he won the job of Interim Principal Trumpet of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for the 2012-2013 season. While in the ASO, David had a prominent role in many concerts, and received consistently favorable reviews, including their performance in Carnegie Hall, October 2012, where David was mentioned by name in a positive review for his many solos in Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast. While in Atlanta, David took part in two exciting recording projects. He performed on the ASO’s latest CD featuring the music of Sibelius, and recorded commercial music for Coca-Cola.

Recently, David has been asked to contribute to a series of books about the teaching philosophy of his teacher Vincent Chicowicz. As one of his prominent former students, David has written segments for the books and recorded material for a companion CD recording.

Proven to be an in-demand player, David has been a candidate for several Orchestral Principal chairs, He has also played as a substitute musician in some of the country’s best orchestras and has performed in festivals in the US, Asia and Europe.

He currently resides in Portsmouth, Va. with his wife, Virginia Symphony violinist Elizabeth Vonderheide.

Adam Gandolfo
Adam Gandolfo currently holds the position of Second Trumpet with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and has been with the orchestra since August of 2013. Adam, a native of Brighton, MI, received his Bachelor’s Degree from Central Michigan University, under the tutelage of Dr. Dennis Horton. He also holds a Master’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with James Thompson, former principal trumpet of both the Montréal Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Prior to winning the Second Trumpet position with the Virginia Symphony, Adam was a freelance musician in Western New York and also parts of the Midwest, performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Rochester Philharmonic in New York as well as the Canton Symphony Orchestra in Ohio. Aside from performing with the VSO here in Hampton Roads, Adam teaches trumpet lessons to young students throughout the area.
Jeremy Garnett
Jeremy Garnett joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in the 2013-2014 season as 3rd Trumpet. Originally from Dallas/Fort Worth, he graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in 2001 and studied with Steve Emery at the Boston Conservatory of Music. After moving back to his hometown in 2006, he began studies at Texas Christian University with Jon Burgess. Jeremy has performed as Principal Trumpet with the Fort Worth Sinfonietta as well as regularly with the Fort Worth Symphony. Other notable orchestras he has played with include the Hong Kong Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Victoria Symphony and Plano Symphony.

As a soloist, he has been featured with the Boston Civic Orchestra, the Texas Christian University Symphony, the Houston String Quartet, and the Fort Worth Sinfonietta. In 2011, Jeremy won a position with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, and performed in a series of concerts to audiences in Sydney, Australia, as well as to over 32 million viewers online.

Mark Nixon

Coming soon.

Trombone

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R. Scott McElroy, Principal
Virginia Symphony Principal Trombonist R. Scott McElroy first began playing trombone during his elementary school years in his native Ann Arbor, Michigan. He studied privately during school years and in the summers attended the Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp and the internationally acclaimed Interlochen For The Arts. In high school he was invited to perform in Europe as principal trombonist of the Blue Lake International Orchestra. Mr. McElroy continued his studies at The University of Michigan with trombonist H. Dennis Smith, and after receiving his Bachelor of Music degree in 1985, he performed one summer as co-principal trombone of the Colorado Philharmonic. Mr. McElroy studied two summers as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Institute of Music, where he played under the batons of great conductors like Leonard Bernstein and John Williams. Before moving to Norfolk in 1988, he performed as Principal Trombonist of the Saginaw Symphony Orchestra in Michigan, and was a member of the Detroit Chamber Winds and the Detroit Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. Mr. McElroy lives on the Lafayette River in Norfolk, Virginia. He enjoys boating with his wife Ruth (an aerospace engineer at NASA) and their two children, Christopher and Patrick.
Tanner Antonetti

Tanner AntonettiTrombonist Tanner Antonetti grew up in central Arkansas and began his musical studies at age 7 with piano, continuing with trombone and double bass at age 10. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University, studying music performance with a minor in Recording Industry Management. While in Tennessee, Tanner cultivated a diverse freelance career performing with classical, jazz, and commercial ensembles in and around the Nashville area. Performing with artists including Jesus Santandreu, Duffy Jackson, Rodd McGaha, Bob Mintzer, Steve Davis, and Scott Wendholt, Tanner developed a passion for jazz that he continually pursues through education and performance. Tanner attended Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, earning a Master of Music degree. While a student, he was featured on a program of the music of Luciano Berio given by the school’s contemporary ensemble, Hear & Now, performing the composer’s Sequenza V for solo trombone. Before joining the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Tanner performed with the Arkansas, Chattanooga, Huntsville, Alabama, Albany, San Antonio, and Houston Symphony Orchestras on both tenor trombone and bass trumpet. He also spent summers studying at Eastern Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. Past mentors include Michael Underwood, Joshua Bynum, David Loucky, Per Brevig, and Allen Barnhill. Away from music, Tanner enjoys pursuing his other passions: cooking, practicing yoga, and espresso.

David Kidd

Coming soon.

Bass Trombone

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Rodney Martell

Rodney MartellOlga & Henry Bensel, Bass Trombone Chair

Rodney Martell was the second person in the VSO to be hired by (then new) Music Director JoAnn Falletta in the fall of 1991 as bass trombonist. Mr. Martell has also been active in orchestra administration, beginning in 1993 and serving variously as librarian, personnel manager, Artistic Operations Director and finally as Artistic Administrator. He is also on the faculty at both Christopher Newport University and the College of William and Mary.

Prior to joining the VSO he gained his Bachelor’s of Music (instrumental performance and music education) from the University of Michigan and freelanced in the Michigan area including stints with the Flint Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, Saginaw Symphony, Lansing Symphony and Toledo Symphony among others.  Other experience has included the American Wind Symphony and the Disneyland All-American College Band.  Principal teachers include H. Dennis Smith, Abe Torchinsky with additional studies with Randall Hawes of the Detroit Symphony.

Mr. Martell resides in Norfolk along with his wife Helen Martell (Music Director of the Bay Youth Orchestras) and children, Emily and Miles. They like to spend their summers on an island in Michigan’s Lake St. Clair.

Tuba

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Peter DuBeau, Principal
Peter DuBeau has been playing with the Virginia Symphony since 1989, and has been featured as a soloist for the orchestra’s family series. Over the summer he plays at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. Previously, he has been the principal tuba of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Mr. DuBeau holds music degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan. He teaches locally at Old Dominion University, Hampton University, The College of William and Mary, and Elizabeth City State University.

Percussion/Harp/Piano

Timpani

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Michael Laubach, Principal

Dr. Ralph R. & Barbara Stephens, Principal Timpani Chair

Originally from Pittsburgh PA, Mike received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University studying with Timothy K. Adams, Jr., Principal Timpani with the Pittsburgh Symphony (retired) and Paul Evans, Percussionist with the River City Brass Band. Postgraduate studies included a drum set performance certificate from Los Angeles Music Academy and Cleveland State University where he studied with Tom Freer, Assistant Principal Timpani/Percussion with the Cleveland Orchestra. Mike has performed with the Baltimore Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Erie Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony, and West Virginia Symphony Orchestras. Mike Currently lives in Virginia Beach with his wife Alice and son Valentine.

Percussion

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Robert W. Cross, Principal
Robert Cross joined the Virginia Symphony in 1981 and has been principal percussionist since 1987. He has also served the Symphony as Personnel Manager, Artistic Administrator, Orchestra Manager, Interim Executive Director and General Manager. In 1995, Mr. Cross became Executive Director of the Virginia Arts Festival. He has performed with the Boston Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Atlantic Symphony, American Repertory Theater, Leonard Bernstein Festival of American Music, Skaneateles Festival, Brevard and the Eastern Music Festival, and some of the world’s most prestigious ballet companies. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Mr. Cross has recorded for Northeastern Records, New Albion, NPR Classics, CD Review, and Albany Records.
J. Scott Jackson

J. Scott Jackson has a uniquely balanced background in the Arts as a performer, teacher/arts education advocate, and administrator.

As an Arts Administrator, Scott is currently the General Manager of the Virginia Arts Festival. Scott joined the Festival in 1996. He became Director of operations in 1998 and General Manger in 1999. As General Manger, Scott is involved in all aspects of the management of the Festival. The four largest areas of focus are Fundraising/Development, Education outreach, Office Management, and Production and Direction of the Virginia International Tattoo.

Scott has an extensive background as a performer. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in music performance and also holds a Masters Degree in applied music from Temple University. He has performed for such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Andre Previn, Lorin Maazel, Seji Ozawa, Leonard Slatkin, and Simon Rattle and is currently a member of the Virginia Symphony under the direction of JoAnn Falletta. Prior to joining the VSO in 1995, Scott was a member of the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas for three years.  Former CNU composer in residence Dr. Jennifer Barker recently featured him performing marimba on a compact disk of her music.

As an educator, Scott has served on the faculty of Florida International University, Old Dominion University, Hampton University, and Christopher Newport University.  He was a founding member of the SouthBeat percussion group in Miami, Florida which was known for its innovative educational programs.

Scott was the first director of the Virginia Arts Festival’s Education and Community Outreach Department. In that role, he created the Rhythm Project program, an after school program designed to provide positive experiences for at-risk students through the arts. That program, which began with 13 students in Portsmouth, now serves 100+ students in four Hampton Roads cities.  Scott is married with three children and lives in Norfolk.

William McVay

A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Will McVay is a percussionist and educator in the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area. Will spent the last three years in Boston, MA, where he earned a Master of Music with Honors from New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Boston Symphony Orchestra Section Percussionist, Will Hudgins, and spent one year at Boston University under the guidance of Boston Symphony Orchestra Principal Timpanist Timothy Genis and Boston Symphony Orchestra Section Percussionist Kyle Brightwell. Before Will’s time in Boston, he spent four years in Los Angeles where he received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California studying with Los Angeles Philharmonic Section Percussionist, Jim Babor, and Principal Timpanist, Joe Pereira.  While primarily a symphonic percussionist, Will is equally at home in jazz and Latin settings.

Throughout his tenure in Boston, Will performed with many orchestras and ensembles in the greater Boston area. An avid performer of new music, Will attended Tanglewood Music Center twice as a fellow where he premiered pieces for orchestra, including operas, brass ensemble, percussion ensemble, and mixed chamber ensembles.  During his time in Los Angeles, Will also attended Music Academy of the West as a fellow where he performed L’Histoire du soldat with the long-tenured concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, Jorja Fleezanis.  While in Los Angeles, Will also participated in the Modern Snare Drum Compeitition and won finalist honors.

 

 

 

Harp

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The Benton Family, Principal Harp Chair

Coming Soon.

Piano

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Fannie G. & Milton Friedman Piano/Keyboard Chair
Coming Soon.

Harpsichord

Gift of the Chrysler Museum of Art

from Newell H. Porter in honor of his wife Anetha L. Porter

Tone Poem

What is a tone poem?

A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral music, usually in a single continuous movement, which illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other source.

Symphony

What is a symphony?

Symphony has two meanings.

A symphony is a piece of music written for orchestra that typically has four movements.  After each movement, there is a pause.  Do you clap between movements?  The common practice is that the audience refrains from clapping until all four movements are played.  However, if you are moved after a particular movement and you need to express your enthusiasm, go ahead and clap.  When in doubt, wait for the masses to start clapping.

The word symphony is also used for the group performing on stage – it is short for “symphony orchestra”.  Symphony Orchestras employ instrumentalists who play woodwinds, brass, percussion and string instruments.

ViolaViola

What is a viola?

A viola is a stringed instrument with four strings that is bigger and lower than a violin.  The strings of a violin are E A D G from high to low.   The strings of the viola are A D G C from high to low.  In the picture, violin is on the left and viola is on the right.

Concerto

What is a concerto?

A Concerto is an orchestral piece that is written to feature an instrumentalist performing in front of the orchestra as a solo.

How do you pronounce "Concerto"?

“Con – chair – toe” With the “chair” getting the emphasis.

Is the soloist part of the orchestra?

Soloists are typically hired to play for the week.  Since they are amazing at their instruments and have an uncanny ability to memorize many pieces, this is their job.  Soloists perform many concerts per year throughout the country or world (depending on their popularity).  The piece that they play is in their “repertoire” which means that they have performed it many times with many orchestras.

How do you choose the music/soloist?

The Music Director identifies a soloist that they want and with the soloist, they choose the music to be performed.  Or the Music Director may want to perform a particular concerto on a concert.  They would then find a soloist who is known for performing that piece.

Zacherie SmallZacherie Small

After migrating from his native island of Barbados, Zacherie Small began his Double Bass studies the age of 19 with Jonathan Dadurka at Miami-Dade College where he graduated with a Associate of Arts in Music. Afterwards, he went on to study with Luis Gomez-Imbert at Florida International University where he now holds a Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance; Cum Laude, and a Masters of Music in Double Bass Performance. Also, recently graduated with his second Masters from Temple University studying with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra such as Nathaniel West, Joseph Conyers, and Robert Kesselman.

Small has performed with various orchestras. He is a member of the Miami Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Eduardo Marturet. He was also the Principal Double Bass of the Miami Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jorge Vazquez. Small periodically performs with the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra.
Small has attended the Miami Summer Music Festival at Barry University for 3 years. During the festival, he has performed in many concerts with various conductors like Michael Rossi, Yuriy Bekker, Joel Smirnoff, David Efron, Stephanie Rhodes, and Steve Gruman. Also, participated in the Philadelphia International Music Festival to study with Nathaniel West and under the baton of Kensho Watanabe.

As well as being a performer, Small is the secondary music director South-Dade Middle School and does masterclasses at various schools in Miami, FL. He is also a teacher for the Artist of the Miami Music Project where he guides children in troubled neighborhoods to bring about social change, cultivate lessons, and run ensembles.

Small has also studied with various teachers, such as Eugene Levinson, Jeffrey Bradetich, Julius Darvas, Alexander Berti, Brian Powell, James Goode, etc.

Small plays on a 2006 Heinrich Gill; Maggini Model, double bass named Odin and a 1920 Eugen Roth bow named Brunhilde.

Omari Imhotep AbdulOmari Imhotep Abdul-Alim

Omari Imhotep Abdul-Alim is a classically trained violinist from the Seattle area currently offering music lessons and freelance performances around San Diego. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, having finished his masters degree at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in violin performance in spring 2020. As an instructor, Omari uses his experience in classical music to build a fun and enriching curriculum for his students. Aside from his passion for education, Omari is a dedicated performer. He is resident violinist at First Lutheran Church of San Diego and in the last year has appeared as a guest artist with the Martin Luther King Choir, the Old Globe Theater, Synergy, NeoTuesdays and more.

Omari’s love for sharing music shines through all of his practices. Thus, he is deeply honored to be able to deliver moving performances to listeners like you.

Emmanuel Tolu LosaEmmanuel Losa

Born in 1998, Emmanuel Losa grew up in Marietta, Georgia to a Nigerian father and Jamaican mother. Starting his cello studies at the age of 12, he began to have an affinity for the orchestral world and later studying with the esteemed cellists of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, his primary instructor was Joel Dallow; in addition, studying with Dona Vellek (Assistant Principal Cello Emeritus) and Karen Freer (Assistant Principal Cello).

Emmanuel heavily enjoys studying various pieces of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, spending his summers at various festivals such as Bowdoin International Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Aspen Music Festival to name a few.

A student of Alan Stepansky at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Emmanuel is pursuing an undergraduate cello performance degree in orchestral performance. He continues his studies with a focus on winning a position with a major orchestra.

Avery RobinsonAvery Robinson

Avery Robinson grew up in Western Massachusetts where he was influenced by his parents’ love for jazz music. At the age of 10 he started playing piano and began learning bass when he was 12 years old. As a young musician, Avery’s passion for jazz persisted however, as he became exposed to the wonderful sounds of the symphony, his musical passion grew to include a second genre: classical music. After joining his high school orchestra, his career path was set.

Avery has studied at many top music schools such as the Eastman School of Music, The Hartt School of Music, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and has graduated with honors. His teachers include Rachel Calin, Albert Laszlo, and Robert Black. Avery has been a member of the Kentucky Symphony, and most recently, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. He has also worked as a substitute for the Amarillo Symphony and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. In addition to his orchestral career, Avery is also an accomplished recitalist, having performed many solo and chamber recitals at various venues such as the Chautauqua Institution and at the “Classical Revolution” Series in Cincinnati. His love for performing with others shows in his expressive and sometimes fervent style of playing.

Avery has other passions in addition to music. Firstly, he is a huge art and history buff and loves to frequent museums and galleries whenever he can. He is also a lover of sports and an avid golfer.

Simone Paulwell

Soprano, Simone Paulwell has garnered international attention for her innate ability to capture audiences with her strikingly powerful and agile voice. A Washington D.C. native, she made her national debut as a soloist with The President's Own: United States Marine Band in 2007. Ms Paulwell has performed for audiences of all ages and cultures and has graced such prestigious stages as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Hall, in New York City, the Reichold Center for the Arts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Washington National Opera Company and The San Francisco Opera Company. Ms. Paulwell recently completed her first summer at The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York. Ms. Paulwell received critical acclaim under the baton of Yuri Temirkanov and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in St. Petersburg, Russia performing Gershwin's Porgy and Bess in 2004. She also debuted as a soloist with Paul Freeman and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague, Czech Republic in 2006. In 2015 Ms. Paulwell made her European debut as Serena in Porgy and Bess at the Rai Centre in Amsterdam and at Theatre Odyssud in Blagnac, France.

As a lifelong student of music, Ms. Paulwell has studied voice with Betty Ridgeway at Morgan State University, in Baltimore, MD, and Jeremy Winston at Wilberforce University, in Wilberforce, OH, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. Her educational ambitions have afforded her success in several vocal competitions including 1st place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, and 1st place winner of the Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Regional Competition sponsored by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Womens' Club.

In addition to her musical accomplishments and affiliations, Ms. Paulwell is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Eric Jacobsen

Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative programming. He is the newly-named Music Director of the Virginia Symphony, becoming the 12th music director in the orchestra’s 100-year history, and will assume that post on July 1.

Jacobsen is Artistic Director and conductor of The Knights, and serves as the Music Director for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Jacobsen founded the adventurous orchestra The Knights with his brother, violinist Colin Jacobsen, to foster the intimacy and camaraderie of chamber music on the orchestral stage. As conductor, Jacobsen has led the “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (New York Times) at Central Park’s Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, (Le) Poisson Rouge, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center; at major summer festivals such as Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Ojai; and on tour nationally and internationally, including at the Cologne Philharmonie, Düsseldorf Tonhalle, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Salzburg Großes Festspielhaus, Vienna Musikverein, National Gallery of Dublin, and the Dresden Musikfestspiele. Recent collaborators include violinists Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham, singers Dawn Upshaw, Susan Graham, and Nicholas Phan, and pianists Emanuel Ax and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Also in demand as a guest conductor, Jacobsen has led the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Detroit, the New World, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Deutsche Philharmonie Merck and the Tonkunstler Orchestra, with whom Jacobsen appeared at Vienna’s legendary Musikverein.

In the coming season, Eric Jacobsen returns to the Detroit Symphony for the world premiere of James Lee III’s “Amer’ican,” a contemporary response to Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony which also features on the program. He also makes his La Jolla Summerfest debut, conducting three concerts featuring Summerfest Artistic Director Inon Barnaton and other artists. He appears twice with the Virginia Symphony, with guest artist Branford Marsalis and also performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and travels to Bilkent, Turkey, to appear with the orchestra there. With The Knights, he returns to the Tanglewood and Caramoor Festivals and to Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, and appears at Wolf Trap in a new piece by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan. In the spring, Jacobsen and The Knights close their season with a multi-city US tour featuring pianist Aaron Diehl.

The 21-22 Orlando Philharmonic season sees the return of the “Resonate” festival, a unique blend of old and new orchestral and chamber works, performed in standard and more intimate concert formats. This season’s edition features Artist-in-Residence Stewart Goodyear performing the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven as well as orchestral repertoire. The Orlando season will close with a semi-staged production of Orff’s “Carmina burana,” with staging by Alison Moritz and choreography by John Heginbotham.

In recent seasons, Eric Jacobsen and The Knights performed a fully-staged centennial production of Bernstein’s Candide directed by Alison Moritz at the Ravinia Festival, and toured Florida with Gil Shaham. With mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital, Jacobsen and The Knights undertook a 15-concert European tour, including performances at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Vienna’s Musikverein. In New York, Jacobsen and The Knights performed at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall; with groundbreaking countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo at National Sawdust in music of Handel and Philip Glass; and at the Park Avenue Armory, where they helped create the music for William Kentridge’s The Head and the Load. With the Bridgeport Symphony, Jacobsen performed with his brother Colin, with whom he recorded a video of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending that was featured on London’s Classic FM and The Violin Channel.

At the close of a successful sixth season with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacobsen has continued to pioneer the orchestra’s programming and community engagement in new and exciting directions. During the 20-21 season, the Orlando Philharmonic was one of the few orchestras internationally that was able to perform live concerts, including with renowned pianist Yuja Wang, and they closed their season with “America, Come,” an Orlando Philharmonic commission from Aoife O’Donovan honoring the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Previous seasons included Inside the Score, in which Jacobsen led the audience on a guided exploration of Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique; appearances by multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón as composer-in-residence; and guest appearances by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens and internationally acclaimed cello virtuoso Jan Vogler.

Under Jacobsen’s baton, The Knights have developed an extensive recording collection, which includes the critically acclaimed albums Azul, with longtime collaborator Yo-Yo Ma, as well as the Prokofiev Concerto in the Grammy-nominated Gil Shaham album 1930s Violin Concertos. Their most recent release, featuring Gil Shaham in performances of the Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concertos, was met with critical acclaim upon its release in Spring 2020. The Knights issued three albums for Sony Classical including Jan Vogler and The Knights Experience: Live from New York; New Worlds, and an all-Beethoven album, as well as the “smartly programmed” (National Public Radio) A Second in Silence on the Ancalagon label. Jacobsen’s first release on Warner Classics was the ground beneath our feet. We Are The Knights, a documentary film produced by Thirteen/WNET, premiered in September 2011.

In December 2012, Jacobsen and his brother Colin were selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship. Eric splits his time between New York and Orlando with his wife, singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, and their daughter.

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

@nathanielstampley

Ali EwoldtAli Ewoldt has appeared as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Cosette in Les Miserables (Broadway, National Tour), The King and I (Broadway, Lyric Opera of Chicago), and Maria in West Side Story (National Tour, International Tour). Ali’s concert work includes: Alice Tully Hall, NY Pops at Carnegie Hall, Houston Symphony, Kaohsiung Symphony and The Boston Pops. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University and is a proud Filipina-American. @aliewoldt

Teri HansenSTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS SHOW BOAT, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, and THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE

Teri Hansen has received International recognition for her crossover abilities as a singing actress from Opera to Broadway and concert stages around the world. Miss Hansen made her Broadway debut in The Boys From Syracuse and starred in London’s West End as ‘Magnolia’ in Hal Prince’s Tony award winning production of Show Boat. Most recently she starred in the National Tours of The Sound Of Music (Elsa) and the Tony Award winning An American In Paris. Miss Hansen starred in tours of The Music Man as ‘Marian Paroo’, ‘Guenevere’ in Camelot and as ‘Magnolia’ in Show Boat. Internationally recognized as an interpreter of Weill, Miss Hansen starred as “Rose” in the film version of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Miss Hansen also toured for years with Marvin Hamlisch, appeared at the Lincoln Center singing Rodgers and Hammerstein, as well as regular appearances there as a part of the prestigious “Meet the Artist” series. Her solo CD “Into Your Arms…Love Songs of Richard Rodger’s” is available worldwide.

@teridhalinks

Sean MacLaughlinSTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, THE WOMAN IN WHITE and BOMBAY DREAMS

Sean MacLaughlin recently garnered critical acclaim across the country performing the role of Juan Peron in the Broadway National Tour of Evita. He has sung with countless symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Canada singing the music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Rodgers. Broadway credits include Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, Elton John’s Lestat, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman In White and Bombay Dreams. Other credits include Transport Groups Productions of The Audience, Requiem for William, and Baby: in Concert; South Pacific: In Concert at Carnegie Hall; Grand Hotel, Follies and More at Signature Theatre in DC; The Sondheim Celebration: Merrily We Roll Along and Chess at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Frank Wildhorn’s Excalibur and Webber’s Sunset Boulevard. Film includes HBO’s Something the Lord Made and Walking Shadows.

@theatremutt

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

@nathanielstampley

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

@nathanielstampley

VSO Guest Artist: Andrew von Oeyen

Hailed worldwide for his elegant and insightful interpretations, balanced artistry and brilliant technique, Andrew von Oeyen has established himself as one of the most captivating pianists of his generation.

Since his debut at age 16 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mr. von Oeyen has extended his interpretive voice to a broad spectrum of repertoire as both a soloist and recitalist. He has collaborated with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Utah Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Marseille, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto USA Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic and Slovak Philharmonic. As both soloist and conductor he has led concerti and orchestral works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and Kurt Weill. On July 4, 2009, he performed at the U.S. Capitol with the National Symphony in “A Capitol Fourth,” reaching millions worldwide in the multi-award winning PBS live telecast.

‍Mr. von Oeyen has appeared in recital at Wigmore Hall and Barbican Hall in London, Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Symphony Hall, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, St. Petersburg’s Philharmonia, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, Sala São Paulo, Teatro Olimpico in Rome, in Mexico City, Hanoi, Macau, and in every major concert hall of Japan and South Korea. Festival appearances include Aspen, Ravinia, Grant Park, Mainly Mozart, Saratoga, Schubertiade, Spoleto, Brevard, Grand Teton, Chautauqua and the Mariinsky’s “Stars of the White Nights.”

Mr. von Oeyen has recorded for Warner Classics since 2017. His albums under that label, including works for piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Gershwin and a disc including Debussy’s Fantaisie pour Piano et Orchestre, have been met with critical acclaim. Mr. von Oeyen has also recorded award-winning recital albums of Liszt, Debussy, and Stravinsky under the Delos label.

Mr. von Oeyen, of German and Dutch origin, was born in the U.S. He began his piano studies at age 5 and made his solo orchestral debut at age 10. An alumnus of Columbia University and graduate of The Juilliard School, where his principal teachers were Herbert Stessin and Jerome Lowenthal, he also worked with Alfred Brendel and Leon Fleisher. He won the prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award in 1999 and also took First Prize in the Léni Fé Bland Foundation National Piano Competition in 2001. Mr. von Oeyen lives in Paris and Los Angeles.