Artistic Director – Charles Stegeman
Canadian born violinist, Charles Stegeman, is the co-founder of the BBMF as well as the Sunflower Music Festival. Awarded a full scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 14, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree, including academic coursework at the prestigious Haverford College, at the age of 20.
Mr. Stegeman continued his formal music education at the Juilliard School, where he earned a Masters Degree. He was awarded the joint positions of Associate Concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra as well as the Concertmaster of the Lyric Opera of Kansas city. This was a joint position with The University of Missouri at Kansas City and the Kansas City Symphony.
Mr. Stegeman appeared as a CAMI (Columbia Artist Management, Inc.) artist along with pianist David Allen Wehr for nearly a decade with the Canterbury and Sartory Piano Trios, where he replaced David Cerone (former Director of the Cleveland Institute of Music). Other chamber music collaborations include Cynthia Phelps and Carter Brey, (Principal Violist and Cellist of the NY Philharmonic respectively), Peter Salaff, (Cleveland Quartet), Gerome Lowenthal, (The Julliard School), Ron Leonard, (former Principal Cello Los Angeles Philharmonic), Paul Coletti, (The Colburn School in LA), Timothy Cobb, (Principal Bass of the Metropolitan Opera of NY), and the Takacs Quartet.
A winner of five national competitions and one international violin competition (CMC in Montreal), Mr. Stegeman has performed for approximately four million people on four continents in a performance career that spans four decades, averaging approximately 60 concerts a year as Concertmaster, Chamber Musician, and Soloist in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, and The Caribbean. He has performed in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Denver, Paris, Zurich, Brussels, and London to name a few major centers of music. He is known internationally as an established chamber music performer. His students can be found in the ranks of many major symphony orchestras and as professors at the University level.
A father of four children, he is Professor of Violin at Duquesne University as well as the Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Pittsburgh Opera, positions which he has held for 28 years. He resides with his violinist wife, Rachel, in Pittsburgh, PA. He has four children: Adam (10), Gabrielle (11), Mike (16), and Luke (21) along with Duncan the Westie.
Guest Conductor –
Catherine Larsen-Maguire was born in Manchester, England, and is now based in Berlin. After ten years as principal bassoonist at the Komische Oper Berlin, where she also directed concerts and operatic performances, she began to concentrate exclusively on conducting in 2012.
Catherine Larsen-Maguire’s repertoire ranges from the baroque to the 21st century; she has a special interest in contemporary music and has directed the first performances of several works. She made her operatic debut at the Komische Oper in 2009, conducting the German premiere of Elisabeth Naske’s “Die Rote Zora”. The production was revived in 2011 and is available on DVD.
Catherine Larsen-Maguire has shared the concert platform with internationally acclaimed signers and soloists including Stella Doufexis, Martin Helmchen, Alexandre Dossin, Alex Klein, Ricardo Castro and many others. She has conducted the Bremen, Magdeburg, Augsburg and Nuremburg Philharmonics, the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Krasnoyarsk Chamber Orchestra, the Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra, the orchestra of the Sunflower Festival in the United States, the Youth Orchestra of Bahia and the South African National Youth Wind Orchestra. She works regularly with new music ensembles such as Resonanz, Musikfabrik, Ascolta and United Berlin.
Larsen-Maguire places great emphasis on working with younger musicians, and is very much in demand as a conductor and coach for youth orchestras and summer festivals all around the world, especially in South and Central America. She held a guest professorship in conducting at the University of the Arts, Berlin, from 2014 -2016, and is professor of conducting at the annual Femusc festival in Brazil. She will be a jury member for the the 2017 Besancon conducting competition.
In 2016 & 2017, she will debut with the Deutsches Kammerorchester, Slovenian Radio Orchestra, Klandforum Wien, Amicus Chamber Orchestra, the OFUNAM in Mexico City, the Yun Ensemble in South Korea and at the Buzzards Bay Musicfest, as well as returning to the Sunflower Music Festival in Kansas.
Catherine Larsen-Maguire read music at Cambridge University, where she also conducted the university orchestra. A year at the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying bassoon and conducting, was followed by further study in Hanover with Klaus Thunemann, and at the Karajan Academy in Berlin, which gave her the opportunity to play regularly in the Berlin Philharmonic. She won the top prize in the 1996 Prague Spring Bassoon Competition and has played as guest Principal Bassoon in the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestras, working with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Bernhardt Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, and Kirill Petrenko.
Chamber Music Advisor and Principal Piano
David Allen Wehr
David Allen Wehr has played over 1,200 concerts in thirty countries since winning the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. He has performed at London’s Queen Elizabeth, Barbican and Wigmore Halls, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and Carnegie Hall in New York.
Wehr toured the U.S. and Canada for 13 seasons with Community Concerts as recitalist and chamber music artist, and presently holds the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He has an extensive discography with Connoisseur Society. David is in great demand as a judge for national and international competition and as a master class clinician and teacher. For more information go to www.davidallenwehr.com