Members of the Orchestra
Charles Stegeman, Artistic Director & Concertmaster
Catherine Larsen-Maguire, Guest Conductor
David Allen Wehr – Chamber Music Advisor
Violins I – Charles Stegeman – Concertmaster & Artistic Director
Rachel Stegeman, Edith Markman, Michael Markman, Sarah O’Boyle
Violins II – Ole Bohn – Principal
Eric Tanner, Stephen Alan Shepard, Sean Radermacher
Violas – Michael Strauss – Principal
Mark Tukh, Consuelo Sherba, Evan Wilson
Cello – John Walz – Principal
Claudio Jaffe, Mariusz Skula
Contrabass – Nic Tsolainos – Principal
Harp – Rita Costanzi – Principal
Flutes – Jennifer Gunn – Principal
Barbara O’Brien – Co-Principal
Oboe – Gordon Hunt – Principal
Margaret Marco – Co-Principal
Clarinet – Jonathan Gunn – Principal
Donald Foster – Co-Principal
Bassoons – Richard Beene – Co-Principal
Mark Romatz – Co-Principal
Horns – James Thatcher – Principal
Robert Marlatt, Joseph Rounds
Trumpets – Joseph Foley – Principal
Timpani & Percussion – Jack DiIanni – Principal
Piano – David Allen Wehr – Chamber Music Advisor
Orchestra Member BIOs and Photos
Richard Beene, Bassoon Co-Principal, enjoys an active career as a teacher, soloist, chamber musician and orchestral performer. in 2001, while serving as Professor of Bassoon at the University of Michigan, he was awarded the 2001 Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio teaching. He has been invited to present master classes and teaching residencies at a number of institutions, including the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and McGill University, among others. Beene has also served on the faculties of Michigan State University and Wichita State University.
Ole Bohn, Violin Principal, pursues an extensive career as soloist, chamber musician and teacher. In 1990, Ole Bohn gave the world premier of Elliot Carter’s violin concerto with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. He has performed this concerto, which was written for and dedicated to him, with the leading orchestras in Europe and the U.S.A. In 1999, Elliot Carter wrote Statement for solo violin for him. A native of Norway, Bohn is the former concertmaster of the Norwegian National Opera and is currently professor of violin at the Sydney Conservatory of Music.
Rita Costanzi, Harp Principal, is the former Principal Harp of the Vancouver Symphony and CBC Radio Orchestra. She now devotes her life to solo and chamber music performances and teaching. In 2008, her choral work, “Beneath Her Heart”, received its world premier in Vancouver, and in 2009, she collaborated with Oregon Ballet in a new work based on solo harp dances written especially for her. Costanzi’s distinguished teaching career includes Master Classes at major conservatories in conjunction with her solo appearances in North and South America, as well as at New York University, where she subsequently taught for three years. Her one-woman show featured at The World Harp Congress in Sydney, Australia, as well as a week’s run at The Butterfly Club in Melbourne.
Jack DiIanni, Timpanist Principal, has enjoyed a rewarding career as a professional percussionist in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he has played with a diverse array of musical groups for more than three decades. He currently serves as principal timpanist with the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, the Wheeling Symphony, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra. In addition to playing locally, Jack has performed at a variety of music festivals across the country, including the Western Slope Music Festival in Crested Butte, Colorado; the Blossom Music Festival in Cleveland, Ohio; and the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas.
Joseph Foley, Trumpet Principal, is also trumpet principal of the Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. He has performed with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and the Royal Ballet of London. He garnered top prizes at the Sixth International Chamber Music Competitions and has performed with the Boston Symphony Brass Quintet, Empire Brass, and at the Santa Fe and Newport Chamber Music Festivals. He is Professor of Trumpet at Rhode Island College, and serves on the trumpet faculty of Boston Conservatory and the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division.
Donald T. Foster, Clarinet Co-Principal, now in his 19th season as the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Principal Clarinetist, is one of Southern California’s most active musicians. In addition to his work with the SBSO, he is Principal Clarinet of the Pasadena Symphony and Second Clarinet of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. A frequent studio musician, he has been featured on numerous soundtracks for motion pictures and television.
Foster became John William’s Principal Clarinetist in Los Angeles when he was asked to perform on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and has been working for him ever since. He received screen credit for his solo work on Maestro William’s Oscar-winning score to The Book Thief, and is currently working on the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise. A much-anticipated recording of collaborations between John Williams and Steven Spielberg has been recently released, and features Foster performing “Viktor’s Tale” from The Terminal.
Don graduated from the University of Southern California, receiving his Master of Music degree in 1996 while in the studios of Yehuda Gilad and Michele Zukovsky. He received Fellowships from both the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals, the latter of which he attended for four consecutive summers.
Prior engagements include serving as principal clarinet with the Philharmonie der Nationen, based in Hamburg, Germany, with whom he performed in more than 250 concerts in virtually every major city in Europe. Foster has served as Principal Clarinet of the Colorado Music Festival, in Boulder, Colorado; has appeared in Central America with his reed trio Trianche; and has performed concertos with such organizations as the Los Angeles Mozart Festival, Marrowstone Music Festival, Westwood Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Santa Barbara Symphony and Pasadena Symphony.
Currently on a one-year sabbatical from Moreno Valley College in the Riverside Community College District where he serves as Professor of Music, Don divides his time with California residences in Pasadena and Palm Springs.
Follow Don on Facebook @DonaldFosterClarinet
Jonathan Gunn, Clarinet Principal, is a versatile artist with a varied career as educator, soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. Currently, Mr. Gunn serves as the Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, Austin. Appointed by Maestro Paavo Jarvi to the position of Associates Principal and Eb Clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2004, Mr. Gunn then served as Principal Clarinet from 2011 to 2016 before joining the faculty at the Butler School of Music. Prior to joining the Cincinnati Symphony, he was the Principal Clarinet of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and has performed as Guest Principal Clarinet with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on multiple occasions as well as playing with the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh and Colorado Symphony Orchestras.
Mr. Gunn has participated in numerous music festivals including Bard, Tanglewood, Aspen, St. Bart’s, Telluride Jazz Celebration, and Ashlawn-Highland Opera Company and is the Principal Clarinetist of the Sunflower Music Festival. As soloist, he has appeared with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Wheeling Symphony and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. In 2016, Mr. Gunn was featured at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest performing the Copland Clarinet Concerto. As a chamber musician, Jonathan is active around the United States, has performed as a member of Concert:Nova, and has played regularly on the Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati.
Committed to the education of the next generation of clarinetists, Mr. Gunn gives master classes and recitals around the country, and has served on the faculties of the Buffet-Crampon Summer Academy, the Aria International Summer Academy and the National Youth Orchestra of the USA. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas, he served on the faculties of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Goshen College, Andrews University and Seton Hall University.
Born in Sheffield, England, Mr. Gunn started his musical career playing violin and piano and began studying the clarinet after moving to the United States at age eleven. He received a Bachelor of Music from the Shepherd School of Music at Rive University and a Master of Music from the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University.
Jonathan is married to Jennifer Gunn, who plays piccolo and flute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Gunn is a D’Addario Artist and Musican Advisor, A Buffet Group USA Performing Artist and plays exclusively on Buffet-Crampon clarinets.
Jennifer Gunn, Flute Principal, was appointed by Maestro Daniel Barenboim to the position of Piccolo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2005. Since joining the CSO, she has been involved in the orchestra’s MusicNow Series, The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as other CSO chamber music opportunities. Jennifer has been a frequent guest on series around the Chicago area including the Dempster Street Pro Musica, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Chamber Musicians, and the Rembrandt Chamber Players.
In addition to performing in Chicago, Jennifer has recently enjoyed performing with colleagues from around the country at music festivals including Sunflower Music Festival, St. Bart’s Music Festival, and Strings Music Festival at Steamboat Springs. In addition to performing, Jennifer teaches flute and piccolo at the Orford Arts Centre in Canada. Her former teachers include Robert Langevin, Rhian Kenny, George Pope, Mary Kay Robinson, and Mary Hannigan.
Gordon Hunt, Oboe Principal, was born in London and studied with Terence MacDonagh. He performs throughout the world as soloist and conductor, directs master classes and plays with renowned chamber ensembles. He has a distinguished orchestral career as Principal Oboe of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and has held the same position with the London Philharmonic. He is also Principal Oboe of the World Orchestra for Peace.
Regarded as one of the world’s leading oboists, he has appeared as soloist with conductors such as Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Giulini, Kondrashin, Muti, Sir John Prichard, Sir Simon Rattle, Sinopoli and Welser-Most. A critic wrote of a performance of the Mozart Oboe Concerto in Berlin, “With his crystal clear, aristocratic tone, he undoubtedly ranks as one of the greatest exponents of his instrument.” For four decades he has performed concertos and recitals on six continents. In 2005, he played the Adagio from Albinoni’s D minor concerto at the Service of Dedication and Prayer to Celebrate the marriage of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. In 2008, he was soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, televised live to over thirty million homes across the world.
Gordon Hunt has recorded a wide range of music for BMG, EMI and Virgin, including all of Mozart’s solo music. His recording of the Richard Strauss Concerto with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy (Decca) was named the finest available by the Penguin CD Guide. He has made several recordings for BIS, including “elevazione”, a very successful disc of popular concertos, which he also directed.
As a conductor, he is becoming widely known. He has been Music Director of the Danish Chamber Players and the Swedish Chamber Winds. He has conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of South Africa, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of South Africa, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Sinfonietta and Southbank Sinfonia in London, and in the Budapest Spring Festival. In 2011 and 2012, he conducted in Brazil, toured with the winds of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and in Tbilisi, Georgia. Between 2014 and 2017, he will have conducted in Japan, Macau, New Zealand, Brazil, Romania, Slovenia, the UK and in America.
Over five years, Gordon Hunt will also be undertaking engagements in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Panama, China, Singapore, and Australia as well as Great Britain.
Gordon Hunt is Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and is much in demand for advice from students and professionals worldwide. He is a member of the jury for the International Oboe Competition of Japan. In 2010 he was designated a UNESCO Artist for Peace.
In his free time, Gordon is passionate about fly fishing for trout and salmon.
Claudio Jaffe, Cello, launched his solo performance career at the age of 11 in his native Brazil. He is cellist of the Delray String Quartet and principal cellist of the Florida Grand Opera and Palm Beach Symphony. Jaffe received four degrees from Yale University, including the Doctor of Musical Arts. He served as Dean of the Lynn University Conservatory of Music and created their Preparatory Division, began the Strings Program at Saint Andrew’s School, was Resident Conductor of the Florida Youth Orchestra for 18 years, and is currently teaching at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Jaffe conducts, performs, and teaches at the Santa Catarina Music Festival (FEMUSC) and performs regularly at the Sunflower Music Festival.
Margaret Rose Marco, Oboe Co-Principal, is Professor of Oboe a the University of Kansas School of Music and principal oboist of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. She began her professional career as the principal oboist of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Maracaibo in Venezuela. Since then, her many solo, chamber and orchestral performances have taken her to a variety of prestigious international venues in locations such as Japan, Costa Rica, England, Canada, the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy and recently, Beijing, where she performed and presented master classes at the distinguished Central Conservatory. National festivals and concert appearances include: the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, California; the Conservatorio de Musica in Puerto Rico; New Frontiers Music Festival in Laramie, Wyoming; the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas; Encuentro de Oboes y Fagotes, in Costa Rica; and the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) Conference. She was selected to be Chair of the prestigious IDRS Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox Oboe Competition, a position she has held since 2009.
A strong advocate for new music for her instrument, Dr. Marco has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mu Phi Epsilon and the University of Kansas to perform and record new chamber works by American composers. She can be heard on her solo CD, Hidden Gems: Oboe Sonatas of the French Baroque, with her trio on Allegresse; music for flute, oboe and piano and Fresh Ink, and with the KU Wind Ensemble performing Copland’s Quiet City on the NAXOS label. She is heard frequently performing on Kansas Public Radio.
Dr. Marco holds degrees from Northwestern University, The University of Iowa and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Her teachers include: Ray Still, Grover Schiltz, Dan Stolper, Mark Weiger, Dean Sayles and Nancy Ambrose King.
Edith Markman, Violin, began her studies at age eight with her father, and continued with Josef Gingold and Ivan Galamian at the Meadowmount School. After studying with Joseph Silverstein at the New England Conservatory, Edith received her Master of Music and Doctorate of Music at Yale, where she was Concertmaster of the Yale Collegium and Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been a member of the first violin section of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the past 28 years.
Michael Markman, Violin, first became involved in music through his parents in New Haven, Connecticut. He studied at the Yale School of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He performs regularly in Los Angeles, both in the motion picture industry and in recording studios.
Robert Marlatt, Horn, is Principal Horn with the Boston Ballet Orchestra, Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra, and the Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms Society Orchestra. He has performed as principal horn with the Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Vermont Symphony, Opera Company of Boston, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Classical Orchestra, and Symphony New Hampshire. He has also appeared with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Springfield Symphony, New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, and numerous other ensembles throughout New England.
In Early Music genre, Mr. Marlatt has performed as principal horn with the Boston Baroque, the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra, Arcadia Players, and appeared with Mercury Orchestra in Houston. He holds the Masters of Music Degree from Northwestern University.
Sarah O’Boyle, Violin, was born into a musical family and received early training on the violin from her mother. After attending high school at North Carolina School of the Arts, and, after graduating with honors, she moved to Santiago, Chile. There she became a member of the Santiago Philharmonic, performing opera, ballet, and symphonic works with notable conductors.
At 20, she returned to the U.S. to study with Andres Cardenes at Carnegie Mellon University. While still a sophomore, she was invited to tour Asia with the Pittsburgh Symphony, under the baton of Lorin Maazel. Upon graduation, she became a member of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Opera Orchestras, where she served as Associate Concertmaster. Later, she was awarded a position with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Music Director Mariss Jansons. Ms. O’Boyle went on to become a member of the New York Philharmonic.
Ms. O’Boyle divides her time between frequent work with the Pittsburgh Symphony, solo, and chamber projects. She resides north of Pittsburgh with her husband, horn player Joseph Rounds, and enjoys nature photography and volunteering for a hospice organization.
Barbara O’Brien, Flute Co-Principal, studied music performance at Duquesne University with Bernard Z. Goldberg. She continued her studies with Marcel Moyse, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Robert Langevin. She is currently principal flutist with the Pittsburgh Opera, the Wheeling Symphony, the Renaissance City Winds and also plays second flute with the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra.
Ms. O’Brien has played as an extra with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on tour in the U.S., Canada and Japan. She has performed in many music festivals including the Symphony School of America, the Spoleto Festival dei due Mondi, Crested Butte and the Sunflower Music Festival.
Sean Radermacher, Violin Apprentice and Assistant Conductor, adeptly engages in a dynamic combination of music making as a conductor and violinist.
At the Cleveland Institute of Music, Sean currently pursues a Master degree in orchestral conducting, studying with Carl Topilow. Mr. Radermacher earned Bachelor (summa cum laude) and Master degrees in violin performance from Duquesne University where he studied with Charles and Rachel Stegeman. While at Duquesne, Sean studied conducting intensively and acted as an assistant to the university’s Symphony Orchestra.
Sean has served as assistant conductor and violin apprentice at the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, KS and the Buzzards Bay Musicfest, performing as violinist in the orchestras with world-class players under the direction of guest conductors Andres Cardenes and Anthony Walker. In 2015, Sean led violin scales and technique classes for the inaugural International Performing Institute at Marion, Massachusetts.
Since his appearance at the Pierre Monteux School as conductor and violinist in 2013, Sean has attended international masterclasses and workshops in Maine, South Carolina, Illinois, Colorado, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria. He has regularly participated in the European workshops of professors Larry Rachleff and Donald Schleicher.
Mr. Radermacher has conducted in master classes at Duquesne University led by conductors such as Alex Klein and Daniel Meyer. As a violinist, he has performed in masterclasses for Noah Bendix-Balgley, Linda Wang, and Charles Yang.
He was named the runner-up winner of the Duquesne University Women’s Advisory Board Scholarship Competition in 2013. Sean was awarded the Harth Violin Endowed Scholarship for 2015-2016 and currently studies in Cleveland with a Cleveland Institute of Music scholarship.
As an orchestral violinist, Sean has appeared with the orchestras of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Sunflower Music Festival and the Buzzards Bay Musicfest as well as the Firelands, Wheeling and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestras.
In April 2016, Sean conducted Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat in a complete narrated performance. In November 2016, Sean led a program of Mozart, Rossini, and Moszkowski in his debut performance with the musicians of the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Mark Romatz, Bassoon Co-Principal, is Second Bassoon and Contrabassoon of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Prior to that, he held positions with the Montreal, Jacksonville, Savannah, Duluth and Flint Symphonies. He has been a member of the Bellingham, Grand Teton, Great Park, Colorado, Spoleto, Lancaster, and Sunflower Music Festivals. Mr. Romatz has been a faculty member at McGill University in Montreal, the University of Florida, St. Olaf College, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
He has served as Acting Second Bassoonist with the Minnesota Orchestra and performed with the Chicago and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, the New York Philharmonic and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He studied with L. Hugh Cooper and John Miller.
Joseph Rounds, Horn, grew up in a musical family in a small town in Missouri where his father taught trumpet at Northwest Missouri State University and his mother taught piano. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, his mother’s alma mater, where he studied horn with Verne Reynolds. Studies continued with James Decker at the University of Southern California.
Since 1987, Rounds has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra serving as Assistant Principal, Second and Fourth Horn. Previously, he held positions with the Sacramento Symphony and the Sacramento Chamber Orchestra.
As an instructor of horn, Rounds is a frequent clinician at the Eastman School of Music. He has performed and given master classes for the Eastern Horn Workshop and at West Virginia University with the Pittsburgh Symphony horn section.
He has attended many summer festivals, including Bellingham Music Festival, Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs, and the Buzzards Bay Musicfest. He performed as soloist with the Pittsburgh Orchestra in Schumann’s Konzerstuck for Four Horns in 2004 and 2015.
Rounds currently holds a third degree black belt from the Young Brothers Tae Kwon Do Institute under the guidance of Grand Master Young Bo Kong. He resides north of Pittsburgh with his wife, violinist Sarah O’Boyle.
Stephen Alan Shepard, Violin, has performed throughout the country since leaving Kansas City, MO for the University of Iowa where he completed his Bachelors degree in music performance. He relocated to Pittsburgh, PA to work towards a Masters in Music Performance and Artist Diploma degrees and upon receiving them, decided to pursue a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of Iowa, completing the terminal degree in 2003. His orchestral playing include several seasons with the Westmoreland Symphony, the Wheeling Symphony, and the Cedar Rapids Symphony and Cedar Rapids Opera orchestra before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2003.
Stephen has served as Concertmaster of the Linfield Chamber Orchestra in McMinnville, OR and is currently Assistant Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony in Vancouver, WA, and as a violinist with The Portland Chamber Orchestra.
He is fortunate to have a lovely wife, Lanette and two daughters, Josie and Jasmine.
Consuelo Sherba, Viola, is artistic director of Aurea, and ensemble dedicated to music and the spoken word. Their production of War Music, “a thrilling new stage adaptation of Christopher Logue’s astonishing interpretation of the Illiad,” was seen in both New York City and Chicago. Consuelo is principal violist of the Simon Sinfonietta, and has performed with the RI Philharmonic, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Atlantic Symphony, the Boston Pops, and at the Monadnock, Colorado, Aspen, Grand Teton, and Carvalho Music Festivals.
She was honored as the Pawtucket Foundation’s 2007 Person of the Year, and was a Rhode Island Pell Award winner in 2008.
Robert Skavronski, Contrabass, is currently with the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and formerly performed with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Boston Pops. He has appeared in music festivals in Aspen and the Berkshires, receiving awards and fellowships at both.
Mariusz Skula, Cello, began his musical education in his native Poland. He graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot. As Principal Cellist of the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, he toured Europe, recorded CDs and made radio and television broadcasts. Mr. Skula has participated in several international music festivals. A founding member of the Bel-Etre ensemble and Fedora Piano Trip, he was also a founding member and principal cellist of the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. He is currently a member of New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
Rachel Stegeman, Violin and Associate Concertmaster, is an adjunct assistant professor of Violin at Duquesne University. She is the concertmaster of the Wheeling Symphony, associate concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestras, and former associate concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber and Hollywood Bowl Orchestras. She has performed internationally with major symphony orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and on more than 1,500 commercial recordings, TV shows, commercials and major motion pictures. She has been involved in national and international music festivals, such as the Sunflower Music Festival and the St. Bart’s Music Festival in the French West Indies.
Michael Strauss, Viola Principal, has performed around the world in chamber music and symphonic settings. Since 1990, he has appeared as soloist with orchestras across the U.S. For the last 18 years, he served as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra principal violinist, and was featured in solos or duo roles nearly every season. Strauss serves on the faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and also teaches privately, presents master classes, and coaches advanced students and professionals in orchestral audition preparation. His work has been honored with the NFAA Cinnamon Award, First Prize of the WAMSO Competition of the Minnesota Orchestra, and Ealing prize at the Tertis International Viola Competition, among others.
Eric Tanner, Violin, is principal second violin of the Grand Rapids Symphony, and previously held positions with the Florida Philharmonic, and the New Orleans Symphony. He serves as Artist-Faculty Instructor of Violin in the Perugino String Quartet. Eric began his music studies at the age of three, and debuted at the age of 13 with the Pioneer Valley Symphony. He studied at the Eastman School of Music and received B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Massachusetts and Manhattan School of Music. Raphael Bronstein, Ariana Bronne, Julian Olevsky and Sylvia Rosenberg were among his principal teachers. He regularly performs with the Saugatuck, Sunflower and Grand Teton Music Festivals.
Nic Tsolainos, Contrabass Principal, graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1984. He won a position with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Ohio, and was a member of the double bass section until 1988, at which time he moved to Boston. There, he performed chamber music with members of the Boston Symphony and played with the Boston Pops. Tsolainos joined the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 1995 and was appointed principal bass in 1999. He has performed in Tanglewood, Lake George Opera, Grand Teton, Bravo, Kingston, Strings in the Mountains and Sunflower Music Festivals.
James Thatcher, Horn Principal, is arguably the most heard horn player in the world, having recorded as principal horn on over 3,500 projects. These recordings include major motion pictures, television shows, and with many legends of the music world. Recipient of the Most Valuable Award from the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, Jim has been a favored first horn of Hollywood greats such as James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, John Barry, Maurice Jarre, and Randy Newman. In addition, he has played principal horn on many Academy Award Shows. Classically, Jim started his career studying with his uncle, Gerald Thatcher, in Mexico City. He has played with the Utah and Phoenix Symphonies and has been Guest Principal Horn with the Cincinnati Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and London Orchestra. He performed the James Horner “Collage” concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mark Tukh, Viola, is a graduate of the Leningrad Conservatory of Music, Russia. For many years a principal violist of the Leningrad State Maly Opera and Ballet Theatre, he was also a member of the Theatre’s String Quartet. In 1990 he settled in the USA. He has played with the New Hampshire Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic and New London Symphony orchestras and performed numerous chamber music concerts and solo recitals in New England. In 1992/93 he was a member of the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa and professor of Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra, in Portugal.
Mark has participated in many international festivals, including: Monadnock Music Festival in New Hampshire, Festival de Musica Antiga Colonial in Brazil, Gotland Chamber Music Festival in Sweden, Festival de Musique des Portes du Soleil in France, Estivo-Sydney Conservatorium of Music, European Chamber Music Summer School in Italy. He is currently a resident of Norway and principal violist of the Norwegian National Opera.
John Walz, Cello Principal, is a celebrated soloist and chamber music artist, known for his dazzling virtuosity and elegant musicianship. A student of the legendary French cellist, Pierre Fourner, he has appeared as soloist with more than 200 symphony orchestras on five continents. His performances of 25 different concertos include both standard showcases and rarities like Martinu’s Concerto #1 and William Schuman’s Song of Orfeus. In addition, he has had the honor of premiering works of many noted composers, including John Williams.
In 1979, Mr. Walz, along with pianist Edit Orloff, founded the Pacific Trio. Now performing with violinist Roger Wilkie, this renowned ensemble has played more than 900 concerts throughout North America and Europe.
In addition to his solo and chamber music duties, he is currently the principal cellist with the Los Angeles Opera, a position he previously held for 20 years with the Long Beach Symphony.
His ever expanding discography includes recordings of the concertos by Dvorak, Haydn, Shostakovitch, Bloch, Martinu and Vivaldi. Pacific Trip recordings include Brahms, Shostakovitch, Dvorak, Smetana, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and Archduke Trio, an all-American CD, and the most recent, Trios of Korngold, Zemlinsky and Bloch.
He is on the faculty of the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program and Academy.
Greg Whitaker, Trumpet, is a graduate of the New England Conservatory, and has been a fixture in the Boston freelance scene for over 30 years. He performs regularly with all the major organizations, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, Boston Lyric Opera and the Boston Ballet.
Regional appearances include the Springfield Symphony, Portland Symphony, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. He has also performed internationally; notably performances include the Caracas Philharmonic and the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway.
Evan Wilson, Viola, former Principal Violist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestras, remains one of the worlds most in demand violists. Whether as soloist, chamber musician, pedagogue or producer, his career spans the global stage.
Just back from China this past April, where he gave Masterclasses at the Central Conservatory of Beijing – largely considered the top conservatory in China – and the Shanghai Conservatory – it’s main rival, he was received with rave reviews and most unusually already invited to return.
In May, he produced his fourth album with The Chamber Orchestra of New York – an orchestra he helped found in 2006. He was President, Vice-President, and Artistic Administrator and finally toned down his responsibilities to Consultant while continuing to produce all four albums under the NEXOS label, again to stellar international reviews.
There is virtually no aspect of music or artist Mr. Wilson has not been involved with. From Luciano Pavarotti to Barbra Streisand, Itzak Perlman to Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein to Elton John, and Zubin Mehta to Michael Jackson.
He has given masterclasses at many musical venues around the world, including New York, Florida, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Taiwan, Japan, China, Germany, France, and Finland. Many of his former students are now members of leading orchestras throughout the United States, including the Symphony Orchestras of Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Florida, The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Buffalo Philharmonic. While others have won positions in the orchestras of Singapore, Taiwan, Beijing, and Hong Kong, and the New World Symphony.
His recent television credits include: “Lost”, “Alias”, “Fringe”, “Desperate Housewives”, and presently “House of Cards”. His movie credits include: “Up”, “Mission Impossible”, “War of the Planet of the Apes”, “Jurassic World”, “Star Wars: Rogue”, and this summer’s “Spider-Man”.
In the Classical Music Category, he has recorded and performed with virtually all of the greatest musicians and conductors of today in every major musical venue around the world. Mr. Wilson has recorded for most labels including: Music from Marlboro, CBS Masterworks, Harmonia Mundi, Arista, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips, Geffen, A&M, Sony, Mercury, and RCA. His solo and chamber music performances have been broadcast throughout the United States and Europe.