Alberto Almarza, flute
Described as a virtuoso flutist by the Boston Globe, Alberto Almarza brings a unique and passionate approach to music. His versatility and musicianship have led him to perform and record some of the most adventurous and challenging pieces from the music of today as well as works from the standard repertoire and Baroque literature on period instruments.
A native of Chile, Mr. Almarza previously held the position of Principal Flute of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago. He later came to the United States to study with Jeanne Baxtresser in New York and with Julius Baker at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he obtained his master's degree. He currently serves on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon as Associate Teaching Professor of Flute.
His skills as a pedagogue, lecturer and recitalist have led to invitations from international festivals in the U.S., Mexico, Germany, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Peru. He is a resident artist and member of the faculty at The Jeanne Baxtresser International Master Class and has been recently appointed to the National Flute Association Advisory Board for New Music.
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Jennifer Aylmer, soprano
American soprano Jennifer Aylmer has developed a sterling reputation for her beautiful voice, compelling stage portrayals and impeccable musicianship. The New York Times has hailed her for her, “awesome accuracy,” while The Chicago Sun-Times has recommended that listeners, “bask in the aural delight of Aylmer’s dazzling shifts from regal command to cool insouciance and fatally attractive seduction”
This season, Ms. Aylmer performs with Lyric Fest! in their La Dolce Vita program, in a duet recital at The Trust in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with baritone Thomas Meglioranza and pianist Timothy Long, and as soprano soloist with Brevard Symphony in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. She also appears in concert with the Utah Symphony in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, conducted by Thierry Fischer. At Carnegie Mellon University, she will sing on a new chamber music series in Schubert’s Auf dem Strom with French hornist William Cabellero and later this season, she joins baritone Daniel Teadt, singing Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles, both accompanied by pianist Mark Carver.
Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin
Noah Bendix-Balgley has thrilled and moved audiences around the world with his performances. A Laureate of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, he also won 3rd prize and a special prize for creativity at the 2008 Long-Thibaud International Competition in Paris. Bendix-Balgley won the 1st prize at the 2011 Vibrarte International Music Competition in Paris and was awarded 1st Prize and a special prize for best Bach interpretation at the 14th International Violin Competition “Andrea Postacchini” in Fermo, Italy. Bendix-Balgley has appeared as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Belgique, I Pomeriggi Musicali of Milan, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana (Italy), Orchestre Royal Chambre de Wallonie (Belgium), the Binghamton Philharmonic and the Erie Philharmonic. In 2014, Bendix-Balgley was appointed 1st concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Bendix-Balgley has been Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2011. His Pittsburgh debut recital in January 2012 was named the “Best Classical Concert of 2012” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bendix-Balgley’s performance with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, featuring his own original cadenzas, was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. Bendix-Balgley has also performed his own version of The Star-Spangled Banner for solo violin in front of 39,000 fans at the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day at PNC Park.
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William Caballero, horn
William Caballero joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Principal Horn in May 1989, coming from the Principal Horn post with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Previously he had been a member of l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal and the Hartford Symphony.
Caballero also has played and been a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Houston Grand Opera, l'Opera de Montreal, the Opera Company of Boston, and the New England Ragtime Ensemble. Summer Festivals include The Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the Bellingham Music Festival of Bellingham, Washington.
Andrés Cárdenes, violin
Recognized worldwide as a musical phenomenon, Grammy-nominated Andrés Cárdenes parlays his myriad talents into one of classical music’s most versatile careers. An intensely passionate and personally charismatic artist, Cuban-born Cárdenes has garnered international acclaim from critics and audiences alike for his compelling performances as a violinist, conductor, violist, chamber musician, concertmaster, and recording artist.
Since capturing Second Prize in the 1982 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in Moscow, Mr. Cárdenes has appeared as a soloist on four continents with over 100 orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony, Sinfonica Nacional de Caracas, Sinfonica de Barcelona, and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. He has collaborated with many of today’s greatest conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Jaap van Zweden, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck.
This year and next Mr. Cárdenes continues his project to record many standard and contemporary concerti. Released in 2009 are recordings of concerti by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Barber and David Stock on the Artek and Albany labels. Plans to record Bartok’s Second Violin Concerto and the new version of the Viola Concerto are slated for 2012, along with other sonata recordings with pianist Ian Hobson. A recording of the complete works for violin by Leonardo Balada was released on Naxos in January 2011, with the complete Sonatas by Hindemith and the Beethoven Violin Concerto on Artek, to be released in the fall of 2011. Cárdenes’s discography includes over two dozen recordings of concerti, sonatas, short works, orchestral and chamber music on the Ocean, Naxos, Sony, Arabesque, RCA, ProArte, Telarc, Artek, Melodya and Enharmonic labels.
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Mark Carver, piano
Pianist Mark Carver was born in Mobile, Alabama and received his earliest musical training in Pittsburgh, PA from Jerry Veeck and Lorraine Gaal Landefeld. Other teachers include Enrica Cavallo-Gulli, Natalie Phillips, and Ralph Zitterbart. International artists with whom he has studied are Earl Wild, Jorge Bolet, Jeanne-Marie Darré, Ozan Marsh, John Ogdon, and Pierre Sancan. He has studied at the Chautauqua Institute (Chautauqua, NY), Académie Internationale d'Été (Nice, France), Indiana University (Bloomington, IN), and Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA). Mr. Carver holds the degrees of Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Music.
He made his début with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at age 15, and has been a guest artist with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, the Plum Creek Chamber Orchestra, and the University of Pittsburgh Orchestra. His début at age 17 at Carnegie Hall, New York, was with the Carnegie Mellon University Wind Ensemble in the première of Introduction and Allegro by Philip Catelinet.
"Total command" and "delightful" (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) are phrases used to describe Carver's performances of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the River City Brass Band. Called "a stalwart presence in the local music scene", his accompanying for the Pittsburgh Camerata has been regarded as "refined and tasteful" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
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Tatjana Mead Chamis, viola
Violist Tatjana Mead Chamis has gained recognition through a wide variety of performances, from orchestral, solo, and chamber music to studio recording, as well as introducing and experimenting with new music.
Associate principal viola of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2003, Mead Chamis has led in performances in Pittsburgh as well as abroad, appearing in the most renowned concert halls of Europe, Asia, and the Americas. In 1993, at the age of 22, Mead Chamis joined the Pittsburgh Symphony under the directorship of Lorin Maazel, while still a student at the Curtis Institute of Music. She has since been featured on numerous performances as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra. In 2011, she premiered with the orchestra the Lionel Tertis transcription for viola of Elgar's Cello Concerto.
An avid chamber music player and recitalist, Mead Chamis has performed with some of today’s finest solo and chamber players. Since 1993 she appeared repeatedly at the Caramoor International Music Festival in New York, making her debut in the Rising Star Series with Sir Andre Previn, and later as a member of the “Caramoor Virtuosi.” Other notable festivals include the Bravo Festival in Vail, Colorado, Tanglewood Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and the Green Bay Music Festival. She has performed chamber music with Lynn Harrell, Joshua Bell, Emmanuel Ax and Gil Shaham, among many others. Her concerts have been heard on “Performance Today” from NPR, and several of her recital and chamber music performances continue to be featured on WQED Pittsburgh.
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Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, oboe
Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida has been Principal Oboe of the Pittsburgh Symphony since 1991. For two years prior to this she was Associate Principal Oboe of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Since joining the Pittsburgh Symphony, Ms. DeAlmeida has been featured with the PSO as a soloist in concertos by Bach, Haydn, Vaughan-Williams, Strauss, Mozart, and Françaix and has collaborated as soloist with Pinchas Zukerman, Andrés Cárdenes, and Vladimir Spivakov. In 1993 she premiered and recorded a commissioned concerto by Leonardo Balada with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Lorin Maazel for New World Records. Ms. DeAlmeida premiered another concerto in February 2006 commissioned for her by the Pittsburgh Symphony entitledThe Clearing by composer Lucas Richman. In March 2008 she performed “The Clearing” with the Knoxville Symphony. Ms. DeAlmeida has also appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Haddonfield Symphony, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, and the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic.
Ms. DeAlmeida is an avid chamber musician. Each summer since 2002she performs and teaches as a faculty member of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. Several of her performances there have been chosen to be broadcast nationally on NPR’s ‘Performance Today”. In July 2010 she performed chamber concerts at the Steamboat Springs (CO) Festival.
Ms. DeAlmeida has been a faculty member of Carnegie Mellon University since 1991. Before moving to Pittsburgh, she was an adjunct faculty member of Temple University in Philadelphia and Trenton State College (NJ). She has also been a faculty member of the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland and frequently teaches master classes at universities in the U.S. and abroad.
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Cyrus Forough, violin
Noted for the "fiery intensity" and "poetic vision" of his playing, Cyrus Forough's reviews comprise a lexicon of superlatives in more than a dozen languages. A Laureate of the Tchaikovsky International Competition, he has won first prize in the Milwaukee Symphony Violin Competition, was a finalist in the Munich International Competition, and with his wife Steinway Artist Carolyn McCracken as the Forough/McCracken Duo, won the United States Artistic Ambassador Program's National Violin/Piano Duo Competition. He also holds the World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media Award in recognition of his contributions to classical music and education.
Mr. Forough's unique succession of studies in three cultural centers with three of the twentieth century's most legendary masters make singular his recognition as a prominent representative of the Franco-Belgium school of violin playing. When he was five years old he began studies with his mother, a graduate of the Brussels Royal Conservatory of Music, Belgium. In Brussels and Liege she studied under the tutelage of E. Chaumont and L. Charlier, both masters of the Franco-Belgium school. Forough also attended the Brussels Royal Conservatory where as the youngest ever to attend, he was exceptionally admitted at age nine to study with Arthur Grumiaux. He graduated with a Superior Prize and Special Distinction Medal at age sixteen. He then became one of only thirteen students chosen by national competition to attend Europe's most renowned school for promising young performers, the Chapel Musicale Reine Elisabeth, living and studying in Brussels for a total of twelve years. He then pursued post-graduate studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory for three years under the legendary David Oistrakh. Upon Mr. Oistrakh's death, Forough attended Indiana University School of Music for two and half years where he was personal assistant to his teacher Josef Gingold, who himself studied in Belgium under Eugene Ysaye.
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David Harding, viola
David Harding has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Europe, the United States, Canada and Central America, in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. His performances have been broadcast on BBC, NPR and Deutschland Radio. David is frequently featured on CBC Radio in Canada. He regularly performs at chamber music festivals throughout North America including amongst others the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Strings in the Mountains, CO, Sitka Chamber Music Festival, AK, Festival of the Sound, ON, and the Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival, TX.
David is a member of Trio Verlaine and the American String Project, (a collaboration between quartet players, soloists and concertmasters.) David is a seasoned chamber musician, having been a former member of the Chester String Quartet, Toronto String Quartet and Triskelion String Trio. He has collaborated with members of the Cleveland, Tokyo and St. Lawrence quartets, and has made chamber music recordings for Sony, Crystal, Chesky, Innova and New Albion record labels.
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Micah Howard, double bass
Micah Howard enjoys a very rewarding career as both a performer and a teacher. He joined the world renowned Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1996 at the age of 25. As a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony, he has toured five continents, including Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and North America. Howard regularly performs as a recitalist, and chamber musician. He has also been featured as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Howard has always been active as a music educator. In addition to private teaching, he regularly serves as lecturer for various universities, coaches youth ensembles, such as the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Youngstown Youth Symphony Orchestra, and in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Symphony's outreach program, visits local grade schools and high schools to coach ensembles and promote music education. Since the spring of 2000, he has been teaching string bass as adjunct faculty at the Dana School of Music, Youngstown State University, and is also an adjunct professor at Duquesne University. At Carnegie Mellon, Howard serves as Artist Lecturer in Double Bass.
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Sung-Im Kim, piano
Sung-Im Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. She started playing the piano at the age of seven. Two years later she won first prize in a national competition.
By the age of fifteen, she had her debut as a soloist with the Seoul National Philharmonic Orchestra. She went on to win the Eum Ak Chun Chu and Jung-Ang competitions, amongst the most prestigious in Korea. She also played many solo and chamber concerts in Seoul, including professional debut recital by Cho-Sun Daily Newspaper.
After obtaining her first degree from Kyung-Won University under Dr.Young-Ho Kim, she continued to study at the Royal Academy of Music under Mr. Frank Wibaut and Mr. Christopher Elton, gaining a Diploma in Advanced Studies and Licentiate Piano Teacher. While in England, she gave solo performances at many venues, including the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Glenilla Arts Foundation, and the Pump Room in Bath. In addition, She won prizes including the Haverhill Sinfonia Soloist competition in England, Ibla International Piano competition in Italy, and the Sterndale Bennett Prize at Royal Academy Of Music.
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Luz Manriquez, piano
Luz Manriquez was born in Santiago de Chile, where she studied with Elena Weiss at the Escuela Moderna de Musica. Upon graduation, she continued advanced studies under Edith Fisher in Switzerland and Maria Iris Rédrigan at the Catholic University in Chile. Following the completion of her master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Ms. Manriquez was appointed in 1992 to the faculty as Artist Lecturer in Piano and Chamber Music and since 2004 she is Associate Teaching Professor of Coaching and Accompanying.
Luz Manriquez has been a regular guest of the Shadyside Concert Series and the Frick Art Museum Series. Ms. Manriquez has performed with Nuance Music Ensemble conducted by former PSO Concert Master Andrés Cárdenes, as well as with the Chamber Music Project Ensemble at the Andy Warhol Museum. Since its creation in 2004 by cellist Aron Zelkowicz, Luz has been a regular guest of the PJMF (Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival).
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Lorna McGhee, flute
Scottish-born Lorna McGhee is principal flute with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She has performed as guest principal with Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and has been fortunate to work with conductors such as Haitink, Gergiev, Rattle, Solti, Harnoncourt, Muti, and Honeck. Before immigrating to North America in 1998, Lorna was co-principal flute of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, England. As a soloist, she has given concerto performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the UK and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, and Victoria Symphony in Canada and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, San Luis Obispo Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in the USA. A career highlight was a performance of Penderecki's flute concerto with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra under the baton of the composer in 2004. As a chamber musician and recitalist, she has performed in Europe, North America and Australia, Singapore and Japan in such venues as London's Wigmore Hall, Edinburgh International Festival, the Louvre, Paris and the Schubertsaal of Vienna's Konzerthaus, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Her performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio in Canada, BBC Radio, NPR (USA), Netherlands Radio and ABC (Australia).
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Dimitri Papadimitriou, piano and Artistic Director
Pianist Dimitri Papadimitriou has distinguished himself as an artist of refined musicianship and personal verve. A passionate avid of chamber music, Dimitri has recently collaborated with many principal musicians from major European and U.S.orchestras, including Noah Bendix-Balgley, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Andrés Cárdenes, former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. A musician of versatile skills, he has lately developed an interest in conducting that led him to a successful debut on the podium with Chausson’s Symphony in B-flat major and Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony at the Pierre Monteux Festival and School. Currently a faculty member at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music in Pittsburgh, he also serves as the Artistic Director of the ‘Carnegie Mellon Chamber Series’, a newly found series that brings together members of the CMU faculty and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Before moving to the U.S., Dimitri was residing in Ireland enjoying a flourishing career with engagements in some of the country’s most prestigious venues and festivals, while completing his Doctorate in Music Performance. A native of Greece, Dimitri at age sixteen won first prize at the international chamber music competition ‘Classical Heritage’ of Moscow, made his debut with the Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra with Rachmaninov’s ‘Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini’ and following an outstanding success, he was invited to perform Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto for a national broadcast. A graduate of Indiana University and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, he has participated in a plethora of festivals throughout Europe and the U.S. www.dimitripapadimitriou.com
David Premo, cello
Cellist David Premo joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1992, was promoted to Fourth Chair, a non-rotating position in 1994, and subsequent to a national audition in 1999, was offered the position of Assistant Principal. Following another round of national auditions, Mr. Premo was awarded the position of Associate Principal in 2001. Additionally, Mr. Premo has been Artist-Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University since 1994, providing private cello instruction, coaching chamber music groups and teaching an orchestra repertoire class.
Mr. Premo came to Pittsburgh from Washington D.C., where he served as Associate Principal of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra from 1980 until 1991. During his tenure in Washington, Mr. Premo performed chamber music at the Phillips Collection, the Corcorcan Gallery and the Library of Congress, and served on numerous occasions as principal cellist with the American Chamber Orchestra, the National Gallery Orchestra and the Wolf Trap Festival Orchestra, among others. Mr. Premo performed as a member of the National Symphony Orchestra, both at the Kennedy Center and on several United States and European tours.
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Jennifer Orchard, violin
Canadian violinist, Jennifer Orchard, has traveled the world performing as a chamber musician, soloist, and currently as first violinist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2001.
Still in high school, Ms. Orchard won a position to study at the Curtis Institute of Music with Szymon Goldberg. She continued her studies, obtaining a master’s degree from the Juilliard School with Robert Mann and participated at the Marlboro Music Festival.
Upon graduating from the Julliard School, Ms. Orchard was invited to be a member of the world renowned Lark Quartet. As a legacy from this time period with the quartet, Ms. Orchard recorded works of Robert Schumann, Alfred Schnittke, Peter Schickele, Arnold Schoenberg, Alexander Zemlinsky, Amy Beach, Alexander Borodin and the Pulitzer Prize winning quartet by Aaron Jay Kernis – one of several new works for string quartet commissioned by the Lark Quartet.
In 2002, Orchard started performing in the Pittsburgh Piano Trio. The group maintains busy touring and recording schedule. In recent seasons the Pittsburgh Trio performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, the St Petersburg Conservatory and the Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall where the Trio presented Russian premiere of the Triple Concerto of Paul Juon with the Tchaikovsky State Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Fedoseev.
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Sergey Schepkin, piano
The Russian-American pianist Sergey Schepkin has performed around the globe, from the United States to Russia to Japan to New Zealand. He made his Carnegie Hall recital début in 1993 (at Weill Recital Hall) to an enthusiastic reception from the audience and The New York Times, and has performed on the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center, Celebrity Series of Boston, LACMA and Maestro Series in Los Angeles, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, St. Petersburg Grand and Chamber Philharmonic Halls, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and the Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo, among many other venues and series. Mr. Schepkin’s discography includes major works by Bach (the complete Well-Tempered Clavier, the Partitas, Italian Concerto, French Overture, Four Duets, and two recordings of the Goldberg Variations), Brahms (complete late piano works), Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, and Schnittke. He is a recipient of numerous prizes and awards. His concerts and recordings have garnered critical acclaim from such publications as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, the Boston Musical Intelligencer, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, BBC Music Magazine, International Piano, American Record Guide, Gramophone, Fanfare, and MusicWeb International.
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Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp
Gretchen Van Hoesen has been Principal Harpist of the Pittsburgh Symphony since 1977. She has appeared as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions, both on the subscription series and on tour. Ms. Van Hoesen gave the New York premiere of the Alberto Ginastera Harp Concerto in 1976 and the Pittsburgh premiere in 1978. She has appeared as soloist with conductors André Previn, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Zdnek Macal, Sergiu Comissiona, and Pinchas Zukerman and has collaborated with flutists James Galway, Bernard Goldberg and Jean-Pierre Rampal in performances of Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp. Additional appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony have included performances of the Handel Concerto in B flat, Danses Sacrée et Profane by Debussy, Concierto Serenata by Joaquin Rodrigo, and the Concerto for Harp by Rheinhold Gliere. Gretchen Van Hoesen graduated from the Juilliard School of Music earning both B.M. and M.M. degrees in harp as a scholarship student of Marcel Grandjany and Susann McDonald. She is also a graduate of the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department with highest honors in piano and harp, where she was a student of Eileen Malone. She further studied with Gloria Agostini. Her credentials as an orchestral musician include performing as Principal Harp in the New York Lyric Opera, the New York City Ballet, the National Orchestral Association, the Greenwich Philharmonia, the Pittsburgh Opera and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra (Italy), the Virginia Opera, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Jeunesses Musicales Orchestra (Germany). She presently holds the Virginia Campbell endowed Principal Harp Chair of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
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Anne Martindale Williams, cello
Anne Martindale Williams has enjoyed a successful career as principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1979. Throughout her tenure with the orchestra, she has often been featured as soloist both in Pittsburgh and on tour in New York at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. Williams was soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony in the Pittsburgh premier of The Giving Tree conducted by the composer, Lorin Maazel. This season, she will be featured in the Pittsburgh Symphony premiere of Jake Haggie’s The Work at Hand.
She has also collaborated with guest artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, André Previn, the Emerson Quartet, Lynn Harrell, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham and Pinchas Zukerman in numerous chamber music performances. She made her London debut performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic, Andre Previn conducting. Her solo in The Swan on the Pittsburgh Symphony’s recording of Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns was described by Grammophon critic Edward Greenfield as “…the most memorable performance of all.”
Christopher Wu, violin
Violinist Christopher Wu enjoys a diverse career as an orchestral and chamber musician, teacher and soloist. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Wu joined the first violin section of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1988, and holds the Nancy & Jeffery Leininger First Violin Chair. He has previously served as concertmaster of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Riverside Orchestra and has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, and the Rochester and Buffalo Philharmonics.
An active chamber musician, Wu has played with a wide range of artists including Nancy Wilson, Joshua Bell, and the Muir String Quartet. He is a founding member of the innovative chamber music group Innuendo, hailed by the Boston Herald as “an ensemble notable for its unanimity of spirit and sonority” and for its “warmly intense interpretive powers.” Chris has appeared in numerous festivals in recent seasons including Aspen, Brevard, Heidelberg, Savannah, Masterwork, Stockbridge and St. Bart’s Music Festival.
Mr. Wu is currently on the faculties of Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University and Geneva College. He has taught classes at the University of Texas, Youngstown State University, Ottawa University, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and has served as Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Oklahoma.
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