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Gretchen Van Hoesen

Artist Lecturer in Harp

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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 Sacré et Profane by Debussy, Concierto Serenata by Joaquin Rodrigo, and the Concerto for Harp by Rheinhold Gliere. In 1985 Ms. Van Hoesen and her husband, PSO Co-Principal Oboe James Gorton, presented the Pittsburgh premiere of Witold Lutoslawski's Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra on the Pittsburgh Symphony subscription series. During the 1990-91 season Gretchen Van Hoesen was featured soloist in the Peggy Stuart Coolidge Rhapsody for Harp and Orchestra for the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops series and gave the United States premiere of Suite Concertante for solo harp and orchestra by Manuel Moreno-Buendia in San Antonio, Texas. In 1995 she performed the Gliere Harp Concerto with the Greenville (PA) Symphony, the Sun Valley (ID) Summer Symphony, and the Lake Placid Sinfonietta. In the 2006-7 season, Ms. Van Hoesen premiered two solo harp compositions by Nancy Galbraith and Adam Schoenberg and performed the Mozart Concerto, K. 299 with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. In March 2008 she will present the world premiere of Sir André Previn’s Concerto for Harp on the Pittsburgh Symphony subscription series. Ms. Van Hoesen has also performed as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Orchestral Association, the Greenwich Philharmonia, and the Westmoreland Symphony. She has concertized in the metropolitan New York area at Carnegie Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Brooklyn Museum, and has presented concertos at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Ms.Van Hoesen was winner of the 1978 Passamaneck Competition and appeared in recital at the Y Music Series of the Pittsburgh Jewish Community Center. In 1984 Ms.Van Hoesen opened the Heinz Hall Chamber Music Series with the world premiere of Sonatina for Solo Harp written for her by Paul Schwartz. Ms.Van Hoesen has been a recitalist throughout the Pittsburgh area at Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham College, Carlow College, Shadyside Concerts, Pittsburgh Chamber Music Project, Rodef Shalom series, California University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock University, the Renaissance City Winds series, Geneva College, the Frick Art Museum and the Pittsburgh Peace Institute. She has been a featured soloist at American Harp Society National Conferences in Boston, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Washington, D.C. and Fredonia, New York. Ms.Van Hoesen has served as a judge for National Competitions of the American Harp Society and has been an officer for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Harp Society. 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. Gretchen Van Hoesen was selected to perform in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, in the Super World Orchestra 2000, an orchestra made up of key musicians from around the globe. In 1985, the recording Lullabies and Night Songs was released on the Caedmon label featuring Jan DeGaetani, soprano; Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp; and instrumental ensemble. Ms. Van Hoesen collaborated with her father, bassoonist K. David Van Hoesen, and singer Jan DeGaetani in a recording of the Phyllis McGinley Song Cycle written for them by the late Alec Wilder. In the 1990-91 season, Ms.Van Hoesen performed the world premiere of Blues for Harp, Oboe, and Violoncello by Lawrence Hoffman and presented a master class and oboe/harp duo recital in Taipei, Taiwan. Composer Robert Kelly wrote and dedicated Modal Variations for Ms. Van Hoesen and her husband, and Suite for Oboe and Harp by James Legg was written for the duo and premiered in March 1993. Pavanes, Pastorales, and Serenades for Oboe and Harp, a CD for Boston Records, was issued in December 1998 with critical raves from around the country. Ms. Van Hoesen collaborated with conductor Rossen Milanov to record the Gliere and Jongen Harp Concertos and Buendiá’s Suite Concertante with the New Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, Bulgaria. These performances are available on Boston Records. Ms. Van Hoesen is a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne universities and combines teaching there with private students at her home in Pittsburgh. She has given master classes at Duquesne University, the Eastman School of Music, The Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, the University of Illinois, the Aspen Music Festival, the National University of the Arts in Seoul, Korea, and has been an artist-lecturer on numerous series in Pittsburgh as well as throughout the country. She was a faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School from 2001-6. Her students have won numerous national awards and prizes.


George Vosburgh

Assistant Teaching Professor of Trumpet, Co-Director of Wind Ensemble

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George Vosburgh, celebrated soloist and lecturer is internationally acclaimed for his virtuosity on the trumpet in recordings, concerts and recitals, as well as guest artist performances in such locales as the Bonn Festival at Rolandsek, the Ravinia Festival, and the Curs Internacional de Musica in Valencia, Spain. In 1992 he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Principal Trumpet.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded George Vosburgh Best New Classical Artist in 1985 for the Reference recording of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat with Chicago Pro Musica. He is a Bavarian Radio International Music competition prize winner and a Gold Record recipient for his work with the New Age music ensemble Mannheim Steamroller. In 2003 he was invited to become Principal Trumpet of the World Orchestra for Peace Valery Gergiev Music Director. The orchestra has since done several tours across Europe and China with many recordings and television programs.

Recent recordings featuring George Vosburgh include Trumpeter's Heritage, music by Bach, Bohme, Tomasi, Fasch, and Neruda with the Czech Philharmonic, Arnie Roth conducting. Trumpet Masterworks, pieces for trumpet and piano, Alaine Fink - piano.. Four Trumpet Concerti, works by Haydn, Hummel, Telemann, and Leopold Mozart with the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz conducting. All recent recordings are featured on the Four Winds label.

In 1994 Mr. Vosburgh organized the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, a unique brass ensemble featuring some of the world's finest orchestral brass musicians in chamber ensemble. The brass has enjoyed a flurry of recording activity including a1998 release of Bach's The Art of the Fugue on the Four Winds label. Along with featured tracks on collection CDs, in 2000 the group released its second CD A Christmas Concert also on the Four Winds label. In June of 2002 the brass released its new recording with the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, music for mixed chorus, brass, and organ. The latest recording, The Spirit of Christmas has won the group national attention including features for National Public Radio and WQED Pittsburgh .

As an educator, Mr. Vosburgh has appeared in universities across Europe, the Far East, and the United States including Northwestern, University of Michigan, U.C.L.A., as well as the Tanglewood Fellowship program. He has lectured at the International Trumpet Guild's annual conference and has recently published a critical edition of the Bohme Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E minor under LeDor Publishing. He is currently on the faculty of Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University, both in Pittsburgh. 

Mr. Vosburgh is a graduate of the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music, where he was Principal Trumpet and featured soloist with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. He began his career as an orchestral trumpeter at age 19 as third trumpet and assistant principal of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of David Zinman. After three years with Rochester, he joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the late Sir Georg Solti as the youngest member of that orchestra's world-famous brass section.

George Vosburgh holds the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Martha Brooks Robinson Chair and is an active member on various Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Committees.


R. James Whipple

Artist Lecturer in Music Theory

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R. James Whipple, Artist Lecturer in Music Theory, is a composer, bassoonist, and chamber musician. He coaches chamber music at Carnegie Mellon, and teaches classes in counterpoint and harmony. Outside the University, he is Artistic Director and Bassoonist with the Renaissance City Winds. He was composer-in-residence with the Pittsburgh New Residency of MEET THE COMPOSER between 2001 and 2005. His music has been performed, published, recorded, and broadcast in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Whipple writes predominantly for chamber ensembles, but his catalog also includes works for band, chorus, orchestra, keyboard, and solo instruments. He is particularly interested in interdisciplinary collaborations, with scores for modern dance and mime theater productions and three collaborative poetry works with Samuel Hazo, Pennsylvania's first State Poet. His Concertino for An Autumn Mood - for solo bassoon, strings, and harp - was recorded for the MMC label by the Czech Radio Orchestra under the direction of Gerard Schwarz. In recent years, he has written many works especially for student groups in middle and high schools where the Renaissance City Winds has performed extended residencies, often training students to compose the basic themes of the pieces.

Whipple has a busy career as a chamber music performer and administrator. He was a founding member of Pittsburgh's Renaissance City Winds in 1975, and has served as Artistic Director since 1978. The group makes 50-100 public appearances each season, has released two CDs, and tours throughout the eastern United States. Whipple also plays Baroque bassoon with Bach and the Baroque, an early-instrument group based at the University of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Baroque. On modern bassoon, he has recorded with Centaur, CRI, Serenus, and CBS/Sony, and was Principal Bassoon with the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra for fourteen seasons.

Whipple has extensive experience in arts administration; he currently serves as General Director of the Renaissance City Wind Music Society, which sponsors the performing ensemble. He is often invited to give presentations at conferences on various aspects of chamber music programming, ensemble organization, and marketing, and has been appointed to a number of funding review panels for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

His principal composition teachers were Roland Leich and David Del Tredici; he also studied with Leonardo Balada and Gardner Read. His bassoon teachers included Arthur Kubey (principal, Pittsburgh Symphony), Richard Plaster (contrabassoon, Boston Symphony Orchestra), and Mark Popkin (Clarion Quintet, Mostly Mozart Festival).

Mr. Whipple has also taught at Carlow University, Slippery Rock University, West Virginia University, and the Chamber Music Conference of the East at Bennington College. His academic interests include counterpoint, American music history, and wind chamber music literature. Before becoming a full-time musician in 1975, he earned a degree in physics and worked as a research assistant for the U.S. Naval Air Development Center, where he was the principal author of a technical paper. He welcomes double-majors and non-music majors into his Carnegie Mellon classes.


Alexa Woloshyn

Assistant Professor of Musicology

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Dr. Alexa Woloshyn is a musicologist whose research focuses on how electronic, physiological, and socio-cultural technologies mediate the creation and consumption of musical practices in both art and popular musics. She received a BMus from the University of Saskatchewan (History & Literature; French), MA Musicology from the University of Western Ontario, and a PhD Musicology from the University of Toronto. 

Her book project focuses on the performance practice and reception of live electronic music in relation to the breakdown of traditional gesture-sound relationships. She argues that live electronic ensembles strive for the ‘humanized’ element in their performance practice, often with the primary motivation of helping the listener assess the musical value of the seemingly effortless physiological mediations of the sound technology.  

In addition, Woloshyn researches Indigenous  musicians’ use of mediating technologies to construct and interrogate notions of ‘modern’ Indigeneity. Musicians include DJ collective A Tribe Called Red, Inuit vocalist Tanya Tagaq, and Cree cellist Cris Derksen. 

Woloshyn  implements best practices in higher education pedagogy to create a lively classroom filled with music-making, collaboration, and critical thinking and listening.  In addition to completing certificate programs in higher education pedagogy  through the University of Toronto's Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation and George Brown College, Woloshyn trained and mentored graduate student teaching assistants and instructors at the University of Toronto. She has presented on pedagogical topics at national and international conferences. 

Before coming to the  Carnegie Mellon School of Music, Woloshyn taught at the University of Toronto, University of Guelph, University of Western Ontario, and Bowling Green State University.


Christopher Wu

Artist Lecturer in Violin

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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.

As a soloist, Wu has been described by the Tribune-Review as a musician of “virtuoso command with depth of musical understanding.” He has appeared numerous times as a soloist for the PSO and has given recitals to critical acclaim.

Chris’ violin was made in 1727 by Nicolo Gagliano. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, ice hockey, traveling and cooking. He and his wife Annette, reside in Gibsonia with their two children Wesley and Grace. In 1991, he survived a near-fatal automobile accident, and he is grateful for every opportunity to play.


Hanna Wu Li

Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy

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Hanna Wu Li, Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, is the recipient of the Presidential Scholar's Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House. She has received wide recognition of the distinctive Piano Program for Children she developed at Carnegie Mellon's Preparatory School. Over the past 35 years, her pupils have won numerous national and international awards and have been soloists with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in their Young People's Concerts and featured pianists in the Pittsburgh Concert Society's Artist and Young Artist Concert Series. Professor Li and her students have also been presented on NPR, PBS, ABC and in the McGraw-Hill Young Artist Showcase on WQXR-FM in New York City, and on WQED-FM's Sunday Arts Magazine in Pittsburgh, PA. She has been listed in Who's Who in America, and Who's Who Among American Teachers.

Professor Li has conducted numerous Master Classes, and served as adjudicator in national and international piano competitions. She has lectured widely in the United States and abroad. She has been invited twice by the Chinese National Association of Musicians to give piano pedagogy workshops and master classes to college piano faculty representing every province in China, and international visiting scholars travel to Carnegie Mellon to observe her work.


Lenny Young

Artist Lecturer in Solfege and Administrative Coordinator, Marta Sanchez Dalcroze Training Center

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Lenny Young, in addition to being a sought-after collaborative artist and teacher, is Principal Oboe of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra.  He has also performed with the Pittsburgh, Wheeling, Youngstown, Johnstown, Westmoreland and McKeesport Symphonies.   A 2015 winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society major auditions, he has worked with local conductors, composers and arrangers in productions for Resonance Works, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater, Point Park Conservatory, and Pennsylvania Dance Theater.  As a soloist, he composed and performed original music for Point Park Repertory Company's productions of Knights of the Round Table, The Third Lie, and Death Of A Salesman.  He worked extensively with Pittsburgh improvisation ensemble Dust & Feathers as well as with choreographers and visual artists.

Lenny has worked in a variety of chamber-music settings, from woodwind quintets and octets to larger mixed groups like the Duquesne New Music Ensemble and the American Wind Symphony Orchestra.  He also led several improvisational groups—the jazz quartets Ensemble Duchamp and Comprov Group as well as the oboe/piano duo Levendis.  Currently he is a member of the new music ensemble Alia Musica Pittsburgh, conductor of the choir at Third Presbyterian Church and a founding member of the Bell’Art Ensemble; he has composed and arranged works for all three groups.

A native of New Castle, DE, Lenny holds BFA and MM degrees in music performance from Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied oboe with Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, improvisation with Eric Kloss, and composition with Reza Vali. He maintains a teaching studio at Johnstonbaugh’s Music and teaches oboe, music theory and solfege at Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) high school, where he also directs CAPA’s new-music ensemble Antithesis. He was appointed Artist Lecturer in Solfege at Carnegie Mellon in the Fall of 2015.