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MQVC 2012 Artist and Judge Biographies

Rodney Ackmann

Rodney Ackmann

Rodney Ackmann joined the faculty at the University of Missouri in 2005, following 22 seasons as Principal Bassoonist of the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also performed as Principal Bassoonist with the Tulsa Opera Orchestra, Sarasota Music Festival in Florida and the Musica nel Chiostro, and Spoleto Festivals in Italy. Other performance affiliations include Solisti New York, Tulsa Chamber Players, Nova Chamber Music Series in Salt Lake City and Assisi Music Festival.

As soloist, Professor Ackmann has appeared with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Musica Regala and numerous times with the Tulsa Philharmonic. In 2010 he was a featured soloist with the MU Symphonic Wind Ensemble's two week tour of the People's Republic of China. He has also performed at five conferences of the International Double Reed Society both in the United States and abroad. Mr. Ackmann has recorded for Chandos, Enharmonic, and Mark Records, and has been heard on NPR's Performance Today.

He holds the Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Music and Performer's Certificate from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he was a student of Leonard Sharrow and Sidney Rosenberg. Mr. Ackmann currently serves as First Vice President of the Midwest Double Reed Society.

Carolyn Beck

Carolyn Beck

Bassoonist Carolyn Beck leads a diverse musical life performing frequently as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. She is the Principal Bassoonist with the Redlands Symphony and the San Bernardino Symphony, and performs with many other concert and studio recording orchestras in the Los Angeles area including the period instrument groups, Musica Angelica and Bach Collegium San Diego.

A champion of new music, she has commissioned and performed new solo works for bassoon in New York City, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Austin, San Diego, Baton Rouge, New Haven, and Banff, Canada. She has performed with a number of contemporary music ensembles including the Twentieth Century Consort in Washington D.C. and North-South Consonance in New York. Her solo performances have included appearances at several International Double Reed Society Conferences, frequent recitals, and performances of The Five Sacred Trees, concerto for bassoon and orchestra by John Williams, with the Redlands Symphony. She has performed with Chamber Music Palisades, the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society (Massachusetts), Southwest Chamber Music, Mladi, and other chamber music groups in the Los Angeles area.

Her solo CD "Beck and Call" is available on Crystal Records. Upon its release critics said "Beck is a fearless player... as well as a musician with a keen sense of phrasing and color." (Gramophone), "Her attention to expressive detail pays dividends throughout" (Fanfare), and "With intelligence and warmth, she quickly draws the listener into the repertoire and she finds the appropriate colours for everything she plays." (International Record Review).

She is currently teaches bassoon at the University of Redlands, California State University Northridge, Pomona College, and the Idyllwild Arts Academy. From 1988-92 she was the bassoon professor at The University of Texas at Austin.

She received the degrees of Doctor of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music, Master of Music from the Yale School of Music, and Bachelor of Arts in Bassoon Performance from California State University, Northridge.

Dr. Beck was formerly the principal bassoonist of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Orchesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain. Her summer festival appearances have included the Great Music West Festival Orchestra, Victoria Bach Festival, Bach Aria Festival, Amherst Early Music Festival, and the Swananoa Chamber Music Festival. On the East Coast she has performed with the Washington Opera, American Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, South Jersey Symphony, and New York Philomusica.

Eun-Hye Grace Choi

Eun-Hye Grace Choi

Korean pianist Eun-Hye Grace Choi began playing the piano at the age of six, and has worked with such renowned artists as Graham Johnson, Libby Larsen, Eugene Rousseau, and Richard Stoltzman. Choi has won several competitions in her native country and performed extensively as a collaborative pianist throughout the United States, France, Belgium, UK, and South Korea. Her playing has been widely praised as "technically flawless and exquisite performance" (Alexandria Gazette). Her performance at the Hot Springs Music Festival was broadcasted on NPR's Performance Today in 2009. She recently recorded Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano by Fracois Devienne to be released on Naxos label in Feb. 2012. Choi also serves as a staff collaborative pianist at the Interlochen Arts Camp and Bassoon Institute at Interlochen. She holds degrees Composition and Theory from Yonsei University in Korea. Choi received her Master's degree in Collaborative Piano at Florida State University and is currently completing her DMA in Collaborative Piano at the University of Minnesota.

Judith Farmer

Judith Farmer

Judith Farmer enjoys a rich and varied career as a chamber musician, orchestra musician, soloist and teacher. She received her education at Indiana University and at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Vienna. From 1984-1996 she was principal bassoonist of the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra, performed and toured regularly with the Camerata Academica Salzburg under Sandor Vegh and with numerous chamber music ensembles in Vienna. Ms. Farmer has appeared as a soloist in the U.S. and in Europe, including the Salzburg Festival, and has participated in chamber music festivals in Prussia Cove (UK), Martha's Vineyard (MA), Salem (NY), La Jolla (CA), Oaxaca (Mexico), Beverly Hills (CA) and Garth Newel (VA). For the 1995-96 season she held the position of visiting professor at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Graz, Austria. She has also taught at the International Mozart Academy in Prague, the Chautauqua Music Festival and the Henry Mancini Institute.

In 1996 Ms. Farmer moved to Los Angeles and since then has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic - including as guest principal in spring of 2009 - as well as for over 100 major motion pictures. She is currently principal bassoonist of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, a member of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and the Long Beach Symphony.

Judith Farmer teaches bassoon at the University of Southern California. She is an avid chamber musician, who enjoys collaborating with composers on new works and has had a number of works written and dedicated to her. Her recordings as a soloist and chamber musician are available on Albany, Ex-House and Orfeo Records.

Critics have described bassoonist Judith Farmer's playing as "impeccable" (American Record Guide), "masterly" (Fanfare Magazine) and "brilliant" (Kronenzeitung, Austria). Barnaby Rayfield also noted in the July/August 2011 issue of Fanfare Magazine: " … the playing on [composer Gernot Wolfgang's CD Short Stories] is uniformly excellent, especially from Judith Farmer on bassoon, finding expressive extremes of that instrument I didn't think possible."

Erin Finkelstein

Erin Finkelstein

Erin Finkelstein is a guild certified Feldenkrais® practitioner and has given workshops at schools and hospitals in addition to working privately with clients, enhance their movement awareness. She is also in demand as a clarinet performer and teacher in the Northern California region. Maintaining an active private studio in Davis and Sacramento, Erin has also served as the clarinet instructor at California State University, Stanislaus and has been twice a guest lecturer of clarinet and chamber music at the University of the Pacific. As an active clinician, Erin has given clarinet master classes to hundreds of individuals in public and private K-12 schools across the West Coast, in addition to participating in Clarinet Festivals at the University of the Pacific and UC Davis. Her chamber group, the FABOS Ensemble are members of the Any Given Child program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, selected because of their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts. During the summer Ms. Finkelstein performs with the Carmel Bach Festival. She performs frequently with the professional orchestras of Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, Monterey, and Santa Cruz. Erin has appeared on on several occasions with the Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet, Citywater new music ensemble, "Music at Noon" recitals series at the Westminster church in Sacramento, and the Haggin Museum in Stockton. She has participated in the National Orchestral Institute, Domain Forget and Bear Valley summer music festivals. Ms. Finkelstein earned her Bachelors of Music in clarinet with Dr. Patricia Shands at the University of the Pacific with awards in performance, Masters of Music in clarinet with Dr. Robert Spring at Arizona State University, and continued studies with David Krakauer at the Mannes College of Music in New York City.

Nina Flyer

Nina Flyer

Nina Flyer joined the faculty of the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in 1997. She holds a B.M. from the University of Southern California and has studied at the Eastman School of Music and the Vienna Academy of Music. Her major teachers include Ronald Leonard, Gabor Rejto, Vladmir Orloff and Frank Miller.

Ms. Flyer was principal cellist of the Jerusalem Symphony, Iceland Symphony, Bergen (Norway) Symphony, acting principal of the San Diego Symphony, and principal of the Bay Area Women's Philharmonic. She is currently principal cello of the Pacific Chamber Symphony and the Bear Valley Music Festival. Ms. Flyer has performed with the San Francisco Symphony and records regularly for the TV and Motion Picture Industry. She is active as a soloist and chamber musician having performed both in the U.S. and abroad. Ms. Flyer has an established reputation for playing contemporary music having performed with Composer's Inc. and the San Francisco Contemporary Players. She is featured on two recordings that have been nominated for Grammy awards. One features a cello work by Shulamit Ran, recorded with the English Chamber Orchestra, and the other includes two cello suites by Lou Harrison. She also recorded music by St. Saens and Mark Fish, for cello, piano and the narration of David Ogden Stiers. Ms. Flyer recorded a piece called Flyer, for cello and orchestra, composed by Allan Crossman and dedicated to her, with the North/South Consonance in New York. She has also held the position of lecturer in cello at California State University-East Bay and taught at the Reykjavik School of Music (Iceland).

Ms. Flyer is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, American String Teachers Association, Chamber Music America, Northern California Cello Club, and Pi Kappa Lambda. She is also on the board of the Recording Musician's Association of San Francisco, and is the vice chair of the Local 6 Recording Committee.

In the Conservatory, Ms. Flyer teaches cello, coaches chamber music, and performs with the New Pacific Trio.

David Granger

David Granger

Born in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, David Granger began studies at the age of 8 on clarinet. His clarinet teacher, Michael Spielman, principal bassoonist of the Kansas City Philharmonic, encouraged his talented student to switch to bassoon at the age of 13.

After studying two years at the University of Kansas with Austin Ledwith, Mr. Granger received his Bachelor of Music in 1973 and his Master of Music in 1975 from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. His teachers included Harold Goltzer of the New York Philharmonic, Elias Carmen, formerly of the NBC Symphony under Toscanini, and Stephen Maxym of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In 1974 he won the school's annual concerto competition and performed the Weber Concerto in F Major with the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra. From 1973 to 1977, Mr. Granger was a member of the prestigious National Orchestral Association, a training orchestra for young professionals that regularly performed in Carnegie Hall.

From 1975 to 1981, Mr. Granger worked in the busy freelance world of New York City, performing with a number of that city's famous orchestras as well as pursuing an active chamber music career. He was a founding member of the Manhattan Woodwind Quintet, resident quintet at the C. W. Post Center of Long Island University and winner of the 1978 Artists International Competition. The ensemble made its Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1979. In 1981, Mr. Granger commuted to Florida to play principal bassoon in the West Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Granger was principal bassoonist of the Sacramento Symphony from 1981 until its bankruptcy in 1996. Mr. Granger was a strong advocate of symphonic music while in Sacramento. When the Sacramento Symphony first ceased operations in December 1992, Mr. Granger, with other musicians and dedicated music lovers, created the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, a musician managed symphony (no association with the current organization with this name.) As President of the Philharmonic, he helped keep the symphony musicians performing for Sacramento audiences through the spring of 1993. With the revival of the Sacramento Symphony in 1993. Mr. Granger served as Secretary of the Board of Directors, and continued his active role as coordinator of the Sacramento Symphony's very successful 1995 and 1996 World View Music Festivals.

In 1982, Mr. Granger began teaching at the University of California, Davis, and in 1985, became coordinator of the music department's student chamber music program. He joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, in 2000. During 2007/08 academic year, he taught at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California and performed with the Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet.

Mr. Granger currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area where he works as a freelance musician performing in orchestras throughout northern California. He currently holds positions as principal bassoonist of the Napa Valley Symphony, the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, the Fremont Symphony, and is a member of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and Marin Symphony.

Mr. Granger attended Indiana University's Early Music Institute and received a Performers Diploma in Baroque bassoon in 2004. In 2005, he founded Passamezzo Moderno, a period ensemble that performs the music of three centuries, from 1530 to 1830, and specializes in the virtuoso instrumental music of the 17th century.

Susan Harvey

Susan Harvey

Susan Harvey is a freelance harpsichordist in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has performed and recorded with Magnificat, Philharmonia Baroque, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Americas. After private harpsichord study with Colin Tilney in Toronto, Susan earned the PhD in musicology from Stanford University. She pursues research in French baroque opera parody, and her critical edition of La Grandmére amoureuse, parodie d'Atys was published by AR Editions in 2007. Susan is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Rebecca Henderson

Rebecca Henderson

A prize winner in the 1995 New York International Competition for Solo Oboists and in the 1988 Lucarelli International Solo Oboe Competition, Rebecca Henderson has performed as Acting Principal Oboist with the National Symphony and Colorado Symphony orchestras, as Guest Principal Oboist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, and the Rochester Philharmonic, and has been a member of the Colorado Symphony and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestras. She has performed as concerto soloist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony of Ecuador, and the Philharmonia Northwest Chamber Orchestra in Seattle. Festival performances include the Aspen, Cabrillo, Bellingham, and Boulder Bach Festivals, and she is currently on the faculty of the International Festival Institute at Round Top in Texas and the Marrowstone Music Festival in Bellingham, Washington. She has been featured on numerous film scores, including Imax films such as "Everest" and "Olympic Glory," as well as feature films and network television mini-series. As a soloist and chamber musician she has recorded for the Boston Records, Centaur, RCA Masterworks, and RCWinds labels. Her solo CD, "…is but a dream," has been hailed by critics as "exquisite…a CD that you will play over and over" (Gramophone), and "superb…a wonderfully vibrant, almost luscious sound" (American Record Guide). Ms Henderson holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music, where she was also awarded the distinguished "Performer's Certificate." Her teachers include Richard Henderson, James Caldwell, Richard Killmer, John Mack, John de Lancie, and Grover Schiltz. Ms. Henderson has been a member of the Butler School of Music faculty at The University of Texas at Austin since 2001.

Erin Irvine

Erin Irvine

Erin Irvine is currently an active performer and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a tenured member of Stockton Symphony and has played with numerous orchestras including the SF Symphony and the SF Ballet. She is currently on faculty at the University of California Santa Cruz where she teaches bassoon and coaches the woodwind quintet. Having received a Masters of Music from Rice University and a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA she has had the opportunity to study with Benjamin Kamins, Arlen Fast, and Gregg Henegar. In her "spare time" she makes reeds.

Nadina Mackie Jackson

Nadina Mackie Jackson

Nadina Mackie Jackson tours and records worldwide on both modern and historical bassoons, has released nine solo CDs, many chamber music CDs and can be heard on over 100 orchestral recordings on the London Decca, Sony and Naxos labels.

Her first concerto album with Guy Few and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra won Best Orchestral Album of the Year in the 2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards. A featured performer at the JPF awards ceremony held in Nashville, Tennessee in August, 2009, Nadina represented the sole classical act amongst ninety performances.

Many new works have been dedicated to her, including solo and double concerti, sonatas, solo works and one symphony. Nadina collaborates annually with emerging and established composers; in 2011 she premiered Adam Scime's Concerto for Bassoon, Orchestra and Processed Piano at the University of Toronto New Music Festival.

Nadina has performed as soloist with several orchestras including l'Orchestre Symphoniqe de Montréal, Toronto Chamber Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (Ithaca, N.Y.), the Grand River Festival Soloists and l'Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières.

Former co-directors of the Grand River Baroque Festival, Nadina Mackie Jackson and Guy Few frequently collaborate in recordings, recital tours, concerto appearances, lectures and children's concerts in Canada and the United States.

Upon graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music, Nadina joined l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal where she remained for a decade. She subsequently became principal bassoon of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra for two years and is currently the principal bassoonist of the Toronto Chamber Orchestra, the Group of Twenty Seven and the baroque orchestra, the Aradia Ensemble. Nadina is a regular guest with Violons du Roy.

Nadina is the founder of the Council of Canadian Bassoonists and teaches at the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Kristin Wolfe Jensen

Kristin Wolfe Jensen

Kristin Wolfe Jensen, renowned performer and teacher, has been the bassoon professor at the University of Texas at Austin since 1995, and is also on the faculty of the International Festival Institute at Round Top and Principal Bassoonist with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. In addition she has made a number of acclaimed solo and chamber music recordings.

A reviewer in the American Record Guide said of Ms. Jensen's solo CD Shadings, "…She has simply turned in the finest-played bassoon recital I have ever heard… She obviously sees tone quality as the foundation for her fluent technique…It is a ravishing sound, siren-like in its attractive flair…Ms. Jensen could teach a lot about musicality to a number of famous violinists…" Of her recently released CD, Parables and Reflections, bassoon music of Virko Baley, on the TNC label, Fanfare Magazine wrote, "Kristen Wolfe Jensen expertly unites the varied facets of Baley's Parables and Reflections (the CD title) into a consistent interpretative vision… Baley has given her ample opportunity to showcase her virtuosity.

Ms. Jensen is Co-director of the biennial Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition for young women bassoonists from the Americas, providing the largest prizes of any bassoon competition in the world. An esteemed pedagogue, she has given guest recitals and master classes at many major American music schools and her former UT students hold major orchestral positions and university teaching positions around the country. Her extensive online bassoon method, Music and the Bassoon, provides an innovative, multimedia approach to learning the bassoon.

Benjamin Kamins

Benjamin Kamins

Since entering the world of professional music in 1972, Benjamin Kamins has enjoyed a wide-ranging career as an orchestral musician, chamber player, solo performer, and educator. During his nine years as Associate Principal Bassoon with the Minnesota Orchestra, Mr. Kamins taught at St. Olaf and Macalester Colleges and was a member of the Aurora Wind Quintet. In 1981 he was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Houston Symphony, a position he held until 2003. As a founding member of both the Epicurean Wind Quintet and the Houston Symphony Chamber Players, his life in Houston remained diverse as his artistic presence deepened in the community. Faculty appointments came at the University of Houston and then at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. The result of this was a personal involvement with fine academic institutions and the communities they serve. Now as a Professor at Rice University's Shepherd School, Mr. Kamins continues to be an advocate for young musicians and classical music performance.

In addition to his time in the Minnesota and Houston Symphonies, he has served as a guest principal with other major symphony orchestras in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boston and New York. His tenure in the orchestra world resulted in many solo performances and recordings, including a 1994 recording of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with conductor Christoph Eschenbach.

Mr. Kamins currently spends his summer teaching and performing throughout the U.S. He holds faculty positions at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California and the International Festival Institute at Round Top in Round Top, Texas. Both programs pair faculty chamber music performances with their highly regarded teaching programs. He is also Principal Bassoon of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Sun Valley, Idaho, a superb orchestra comprised of leading musicians from the nation's top orchestras.

Mr. Kamins is in demand for master classes, recitals and chamber performances throughout North America. An interest in new music has led to a recent series of commissions and tours that serve to enrich the repertoire for the bassoon.

In all of his professional activities Mr. Kamins has been an active participant in maintaining the vitality of each institution. During his orchestral years, he served on numerous committees, searches and planning groups that worked toward the long-term success of these orchestras. At Rice University he continues to enjoy creating partnerships between the Shepherd School and other areas of the University.

Ben Kamins solo CD of French recital pieces on Diabolical Genius Records is available at CD Baby

Nicolasa Kuster

Nicolasa Kuster

Nicolasa Kuster joined the faculty of the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, in Stockton, California, in the Fall of 2008. From 2000 to 2008, she was Principal Bassoonist of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Professor of Bassoon at Wichita State University School of Music, and member of the Lieurance Woodwind Quintet. Ms. Kuster began her musical studies as the daughter of musically minded Lutheran missionaries, growing up in Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. She is a 1993 Double Degree graduate from Oberlin College and Conservatory where she studied with George Sakakeeny. She then studied with the late Bruce Grainger of the Chicago Symphony.

As an orchestral player, Ms. Kuster has held positions in the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Virginia Symphony, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She spent five summer seasons performing with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Spoleto, Italy and can be heard on the Chandos Label as Principal Bassoon on five Spoleto Festival recordings. She spent two summers performing at the Anchorage Music Festival, and more than six summers at the New Hampshire Music Festival, where she is currently Principal Bassoon. She has also served on the faculty of the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival and Course in Prague, Czech Republic and the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop in Arcata, California. Summer 2011 will find her on the faculty at Marrowstone Festival in Bellingham, Washington.

Ms. Kuster's solo appearances with orchestra include a one-month solo tour of Kazakstan, televised performances in Italy and Panama, and numerous performances in the United States. She is the winner of the 1995 Chicago Musicians Club of Women's Solo Competition- the Farwell Award.

Ms. Kuster's dedication to teaching started while a student at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music; she founded the Oberlin in Panama Project, where Oberlin students and faculty travel to Panama to teach and perform for one month each year. The Oberlin in Panama Project is now in its 20th year. While Ms. Kuster is passionately active in creating and providing educational and performance opportunities for young bassoonists in her own community she is also an active clinician in the United States and around the world. She served on the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory for Fall of 2002. She is a Founding Director of The Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition, an international competition for young women bassoonists from the Americas or studying in the Americas.

Jenny Mann

Jenny Mann

Jenny Mann is Assistant Professor of Bassoon at The University of Alabama, Principal Bassoonist with the Tuscaloosa Symphony, and is an active performer in both surrounding orchestras and chamber ensembles. Dr. Mann is a member of the Cavell Reed Trio and Capstone Woodwind Quintet that perform around the country and are committed to furthering both genres through the commissioning of new works and recording. In evidence of this commitment, "The Art of Collective Invention," a new recording by the Cavell Trio, will be released in January of 2012 by Blue Griffin records. The disc includes both first time recordings and centerpieces of the genre. Dr. Mann's interests have also extended into Cuba where she has been an active teacher and performer and is working to increase national interest in all modern chamber music genres with the Capstone Woodwind Quintet through public collaborative concerts with the Havana Woodwind Quintet. In addition to her teaching, Dr. Mann coordinates the thriving Chamber Music Program at The University of Alabama which incorporates extensive educational outreach experiences. Dr. Mann studied with Kristin Wolfe Jensen, John Hunt, David Van Hoesen, Jennifer Speck, Kent Moore and Janis McKay. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University and a Master of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She began her doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music and completed them at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Mann continues to be an active clinician and teacher for young musicians.

Amy Marinello

Amy Marinello

Amy Marinello is assistant professor of bassoon at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia. She formerly served as lecturer of bassoon at Baylor University and has also been on faculty at the University of Dayton and the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts. During the summer she has been part of the faculty of the Interlochen Arts Center Advanced Bassoon Institute. She is currently second bassoonist with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

Marinello has performed as a soloist with the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony as well as with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Players. An avid chamber musician, she has performed at venues throughout the United States and also in Ireland, Belgium, and Argentina with such groups as the Georgia Woodwind Quintet, the Baylor University Woodwind Quintet, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Woodwind Quintet, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Players. She also performs as part of the bassoon-percussion duo, Col Legno. Marinello continues to study toward the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in bassoon performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She holds a Master of Music degree from the CCM, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Louisiana State University.

Ann Miller

Ann Miller

Ann Miller joined the faculty of the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in the fall of 2008. Ms. Miller holds the M.M. and D.M.A. from the Juilliard School of Music. She received her Bachelor of Music summa cum laude at Rice University. Her private violin teachers have included Ronald Copes and Kathleen Winkler.

A proponent of new music, Ms. Miller has performed with the ensemble Continuum in performances throughout New York City and in Odessa, Ukraine. She traveled to Mongolia as part of the ensemble to take part in the Roaring Hooves Music Festival. In addition, Ms. Miller participated in an exchange program between Juilliard and the Lucerne Festival Academy under the direction of Pierre Boulez. She appeared as a soloist with the New Juilliard Ensemble in Alice Tully Hall in the North American premiere of David Matthews' Concerto No. 2.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Miller has performed throughout the United States. Her coaches have included Jerome Lowenthal, Seymour Lipkin, Robert McDonald, Norman Fischer, James Dunham, Paul Katz, and members of the Juilliard and Tokyo string quartets.

Ms. Miller has participated in the New York String Orchestra Seminar and has spent summers at Kneisel Hall, Bowdoin, and Norfolk festivals. She has played in master classes for Joseph Kalichstein, the Borromeo String Quartet, Paul Kantor, Anne Epperson, and the Muir Quartet.

In the Conservatory, Ms. Miller teaches violin, coaches chamber music, and performs in the New Pacific Trio.

Bruce Oliver

Bruce Oliver

For the past 20 years, Bruce Oliver has taught the Alexander Technique in medical clinics, businesses and universities including the UC Davis Medical Center Pain Clinic, UC Davis Music Department, Sac State, Chico State, University of Pacific, Modesto Junior College, Pacific Gas & Electric, California EPA, and the California DMV. He has worked with musicians to maximize freedom in their bodies and minds leading to peak performance and avoiding injuries. For clarinetists, Alexander Technique offers improved respiration.

Stephen Paulson

Stephen Paulson

Stephen Paulson is the principal bassoonist of the San Francisco Symphony, a position he has held since 1977. A frequent soloist with the orchestra, he can be seen and heard on Michael Tilson Thomas's "Keeping Score" videos.

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Paulson studied bassoon with K. David Van Hoesen, and composition with Samuel Adler. He has served as principal bassoonist of the Rochester Philharmonic and co-principal with the Pittsburgh Symphony.

A conductor as well as a bassoonist, he has been music director of Symphony Parnassus in San Francisco since 1998. He is also a long time faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Stephen Paulson's composition "Bassoon Concerto," from 1968, was recently revived and performed in January 2011 by his colleague, Steven Dibner, with Symphony Parnassus, Paulson conducting. Prior performances of the work were with the composer as soloist with the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra, Walter Hendl conducting, and with the Pittsburgh Symphony, William Steinberg conducting. A new piano reduction is being prepared for publication by Trevco Music.

Karen Pierson

Karen Pierson

Karen Pierson is the Associate Professor of bassoon at The Ohio State University. Ms. Pierson accepted this position in 2007 upon completing a thirteen-year tenure with the Houston Symphony Orchestra.

Karen was hired as the second bassoonist with the Houston Symphony in 1994. During this period, Ms. Pierson made several orchestral recordings and toured Japan, Europe and the domestic United States. She has performed with the Grand Tetons Summer Music Festival, Chautauqua opera orchestra, Chicago Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Columbus Symphony and the Austin Symphony.

Karen has also appeared as soloist with the Omaha Symphony, Academy of the West Orchestra, Skokie Symphony and with university ensembles at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) conference.

Bassoon pedagogy is of great interest to Ms. Pierson. Her teaching posts have included The University of Nebraska at Omaha, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Houston, All-State Division at the Interlochen National Music Camp, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Midwest Bassoon camp and the Texas Music Festival.

Karen began her professional career in 1989 as the principal bassoonist with the Omaha Symphony after completing that summer as a Tanglewood fellow. She won the second place prize in the Fernand Gillet International Double Reed Competition in 1994 and has subsequently performed at the conference several times.

Ms. Pierson received a Master's degree in bassoon performance with Norman Herzberg at the University of Southern California and a Bachelor's degree in performance with Hugh Cooper at the University of Michigan.

Dmitry Rachmanov

Dmitry Rachmanov

Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov is Professor of Piano at California State University, Northridge, where he serves as Chair of Keyboard Studies.

Hailed as an "indisputable musician" by the Brussels' Le Soir and "suave and gifted pianist' by the New York Times, Rachmanov has been heard at venues such as New York's Carnegie Hall, Washington DC's Kennedy Center, London's Barbican and South Bank Centres, and Beijing Concert Hall, and his tours brought him to Mexico, Europe, Russia, Turkey and the Far East. He has recorded for Naxos, Parma, Omniclassic, Master Musicians and Vista Vera labels, and collaborated as a soloist with Manhattan Philharmonia, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Orlando Symphony, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Ukraine National Symphony, National Orchestra of Porto, Portugal, among others. A strong proponent of the Russian repertoire, he gave the US premiere of Boris Pasternak's Piano Sonata, broadcast nationwide by the NPR, and his recital "The Art of the 19th Century Russian Character Piece" was noted by the New York Times for "considerable color and focus" he brought to each work.

A sought-after master class clinician and lecturer, Dr. Rachmanov has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and has appeared as a guest artist at schools such as Royal Northern College of Music, UCLA, University of Chicago, Indiana University at Bloomington, Brandeis University, Queens College, University of Washington, University of Iowa, Shanghai Conservatory and Beijing Central Music School. Dr. Rachmanov has been a frequent adjudicator at competitions in the US and in Europe.

Rachmanov is a graduate of The Juilliard School and he holds the DMA from Manhattan School of Music. His teachers include Nadia Reisenberg, Arkady Aronov, and he coached with Yvonne Lefebure, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Menahem Pressler, John Browning and Andras Schiff. He won prizes at the Kapell, Senigallia and Awerbuch competitions, received the ArtsLink grant and held a fellowship from the American Pianists Association.

Dmitry Rachmanov is a Steinway Artist.

Lawrence Rhodes

Lawrence Rhodes

Lawrence Rhodes has had a varied professional musician's life. After studying bassoon in high school and performing in band, orchestras, a soul band (on baritone sax), and pit bands for musicals (on sax, bassoon, and clarinets) Lawrence was allowed to perform with the San Diego Symphony on bassoon & contra bassoon when he was a Junior at San Diego State. The next year he did his first professional musical: No No Nanette with Don Amache & Evelyn Keys. He has gone on to perform with Sammy Davis, Carol Channing, and hundreds of other performers of the same caliber. Upon moving to the San Francisco Bay Area Lawrence performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, Ballet as well as almost every classical orchestra in the Bay Region. He is also a regular at Music Circus in Sacramento, doing musicals during the summer. Lawrence has also performed in musicals in San Francisco. Lawrence is on two Tom Waits Albums: Black Rider and the Grammy winning Mule Variations. In October and November 2011 Lawrence is performing on stage (in wig, tights, and tailcoat) in the San Francisco Opera production of Don Giovanni as part of the Act II Banda during the banquet scene. Lawrence owns a home with his violin playing wife Valerie Tisdel in San Francisco. They have two children, Leota & Joe.

George Sakakeeny

George Sakakeeny

George Sakakeeny is Professor of Bassoon at the Oberlin Conservatory and holds the titles "Guest professor of the Central Conservatory of Music" of Beijing, China, and "Visiting Professor for Graduate Studies in Bassoon" at Simon Bolivar University Caracas, Venezuela. He is also a faculty member and director of woodwinds for Interlochen Arts Camp. He has three times been invited to teach master classes at IDRS conferences. In addition he has given numerous solo recitals and taught master classes at leading institutions in the U.S. and abroad such as the Paris Conservatory, the Tchaikowsky National Music Academy in Kiev, Rice University, Tokyo University of the Fine Arts and the Juilliard School. He has performed longer teaching residencies at the Shanghai Conservatory and the Central Conservatory of Music in China, Seoul National University, and the Conservatoire National Supèrieur de Musique et Danse of Lyon, France.

Professor Sakakeeny also serves in an ongoing capacity as a wind coach and bassoon teacher in the Venezuelan National Youth Orchestra System known as "El Sistema". His contributions include teaching master classes to Orchestra members, leading wind sectionals, and providing training to the bassoon teachers of El Sistema through the masters degree program at Simon Bolivar University.

Sakakeeny has appeared as soloist with orchestras throughout the U.S., Europe and the Far East. Peter Schickele's Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra 1998 and Alexander Blechinger's Fagottkonzert 1997 were both written for Mr. Sakakeeny. In 1993 he performed the official world premier of Michael Daugherty's Dead Elvis at the University of Michigan with Boston Musica Viva. He has held the position of principal bassoon in a number of orchestras including the Singapore Symphony, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Opera Company of Boston, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Promusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, and CityMusic Cleveland. He has participated in numerous recordings most notably his recording of the Villa-Lobos Duo for oboe and bassoon with oboist Alex Klein as part of the IDRS 25th Anniversary CD.

Ian Scarfe

Ian Scarfe

Pianist Ian Scarfe, a native of southeast Texas, is currently a music associate at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is the founder and director of the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival, which celebrated its inaugural season in 2011. He is a founding member of two Bay-Area based chamber groups, The Oak Street Trio and Nonsemble Six. Recent performances have taken him to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Texas, Oregon, Illinois, as well as Italy and Portugal. He holds degrees from Willamette University and from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he recently received an Artist's Certificate from the conservatory's prestigious Chamber Music Program. He studied piano with Paul Hersh at the San Francisco Conservatory, and with Drs. Anita King and Jean-David Coen at Willamette University. A frequent collaborator, Ian has performed with such notable artists as violinists Axel Strauss, Roy Malan, and Jorja Fleezanis, cellist Norman Fischer, members of the San Francisco Symphony, and Italian soprano Felicia Bongiovanni. Ian recently performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 as a soloist with San Francisco's Symphony Parnassus, under the direction of conductor Stephen Paulson.

Ryan Simmons

Ryan Simmons

Ryan Simmons plays Second Bassoon in the San Diego Symphony and Principal Bassoon with Orchestra Nova San Diego. Mr. Simmons frequently performs chamber music with Camarada and has participated in festivals including Marlboro, La Jolla Summerfest and Mainly Mozart. Previous positions include Assistant Principal Bassoon with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Principal Bassoon in the Jacksonville Symphony, and substitute in the Philadelphia Orchestra and National Symphony.

In addition to performing, Mr. Simmons teaches private bassoon students, is adjunct bassoon professor at USD, and owner of RS Woodwinds, which specializes in fine woodwind instrument repair and restoration.

Aura Marina Trevino

Aurra Trevino

Aura Marina Trevino (Bassoon) has been Principal bassoonist of Atlantic Classical Orchestra since 2005. Originally from Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, she began her musical studies at the prestigious Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles of Venezuela, where she graduated from the Simon Bolivar Conservatory and was a bassoonist of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in Caracas.

She received a Licentiate in Bassoon Teaching Diploma in 1990 from the Royal Academy of Music in London, United Kingdom, and a certificated of Advance studies in Bassoon. In 1995 she studies with Luciano Magnanini in Florida and earns a Master Degree from the University of Miami. She was also a student of Richard Svoboda and Matthew Ruggiero at the Boston University.

Aura Marina Trevino has been a bassoon teacher and a freelance musician in the south Florida area for many years. She worked in the Florida International University as an adjunct professor and taught bassoon in the public schools of Broward County. In Venezuela she was appointed Director of the Simon Bolivar Conservatory in Valencia, and appears regularly as a soloist with the Orchestras of the "Sistema". Currently she is a Bassoon Professor of the Latin-American Bassoon Academy, in Caracas, where she also works as organizer of national and international bassoon festivals.

Steve Vacchi

Steve Vacchi

Steve Vacchi is professor of bassoon at the University of Oregon, where he also coordinates the chamber music program. His teachers have included C. Robert Reinert, Rebecca Eldredge, Matthew Ruggiero, K. David Van Hoesen, Stephen Maxym, Frank Morelli, and William Ludwig. He holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music (B.M. with high distinction/Performer's Certificate), The Hartt School (M.M.), and Louisiana State University (D.M.A.), where he held a Board of Regents Fellowship. His dissertation is a "how-to" for bassoonists on fluttertongue and singing while playing; it focuses on five solo works requiring both techniques.

A member of Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Kappa Phi, he was formerly a faculty member at Wichita State University (KS) and the Brevard Music Center (NC). He has presented masterclasses at high schools, conservatories, and universities throughout the United States and China.

Vacchi's recording credits include Argo, BMG Classics, Centaur, NMC (Israel), North Pacific, Sony Classical, Edward Hines Music, Equilibrium, 8 Bells Records, Origin Classical, and Imagine Music. He has performed in 23 countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. In the U.S., Vacchi has performed with The Florida Orchestra, Santa Fe ProMusica, the Rhode Island, Tulsa, and Rochester Philharmonics, and the New World, Baton Rouge, Colorado, Honolulu, Kansas City, Oregon, Eugene, New Haven, and Wichita Symphony Orchestras. He is a member of the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Eugene Opera Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Arizona MusicFest, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (CA), and Music on the Hill (RI). He has performed in backup groups for such diverse artists as Michael Brecker, Victor Borge, Garrison Keillor, Luciano Pavarotti, Tony Bennett, The Moody Blues, and Peter Schickele. He has been a featured soloist in works by Haydn, Mozart, Strauss, J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Lindpaintner, Jurriaan Andriessen, Michael Daugherty, Walter Hartley, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Walter Mays, and Peter Hope.

An advocate of new music, Vacchi has performed more than 340 recently-composed works, including 100 premieres. A member of the Oregon Wind Quintet, he also performs with Doug Detrick's AnyWhen Ensemble, which features contemporary improvisation and jazz chamber music. Vacchi maintains interests in instrument collecting and early music, performing on dulcian, rackett, Baroque, Classical, and French bassoons. He has performed throughout the west coast as a Baroque bassoonist, including appearances with the Portland Baroque Orchestra. Vacchi's biography is included in Marquis' Who's Who in America.

Igor Veligan

Igor Veligan

Igor Veligan joined the faculty of the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in the fall of 2006. He holds the Master of Arts in violin performance and chamber music from Odessa State Conservatory. His primary violin teachers include Zoja Istomina and Galina Gritzenko. Mr. Veligan has studied chamber music with Oleg Shkarpitnuy and Natalya Buzanova, and has had master classes with Zakhar Bron, Liana Isakadze, and Igor Frolov.

As a chamber musician, Professor Veligan is currently performing with the L'Estro Armonico String Quartet, the Arlekin String Quartet, and has been a guest violist with the Argenta Trio. He is also a violist with the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento. As an orchestra performer, he is concertmaster of the San Francisco Choral Society Orchestra, principal viola of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, principal violist of the Lake Tahoe Summer Festival, and a member of the Monterey Symphony. Mr. Veligan recently performed as concertmaster of the Sacramento Philharmonic.

Professor Veligan has taught at the School for the Performing Arts in Ternopil , Ukraine and also currently teaches at American River College in Sacramento. In the Conservatory, he teaches violin, viola and chamber music.

Nicolas Waldvogel

Nicolas Waldvogel

One of today's most exciting talents, Nicolas Waldvogel is guest conductor of the State Philharmonic "Dinu Lipatti", and Director of the Conservatory Orchestra at the University of the Pacific. Active in opera and in the symphonic repertoires, both in Europe and in the United States, he has guest conducted the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, among other great orchestras. His recent credits include a performance of Ives immense Fourth Symphony, Verdi's La Traviata, Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte, Bach's B-minor Mass, and the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos.

After obtaining a Ph. D. in Music History from Yale University, Nicolas Waldvogel was invited to the Tanglewood Festival as a Conducting Fellow. His teachers included Gustav Meier, John Nelson and Seiji Ozawa. He assisted Horst Stein at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, for a production of Wagner's Ring der Nibelungen. He then led the Family Concerts of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. He has appeared in concert with Yo-Yo Ma, and with Alan Gilbert.

David A. Wells

David Wells

David A. Wells teaches bassoon at California State University, Sacramento. He earned the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied with Marc Vallon; his dissertation is an expansive history and discography of the bassoon in jazz. He also holds degrees in bassoon performance from Arizona State University and Florida State University, where he studied with Jeffrey Lyman and Jeffrey Keesecker, respectively. In addition to his students at CSU Sacramento, Dr. Wells maintains a private studio of bassoon and contrabassoon students. He has served as a clinician for high schools and honor bands in Wisconsin, Michigan, and California, as well as at the Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil. He is also the co-host of the 2012 Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and Bassoon Symposium.

Dr. Wells is currently principal bassoonist with the Townsend Opera Players, has held positions in the Tallahassee and Mobile Symphony Orchestras, and has performed on bassoon and contrabassoon with other orchestras in California, Florida, Alabama, Iowa, and Wisconsin. His other performance activities have varied widely. His interest in period instruments has led to performances on shawms, recorders, baroque bassoon, baroque oboe, and original nineteenth-century bassoons by Savary, Heckel, and Buffet. He was a founding member of Downbeat Means Attack, a group with eclectic instrumentation (bassoon, cello, contrabass, two percussionists) devoted to playing both avant-garde music of the past and newly commissioned works. Dr. Wells also plays jazz on the bassoon, mainly in small combo settings such as the Modesto-based gypsy swing quintet Hot Club Faux Gitane.

In addition to his career as a bassoonist, Wells also devotes time to music scholarship. He earned an M.A. in Historical Musicology from UW-Madison while also serving as a Teaching Assistant in the program. He is a contributor to the forthcoming second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music, writing on a variety of American performers and composers. Wells is currently engaged in researching topics as disparate as the bassoonists who played the premiere of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps, cross-gender casting in the operas of Jean-Philippe Rameau, the history of the bassoon in jazz, and German music and musicians in American orchestras during World War I.

Nathan Williams

Nathan Williams

Nathan Williams joined the faculty of the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin in August, 2008. In October, 2008 he was appointed principal clarinetist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston. He is a founding member of Strata, a trio with pianist Audrey Andrist and violinist/violist James Stern.

Mr. Williams has been hailed by critics as "a highly effective soloist" (The New York Times), "a stellar musician, capable of the most exquisite and expressive playing" (The Winston-Salem Journal) and for "his silky sound, superhuman control, and tireless energy" (Houston Voice). He has appeared as concerto soloist and given recitals and chamber music performances at the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and Kaufmann Hall at the 92nd St. Y, and throughout the United States as well as in Austria, Canada, China, Italy, Israel, Hungary, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Portugal.

He has been heard on National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Austrian Radio Network, NCRV Dutch Radio), and WNCN-New York. His compact disc recordings for Albany Records, Composers Recordings, Inc., Naxos, New Dynamic Records, and Arizona University Recordings have earned much critical acclaim.

Mr. Williams earned degrees from Juilliard, Eastman, and the Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. He is on the artist roster of Lois Scott Management, Inc. He is an artist/clinician for Buffet Crampon and Vandoren. He is on the artist faculty of the Aria International Summer Academy at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and the Montecito Summer Music Festival in Santa Barbara, California.

Leyla Zamora

Leyla Zamora

Leyla Zamora has been a member of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra since 2005. Ms. Zamora studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Baylor University and DePaul University in Chicago. Before coming to San Diego, Ms. Zamora held for 11 years the position of principal bassoon with the Memphis Symphony. She has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Auckland Philharmonia in New Zealand, Costa Rican National Symphony and Colombian Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Zamora has participated in orchestral and chamber music festivals such as the Britt and Cascade Festivals in Oregon, New Hampshire Music Festival, International Orchestra in Japan, the Spoleto Music Festival in Italy, Apple Hill Chamber Music Center, Des Moines Metro Opera and Cassals Festival in Puerto Rico. Ms. Zamora has presented master classes and recitals at the Universities of Idaho, Wichita State, Southern Mississippi, University of Memphis, Washburn University in Kansas, and has performed solo concertos and recitals in Costa Rica, Colombia, Japan, Europe, and the former Soviet Union.