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2019 Artist Roster

 

Anne Ainomäe, viola

       Anne Ainomäe was born and raised in Estonia.  She is an avid chamber musician.  Before moving to USA, Anne was a member of Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and founding member of Prezioso String Quartet, which has won numerous prizes in Europe, and recorded works of Schulhoff, Vasks, Webern and Rääts.  Anne has worked with Estonian National Symphony, Nordic Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra; and is a regular performer with Minnesota Opera Orchestra and Englewood Arts Chamber music series in Colorado.

       Ms Ainomae has studied at Sibelius Academy, Tallinn Academy of Music and Theatre and University of Denver Lamont School of Music.

 

   
   

Stephanie Arado, violin

       Violinist Stephanie Arado’s career encompasses a wide range of performance and teaching experience.  She most recently completed a year of teaching at the Interlochen Arts Academy, an institution she graduated from in 1982.  She occupied the Loring M. Staples Chair as Assistant Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1991 to 2013.  During the 1995/96 season, Ms. Arado served as Concertmaster of The Colorado Symphony under the baton of Marin Alsop.  She maintains a private teaching studio and is a founding member of the Bakken Trio, a premier chamber music organization in the Twin Cities.  Through her work with the Bakken Trio she has collaborated with many living composers and commissioned numerous chamber compositions.  Ms. Arado continues to serve as a Co-Artistic Director of the Bakken.

       Ms. Arado played her first solo recital at the age of eight.  She went on to debut with the Chicago Symphony as a 12 year old; following that she has performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras throughout the US, including the Detroit, St. Louis, and Minnesota Orchestras.  As a 21-year-old Ms. Arado was the first American ever invited to play with the European Union Youth Orchestra led by Claudio Abbado and Leonard Bernstein.  She was also invited to perform as a part of the prestigious chamber music festival Musiktreffen in St. Moritz, Switzerland with Paul Tortelier and Yuri Bashmet, two of the most renowned chamber musicians of the century.

       She was born and raised in Chicago.  She began playing the violin at the age of five using the Suzuki method with Sister Mary Ricardo of La Grange.  She was fortunate to have worked with many fine violin pedagogues in her youth including Paul Rolland, Eugene Gratovich and David Cerrone at the famous Meadowmount School.  She spent five summers as a Fellowship student at the Aspen Music School. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music at Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL) studying with Almita and Roland Vamos, and completed her Masters Degree at Juilliard in New York City under the tutelage of Dorothy Delay and Paul Kantor.

   
   

David Auerbach , viola

       Violist David Auerbach will begin his fourth consecutive one-year position with the Minnesota Orchestra this coming fall.  Since moving to the Twin Cities in 2007, David has cultivated a fulfilling and varied performing and teaching career.  He is the principal violist of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, and has played regularly with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as with many other local orchestral and chamber ensembles.  He also frequently performs elsewhere in the country, including with the chamber orchestra A Far Cry, which is based in Boston.

       A dedicated chamber musician, David has participated in the music festivals of Ravinia, Kneisel Hall, and Norfolk, and he has performed with chamber groups several times in Carnegie's Weilland and Zankel Recital Halls.  David joined the faculty of the University of St. Thomas in 2012, and also maintains a private teaching studio.

       David earned a DMA from Stony Brook University in 2007, where he was a scholarship student of Katherine Murdock.  Additionally, he received a Masters Degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Samuel Rhodes, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with majors in Music Performance (studying with Sally Chisholm) and Molecular Biology.

 
 

Kate Bae, piano

       Described by the New York Concert Review as “a genuinely engaging and musicianly performer,” South Korean pianist Kate Bae maintains a diverse international career as a performer and educator.  She first appeared as a concerto performer at the age of fifteen with the Busan Philharmonic Orchestra.  She debuted in New York in 2006 with the New York Sinfonietta at the Mozart 25 Piano Concerti Series at the Yamaha Center Piano Salon of Yamaha Artist Service, Inc.  Throughout her career she has presented countless solo and chamber recitals in Asia, Europe, and North America.

       As an educator, Bae is on the faculty at the University of Minnesota - Morris and also maintains a private studio.  She has been invited to serve on the faculties of numerous festivals, including the Pienza Music Festival and the Bravo! Summer Music Academy.  She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Jeju Chamber Music Festival in South Korea.  She is frequently invited to adjudicate competitions and present master classes.

       Bae earned a diploma at the Musikhochschule Lübeck in Germany where she studied piano with James Tocco and chamber music with Walter Levin.  She earned her MM with Mr. Tocco at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where she was invited to perform at the Music 08 and Grandin Music Festivals.  She earned her DMA at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities where she studied with Lydia Artymiw.  Bae currently resides in Minnesota with her husband, Alexander Corbett, who serves as Music Director of the University of Minnesota - Morris Chamber Orchestra and the Heartland Symphony Orchestra.

 
 

Richard Bock, cello

       Richard Bock, principal cellist with The Phoenix Symphony for 24 seasons, began his cello studies at the age of 12 with Harvey Shapiro at The Juilliard School.  Leopold Stokowski chose Bock, at age 18, to be principal cellist of the American Symphony Orchestra, making him the youngest principal player in the orchestra's history.  Following his tenure with the ASO, Riccardo Muti, conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra in Florence, Italy, chose Bock as his principal cellist.  Bock remained in that position for eight years. It was during that time that he was asked to join the prestigious Musicus Concentus Chamber players as solo cellist, touring throughout Italy and Germany.

      Upon returning to the United States, Bock joined the Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra, the first string orchestra to tour the Soviet Union under the auspices of the State Department.  Bock was the featured soloist, playing the C major Concerto of Haydn to critical acclaim in Leningrad, Moscow, Kiev, Riga and Vilna. Following this tour, Bock joined the Soviet Emigre Orchestra and toured North and South America.

       In 1981, Julius Rudel chose Bock to be the principal cellist of the Buffalo Philharmonic.  It was during his stay in Buffalo that Bock founded the Westminster Chamber Orchestra.  His orchestra was described by the Buffalo News as a group whose “dynamics, balance, intonation and the like displayed an almost magical perfection and focus.”  While with The Phoenix Symphony, Bock performed Don Quixote by Strauss in November 1995 and Shostakovich's Concerto No. 1 in April 1996, both under conductor James Sedares.  He also appeared as soloist with the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra directed by Jeffrey Siegel.  In 1994-95, Bock was the artist in residence at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona and held a similar position at Arizona State University's School of Music in 1995-96.  Recent recordings of Bock include Mosaic, a collection of Yiddish songs and music of the royal courts of Europe.  Additional recordings include the Rozsa Simphonia Concertante with the New Zealand Symphony, The Paul Winter Consort on A&M Records and Three Intermezzi for Cello on CRI Records. 

       In June 2009, Mr. Bock’s Phoenix restaurant, Giuseppe's on 28th, was featured on the Food Network’s popular series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

   
   

Philip Brunelle, piano

       Philip Brunelle is a globally-recognized conductor, choral director, organist and musical entrepreneur based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  At age six, he requested and received a vocal score of Handel’s Messiah for Christmas.  As a teenager he was already working as a professional church organist; at 19 he became the youngest member of the Minnesota Orchestra.  He was Music Director of the Minnesota Opera for 17 years.

       Philip believes listeners and musicians alike must experience music of many genres and styles.  He has worked enthusiastically—and tirelessly—to expand audiences for rarely heard works of the past and vocal, choral, operatic and orchestral music of the present.

       Since 1969 he has served as organist and choirmaster at Plymouth Congregational Church. In that same year, he founded VocalEssence and remains its artistic director today.  He currently serves on the boards of Chorus America and the International Federation for Choral Music.  He was the Executive Director for the 2014 World Choral Symposium held in Seoul, South Korea. U.S. audiences recognize Philip through frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, beginning with the very first show in 1974.  He also appears with Garrison Keillor at the invitation of orchestras around the world.

       Philip conducts across the United States, South America and Europe, including with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Berkshire Choral Festival, the BBC Singers, the Hollywood Bowl and the Seattle Symphony.  He is often called upon to adjudicate choral competitions all over the world, with recent visits to South Korea, China, Norway, Togo and Hungary.

       He is an honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and is a Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit; has received the Kodaly Medal (Hungary), the Royal Order of the Polar Star (Sweden), the Ohti Recognition Award from the government of Mexico, and the Michael Korn Founder's Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art (Chorus America's highest lifetime achievement award).  He holds honorary doctorates from St. Olaf College, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. John's University, United Theological Seminary and the University of Minnesota.

       Philip's choral editions and opera orchestrations are published by G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, Walton Music, Editions Salabert (Paris, France), and Boosey & Hawkes.
   
   

Dan Dressen, tenor

        Dan Dressen keeps himself engaged in a variety of functions.  He is a Professor of Music and Associate Provost at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he also is building a center for Nordic art song.  He edited a seven-volume anthology of opera arias by Benjamin Britten for Boosey and Hawkes and currently serves as Chair on the Commission on Accreditation for the National Association of Schools of Music.  In addition, he currently serves on the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission and on the boards for the Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter of the Edvard Grieg Society and the Northfield Youth Choirs

       Mr. Dressen’s career as a tenor spans nearly thirty years.  His operatic performances include appearances with Washington Opera in its production of Carmen and the world premiere of Dominick Argento's opera, The Dream Of Valentino.  He has numerous Minnesota Opera productions to his credit including the role of Basilio in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Gastone in La Traviata, Sellem in The Rake’s Progress and Valzacchi in Der Rosenkavalier.  His recent operatic performances include Grandpa Joad in the world premier of The Grapes Of Wrath by Ricky Ian Gordon, the Marquis de Lisle in Casanova’s Homecoming by Dominick Argento and as the First Jew in Strauss’s Salome.

          An active concert performer and recitalist, Mr. Dressen has performed in Minneapolis and St. Paul with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Chorale, Dale Warland Singers, Bach Society, and in the Schubert Club’s Summer Art Song Festival.  He has a long and active relationship with VocalEssence of Minneapolis, with whom he is heard as Martin in the recording of Aaron Copland's opera, The Tenderland, and as Johnny Inkslinger in Paul Bunyan by Benjamin Britten.   Other appearances with VocalEssence include the title roles in Britten's St. Nicolas Cantata, Handel's Samson, Elgar's Dream Of Gerontius, Dominick Argento's Revelations Of St. John and Jonah And The Whale, Mass In D by Dame Ethel Smythe, the role of Rajar in the world premiere of The Fourth Wiseman by Randall Davidson.  Recently he performed with VocalEssence in the world premier of The Passion Of Christ by Francis Grier and The Songs Of Innocence And Experience by William Bolcom.  He is the tenor soloist at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis. 

       2019 marks his seventh appearance with the Festival of the Lakes in Alexandria, MN.
   
   

Ann DuHamel, piano

 

       Praised for the “…grace and sensitivity” of her playing and described as “… a delight for the ears and the soul,” pianist Ann DuHamel serves as Head of Keyboard Studies at the University of Minnesota, Morris.  An ardent proponent of modern music, she enjoys working with and commissioning contemporary composers, and this past season she premiered works of Marc Chan (CT), Luke Dahn (UT), Joseph Dangerfield (WV), Jake Endres (MN), Edie Hill (MN), Linda Kachelmeier (MN), and Tyler Kline (FL).  The 2019 season brings a solo program of music inspired by Brahms, with recitals in Malaysia, Thailand, Belgium, England, and across the United States, as well as Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals with the UMM chamber orchestra and a return engagement of the Grieg piano concerto with the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra.

       A versatile artist and scholar, Ann’s recent performances and presentations span a variety of eras, from the Bach D minor keyboard concerto and Leopold Kozeluch piano sonatas to the Bartók sonata for two pianos and percussion and Lowell Liebermann’s nocturnes. Past musical collaborators include Maria Jette, soprano; Clara Osowski, mezzo-soprano; Stephen Swanson, baritone; Seta Baltayan, cello; Preston Duncan, saxophone; and Martha Councell, flute.  Her participation in several summer festivals, such as PianoSummer at New Paltz and Piano Texas, has resulted in studies with Vladimir Feltsman, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Martin Katz, Alexander Korsantia, and Nelita True, among others.  Past performances include venues in fourteen countries and over twenty-five states, with two appearances in Carnegie Weill Recital Hall.

       Passionate about piano pedagogy and enthused to share this love, Ann is honored to currently serve as President-Elect of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association.  Her students have received such awards as 1st place in the MMTA composition contest and 2nd place in the MMTA Collegiate Young Artist competition.  Ann earned a DMA from the University of Iowa under the tutelage of Ksenia Nosikova.  Prior to her doctoral studies, she was Assistant Director to Paul Wirth at the Central MN Music School in St Cloud.

   
   

William Eddins, piano

       Former Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, William Eddins is a native of Buffalo, N.Y., he currently resides in Minneapolis with his lovely wife Jen, a clarinetist, and their two boys Raef and Riley.

       Bill has been playing piano since he was five when his parents bought a Wurlitzer Grand piano at a garage sale.  He started conducting during his sophomore year at the Eastman School of Music, and most of the '80s were spent trying to decide whether to pursue a career in conducting or piano.  The quandary was answered for him when he realized that the life of a poor, starving pianist was for the birds.  In 1989 Bill decided to study conducting with Dan Lewis at the University of Southern California, whence he managed to land assistant conductor posts with the Chicago Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra in 1992.

       Bill has many non-musical hobbies including: cooking, eating, discussing food, and planning dinner parties.  He is also quite fond of biking, tennis, reading, and pinball. Unfortunately, due to pianistic paranoia his days in the martial arts are long over.

       Bill is committed to bringing classical music to the greater public.  He has started a podcast – Classical Connections – which is dedicated to exploring the history of classical music and highlights live chamber music performances in which Bill has taken part. He has also produced a solo piano CD – Bad Boys, Volume I – which features Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" Sonata and Albright's “Nightmare Fantasy Rag.”

   
   

Jennifer Gerth, clarinet

       Principal clarinet of the Duluth-Superior Symphony and an active member of the Twin Cities musical community, Jennifer Gerth performs with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera, Mill City Opera, and the Minnesota Dance Theatre.  Jennifer is on the faculty at the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College and the University of St. Thomas.

 

   
   

Sarah Lewis, cello

 

       Cellist Sarah Lewis is in her 21st season with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.  A Saint Paul native, Sarah started piano lessons at the MacPhail Center for the Arts at the age of three.  She holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and the Juilliard School, where she studied with Lev Aronson and Channing Robbins, respectively.  Prior to joining the SPCO, Lewis was a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (1994 – 1996), and performed as a substitute musician with the Minnesota Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. 

       Sarah has appeared as soloist with the SPCO, and she gave the U.S. premiere of Malcolm Forsyth’s Eclectic Suite for Cello and Piano with Lydia Artymiw.  An avid chamber musician, she has performed solo and chamber recitals in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Twin Cities.

       During the summer, Sarah has been a featured performer at the Alexandria Festival of the Lakes and the Lakes Chamber Music Festival, both in Minnesota, and has played in the prestigious Music in the Vineyards chamber music festival in Napa Valley, CA.  She has played in Durango Colorado’s Music in the Mountains for the last 5 years.

Before joining the SPCO, Sarah toured and recorded with pop artist Lorie Line, and she can be heard on numerous recordings of composer/performer Peter Ostroushko. 

       Lewis makes her home in Edina, MN with her husband and two children, two cats, and a dog.  Her other interests include downhill skiing, mountain climbing, and yoga.
   
   

Lux Quartet,

Erika Blanco and Stephanie Skor, violins; Kirsti Petraborg, viola; Eric Graf, cello

       Lux String Quartet is a Twin-Cities based ensemble, bringing a dynamic edge to performance and education since 2013.  As avid recitalists, Lux maintains an active presence in a wide array of musical spheres, from concert halls and churches, to coffee shops and podcasts. Their concert series, "Lattes with Lux," established an enthusiastic fan base and is currently hosted by several local, independent coffee houses around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

       A wide spectrum of musical backgrounds and tastes contributes to the group's creativity, which is reflected in their collaborative projects with other artists. In addition to presenting classical repertoire, Lux frequently collaborates with other musicians, actors, and composers to perform contemporary works, pushing boundaries of presentation, form, and aesthetic.

       Dedicated to music education and instilling a love for their art in the next generation, Lux String Quartet presents at elementary schools and other music education programs. They served as quartet-in-residence at Augsburg University Suzuki Talent Education and the Oskaloosa Music Festival, and are excited to be quartet-in-residence at the first annual Colorado Chamber Music Institute this June.

Photo by Tim and Madie Photography

   
   

Colin McGuire, violin

       Growing up in Mankato, MN, Colin McGuire began his study of the violin at the age of 4. He has studied with Patti Tryhus, Marilyn Bos, and his brother Peter McGuire, Principal Second Violin of the Minnesota Orchestra.

       Colin has been fortunate enough to perform in a variety of ensembles and settings.  He holds a permanent seat in the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra as Associate Concertmaster.  Colin returned to Minnesota after playing full time with the Thunder Bay Symphony.  Other orchestral opportunities have arisen with the Minnesota Orchestra, Mill City Opera, Minnesota Opera, Music St. Croix, and various other orchestras and ensembles in the region.

       Colin has enjoyed wonderful opportunities to perform and travel as a soloist and chamber musician.  Recently, he has enjoyed the formation of the Hennepin String Quartet along with performances with larger Chamber ensembles, where performances have ranged from German Salon music to a chamber reduction of Mahler Symphony No. 4.

       Colin is also a tennis teaching pro and coach.

   
   

Peter McGuire, violin

 

       Peter McGuire re-joined the Minnesota Orchestra as Principal Second Violin after serving as a Second Concertmaster with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich for three years.

      McGuire began his career as first violinist in the Pioneer String Quartet and Des Moines Symphony, and has served as Guest Principal Second Violin with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

       Peter McGuire has performed as Guest Concertmaster with the Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande, Zürich Opera, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Gürzenich Orchester - Cologne, and Richmond Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has performed and recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic, SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, All-Star Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

       A frequent chamber musician and soloist, McGuire has featured with the Minnesota Orchestra for the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and has performed with ensembles throughout the US, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. A frequent adjudicator, he has given Master Classes throughout the US and Switzerland.

   
   

Jill Olson Moser, violin

      

       Violinist Jill Olson Moser performs extensively as an orchestral and chamber musician in the Twin Cities.  She performs with the Minnesota Opera and is a regular substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra.

       Prior to performing in the Twin Cities, Jill was the Concertmaster of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony and the Fargo-Moorhead Opera Orchestra.  She was also a member of the Britt Festival and Wintergreen Performing Arts Orchestras in Oregon and Virginia respectively, as well as the Heidelberg Schlossfestspiele in Germany.

       Jill is a native of Lincoln, Nebraska, and a graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.  Her primary teachers include Dr. Robert Emile, Catherine Tait and Jorja Fleezanis.  She studied chamber music with members of the American String Quartet and the Cleveland Quartet.

       A devoted educator, Jill has an active Suzuki violin studio and is on the faculty of Gustavus Adolphus College.
   
   

Gail Olszewski, piano

       Gail Olszewski has been heard in solo and chamber recitals on piano, fortepiano, harpsichord, harmonium, celesta and synthesizer in the United States, Canada, Europe, Central America and Australia.  She lives in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area where she has a varied free-lance career as a collaborative keyboardist, concretizing with members of the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, among others.

       Gail has performed with the Phipps Oratorio Society, Minnesota Sinfonia, Minnetonka Chorale, Plymouth Music Series, Buffalo Gal Productions, Ordway Music Theater, Nautilus Music Theater, Illusion Theater, Minnesota Opera, Northstar Opera, Opera Twin Cities, Duluth Festival Opera and Garden of Song Opera.  Since 2014 she has coached singers and performed newly-composed art songs as part of the Source Song Festival in Minneapolis.  In April 2016 she and harpsichordist Layton “Skip” James performed two concerti by Georg Wagenseil (orchestrated by James, and which had not been performed since the late 18th century), with the Dakota Valley Symphony in Burnsville, MN.  Other performance highlights include the Piano Concerto of Clara Schumann with the Minneapolis Philharmonic, and harpsichord concertos of J.S. Bach and György Ligeti’s Chamber Concerto with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

       Gail is a founding member of The WolfGang, dedicated to authentic instrument performance of music from the Classical period.  She is also a member of Duo Tastiera with harpsichordist and composer Asako Hirabayashi, and the chamber group Music St. Croix, based in Stillwater, MN.  Watch for Gail’s upcoming recording of solo Finnish piano music (played on the Frederick Collection’s 1877 Blüthner piano), Northern Lights – Finnish Favorites on Centaur records.

       Gail holds the degrees Doctor of Musical Arts in Accompanying and Coaching from the University of Minnesota, Master of Music in Piano Performance from Boston University and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Music History/Harpsichord Performance from the University of New Hampshire.  She has a private studio where she teaches piano/harpsichord and coaches singers & instrumentalists, and is a member of the keyboard faculty of the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis.

   
   

Samantha Rodriguez, viola

    

       Violist Samantha Rodriguez serves as assistant principal third chair of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.  Previously, she was third chair of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of their viola section for 9 years.  Ms. Rodriguez is also a frequent substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra and is principal violist of the Lakes Area Music Festival, of which she is a founding artist.

       An avid chamber musician, Samantha plays in chamber ensembles for L.A.M.F.throughout the year for communities in Minnesota, and has performed in groups for audiences across upstate NY, Colorado Springs and central Florida.  In 2012, after attending and being inspired by the International Viola congress, Ms. Rodriguez formed a viola trio with her two closest friends.  Together, they decided to enter chamber music competitions and thus the Voila viola trio was born.  The trio placed 2nd in the M.T.N.A. national chamber music competition and were the very first all viola ensemble to be finalists at the prestigious Coleman competition.  Currently, Ms. Rodriguez is making her way in her new city of Milwaukee, and has begun to perform in a few chamber music series with various members of the symphony.

       As a soloist, Samantha has had the privilege of performing with the Eastman Philharmonia, symphony and chorale, the Geneseo symphony and the L.A.M.F orchestra.  Eastman School of Music being her alma mater, she received a bachelor and master of music, as well as a performer’s certificate under the tutelage of George Taylor.  Teaching is a very important part of Ms. Rodriguez's life.  She has enjoyed working with students from age 5 to 80 either privately or at various institutions including the Eastman School of Music and community music division, S.U.N.Y. Geneseo, ROCmusic, and the Hochstein School of music and dance, among others.  This past year, she was appointed as a teaching artist for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as M.S.O. concertmaster Frank Almond’s honors chamber music program.

       In her spare time, Ms. Rodriguez loves to sing.  She has enjoyed being a member of different choirs and relishes the chance to sing a gospel solo.  She also likes to bake and spend lots of cuddle time with her very needy cat named Charles.

   
   

Kirsten Whitson, cello

    

       Kirsten Whitson performs extensively as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician.  She has played and toured with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Florida Orchestra and Norway's Bergen Philharmonic.  She has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.  Kirsten also plays as a guest artist with Zeitgeist New Music Ensemble, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Festival of the Lakes in Alexandria and the Lakes Area Music Festival.

       Kirsten won her first orchestral job as a senior in high school, when her family moved from her native Chicago to Sarasota, Florida.  Following three years of employment, Kirsten earned Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma degrees from Indiana University.  While there, she was an assistant instructor for her teacher, Fritz Magg, and was awarded a coveted Performer's Certificate.

       Kirsten has performed solo cello concerts at many venues throughout the Twin Cities and has been featured on programs broadcast by KFAI and Minnesota Public Radio.  She is passionate about the extensive repertoire available for solo cello and has premiered several commissioned pieces.  Composers Timothy C. Takach, David Evan Thomas, Carl Witt and Jocelyn Hagen have written music for her.  One of Jocelyn Hagen's pieces for her involved live digital looping.  In 2013, Kirsten performed the solo cello part in Strauss' Don Quixote, arranged for chamber ensemble by Sergey Bogza.  Her strangest gigs have been playing for a fish boil, a clay stomp and at a nudist colony.

       Kirsten has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts.

   
   

Matthew Wilson, horn

    

       Matthew Wilson is joining the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as a member after playing as a guest musician for many years.  He has been Principal horn of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra for the last 5 seasons.  He recently acted as Associate Principal horn with Minnesota Orchestra on their 2016 European Tour and has been a frequent guest Principal horn with them and the SPCO.  He has also been guest Principal horn with the Florida Orchestra and the South Dakota Symphony and has had engagements with the Colorado Symphony and The Phantom of the Opera Broadway touring company.  He has been Principal horn of the Crested Butte Musical Festival for several years and will be performing at the Festival of the Lakes in Alexandria, MN this August.

       A Southern California native, he started playing horn at the age of 9.  His primary teachers were George Cable (San Diego Symphony), Herb Winslow and Kendall Betts.  Wilson received his undergraduate degree from University of Northwestern St. Paul, Minnesota and his Masters of Music degree from the University of Minnesota.  He is currently Horn Instructor at University of Northwestern St. Paul.