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2017 Artist Roster


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.


Lydia Artymiw, piano

       In 2017 pianist Lydia Artymiw celebrates her 28th year as Distinguished McKnight Professor of Piano at the University of Minnesota.  Artymiw also received the U of M’s 2015 “Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award,” the “Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Professor” in 2000, and Thursday Musical of Minnesota’s “2016 Teacher of the Year” award.

       In 2015, Artymiw was on the jury for the first Van Cliburn Junior International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, TX, as well as on the juries for twelve piano concerto competitions at the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York.  She was a guest piano teacher at Juilliard in 2015 and 2017 and presented master classes at both and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 2016.

       The recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Prize, Philadelphia-born Lydia Artymiw has performed with over one hundred twenty orchestras world-wide including the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, LA Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

       Solo recital tours have taken her to all major American cities and to important European music centers, and throughout the Far East.  She has performed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Ukraine, Estonia, Finland, and Poland, as well as in China, Singapore, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

       Critics have acclaimed her seven solo recordings for the Chandos label, and she has also recorded for Bridge, Centaur, and Naxos.  Her debut Chandos “Variation” CD won Gramophone Magazine’s “Best of the Year” award, and her Tchaikovsky Seasons CD sold over 25,000 copies.  Her festival appearances include Aspen, Bantry (Ireland), Bay Chamber, Bravo! Vail Valley, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, Foulger, SaltBay, Chautauqua, Grand Canyon, Hollywood Bowl, Marlboro, Montreal, Mostly Mozart, Seattle, and Tucson.

       An acclaimed chamber musician, Artymiw has collaborated with such celebrated artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Richard Stoltzman, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, Kim Kashkashian, John Aler, Benita Valente, and the Guarneri, Tokyo, American, Alexander, Borromeo, Daedalus, Miami, Orion, and Shanghai Quartets, and has toured nationally with Music from Marlboro groups.  A recipient of top prizes in the 1976 Leventritt and the 1978 Leeds International Competitions, she graduated from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and studied with distinguished concert pianist and former Director of the Curtis Institute of Music, Gary Graffman, for twelve years.  For more information, please visit Artymiw’s website at lydiaartymiw.com.


David Auerbach, viola

       Violist David Auerbach earned a DMA from Stony Brook University in December 2007, where he was a scholarship student of Katherine Murdock.  Previously, he received a Masters Degree from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Samuel Rhodes, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with majors in both Music Performance and Molecular Biology.  David has given numerous solo and collaborative recitals throughout New England and the Midwest, and has been a prizewinner in several competitions, including the 2005 Chicago Viola Society Competition.  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 Weill and Zankel Recital Halls.

       Since moving to the Twin Cities in the fall of 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 nearly continuously with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra for the last several seasons; additionally, he is a top substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra, and plays with numerous other local chamber groups and orchestras in the Twin Cities area.  He also continues to perform regularly elsewhere in the country, including with the chamber orchestra A Far Cry, which is based in Boston.  David recently joined the faculty of the University of St Thomas, and also maintains a private teaching studio.  In his spare time, David enjoys running, playing ultimate Frisbee, practicing yoga, cooking, and playing Scrabble.


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.


Christopher Brown, bass

       Former Principal Bass of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO), Christopher Brown appeared as soloist with that orchestra on several occasions.  Prior to joining the SPCO, Brown was a bass player with Pittsburgh and Detroit symphonies.  Beyond his performance activities, Brown has published a resource book, Discovering Bows for the Double Bass, and owns The Bow Broker, a business that buys and sells bows throughout the world.  In addition to his work in classical music, Brown is a jazz enthusiast, songwriter, and composer, an interest that dates from his high school days at the Interlochen Arts Academy.  He once appeared on the cover of Life magazine in his role of Jesus in the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar."  Summertime takes Brown to the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming and the Festival of the Lakes in Alexandria, Minnesota.  He also performs in recitals throughout the United States.  Brown received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.  Chris teaches double bass at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, and he is the ensemble director at the Minnesota Waldorf School.  Chris retired from the SPCO in 2013.


William Eddins, piano

       William Eddins is Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and recently completed a five year stint as Principal Guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland) in Dublin.  A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he currently resides in Minneapolis with his lovely wife Jen, a clarinetist, and their two boys Raef (AKA Raefster; Munchers) and Riley (AKA Squeaky; The Imp; Dr. No).

       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.



Layton James, harpsichord

       Known to all as “Skip,” Layton James has been principal keyboard artist with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra since 1969, performing on the harpsichord, piano, organ, celesta and synthesizer.  James is also a conductor and composer internationally known for his cadenzas for Baroque and Classical concertos. 

       In April 2002, the SPCO premiered James’ adaptation of J.S. Bach’s B-Minor Partita for full string orchestra, a piece originally composed for solo violin.  His recent works include hymn “See What Love,” and commissions, Water Music and a setting of the National Anthem for the SPCO.  James has also scored Christmas carols, organ music, and choral selections for the SPCO Holiday Concerts.  His choral works are published by MorningStar, Cantica Nova and Augsburg. 

       James is Music Director and organist at Bethel Lutheran Church in Hudson, Wisconsin, and has been clinician for the American Choral Directors Association and the American Guild of Organists.  He has performed on several LifeStyle Records albums, and is featured harpsichordist on Robert Shaw’s 1984 and 1987 recordings of Handel’s Messiah.  A builder of harpsichords, James plays one of his instruments with the SPCO.  He trained as a musicologist under Donald Grout at Cornell University, and has taught music history and performance practice courses at the University of Hawaii, Stanford, Cornell, Macalester College and Westminster Choir College.  James presents the popular Fanfare pre-concert talks before SPCO Basically Baroque and Morning Coffee concerts. 

       In his spare time, he is an enthusiastic trout fisherman and amateur chef.


Maria Jette, soprano

       Maria Jette has appeared with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra; the Symphonies of Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Grand Rapids, Kansas City, Charlotte, Santa Rosa and Buffalo; Vocalessence (formerly The Plymouth Music Series of Minnesota), the Handel Choir of Baltimore, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, and Los Angeles Master Chorale; and with original instrument ensembles Angelica Cantanti, Portland Baroque Orchestra and The Lyra Baroque Orchestra. She has been a regular guest at the Oregon Bach, Victoria Bach and San Luis Obispo Mozart Festivals, the Oregon Festival of American Music, and on Public Radio International's A Prairie Home Companion. With conductor Helmuth Rilling, she has sung Bach, Mozart and Monteverdi in Germany, Spain, Japan, and Canada, as well as in Minneapolis, New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. In a 20+ year association with conductor Philip Brunelle, she first appeared as the coloratura dog, Fido, in Britten’s Paul Bunyan; and has gone on to sing everything from fully-staged operas by Mozart opera and Virgil Thomson through oratorios by Handel, William Bolcom and Francis Grier, and most recently, Dominick Argento’s glorious Evensong (2009).

       Jette's 45+ operatic roles range from Monteverdi's Poppea and Handel's Cleopatra through Mozart's Pamina, Countess and Fiordiligi, many of them with the late, lamented Ex Machina Antique Music Theatre in the Twin Cities. With The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, she starred as the Mrs. in the May 2002 premiere of Garrison Keillor's operatic excursion, Mr. and Mrs. Olson. She has performed her own production of Seuss/Kapilow’s Green Eggs & Ham for more than 50,000 kids, with symphonies and music festivals around the USA.

       Her lengthy list of premieres includes song cycles by British composers Geoffrey Bush, John Gardner and Ian Kellam, and choral works with extended soprano solos by Judith Weir and John Gardner; and chamber works, songs and cycles by Dominick Argento, Randall Davidson, David Evan Thomas, Steve Heitzeg, David John Olsen, Russell Platt, Nancy Grundahl and Janika Vandervelde. For her service to new music in the Twin Cities, she was awarded a life membership with the American Composers Forum.

Ms. Jette's discography includes two recordings on the Centaur label: a selection of Benjamin Britten's Folksongs of the British Isles and Mélodies of Gabriel Fauré, both with harpist Judith Kogan; and two recordings of oratorios by the 19th C composer Simon Mayr, Il Passione and Atalia, performed and recorded (for Guild Records) with the Georgian Chamber Orchestra (Ingolstadt, Germany) under the direction of Franz Hauk. She has been featured on several with Philip Brunelle and VocalEssence, including the world premiere recording (Virgin Classics) of Britten's "American" opera, Paul Bunyan (Fido); Mozart’s Requiem (on Avie) with Andreas Delfs, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and St. Olaf Choir; and Messiah with Stephen Alltop and Chicago’s Apollo Chorus.


Adam Kuenzel, flute

       Principal Flute Adam Kuenzel joined the Minnesota Orchestra in November, 1990.  A native of Cincinnati, Kuenzel attended the Oberlin Conservatory, studying with Robert Willoughby.

       After graduation, he studied with Tom Nyfenger in New Haven and played in jazz groups for two years in Cincinnati.  In 1983, he joined the Charleston Symphony as principal flute before assuming the principal chair of the San Antonio Symphony.  Kuenzel has been a guest artist with the Aspen Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Spoleto Festival, the St. Bart’s Music Festival in the French West Indies and the Oregon Bach Festival.

       Kuenzel made his Minnesota Orchestra subscription debut in 1991 performing the Ibert Flute Concerto and has since regularly appeared as soloist on the Orchestra’s various concert offerings.  In February 2005, he performed the Nielsen Flute Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra under Music Director Osmo Vänska, and he gave the world premiere of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski's Flute Concerto under the direction of the composer.


Sarah Lewis, cello


       Cellist Sarah Lewis is in her 19th 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.

Katja Linfield, cello

       Katja Linfield, who joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1990, is an active chamber musician and proponent of contemporary and lesser-known works.  In recent seasons she has performed Tan Dun’s Elegy: Snow in June for solo cello and four percussionists, John Mackey’s bluegrass string trio Wrong-Mountain Stomp and Judd Greenstein’s string quartet Four on the Floor.  She has also performed works of Dvorák, Hindemith, Brahms, Mozart, Rota, Fauré and Judd Greenstein.

       Linfield was a member of the Bakken Trio from 1992 until 2002, a period during which the ensemble recorded works of Ives, Pärt and Beethoven.  She has twice received the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, in 2006 as soloist and in 2001 with the Bakken Trio.

       Linfield has performed chamber music at the Marlboro Music Festival, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Tanglewood Festival, Portland Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Vineyards, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Alexandria Festival of the Lakes, Phipps Center for the Arts, Music on the Hill in Mankato, and the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Festival in Madison, Wisconsin.  She has toured the United States with Music from Marlboro and Europe with the Frankfurt-based Ensemble Modern.

       Linfield earned a bachelor of music degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory and Rutgers University.  Her teachers included Bernard Greenhouse, Colin Carr, Steven Doane and Richard Kapuscinski.


Timothy Lovelace, piano

       Pianist and conductor Timothy Lovelace has performed on four continents and has been featured at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, Philadelphia’s Trinity Center, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and on chamber music series sponsored by the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minnesota, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.  The roster of internationally-known artists with whom Lovelace has appeared includes Miriam Fried, Alban Gerhardt, Nobuko Imai, Robert Mann, Charles Neidich, Paul Neubauer, Ayano Ninomiya, Paquito D’Rivera, and Dawn Upshaw.  He has also concertized with the Bergen Woodwind Quintet and the Pacifica String Quartet.  As a soloist, he performed Messiaen’s Oiseaux exotiques on subscription series concerts of the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänskä.

       For thirteen years, Lovelace was a staff pianist at the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, where he played in the classes of Barbara Bonney, Christoph Eschenbach, Thomas Hampson, Christa Ludwig and Yo-Yo Ma, among others.  Other professional staff pianist engagements include two International Double Reed Society conferences, two International Viola Congresses, the ClarinetFest of The International Clarinet Association, and The Wideman International Piano Competition.

       A proponent of new music, Lovelace has performed under the supervision of composers Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, Steve Heitzeg, Andrew Imbrie, Leon Kirchner, Libby Larsen, Lowell Liebermann, Thea Musgrave, Gunther Schuller, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, David Evan Thomas, Dan Welcher, and Judith Zaimont, and he presented the world premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s Third World.

       “The superb collaborations of pianist Timothy Lovelace can’t be understated,” wrote Gramophone magazine in praise of Forgotten Romance, one of two Lovelace recordings on the Albany label.  The American Record Guide declared his performance of Loeffler’s Rhapsodies on the Boston Records CD …is but a dream “the very best I have ever heard.  Anyone wanting a definitive modern recording of this work need look no further.”  Lovelace has received similarly positive reviews in recent recordings on the Blue Griffin and MSR labels.

       As a conductor, Lovelace has led numerous operatic and symphonic ensembles.  At the University of Minnesota, he has conducted productions of The Seven Deadly Sins, Suor Angelica, and La Voix humaine.

       Timothy Lovelace holds the Ethel Alice Hitchcock Chair in Collaborative Piano and Coaching at the University of Minnesota.  He previously taught at The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the Green Lake Chamber Music Camp, and The Madeline Island Music Camp.  His principal teachers were Pat Curtis, Harold Evans, Clifford Herzer, Gilbert Kalish, Donna Loewy, and Frank Weinstock.  He studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Stony Brook University, and the Aspen and Eastern Music Festivals.


J. Christopher Marshall, bassoon


       Texas native J. Christopher Marshall, a member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1999, made his debut as soloist with the Orchestra in performances of Dietter’s Concerto for Two Bassoons in 2008 and reprised the work in subsequent seasons, most recently in November 2014.

       Marshall has appeared regularly on the Minnesota Orchestra’s Chamber Music series offerings. He is co-artistic director of the Colonial Chamber Series in Edina, and he is also a member of Prevailing Winds, a quintet whose members are Orchestra musicians.

       Marshall, a former member of Florida’s New World Symphony, has performed with the Boston Symphony and Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the National Symphony, and he has participated in numerous music festivals, including Tanglewood and Spoleto USA. As a clinician, he has led master classes and sectionals for many universities as well as community and youth orchestras.

       Marshall, who won a 2009 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, graduated from Northwestern University with two degrees—one in bassoon performance and the other in mechanical engineering. He later earned a master’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music. An avid Dallas Cowboys fan and triathlete, he lives in Plymouth with his wife Kari, the Orchestra’s Director of Artistic Planning, and their sons Robert and Jonathan.


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, Principal Second Violin, re-joins the Minnesota Orchestra this fall after serving as a Second Concertmaster with the Tonhalle Orchester - Zürich 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.


Brenda Mickens, violin

Brenda Mickens currently is teaching privately and freelancing in the Twin Cities.  She was an Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra musician for many years, grew up in San Diego and played in the San Diego Symphony and the Lincoln Symphony during her student years.  She enjoys chamber music and playing duos especially with violinist husband David Mickens.


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.

Dina Michelson Namer, piano

       Born in New York City, Dina Namer is now a resident of Ottawa, Canada.  Her formal studies were at the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music, from which she received her Master’s Degree in piano performance.  Her principal teachers were Robert Goldsand, Benar Heifetz and Artur Balsam.  In addition, with the support of the Canada Council, she worked extensively with Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio.        

       Dina Namer has had a diverse career in both the United States and Canada as a harpsichordist and pianist, performing and recording a wide range of repertoire, from Baroque harpsichord works to contemporary Canadian piano works.  She has a long association with the musicians of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada (NAC) in Ottawa.  Through the NAC's Music for a Sunday Afternoon series, she has collaborated with such artists as Bernard Greenhouse, Andrew Dawes, Paul Tortelier, Felix Galimir, Charles Treger, Timothy Eddy, Leone Buyse, Gail Williams and many others.

       As an educator, Dina Namer has taught piano performance at Ottawa, Carleton and Queen's Universities in Canada.  Currently, she is Continuing Adjunct Lecturer at Queen's University, Kingston, teaching piano, harpsichord and chamber music. In addition, she maintains a busy private studio.

       As a chamber musician, Ms. Namer has been a member of the Aulos Ensemble (a trio for flute, clarinet and piano), the Ottawa Baroque Ensemble, the Kingston Baroque Soloists, and the Sh’ma Ensemble (a group devoted to performing works of composers who died in the Holocaust).  Her work with the Aulos Trio culminated in the release of a CD entitled “Playing Tribute”, which features chamber works of several Canadian composers.  More recently, she collaborated with violist Lisa Moody in a CD release of Canadian works entitled Magdalene Wood.

      Highlights of the 2016-2017 season included the debut recital of "Duo Pianistico", a new collaboration with pianist Robert Dvorkin, a recital of music for winds and piano for the Queen's Faculty Recital Series and a recital of works for cello and piano with cellist Nina Gordon.  This summer Dina will perform with Ms. Gordon and faculty members in the Illinois Chamber Music Festival.

      Since 1995, Ms. Namer has performed regularly in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, “Festival Music and Beyond”, and the Alexandria Festival of the Lakes in Alexandria, Minnesota.

Dina Namer is heard frequently on Minnesota Public Radio, the CBC, and “Radio Canada.”


John Snow, oboe

       Associate Principal Oboe John Snow—former principal oboe of the New Zealand Symphony and former acting principal for ensembles as varied as the Santa Fe Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Pittsburgh Symphony—became a member of the Minnesota Orchestra in 1999. He has won two McKnight Fellowships for Performing Musicians, one each in 2005 and 2011. In 2008 he was featured with three Orchestra colleagues in performances of Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante under the direction of Sarah Hicks. He performed another Mozart work, the Oboe Concerto, in January 2011 concerts led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä.

       An active chamber musician, Snow performed Loeffler’s Two Rhapsodies for Oboe, Viola and Piano at a Sommerfest 2010 chamber music concert. He performs regularly with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with which he has toured Japan and Europe and recorded for the Deutsche Grammophon label. Snow is co-founder of the Detroit Chamber Winds, the New Zealand Soloists and the Talisman Trio, an ensemble specializing in music for oboe, bassoon and piano. He has appeared at the Norfolk Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Victoria Bach Festival, Classicfest, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and Oregon Bach Festival. In 1998 he made his debut with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Snow is a passionate advocate of new music, and has commissioned and premiered several works. He collaborated with composer Dan Welcher to create a chamber work for oboe and bassoon which he premiered at the 1997 International Double Reed Society convention in Chicago. Welcher also wrote his 1999 oboe concerto, Venti del Mar, for Snow, who premiered it with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

       Snow received a master’s degree in music from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Ronald Roseman. He has adjudicated and presented master classes at universities and music schools around the U.S. and in New Zealand. Snow has served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Geneseo, Ithaca College, St. Olaf College and Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, and was a visiting professor of oboe at the Eastman School of Music. Before moving to Minneapolis, Snow was professor of oboe at the University of Texas in Austin. He joined the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2000.


Tamás Strasser, viola

       An avid chamber musician, Tamás Strasser has been violist with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) since 1975.  He was previously a member of the Kansas City Philharmonic, United States Army Strings, New Art String Quartet and Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia.  Strasser has performed with The Vienna Trio and the Muir, Moscow and Bakken string quartets.  Strasser has been a soloist with the Santa Fe Opera, the SPCO and the Kansas City Symphony, among other orchestras.  He served as artist-in-residence for the North Carolina School of the Arts summer program and on the faculties of Madeline Island Music Camp and Macalester College.  He has taught master classes at the University of Minnesota and Kansas City Conservatory, among others.  Strasser received his bachelor’s degree from the Kansas City Conservatory and master’s degree from the Catholic University in Washington, D.C.  His principal teachers were Andor Toth, Tiberius Klausner, Michael Rabin and Dorothy Delay.  He serves on the faculty at the University of St. Thomas teaching violin and viola and leading the String Orchestra.  Strasser has performed as principal violist with the Wintergreen (VA) Festival, the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder and the Aspen Chamber Symphony.  2013 once again finds Strasser playing principal viola for the Music in the Mountains Festival in the California wine country, as well as participating in the Arizona Musicfest. Strasser returns to perform chamber music in Alexandria’s Festival of the Lakes this August. Tam’s hobbies include chess, motorcycling, and traveling.  Mr. Strasser retired from the SPCO in 2013.


Sonja Thompson, piano

       Pianist Sonja Thompson is very happy to be back in beautiful Alexandria, Minnesota for another inspiring week of chamber music! In her "regular" life Sonja enjoys a varied professional career as educator, church musician, theater musician, conductor, coach and performer. In addition to her positions as Assistant Professor of Music and College Organist at Augsburg College, and Music Associate at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis, she also regularly appears as pianist and collaborator in a wide array of events and venues.

      Highlights from the 2014-15 season included a concert of rarely heard Gershwin for the Summer Concert Series at Plymouth Congregational Church in July; performing on the Prairie Home Companion cruise to the Caribbean in March; providing music direction for Carousel for the Augsburg Theater Department in April; Longest Night – a theatrical fantasia celebrating the winter solstice - with Bradley Greenwald at Open Eye Figure Theater in Minneapolis in December; a two piano recital at SUNY Plattsburgh with duo partner Dr. Karen Becker in November; two concerts of Norwegian music for The Grieg Society in September and October; a recital of Grieg songs with Maria Jette for the Grand Forks Symphony in October; and two CD releases: Songs of Fields and Prairies, a collection of Art Songs by composer Jocelyn Hagen, and Listen, a compilation of Musical Theater Songs by writer/composer Aaron Gabriel.


Kirsten Whitson, cello


       Cellist Kirsten Whitson performs extensively as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. She has played and toured with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, 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.  Jocelyn Hagen's piece involved live digital looping. In 2013, Kirsten performed the solo cello part in Strauss' Don Quixote, as arranged for chamber ensemble by Sergey Bogza.

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


Wendy Williams, flute

       Wendy Williams joined the Minnesota Orchestra as second flute in 1992. She came to Minnesota with a decade of experience, having playing principal flute with the Houston Ballet and Texas Chamber Orchestra, second flute and piccolo with Houston Grand Opera and second flute with the Houston Symphony. As a soloist in Minnesota Orchestra subscription concerts, she was featured with Principal Harp Kathy Kienzle in Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp in 2010. She has also been featured in performances of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 and in numerous Sommerfest chamber concerts.

An Ohio native, Williams earned three degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Kyril Magg. She is grateful to have performed in the flute sections of major American orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and St. Louis Symphony, among others, and has played for two summers with the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra.

       Williams teaches privately in Minneapolis. As a student of the Alexander Technique, she focuses on the physical challenges of playing and psychological preparation for performance. She also gives classes on audition preparation and has coached the wind sections of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, University of Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Youth Symphonies.

In addition, through a Hennepin County program that pairs at-risk children with adults in the community, Williams has mentored a young woman for twenty years. She is active as a volunteer in the Minneapolis Public Schools and stays busy raising her two children, Jackson and Eleanor.


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.