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2019 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.

   
   

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.

 
 

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.

   
   

Dan Dressen, tenor

new bio coming soon

   
   

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 (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.

 

   
   

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

       The 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 are currently the quartet-in-residence for the Oskaloosa Music Festival.

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, Principal Second Violin, re-joined the Minnesota Orchestra last 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.

   
   

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

new bio coming soon

   
   

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.

 

   
   

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.