Our Press Kit
Group Bio Sample Programs Group Photos Video Audio
Hailed by the New York times at their Carnegie Hall debut as “invariably energetic and finely burnished…playing with earthy vigor,” Catalyst Quartet is comprised of top laureates and alumni of the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition. Known for “rhythmic energy, polyphonic clarity and tight ensemble-playing,” the ensemble has toured throughout the United States and abroad, including sold-out performances at the Kennedy center in Washington DC, at Chicago’s Harris Theater, Miami’s New World Center and Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. The quartet has also appeared as concerto soloists with the Bogata Filharmonica, the Sphinx Virtuosi, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Catalyst Quartet has held concert residencies at the University of Michigan, University of Washington, Rice University, Houston’s Society for the Performing Arts, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Virginia Arts Festival, and Pennsylvania State University. International residencies where they perform and teach master classes have included the in Harmony Project in England, the University of South Africa, and the Teatro de Bellas Arts in Cali, Colombia.
Their recordings span the scope of their interests and artistry. Their debut album the Bach/Gould Project – features the members’ own arrangement of J.S. Bach’s monumental Goldberg Variations paired with Glenn Gould’s seminal String Quartet Op. 1, on the Azica label. The Catalyst Quartet can also be heard on Strum, CQ violinist and composer Jessie Montgomery’s debut album, Bandaneon y Cuerdas, tango inspired music for string quartet and bandaneon by JP Jofre, and Dreams and Daggers, Cecile Mclorin Salvant’s tremendous 2 disk Grammy winning album, featuring the Catalyst Quartet in a unique musical role. CQ has performed on numerous television and radio broadcasts for Detroit Public Television, American Public Media’s Performance Today, and Chicago, Houston, Seattle and Vermont local stations. The ensemble was also featured in the Strad and Strings magazine.
Communication and the delivery of ideas is at the heart of why we make music. Whether investigating the human condition, culture, or history through music, we choose our projects and create our programs to be about something. We defy genre and break down the walls of tradition, reimagining and redefining the classical music experience…we are the Catalyst.
Catalyst Quartet has been invited as guest artists at important music festivals, Mainly Mozart in San Diego, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Sitka Music Festival, Juneau Jazz and Classics, Strings Music Festival, the Grand Canyon Music Festival, and the Vail International Dance Festival. In 2014 they opened the Festival del Sole in Napa with Joshua Bell and also participated in England’s Aldeburgh Music Foundation’s String Quartet Residency with two performances in Jubilee Hall. Recent seasons have brought international touring in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Puerto Rico, and expanded U.S. tours in Virginia, Minnesota, Hawaii and California. Catalyst’s New York City presence has included concerts on the Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series, the Café Series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at New York’s City Center, at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, for Schneider Concerts at the the New School, and six concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile Mclorin Salvant.
Founded by the Sphinx Organization, the Catalyst Quartet combines a serious commitment to diversity and education with a passion for contemporary works. In October 2016 the quartet completed their sixth national tour as principal players and featured ensemble with the Sphinx Virtuosi. Catalyst Quartet members serve as principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Curtis Institute of Music.
The Catalyst Quartet proudly endorses Pirastro Strings: www.pirastro.com. Additional information with links to audio and video performances can be found on their homepage: www.catalystquartet.com.
Praised by The Washington Post for “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was awarded the Grand Prize and the CAG Management Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, along with top prizes at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, and the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. The Quartet’s debut album, Blueprinting, featuring new works written for the Aizuri Quartet by five American composers, was released by New Amsterdam Records and nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award.
Through its engaging and thought-provoking programs, branded by The New York Times as “genuinely exciting” and “imaginative,” the Quartet has garnered critical acclaim for bringing “a technical bravado and emotional power” to bold new commissions, and for its “flawless” (San Diego Union-Tribune) performances of the great masterpieces of the past. In the 2019-20 season the group will tour extensively across North America giving both debut appearances at Lincoln Center and at Carnegie Hall as part of CAG Winner’s Series.
Based in New York City, the Aizuri Quartet was the 2017-2018 MetLiveArts String Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they presented five unique programs throughout the season, leading The New York Times to applaud them as “a quartet of expert collaborators, who cogently traverse a range of repertoire staples and modern works.” Previous residency engagements include: the 2015-2016 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts; resident ensemble of the 2014 Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute; and, from 2014-2016, the String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
The Quartet has performed extensively throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Japan, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, and Abu Dhabi, and has commissioned and premiered new works by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Lembit Beecher, Paul Wiancko, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Gabriella Smith, Rene Orth, Michi Wiancko, and Alyssa Weinberg. Its critically acclaimed debut album, Blueprinting, which showcased many of these new pieces, was nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY award in the category of “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.”
Formed in 2012 and combining four distinctive musical personalities into a unique collective, the Aizuri Quartet draws its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail.
Recent projects include a quartet of song cycles in collaboration with poet Megan Levad: Murder (2010), Love (2012), Labor (2014), Gilded (2019). For the Marigny Opera House and Marigny Opera Ballet: Salve Regina, for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra (Winner, 2014 Tribute to the Classical Arts Award for Best Performance of New Classical Music); Orfeo, Giselle Deslondes, Book of Saints (Winner, 2017 Tribute to the Classical Arts for Best Performance of New Classical Music), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream full-length ballet scores (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019). The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned and premiered Louie the Buoy (2016), a piece for narrator and orchestra. His music has been played by the Albany Symphony, New Resonance Orchestra, Polymnia Quartet, Musaica, Da Capo Chamber Players, and the American Symphony, among others. He studied with composers Joan Tower, Christopher Theofanidis, Evan Chambers, Bright Sheng, and Michael Daugherty, and holds degrees from Bard College (B.A.), Peabody Conservatory (M.M.A.), and the University of Michigan (D.M.A). Mr. Fuller lives in New Orleans.
A native of Louisville, Mississippi, Cara McCool Woolf is the Executive & Artistic Director of the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans (MASNO) – a position she has held since 2014 that includes the direction of the New Orleans International Piano Competition and Keyboard Festival. During her MASNO tenure, Cara has lead the organization to expand their presence locally, nationally and internationally by extending their calendar from the summer-centered Festival and Competition to a full year-round season of performances and events featuring emerging as well as established artists. Under her leadership, MASNO continues to increase the number of educational and community outreach opportunities they provide throughout the area, and has most recently added their virtual mini-concert series MASNOtes in an effort to stay connected to the community while continuing to support artists during the Covid19 pandemic. Additionally, she is responsible for the fund raising and event production of the organization, but most enjoys her role of mentoring young artists and exploring means of opening music to new audiences.
Cara holds both her Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees in piano performance from Louisiana State University where she was a student of Constance Knox Carroll. An avid Mozart lover, she pursued additional study in Salzburg, Austria under the instruction of George Kern of the Mozarteum.
Having been actively involved in the New Orleans musical community for almost 20 years, she has served as President of the New Orleans Music Teachers Association and also on the board of the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans as chair of the Audience Development and Community Outreach Committee before becoming Executive & Artistic Director.
Cara also maintains an award winning piano studio, and is in high demand as a collaborative pianist most often appearing with her husband Vance Woolf, Principal Trumpet of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
Oboist, and New England transplant Galit Kaunitz lives in Hattiesburg, MS, where she works as the Assistant Professor of Oboe at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her responsibilities at USM also include teaching MUS 500: Writing About Music, coordinating recital class, and coaching chamber music groups. Galit teaches at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in beautiful western Michigan during the summer seasons.
Galit’s performing career includes solo recitals, chamber music, and orchestral positions. Her solo recitals center cultural identity and community belonging. The most recent example is Feeling Back: A Tribute to Persecuted Artists, a collaboration with Ed Hafer, musicologist, and Michael Bunchman, collaborative pianist. This lecture and recital explored the Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1965) by Hans Gál and Suite for Oboe and Piano (1939) by Pavel Haas, examining the experiences of both composers during WWII. The trio performed this recital at the University of Kentucky, Southeast Missouri State University, USM and the College Music Society National Conference in 2019. Galit also performed a recital of composers who reflect different fragments of her identity (Jewish, Indian, and American), and related the feeling of being “in-between” cultures, and how each piece related to the narrative.
Galit performs with USM’s resident chamber music groups Magnolia Reed Trio and Category 5 Wind Quintet, and plays second oboe and English horn in the Gulf Coast and Meridian Symphony Orchestras. She has been invited to perform at International Double Reed Society conferences (2015, 2019, 2020), and College Music Society National Conferences (2015, 2019), attended the Avaloch Farm Music Institute (2015), and commissions new music. Her latest commissioning project with tenor Jonathan Yarrington, Blake Reimagined, is a collaboration with composers Joshua Burel, Chia-Yu Hsu, and Tõnu Kõrvits that uses William Blake’s poetry to increase the body of repertoire for oboe and voice.
Galit co-created Double Reed Dish, the first double reed specific podcast that encourages oboists and bassoonists of all ages and abilities to “geek out” together. She and bassoonist Jacqueline Wilson release two episodes per month and reach double reed musicians across the globe. Double Reed Dish has performed live events at IDRS 2019, Georgia State University Double Reed Day, the University of Florida Double Reed Day, and Miami University (OH) Bassoon Day. Double Reed Dish aims to create community, record our oral history, and bring resources to double reed players everywhere.
Galit Kaunitz earned her D.M. from The Florida State University, M.M. from The University of Texas at Austin, and B.M. from The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theater. Her primary teachers are Eric Ohlsson, Rebecca Henderson, and Humbert Lucarelli. When not playing the oboe, she is being outsmarted by her dogs, Luna and Ruby, and ignored by her cat, The Queen.
Robert Young joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in the fall of 2016. Dr. Young previously held teaching positions at SUNY-Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, Wichita State University, Albion College, and the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts. In the summers of 2007-2010 he was on the faculty of the M-Pulse Saxophone Workshop held at the University of Michigan where he taught with renowned professor, Donald Sinta. As an active soloist, Young has been acclaimed for his “effortless expression and a facile technique” and his “true mastery of his instrument” (The Saxophonist Magazine). Highlights include performances with the PRISM Quartet, The Crossing, Chris Potter, Ravi Coltrane, Uri Caine, Charlotte Symphony, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Charleston (SC) Symphony Orchestra, and University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra. Robert Young performed with the PRISM Quartet on the GRAMMY Award-winning album “Gavin Bryars: The Fifth Century” (available on ECM Recordings). He has appeared as a soloist with the Zagreb Players, Wichita State University Orchestra, Wichita State University Wind Ensemble, Minot Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Michigan Concert Band.
Dr. Young has appeared in residence as a guest at several institutions across the United States; including The University of North Texas, University of Michigan, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Pennsylvania State University. Most recently, in the summer of 2018 Robert was invited as a featured concerto soloist in Zagreb, Croatia at the XVIII World Saxophone Congress.
Dr. Young has received numerous awards of regional, national, and international acclaim including semi-finalist at the 2009 Concert Artists Guild International Competition (NYC), silver medalist at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, 3rd Prize Winner in the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition, 1st prize of the Society of Musical Arts Competition, Winner of Tuesday Musicale of Detroit Competition, 1st Prize in the Josie Etta Daley Young Artist Competition, 3rd prize in the 2005 MTNA National Collegiate Young Artist Competition, 1st prize in the 2002 MTNA National Woodwind Competition, winner of the USC Young Artist Concerto Competition, and a finalist in the University of Michigan Concerto Competition.
Dr. Young earned his Doctor of Musical Arts (2010) and Master of Music (2008) degrees in saxophone performance from the University of Michigan where he studied with Professor Donald Sinta. At the University of Michigan, he studied jazz saxophone with Dr. Andrew Bishop and was a recipient of the Lawrence Teal Fellowship. Young received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Carolina (2006) in saxophone performance where he studied with Dr. Clifford Leaman.
Robert Young is a Conn-Selmer artist, and plays Selmer (Paris) saxophones exclusively. He is also endorsed by D’Addario and plays exclusively on D’Addario saxophone reeds.
The artistry of Kathleen Winkler has earned her the plaudits of critics and audiences alike worldwide since her solo debut at the age of seventeen with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The recipient of numerous awards, Ms. Winkler took first prize in the First International Carl Nielsen Violin Competition which led to her sponsored debuts in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as well as radio broadcast performances on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the International Voice of America.
She has been heard with such orchestras as the Detroit Symphony (with which she has toured on many occasions), the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Danish Radio Orchestra, the Odense Byorkester, the Polish Slaska Philharmonic, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Savannah Symphony, and the Phoenix Symphony, to name a few, as well as having performed in Sweden, Poland, Germany, Spain, China, and the Canary Islands.
Through a national search, Ms. Winkler was selected by the United States Information Agency to represent the U.S. as an Artistic Ambassador on concert tours throughout the world. Her initial tour took her to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, and New Zealand. Another extended tour saw Ms. Winkler’s performances representing our country in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Algeria, Tunisia, Nigeria, and Kenya. A third tour took Ms. Winkler throughout Australia and South America.
An active chamber musician, Ms. Winkler has appeared at major music festivals throughout the country such as the Kent-Blossom Music Festival, the Skaneateles Festival, Music in the Mountains Festival at Steamboat Springs, the Bay Chamber Concerts, the Festival de Musique de Chambre du Montréal, and Da Camera in Houston. In addition, for six years, Ms. Winkler was a member of the Amabile Piano Quartet which regularly toured the country under the auspices of the Southern Arts Touring Federation, The Mid-America Arts Alliance and Arts Midwest. Concert appearances included the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., The Columbus Chamber Music Society, The Chamber Music Society of Chicago, and The Friends of Music in Houston.
A devoted mentor to young musicians, Ms. Winkler is the recipient of Rice University’s prestigious Julia Mile Chance Award for excellence in teaching. Her students can be found among the ranks of national and international competition winners as well as in the worlds leading orchestras and chamber ensembles. Additionally, Ms. Winkler’s students have been the recipients of such prestigious awards as the Watson Fellowship, the Fulbright award, and the Pulitzer Prize in Music. As an adjudicator, Ms. Winkler has served on the panels of the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition, the Singapore National Violin Competition, the Montreal International Violin Competition, The Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition, the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition, the American String Teachers Association’s National Competition (ASTA), the Concert Artist Guild of New York, the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition, and the Midland-Odessa National Young Artists Competition.
The Philadelphia-born artist attended Indiana University where she received her Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, as well as the coveted Performer’s Certificate. She also attended the University of Michigan from where she received her Master of Music degree, summa cum laude. Formerly on the faculties of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ms. Winkler has served as a Visiting Distinguished Professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, and for many years was a visiting guest Professor at the Middle School Attached to the Central Conservatory in Beijing, China. She currently holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair of Violin at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. During the summer she is on the artist faculty of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, where she also holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin.
Christian Aldridge , NOLA Chamber Fest Program Manager
Violinist Christian Aldridge currently resides in New Orleans where he is a regular substitute with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he is a section member of the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Pensacola Symphony, the Acadiana Symphony, the Rapides Symphony, the Gulf Coast Symphony, and performs frequently as a freelancer in the greater New Orleans area. Christian also works actively as an arts administrator, helping local arts organizations effectively execute their mission. Most recently in the summer of 2018, Christian returned as a two time alumnus to the Round Top Festival Institute in Round Top, Texas, where he served as Orchestra Manager. During the six week festival he oversaw orchestral operations, personnel, and concert production, for over 50 orchestra concerts and recitals.
Originally from Fredericksburg, VA, Christian completed his undergraduate degree at the University of South Carolina with Dr. William Terwilliger, graduating Summa Cum Laude with Honors from the South Carolina Honors College. Subsequently, he earned a Master of Music in Performance degree from Louisiana State University, where he studied with Dr. Lin He and served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.
Jane Koelsch , Social Media
Jane Koelsch is a current fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). She is in the studio of Dr. Oskar Espina-Ruiz studying clarinet performance. Jane’s love for music began first through piano lessons, and progressed when she began studies on the clarinet at nine years old. Through her education at the School of the Arts she discovered her passion for community outreach and arts engagement. Jane currently serves as the Events Manager for Cross the Line, which is a student-led organization that provides free concerts to the community. Its purpose is to explore the boundaries of what the relationship between audience and performer can be. She also works for ArtistCorps at School of the Arts. This organization, through the Office of Community Engagement, places UNCSA students in local schools to provide arts education as a resource and creative outlet for preschool through high school classes. In addition to these organizations, Jane also enjoys teaching clarinet and piano lessons, as well as working in the aural skills classroom at UNCSA as a teaching assistant. Through these opportunities, Jane has fostered a love for giving to her community through both performing and teaching. She is planning on continuing her education both in clarinet performance as well as arts management so she can learn how to best serve those around her. She is excited to continue to advocate for community engagement in music through her new work with Lyrica Baroque and NOLA Chamber Fest.
Jennie Brent , Power of Language Program Director
Jennie Brent is a cellist and educator from New Haven, CT. She studied with Ole Akahoshi at Manhattan School of Music Pre-college, Peter Wiley at Bard College Conservatory, and Julia Lichten at Manhattan School of Music. Jennie is a passionate chamber musician and was a member of the Annellie String Trio for over a decade. She has performed in venues such as Steinway Hall, Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall and Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. She has attended a number of music festivals including Aspen Music Festival, Heifetz International Music Institute, Sejong International Music Festival, and the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar. Jennie is a dedicated, Suzuki-certified cello teacher and has been teaching privately for many years, as well as at the Harmony Program in New York City, Festival de Música in San Juán de Colón, Venezuela, the JosiahQuincy Youth Orchestra Program, and Bridge Boston Charter School. She is certified in a method of early-childhood music education, Music Learning Theory, which she has taught at Horizons for Homeless Children and Head Start. From 2017-2018, she served as Co-Artistic Director, Co-Education Coordinator, and cellist of Palaver Strings, a non-profit string ensemble based in Boston, MA. In addition to music, Jennie is a certified yoga instructor and loves to explore the ways that music and body awareness can overlap and serve one another.
Benjamin Atherholt , Music Coordinator and NOLA Chamber Fest Director
Noted for playing the bassoon “with such a smooth tone that it reached the ears like a gentle summer breeze” by Twin Cities Arts Reader, Benjamin Atherholt enjoys a versatile career as chamber musician, educator, and orchestral musician. Ben has played Assistant Principal Bassoon and Contrabassoon with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and Contrabassoon with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra since 2006 and 2015 respectively. He is the bassoonist and primary composer and arranger for Lyrica Baroque, and is the Instructor of Bassoon at Loyola and Tulane Universities. Ben plays a Mollenhauer contrabassoon and a Heckel bassoon and holds a B.M. in performance and composition from Oberlin Conservatory.
Gabrielle Fischler , Community Director
Violinist Gabrielle Fischler is a fourth year New Orleanian, having moved from Boston where she was a co-founding member of the conductorless string orchestra Palaver Strings. Palaver Strings is an ensemble committed to diversifying the accessibility of classical music and promoting social justice and human welfare through cross-collaboration of the arts and unconventional partnerships. She currently works as a teaching artist and freelancer in the greater New Orleans area, serving on faculty at the Ellis Marsalis Center and Make Music Nola. Other educational endeavors include maintenance of her private studio where she provides lessons and chamber music coachings. Gabrielle also serves as the Community Director of Lyrica Baroque where she helps facilitate arts integration projects built to enhance social-emotional learning, as well as projects such as NOLA Chamber Fest, a chamber music festival for young aspiring musicians and community members. In April of last year, Gabrielle helped to launch the New Orleans chapter of Groupmuse, an organization dedicated to fostering and building community through art and classical music house concerts. Gabrielle makes local appearances with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Orleans Opera, Lyrica Baroque, New Orleans Chamber Players, Musaica, Crescent Chamber Artists, the New Resonance Orchestra, the Saenger, Groupmuse, Jefferson Performing Arts Society, and other performances around the city and greater New Orleans area.
Omarius Credle , Social Media
Omarius Credle is a fourth year voice major at the University of North Carolina School of The Arts (UNCSA). Most recently, Omarius Credle was seen on the UNCSA Stevens Center Stage as Johann in Massenet’s “Werther” in the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute’s February production. Previous to that, in the Fall of 2018, Omarius had the honor of participating in the opera chorus for the Piedmont Opera’s production of “La Bohéme.” Highlights in Omarius’ performance history include the North Carolina premiere of “Silent Night” in the Fall of 2017 with Piedmont Opera under the musical direction of Jamie Allbritten. He has had the opportunity to be a chorus member in “Il cappello di paglia di Firenze” (2015), and “Florencia en el Amazonas” (2016). For the past two summers, Omarius has had the opportunity to travel to Colorado Springs and participate in the Opera Theatre of the Rockies Vocal Arts Festival where he has performed scenes from Mozart’s “Le Nozze Di Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking,” and Verdi’s “Rigoletto.” In the upcoming Summer, Omarius will be seen in “Nixon in China” as a part of The Princeton Musical Festival. Omarius has a particular love for Lieder and Chanson. Additionally, Omarius loves to perform new music and contemporary opera works.
Josh Sierre , Social Media
Originally from Puerto Rico, cellist Joshua Sierra-Delgado moved to Virginia at the age of 13 and began playing cello at his public school. During his senior year of high school, Joshua was hired to perform in the pit orchestra for Gloria, presented by Sea World Parks & Entertainment, Virginia. This opportunity sparked his passion to become a professional musician. Joshua is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in cello performance at Loyola University, studying with Philip Von Maltzahn. He also previously studied with Allen Nisbet. Joshua performs regularly in the greater New Orleans area including Loyola University concerts, musicals and local freelancing. Prior to attending Loyola, Joshua competed in multiple competitions earning 1st Place Soloist with the Peninsula Youth Orchestra, Liberty Orchestra, and Woodside Orchestra. Joshua has been a guest judge for several all-city/state competitions, and a guest educator for Summer Institute for the Arts as well as Liberty Academy for the Arts in Virginia.
Jaren Atherholt , Executive Director
The founder of Lyrica Baroque, Jaren Atherholt is currently the principal oboist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Oboe at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. A native of Alaska, Jaren has performed to stellar reviews as a featured concerto soloist and has been guest principal oboist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Detroit Symphony, as well as guest associate principal oboist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Jaren spent four summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and currently performs each summer with the Grand Teton Music Festival. She has served on the faculty of John Mack Oboe Camp, Interlochen Oboe Institute, the Wintergreen Music Academy, and the Vianden International Music School. Jaren plays Loree oboes. Contact Jaren at email@example.com.
Randy C. Gardner is Professor Emeritus from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he was Professor of Horn and Chair of the Winds, Brass, and Percussion Department. During his tenure, he was honored to receive the University of Cincinnati Award for Faculty Excellence and CCM’s Ernest N. Glover Outstanding Teacher Award. Recently retired from CCM, Gardner is an adjunct Artist-In-Residence at Temple University. A successful and dedicated teacher, his students occupy performing and teaching positions throughout the US and abroad.
Prior to joining the CCM faculty, Gardner was Second Hornist of The Philadelphia Orchestra for 22 years, under the music directorships of Wolfgang Sawallisch, Riccardo Muti, and Eugene Ormandy.
Professor Gardner maintains an active schedule as an orchestral and chamber musician, soloist, and clinician. He performs regularly with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra, and he was a long-time member of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Gardner has also performed as a substitute/extra musician with the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Colorado, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh. Professor Gardner presents innovative and popular Modular Music Masterclasses, and is the author of the acclaimed International Opus publication Mastering the Horn’s Low Register and self-published Good Vibrations: Masterclasses for Brass Players.
An enthusiastic member of the International Horn Society, Gardner was elected to serve several terms on the IHS Advisory Council. In 2018, he was honored to receive the International Horn Society’s Punto Award for his contributions to the horn world.
For more information about Randy Gardner, visit randygardnerhorn.com.
Peter Stumpf is professor of cello at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Prior to his appointment, he was the principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 9 years following a 12 year tenure as Associate Principal Cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. At the age of 16, he began his professional career, winning a position in the cello section of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He received a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and an artist’s diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music.
A dedicated chamber music musician, he is a member of the Weiss-Kaplan-Stumpf Trio and has performed with the chamber music societies of Boston, Philadelphia and the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles, and is a participant at the Marlboro and Santa Fe chamber music festivals. As a member of the Johannes Quartet he collaborated with the Guarneri Quartet on a tour including commissions from composers William Bolcom and Esa Pekka Salonen.
Concerto appearances have included the Boston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and at the Aspen Festival among others. Solo recitals have been at Jordan Hall in Boston, on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society series, on the Chamber Music in Historic Sites series in Los Angeles and at the Philips and Corcoran Galleries in Washington D.C. His awards include first prize in the Washington International Competition.
He has served on the cello faculties at the New England Conservatory and the University of Southern California.
Dr. Charles Taylor is Professor of Music and Director of the School of the Arts. Dr. Taylor holds the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Music Education and Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He studied conducting with Rodney Winther and Terence Milligan and clarinet with Carmine Campione and Emil Schmactenberg. Prior to his appointment at the University of New Orleans, Dr. Taylor taught middle school and high school instrumental music in Ohio. Dr. Taylor also serves as the conductor of the New Orleans Concert Band and the New Orleans Civic Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Taylor has been a guest conductor throughout the United States and Canada and a guest clinician at the MidWest Clinic, the International Conference of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the Southern Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association, and the Louisiana Music Educators Association. Under his direction, the New Orleans Concert Band performed at the National Convention of the Association of Concert Bands in Houston, Texas and the University of New Orleans Wind Ensemble performed at the Louisiana Music Educators Association State Conference. As an advocate for new music, Dr. Taylor has premiered over 50 works in various media and has worked collaboratively with many composers and performers, including Michael Torke, Steven Bryant, John Mackey, James Syler, Lisa Kaplan, Brad Garner, Mark Babbitt, and Helen Kim. At UNO, Dr. Taylor teaches graduate and undergraduate theory and conducting; he additionally serves as the conductor of the New Orleans Civic Symphony Orchestra, the New Orleans Concert Band, and several new ensembles. He has presented sessions at the Mid-West Clinic, Southern Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association, and the Louisiana Music Education Association. Under his direction, the New Orleans Concert Band performed at the National Convention of the Association of Concert bands in Houston, Texas. He has served as guest conductor for ensembles in Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan, and New York. During the 2010-11 year, Dr. Taylor also served as Visiting Associate Professor at Louisiana State University, where he conducted the Wind Ensemble.
Cathy Richardson, violinist, violist, and Baroque violinist, is an experienced performer and teacher, holding degrees in Music Education and Music Performance from the University of North Texas. Currently serving her twenty first year as Instructor of Violin and Viola and String Methods at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, she also serves as Instructor of Upper Strings and Music Appreciation at Mountain View College and Cedar Valley College in the Dallas Community College District, Instructor of Violin and Viola at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and Instructor of Violin and Viola at Grayson College. Ms. Richardson’s chamber music experience includes performances with the Galliard String Quartet, the Grand Avenue Trio, the New Millenium Quartet, and the Knoxville Symphony String Quartet. A past member of the Dallas Opera Orchestra, the Fort Worth Opera Orchestra and the Knoxville Symphony, Ms. Richardson has also served as Concertmaster of the Sherman Symphony Orchestra and the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra in Texas and the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra in Tennessee. A frequent adjudicator in the North Texas area, Ms. Richardson most recently served on the panels for the Plano Symphony Young Artist Competition and the New Texas Symphony Orchestra Fourth Annual Concerto and Aria Competition.
LEONE BUYSE is the Mullen Professor of Flute at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Previously a principal flutist of the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops and member of the San Francisco Symphony and the Rochester Philharmonic, she has appeared as soloist with those orchestras and also with the Utah Symphony, the Xalapa Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of Mexico City and l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. She has performed with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players throughout Europe and Japan, with the Tokyo, Juilliard, Brentano, and Muir String Quartets, and in recital with Jessye Norman and Yo-Yo Ma. A renowned educator, she has taught at the New England Conservatory, Boston University, the University of Michigan, and the Aspen, Sarasota, and Norfolk music festivals, and has presented recitals and master classes across the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Her solo and chamber music recordings are available on the Crystal, Boston Records, Albany, Camerata Tokyo, Centaur, CRI, Danacord, Elektra/Nonesuch, Nami, New World, and Ravello labels. In 2010 Ms. Buyse received the National Flute Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the flute community worldwide. Her former students hold positions at major universities and in many major orchestras, including the symphony orchestras of Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Kansas City, Adelaide, and Singapore; the Cleveland Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the Auckland Philharmonia. Ms. Buyse maintains a web presence at www.leonebuyse.com.
Jack Peña, bassoon, is currently the Principal Bassoon of the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Jack began his playing the bassoon at age fourteen. Since then, he has appeared as guest Associate Principal with the Toronto Symphony and performed with the Milwaukee Symphony and Los Angeles Opera. In 2013, The New York Times hailed him for his “deft solo work” in performances at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra Seminar.
Also an active soloist, Mr. Peña most recently appeared with the Louisiana Philharmonic in 2017 playing a showpiece that required him to wear a bear costume. Other solo performances include Villa-Lobos’ Ciranda das Sete Notas with the 2016 Spoleto Festival Orchestra and multiple appearances with the Colburn Orchestra from 2013-2015.
His summers have been spent as a member of the Colorado Music Festival, Lakes Area Music Festival, Sunflower Music festival and as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, Spoleto Festival USA, and Aspen Music Festival and School.
Jack received his undergraduate degree in 2015 from the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles where he studied with Richard Beene and spent a year at Rice University’s Shepherd School where he studied with Benjamin Kamins.
Jeanne Jaubert moved to New Orleans in 1998 to join the Louisiana Philharmonic, and she is an active solo and chamber music performer. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Rice University and both Masters and Doctoral degrees from Rutgers University, where she studied with the renowned soloist Zara Nelsova. Jeanne is a sought after teacher and has maintained a thriving private studio everywhere she has lived. Her other lifelong passion has been dance and she was (she is mostly retired now) lucky to pursue that seriously for many years alongside her musical work. She garnered many accolades in this area including the Louisiana Division of the Arts Artist Fellowship in choreography.
Robert Lyall is widely known as a conductor of opera, symphony, ballet, and musical theater and as a creative Artistic Director and producer. Named General and Artistic Director of New Orleans Opera in 1998, he has also served as General Director and as Artistic Director of Opera Grand Rapids in Michigan from 1989 to 2015. Mr. Lyall has been frequently recognized for artistic excellence in these and other positions he has held: Music Director of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, General Director of the Knoxville Opera, and Artistic Director of the Mississippi Opera. In addition, Mr. Lyall served as one of the International Guest Conductors of the Istanbul State Opera in Turkey from 1998-2001.
During 2007 Mr. Lyall gained special recognition following the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the City of New Orleans. Placido Domingo accepted his invitation to join the NIGHT FOR NEW ORLEANS GALA in March 2006 to help re-launch the city’s arts seasons. Numerous opera celebrities, such as Denyce Graves, Frederica von Stade, Richard Leech, Paul Groves, Elizabeth Futral, and many others, joined Domingo in this grand affair held in the New Orleans Arena. The Night for New Orleans Gala became the single largest operatic event in the history of New Orleans, the city that boasts the longest operatic heritage on the North American continent (since 1796). As a result of this success, Mr. Lyall was recognized with a Creative Achievement Award by New Orleans’ Big Easy Awards and Mr. Lyall along with the New Orleans Opera board and staff received a Special Achievement Award at Opera America’s 2007 national conference. In May 2007, Mr. Lyall was also elected to the Knoxville Opera Hall of Fame for the role that he played in the development of that organization.
Mr. Lyall made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1998 with the New England Symphonia and European guest appearances include performances of Giselle for Italy’s Arena of Verona, the Bulgarian State Opera’s tour of the Netherlands (Verdi’s Nabucco), and his 2002 Russian debut at the Rostov State Musical Theatre with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Mr. Lyall’s production of Madama Butterfly was nominated for Russia’s leading arts award, “The Golden Mask,” for which he also conducted performances in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 2003. Mr. Lyall returned to the Rostov State Musical Theatre in June 2006 to conduct Madama Butterfly for their 75th Anniversary Festival. Mr. Lyall has transcribed the English-language score of Thomas Pasatieri’s opera The Seagull into the original Russian of Chekov’s celebrated play for the opera’s planned Russian premiere. Recent guest performances include Faust for the Cleveland Opera and New York’s Chautauqua Festival, The Three Maestros Gala concert with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, productions of Menotti’s The Medium, Gluck’s L’ile de Merlin, and Stepleton’s The Awakening for Music at Madewood (2007, 2008, and 2010), Don Giovanni for Opera Carolina (2008), and Verdi’s Ballo in Maschera, Donizetti’s Rita, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann for Martina Arroyo’s operatic institute, Prelude to Performance, in New York City.
Performance highlights for Mr. Lyall include a production of Mozart’s Abduction From the Seraglio at Istanbul’s Topkopei Palace in honor of the 700th Anniversary of the founding of the Ottoman Empire; the world premiere (Knoxville Opera) of Kenton Coe’s opera Rachel; the world premiere of Thea Musgrave’s opera, Pontalba, commissioned for the 2003 bicentennial celebration of the Louisiana Purchase; a production of the American classic, Susannah, by Carlisle Floyd, whose telecast regionally was underwritten by the Alcoa Foundation; the Russian “Golden Mask” awards; the Arena of Verona (Italy) production of Adam’s Giselle; the mounting of Wagner’s Ring Cycle with New Orleans Opera (Gotterdammerung was postponed due to Katrina); and “Big Easy” Classical Arts Awards for New Orleans Opera productions of Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (2001), Wagner’s Die Walkure (2002), Puccini’s Turandot (2003), Mozart’s Don Giovanni (2004), Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann (2005), Wagner’s Siegfried (2006), Puccini’s Il Trittico (2007), Verdi’s Rigoletto (2008), and two of the city’s awards in 2009 for productions of Puccini’s Tosca and the Placido Domingo Gala that opened the renovated Theatre for the Performing Arts. Additional “Big Easy” awards include The Magic Flute (2010), Il Trovatore (2011), Salome (2012) Madama Butterfly (2013), and Rusalka (2014). Mr. Lyall has enjoyed particular success with “grand” arena productions of Verdi’s Aida and Bizet’s Carmen in both Michigan and Tennessee.
Other notable engagements include the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Seattle Opera, Chautauqua Opera Festival, and Akron Opera. Symphonic engagements also include the Las Palmas Symphony, Guadalajara Symphony, Guanajuato Symphony, The New World Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Prince George Philharmonic, the Ashville Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Pueblo (CO) Philharmonic, Southeast Kansas Philharmonic, and Victoria Symphony. Mr. Lyall has led ballet productions for the Dallas Ballet, Fort Worth Ballet, San Antonio Ballet, Corpus Christi Ballet, Chattanooga Ballet, and the Oak Ridge Ballet.
Mr. Lyall was a winner of the American Symphony League’s National Conducting Auditions and was a Conducting Fellow with that organization during which time he studied with Richard Lert (Orkney Springs/Shenandoah Valley Festival). He later studied in Amsterdam with Kyril Kondrashin, conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic. He was also the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (“Performance Practices in the Music of Beethoven”) and was recognized by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for his work in composition. Mr. Lyall studied at the University of North Texas where he earned a Ph.D. in Musicology and a Master of Music degree in Composition. He has served on the music faculty of the University of Houston-Victoria and as a guest lecturer at the Instituto Allende in Mexico. He is widely known as a judge for national and international instrumental and vocal competitions and as a lecturer on opera. Mr. Lyall for many years led lecture tours for the International Council for Cultural Exchange to the world’s major opera houses and summer festivals of Europe.
CURRENT AND FORMER POSITIONS
New Orleans Opera Association, General and Artistic Director, (1998 to present) Opera Grand Rapids, Artistic Director, (1989-2015) Knoxville Opera Company, General and Artistic Director, (1982-999) Istanbul State Opera, Guest Conductor, (1998-2001) Mississippi Opera, Artistic Director, (1996-1999) Victoria Symphony Orchestra (TX), Music Director, (1974-1990) Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra (TN), Music Director, (1979-1990) HONORS Artistic Merit Award of the Knoxville Arts Council for the world premiere of Rachel (1989) Individual Artistic Merit Award—Knoxville Arts Council (1986) American Symphony Orchestra League National Conducting Auditions winner (1978) ASOL Conducting Fellow Shenandoah Valley Festival– study with Richard Lert (1978) Woodrow Wilson Fellowship honorable mention (1968) Pi Kappa Lambda (National Music honor Society)—elected 1973 Leadership Knoxville (1991)
EDUCATION, TEACHING AND RELATED ACTIVITIES
Ph.D. in Musicology—University of North Texas (1975) Master of Music in Composition–University of North Texas (1973) Bachelor of Music in Performance (Oboe)—Mississippi College Study in Amsterdam with Kyril Kondrashin, Conductor, Moscow Philharmonic (1978) National Endowment for the Humanities study grant–“Performance Practice in the Music of Beethoven” (1980) Music Faculty, University of Houston Victoria (1975-1979) Guest Lecturer, Instituto Allende–San Miguel, Mexico (1979) Consultant to the first International Opera Workshop (now the Opava Opera Festival), Czech Republic (1994)
Frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions (nationwide), vocal and instrumental competitions (such as the Turkish National Vocal Competition, Corpus Christi International Concerto Competition, Southern Regional Opera Competition), and for fifteen years lecturer for International Council for Cultural Exchange tours to major opera festivals in Italy, Paris, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Budapest, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, Savonlinna and St. Petersburg, Russia
New Orleans trombonist Matthew Wright is a performer, composer, and pedagogue. Matthew has played all over the world in orchestras, big bands, and chamber ensembles. He has recorded with Bela Fleck and was in the first horn section to play with the band Cake. He was a soloist with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, but he was dressed as Santa Claus at the time. He has played in orchestras backing James Moody, Andy Williams, Yo Yo Ma, Randy Newman, and Placido Domingo. As a composer, Matthew has written and arranged many pieces for his own solo recitals as well as for his group, Versipel New Music. Currently, he holds positions with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and teaches at Loyola University, the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and the University of New Orleans. His primary teachers include Jeannie Little, Matthew Vaughn, Per Brevig, Steve Norrell, and Scott Hartman.
Amelia Clingman graduated from UMass Amherst with a BM in violin performance, and in 2008 she completed her Master’s degree in viola performance at the New England Conservatory. She has attended the Killington, Musicorda, Heifetz, and Kneisel Hall music festivals, and served as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center from 2007-2009. During her time in Boston, she performed with various groups including the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and as a substitute with the New World Symphony. In 2014, she was named a Quarterfinalist in the 14th Primrose International Viola Competition. During the summer, Amelia is Principal Viola at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon.
As an avid chamber musician, Amelia became a founding member of the New Orleans-based Polymnia Quartet in 2015. She is also a new music enthusiast, and has taken part in many world premiere performances. In other genres, she has played with pop and rock artists, including Kanye West and Peter Gabriel. Amelia teaches violin and viola lessons privately but has also served as a teaching assistant in a range of environments, from Holyoke, MA public school system to the School for Strings Chamber Music Workshop in New York City. In recent years, she has worked in various school music programs in New Orleans, through a grant from the Jazz and Heritage Foundation.
Amelia joined the Louisiana Philharmonic orchestra in 2008 and lives in New Orleans. Teachers include Marylou Speaker Churchill, James Buswell, Ed Gazouleas, Carol Rodland, and Kathryn Lockwood.
Stephen Orejudos has been a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic since 2012. Previous to joining the LPO, Mr. Orejudos had been Principal Trumpet of the Southwest Michigan Symphony and 2nd /Acting Principal Trumpet of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra. Mr. Orejudos has performed as guest trumpet with the Northwest Indiana Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Green Bay Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Wichita Symphony and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras, and currently serves as Principal Trumpet with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist with the Southwest Michigan Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Michigan City Music Festival, New Philharmonic and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestras.
Mr. Orejudos is an active teacher and avid proponent of music education in the public schools. He has over 17 years of experience as a private instructor, brass sectional coach and master class clinician, and has been an instructor with the Merit School of Music in Chicago, IL and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. Previous to moving to New Orleans, Mr. Orejudos served as Adjunct Professor of Trumpet at Indiana University South Bend. Mr. Orejudos is currently the trumpet and brass ensemble instructor at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and is on adjunct faculty for Tulane University and the University of New Orleans. He is also involved in the community and educational projects that partner with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, helping to bring music education to the under served neighborhoods of New Orleans. Recently, he has represented the LPO at Carnegie Hall for the “Play USA” initiative, which seeks to partner orchestras nationwide for the purpose of improving student access to music education.
Mr. Orejudos holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Trumpet Performance from the Eastman School of Music, and a Master of Music Degree in Trumpet Performance from Wichita State University. His teachers have included Judith Saxton, Kevin Hartman, Mathew Lee, Larry Knopp, Charles Geyer and Barbara Butler.