Soloist Biographies

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  • 2014-2015 Soloists


     

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    Maureen Conlon-Gutierrez

    Violin

    Born and raised in the heart of Mexico, Maureen has embraced many styles and genres from classical and tango to rock and light jazz. She is a member of the tango ensemble in Pittsburgh, PA, AquiTango, and violinist for the cross-genre ensemble Forest of the Americas in Mexico. Her improvisational skills have led to recordings with Vineyard Music on their Spanish CD and with the acclaimed Latin rock band ROJO. As a solo concert violinist, Conlon has performed to much acclaim on many stages throughout Latin America, Europe, and the U.S. Many of her performances have been aired live on radio and television including a special for the Telemundo channel in 2003. She has appeared as soloist with various orchestras and chamber ensembles through Mexico and the U.S. including the renowned Orquesta del Estado de Mexico (OSEM) and the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad de Guanajuato. Due to her passion for chamber music she co-founded the Trio Nova Mundi in 2001 with whom she has performed throughout various concert venues in Latin American, Africa, and the U.S. including appearances as soloists with the Atlanta Virtuosi orchestra in Atlanta, GA. While at Rice University they were awarded the Ralph A. Anderson music scholarship award. Maureen has garnered many first prizes and placed at many competitions nationally and internationally including a first place at the National Violin Competition “Hermilo Novelo” in Mexico and the “Hermilo Novelo” award at the International Henryk Szeryng Violin Competition. While studying at Penn State University she also won the Concerto Competition as well as first place at the Graduate Exhibition in 2005 and 2006. In 2005 she was a semi-finalist at the prestigious Sphinx Competition. Conlon was also a recipient of the CONACULTA scholarship for the performing arts from 2006-2007 allowing her to pursue further studies in the U.S. As an avid orchestral musician she is member of the Erie Philharmonic and Wheeling Symphony and has been a member of the Sphinx Symphony, Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, Penns Woods Orchestra and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. She has also played with the Civic Orchestra in Chicago, Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, National Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony among others. Her keen interest and devotion to music and especially the violin began at a very early age but it was several years later that she would begin lessons with Pedro Gasca and later with Gilberto Nunez in her hometown of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico. She earned her Bachelors in Music Performance at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, TX with Kenneth Goldsmith and her Masters in Violin Performance as a graduate assistant to Jim Lyon at the Penn State University where she was concertmaster of the Penn State Orchetras and Baroque Ensemble in addition to playing first violin of the graduate string quartet. She recently completed a Performance Residency at Carnegie-Mellon University studying with the former Pittsburgh Symphony concertmaster, Andres Cardenes. Among her many mentors and coaches are David Mallory, Max Zorin, Violaine Melancon, Norman Fischer, Paul Katz, Paul Ellison, James Dunham, Steve Ansell, Daniel and Todd Phillips from the Orion Quartet, Ida Kavafian, Rachel Barton-Pine, and members of the Ying, Lark, Emerson, and Tokyo Quartets. Ms. Conlon is Adjunct Professor of Violin/Viola at Grove City College since 2012. Maureen continues to actively perform as soloist and with Trio Nova Mundi. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with husband, Michael Dorosh and loves dancing, watching movies, and eating great food when she isn’t making music.


     

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    Roberto Diaz

    Viola

    A violist of international reputation, Roberto Díaz is president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, following in the footsteps of renowned soloist/directors such as Josef Hofmann, Efrem Zimbalist, and Rudolf Serkin. As a teacher of viola at Curtis and former principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Díaz has already had a significant impact on American musical life and continues to do so in his dual roles as performer and educator. As a soloist, Mr. Díaz collaborates with leading conductors of our time on stages throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He has also worked directly with important 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki, whose viola concerto he has performed numerous times with the composer on the podium and whose double concerto he will premiere in the United States during the 13-14 season; and Edison Denisov, who invited Mr. Díaz to Moscow to work on and perform his viola concerto. Ricardo Lorenz and Roberto Sierra have written concerti for Mr. Díaz, and he will premiere a concerto by Jennifer Higdon in 2015. As a frequent recitalist, Mr. Díaz enjoys collaborating with young pianists, bringing a fresh approach to the repertoire and providing invaluable opportunities to artists at the beginning of their careers. In addition to performing with major string quartets and pianists in chamber music series and festivals worldwide, Mr. Díaz has toured Europe, Asia, and the Americas a member of the Díaz Trio with violinist Andrés Cárdenes and cellist Andrés Díaz. The Díaz Trio has recorded for the Artek and Dorian labels. Mr. Díaz’s recordings on the Naxos label with pianist Robert Koenig include the complete works for viola and piano by Henri Vieuxtemps and a Grammy-nominated disc of viola transcriptions by William Primrose. Also on Naxos are Brahms sonatas with Jeremy Denk and Jonathan Leshnoff’s Double Concerto with violinist Charles Wetherbee and the Iris Chamber Orchestra led by Michael Stern. On the New World Records label is a live recording of Mr. Díaz’s performance of Jacob Druckman's Viola Concerto with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Upcoming releases include the Walton Viola Concerto with the New Haven Symphony and William Boughton (Nimbus) and the Viola Concerto by Peter Lieberson with the Odense Symphony Orchestraand Scott Yoo(Bridge Records). Since founding Curtis On Tour six seasons ago, Mr. Díaz has taken the hugely successful program to North and South America, Europe, and Asia, performing chamber music side-by-side with Curtis students and other faculty and alumni of the school. In addition to Curtis On Tour, his tenure as president of Curtis has seen the construction of a significant new building which doubled the size of the school’s campus, the introduction of a classical guitar department, the launch of Curtis Summerfest which is open to the public, and the debut of an online stage called Curtis Performs. In the fall of 2013 Curtis will become the first classical music conservatory to offer free online classes through Coursera. Also under Mr. Díaz’s leadership, the school has developed lasting collaborations with other music and arts institutions in Philadelphia and throughout the world and has established the Community Artists Program (CAP) to develop the entrepreneurial and advocacy skills of young musicians. Mr. Díaz received an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin College and was awarded an honorary membership by the national board of the American Viola Society. In the fall of 2013 Mr. Díaz will become a member of the prestigious American Philosophical Society founded by Benjamin Franklin. As a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he was selected by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach to receive the C. Hartman Kuhn Award, given annually to "the member of the Philadelphia Orchestra who has shown ability and enterprise of such character as to enhance the standards and the reputation of the Philadelphia Orchestra." Mr. Díaz received a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Burton Fine, and a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teacher was his predecessor at the Philadelphia Orchestra, Joseph de Pasquale. Mr. Díaz also has a degree in industrial design. In addition to his decade-long tenure as principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he performed the entire standard viola concerto repertoire with the orchestra and gave a number of Philadelphia Orchestra premieres, Mr. Díaz was also principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. Mr. Díaz plays the ex-Primrose Amati viola.


     

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    She-e Wu

    Marimba

    She-e Wu has appeared at the 25th, 27th and 30th Percussive Arts Society International Convention; Journées de la Percussion, NancyPhony Festival, perKumania festival, and PercuPassion Festival in France; Bach Symposium/Bach Variation Festival in Lincoln Center; Taiwan Connection concert at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center; Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall and Symphony Center; Chicago Chamber Musicians; Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Music Series at Kimmel Center; International Percussion Festival and InterAmerican Music and Arts Festival Orchestra in Puerto Rico; Festival Internacional de Percusion "Ritmo Vital 2001" and National Percussion Convention in Spain; Fukui Marimba Seminar in Japan; Giornate della Percussione in Italy; Taipei International Percussion Convention, and many other festivals. Ms. Wu has performed as guest recitalist and clinician at universities, colleges, conservatories in France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, England, Germany, Spain as well as American music institutions and numerous PAS Days of Percussion throughout the United States. In addition to touring and performing, Ms. Wu has composed works for marimba and percussion, commissioned new works for marimba, released recordings, participated at numerous summer workshops and seminars, designed mallets and instruments, and also served as a judge for Paris International Marimba Competition, PAS International College Percussion Ensemble Competition, Atlanta Snare Drum Competition, PAS Large Percussion Ensemble Composition Contest, and PAS Marimba Competition. Ms. Wu is associate professor of music and the director of percussion program at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music. She had been on faculty at Manhattan School of Music, Rutgers University and West Virginia University. Ms. Wu is a endorser of Dynasty (percussion instruments), Zildjian, Innovative Percussion and Evans.


     

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    David Graham

    Flute

    David M. Graham has been hailed as a “most award winning flute soloist” by the Voice of Carolina Journal and is nationally recognized as a flutist and teacher. Dr. Graham has performed solo recitals, chamber music, composition premiers, and concertos across the United States. Among other ensembles, David Graham has performed with the Pittsburgh Opera Theatre Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony, Tallahassee Ballet, the Alia Musica Contemporary Ensemble and is currently Principal flutist of the Erie Chamber Orchestra. At home on the concert stage, David Graham has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in various performances associated with national competitions and awards. Mr. Graham was the 2006 North Carolina School of the Arts Concerto Competition winner, a semi-finalist in the National Frank Bowen Young Artist competition, a finalist in the Silbermann Chamber Music Competition at Carnegie Mellon University, the first prizewinner of the Atlanta Flute Club Young Artist Competition in 2011 and was a participant in the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition in Las Vegas, NV. Active as an instructor at both the high school and collegiate levels, David has taught masterclasses and clinics in both Pennsylvania and Florida at Florida State University, The Florida Flute Association Convention, and as a guest artist at Slippery Rock University. His articles on flute pedagogy have been published by the Pittsburgh Flute Club, the Washington D.C. Flute Society, and the Flute Association at Florida State. As an avid proponent of new compositions and chamber music, Mr. Graham has performed in concert venues across the country including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Project, Flute and Strings Chamber Music tour to the Clarke Theatre in Lincoln Center, the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble and is a founding member of the Arioso Trio based in Pittsburgh, PA. Recent performances include the Friday Musicale Recital Hall in Jacksonville, FL, the 2012 Florida Flute Association Festival, and the 2012 and 2013 National Flute Association Conventions. As a native from Butler, Pennsylvania, David Graham received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Dr. Tadeu Coelho. Graduate studies took Mr. Graham to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA completing a Master of Music degree with world-renowned teachers Alberto Almarza, Jennifer Conner and former Principal Flutist of the New York Philharmonic, Jeanne Baxtresser. Currently, Mr. Graham is pursuing his Doctorate of Music at the Florida State University College of Music as a graduate teaching assistant studying with Eva Amsler. Former teachers include Stacey Steele, Dr. Tadeu Coelho, Alberto Almarza, Jeanne Baxtresser and Jennifer Conner. David Graham is a member of the National Flute Association, the Atlanta Flute Club, the Florida Flute Association, and the Flute Association at Florida State. David plays on a 14K gold Brannen-Cooper flute.


     

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    Beth Etter

    Harpsichord

    Dr. Elizabeth Etter holds a Master of Music as a double major in Collaborative Piano and Harpsichord performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Harpsichord performance also from C.I.M., where she studied with Anne Epperson and Doris Ornstein. She graduated from Allegheny College with a B.A., where she subsequently served as an Instructor in Music while maintaining a thriving independent studio from which many students were launched with illustrious careers. She founded the Summer Music Festival and Music Outreach Program at Allegheny College and served as Executive and Artistic Director of the international festival for young chamber musicians through 2006. She has performed on many stages throughout the United States including the Chautauqua Institution, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Carnegie Music Hall. She has mentored and taught hundreds of young performers, and has served as a juror for national and international competitions, presented arts-in-education workshops for preschool through college audiences, and moderated as a panelist for national music conferences. Her performances and interviews have been aired on WQED, WCLV, and WQLN. Specializing in early keyboard performance and chamber music, her passion lies in the collaboration and communication involved in playing chamber music. Her performances include the Erie Philharmonic, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Chautauqua Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Baroque Ensemble, Cleveland Camerata, Erie Chamber Orchestra, and the Holter Chamber Music Festival in Italy during summers of 2012 and 2013.


     

    Shannon Dooley

     

    Shannon Kessler Dooley

    Soprano

    Known for her lyricism and expressiveness, Shannon Kessler Dooley’s most recent operatic credits include; Biancofiore cover (Francsca da Rimini), Alice cover (Le ComteOry) with The Metropolitan Opera, Narcissa (Philemon and Baucis) with the SpoletoFestival USA, Sister Constance (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Almirena (Rinaldo),Nannetta (Falstaff), Frasquita (Carmen), Lucia (Rape of Lucretia), Susanna (Le nozze diFigaro, youth performance ) with Pittsburgh Opera, Marzeline (Fidelio), Zerlina (DonGiovanni), and Clorinda (La Cenerentola) with Utah Opera, Micaëla, (Carmen) with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. Concert credits include soprano solos in the Messiah and Peer Gynt with Utah Symphony, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem as a guest artist with Eire Philharmonic. Ms. Dooley has participated in resident artist programs such as Pittsburgh Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera and Ash Lawn Opera Festival.


     

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    Dr. Martha Summa-Chadwick

    Piano

    Dr. Martha Summa-Chadwick has achieved a wide reputation as a performer of chamber and solo works for piano. She holds degrees from the Hartt School of Music, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and the University of Kansas. Her teachers include Luiz de Moura Castro, Yakov Kasman, and Jack Winerock. Dr. Summa-Chadwick has performed in roles of both piano and harpsichord soloist with orchestras in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Alabama, and has also specialized in performing 20th century chamber and solo works. She is currently on the faculty of the Cadek Conservatory in Chattanooga. Her varied career talents include not only that of concert pianist but also teacher and information technologist. She is a frequent speaker at regional and national conferences including conferences for the World Piano Pedagogy, Music Teacher’s National Association, American Music Therapy Association, Southeast Autism Center, and Computing Sciences in Colleges. She has completed Fellowship level training at Colorado State University for Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) and is the only NMT Fellow certified in the state of Tennessee. Dr. Summa-Chadwick has combined her passion of music and technology in her role as Executive Director of the non-profit organization Music Therapy Gateway In Communications. (MTGIC) For the last three years MTGIC has been engaged in the creation of web-based software by partnering with the UTC Department of Computer Science in the automation of specific NMT cognition techniques. By combining the effectiveness of NMT along with computer technology, it is hoped that families of children with special needs who would not normally have access to NMT will be effectively served.


     

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    Bonita Boyd

    Flute

    Born in Pittsburgh, Bonita Boyd grew up in Long Beach, California. Her teachers included Maurice Sharp of the Cleveland Orchestra; Roger Stevens; and Joseph Mariano, principal flute of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and legendary pedagogue at the Eastman School. Boyd succeeded him in both posts – becoming the youngest woman to hold major academic and orchestral appointments, as noted by Glamour magazine in its “Outstanding Career Women” feature. In 1983, Boyd made her critically acclaimed Los Angeles debut, and also made her first solo tours of Europe and the Far East. Following tours of Latin America, she performed with orchestras and as recitalist throughout the world, including the National Gallery Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), National Symphony of the Dominican Republic, California Chamber Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Denver Chamber Orchestra, Pusan Symphony (Korea), Western Australia Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Polish Radio Orchestra, Vilnius Chamber Orchestra, as well as numerous performances on National Public Radio, PBS television specials, and radio recordings in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Oslo, Amsterdam, The Hague, Brussels, Poland, and Lithuania. Boyd has premiered numerous works, including Samuel Adler’s Concerto (1977); Warren Benson’s Five Lyrics of Louise Bogan (1978) and Concertino for Flute, Strings, and Percussion; Solo Sonata by Miklos Rozsa; and Eclipse Musings, Augusta Read Thomas (1998). Her 1980 Alice Tully/Lincoln Center concert was highly praised, especially for her astonishing technical tour de force—Paganini violin Caprices transcribed for solo flute—later captured on her popular recording. Bonnie’s recording, Flute Music of Les Six, was honored by Stereo Review in its 1983 Record of the Year awards, and cited by High Fidelity magazine in its “Critics Choice” column. She has also recorded on Spectrum, Vox, Stolat, Gasparo, Philips, Albany, Pantheon, and Fleur de Son. Her most recent recordings include Bernstein’s Halil and a new release of the Paganini Caprices. She tours regularly with guitarist Nicholas Goluses; the pair has recorded and released a CD, Chronicles of Discovery. Boyd served as principal flute with the Rochester Philharmonic (1971-1984), Chautauqua Symphony (1971-1977), and Filarmonica de las Americas, Mexico City (1977). She was a faculty member of the Johannesen International School of the Arts (1987-1996). An Eastman faculty member since 1977, Bonita Boyd is also currently a member of the artist faculty of the Aspen Music (1996-) and the Aria International (1997-) festivals, and is co-principal flutist of the Aspen Festival Orchestra.


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