Artists Featured in Our 2016 Season
The Stone Arch Brass
Artists from Previous BCMFs
Ray Shows, a founding member of the Artaria, is a complete musician with regular performances as a chamber musician and solo recitalist. He made his solo debut with orchestra in his native Atlanta, and has performed in major concert halls across the U.S. and in Europe. Winner of a prestigious McKnight Performing Artist Fellowship, Ray has concertized with renowned artists Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri Quartet), Eugene Drucker (Emerson Quartet), Paul Katz (Cleveland Quartet), and Raphael Hillyer (Juilliard Quartet). A Teaching-Artist in Residence at the Tanglewood Institute, Ray has held positions at Boston College, Viterbo University, Florida State University and Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, and was named MNSOTA Music Studio teacher of the year in 2010.
Nancy Oliveros is the founding second violinist of the celebrated Artaria String Quartet, with whom she concertizes, records, and teaches the art of chamber music. As a member of Artaria, Oliveros has performed to critical acclaim at many renowned halls and concert series in the United States and abroad. She has had the privilege of collaborating with such eminent quartet players as Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri), Raphael Hillyer (Juilliard), and Paul Katz (Cleveland), and was mentored by the beloved Eugene Lehner of the Kolisch Quartet, Walter Levine of the La Salle, and Alexander Schneider of the Budapest Quartet. She records for Centaur records with the Artaria String Quartet and with her long time piano collaborator, Mary Ellen Haupert.
A native of Minnesota, Violist Annalee Wolf received her undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College. After completing her Master of Music degree at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she earned a Premier Prix in viola performance from the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and subsequently studied chamber music and the humanities at the European Mozart Academy. She has performed with the North Carolina, Greensboro, Charleston, and Savannah Symphonies, as well as the European Philharmonic Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Annalee has participated in numerous national and international festivals, including the Quartet Program, the Winter Institute for String Quartets, the Kneisel Hall, Hampden-Sydney, Brandeis, Domaine Forget (Quebec) festivals, and the Cours International de Musique in Morges, Switzerland.
Artaria String Quartet cellist, Laura Sewell, is a seasoned chamber musician who has been mentored by and performed with some of the most distinguished artists of our time. She received her bachelor's degree from the Juilliard School where she was a student of Leonard Rose, and her master's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Alan Harris. She has done additional cello study with Ronald Leonard, Laszlo Varga and Gabor Rejto, and has performed in master classes with Janos Starker and Bernard Greenhouse. Laura also had the unique opportunity, at the age of 17, to spend half a year in London studying with Jacqueline duPre.
Scott Anderson was for two decades the Principal Clarinetist of the Honolulu Symphony, a position he held previously with the Grand Rapids and Oakland symphonies. While a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra he was also an active recording studio musician. Over the years he has performed with the Chicago, Minnesota and San Francisco Symphonies, the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as Principal Clarinet at many summer festivals, including the Carmel Bach Festival and Colorado Music Festival, and has appeared as concerto soloist with several orchestras. He has recorded solo and chamber music on the Albany, CRI and Well-Tempered labels.
Praised in Gramophone for his "abundant energy, powerful fingers, big sound and natural musicality," pianist Christopher Atzinger has performed throughout Europe and the United States, highlighted by concerts at Carnegie Hall (Weill), Salle Cortot, St. Martins-in-the-Fields, the American Academy in Rome, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. He has also performed at the Banff International Keyboard Festival, Brevard Music Festival, Bridge Chamber Music Festival, and the Chautauqua Institution, lectured at the Juilliard School and Berklee College of Music, and has given masterclasses across the country.
Chris Bates is a bassist of formidable talent. Having worked professionally for 25 years across all spectrums of the musical landscape he continues to be a driving force in the Minnesota music scene. Bolstered by a classical foundation from MN Orchestra bassist James Clute, Chris gained traction as an improvisor at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where he played in the award winning Jazz Ensemble I. Chris then studied with world renowned bassist Anthony Cox who encouraged him to begin writing and performing his original music in the group Motion Poets. 3 albums, with which Chris was awarded with a McKnight Composers' Fellowship for his writing in this award winning ensemble.
Laura Caviani is a veteran of two decades of performing, recording and composing. With five CDs under her own name, and many more as a "side–man", she has recorded with some of the best jazz musicians in the region. In 2010, Caviani was one of five finalists at the International Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, FL. Her 2006 release Going There enjoyed a long run on the JazzWeek national radio charts and was hailed as "piano jazz trio of the highest order" by Downbeat contributor Bob Protzman. Other releases have received such praise as "stunningly fresh" from JazzTimes and "in a word, outstanding" from Tom Surowicz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. As a dedicated educator, she is on faculty at Carleton College, where she directs the jazz ensemble, coaches chamber groups, and teaches jazz piano. Please visit www.lauracaviani.com
Claudia Chen enjoys an active career as performer and teacher. Making her solo debut with the Denver Symphony Orchestra at age 14, Ms. Chen has continued to perform as soloist and chamber musician throughout United States, Canada, Eastern Europe and Chile. Equally at home in contemporary works as in standard repertoire, Claudia has given numerous premieres of solo and chamber works by several American and Canadian composers. She has been a guest on the Chamber Music Series of The Grand Teton Music Festival, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Minnesota Orchestra’s series at MacPhail and at Sommerfest.
A native of Taiwan, violinist Taichi Chen joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1985, shortly after completing bachelor's and master's degrees at Northern Illinois University. He also studied at the Toho Music School in Tokyo and at Boston University. His primary teachers were Shmuel Ashkenasi, Arnold Steinhardt, Masao Kawasaki, Roman Totenberg and Namiko Umezu. At Sommerfest 2011 Chen played Franck's Piano Quintet with Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton and Minnesota Orchestra colleagues.
Dave Graf started playing trombone in the 4th grade and just kept going with it. One of the most versatile and in-demand trombonists in the Twin Cities, Dave has worked in a wide range of musical settings. His jazz resume includes performances with Slide Hampton, Herbie Lewis, Jack McDuff, Charli Persip and Superband, the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Orchestra, and the Woody Herman Orchestra. As a member of local show bands, he has backed stars like Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Harry Connick Jr., Julie Andrews, and many others.
Over the course of his more than 40 years as a professional musician, Phil Hey has performed in virtually every context a drum set player can. His studies with the legendary Edward Blackwell helped lead him into the world of Jazz. Hey has played with dozens of Jazz giants, including Charlie Rouse, Benny Carter, Jay McShann, Kenny Barron, and, for over 20 years, Dewey Redman. Phil currently tours with Blue Note artist Stacey Kent, several MN-based groups, and leads his own Quartet in the Twin Cities.
Gao Hong began her career as a professional musician at age 12. She graduated with honors from the Central Conservatory of Music, China's premier music school, where she studied with pipa master Lin Shicheng. She has received numerous awards and honors, including First Prize in the Hebei Professional Young Music Performers Competition in China and an Asian Pacific Award, and fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Meet the Composers Inc. in New York and the Jerome Foundation. In 2005 Gao Hong became the first traditional musician to be awarded the prestigious Bush Artist Fellowship, and in 2008 she became the only musician in any genre to win three McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians.
Dr. Justin Knoepfel, viola, is Assistant Professor of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College. He earned a BM from Luther College and a MM and DMA from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Knoepfel has performed and taught in the Dorian Music Festival, Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival, Salem Music Academy, Bravo!, and the International Viola Congress. He is also a substitute violist with the Minnesota Orchestra, and has performed throughout the United States and in Europe. In 2013 Dr. Knoepfel will be be featured as viola soloist with the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra during their Spring national tour performing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante.
Steven K. Leonard
Steven K. Leonard is a violinist in Traverse City, Michigan. Mr. Leonard graduated with a Bachelor of Music with Distinction in Violin Performance from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Arts in Music from Truman State University.Mr. Leonard has with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera and Ballet Orchestras, the Atlanta Lyric Theater Orchestra, the Colorado Philharmonic and the Eastman/Dryden Theater Orchestra. Currently, Steven K. Leonard performs as Associate Concertmaster in the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, and is the Director of the TSO Civic Chamber Music Program.
A Minnesota native, Jill Mahr has been teaching at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota for the last 20 years, where she conducts the handbell choirs and teaches flute. Jill has a private flute studio in her home as well. She is principal flute in the Mankato Symphony Orchestra and has been a featured soloist with them four times. Formerly she was principal flute in the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra and was a soloist with those ensembles, as well. She performs with the recently established Blazing Star Wind Quintet, whose mission is to bring music to rural Minnesota.
Sharon Mautner-Rodgers is a California native and won numerous competitions both as a soloist and a member of the Trio Con Brio. Sharon was a awarded a full music scholarship to attend the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences where she received the Herbert Zipper award for excellence. Sharon attended the Aspen Music Festival, ENCORE school for strings, Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, Taos Chamber Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Bear Lake Music Festival, Oregon Coast Music Festival, and Endless Mountain Music Festival. Currently, Sharon is Associate Principal Cello of the South Dakota Symphony and Principal Cello of the Mankato Symphony, as well as a regular sub with the Minnesota Orchestra.
American pianist Matthew McCright has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific as piano soloist and chamber musician. He has thrilled audiences and critics alike with imaginative programming that places the greatest piano repertoire alongside the music of today’s most innovative risk-takers. McCright currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, teaches privately in the Twin Cities, and is a member of the piano faculty of Carleton College. He maintains an active performing schedule as one of the most sought after pianists of his generation in contemporary music. He has premiered numerous new pieces, many written for him, and has collaborated with countless composers across the globe.
David Milne (Saxophones and Flutes) leads an active career as a professional saxophonist, music educator, and composer/arranger. He holds degrees from Indiana University (BA, MM), and the Eastman School of Music (DMA). He is a Professor of Music (Saxophone/Jazz Studies) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he teaches saxophone, jazz improvisation, jazz history, and directs the UW-River Falls Jazz Ensembles. His compositions for jazz saxophone ensembles have been performed at the North American Saxophone Alliance and World Saxophone Congress conventions, and are published by Really Good Music, LLC. David is an artist-clinician for Selmer Saxophones.
Harpsichordist Tami Morse is active as a soloist and chamber musician in the Midwest and East Coast. With the baroque ensemble Flying Forms, known for innovative, interdisciplinary performances and considered "names to watch" (Berkshire Review for the Arts), Morse is in residence at Lawrence University, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and with Minnesota Youth Symphonies. A finalist in the Jurow International Harpsichord Competition, she also performs regularly with the Minnesota Bach Ensemble, the Big Apple Baroque Band, the Lyra Baroque Orchestra, the Bach Society of Minnesota and Glorious Revolution Baroque. Morse has a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan where she studied with Edward Parmentier and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University where she studied with Arthur Haas.
Miriam Scholz-Carlson plays regularly with the Lyra Baroque Orchestra and is a founding member of Glorious Revolution Baroque, a new ensemble whose performances have included artists such as Ellen Hargis and David Douglass. She has been featured on several Bach Society programs, including their live performance on MPR's Bach Festival. Ms. Scholz-Carlson has studied with renowned violinist Marc Destrubé and at the Vancouver Early Music Programme as well as with David Douglass and Nancy Wilson. She graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.M. in violin performance, trained as an Alexander Technique teacher with Cathy Madden, and as a Learning Methods teacher with David Gorman. She maintains a large private studio in addition to teaching classes at St. Olaf.
Cellist Arek Tesarczyk joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2004 and made his solo debut with the Orchestra in 2006, performing Beethoven's Triple Concerto. He gave the world premiere performances of Rautovaara’s Cello Concerto No.2, Towards the Horizon, under the baton Osmo Vanska in 2010. Born in Poland into a family of musicians, Arek won three consecutive first prizes in the annual Polish National Cello and Chamber Music competitions. He is a winner of the 2008 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians.
Hector Valdivia received the B.M. from the University of Wisconsin and the M.M.A., M.M., and D.M.A. from the Yale School of Music. His research interests include the music of Eugene Ysaye, Luisa Adolpha Le Beau, and Amy Beach.
WindWorks, a Northfield and Twin Cities area professional woodwind quintet, was founded in 1993. The group's goal is to promote woodwind quintet music, as well as instrumental chamber music of all kinds, by performing recitals throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area, greater Minnesota and surrounding states.
Dana Maeda (oboe) is Instructor of Music at St. Olaf College where she teaches oboe, woodwind methods, chamber music, and supervises instrumental music student teaching candidates. She is also the oboe instructor at University of Northwestern- St. Paul. Maeda holds B.M. degrees in Oboe Performance, and Vocal/Instrumental Music Education from St. Olaf College and a M.A. in Education from St. Mary's University. A founding member of WindWorks, Maeda also performs with the Rochester Orchestra, serves as a substitute player with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, and freelances in the Twin Cities area. She has extensive teaching experience in public and private schools and private studio settings.
Jo Ann Polley
Jo Ann Polley (clarinet) is Professor Emerita in Music at St. Olaf College. She holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University; a M.M. from Northwestern University; and a B.A. from St. Olaf College. Her full time teaching career spans 34 years, and she is a founding member of WindWorks. As an orchestral musician, Polley performs with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra. Additionally, she has served as a substitute musician in the Minnesota Orchestra and has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, and other orchestras and chamber ensembles in the Twin Cities area.
Kay Sahlin (flute), retired from teaching flute at St. Olaf College in May of 2010 after having served on the music faculty for 31 years. A graduate of St. Olaf, her principal teachers have included Donald Berglund, who she succeeded at St. Olaf, and Geoffrey Gilbert, whose mentorship later in her career was invaluable. Currently, Sahlin plays principal flute in the Rochester Orchestra and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra. She is a founding member of WindWorks. She has served as principal flute of Philomusica, Minneapolis Chamber Symphony and the St. Louis Philharmonic, and performed as a substitute/extra player with the Minnesota Orchestra for several years.
Cindy Bailey (bassoon) holds a music performance and education degree from the University of Iowa, where she studied under Dr. Ronald Tyree. In Minneapolis she has studied with Norbert Nielubowski, and is principal bassoon in the Rochester Orchestra and a founding member of WindWorks. In addition, she performs frequently with the Rochester Chamber Music Series. Her M.S. degree in Information Media is from St. Cloud State University, and she teaches at Forest Elementary with Robbinsdale Area Schools. Additionally, her musical experience includes keyboard and organ performance.
Becky Jyrkas (horn) earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in music and mathematics from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN. In addition to being an active freelance musician in the Twin Cities area and performing with WindWorks, she also plays principal horn in the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. Jyrkas has played with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and toured Finland with the Finnish brass septet, Ameriikan Poijat. She also performs on the Swiss Alphorn as a member of the Edelweiss Alphorn Duo.