Late Fall 2015

Recent Orchestral, Academic and Professional Appointments 

  • Brittany Boulding Breeden (BM ’04) – Second violin section, Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Jesse Clevenger (Master’s student) – Contracted Substitute Assistant Principal/Utility Horn, Houston Symphony
  • Peter Garrett (Master’s student) – Section cello, Alabama Symphony Orchestra
  • Genevieve Micheletti (BM ’12) – Second violin section, Santa Rosa Symphony
  • Ernesto Tovar-Torres (Master’s student) – Second Horn, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • The Chiara String Quartet – Rebecca Fischer, Hyeyung Julie Yoon, Jonah Sirota (BM '98)
  • Gregory Beaver (BM '98) – Quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015-2016

Competitions, Awards, Performances and Premieres 

The Dover Quartet ‘13 (Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violins; Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola; Camden Shaw, cello) received Chamber Music America's 2016 Cleveland Quartet Award.  The award was presented to the quartet by James Dunham, Professor of Viola and former member of the Cleveland Quartet, at a Chamber Music Houston concert at the Shepherd School on November 10, 2015.

Composer, pianist, and Houston Symphony Composer-in-Residence Gabriela Lena Frank (BM ’94, MM ’96) performed the 2015 premiere of her new concerto, commissioned by the Sphinx Organization, with Sphinx Virtuosi in October 2015 on a program entitled Inspiring Women.

Conductor James Gaffigan (MM ’03) will lead the New York Philharmonic in December 2015 in a program that includes Beethoven, Strauss, and a world premiere by Andrew Norman.

Cellist Coleman Itzkoff (BM '14) and violinist Philip Marten (BM '15) are American Youth Symphony Fellows for the 2015-2016 season.  Both musicians are principal players in their respective sections.

Hilary Purrington (BM '13) was awarded the 2015 Melodia Commission by the Women's Choir of NYC.

Cristian Macelaru (MM ’06) will make his conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic in November 2015 as part of Rachmaninoff: A Philharmonic Festival.

Doctoral violin students Boson Mo and Timothy Steeves have been awarded on loan prestigious instruments from the Canadian Council for the Arts.

In September 2015, Duo Baltinati – pianist Lura Johnson (BM ’96, MM ’00) and cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn – were awarded Second Prize in the Chamber Music Division of the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach am Wörthersee, Austria.

Undergraduate double bass student August Ramos was a national winner of the 2015 National Federation of Music Club's Student Collegiate Auditions.


Mezzo-soprano Aidan Soder (MM ’99, DMA ’06) received a Fulbright Scholar Award to travel to India to perform Western classical art songs featuring the poetry of Indian Nobel-Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.  She, with fellow alumni Paul Busselberg, baritone (DMA ’07) and Calogero di Liberto, piano (DMA ’06) released Tagoriana on Albany Records.  Soder is an Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.