Julie Simson has sung with opera companies throughout the United States including Houston Opera, Dallas Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Memphis, and Opera Colorado performing such roles as Hansel inÂ Hansel and Gretel, the Composer inÂ Ariadne auf Naxos, and Suzuki inÂ Madama Butterfly. She has also performed as soloist in major oratorio works with the Denver, Colorado Springs, Cedar Rapids, Omaha and Milwaukee Symphonies and in Boulder at the MahlerFest and Bach Festival.
Stephen King is the Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Voice and Co-Chair of Vocal Studies at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Additionally, he is Director of Vocal Instruction for the singers of the famed Houston Grand Opera Studio and is a member of the Artist Faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and Ravinia Festivalâ€™s Steans Music Institute.
Virginia Weckstrom is Artist Teacher of Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music at the Shepherd School and artist in residence at the Glenn Gould School. She is also a member of the artist faculty at the Aspen Music Festival. Previously, Ms. Weckstrom taught collaborative piano and chamber music at the Cleveland Institute of Music and was director of Chamber Music at the Residential College of the University of Michigan.
Robert Roux began his career at age 10 with a performance on the nationally televised Lawrence Welk Show. Since that time, he has been a winner of several piano competitions in the United States, including the United States Information Agencyâ€™s Artistic Ambassador Competition and the International Piano Recording Competition. A Steinway Artist, Rouxâ€™s performances include appearances at the White House, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Stude Concert Hall in Houston on the Horowitz Steinway, St.
â€śWhat an amazing way to mark the 100th anniversary ofÂ The Rite of Spring. Stunning!â€ť These words from the Toronto Star echoed glowing reviews across North America for Jon Kimura Parkerâ€™s CD,Â Rite, which includes world premiere recordings of his solo piano transcriptions of Stravinskyâ€™sÂ The Rite of SpringÂ andÂ Petrouchka. Parkerâ€™s most recent CDÂ FantasyÂ has garnered similar praise from Classical Candor: â€śThe reading is riveting. I canâ€™t remember when this work so engrossed me. Parker scores with another favorite recording of the year.â€ť
Pianist Sohyoung Park, born in Seoul, Korea, is an active soloist and chamber musician. She has performed throughout Europe, the United States and Korea. Her performances include appearances at the Salle de Cortot in Paris, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in LĂĽbeck, Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Auditorium del Museo revoltella in Trieste, Amalfi Music Festival in Vietri sul mare, Mozart Museum in Prague, the Seoul Arts Center in Seoul, a series of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas in Lancing, and Duncan Recital Hall and Moore Opera House in Houston. Dr.
Jeanne Kierman Fischer specializes in contemporary American piano music and has presented solo recitals in Africa and North America. As a chamber musician, she appears regularly at festivals such as Tanglewood, Da Camera of Houston, Mohawk Trail concerts, Chamber Music Ann Arbor, Maverick concerts and Juneau Jazz and Classics. Formerly on the faculties of Dartmouth College and the Oberlin Conservatory, Ms. Kierman toured extensively under sponsorship by the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Vermont & Ohio Arts Councils.
Paula Page, born in Odessa, Texas and raised in Philadelphia, served as Principal Harpist of the Houston Symphony from 1984 until her retirement from the orchestra in 2014. Prior to her Houston appointment, she was a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony in the dual positions of harpist and keyboard artist.
Matthew Strauss has been applauded throughout the United States as an energetic percussionist and timpanist with a diverse musical background. In addition to his positions as Percussionist with the Houston Symphony and Timpanist with the American Symphony Orchestra at the Bard Music Festival, Mr. Strauss is currently an Associate Professor of Percussion at Rice University, Lecturer at the University of Miamiâ€™s Frost School of Music and faculty member at the Texas Music Festival at the University of Houston.
Richard Brown, a native of Philadelphia, earned his bachelor of music from Temple University in Philadelphia and his masterÂ´s degree from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He started his career with the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia in 1968. He played in the United States Army Band in Washington D.C., and then moved to Houston to perform with the Houston Symphony, a position he held for eight years. While in Houston, he established the percussion department at The Shepherd School of Music.