Timothy Pitts has distinguished himself as one of the most versatile double bassists of his generation. As a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, he has been heard in many of the world’s greatest concert halls.
Mr. Pitts’ orchestral career began as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra after which he was appointed principal bass of the Houston Symphony, a position he held for seventeen years. Mr. Pitts also served as principal double bass of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under the direction of John Williams.
Ivo-Jan van der Werff has attained accolades as a chamber player, recitalist, guest artist and teacher throughout Europe and North America. As a member of the Medici String Quartet for 28 years, Mr. van der Werff has performed in over 2,000 concerts in major festivals and venues world wide, broadcasting regularly on radio and television. The Medici quartet made more than 40 recordings for EMI, Nimbus, Hyperion and Koch, and won many awards for works ranging from Haydn, Britten, Janacek, Schubert and the Beethoven cycle to more eclectic works of Saint-Saens, Wajahat Khan and Nigel Osborne.
Since entering the world of professional music in 1972, Benjamin Kamins has enjoyed a wide-ranging career as an orchestral musician, chamber player, solo performer, and educator. During his nine years as Associate Principal Bassoon with the Minnesota Orchestra, Mr. Kamins taught at St. Olaf and Macalester Colleges and was a member of the Aurora Wind Quintet. In 1981 he was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Houston Symphony, a position he held until 2003.
Barbara Butler is Professor of Trumpet and Director of the Artist Diploma Program at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Previously Professor of Trumpet at Northwestern University and the Eastman School of Music, Ms. Butler has also held the positions of co-principal trumpet of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, principal trumpet of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and acting associate/assistant principal trumpet of the Houston and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras. Ms.
Hailed as “one of today’s superstars of the international brass scene,” William VerMeulen leads a varied musical life of Soloist, Orchestral Principal, Chamber Musician, Master Teacher and Music Publisher. Mr. VerMeulen has been Principal Horn of the Houston Symphony since 1990 and has performed as a guest Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Prior to Houston he was employed with the orchestras of Columbus, Honolulu, and Kansas City.
Richie Hawley is a versatile and critically acclaimed artist who ranks among the most distinguished clarinetists of his generation. Mr. Hawley was appointed Principal Clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1994 at the age of 23, two years after graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music. He has since enjoyed a rewarding and multifaceted career as an orchestral clarinetist, recitalist, chamber musician, teacher and clinician.
Robert Atherholt graduated from The Juilliard School in 1977, where he was a student of the esteemed American oboist and mentor Robert Bloom. Soon after, Atherholt was invited to join Orpheus, The St. Luke’s Orchestra and The Opera Orchestra of New York among others. He served as Principal oboist of the New Jersey Symphony for the 1979-80 season followed by a year as English hornist.
Leone Buyse is the Mullen Professor of Flute at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. In 1993 she relinquished her position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra to pursue a more active teaching and solo career after 22 years as an orchestral musician. Acting principal flutist of the BSO during her last three years in Boston, she was invited by Seiji Ozawa to join the orchestra in 1983 as assistant principal flutist and principal flutist of the Boston Pops.
Violist James Dunham is active as a recitalist, guest artist and teacher. He has collaborated with such renowned artists as Emmanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Lynn Harrell, Cho-Liang Lin and members of the American, Cassatt, Guarneri, Juilliard, Takács, Tokyo and Ying Quartets. An advocate of new music, he recently premiered and recorded two works by Libby Larsen: her Viola Sonata (2001) and “Sifting Through the Ruins” (2005) for viola, mezzo soprano (Susanne Mentzer) and piano, due for release by Naxos.