Chamber Music Camp Faculty Biographies

Mihai Craioveanu, violin

Mihai Craioveanu is Professor of Violin and Chair of the Strings Area in the Music Department at Hope College.

Hailed by the prestigious magazine The Strad, as "stunning...brilliant", Mihai Craioveanu has concertized to great acclaim throughout the world. Two renowned musicians of our time, pianist Radu Lupu and violinist Jamie Laredo, describe him as "very impressive" and a "superb violinist". Critics described his Carnegie Hall debut concert as "fresh and distinguished with a keen appreciation of proper style." Mihai Craioveanu performed sold out concerts in legendary concert halls, such as Carnegie Hall in New York City, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, and the Atheneum Hall in Bucharest.

The Washington Post describes Mihai Craioveanu’s playing as "...dramatic, nuanced and playful." His violin became his voice. Craioveanu ensured that it was the music, and not the musician, that came first . Mihai Craioveanu appeared at renowned international music festivals such as Edinburgh (Scotland), Banff (Canada), and Bodensee (Germany). His performances have been broadcast on major American television networks, as well as European and Australian television. He has been featured on the international radio stations Free Europe and Voice of America.

Craioveanu's interest in contemporary music lead to world-premiere performances of several works written for him by American composers. His first compact disc recording of violin masterpieces titled Introducing Violinist Mihai Craioveanu, was presented to the public during his highly acclaimed concert tour of Spain. The disc is featured on various radio stations around the globe, and is distributed worldwide at . Mihai Craioveanu was educated at the University of Music in Bucharest, and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, where he studied on a British Council scholarship and was a winner of the coveted international Concert Recital Diploma. Craioveanu was also awarded scholarships to study at the International Summer Music Institute at the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Weimar, Germany, and the International Youth Music Festival in Brussels, Belgium.

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David Gillham, violin

Violinist David Gillham holds his Bachelor's degree from the University of Manitoba, Master’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory, and Performer's Diploma from Indiana University. His teachers have included Franco Gulli, Martin Beaver, David Stewart and David Zafer, and he has studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard and Tokyo String Quartets. Since 1998, he has been performing with his wife, pianist Chiharu Iinuma. The duo’s recent performances have included concerts in China, Canada and the United States. He has served on the faculties of Memorial University and the University of Central Arkansas. In 2003, David was awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee medal in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the arts.

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Soon-Ik Lee, violin

Soon-Ik Lee is is currently Professor of Music at Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea.  He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute and attended Indiana University, studying with Jascha Brodsky, Ivan Galamian, Leonid Kogan, Nathan Milstein, and Franco Gulli.  In 1983 he was a prize winner in the Nicolo Paganini Competition.  He has been a member of the Houston, Pittsburgh, and Nashville Symphonies.  Since returning to Korea in 1989 as concertmaster of the Korean Symphony and a member of the Kumho Asiana String Quartet, he has performed in Europe, Asia, South America, and in the United States.  In recent years he has participated in numerous festivals as teacher, performer, or competition judge.

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John McGrosso, violin

Hailed by the Boston Globe as “first class, with a robust sound and technique that seems to come from the center of the person” John McGrosso has been the first violinist of the Arianna String Quartet since 1998. He has been featured as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and has performed in recital to critical acclaim throughout the United States. During seven years as a member of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s first violin section, Mr. McGrosso performed frequently in the orchestra’s “Chamber Music St. Louis,” and “Discovery,” series, and originated the popular “On the Stage” series of unique audience engagement evenings. He has taught on the faculties of Illinois Wesleyan University, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Eastern Michigan University, and is currently an Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where the Arianna Quartet is tenured and has been in residence since 2000. As a member of the Arianna Quartet, he has collaborated with artists such as James Campbell, Gilbert Kalish, Bernard Greenhouse, Richard Stoltzman, and members of the Tokyo, Vermeer, and Juilliard Quartets, and been on the summer faculties of the Britt Institute, Madeline Island, and Music at Port Milford. Mr. McGrosso received his bachelors and masters degrees from Juilliard, and holds a Performer's Certificate from Northern Illinois University. He also attended the Aspen Music Festival, the Steans Young Artist Program at Ravinia, and the Quartet Programme in Aldeburgh, England. His violin teachers have included Dorothy Delay, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joyce Robbins, Joel Smirnoff, and Gerald Beal, and he has studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Tokyo, LaSalle, and Vermeer Quartets.

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Julieta Mihai, violin

Julieta Mihai began studying the violin at the George Enescu Music School in Bucharest, Romania. She continued her studies under Agoston Andras' guidance at the Music Academy in Cluj and later at the Music Academy in Bucharest. She studied at the University of Illinois with Danwen Jiang. She received the Master of Musical Arts degree in 1996, and the Doctorate in Musical Arts, Violin Performance, in May 2003 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mihai participated in Masterclasses with Stefan Gheorghiu and Ifrah Neaman.Mihai has performed extensively in solo concerts and recitals in the United States, Romania, Germany, Austria, and Japan. In 2002-03 she played as a soloist with the Berkeley Summer Festival Orchestra in California and with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra in Springfield. In May-July 2002-03 she participated on a full scholarship at the Toho Gakuen Music Academy in Kureha-Toyama, Japan, where she performed in solo and chamber music recitals. In 2000-01 Mihai was invited to perform solo works with the Prairie Ensemble and with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra in Urbana-Champaign. During the summer of 2001, she was a fellow of the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont. She was the winner of the Concerto Competition of the Summer Festival Orchestra in Urbana-Champaign In 1996 Mihai won the Paul Rolland Violin Award of the University of Illinois and participated at the Montreal Violin Competition in Canada. As a soloist, she played annually between 1985 and 1994 with the Ploiesti Philharmonic Orchestra in Romania. In 1992 she participated a the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria. In 1991 she was awarded a diploma at the Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition in Folkestone, England. In the same year she was a semifinalist at the George Enescu Competition in Bucharest. In 1987 Mihai gained mention at the Lipatti Violin Competition in Craiova, Romania., and in 1986-87 she was awarded the second prize at the Bucharest Violin Competition. During 1999-2000 Mihai performed as concertmaster of the Prairie Ensemble in Urbana-Champaign. In August 2001 she became the concertmaster of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra in Springfield. Mihai is also a member of the Julstrom String Quartet and is currently assistant professor of violin at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill.

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Joanna Mendoza, viola

The newest member of the Arianna String Quartet, violist Joanna Mendoza has been praised by New York Stringer Magazine for her "lush, sonorous and assertive tone." Ms. Mendoza has performed in North America, South America and Europe. Recent appearances include master classes and recitals at Renmin University in Beijing, China, University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin. She has performed and taught at music festivals such as Interlochen Arts Camp, Chamber Music at the Barn, Mammoth Lakes Music Festival, Midwest Young Artists, and the Bellingham Music Festival. Ms Mendoza was the violist of the Harrington String Quartet from 1997-2007 and most recently served as Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Oklahoma. Originally from Milwaukee, Ms. Mendoza earned her degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Juilliard School. Her chamber music coaches have included members of the Amadeus, Juilliard, and Cleveland Quartets.

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Lisa Nelson, viola

Lisa Nelson is Instructor of Violin and Viola at Illinois Wesleyan University, coordinator of the IWU String Preparatory Department, and faculty of the IWU Chamber Music CampMs. Nelson is a member of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the Sinfonia da Camera, directed by Ian Hobson. She has also performed with the Peoria Symphony, Opera Illinois, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, and as principal violist of the Enescu Ensemble.  As an active chamber musician, Lisa Nelson regularly appears in recitals throughout Illinois and other Midwestern states.

Lisa Nelson holds her Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a double-degree (Bachelor of Music in violin performance and Bachelor of Arts in mathematics) from St. Olaf College, Minnesota, where she graduated summa cum laude with departmental distinction in music. She has also participated in summer programs at the Aspen Music School, Madeline Island Music Festival, and Interlochen Arts Camp. Nelson's teachers have included Sherban Lupu, Charles Gray, Mihai Craioveanu, and Alan Ohmes.

Along with teaching and performing, Lisa Nelson is Executive Director of the IWU Summer Music Program (Cello Camp and Chamber Music Camp) for young talented musicians and has been on faculty of the International Music Course and Festival in Positano, Italy, and the Ameropa International Chamber Music Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, and the International Chamber Music Festival and Tour in Bulgaria.

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Michael Strauss, viola

Michael Isaac Strauss, principal violist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra since 1994 and member of the artist faculty at Butler University, performs around the world as a soloist, chamber and symphonic musician. He made his solo debut with the Minnesota Orchestra. Formerly a member of the distinguished Fine Arts Quartet, Strauss has performed at the Schleswig-Holstein and Montpellier festivals in Europe. In North America he has performed at the LaJolla, Caramoor and Banff festivals and appears on chamber music series throughout the United States . Strauss made the debut recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Sonata (I Virtuosi), and recorded David Finko’s Viola Concerto with Orchestra 2001 (CRI) and Mozart’s complete viola quintets with the Fine Arts Quartet (Lyrinx), in addition to several CDs of 20th century chamber music works with members of Orchestra 2001. In 2006 he will release a CD featuring Stamitz’s works for solo viola with orchestra.

Strauss’ work has been honored with the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Cinnamon Award, Artist Fellowship Awards from South Carolina and Indiana, First Prize of the WAMSO Competition of the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Ealing prize at the Tertis International Viola Competition. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and performs on a viola made by Matteo Albani from Bolzano , Italy in 1704.

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Kurt Baldwin, cello

Kurt Baldwin is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, where the Arianna String Quartet has been in residence since 2000. As a founding member of the Arianna String Quartet in 1992, Mr. Baldwin has been awarded the Grand Prizes at the Fischoff Competition, Coleman Competition, and Carmel Competition, and was a Laureate at the 1999 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. Mr. Baldwin has concertized throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Italy, France and Japan, has been heard in live radio broadcasts in over 30 states and on NPR’s “Performance Today”, and has recorded for the Albany, Centaur and Urtext classical labels. He has collaborated with members of the Tokyo, Cleveland, Juilliard, and Vermeer quartets, as well as Richard Stoltzman, Bernard Greenhouse, Gilbert Kalish and James Campbell. He studied with Janina Ehrlich at Augustana College, received his bachelor of music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory with Irene Sharp, and earned a master of music degree from the New England Conservatory, where he was a student of Bernard Greenhouse. Mr. Baldwin also holds a Performer’s Certificate from Northern Illinois University, where he studied with Marc Johnson and the Vermeer Quartet.

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Nina Gordon, cello

Nina Gordon is Associate Professor of Cello and Chamber music at Illinois Wesleyan University and a Principal Cellist with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Prior to coming to Illinois, Nina Gordon was Principal Cellist of the Kansas City Symphony and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, and taught Cello and Chamber Music at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.  Earlier Ms. Gordon also held positions with the Israel Chamber Orchestra under Rudolf Barshai and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta; she was Associate Principal Cellist with the Florida Philharmonic, and Principal Cellist with the Colorado Music Festival in Bolder, Colorado.Her education includes the Moscow Conservatory (Russia), the University of Tel-Aviv (Israel), and the University of Kansas, Lawrence, where she received her DMA.  Among her teachers were Natalia Shakhovskaya (Russia), Michael Haran (Israel), George Ricci and Edward Laut (USA).Nina Gordon is the Founder and Music Director of the annual IWU Summer Music Programs which include IWU Chamber Music Festival and IWU Cello Camp.  She is also a faculty member at the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, and at the International Chamber Music Festival ICMC in Positano, Italy.

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Eric Lenz, cello

Eric Lenz is assistant professor of cello at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In addition to teaching cello, chamber music, harmony, and counterpoint at SIUC, Lenz is a member of the Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestra. He has performed with the Alabama, Huntsville, and Charleston Symphonies, and with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra. With the Missouri Symphony Summer Festival, he has served as assistant principal cello since 2003. Recent chamber performances include a recital at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall and a new-music residency at the Banff Centre for Music and Sound. Lenz has performed with Spoleto Festival USA and Brevard Music Center, where he served as orchestral fellow. Chamber music coaches include the Juilliard, Emmerson, Guarnari, Cleveland, and Cavani quartets. Lenz majored in music and mathematics at St. Olaf College, where he graduated with distinction for his work in both fields and was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He holds graduate degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music-where he studied with Stephen Geber, principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra-and the University of Alabama where he was awarded the Moody String Fellowship. Further studies include residencies in France at the Conservatoire National d'Angers and in the Czech Republic at the Institut Franco-Tchque.

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Ian Maksin, cello

Russian-born cellist and composer Ian Maksin gave his first recital at age six in his native St. Petersburg, Russia. He has performed as a soloist and as a part of chamber ensembles throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas.  In 2000, Ian joined the New World Symphony, America’s foremost orchestra for young musicians from around the world directed by Michael Tilson Thomas. During his years with the symphony, Ian has performed as the principal cellist and appeared as a concerto soloist under the direction of such conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Hans Graf, Andreas Delfs, Donald Runnicles, Zdenek Macal, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Yan Pascal Tortelier, John Adams, Lukas Foss and many others.

Ian has premiered and recorded numerous works by contemporary composers, including a critically acclaimed CD “Sculpting Clouds”.  Ian’s new CD titled “Solo Flight” has been released in January 2010 and is an eclectic compilation of works for cello solo ranging from Bach Cello Suites to a new piece by a Chicago-base composer Ilya Levinson, as well as a suite for solo cello by Spanish cellist and composer Gaspar Cassado.

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Mark Clinton, piano

Since entering the Preparatory Division of the Peabody Conservatory at age eight under the tutelage of Julian Martin, Mark Clinton has worked extensively with some of the world's foremost pianists, among them Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Carlo Zecchi, and Tatiana Nikolayeva.  This critically acclaimed pianist has garnered prizes at such prestigious international competitions as the 1987 William Kapell International Piano Competition and the 1991 Joanna Hodges Piano Competition.  He has been featured frequently on national radio and television broadcasts, including National Public Radio's Performance Today and Monitor Radio.  Critics have noted his "powerful performance [combined with] sublime lyricism" (Salisbury Daily Times), the " and security of his pianism" (Baltimore Sun), and his "luminous, concentrated playing" (Washington Post).  He has appeared throughout the United States as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the United States Air Force Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Lincoln Symphony, and the Springfield (Missouri) Symphony.

For a number of years, Clinton joined with pianist Nicole Narboni to form the highly successful Clinton/Narboni Duo.  They received prizes at several major international competitions, including the 1994 ProPiano New York Recital Competition, the 1995 National Federation of Music Clubs Ellis Duo Piano Competition, the 1996 Concorso Internazionale <<Carlo Soliva>> (four-hand division), and the Alvin Perlman Prize at the Fifth Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition.

Clinton's current concert activities reflect his commitment to a wide range of performing experiences.  Highlights of his calendar include enthusiastically received recitals at the American Cathedral in Paris, Seattle's Benaroya Hall (as featured guest artist at the 2008 Seattle International Piano Festival and Competition), and the historic rotunda of Steinway Hall in New York City.  Other noteworthy performances have included an appearance as guest soloist in the Shostakovich First Piano Concerto with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, recitals with Trio Nuovo (joining violinist Anton Miller and cellist Karen Becker), two performances on the 2008 Illinois Chamber Music Festival Spring Concert Series, and a recital of French vocal music on the stage of the Lied Center for the Performing Arts with mezzo-soprano Anne Donnadieu.

Mark Clinton has shared his musical insights with gifted students from around the world while serving on the faculties of Salisbury University, the Aspen Institute, Missouri Southern State University, and the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival in Prague, Czech Republic.  He is currently associate professor of piano and co-chair of the piano area at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Mark Clinton is a Steinway artist.

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R Kent Cook, piano

Dr. R. Kent Cook is an Associate Professor of Piano at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.  He keeps an active performing schedule as soloist and chamber musician and has appeared in many venues around the United States and abroad with performances in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, England, and Italy.  In the Midwest, he has had recent performances in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio.

R. Kent Cook hails from Odessa, Texas where he began to play the piano at age six.  He attended Baylor University to pursue a career in dentistry, but soon abandoned that goal to begin serious study of the piano.  After finishing a Piano Performance Degree with honors under the guidance of Roger Keyes, he continued his studies at Indiana University receiving both a Masters and Doctorate in Piano Performance while working with Leonard Hokanson, Michel Block, James Tocco, and Karen Shaw.  In 1992-93, he also studied with Herbert Seidel as a Fulbright Scholar at the Hochschule fr Musik in Frankfurt, Germany.

Dr. Cook joined the piano faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1999, has since become very active in the region as an adjudicator and has taught numerous master classes for a variety of schools and organizations throughout the Midwest.  In January of 2002, Cook released his first compact disc recording on the Novitas label.  It is entitled Nachtstcke and is a recording of 12 Nocturnes by 7 different composers including Chopin, Liszt, and Schumann.Before teaching at IWU, he was on the piano faculty at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.  During the summer he teaches at the Illinois Wesleyan University Chamber Music Festival, and has taught at the Indiana University Piano Academy, and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

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Irina Kats, piano

Pianist Irina Kats enjoys a career as a teacher, soloist, chamber musician and accompanist. According to The Washington Post, she is a "splendidly able accompanist" with "considerable emotional powers." Ms. Kats' career began in her native Russia, where she graduated with honors, studying with the great pianist and teacher Vasily Pavlov, from the Astrakhan Conservatory and the Kazan Post-Graduate Music School.

During her time in Russia, Ms. Kats was an active piano performer with a broad repertoire that included classical, romantic and contemporary masterpieces of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt Moussorgsky, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev. In addition, she has been a frequent performer on television and radio broadcasts.

In 1996, Ms. Kats came to the United States where she taught privately before taking a position at the Levine School of Music in Washington, DC in 1998. Since joining Levine's piano faculty, she has resumed her performance career as a chamber musician and accompanist, performing throughout the Northeast region of the United States. She has collablorated with such musicians as Slovakian sopranos Eva Blagove and Sisa Sclovsk, chellist John Gevorkian, horn soloist Eric Rusk and baritone Jerome Barry in such venues as the Austrian Slovakian Embassies, The Lyceum in Alexandria, VA and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Kats also collaborated with violinist Mihai Craioveanu at the Romanian Embassy in Washington, DC, Holland, Michigan and in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

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Hannah Keydar, piano

Hannah Keydar was born in Lithuania and immigrated with her family to Israel at age 14.  She graduated from the Tel-Aviv Reubin Academy in piano performance where she studied with Miriam Boskovich, piano, and Moris Berman, chamber music, and was the recipient of the Sharet American-Israel Foundation scholarship award.  She is active as a chamber musician and directs the Shoham Chamber Music Concert Series.  Ms. Keydar teaches at the Shoham Conservatory and Or-Yehuda School of the Performing Arts. 

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David Gresham, clarinet

Clarinetist David Gresham, recipient of the 2002 Lincoln Center Martin E. Segal Award for up and coming artists, is constantly in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. His solo performances have garnered high praise. El Mercurio of Chile writes, "...[his] interpretation demonstrated such a complete command of his instrument...that he gave the impression of being able to perform incredible technical and musical feats." The New York Times describes his performances as "Impressive... Outstanding... beautifully played." Fanfare Magazine writes that he gave "a fine performance of the [Mozart] concerto...a worthy addition to the catalogue...[he is] an excellent musician, with a bright, controlled tone, a precise tongue, and quick fingers."   An active concert artist, Mr. Gresham's recent appearances with orchestra include the Weber 2nd Clarinet Concert with the Sakae Philharmonic in Yokohama, Japan in July of 2004, the U.S. premiere of Yevhen Stankovich's Chamber Symphony No. 6: Secret Calls for solo clarinet and orchestra, the New York premiere of David Rakowski's Cerberus concerto, performing on both clarinet and bass clarinet, and the New York premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Yiddish Ruakh for clarinet and orchestra. His recording of the Mozart clarinet concerto with the Camerata Orchestra of Kiev, Ukraine, is available on the TNC label at Mr. Gresham has given numerous recitals New York City at Lincoln Center in the Bruno Walter Auditorium and at several other venues in New York, including the 92nd Street Y in the "Meet the Virtuosi Series" and in the Great Hall at Cooper Union. As a chamber musician Mr. Gresham performs worldwide. He is clarinetist with the respected contemporary music ensemble Continuum, based in New York, with which he has recorded multiple CDs and performed across North and South America, Europe and Central Asia, in addition to giving an annual New York concert series. He has also presented chamber concerts in New York City and London, England with the British violinist Philippa Mo. Mr. Gresham holds the Doctor of Music degree from The Juilliard School and is professor of clarinet at Illinois State University.

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Roger Roe, oboe

Roger Roe is a native of Dallas and earned a B.M. degree from Southern Methodist University and an M.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music. His major teachers have included John Mack, Eric Barr, John Ferrillo and Elaine Douvas. Roe was named Outstanding Classical Instrumentalist by Downbeat Magazine and won First Place in the Fort Worth Young Artist Competition. Before joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in May 1995 he played with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (SC), the Erie Philharmonic and the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, among others.

Roe has been soloist with the ISO on oboe, oboe d’amore and English horn, has appeared as narrator and works enthusiastically in the Orchestra’s education initiatives. He is a member of the faculty at Indiana University and performs with Suzuki & Friends and the Ronen Chamber Ensemble as well as recitals in Bloomington. Away from the oboe, he spends time renovating his home and pursuing his interests in running and opera.

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William West, flute

William West joined the Illinois Wesleyan faculty in 1982.  He holds degrees in woodwind performance from West Virginia University and the University of Michigan.  Mr. West teaches flute and saxophone and presents regular solo and chamber music recitals on both instruments.  In addition to performances of the standard repertoire, he is very involved in the presentation of newly and recently composed music and has collaborated with numerous composers on performances of their works.  Mr. West played principal flute with Opera Illinois from 1989 through 2006.  Also active as a collaborating pianist, Mr. West has extensive experience with both instrumental and vocal solo literature and chamber music, again with emphasis on newly and recently composed works.

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Angelo L. Favis, guitar

Angelo L. Favis is professor of guitar at Illinois State University.  He is co-founder of the Linden Flute & Guitar Duo. He earned both his B.M. and M.M. degrees in Guitar Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music. A prizewinner in many competitions, most notably the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition and the Eighth International Solo Competition sponsored by the Guitar Foundation of America, Dr. Favis has been an active performer of solo and chamber music in the U.S. and abroad.

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Arianna String Quartet, quartet in residence

Hailed for their outstanding musicianship, the Arianna String Quartet has firmly established itself as one of America's finest chamber ensembles. Formed in 1992, they garnered national attention by winning the Grand Prize in the 1994 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and First Prize in both the Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music Competitions.  They were also Laureates in the 1999 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition.

The Arianna String Quartet has appeared throughout North America, Europe and Asia, including critically acclaimed debuts at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and Tokyo's Suntory Hall, and have been heard on live nationally broadcast performances in Osaka, Japan, on Canada’s CBC radio, several times as part of Chicago’s prestigious Dame Myra Hess Series, and on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” program.  Highlights for 2011 include concert tours in Brazil, South Africa and Canada.

The Arianna String Quartet has recorded for Albany Records and Urtext Digital Classics, and recently signed a long-term contract with Centaur Records for recordings of the complete quartets of Beethoven, Bartk, Jancek and the Mozart "Haydn" Quartets. The first of these discs, the quartets of Janacek, will be released in the fall of 2010, with recordings of Beethoven’s Op.18 quartets to follow in 2011.  Based in St. Louis since 2000, the Arianna String Quartet serves as associate professors of their respective instruments, and quartet-in-residence at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

Recognized for their innovative educational programs, the ASQ was awarded Chamber Music America Residency Grants in 1996 and 2003 and has given over 1000 educational outreach performances. In 2005, the Arianna Quartet received the Missouri String Teacher Association’s Distinguished Service Award for their outstanding contributions to music education and the cultivation of young audiences throughout Missouri.

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