The ACP is proud to present the talented musicians who will perform during our 39th season.
ANASTASIA AGAPOVA's (violin) talent has been recognized with top prizes in national and international competitions, culminating with a Jury Prize at the 2006 David Oistrakh International Violin Competition and Second Prize at the 2004 International Competition for Young Violinists. Ms. Agapova has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Russia, Germany, England, Ireland, France, Finland, and Lithuania. Ms. Agapova joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra during the 2013-14 season.
A native of Russia, Ms. Agapova made her North American recital debut in the Gessner-Schocken concert series in Boston and her orchestral debut with the Redlands Symphony Orchestra. She appeared as a soloist with the Columbus State University Philharmonic Orchestra and opened the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s 2007-8 season. Ms. Agapova made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut in December 2011. In March 2013, she performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
Ms. Agapova is also an active chamber musician. She has collaborated with members of eighth blackbird and was also part of the Dvořák American Quartet. She enjoys performing classics, but also collaborates with contemporary composers. She has premiered the works of Katerina Kramarchuk, Alyssa Weinberg, and Jared Miller.
Ms. Agapova came to the United States in 2005 to study with Sergiu Schwartz and continued at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music. She entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2008 and graduated in May 2013. Ms. Agapova also enjoys playing the viola and studied at the Curtis Institute with Steven Tenenbom, a violist of the Orion Quartet.
JULIE ALBERS (cello) is recognized for her superlative artistry, her charismatic and radiant performing style and her intense musicianship. She was born into a musical family in Longmont, CO and began violin studies at the age of two switching to cello at four. She moved to Cleveland during her junior year of high school to pursue studies through the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Richard Aaron. At the age of 17 she made her major orchestral debut with the Cleveland Orchestra and thereafter has performed in recital and as soloist with orchestras throughout North America, Europe, Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia.
Julie has received various awards including the Grand Prize in South Korea's Gyeongnam International Music Competition and Second Prize in Munich's Internationaler Musikwettbewerbes der ARD. Past seasons have included appearances with the orchestras of Colorado, Indianapolis, Nashville, Saint Paul, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, and Munchener Kammerorchester among others. In addition to solo performances Julie participated in a three year residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two and regularly appears at chamber music festivals around the world. She is currently active with the Albers String Trio and the Cortona Piano Trio. Ms Albers is Assistant Professor and holds the Mary Jean and Charles Yates Cello Chair at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. October of 2005 marked the release of her solo debut recording on the Artek Label.
LAURA ARDAN (clarinet) is the Principal Clarinet for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), where she holds the endowed Robert Shaw Chair, and has been performing there since 1982.
She has been a featured soloist with the Orchestra in works by Mozart, Weber, Debussy, Copland, Bernstein, Finzi, Rossini, Shaw, and Michael Gandolfi, and has also performed with the Cleveland Quartet.
Ms. Ardan has performed in the Tanglewood, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, and Bellingham Music Festivals, and as a guest artist in "Emanuel Ax Invites..." on the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center. A frequent guest of the Atlanta Chamber Players, Georgian Chamber Players, and Emory Chamber Music Society, she plays regularly at the Highlands Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina and the Grand Teton Chamber Music Festival in Wyoming.
A student of Roger Hiller and Stanley Drucker, Ms. Ardan attended The Juilliard School of Music on scholarships from both Juilliard and the Naumburg Foundation. Before joining the ASO, she was a resident clarinetist and teaching artist at the Lincoln Center Institute for four years. She also played in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for two seasons.
Photo by J.D. Scott for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
KEITH BUNCKE (bassoon) has been Principal Bassoon of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since September 2014. He is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Daniel Matsukawa. Born in Orange, CA, he grew up in Lake Oswego, OR and started playing bassoon at age 10, studying with Lyle Dockendorff and Mark Eubanks. He made his concerto debut with the MetroArts Young Artists Concert at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall when he was 15. He continued his studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy with Dr. Eric Stomberg.
Keith has attended many summer music festivals as Tanglewood, Music Academy of the West, Pacific Music Festival, Sarasota, Aspen, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. A winner of the Music Academy of the West’s Concerto Competition, he performed the first movement of Hummel’s Bassoon Concerto with the Academy Festival Orchestra in Santa Barbara on July 20, 2013. He has also performed Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in Sedona, AR with the Verde Valley Sinfonietta in April 2012. In 2011, he achieved semifinalist status in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition Junior Division with his trio from Interlochen Arts Academy. In February 2010 he performed Vivaldi’s Concerto in E minor with the Interlochen Academy Orchestra as a winner of the school’s concerto competition. He has also been a featured performer on NPR’s From The Top and was named a semifinalist for Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 2011.
In his spare time, Keith enjoys running, skiing, biking, reading about science, and listening to great music.
GLORIA JONES (double bass) joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra bass section in 1984 at the age of 20. Having been raised in Greenville, SC where she played bass in the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and Carolina Youth Symphony, she attended summer music camp at Interlochen Center for the Arts for 6 summers. She went on to pursue a Bachelors of Music in Performance at The University of Michigan School of Music in 1981, and shortly before completing her degree, she won her job in the ASO. While a student at Michigan, she received the Mitslav Rostropovich Award for Outstanding Performance, and she also played Principal Bass in the Flint Symphony Orchestra in 1982-84. In 1989, Gloria won the audition for the position of Assistant Principal Bass, sitting third chair until her promotion to Associate Principal Bass in 2001.
She was married to the late Ralph Jones, Principal Bass, for 26 years, and they have 2 children, Christopher and Shelley, ages 21 and 10 respectively. At the present time, Gloria teaches bass students privately and enjoys church activities, reading, and writing.
HELEN HWAYA KIM (violin), made her orchestral debut with the Calgary Philharmonic at the age of six, and has gone on to become a respected and sought-after artist. She has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops at Boston's Symphony Hall, as well as with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras.
Ms. Kim earned her Bachelor and Master's Degree from the Juilliard School, where her teachers included Cho-Liang Lin and Dorothy DeLay. While attending Juilliard, she was a winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition and served as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra. She is the recipient of more than one hundred national and international awards. In 1992, she won the prestigious Artists International Competition in New York and, as a result, gave debut recitals at Carnegie Weill Hall and the Aspen Summer Music Festival.
A native of Canada, Ms. Kim has been engaged by many of Canada's leading orchestras, including the National Arts Center Orchestra, Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, McGill Chamber Orchestra, and the Windsor, Regina, Victoria and Prince George Symphonies. She has also appeared with the DeKalb, New Orleans, Aspen and Banff Festival Orchestras, and with orchestras in the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland.
Ms. Kim has toured extensively throughout Canada and the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall and the Sante Fe and La Jolla International Music Festivals, where she performed with Cho-Liang Lin, Gary Hoffman, Andre Previn, and the Orion String Quartet. She performed Bach’s Double violin concerto with Hilary Hahn at the 2002 Amelia Island Chamber music festival.
An avid performer of new music, she can be heard on the recent CD release of the works of Alvin Singleton on Albany records. Helen performed the world premiere of the “Concertino” by Chen Yi, scored for solo violin and orchestra that was commissioned especially for her and the KSU Orchestra and was recorded for future CD release in 2015.
Ms. Kim currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where she served as assistant and associate concertmaster for the Atlanta Symphony for three seasons. She is currently the assistant concertmaster of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and associate professor of violin at Kennesaw State University.
CATHERINE LYNN (viola) is Assistant Principal Violist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; she joined the ASO and the Atlanta Chamber Players in 2002. Ms. Lynn is on the faculty of Kennesaw State University and a viola coach for the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. In 2014, she will perform the Bartok viola concerto with the KSU Symphony Orchestra. Prior to coming to Atlanta, Ms. Lynn performed with the Rosseels String Quartet and was a frequent guest with the Michigan Chamber Players. She was Principal Viola of the Flint Symphony Orchestra in MI and taught at the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts. Ms. Lynn received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Alabama and her Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Michigan.
Photo by J.D. Scott for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
ANN-MARIE MCPHAIL (soprano) is Atlanta-born and is one of the region’s most seasoned performers and is quickly establishing herself as a versatile lyric soprano in the United States. She attended Clark Atlanta University for Music Education and received a Master’s in Voice Performance from Georgia State University.
Ms. McPhail made her career debut with the Houston Ebony Opera as the Countess in Mozart’s, The Marriage of Figaro. Her accolades include winner of the Rose-Palmai Tenser Vocal Competition, winner of The American Traditions Competition, and “Diva Goddess” in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Closing Ceremonies.
Ms. McPhail’s credits include singer in Tyler Perry’s movie, For Colored Girls and “Strawberry Woman” in the Atlanta Opera’s 2011 production of Gershwin’s famed Porgy and Bess where she received mention in Opera News.
Recently she covered the role of Clara in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Royal Danish Opera Theatre in Denmark, Copenhagen. This summer she was soloist at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC with the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, sang at the Opening Ceremony of the Human and Civil Rights Museum in Atlanta, Ga. and participated in the Footsteps of Mandela Concert at Riverside Church in New York.
Ms. McPhail’s upcoming engagements include the Annual St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Christmas Concert, Human Relations Celebration at First UMC of Cumming and a concert at Spelman College.
Ms. McPhail has served as an artist affiliate at Agnes Scott College, Spelman College and Talladega College. She has sung with Paris Comique Opera, Atlanta Opera, Houston Ebony Opera, Opera Ebony, Macon Symphony Orchestra and Savannah Symphony Orchestra.
AMY SCHWARTZ MORETTI (violin) performs internationally, especially chamber music, appearing at music festivals and in artist series across North America and Europe.
In recent seasons she has collaborated with James Ehnes, Richard O’Neill and Robert deMaine to form the Ehnes Quartet. They have performed to critical acclaim in the US, UK, Canada, Netherlands and France, and recorded Shostakovich and Barber quartets for Onyx Classics. They contributed to the recording Khachaturian/Shostakovich that was selected “Album of the Week” by London’s Sunday Times, June 2014. Her recording with James Ehnes of Prokofiev’s Sonata for Two Violins was lauded as “electrifying” by The Telegraph (UK) and included in Prokofiev: Complete Works for Violin (Chandos) that won the 2014 Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year.
Additional projects include a newly commissioned String Trio by John Harbison recorded with Richard Yongjae O’Neill and Ani Aznavoorian, and a live recording of Ives’ Largo for Violin, Clarinet & Piano with Ricardo Morales and Anna Polonsky. Robert McDuffie and Elizabeth Pridgen joined her in her solo CD Kaleidoscope (Sono Luminus) released in 2011. In 2014-15, Amy will premiere Grammy Award-winner Matt Catingub’s concerto written for her: Three Shades of Blue for Violin, Jazz Trio and Orchestra.
Following eight years as concertmaster, first with The Florida Orchestra, then the Oregon Symphony, Ms. Moretti joined the Mercer University Townsend School of Music in 2007 as director of the McDuffie Center for Strings where she holds the Caroline Paul King Chair in Strings. With her colleagues Julie Albers and Elizabeth Pridgen, Cortona Trio was formed.
The Cleveland Institute of Music recognized her with an Alumni Achievement Award, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music celebrated her as their 2014 Fanfare Honoree. Through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society in Chicago, she has been awarded extended use of the 1744 G.B. Guadagnini violin known as the “Canadian.”
ELIZABETH PRIDGEN (Artistic Director, piano) Pianist Elizabeth Pridgen has distinguished herself as a soloist and chamber musician and has appeared in concerts at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, Merkin Hall, the Tilles Center on Long Island, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, and the "Rising Stars Series" at the Ravinia Festival. Ms. Pridgen has also performed at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, and the Kosciuszko Foundation, and in recitals in London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Washington D.C., Miami, San Francisco, and throughout the Southeast and Caribbean.
Recently appointed Artistic Director of the Atlanta Chamber Players, she will lead the ensemble as it enters its 39th season. Ms. Pridgen performs regularly at festivals including the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Rome, Italy, the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the River To River Festival, the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, the Water Island Music Festival, and the Madison Chamber Music Festival. An avid chamber performer, she has collaborated with artists such as Elmar Oliveira, Robert McDuffie, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Hilary Hahn, Sarah Chang, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jennifer Koh, Nadja Salerno- Sonnenberg, the Diaz String Trio, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and the American String Quartet. She performs regularly with violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti and cellist Julie Albers as a member of the Cortona Trio and with the Georgian Chamber Players.
Ms. Pridgen is currently a Distinguished Artist and Piano Chair at the McDuffie Center for Strings and holds the G. Leslie Fabian Piano Chair at the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University. She received her Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School where she studied with Joseph Kalichstein and earned her bachelor's degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music as a student of Ann Schein.
BRAD RITCHIE (cello) Originally from Portland, Oregon, Brad Ritchie is currently in his 17th season as cellist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Chamber Players. He earned his Bachelor of Music at Indiana University where he studied with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Janos Starker. In his senior year, his string quartet won the school's Kuttner Quartet Competition, which provided them with a year of recitals and trips to a number of chamber music competitions from Osaka, Japan to Evian, France. Following a summer of quartet concerts in Europe, Mr. Ritchie enrolled in the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany and earned his graduate degree studying with Adriana Contino. After completing his studies in Germany, Mr. Ritchie played for two years in the New World Symphony in Miami under Michael Tilson Thomas. In 1997 he became a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, at which time he also joined the Atlanta Chamber Players. During his 17 years with the ACP, he has made recordings on the CRI, ACA Digital, and MSR labels, and toured extensively, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Boston's Jordan Hall, the American Cathedral in Paris, France, and in the International Chamber Music Festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In addition to his commitments to the ASO and ACP, Brad has played with many other chamber music and new music ensembles in and around Atlanta including Riverside Chamber Players, Thamyris, Emory Chamber Players, Franklin Pond Quartet, GLO-ATL, and Bent Frequency, as well as annual concerts with faculty at Kennesaw State University and recitals with Robert Henry in Highlands, NC. He is a founding member of the contemporary music ensemble Sonic Generator, currently in its 8th season in residence at Georgia Tech University. A highlight of his past summer was to play for a wedding reception at which Clark Howard was in attendance. In his spare time, Brad likes traveling to distant lands, running through the woods, and finding new places to eat.
Photo by J.D. Scott for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
ALCIDES RODRIGUEZ (clarinet), a native of Venezuela, was appointed bass clarinetist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in September of 2005. Before joining the ASO, Mr. Rodriguez was the second and bass clarinetist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. He received his Masters Degree in Music Performance from Northwestern University. He studied clarinet with Russell Dagon, bass clarinet with J. Lawrie Bloom and chamber music with Larry Combs. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Music from Baylor University, where he studied with Richard Shanley.
Mr. Rodriguez began his musical training in 1987 in the Youth Symphony Orchestra of his hometown of Guanare, Venezuela. He continued his clarinet studies at the National Conservatory of Music of Venezuela with Professors Valdemar Rodriguez and Luis Rossi. While in Venezuela, he also studied with distinguished clarinetists Jorge Montilla, Daniel Granados, and Carlos Mujica, and participated in master classes with Walter Boeykens, Paul Meyer, and Eddy Vanoosthuyse. As a soloist, he has been featured on many occasions with the Portuguesa State Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela, the Northwestern and Baylor University Orchestras, performing works of Mozart, Rossini, Weber, Nielsen, Francaix and Copland. His festival engagements have included the New Hampshire Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. Mr. Rodriguez also has an avid interest in the folk music and instruments of Venezuela. In 2005, he was featured with the Jacksonville Symphony performing the Concerto for Maracas and Orchestra by Ricardo Lorenz. Mr. Rodriguez is an Artist Clinician for Rico and Buffet Crampon and plays Buffet clarinets exclusively.
Photo by J.D. Scott for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
TODD SKITCH (flute) Canadian flutist Todd Skitch joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in September 2013 and performed his chamber music debut a few weeks later as newest member of the Atlanta Chamber Players. He is Artist-in-Residence at Kennesaw State University. Mr. Skitch began his orchestral career with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra in 1997 after completing degrees at the University of Toronto and McGill University in Montreal, where his principal teachers were Timothy Hutchins and Nora Shulman. Mr. Skitch’s distinguished career as a teacher and symphony musician includes many credits: an original member of the IRIS Orchestra with Michael Stern; Bellingham Festival of Music; Memphis Chamber Music Society; Tanglewood Music Center; Blossom Music Festival at Kent Unviersity, where he received the Maurice Sharp Award for outstanding flute applicant; Spoleto Festival USA; and the National Repertory Orchestra. While in Memphis, Mr. Skitch served as the Chair of the Board of Directors and the Orchestra Manager for the Memphis Youth Symphony. He also specialized in preparing young flutists for All-State competitions and college auditions. Mr. Skitch has been heard on CBC Radio-Canada, WKNO-Memphis, and as a soloist with the Memphis Symphony and IRIS Orchestra. In 2003 Todd joined the Canadian group Ensemble Noir on a historic, three-nation African tour to Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.
ELIZABETH KOCH TISCIONE (oboe), a native of Hamburg NY, began her position as Principal Oboe of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2007 and made her chamber music debut a few weeks later with the ACP at Spivey Hall. Mrs. Tiscione has been playing the oboe since the age of nine. She studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy under Daniel Stolper and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia under Richard Woodhams. In addition to her position in the ASO, Mrs. Tiscione has performed as soloist with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the World Youth Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Atlanta Symphony. She has also performed with the orchestras of Buffalo, Rochester, St. Paul, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. An avid chamber musician, Mrs. Tiscione has performed with many groups, including the Atlanta, Ritz, and Georgian Chamber Players. She has participated in the Cape Cod, Amelia Island, Twickenham and Tannery Pond Chamber Music Festivals, and has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In the summers she is a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra. Mrs. Tiscione is on the faculty of Kennesaw State University and has presented masterclasses all over the country. Her love for teaching has taken her as far as Colombia where she is a faculty member with Festicamara, in Medellin. Recently married, Elizabeth and Michael Tiscione live in Smyrna/Vinings with their dog and two cats and they share a love of California wine.
Photo by J.D. Scott for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
KENN WAGNER (violin) has been a first violinist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 1994, and has also served as acting assistant concertmaster of the ASO for one season. Outside of the ASO he has also appeared abroad as guest soloist with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra in China, and Christ Church Symphony string section, in New Zealand. Nationally he has soloed with the New Orleans Symphony, Arlington symphony and the Wintergreen Music Festival Orchestra. Locally, Kenn has also appeared as soloist with the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra, the Dekalb Symphony, Clark/Spellman Symphony, Atlanta Philharmonic, and the Atlanta Musicians' Orchestra.In addition to his solo work and position with the ASO, Mr. Wagner enjoys playing chamber music and performs with groups such as the Riverside Chamber Players, Leaptrott Trio(Trio in residence at Brenau University), Atlanta Chamber Players, Awadagin Pratt’s Next Generation Festival, and National Chamber Players with special guest Kenneth Slowik of the Smithsonian Chamber Players.This season he also made his debut at Piccolo Spoleto with the Orlando Chamber Soloists and also performed with members of the Grammy Award winning Cuerteto Latino Americano. Mr Wagner also performed chamber music this summer with former IU faculty member Csaba Erdelyi.
Kenn is a graduate of Indiana University where he trained with Joseph Gingold, former Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. Before completing his undergraduate degree at Indiana University, Mr. Wagner won a position with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, with coaching from Vernon Summers of the National Symphony and former Concertmaster of both Atlanta and National Symphonies, William Steck.
Kenn is very pleased and honored to be on faculty at both Kennesaw State University and Morehouse College.
The Atlanta Chamber Players remember with fondness the late Douglas Sommer, double bass player for the ACP, ASO, and numerous other fine ensembles. His musicianship and his friendship cannot be replaced.