Concerts and Tickets

The ACP is proud to present the talented musicians who will perform during our 38th season.

Clarinet
Laura Ardan
Laura Ardan

LAURA ARDAN (clarinet) is Principal Clarinet of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 1982, and has performed with the Atlanta Chamber Players since 1987. A student of Roger Hiller and Stanley Drucker, she attended the Juilliard School of Music on scholarships from the Juilliard School and the Naumburg Foundation.

Prior to coming to Atlanta, she spent four years as resident clarinetist and teaching artist for the Lincoln Center Institute and two years with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Ms. Ardan has performed in the Tanglewood, Marlboro and Mostly Mozart Festivals and has appeared as guest artist with “Emanuel Ax Invites...” on the Great Performers Series in New York’s Lincoln Center. The past several summers she has been a featured performer at the Grand Teton Music Festival, as well as chamber music festivals in Highlands-Cashiers, North Carolina, Amelia Island, Florida and Bellingham, Washington. Last season she presented the World Premiere in Atlanta of “The Nature of Light,” a concerto for clarinet and string orchestra by Michael Gandolfi, written for Ms. Ardan, Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony. She later premiered the work in the Northeast in a performance with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in Jordan Hall. Upcoming is a commission for the “Shepherd on the Rock” trio of Ardan/McPhail/Peace by Atlanta composer Mark Gresham, to be premiered in the 2013-2014 season. Ms. Ardan serves as Affiliate Faculty at Emory University.

Photo by J.D. Scott for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Violin
Helen Hwaya Kim
Helen Kim

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 Master's Degree from the Juilliard School, where her teachers included Cho-Liang Lin and Dorothy DeLay. 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, 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 US, including performances at Alice Tully Hall and the Santa Fe and La Jolla 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. Ms. Kim 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.

Viola
Catherine Lynn
Catherine Lynn

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

Soprano
Ann Marie McPhail

Ann McPhail

ANN-MARIE MCPHAIL (soprano) Atlanta-born, Ms. McPhail is one of the region’s seasoned performers and is establishing herself as a versatile lyric soprano in the US. She completed her undergraduate degree at Clark Atlanta University and received a Master’s in Voice Performance from Georgia State University. Ms. McPhail made her career debut with the Houston Ebony Opera playing the role of the Countess in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Her accolades include winner of the Rose-Palmai Tenser Vocal Competition and “Diva Goddess” in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Closing Ceremonies. Ms. McPhail’s credits include onstage singer in Tyler Perry’s movie, For Colored Girls, “Strawberry Woman” in the Atlanta Opera’s 2011 production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and guest artist of the MLK Project for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial at Constitution Hall in Washington DC. Recently Ms. McPhail won the American Traditions Competition in Savannah GA and was invited to sing with the Savannah Symphony, “A Celebration of American Song.” Ms. McPhail has served as Artist Affiliate at Talladega College, Agnes Scott College, Spelman College, and she taught voice at the Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem. She has sung with Capitol City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Paris Comique Opera, Atlanta Opera, Houston Ebony Opera, Opera Ebony, Macon Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlanta Singers. This is her 2nd season with the Atlanta Chamber Players

Artistic Director, Piano
Paula Peace
Paula Peace

PAULA PEACE (piano, Artistic Managing Director) is the founder of the Atlanta Chamber Players and has served as the group’s Artistic Director for all but a few months of its 38 seasons. For the group she has produced concerts and performed in more than 250 cities; produced, edited and performed on all six ACP recordings and CDs; produced and performed almost 125 regional and world premieres in Atlanta; and designed and performed hundreds of concert programs, educational lectures and master classes throughout the South. She formerly served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Chamber Music at Georgia State University and was Artist in Residence at Kennesaw State University. As soloist, Ms. Peace has appeared with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, DeKalb Symphony and the Lanier Symphony. In demand as a collaborative pianist, she performed with top prize winner Amy Porter at the Kobe International Flute Competition in Japan, and in the brass world has performed with Charles Vernon, Stephen Burns, Eric Ruske, Scott Hartmann, Michael Mulcahy and her husband Michael Moore. She has performed with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman with the Chamber Music Society of Emory. She received her B.Mus from Florida State University in the studio of Leonidas Lipovetsky, and her M.Mus from State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied piano with Martin Canin and did extensive chamber music coaching with Gilbert Kalish, Samuel Baron, Bernard Greenhouse, Timothy Eddy, Alvin Brehm and David Glazer. Other significant teachers include Virginia Hutchings, Menahem Pressler, and Leonard Shure. Summer performances include the Aspen Music Festival and Institut de Hautes Etudes Musicales in Crans, Switzerland. Public Broadcasting Atlanta selected Paula Peace as Lexus Leader of the Arts in 2004.

Photo by Nick Arroyo

Guest Piano
Elizabeth Pridgen

ELIZABETH PRIDGEN (guest piano) Pianist Elizabeth Pridgen has distinguished herself as a soloist and chamber musician with recent concerts including appearances at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, Merkin Hall, 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, the Kosciuszko Foundation, and in recitals in London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Washington D.C., Miami, San Francisco, and throughout the Southeast and Caribbean. 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 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, Lynn Harrell, Hilary Hahn, Sarah Chang, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jennifer Koh, Mark O'Connor , the Diaz String Trio, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and the American String Quartet. She also performs regularly with violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti and cellist Julie Albers as a member of the Cortona Trio and with the Georgian Chamber Players. Her recording featuring Liszt's transcription of Berlioz's Harold in Italy, with violist Jennifer Stumm ,will be released by Orchid Classics in spring 2014. 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.

Cello
Brad Ritchie
Brad Ritchie

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

Clarinet
Alcides Rodriguez
Alcides Rodriguez

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

Flute
Todd Skitch

Todd SkitchTODD 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.

Bass
Douglas Sommer
Douglas Sommer

Douglas Sommer, double bassist, has been a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 1989. Previously, he had been a member of the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. A California native, Mr. Sommer studied double bass at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and went on to receive his Masters degree at the New England Conservatory of Music, studying with Lawrence Wolfe. He has played at the Spoleto Festival, was a fellow at the Tanglewood Institute, and has participated in the Grand Teton Music Festival and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. An active chamber musician, he has performed with the Atlanta Virtuosi, Atlanta Winds, Lyra String Quartet, Emory Chamber Players, Kennesaw State University Chamber Players, the Riverside Chamber Players, Sonic Generator, and the Atlanta Chamber Players. Mr. Sommer has participated in the Pensacola Chamber Music Festival and performed with the Alexander Quartet at the Highlands Chamber Music Festival. He enjoys playing all styles of music and has had the opportunity to play bass and electric bass with many artists, including George Benson, Clay Aiken, Michael Feinstein, and Mercedes Ellington. An active recording musician, Mr. Sommer has performed on the recordings of R.E.M., Shawn Mullins, and Kelly Price and has recorded numerous commercials including Delta, Hallmark, and the Cartoon Network. Mr. Sommer is on the faculty at Kennesaw State University and is a sought after clinician at schools and universities throughout the southeast. He is a former board member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Photo by J.D. Scott for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Oboe
Elizabeth Tiscione
Elizabeth Koch

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

Violin
Kenn Wagner
Kenn Wagner

KENN WAGNER (violin) Kenn Wagner has been a first violinist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 1994 and 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 in New Zealand. Nationally he has soloed with the New Orleans Symphony, Arlington Virginia Symphony and was reengaged as soloist with the Wintergreen Music Festival. Locally Mr. Wagner has appeared as soloist and Concertmaster with the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra performing the Barber, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Glazanov violin concertos, and the Beethoven Concerto for a special anniversary concert of the ACSO at Atlanta Symphony Hall. Other solo engagements have been with Dekalb Symphony, Clark/Spelman Symphony, Atlanta Philharmonic, and this season, the Atlanta Musicians' Orchestra.In addition to his solo work and position with the ASO, Mr. Wagner enjoys playing chamber music and - in addition to the Atlanta Chamber Players - performs with groups such as the Riverside Chamber Players, Leaptrott Trio (in residence at Brenau University), Awadagin Pratt’s Next Generation Festival, and the National Chamber Players with special guest Kenneth Slowik of the Smithsonian Chamber Players. Over the last decade during summers, he has been Principal Second, Assistant Concertmaster, and Acting Concertmaster of the Wintergreen Music Festival. Mr Wagner 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 orchestral excerpt 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 joining the faculty at Kennesaw State University this semester. 

Guest Piano
Tim Whitehead
Tim Whitehead

TIM WHITEHEAD (guest piano) A young artist of many facets, Tim Whitehead is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and has been both a long- and short-term Resident Artist at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. He has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, and has been heard on National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s ZedTV, and Radio Suisse Romande. Mr. Whitehead is a laureate of the Academie de Musique de Lausanne, has been presented in recital at The Holland Music Sessions, and has held staff piano positions at Bennington College and The Quartet Program at Bucknell University. Two consecutive summers were spent as a faculty member at Point CounterPoint Chamber Music Festival in Vermont. As a chamber musician, he has shared the stage with such eminent talents as violinist Charles Castleman, cellist Bonnie Hampton, flutists Gergeley Ittzes and Paula Robison, faculty members of the Juilliard and Eastman Schools, New England Conservatory, the Franz Liszt Academy, founding members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and principal members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, and Melbourne Opera. He is a frequent chamber partner to members of the ASO and, while still in school, was awarded chamber music honors by the Eastman faculty. With an extensive repertoire of over 700 major works, he has performed complete cycles of the sonatas for piano and violin by both Beethoven and Brahms, as well as the cello and clarinet sonatas of Brahms. As a student of the solo repertoire, his primary teacher was Thomas Schumacher; his collaborative skills were honed by further studies with Jean Barr. As an accompanist, he has twice played for the ASTA Young Artist Competition National Finals. Mr. Whitehead’s work as a recording artist can be heard on the Azica label. A dedicated teacher, he is currently a member of the piano faculty of The Georgia Academy of Music in Atlanta.