Julian Gray is recognized as one of the outstanding guitarists on the current music scene, performing in recital and as a chamber musician and concerto soloist. He has appeared at many of the most prestigious guitar gatherings, including the Second American Guitar Congress and the Guitar Foundation of America Festival, as well as concert series and festivals in London, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and on tour throughout the United States and Canada. His recording of music for guitar and strings by Paganini with the Diaz Trio was hailed by Stradivarius magazine as the finest example of that genre on record and recordings with former duo partner Ronald Pearl, The Magic Circle , Baroque Inventions, Homages and Evocations and Scarlatti 15 for Dorian, have received enthusiastic accolades from critics and music lovers alike.
He is known for his active involvement in expanding the guitar literature, through transcriptions and by commissioning new music for guitar. Hailed by Acoustic Guitar Magazine as "America's best guitar duo", his duo with Ronald Pearl is the only guitar ensemble to receive a commissioning grant from Chamber Music America and an ASCAP citation for adventuresome programming. His latest publication is a series of transcriptions of music by Domenico Scarlatti for guitar duo by Mel Bay.
Julian Gray is a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award of the Johns Hopkins University. He is the Chair of the Guitar Department at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University where he teaches guitar, guitar history and literature and coaches chamber music. His students and chamber ensembles are frequent top prize winners at major national and international solo guitar and ensemble competitions. Students from Mr. Gray's studio have received every performance and academic honor awarded by the Conservatory and the Johns Hopkins University offered to the Peabody students.
Mr. Gray has also recently joined the faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University where he is Distinguished Artist in Residence and Director of the Guitar Studies Program there. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Guitar Foundation of America.
Judith Saxton enjoys a multi-faceted career as an international soloist, chamber and orchestral musician and educator. As a Conn Selmer clinician and brass and percussion chair at UNC School of the Arts, she concertizes and partners with her organ and piano colleagues, including for her ITG solo cd Contest and Concert Pieces for Trumpet. Featured as soloist and principal solo cornet for North Carolina Brass Band’s 2014 cd First in Flight, she is principal for the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, VA’s Blue Ridge Music Festival, New York Women’s Ensemble, UNCSA and Southeast Chamber Brass.
A graduate of Mansfield (PA) and Northwestern Universities, her most influential teachers were Vincent Cichowicz, Arnold Jacobs, William Scarlett, Susan Slaughter and Michael Galloway. Chamber and recording credits include Wichita Brass Quintet, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Tromba Mundi, Millar and Monarch Brass ensemble, and Crystal, Koss, Proto, Novitas, Moravian Music Foundation and MSR Classics labels. Previously Ms. Saxton was principal and soloist with Hong Kong Philharmonic, Illinois, Wichita and Key West Symphonies, Chicago Chamber Orchestra; guest principal for St. Louis and extra for Chicago Symphony. Board affiliations: EMF, International Trumpet Guild, National Trumpet Competition, International Women’s Brass Conference and US Fulbright. She taught as tenured Associate Professor at Wichita State University, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Illinois Wesleyan Universities. May 2015, she graduated from her Alexander Technique training program.
3rd / Associate Principal
Joy Branagan is currently playing Second Horn in the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. Joy also holds the position of Second Horn with the Richmond Symphony in Virginia.
From 2009-2011, Joy was Second Horn in the Vancouver Symphony in British Columbia. She has also held the position of Second Horn in the San Antonio Symphony, Fourth Horn in the Albany Symphony, and Third Horn in the New Haven Symphony. She has also performed regularly with the Baltimore Symphony and the Washington National Opera.
Joy was honored to be Visiting Professor of Horn at her alma mater, The University of Georgia, for the 2014-2015 school year. She has a private teaching studio, and has been teaching at Bar Harbor Brass Week in Maine since 2007. Joy has been on the faculties of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas and Towson University in Towson, Maryland. She was recently a featured guest artist at the University of Virginia’s first annual BrassFest, and at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Horn Day.
Joy received her musical training from The University of Georgia, earning a Bachelor of Music in Education in 1996, and received a Master of Music in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City in 1998. Her teachers were Dr. Jean Martin-Williams and Erik Ralske.
One of Spain's most promising conductors, JOSÉ-LUIS NOVO is currently music director and conductor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (MD) and the Binghamton Philharmonic (NY). Prior to these appointments, he served as assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under the direction of both music director emeritus Jesús López-Cobos and former music director Paavo Järvi, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the late Erich Kunzel. He has been on the conducting faculty at the Eastern Music Festival since 1999, where he currently holds the position of Resident Conductor.
Some of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra's highlights during Maestro Novo's tenure include a 2006 debut concert appearance at the Music Center at Strathmore, a 2008 ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award, a national broadcast on NPR's Performance Today, a 2012 return appearance at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center with world-renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves for the ASO's 50th Anniversary Gala Concert, and the launching of the ASO's first commercial CD commemorating the 300th anniversary of the signing of Annapolis' Royal Charter. Additionally, the League of American Orchestras recognized the ASO's potential and selected it nationwide as one of only five participants in the Institutional Vision Leadership Initiative two-year seminar (2005-2007). The successful partnership between Mr. Novo and the ASO has received consistent critical acclaim: "Not only did he have an outstandingly clear view of Ravel's piece, but he was able to bring his musicians to the peak of instrumental execution as they kept up with his every nuance and inflection. The end result was one of the most extraordinary readings of Ravel's well-known piece that I have even encountered: fast without blurring instrumental lines; sinuous and alluring without distortion or over-statement; and just plain wonderful." The Capital Gazette. "Novo's feeling for Bartók's arch form unified it all and gave this performance a sweep and power that were truly memorable." The Washington Post. "...the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra unleashed a nasty, unremittingly exciting Shostakovich 10th that showed off the strengths of the ensemble that already has been reconfigured during Novo's brief tenure." The Baltimore Sun.
Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include debut appearances with the Rochester and Fresno Philharmonic Orchestras, return appearances with the Baltimore Symphony, Symphoria (former Syracuse Symphony), Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, and an impressive Kimmel Center debut in Philadelphia conducting the Curtis Institute Orchestra in a last minute replacement for an ailing Maestro Otto Werner Mueller. Prior guest conducting engagements have included, among others, appearances with the Symphony Silicon Valley, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Syracuse, Modesto, Tulsa, Windsor, Stamford, and Tallahassee Symphonies; the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra; the Cleveland and Abilene Philharmonics; the Tenerife, Principado de Asturias, and Castilla y León Symphony Orchestras; the City of Granada Orchestra; the Andrés Segovia Chamber Orchestra at the National Auditorium in Madrid, the Vallés Symphony Orchestra at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, and the Echternach Festival Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and on tour in Luxembourg and Germany.
While maintaining a relevant professional conducting career, Mr. Novo has also developed a reputation as a keen educator of young musicians. He has held the positions of music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Miami University Symphony Orchestra; associate conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra; and assistant conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Spain and the Yale Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has conducted many noteworthy college and youth orchestras such as the Curtis Institute Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the University of Maryland, Bard Conservatory and Ithaca College Symphony Orchestras, the National Youth Orchestra of Spain and the Portuguesa State Youth Orchestra of the Venezuelan El Sistema.
Jonathan Baumgarten is a flute instructor in the applied music program at American University in Washington, D.C. He holds a MM from Juilliard where he was a scholarship student of Samuel Baron. He studied with Thomas Nyfenger on a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and in Paris with Michel Debost. Mr. Baumgarten has been principal flutist of the Mexico City Philharmonic, and has made recordings for NPR and the Discovery Channel. He performs with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and other ensembles in the Washington DC area. He spends summers performing with the Bear Valley Music Festival in the High Sierra of California.
JOHN SHAW is the principal percussionist with The Florida Orchestra, which he joined in 1992. He joined the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in 2008, and was appointed principal percussion in 2012. Shaw earned a B.M. from Florida State University, where he studied with Gary Werdesheim, and a M.M. from Temple University as a student of noted Philadelphia Orchestra percussionist Alan Abel.
Mr. Shaw has been featured as a soloist with The Florida Orchestra many times, performing Joseph Schwantner’s Concerto for Percussion, Bela Bartók’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion, James MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, and Tan Dun’s Water Concerto. His group, the Tampa Bay Steel Orchestra, was featured with The Florida Orchestra in March 2005 and October 2009.
Mr. Shaw has overseen the percussion studio at St. Petersburg College since 1996, directing the Percussion Ensemble, Steel Drum Band and teaching applied lessons.
Additionally, Mr. Shaw is the principal percussionist with Opera Tampa and St. Petersburg Opera. He has performed with such artists as Idina Menzel, Andrea Bocelli, Joe Piscopo, Perry Como, Rich Little, Roger Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, and Frank Sinatra, Jr., as well as Broadway touring productions of White Christmas and Anything Goes.
Shaw is vice-president of the Florida chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, and presented masterclasses at the society’s 2010 and 2013 International Convention. He is an artist for Zildjian, Pearl/Adams and Freer Percussion. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Florida Orchestra and Eastern Music Festival principal harpist Anna Kate Mackle.
Violinist John Fadial, Assistant Concertmaster of the Eastern Festival Orchestra since 2000, has appeared on four continents as chamber musician, soloist and pedagogue, and his performances have been praised by the critics. "Sparkling Technique," L'Est Republicain "Wow! Great Stuff," The Washington Post. He has toured internationally for the US State Department as a United States Artistic Ambassador, and has served as Concertmaster of the North Carolina Opera, the Colorado Festival, the Menuhin Festival Orchestra of Saumur (France), the Heidelberg Schloss-Spiele (Germany), and Greensboro (NC) Symphony Orchestra (eighteen seasons). He has performed at: the Phillips Collection, the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center, the Salle Poirel (Nancy, France), the University of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Fadial has given recent master classes at prestigious institutions and universities around the globe including: the Eastern (US) and Mirecourt (France) Music Festivals, and the Universities of Paraiba (João Passoa, Brazil), Bahia (Salvador Brazil), Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma and the Interlochen Arts Academy. He currently maintains a large and talented violin class at the University of Wyoming. His students have won positions and competitions around the US, and have included four MTNA National Finalists. He holds degrees from the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Eastman School, and the University of Maryland where his teachers were Elaine Richey, Charles Castleman, and Arnold Steinhardt, respectively. As a recording artist he was a semifinalist for the Grammy Award for best Chamber Music Performance of 2007 for the CD Where Does Love Go: Chamber Music of Mark Engebretson on the Innova label; and in 2009 he released a disc of the Complete String Sextets of Johannes Brahms (RadioFrance) with the Stanislas Sextet of Nancy (France), of which he is a founding member. His disc of the Chamber Music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was deemed "not to be missed" by American Record Guide; and he recently completed a recording of the Brahms Sonatas for the Centaur label. His disc of the Chamber Music of Jennifer Higdon, produced in collaboration with the Pulitzer Prize winning composer was released on the Albany label in 2013. In 2016 Fadial has performed throughout France as a founding member of the Nancy based Stanislas Sextet in celebration of their 20th season. Concerts included the French premier of Gerard Schwarz Duos for Violin and Cello, and world premiers of new Sextets by Georges, Sauget and Fadial.
1st Assistant Concertmaster
Joel Braun is Assistant Professor of Double Bass at Ball State University (BSU). As an orchestral musician he has performed in the world’s leading concert halls. He currently holds a section bass position in the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and performs regularly as a substitute musician with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He has performed extensively with the New York Philharmonic, including numerous international tours to Europe, Asia, and throughout North America. Additional experiences include performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the New York City Ballet Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic.
As a soloist Joel has performed recent recitals at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the Eastman School of Music. He is a frequent collaborator with the members of the American Piano Trio and can be heard regularly in solo and chamber music performances at Ball State University and throughout the mid-west.
As an educator Joel has presented recent master classes at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Oregon, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He has held faculty positions at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division, New York City's Special Music School at the Kaufman Center, the Benefic Chamber Music Camp, the Music For All National Festival, and the Music For All Summer Symposium. He recently presented a lecture/recital at the International Society of Bassists (ISB) 2015 convention at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado on the subject of Eugene Levinson’s book The School of Agility and an article on the same subject recently appeared in the ISB professional journal “Bass World”.
Joel studied with Eugene Levinson at The Juilliard School where he earned his B.M. and M.M. degrees. He lives in Muncie, IN with his wife and son.
Violinist JOAN GRIFFING is the concertmaster of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra and first violinist with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Griffing earned her BM and MM degrees in violin performance from Indiana University and her D.M.A. from The Ohio State University. She has performed and given master classes in Taiwan, Brazil, and Australia. She is a founding member and tours regularly with the chamber music group Musica Harmonia, formed to promote peace and cultural understanding through musical collaboration. The group recorded a CD of chamber music by Gwyneth Walker to be released in 2016. The CD will include two works composed specifically for Musica Harmonia. Griffing and cellist Beth Vanderborgh gave the North American premiere of Double Concerto for Violin and Cello by New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie in June 2012.The duo were Artists-in-Residence at the Brush Creek Arts Foundation in Wyoming in May2012. Recent solo performances include violinist in Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending with The Dance Theater of Harlem in May 2014. Joan and Musica Harmonia colleagues recorded 20th music for piano and strings with pianist Naoko Takao for a CD to be released in 2016.Dr Griffing holds the position of professor of music at Eastern Mennonite University.
An avid fan of symphony orchestras from a young age, JESSICA RYOU performs with the New World Symphony, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Orchestra and Firelands Symphony Orchestra. She received her master's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music after studying with William Preucil and her bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California, studying with Margaret Batjer and Henry Gronnier. She had the privilege of serving as concertmaster for several orchestras and music festivals, such as the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Orchestral Institute and Brevard Music Festival. An active orchestral musician, Ryou has also had the opportunity to perform as a soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, playing the Dvořák Violin Concerto and the Moszkowski Suite. During her studies, she also performed for renowned violinists like Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, David Kim, Sheryl Staples and Masao Kawasaki.
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