Featured Guests

These clinicians, conductors, performers, and keynote speakers are confirmed for the 2018 SAA Conference. Check this page for additions.

Masterclass Clinicians
Bass
Cello
Flute
Guitar
Harp
Piano
Recorder
Viola
Violin
Voice

Conductors & Performers
SYOA
SYASE
Chamber Music Masterclasses
Advanced Violin Performing Ensemble
Flute Performing Ensemble
Guitar Ensemble

The Montrose Trio

Guest Speakers

Dalcroze

Masterclass Clinicians

Bass

Paul Ellison

Paul Ellison

Performing solo and ensemble concerts as well as giving master classes on the double bass and period instruments on four continents, Paul Ellison is the Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Double Bass and chair of strings at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Visiting Artist-Faculty University of Southern California and guest tutor at the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Royal College of Music, and Bass Club, England.  Current summer positions include principal bass at the Grand Teton Music Festival, faculty/performer at the Sarasota Music Festival and faculty/performer at Festival Domaine Forget, Quebec.  Former students hold titled positions in major ensembles and institutions of higher learning on five continents.  Previous positions include principal bass of Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Aspen Festival Orchestras (also faculty), professor of double bass and chair of strings at the University of Southern California, and president of the International Society of Bassists.   Ellison was the first to receive both the diploma and teaching certificate from Institut International Rabbath, Paris.  “…The treat of the afternoon turned out to be hearing the double bass as a solo instrument…Paul Ellison…demonstrated virtuosity.  [The] bass shines as [the] music festival gets underway.”

Cello

Clive Greensmith

Clive Greensmith

Clive Greensmith is one of the most successful British cellists of his generation. From 1999 until 2013 he was a member of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet, giving over one hundred performances each year in the most prestigious international venues, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, London’s South Bank, Paris Chatelet, Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

He has collaborated with international artists such as Midori, Andras Schiff, Pinchas Zukerman, Leon Fleisher, Lynn Harrell, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Alicia de Larrocha and Emmanuel Ax.

Mr. Greensmith has given guest performances at prominent festivals worldwide. In North America he has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Ravinia Festival. Internationally he has appeared at the Salzburg Festival in Austria, Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, Pacific Music Festival in Japan and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

As a soloist, Clive Greensmith has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, and the RAI Orchestra of Rome among others.

During a career spanning over twenty-five years, Mr. Greensmith has built up a catalogue of landmark recordings, most notably The Complete Beethoven String Quartet Cycle for Harmonia Mundi with the Tokyo String Quartet, Mozart’s ‘Prussian’ Quartets with the Tokyo String Quartet and Brahms Cello Sonatas with Boris Berman for Biddulph Recordings, and Clarinet Trios by Beethoven and Brahms with Jon Nakamatsu and Jon Manasse for Harmonia Mundi. His recording of Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major with the Tokyo String Quartet was named an “Outstanding” recording by the International Record Review.

At the age of twenty, Clive Greensmith came to the music world’s attention during an internationally broadcast BBC television masterclass series hosted by Paul Tortelier, a pre-eminent cellist of the 20th century. Mr. Greensmith studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in England with American cellist, Donald McCall, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Julius Isserlis Scholarship. A Royal Society of Arts scholarship enabled him to continue his studies at the Cologne Musikhochschule in Germany with Russian cellist Boris Pergamenschikow.

In 1987 he made his concerto debut with the London Symphony Orchestra and went on to be First Prize Winner in the Sergio Lorenzi chamber music competition in Trieste, Italy, and First Prize Winner in the Caltanisetta Duo competition. Most notably, as a major prize winner in the first ever “Premio Stradivari” held in Cremona, Italy in 1991, Mr. Greensmith was launched into a series of major recital and concerto appearances throughout Europe.

Deeply committed to the mentoring and development of young musicians, Clive has enjoyed a long and distinguished teaching career. In addition to his fifteen-year residency with the Tokyo String Quartet at Yale University, Mr. Greensmith has served as a member of faculty at the Yehudi Menuhin School and Royal Northern College of Music in England, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music and New York University. In 2014 he was appointed Co-Director of Chamber Music and Professor of Cello at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. Students of Mr. Greensmith have gone on to secure major positions in orchestras throughout the world and have won a number of prestigious awards. In 2015 he was a jury member at the 2015 Carl Nielsen Chamber Music Competition in Copenhagen.

Mr Greensmith is a founding member of the Montrose Trio with pianist Jon Kimura Parker and violinist Martin Beaver.

Flute

Robert Langevin

Robert Langevin

With the start of the 2000–01 season, Robert Langevin joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Flute, in The Lila Acheson Wallace Chair. In May 2001, he made his solo debut with the Orchestra in the North American premiere of Siegfried Matthus’s Concerto for Flute and Harp with Philharmonic Principal Harp Nancy Allen and Music Director Kurt Masur. His October 2012 solo performance in Nielsen’s Flute Concerto, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert, was recorded for inclusion in The Nielsen Project, the Orchestra’s multi-season traversal of all of the Danish composer’s symphonies and concertos, to be released by Dacapo Records.

Prior to the Philharmonic, Mr. Langevin held the Jackman Pfouts Principal Flute Chair of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and was an adjunct professor at Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh. Mr. Langevin served as associate principal of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for 13 years, playing on more than 30 recordings. As a member of Musica Camerata Montreal and l’Ensemble de la Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec, he premiered many works, including the Canadian premiere of Pierre Boulez’s Le Marteau sans maître. In addition, Mr. Langevin has performed as soloist with Quebec’s most distinguished ensembles and has recorded many recitals and chamber music programs for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He also served on the faculty of the University of Montreal for nine years.

Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Robert Langevin began studying flute at age 12 and joined the local orchestra three years later. While studying with Jean-Paul Major at the Montreal Conservatory of Music, he started working in recording studios, where he accompanied a variety of artists of different styles. He graduated in 1976 with two first prizes, one in flute, the other, in chamber music. Not long after, he won the prestigious Prix d’Europe, a national competition open to all instruments with a first prize of a two-year scholarship to study in Europe. This enabled him to work with Aurèle Nicolet at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, where he graduated in 1979. He then went on to study with Maxence Larrieu, in Geneva, winning second prize at the Budapest International Competition in 1980.

Mr. Langevin is a member of the Philharmonic Quintet of New York with which he has performed concerts on many continents. In addition, he has given recitals and master classes throughout the United States and in countries such as Canada, Spain, Costa Rica, Japan, North Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam. He is currently on the faculties of The Juilliard School, The Manhattan School of Music, and the Orford International Summer Festival.

Guitar

Berta Rojas Photo

Berta Rojas

Renowned for her flawless technique and innate musicality, Berta Rojas ranks among today’s foremost classical guitarists. She has been praised as “guitarist extraordinaire” by the Washington Post and by Classical Guitar Magazine as “Ambassador of the classical guitar.” She has been nominated three times for a Latin Grammy Award; in the category of Best Instrumental Album for Día y Medio—A Day and a Half, a duet with Paquito D’Rivera (2012), in the category of Best Classical Album, for her album Salsa Roja (2014), and more recently in the category of Best Tango Album, for her album History of Tango (2015), recorded with the Camerata Bariloche.

Berta’s acknowledged warmth and musicality have accorded her a place of preference among audiences that have applauded her at such major stages as the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall and the Frederick P. Rose Hall of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, London’s South Bank Centre, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the National Concert Hall in Dublin where she performed as a soloist with the Irish Radio and Television Orchestra, as well as the Flagley Studio 4 in Brussels where she performed with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra for the Belgian National Television.

In 2011, Berta, along with Paquito D’Rivera as guest star, initiated the four-year tour “In the Footsteps of Mangoré” which followed the travels of Agustín Barrios, pioneer of the classical guitar in the Americas. The duo performed in 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, concluding the journey at the national theater of the capital of El Salvador; the final resting place of this celebrated composer.

Her performances as a soloist showcase her mastery in terms of interpretation and technique. Berta takes the audience of each concert on a colorful journey of sounds embracing new works by composers of diverse genres. This is echoed in her discography which includes recordings such as Cielo Abierto (2006) and Terruño (2009), as well as the duo with Carlos Barbosa-Lima in Alma y Corazón (2007) and the celebrated album, Intimate Barrios (2008), that offers works by the great Paraguayan composer and guitarist, Agustín Barrios.

In addition to continually enriching her own artistic career through frequent international tours giving concerts and master classes, Berta Rojas is firmly committed to furthering and disseminating the classical guitar. A particular focus is on promoting the music of her country, Paraguay, as well as Latin American music, and ongoing support for the careers of young, upcoming artists.

Along those lines, she created the first online classical guitar competition, the Barrios World Wide Web Competition in 2009. With two editions already held, it continues to generate tremendous interest throughout the guitar world. Additionally, Berta was the Artistic Director of the three editions of the Ibero-American Guitar Festival at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., and co-founded the Beatty Music Scholarship Competition for Classical Guitar for youth, garnering the winners an opportunity to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Berta Rojas first studied with Felipe Sosa, Violeta de Mestral in her native Paraguay. She then moved to Uruguay to study under Abel Carlevaro, and went on to get a Bachelor of Music degree from the Escuela Universitaria de Música there as a student of Eduardo Fernández, while also taking lessons with Mario Payseé. She went on and add a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Institute under the guidance of Manuel Barrueco. At Peabody, she also took lessons with Ray Chester and Julian Gray.

Rojas has been honored as a Fellow of the Americas by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for her artistic excellence. In a 2014 publication, the news agency EFE deems her one of the most influential women in the Hispanic world.

Harp

Emily Levin

Emily Levin

Image by Dario Acosta

The Principal Harpist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Bronze Medal Winner of the 9th USA International Harp Competition, Emily Levin has been praised for her “communicative, emotionally intense expression” (Jerusalem Post) and her “technical wizardry and artistic intuition” (Herald Times). She brings the harp to the forefront of a diverse musical spectrum, believing strongly in music’s ability to both communicate and connect with all audiences.

The youngest principal harpist of a major American orchestra, Emily has performed at Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the World Harp Congress, the Aspen and Lakes Area Music Festivals, and with the Dallas, Jerusalem and Colorado Symphony Orchestras, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Colorado Chamber Players, and the Indiana University Festival Orchestra, among others. She is the2017Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year,awinner of the 2016 Astral Auditions, andhasperformed with the New York Philharmonic at David Geffen Hall and at the BRAVO! Vail Music Festival. As a soloist and chamber musician, she hasperformed throughout the United States and Europe, including at the Kimmel Center, Alice Tully Hall, andthe Meyerson Symphony Center.A top prizewinner at the International Harp Contest in Israel, she was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival.

Emily works extensively with established and emerging composers alike, which led to commendation from the New York Times for both “singing well and playing beautifully.” She is a core member of the New York-based new music group Ensemble Échappé,and has recorded music for composers such as Charles Wuorinen, David Dzubay, and Louis Karchin.In 2012, The Indiana University Composition Department recognized her for her collaboration and performance of new music.Most recently, Emilycommissioneda four-composer set of character pieces inspired by Shel Silverstein.

Emily received her Master of Music degree in 2015 at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Nancy Allen, where she was a teaching fellow for both the Ear Training and Educational Outreach departments.A self-described bookworm, she completed undergraduate degrees in Music and History at Indiana University with Susann McDonald.Her honors history thesis discussed the impact of war songs on the French Revolution.

Piano

Jon Kimura Parker

Jon Kimura Parker

Known for his passionate artistry and engaging stage presence, pianist Jon Kimura Parker has performed as guest soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Wolfgang Sawallisch in Carnegie Hall, toured Europe with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Andre Previn, and shared the stage with Jessye Norman at Berlin’s Philharmonie. Conductors he has recently worked with include Teddy Abrams, Pablo Heras-Cassado, Claus Peter Flor, Hans Graf, Matthew Halls, Jeffrey Kahane, Peter Oundjian, Larry Rachleff, Bramwell Tovey, Xu Zhong and Pinchas Zukerman. A true Canadian ambassador of music, Mr. Parker has given command performances for Queen Elizabeth II, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Japan. He is an Officer of The Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian honor.

He performs as duo partner regularly with James Ehnes, Aloysia Friedmann, Lynn Harrell, Jamie Parker, Orli Shaham, and Cho-Liang Lin, with whom he has given world premieres of sonatas by Paul Schoenfield, John Harbison and Steven Stucky. He performs regularly with the Miró Quartet, and is a founding member of the Montrose Trio with violinist Martin Beaver and cellist Clive Greensmith. The Washington Post’s review of the Montrose Trio’s first tour in 2015 proclaimed them “poised to become one of the top piano trios in the world.”

As a member of the outreach project Piano Plus, Mr. Parker toured remote areas including the Canadian Arctic, performing classical music and rock’n’roll on everything from upright pianos to electronic keyboards. In commemoration of his special performances in war-torn Sarajevo in 1995, he was a featured speaker alongside humanitarians Elie Wiesel and Paul Rusesabagina at the 50th Anniversary of the relief organization AmeriCares.

An unusually versatile artist, Mr. Parker has also jammed with Audra McDonald, Bobby McFerrin, and Doc Severinsen, and this season performed tangos on two pianos with Pablo Ziegler. Mr. Parker also debuted his new project Off The Score in a quintet with legendary Police drummer Stewart Copeland, featuring both original compositions and fresh takes on music of Ravel, Prokofiev and Stravinsky.

An active media personality, Mr. Parker hosted the television series Whole Notes on Bravo! and CBC Radio’s Up and Coming. His YouTube channel showcases the Concerto Chat video series, with illuminating discussions of the piano concerto repertoire.

This season, Mr. Parker performs as concerto soloist with the New York Philharmonic and Bramwell Tovey, the Chicago Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra with Marin Alsop, The Milwaukee Symphony with Lawrence Renes, the IRIS Orchestra with Michael Stern, the Naples Philharmonic with Andre Boreyko, and the Minnesota Orchestra with Gilbert Varga. He gives recitals with Cho-Liang Lin, tours Off the Score with Stewart Copeland in the spring of 2016, and throughout the season gives twenty concerts with the Montrose Trio.

A committed educator, Jon Kimura Parker is Professor of Piano at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. His students have won international piano competitions, performed with major orchestras across the U.S., and given recitals in Amsterdam, Beijing, New York and Moscow. He has lectured at The Juilliard School, The Colburn School, The Steans Institute, New York University, and Yale University. Mr. Parker is also Artistic Advisor of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, where he has given world premieres of new works by Peter Schickele and Jake Heggie.

Jon Kimura Parker has recorded music of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Chopin and PDQ Bach for Telarc, Mozart for CBC, and Stravinsky, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Di Liberto and Hirtz under his own label. His new CD Fantasy features Fantasies of Schubert and Schumann, as well as the sensational Wizard of Oz Fantasy by William Hirtz, receiving this praise from Classical Candor: “The reading is riveting. Parker scores with another favorite recording of the year.”

“Jackie” Parker studied with Edward Parker and Keiko Parker privately, Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia, Robin Wood at the Victoria Conservatory, Marek Jablonski at the Banff Centre, and Adele Marcus at The Juilliard School. He won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition. He lives in Houston with his wife, violinist Aloysia Friedmann and their daughter Sophie.

Recorder

Paul Leenhouts

Paul Leenhouts

Paul Leenhouts, recorder, is director of Early Music Studies and the Baroque Orchestra at the University of North Texas. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where he was on the faculty as professor of recorder and historical development from 1993 to 2011. He is a founding member of the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet since 1978. In 2002, he became director of the contemporary music collective Blue Iguana. He is also a composer, arranger and editor of numerous works for chamber music ensembles. Mr. Leenhouts has recorded for Decca L’Oiseau-Lyre, Channel Classics, Vanguard, Lindoro and Berlin Classics. Two L’Oiseau-Lyre recordings received the prestigious Edison Award. In 1986, he initiated the Open Holland Recorder Festival Utrecht and from 1993 he has been director of the International Baroque Institute at Longy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His special interest in renaissance consort repertoire led to the founding of The Royal Wind Music in 1997. As a conductor, he won wide acclaim for Gabrieli, Guerrero and Morales productions at international early music festivals. In 2004 Mr. Leenhouts was elected president of the European Recorder Performers Society. As well as performing numerous concerts and coaching masterclasses within the early music field, he also regularly performs with contemporary and music theatre groups such as Musikfabrik, Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium, ZT Hollandia and NT Gent.

Viola

Dunham James

Dunham James

James Dunham’s rich background includes having been violist of the Grammy-winning Cleveland Quartet and founding violist of the Naumburg Award-winning Sequoia Quartet. He frequently collaborates with the American, Jupiter and Takács Quartets, and is violist of the Axelrod Quartet, in residence at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. where the group performs on their collection of Nicolò Amati and Stradivari instruments. Mr. Dunham is a frequent presence in master classes and competition juries throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the Fischoff and Osaka Chamber Music Competitions. Recent seasons included a tour with the New Zealand String Quartet of their home country, a U.S. tour with the Jupiter String Quartet and a recital and masterclasses at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig. Earlier this season, Mr. Dunham was guest with the Takács String Quartet, performed chamber music with star pianist Joyce Yang, and appeared as soloist with Houston’s Mercury: The Orchestra Redefined. An impassioned advocate of new music, he has premiered and recorded many works written for him, notably by American composer Libby Larsen, and his recent recording of Judith Shatin’s Glyph for solo viola and piano quintet received rave reviews. The Cleveland Quartet’s recording of John Corigliano’s String Quartet, written for their final tour, won the 1996 Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance. Mr. Dunham is Professor of Viola at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music where he co-directs the Master of Music in String Quartet program.

Violin

Martin Beaver

Martin Beaver

Canadian violinist Martin Beaver was first violin of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet from June 2002 until its final concert in July 2013.  As such, he appeared to critical and public acclaim on the major stages of the world including New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Berliner Philharmonie, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

As a member of the Tokyo String Quartet, Mr. Beaver was privileged to perform on the 1727 Stradivarius violin from the “Paganini Quartet” set of instruments, on generous loan to the quartet from the Nippon Music Foundation.  Recordings of the Tokyo String Quartet during his tenure notably include the complete Beethoven quartets on the Harmonia Mundi label.

Mr. Beaver’s concerto and recital appearances span four continents with orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra and under the batons of Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Raymond Leppard, Charles Dutoit and Yannick Nézet-Séguin among others.  Chamber music performances include collaborations with such eminent artists as Leon Fleisher, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Sabine Meyer and Yefim Bronfman.

Mr. Beaver is a regular guest at prominent festivals in North America and abroad. Among these are: the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Edinburgh Festival (U.K.) and Pacific Music Festival (Japan).

Mr. Beaver’s discography includes concerti, sonatas and chamber music on the Harmonia Mundi, Biddulph, Naim Audio, René Gailly, Musica Viva, SM 5000 and Naxos labels.  His recorded repertoire ranges from Bach, Beethoven and Brahms to the music of living composers Alexina Louie and Joan Tower.

Following his early studies with Claude Letourneau and Carlisle Wilson, Mr. Beaver was a pupil of Victor Danchenko, Josef Gingold and Henryk Szeryng.  He is a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth, Montreal and Indianapolis competitions. Subsequently, he has served on the juries of major international competitions including the 2009 Queen Elisabeth and 2010 Montreal competitions, the 2014 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and the 2015 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Beaver has been the grateful recipient of generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts.  This includes Arts Grants for his studies at Indiana University, Career Development Grants and the 1993 Virginia-Parker Prize.  In 1998, through the kindness of an anonymous donor, the Canada Council awarded Mr. Beaver the use of the 1729 “ex-Heath” Guarnerius del Gesù violin for a four-year period.

A devoted educator, Mr. Beaver has conducted masterclasses throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.  He has held teaching positions at the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of British Columbia and the Peabody Conservatory.  More recently, he served on the faculty of New York University and as Artist in Residence at the Yale School of Music, where he was awarded its highest honor—the Sanford Medal.  He joined the faculty of the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles in August 2013 as Professor of Violin and Co-Director of String Chamber Music Studies.

Martin Beaver is proud to be a founding member of the Montrose Trio with pianist Jon Kimura Parker and cellist Clive Greensmith.

Mr. Beaver plays a 1789 Nicolo Bergonzi violin.

Conductors & Performers

Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas

Emmett Drake

Emmett Drake

Originally from Long Island, New York, Emmett Drake is excited to be appearing with the SYOA once again. Mr. Drake is currently the Director of Suzuki Orchestras at the Hartt School in West Hartford, CT, where he conducts five youth orchestras and teaches composition. Emmett is also the Director of Orchestras at Hall and Conard High Schools in West Hartford, CT. Additionally, he is frequently engaged as a guest conductor/clinician. Recent appearances include the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (CT), the Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas (MN), CMEA Eastern Regional Festival (CT), the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra (CT), CMEA Southern Regional Festival (CT), Fairfield County String Festival (CT), and Westchester All County Youth Orchestra (NY). Emmett is also active in musical theater, having served as music director/conductor for over 75 unique productions since 2006, working with high schools and various theaters across the northeast, including the Playhouse on Park, Hartford Stage, West Hartford Summer Arts Festival, and Hartt Summer Vocal Institute: Music Theatre Intensive. He currently resides in West Hartford, CT.


Kirsten Marshall

Kirsten Marshall

Kirsten Marshall has inspired students across the Americas with her boundless enthusiasm and passion for making great music for more than fifteen years. Ms. Marshall is director of Orchestral Programs and a violin instructor at Ithaca Talent Education in Ithaca, NY. During the summer months, she is widely sought after as a conductor and clinician for her commitment to artistic excellence and dynamic ability to engage students.

Ms. Marshall received bachelor and master of music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) with majors in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy. Ms. Marshall also holds a bachelor of science degree in music education from Case Western Reserve University, with an emphasis in strings. Her conducting studies were with David Einfeldt (Hartt School of Music, Connecticut), Carl Topilow and Louis Lane (CIM). She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society.

In 1998, 2012 and 2014, Ms. Marshall conducted the Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas, and in 2008 and 2010, she conducted the faculty orchestra for piano soloist at the Suzuki Association of the Americas conference. An avid supporter of contemporary music, Ms. Marshall conducted and produced two premiere string orchestra pieces that appeared on the 2002 recording Bach to the Future. She is an active performer in the Ithaca area and holds the David and Lesli Sagan Chair in the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Ithaca’s professional ensemble. In 2003, she co-commissioned and premiered a sonata for violin and piano by Robert Paterson. Her love of contemporary music is further demonstrated though her own original compositions for string orchestras.

Suzuki Young Artist String Ensemble

Marilyn Kesler Action

Marilyn Kesler

Marilyn Kesler has recently retired after forty-two years as a teacher in the Okemos, Michigan Public Schools teaching 7th and 8th Grade strings and three high school orchestras. She is continues to be the director of the Community Education Suzuki program where she teaches Suzuki cello lessons.

Ms. Kesler began her teaching career as a general music teacher in Alton, Illinois; while there, she earned a Masters Degree in Music Education at Southern Illinois University where she specialized in the adaptation of the Suzuki Violin Method for the cello with then professor, John Kendall. Her undergraduate degree in Music Education was from Indiana University where she studied cello with Janos Starker and Leopold Terraspulsky.

Marilyn just completed a term as Chair of the Board of the Suzuki Association of the Americas Board of Directors. Past offices include President of Michigan Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, Secretary of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Chairman of the SAA Cello Committee, Public School Committee, and Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association Vice-President of Orchestra Activities. In 1990, she was the first recipient of the ASTA National School Educator Award which is presented to the outstanding public school music teacher in the US. In 1998, she received the “Distinguished Service Award” from SAA. Other honors include, MSBOA, MASTA, and Indiana University Alumni “Teacher of the Year”.

Flute Performing Ensemble

David Gerry

David Gerry

David Gerry is Assistant Professor of Flute and Music Education at the School of the Arts, McMaster University and is a core member of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind. Dr. Gerry received his Ph.D. from the School of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster, and also holds a M.Mus. and B.Mus. from the University of Toronto, an ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a diploma from the Talent Education Research Institute in Japan where he studied with Shinichi Suzuki. He has been a keynote speaker at numerous education conferences and recent appearances have included lecturing, playing and teaching in New York City, New Zealand, Japan, and Alaska. David is also on the faculty of the Great Lakes Flute Centre. For many years he was the music specialist at Trail Ridge Montessori School in Grimsby, Ontario. He is a Registered Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the European Suzuki Association. Dr. Gerry’s research on formal musical experience in infancy, funded by the Grammy Foundation, is the first study to show the effects of musical training on social, cognitive, linguistic and brain development in 6-12 month-old subjects. David is also active as a performing flutist and is much sought after as an expert in the field of flute pedagogy.

Guitar Ensemble

David Madsen

David Madsen

Image by David Madsen

David Madsen founded what is now the Hartt Suzuki Guitar Program in ‘90. He is the Chair of the Guitar and Harp Dept. of the Community Division at the Hartt School of Music. He became a registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas in 2000, and has conducted training courses throughout North America and in Peru and Argentina. Mr. Madsen is a member of the SAA Guitar Committee and also is presently a member of the Teacher Development Advisory Committee.

Advanced Violin Performing Ensemble

Koen Rens

Koen Rens

Koen Rens has been a guest teacher around the world. He has taught in South Africa, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and in most of the countries in Europe. He has been invited to teach at several Suzuki World conferences. Koen is a violin Teacher Trainer, designated as such by the European Suzuki Association (ESA) in 2000.

Born in Beerse, Belgium, Koen is the son of composer and choirmaster Wouter Rens. He was one of the first Suzuki students in Belgium. His studies at the Conservatory of Bruges and the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Katalyn Sebestyen and Guido De Neve culminated in first prizes in Violin and Chamber Music. After long term training with Jeanne Janssens, Koen obtained the European Suzuki Association’s final diploma in Suzuki Pedagogy with highest honors before an international jury. Later, he studied violin and psycho-pedagogy at the Conservatoire Royal de Liège, graduating with a thesis on the development of autonomy in children between 9 and 14. An article Koen authored on the development of autonomy based on group and group-oriented education was published by the University of Liège. He has served as visiting professor at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares in Madrid (Spain), the Grieg Academy in Bergen (Norway), and the Higher Institute for Music Pedagogy in Kaunas (Lithuania), as well as at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels and the Conservatoire Royal de Liège.

Together with Wilfried Van Gorp, Koen founded the Belgian Suzuki Chamber Orchestra. Koen has served on the Board of Directors of both the Suzuki Talent Education Institute of Belgium and the European Suzuki Association, and has had the honor of being Chairman of the latter. He was a member of the team that developed the ESA’s teacher training syllabus.

Currently, Koen has a thriving studio at the Academy of Music in Turnhout, Belgium. In addition, he runs long term teacher training programs in Lithuania, Latvia, Spain and Belgium, and he co-directs a postgraduate course on Suzuki Pedagogy at the Antwerp Conservatory’s School of the Arts.

The Montrose Trio

Montrose Trio

Montrose Trio

Formed in 2014, Montrose Trio is a collaboration stemming from a long and fruitful relationship between pianist Jon Kimura Parker and the Tokyo String Quartet. Mr. Parker was the quartet’s final guest pianist, and a backstage conversation with violinist Martin Beaver and cellist Clive Greensmith led to Montrose Trio’s creation.

Named after Chateau Montrose, a storied Bordeaux wine long favored after concerts, with a nod to the Montrose Arts District of Houston and the street in Winnipeg where Mr. Beaver was raised, Montrose Trio has quickly established a reputation for performances of the highest distinction. In 2015 the Washington Post raved about their “absolutely top-notch music-making, as fine as one could ever expect to hear…they are poised to become one of the top piano trios in the world.”

Montrose Trio gave their debut performance for the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, with subsequent performances at Wolftrap, in Montreal, and at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Their 2015-16 season included concerts in Philadelphia, New York, Vancouver, Portland, Eugene, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Durham, Detroit, Buffalo, La Jolla, and at the Hong Kong Chamber Music Festival.

Pianist Jon Kimura Parker performs with major North American orchestras on a regular basis, including recent concerto performances with the orchestras of New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. He appeared with the orchestras of Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto, Colorado, and Washington, DC. He also appears in Off the Score, an experimental group with legendary Police drummer Stewart Copeland. He is Artistic Advisor of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival and Professor of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston.

Violinist Martin Beaver has appeared as soloist with the orchestras of San Francisco, Indianapolis, Montreal, Toronto, and in Belgium and Portugal. A top prizewinner at the international violin competitions of Indianapolis and Montreal, he studied with Danchenko, Gingold, and Szeryng. Mr. Beaver was a founding member of the Toronto String Quartet and Triskelion, and was the first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet for eleven years. He is currently on faculty at the Colburn School in LA.

Cellist Clive Greensmith has performed as soloist with the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic, and the RAI orchestra in Rome. He has worked with distinguished musicians including András Schiff, Claude Frank, and Steven Isserlis, and won prizes in the Premio Stradavari held in Cremona, Italy. Mr. Greensmith was the cellist in the Tokyo String Quartet for fourteen years and is currently on faculty at the Colburn School in LA.

In 2016-17 Montrose Trio performs in cities including Cleveland, Indianapolis, Portland, Houston, Phoenix, and Toronto. For more information please see montrosetrio.com.

Sponsored by Robertson & Sons Violin Shop, Inc., Emerald Sponsor

Guest Speakers

Kay Collier McLaughlin

Kay Collier McLaughlin

Kay Collier McLaughlin (formerly Kay Collier-Slone) describes herself as a Suzuki teacher specializing in social change. She holds a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from The Union Institute with sub-specialities in single adult development, leadership development, group dynamics and bereavement. The author of the Talent Education classic, They’re Rarely Too Young and Never Too Old to ‘Twinkle,’ her most recent book is entitled Talking Together: how to get beyond polarization and see and hear each other through civil dialogue, and is deeply rooted in the philosophy and methodology of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. One of the early Suzuki teachers in the United States, Collier McLaughlin founded the Lexington Talent Education Association, and with her daughter Diane Slone and Joanna Binford, cofounded Suzuki Talent Education of the Bluegrass. A former member of the Board of Suzuki Talent Education, teacher trainer, workshop leader both nationally and internationally, it was her work with the psychology of the Suzuki triangle and method which led her to doctoral studies in psychology, and subsequently, to her work in leadership development with special interest in family systems, emotional intelligence and other important theories and practices.

Dalcroze

Jeremy Dittus

Jeremy Dittus

Jeremy Dittus enjoys a career as a pianist, theorist, and Dalcroze™ eurhythmics instructor.  An avid recitalist, he has performed solo and chamber programs and presented Dalcroze™ masterclasses throughout the United States, Europe and South East Asia.  He currently directs the Dalcroze School of the Rockies™ Dalcroze™ Academy teacher-training center at Metropolitan State University of Denver. A former Lecturer in piano, theory, and solfège at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory in Cleveland, he also has taught undergraduate solfège, piano, and composition courses at the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as eurhythmics and solfège at L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze™ in Geneva, Switzerland and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. 

Dr. Dittus is the founder and director of the Dalcroze School of the Rockies™ in Denver, Colorado, the only authorized Dalcroze™ training center west of Pittsburgh in the United States.  The DSR offers Eurhythmics™ classes for children (pre-kindergarten through high school), adult enrichment classes, and full time study toward the Dalcroze™ Certificate/License (eurhythmics, solfège, improvisation, pedagogy, and plastique animée).  Additionally, he has presented Dalcroze™ workshops at home and abroad including the World Piano Conference, International Early Childhood Music and Movement Convention, Singapore International String Conference, L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze™ Cours d’Été, Dalcroze™ Society of America National Conference, Suzuki Association of the Americas National Conference, American Orff-Schulwerk Association National Convention, National Flute Convention, Colorado Music Educators Association State Convention, Piano Celebration at Metro-State University in Denver, University of Louisville Piano Institute, in addition to several summer music institutes, universities, and conservatories across the US.  He also serves on the state board for the Colorado Federation of Music Clubs and functions as the Vice President of the Dalcroze™ Society of America.  He recently has published books on Dalcroze™ Education:  Embodying Music:  A Textbook for Dalcroze™ Teacher Training, and five books that correspond to the Rhythmic-Solfège™ youth program in place at the Dalcroze™ School of the Rockies. 

In 2010, Dr. Dittus earned the Diplôme Supérieur, (a doctoral equivalent in Switzerland) from L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze™ in conjunction with La Haute École de Musique de Genève and Le Conservatoire de Musique de Genève.  While in Geneva, he received top honors including the 2009 Prix pour les qualities musicales exceptionnelles and the 2010 Prix pour les qualités artistiques et pédagogiques exceptionnelles.  Before Switzerland, he had the honor of studying at the Longy School of Music for the Dalcroze™ Certificate and License.  He completed a doctorate of musical arts in piano performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder; for the master of music, he studied piano performance and music theory at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. During his undergraduate work, he obtained bachelor degrees in piano performance and chemistry.  Former teachers include Lisa Parker, Anne Farber, Ruth Gianadda, Marie-Laure Bachmann, Sylvia del Bianco, Sylvie Morgenegg, Laurent Sourisse, Andrew Cooperstock, Michael Chertock, Frank Weinstock, and George Cherry.