Alumnus Returns As Production Operations & Recording Fellow

Daniel Benoit photo croppedAn NRO alumnus from 2008 and 2011, Daniel Benoit played bass for the Air Force Band in Washington, DC for four years. Before winning that position, he earned a BM from the University of North Texas and MM from Indiana University. He recently began the transition from music performance to music production and currently pursues a Master Certificate in Music Production & Technology from Berklee College of Music. Daniel is also an amateur singer and loves karaoke!

Introducing Our 2018 Recording Engineer

Jess Griggs photoJess Griggs is currently working at the classical radio station, WQXR in NYC. There she does a variety of things, including, audio production, social media management, and writing for their blog. Additionally, she is the manager for the award winning, contemporary percussion ensemble, Up/Down, and is a contributor for the contemporary music journal, I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.

Before her move to NYC, Jess worked as an intern with NPR at their D.C. headquarters. At HQ, she did audio production for NPR Worldwide, SiriusXM, and the American Armed Forces channels. In addition, she helped with the shows, Planet Money and How I Built This, and perhaps the most exciting – aided with audio for Tiny Desk concerts.

At age 16, Jess Griggs began studying at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) under the principal trombonist of the North Carolina Symphony, John Ilika. While there she played with a variety of ensembles. After receiving her diploma at UNCSA, Jess continued her musical studies at Schwob School of Music with trombone professor, Dr. Bradley Palmer. After a few months of playing whole notes in the back of the orchestra, sitting in the practice rooms buzzing into a metal tube, and questioning the meaning of life – Jess came to the conclusion that something was missing from her musical experience.

Through a suggestion of a friend, Jess took a basic audio class, and surprisingly she found it filled the void trombone couldn’t. The perfect marriage of art and science (and not to mention the weird electroacoustic music) audio technology hooked her. Jess formerly started her audio technology studies with Dr. Matthew McCabe soon afterwards.

Her recording career kicked off with a position at the university’s recording studio and running live sound at the local music venue. Over the past 3 years, she has had a chance to work on the CD’s of notable artists; including, Gerry Pagano (bass trombonist of St. Louis Symphony), and George Curran (bass trombonist of New York Philharmonic). Other past audio engagements include: Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab in Ojai, CA, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and Interlochen Center for the Performing Arts in Interlochen, MI.

Introducing the NRO’s 2018 CEO Assistant Fellow

Chanelle HuangChanelle Huang grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and currently lives in Rochester, NY. She is a dual-degree student, pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance at the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Business at the University of Rochester. She is a teaching and performing violist and has attended several summer music festivals, including American Institute of Musical Studies, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival and School. She will be graduating in December of 2018 and hopes to teach, perform, and work in arts administration. The guidance and inspiration that she has received throughout her own education has motivated her to give back to the community and influence students. She is eager
to assist with NRO events, meet people who share the love of music, and explore the town of Breckenridge.

Marcelo Lehninger Conducts the NRO on June 20th

Marcelo_Headshot by Andy Terzes - croppedBartók’s Concerto for Orchestra
Wednesday, June 20, 7:30 PM
Breckenridge Riverwalk Center
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Brazilian-born Marcelo Lehninger is in his second year as Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony. He previously served as Music Director of the New West Symphony in Los Angeles, for which the League of American Orchestras awarded him the Helen H. Thompson Award for Emerging Music Directors. Marcelo was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra by James Levine, and, after a very successful two year tenure that included stepping in for Maestro Levine on short notice in Boston and on tour at Carnegie Hall, was later promoted to Associate Conductor.

Mr. Lehninger’s 2017-18 season includes his debut with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and a return to the Slovenian Philharmonic, which he leads on tour to Vienna. Closer to home, Mr. Lehninger debuts with the Charlotte and Tucson Symphonies, and returns to the North Carolina Symphony and Rochester Philharmonic. He returns to Carnegie Hall with the Grand Rapids Symphony, the orchestra’s first performance at the famed venue in thirteen years.

Highlights of the 2016-17 season included debuts with the Colorado, Hawaii, Toledo, and Portland Symphonies; Colorado Springs Philharmonic; and Symphony Nova Scotia; as well as return engagements with Minas Gerais Philharmonic, New Mexico Philharmonic, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He made his Japanese debut with the Kyushu Symphony, and his Australian debut with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphonies with his friend and mentor Nelson Freire as soloist.

As a guest conductor in the United States, Mr. Lehninger has led the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Houston, Detroit, Baltimore, Seattle, Milwaukee, National, Jacksonville, New Jersey, Indianapolis, Omaha, Chautauqua, Hartford, and Fairfax Symphonies; the Florida and Louisville Orchestras; and the Rochester and Orlando Philharmonics. In Canada, he has appeared with the Toronto, Winnipeg, and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies, and the Calgary and Hamilton Philharmonics. European highlights include engagements with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Lucerne Symphony, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and a tour with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra assisting Mariss Jansons.

Mr. Lehninger was music advisor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas for the 2007-08 season. Plácido Domingo serves as artistic advisor for the ensemble, which is composed of 120 talented musicians from more than twenty countries throughout the Americas. In summer of 2008, Maestro Lehninger toured with YOA and pianist Nelson Freire in South America, conducting concerts in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. He has led all of the top orchestras in Brazil, and previously served as Associate Conductor of the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra in Brazil.

Chosen by Kurt Masur in 2008, Mr. Lehninger was awarded the First Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship sponsored by the American Friends of the Mendelssohn Foundation. He was Maestro Masur’s assistant with the Orchestre National de France (during their residency at the Musikverein in Vienna), Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, and the New York Philharmonic. In 2011, he participated in the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, organized by the League of American Orchestras, conducting the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and debuted with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center as part of the National Conducting Institute in 2007.

Before dedicating his career to conducting, Mr. Lehninger studied violin and piano. He holds a Master’s degree from the Conductors Institute at New York’s Bard College, where he studied conducting under Harold Farberman and composition with Laurence Wallach. His mentors also include Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, and Roberto Tibiriçá. A dual citizen of Brazil and Germany, Marcelo Goulart Lehninger is the son of pianist Sônia Goulart and violinist Erich Lehninger.

Carl St. Clair Will Conduct the NRO on July 25th

Carl St. Clair Head ShotMahler Symphony No. 1
Wednesday, July 25, 7:30 PM
Breckenridge Riverwalk Center
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Music Director of the Pacific Symphony for nearly three decades, Carl St. Clair has become widely recognized for his musically distinguished performances, innovative programming, and commitment to outstanding educational projects. The largest ensemble formed in the United States during the last fifty years, the Pacific Symphony’s rapid artistic development is due largely to M r. St. Clai r’ s leadership. In April 2018, he will lead the Symphony in its Carnegie Hall debut, as the finale to the Hall’s yearlong celebration of pre-eminent composer Philip Glass’s 80 th birthday .

In 2014, Mr. St. Clair was named Music Director of the Orquesta Sinf6nica Nacional de Costa Rica, and the following year celebrated the orchestra’s 75th anniversary  season by performing concerts throughout the country in all seven provinces.

An active guest conductor, Carl St. Clair has led the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphonies of Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Montreal, Nashville, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver, to name a few. Worldwide, he has conducted orchestras in Europe, South America, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Highlights of the 2017/2018 season also include engagements with the Hawaii Symphony, Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra/Germany, and an Asia tour with the Pacific Symphony. Festival appearances include Schleswig-Holstein, Pacific (Japan), Round Top, Breckenridge, Wintergreen (Virginia), Tanglewood, and the Texas Music Festival/ Houston.

Carl St. Clair has also served as general music director and chief conductor of the German National Theater and Staatskapelle in Weimar (the first non-European to hold this position), general music director of the Komische Oper in Berlin, and principal guest conductor of the SOR/Stuttgart. In higher education, he has had a continuing relationship with the USC Thornton School of Music for over 20 years. In 2012, he took on the expanded role as artistic leader and principal conductor of the USC Thornton orchestras.

JoAnn Falletta Returns to Conduct the NRO on June 27th

JoAnn Falletta_headshotIn the Gardens of Spain
Wednesday, June 27, 7:30 PM
Breckenridge Riverwalk Center
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Upon her appointment as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1999, Maestro Falletta became the first female conductor to lead a major American ensemble. She has since been credited with bringing the BPO to a new level of national and international prominence. This season, the BPO will once again be featured on national broadcasts of NPR’s Performance Today, SymphonyCast, and international broadcasts through the European Broadcasting Union. Both the BPO and the Virginia Symphony have received ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming during JoAnn’s tenure. Under Falletta’s direction, the VSO has risen to celebrated artistic heights. The VSO, which made critically acclaimed debuts at the Kennedy Center and New York’s Carnegie Hall under Falletta and entered into their first multinational recording agreement with Naxos, performs classics, pops and family concert series in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Williamsburg.

Falletta first fell in love with music when she was 7 and began studying classical guitar. The JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, sponsored by the Buffalo Philharmonic and WNED-FM in Buffalo, is one of the premier classical guitar performance competitions in the world.

In addition to her current posts with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Virginia Symphony, Brevard Music Center and Hawaii Symphony, Ms. Falletta has held the positions of principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Phoenix Symphony, music director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and music director of the Denver Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Falletta received her undergraduate degree in classical guitar from the Mannes College of Music in New York and her master’s and doctorate degrees in conducting from The Juilliard School.

Michael Stern Returns To Conduct The NRO On June 30th

Andrew Litton Color photo 5 croppedMetheny and More
Saturday, June 30, 7:30 PM
Breckenridge Riverwalk Center
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Conductor Michael Stern is in his tenth season as Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony and sixteenth season as Founding Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the IRIS Orchestra.

Stern and Kansas City have been hailed for their remarkable artistic ascent, original programming, organizational development and stability, and the extraordinary growth of its varied audiences since his tenure began. They have entered a new era performing to critical acclaim and sold-out audiences in their new home Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. On Reference Recordings they have released four albums including Shakespeare’s Tempest; Britten’s Orchestra, which won a 2011 Grammy award in the “Surround Sound Album” category and producer David Frost won “Producer of the Year, Classical;” and most recently a Saint-Saëns album released in May 2015. In July 2012, the Symphony’s concerts with internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato were broadcast nationally on nearly 400 PBS station for the PBS Summer Arts Series with the audio recording of that concert receiving a Grammy nomination.

Stern and the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, Tennessee, are entering their sixteenth season, widely praised for the virtuosity of their playing; the depth and variety of programming, with a special emphasis on American contemporary music; and its acclaimed recordings on the Naxos and Arabesque labels. Under Stern’s direction, IRIS has commissioned and premiered works by William Bolcom, Chris Brubeck, Richard Danielpour, Stephen Hartke, Edgar Meyer, Jonathan Leshnoff, Ned Rorem, Huang Ruo, Adam Schoenberg, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, among others.

Other positions include chief conductor of Germany’s Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra (the first American chief conductor in the orchestra’s history), as Permanent Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lyon in France, and as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille, France.

Michael Stern has led orchestras throughout Europe and Asia, including the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Helsinki Philharmonic, Budapest Radio Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic, National Symphony of Taiwan, Tokyo’s NHK Symphony and the Vienna Radio Symphony, among many others.

In North America, Mr. Stern has conducted the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. He has also appeared regularly at the Aspen Music Festival.

Mr. Stern received his music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where his major teacher was the noted conductor and scholar Max Rudolf. Mr. Stern co-edited the third edition of Rudolf’s famous textbook, The Grammar of Conducting, and also edited a new volume of Rudolf’s collected writings and correspondence. He is a 1981 graduate of Harvard University, where he earned a degree in American history.

Mark Alpizar is the NRO’s 2018 Assistant Conductor

Mark AlpizarSouthern California native, Mark Alpizar, enjoys a multi-faceted and entrepreneurial career as a conductor, clarinetist, and music educator.

As a conductor, he has worked with ensembles of all ranges and abilities. From 2013 to 2015, he was the assistant conductor for the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. During this time, Mr. Alpizar also conducted the Collegium Musicum at the Cole Conservatory of Music at Cal State Long Beach.

In addition to his professional engagements, Alpizar remains committed to music education. Since 2012, he has been the music director of the Four Seasons Youth Orchestra in Orange County, California. During his tenure, the orchestra has performed an unprecedented amount of new music and premiered a dozen new works. One of their most ambitious seasons included the Grammy-nominated Calling All Dawns from Civilizations 4 and the world premiere of Luke Hannington’s comic opera, The Inferiority Complex of Old Sippy. Alpizar has frequently conducted the South Coast Youth Symphony Orchestra since 2008. Between the two groups he has played two concertos, performed in Segerstrom and Walt Disney Concert Halls, and completed performance tours to England, Wales, Ireland, Spain, Greece, New York, and Sydney.

Alpizar currently resides in Phoenix while pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting at Arizona State University where he studies with Jeffery Meyer and Tito Muñoz. Since moving to Phoenix, he has commissioned new works for the ASU Symphony, conducted a mainstage opera, and has conducted both The Phoenix Youth Symphony and the East Valley Youth Symphony.

Development Fellow for the 2018 Summer Season

Emily Pfisterer cropped photoEmily Pfisterer received her undergraduate degree in Music Business from Grove City College. After graduation, she spent the summer working at a music festival in upstate New York. Returning home, Emily worked as the Marketing and Development Intern with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. There she discovered the NRO and had the opportunity to work with Carl Topilow. In the fall, Emily will return to Ohio where she plans to attend the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music to pursue her MA/MBA in Arts Administration.

Emily is excited to combine her love of music and of the western U.S. by working with the NRO for the summer.