NRO Alumna Wins a Job in Cleveland

jiah-chapdelaine-croppedJiah Chung Chapdelaine joined The Cleveland Orchestra in the autumn of 2016.  She has previously served as concertmaster of Opera Cleveland, performed new compositions with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and was a member of the Akron Symphony. 

A native of Seoul, Korea, Jiah Chung began playing the violin at age 5.  She subsequently moved to Iowa City, Iowa, where she pursued violin playing with Doris Preucil and Allen Ohmes.  She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where her principal teachers were David Cerone, David Updegraff, and David Russell.  As a soloist, she has appeared with the Sioux City Orchestra, Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony, Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, and the National Repertory Orchestra.

Jiah says, “NRO was the place where I fell in love with a lot of orchestra repertoire.  We would go through two programs every week and I loved that we played so many master pieces that we wouldn’t always have the opportunity to play elsewhere.  I remember feeling the overwhelming joy while playing the Alpine Symphony to finish the season in the summer of 1998.  Every time I play that piece, it brings back the wonderful memories of the NRO.”

As a teacher, she has served as a member of the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Preparatory Department since 2003.  In addition, she has taught at the University of Akron since 2014.

A resident of Cleveland Heights, Ms. Chapdelaine enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her husband, Stephen and their children, Ella and Oliver.

NRO Announces New CEO

dave-depeters-croppedThe National Repertory Orchestra is delighted to announce David DePeters as its new CEO. David brings his wealth of experience and a proven track record of delivering the highest quality innovative classical music experiences. He has spent more than 30 years at the highest level of arts in the United States. Starting April 1, 2017, David will replace outgoing CEO Doug Adams, who has been an exceptional and dynamic leader for the NRO since 2011.

“We are so pleased to be able to select David to lead the NRO to new levels of prominence in the national music education community.” stated NRO selection committee chair John Hayes, “His breadth of experience and contacts in the classical music world offer us unlimited potential. David is fortunate to be able to build upon the outstanding achievements of Doug Adams, and we all look forward to helping him take our organization to amazing new levels of excellence.”

David grew up near Buffalo, N.Y. and is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, PA. Upon graduating from Curtis he took the position of Percussion/Associate Principal Timpani with the Buffalo Philharmonic for two years. Returning to Philadelphia he immediately won positions performing percussionist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony. Eventually performing full time with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for two and a half years.

Concurrently for ten years David worked in the ski industry. His love of skiing brought him to the Whitetail Ski Resort in Pennsylvania in 1990, where he started as a full-time ski instructor. He went on to become the Technical Director and Assistant Director of the resort’s ski school and in 1996, he was named one of the country’s top ski instructors by Skiing Magazine.  He still retains his PSIA Level III certification. 

David is currently the Executive Director of the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, TN.  A position he will retain while working at NRO.  In recent years he has been performing with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, touring extensively with both ensembles throughout Europe and Asia.

“I am thrilled to join this illustrious team,” stated DePeters. “The National Repertory Orchestra’s amazing fellowship program changes the lives of young musicians and enriches the lives of Colorado residents and visitors.”

David and his wife, Elizabeth Hainen, chose to purchase their second home in Summit County in 2015 due to its thriving arts community and great friendships that had grown over many years of visiting Breckenridge. Elizabeth, an NRO alum, has been the principal harpist with the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1994.  

Lawrence Quinnett Becomes Assistant Professor

lawrence-quinnett-croppedLawrence Quinnett recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Music at Livingstone College.  He teaches music theory and piano, in addition to playing piano and organ for choir and school assemblies. Of his new job, Lawrence says, “I feel very fortunate to have this position, and I think it is a good fit for me right now.” 

After the summer of 2015, Lawrence started teaching at Wallace Community College in Alabama as an adjunct instructor and continued to play for church, teach online, and do some volunteer work.  He also played some solo and chamber concerts in Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and South Carolina and performed at an NRO Alumni concert in Colorado. 

Mr. Quinnett shares, “I was at NRO in 2015, and the experience was overall one of the musical highlights of my career.  Playing the third Rachmaninoff piano concerto with the NRO was simply amazing.  I especially enjoyed the warm welcome that the community of Breckenridge extended to us throughout the festival.  Breckenridge is a beautiful place, and it holds a special place in my heart.  I met some great friends and enjoyed many meaningful musical experiences.”

Click here for Lawrence’s Biography

Danielle Belen Shares Her NRO Experiences

danielle-belen“I attended NRO in 2006 and 2007 and those were extraordinary summers of music-making that I will never forget.  I was treated as a professional, giving me a new confidence as I embraced and grew into meeting those high expectations. I had the privilege of serving as your concertmaster for two summers as well as performing the Brahms and Sibelius violin concertos as a soloist.  In my professional life now as a teacher, I reference my experiences at NRO frequently and have students who are now interested in attending themselves!”

On a personal note, her then boyfriend and now husband Ryan, came with her that first summer in 2006 to Breckenridge and they fell in love with the town.  Ten years later, they remember that summer with such fondness and great stories.  

Ms. Belen made friends and contacts during those summers that to this day have remained important to her career.  She says, “It is a magical place to make music, study and build that important bridge between student and professional life and I am grateful to have been a part of it.”  Additionally, Danielle has remained in touch with Carl Topilow, and even recently worked with him in Sandusky, Ohio, playing Prokofiev Violin Concerto with his wonderful orchestra there. 

Danielle currently lives in Ann Arbor and teaches at the University of Michigan with a studio of sixteen wonderful violin students.  Born and raised a California girl, Ms. Belen says, “the transition to the Midwest (actually, Michigan is far enough east to run on East Coast time) was a bit daunting, but it has turned out to be an incredible adventure.  It turns out that the changing of seasons suits me after all (surprise- snow!) and the diversity of the influences around me has only made me a stronger pedagogue.   I also continue to teach monthly at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, so that is how I get my Vitamin D from the sun!”

Below is Ms. Belen’s Brief Biography:

As part of the violin faculty at The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance in Ann Arbor as well as The Colburn School in Los Angeles, Danielle Belen is already making a name for herself as a seasoned pedagogue with a strong studio of young artists.   Her students have won major prizes in national and international competitions including the Menuhin, Stulberg and Klein competitions, as well as being accepted into major conservatories and universities across the country. 

Winner of the 2008 Sphinx Competition, Ms. Belen has appeared as a soloist with major symphonies across the U.S., including the Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Nashville and San Francisco Symphonies, the Boston Pops, and the Florida and Cleveland Orchestras.

A graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music and the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, she studied with Robert Lipsett and acted as his primary teaching assistant for a number of years.  In 2008 she joined the Colburn faculty at the age of twenty-five.  

In 2010, Ms. Belen founded Center Stage Strings, a summer camp and performance festival for gifted young musicians. After gaining national attention, CSS has recently moved to the campus of The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as part of MPulse, a summer program run by the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Ms. Belen plays on a 1709 Alessandro Gagliano violin from the Mandell Collection of Southern California.

Alumnus Wins Position in Omaha

kevin-tompkins-croppedAfter attending NRO in 2014, Kevin Tompkins completed his graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with William Preucil and Stephen Rose. During his time in Cleveland, he performed with the Akron Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Firelands Symphony, and other regional orchestras. Mr. Tompkins was also invited to serve as guest concertmaster for the Ashland Symphony for their opening concert this season. During the summer of 2015, he studied and performed at the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland, and continued his studies with Mr. Preucil at the Brevard Music Center. This past summer, Mr. Tompkins was a member of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, and attended the Aspen Music Festival as a full-scholarship student of Alexander Kerr.

Currently, Mr. Tompkins won a new position as Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Omaha Symphony, which he auditioned for and won in mid-September. He started working on October 7, 2016.

Mr. Tompkins shares, “NRO was unique in its emphasis on preparing students for the day-to-day requirements of an orchestral career. I was able to hone in on techniques and strategies for preparing orchestra music that I apply constantly in my new position. All of that, combined with a stunning location (and climbing several 14ers!) made NRO a truly enjoyable and rewarding experience.”

Madison Suh, Guest Artist

Madison SuhYou can see her perform this summer with the NRO!

China In America
Saturday July 2, 7:30 PAM
Breckenridge Riverwalk Center
Find out more.

Madison Suh has been studying piano since the age of 4 with Jasmine Steadman Piano Studio.  Madison has participated in numerous recitals and competitions including winning 1st place in the ACD Divison II of Schmitt Music 2016 Competition, 2nd Place at the CSMTA Rising Star Competition, 2nd Place at the CSMTA Concerto Competition, 1st place at the ACD Division I of Schmitt  Music 2015 Competition, 1st place at the Kawai Piano Competition in 2014.  Madison was also the featured pianist with the NRO in 2015 Children’s Concert as well as the featured pianist for the Littleton Symphony Orchestra in Nov of 2014. 

Madison has a deep passion for music and wants to be a concert pianist.  Madison especially enjoys the Romantic period of music and especially enjoys composers Frederic Chopin, Robert Schumann and Edward Grieg.  Some of her favorite pianists are Olga Kern, Yeol Eum Son, Umi Garrett and John Nauman. 

In addition to piano, Madison enjoys playing golf, tennis, rocking out on the drums and movies.  Madison is currently in 4th grade attending Willow Creek Elementary School.