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STEPHANIE SKOR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

After spending the last 15 years as a performing artist in Boston, violinist and St. Paul native Stephanie Skor has returned to her hometown.  She performed extensively in the New England area, and is now pursuing a busy freelance career in the Twin Cities.  Stephanie is thrilled to be a part of the thriving Twin Cities music scene. 

While in Boston, Stephanie established a career in music that uniquely combined performance with administrative leadership.  For six years, Stephanie was a violinist in the critically acclaimed Boston-based chamber orchestra Discovery Ensemble, founded and conducted by the former Minnesota Orchestra Associate Conductor, Courtney Lewis; in the sixth season she was also named Operations Manager.  Stephanie remains the Program Coordinator of New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance Practice, a festival dedicated to performing cutting-edge music from the last one hundred years.  She is also one of the resident performers in that festival.  Stephanie has found that her professional performance experience enhances her administrative perspective.  She is excited to bring that experience to her new role as Executive Director of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble.    

Stephanie is an honors graduate of the New England Conservatory, where she studied with Nicholas Kitchen, a founding member and first violinist of the Borromeo String Quartet.  In demand for her diversity as a violinist, Stephanie has enjoyed an eclectic performing career – from a U.S. tour with Jethro Tull to concertmaster at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival.  She has performed with such artists as Kim Kashkashian, Paula Robison, Jorja Fleezanis, and the Pacifica Quartet.  She was a member of the Gardner Chamber Orchestra and has worked with inspiring conductors including Osmo Vänskä, Michael Stern, Douglas Boyd, Joshua Weilerstein, James Ross, and Larry Rachleff.  Stephanie has appeared in performances on WGBH, MPR, and Newstalk, a national radio station in Ireland.  She has even recorded for the video-game series Final Fantasy.  

Passionate about 20th century and contemporary music, Stephanie has premiered over 20 new works.  She has enjoyed working with composers Georg Friedrich Haas, Vinko Globokar, Christian Wolff, and Nicholas Vines, and has played works by John Cage, György Ligeti, Cornelius Cardew, Terry Riley, Steve Reich,  Lei Liang, Thomas Adès, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.  In Boston Stephanie was a member of the Composers’ Series in Jordan Hall, the NEC Contemporary Ensemble, and Juventas New Music Ensemble.  She plays in the Callithumpian Consort and has performed with that Boston-based ensemble in the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, México.  Stephanie will be recording a new string quartet by Australian composer Nicholas Vines in June 2018 at Cornell University.

ANDREW ALTENBACH, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

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Andrew Altenbach continues to garner attention as a musical leader of his generation. Mr. Altenbach is Artistic Director of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble, Music Director of Opera at the Boston Conservatory, as well as an active guest conductor. Recent engagements include Opera Birmingham, Opera Africa, Central City Opera, Minnesota Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Music Academy of the West, San Francisco Opera Merola Program, Indiana University Opera Theatre, and the Lakes Area Music Festival. Symphonic credits include the Atlanta, Memphis and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras, St.Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chautauqua Institution, and Grand Teton Music Festival. He was music director for the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and the Bach Chamber Players of St.Paul. When not performing music, Mr. Altenbach enjoys biking, reading, tennis, and spending time with his wife and son. 

DAVID WILLIAMSON, BASS, ARTISTIC COMMITTEE

Bass player Dave Williamson grew up in St. Paul in a musical family.  He began his orchestral career as Principal Bass of the New Orleans Symphony after graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music. After five years in New Orleans along with a summer job at the Santa Fe Opera, Mr. Williamson was hired by the Minnesota Orchestra, where he has served as Acting Assistant Principal as well as Acting Associate Principal Bass.  One of the most formative events in his career occurred in 2001 when conductor Helmuth Rilling asked him to serve as Principal Bassist of the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene, Oregon.  The opportunity to perform, study, and record many of the cantatas, oratorios and orchestral works of J.S. Bach with Maestro Rilling has been a lasting and wonderful gift for Dave. He has become an “over-the-top” advocate for these gems of the repertoire.

LINH KAUFFMAN, SOPRANO, ARTISTIC COMMITTEE

Praised as “radiant” by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, soprano Linh Kauffman has appeared across the United States in oratorio, opera, new music and musical theater. Highlights of recent seasons include performances with Teatro Nacional de Panama, Oregon Bach Festival, Duluth Festival Opera, Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Richmond Symphony. She has twice been a young artist at the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. She is a frequent soloist with the Bach Chamber Players of St. Paul, the Oratorio Society of Minnesota, the Bach Society of Minnesota, and Consortium Carissimi. Opera credits include the Minnesota Opera, University of Minnesota Opera Theatre, Berkeley Opera, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Opera Vivente, West Bay Opera.

Ms. Kauffman holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Maryland, the University of Minnesota. She also holds the Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy from the Schuessler Vocal Arts Center of the University of Minnesota and was the winner of the 2007 Voices of Vienna Vocal Prize Competition.

JOHN MILLER, BASSOON, ARTISTIC COMMITTEE

John Miller, recently retired Principal Bassoon of the Minnesota Orchestra, received his early musical training at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the New England Conservatory in Boston. He also holds a BS degree in humanities and engineering from MIT and was awarded a Fulbright grant for music study in Amsterdam.

 While in Boston, John founded the Bubonic Bassoon Quartet and made the premier recording of the Hummel Bassoon Concerto, released with the Weber Concerto on Cambridge Records. He assumed his position as Principal Bassoon of the Minnesota Orchestra in 1971, simultaneously joining the faculty of the University of Minnesota. Since then he has continued his solo career, performing many times with the Minnesota Orchestra as well as numerous other orchestras. He regularly presents master classes and recitals at many of the world’s major conservatories and music schools.

For more than 20 years John was a member of the American Reed Trio. Among his solo recordings are four concertos by Vivaldi and the Mozart and Vanhal concertos, all conducted by Sir Neville Marriner on two Pro Arte CDs.  One of John’s educational activities that he is most proud of, The Nordic Bassoon Symposium, begun in 1984 as the John Miller Bassoon Symposium, has attracted an international mix of hundreds of professional, student, and amateur bassoonists. 

BASIL REEVE, OBOE, ARTISTIC COMMITTEE

Retired Principal Oboe of the Minnesota Orchestra, Basil Reeve, a native New Yorker, was the lead oboist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and New York City Opera before joining the Minnesota Orchestra in 1971. In his forty-one seasons, Basil has performed most of the major oboe repertoire, ranging from concertos by Telemann and J.S. Bach to those of Strauss, Vaughan Williams and Henze. In March 2009, he and the orchestra premiered the Christopher Rouse Oboe Concerto.

Basil has also performed in virtually every Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest and winter season chamber series during his tenure. He served for 37 years as co-artistic director of the long-standing Twin Cities group the Musical Offering chamber ensemble. Basil teaches year-round privately and at the University of Minnesota, and summers at the Round Top Institute.

 

JONATHAN MAGNESS, VIOLIN, ARTISTIC COMMITTEE

Jonathan Magness is the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate principal second violin. Magness has performed chamber works at several Orchestra concerts, including Greenstein’s Four on the Floor at the Sommerfest; he reprised that work as part of Inside the Classics concerts. He has been featured as soloist with the orchestra on many occasions, including the Dvorak violin concerto with Marin Alsop conducting.

Magness has won prizes in numerous competitions, including the grand prize in the International Sparkasse Musikstipendium competition and audience prize and second place in the Luis Sigall Violin Competition, and a prizewinner in the Manchester International Competition in the United Kingdom, after which he was a soloist with the BBC Symphony. Other solo engagements include the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Klagenfurt Musikverein, Regional Orchestra of Chile.

Magness studied at the University of Minnesota, the Juilliard School and the University of Graz in Austria.