HIMC Jury Panel

More jury members to be added!

Jury Members:

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Marilyn McDonald

Marilyn McDonald, a founding member of the Smithson Quartet and the Castle Trio, currently plays in the Axelrod Quartet in residence at the Smithsonian Institution and so named in honor of the donor of the decorated Stradivarius instruments on which the quartet performs.

She has toured worldwide as a chamber musician in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary, appearing at Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, the Frick Gallery, the Caramoor, Utrecht and Mostly Mozart Festivals, Wigmore Hall, Disney Hall, Ravinia and the Concertgebouw, as well as appearing as soloist with the Milwaukee and Omaha symphonies. Concertmaster positions include Boston Baroque and the Peninsula Music Festival.

McDonald is well known for her interest in performing on historical instruments. Former students in this area occupy positions of importance worldwide.

Recent students occupy positions in the Boston and Houston symphonies, in several active string quartets, and have been international prize winners in the Locatelli, Berkeley Bach, Naumberg, Stulberg, and Fischoff competitions.

She has been artist in residence at Boston University and has held visiting professorships at the Eastman School of Music and at Indiana University. She teaches each summer at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and has been honored with Oberlin’s Excellence in Teaching award.

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Tong Yan

A winner of international competitions, Tong Yan has claimed first prize at the International Music Competition of Union Francaise des Artistes Musiciens in Paris, International Violin Competition in Kazakhstan, International Chinese Violin Competition in New York, and string winner at the Gisborne International Orchestral Instruments Competition in New Zealand. She has also placed in the top three at the Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy and the Brahms International Violin Competition in Austria. Yan has had many recitals and solo performances with orchestras in Austria, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada, and the United States.

Yan is currently an active chamber musician and has participated in festivals such as the Summer Strings Academy in Australia, Canada’s Morningside Music Bridge, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Bar Harbor Music Festival in Maine, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Spoleto Music Festival in South Carolina, Britt Music Festival in Oregon, and the Meadowmount Summer School in New York.

Yan joined the Houston Symphony in 2012 while pursuing her Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Donald Weilerstein. She also holds a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory, and a split bachelor’s degree from the Vienna University of Fine Arts, Joseph Haydn Conservatory, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Her teachers include Elisabeth Kropfitsch, Klaus Maetzl, and Marilyn McDonald.

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Yue Bao

Conductor Yue Bao serves as conducting fellow of the Houston Symphony to Andrés Orozco-Estrada. In May 2019, she completed a two-year tenure as the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, closely working with Maestro Nézet-Séguin during her studies in Philadelphia. At Curtis, she was active as both a conductor and assistant, working with Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vänskä, Gilbert Varga, Giancarlo Guerrero, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

Bao was the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2019. In 2018, she served as the David Effron Conducting Fellow at the Chautauqua Music Festival, where her concerts with the Festival Orchestra received major accolades from audiences and musicians. Prior to her time at Curtis, in 2015, she served as a conducting fellow at the Eastern Music Festival under Gerard Schwarz. In March of 2020, Bao conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in their Music Around the Globe program, part of their Young People’s Concerts series. She will also conduct the Houston Symphony in four Upper Elementary concerts. In summer 2020, she will hold a conducting seminar at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

 

She has worked extensively in the United States and abroad. In 2019, Bao toured through China with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, assisting Andrés Orozco-Estrada. She served as an assistant for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta and David Lockington (2015-17), making her conducting debut with Buffalo in 2016. Bao has also assisted Vänskä at the Minnesota Orchestra and Varga at the St. Louis Symphony. Recent appearances include the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra, the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New Symphony Orchestra. Equally at home with both symphonic and operatic repertoire, her credits include Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Bizet’s Carmen, Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel, and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium. She is also active as a pianist, recently playing for a production of Les contes d’Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

 

Along with her Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music, Bao holds Bachelor of Music degrees in orchestral conducting and opera accompanying from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music following her studies of composition and a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Mannes School of Music.

 

Yue Bao is represented worldwide by Tanja Dorn at Dorn Music.

This approved biography is not to be altered or shortened without the management’s permission. Please replace older versions.

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Brinton Averil Smith

Cellist Brinton Averil Smith continues to win rave reviews for virtuosic performances with musical ideals rooted in the golden age of string playing. His debut recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra won widespread international critical acclaim, with Gramophone praising Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” and his recording of the chamber music of Fauré with Gil Shaham was chosen by numerous critics as one of the year’s best albums. A passionate advocate of compelling unfamiliar repertoire, Smith recently gave the North American premieres of rediscovered works of Jean Sibelius and Alexander Zemlinsky. Smith’s performances, hailed as “stunningly beautiful” by the American Record Guide, have been broadcast on CBS’s Sunday Morning and on the radio throughout the United States, including American Public Media’s Performance Today and SymphonyCast.

Smith has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Houston Symphony since joining the orchestra as Principal Cellist in 2005. Prior to this appointment, he was the first musician chosen by Lorin Maazel to join the New York Philharmonic and was Principal Cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphonies. As a chamber musician, Smith has collaborated with artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, James Ehnes, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Dawn Upshaw, and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Berg quartets. Smith is also a faculty member of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and Aspen Music Festival.

The son of a mathematician and a pianist, Smith was admitted to Arizona State University at age 10, where he took courses in mathematics, music, and German. At age 17, Smith completed a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. He then became a student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, where he was also a teaching assistant in the mathematics department, and completed work for a Master of Arts in Mathematics at age 19. He subsequently studied with the renowned cellist Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts, disserting on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann. Smith resides in Houston with his wife, pianist Evelyn Chen, their daughter, Calista, and two slightly evil, but kind-hearted dogs. For further information, please visit www.brintonaverilsmith.com

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Lin Ma

 
 
 
 

Jury Members:

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Marilyn McDonald

Marilyn McDonald, a founding member of the Smithson Quartet and the Castle Trio, currently plays in the Axelrod Quartet in residence at the Smithsonian Institution and so named in honor of the donor of the decorated Stradivarius instruments on which the quartet performs.

She has toured worldwide as a chamber musician in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary, appearing at Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, the Frick Gallery, the Caramoor, Utrecht and Mostly Mozart Festivals, Wigmore Hall, Disney Hall, Ravinia and the Concertgebouw, as well as appearing as soloist with the Milwaukee and Omaha symphonies. Concertmaster positions include Boston Baroque and the Peninsula Music Festival.

McDonald is well known for her interest in performing on historical instruments. Former students in this area occupy positions of importance worldwide.

Recent students occupy positions in the Boston and Houston symphonies, in several active string quartets, and have been international prize winners in the Locatelli, Berkeley Bach, Naumberg, Stulberg, and Fischoff competitions.

She has been artist in residence at Boston University and has held visiting professorships at the Eastman School of Music and at Indiana University. She teaches each summer at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and has been honored with Oberlin’s Excellence in Teaching award.

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Tong Yan

A winner of international competitions, Tong Yan has claimed first prize at the International Music Competition of Union Francaise des Artistes Musiciens in Paris, International Violin Competition in Kazakhstan, International Chinese Violin Competition in New York, and string winner at the Gisborne International Orchestral Instruments Competition in New Zealand. She has also placed in the top three at the Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy and the Brahms International Violin Competition in Austria. Yan has had many recitals and solo performances with orchestras in Austria, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada, and the United States.

Yan is currently an active chamber musician and has participated in festivals such as the Summer Strings Academy in Australia, Canada’s Morningside Music Bridge, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Bar Harbor Music Festival in Maine, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Spoleto Music Festival in South Carolina, Britt Music Festival in Oregon, and the Meadowmount Summer School in New York.

Yan joined the Houston Symphony in 2012 while pursuing her Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Donald Weilerstein. She also holds a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory, and a split bachelor’s degree from the Vienna University of Fine Arts, Joseph Haydn Conservatory, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Her teachers include Elisabeth Kropfitsch, Klaus Maetzl, and Marilyn McDonald.

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Yue Bao

Conductor Yue Bao serves as conducting fellow of the Houston Symphony to Andrés Orozco-Estrada. In May 2019, she completed a two-year tenure as the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, closely working with Maestro Nézet-Séguin during her studies in Philadelphia. At Curtis, she was active as both a conductor and assistant, working with Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vänskä, Gilbert Varga, Giancarlo Guerrero, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

Bao was the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2019. In 2018, she served as the David Effron Conducting Fellow at the Chautauqua Music Festival, where her concerts with the Festival Orchestra received major accolades from audiences and musicians. Prior to her time at Curtis, in 2015, she served as a conducting fellow at the Eastern Music Festival under Gerard Schwarz. In March of 2020, Bao conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in their Music Around the Globe program, part of their Young People’s Concerts series. She will also conduct the Houston Symphony in four Upper Elementary concerts. In summer 2020, she will hold a conducting seminar at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

 

She has worked extensively in the United States and abroad. In 2019, Bao toured through China with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, assisting Andrés Orozco-Estrada. She served as an assistant for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta and David Lockington (2015-17), making her conducting debut with Buffalo in 2016. Bao has also assisted Vänskä at the Minnesota Orchestra and Varga at the St. Louis Symphony. Recent appearances include the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra, the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New Symphony Orchestra. Equally at home with both symphonic and operatic repertoire, her credits include Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Bizet’s Carmen, Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel, and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium. She is also active as a pianist, recently playing for a production of Les contes d’Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

 

Along with her Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music, Bao holds Bachelor of Music degrees in orchestral conducting and opera accompanying from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music following her studies of composition and a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Mannes School of Music.

 

Yue Bao is represented worldwide by Tanja Dorn at Dorn Music.

This approved biography is not to be altered or shortened without the management’s permission. Please replace older versions.

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Brinton Averil Smith

Cellist Brinton Averil Smith continues to win rave reviews for virtuosic performances with musical ideals rooted in the golden age of string playing. His debut recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra won widespread international critical acclaim, with Gramophone praising Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” and his recording of the chamber music of Fauré with Gil Shaham was chosen by numerous critics as one of the year’s best albums. A passionate advocate of compelling unfamiliar repertoire, Smith recently gave the North American premieres of rediscovered works of Jean Sibelius and Alexander Zemlinsky. Smith’s performances, hailed as “stunningly beautiful” by the American Record Guide, have been broadcast on CBS’s Sunday Morning and on the radio throughout the United States, including American Public Media’s Performance Today and SymphonyCast.

Smith has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Houston Symphony since joining the orchestra as Principal Cellist in 2005. Prior to this appointment, he was the first musician chosen by Lorin Maazel to join the New York Philharmonic and was Principal Cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphonies. As a chamber musician, Smith has collaborated with artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, James Ehnes, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Dawn Upshaw, and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Berg quartets. Smith is also a faculty member of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and Aspen Music Festival.

The son of a mathematician and a pianist, Smith was admitted to Arizona State University at age 10, where he took courses in mathematics, music, and German. At age 17, Smith completed a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. He then became a student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, where he was also a teaching assistant in the mathematics department, and completed work for a Master of Arts in Mathematics at age 19. He subsequently studied with the renowned cellist Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts, disserting on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann. Smith resides in Houston with his wife, pianist Evelyn Chen, their daughter, Calista, and two slightly evil, but kind-hearted dogs. For further information, please visit www.brintonaverilsmith.com

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Lin Ma

Jury Members:

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Marilyn McDonald

Marilyn McDonald, a founding member of the Smithson Quartet and the Castle Trio, currently plays in the Axelrod Quartet in residence at the Smithsonian Institution and so named in honor of the donor of the decorated Stradivarius instruments on which the quartet performs.

She has toured worldwide as a chamber musician in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary, appearing at Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, the Frick Gallery, the Caramoor, Utrecht and Mostly Mozart Festivals, Wigmore Hall, Disney Hall, Ravinia and the Concertgebouw, as well as appearing as soloist with the Milwaukee and Omaha symphonies. Concertmaster positions include Boston Baroque and the Peninsula Music Festival.

McDonald is well known for her interest in performing on historical instruments. Former students in this area occupy positions of importance worldwide.

Recent students occupy positions in the Boston and Houston symphonies, in several active string quartets, and have been international prize winners in the Locatelli, Berkeley Bach, Naumberg, Stulberg, and Fischoff competitions.

She has been artist in residence at Boston University and has held visiting professorships at the Eastman School of Music and at Indiana University. She teaches each summer at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and has been honored with Oberlin’s Excellence in Teaching award.

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Tong Yan

A winner of international competitions, Tong Yan has claimed first prize at the International Music Competition of Union Francaise des Artistes Musiciens in Paris, International Violin Competition in Kazakhstan, International Chinese Violin Competition in New York, and string winner at the Gisborne International Orchestral Instruments Competition in New Zealand. She has also placed in the top three at the Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy and the Brahms International Violin Competition in Austria. Yan has had many recitals and solo performances with orchestras in Austria, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada, and the United States.

Yan is currently an active chamber musician and has participated in festivals such as the Summer Strings Academy in Australia, Canada’s Morningside Music Bridge, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Bar Harbor Music Festival in Maine, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Spoleto Music Festival in South Carolina, Britt Music Festival in Oregon, and the Meadowmount Summer School in New York.

Yan joined the Houston Symphony in 2012 while pursuing her Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Donald Weilerstein. She also holds a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory, and a split bachelor’s degree from the Vienna University of Fine Arts, Joseph Haydn Conservatory, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Her teachers include Elisabeth Kropfitsch, Klaus Maetzl, and Marilyn McDonald.

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Yue Bao

Conductor Yue Bao serves as conducting fellow of the Houston Symphony to Andrés Orozco-Estrada. In May 2019, she completed a two-year tenure as the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, closely working with Maestro Nézet-Séguin during her studies in Philadelphia. At Curtis, she was active as both a conductor and assistant, working with Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vänskä, Gilbert Varga, Giancarlo Guerrero, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

Bao was the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2019. In 2018, she served as the David Effron Conducting Fellow at the Chautauqua Music Festival, where her concerts with the Festival Orchestra received major accolades from audiences and musicians. Prior to her time at Curtis, in 2015, she served as a conducting fellow at the Eastern Music Festival under Gerard Schwarz. In March of 2020, Bao conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in their Music Around the Globe program, part of their Young People’s Concerts series. She will also conduct the Houston Symphony in four Upper Elementary concerts. In summer 2020, she will hold a conducting seminar at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

 

She has worked extensively in the United States and abroad. In 2019, Bao toured through China with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, assisting Andrés Orozco-Estrada. She served as an assistant for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta and David Lockington (2015-17), making her conducting debut with Buffalo in 2016. Bao has also assisted Vänskä at the Minnesota Orchestra and Varga at the St. Louis Symphony. Recent appearances include the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra, the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New Symphony Orchestra. Equally at home with both symphonic and operatic repertoire, her credits include Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Bizet’s Carmen, Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel, and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium. She is also active as a pianist, recently playing for a production of Les contes d’Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

 

Along with her Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music, Bao holds Bachelor of Music degrees in orchestral conducting and opera accompanying from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music following her studies of composition and a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Mannes School of Music.

 

Yue Bao is represented worldwide by Tanja Dorn at Dorn Music.

This approved biography is not to be altered or shortened without the management’s permission. Please replace older versions.

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Brinton Averil Smith

Cellist Brinton Averil Smith continues to win rave reviews for virtuosic performances with musical ideals rooted in the golden age of string playing. His debut recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra won widespread international critical acclaim, with Gramophone praising Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” and his recording of the chamber music of Fauré with Gil Shaham was chosen by numerous critics as one of the year’s best albums. A passionate advocate of compelling unfamiliar repertoire, Smith recently gave the North American premieres of rediscovered works of Jean Sibelius and Alexander Zemlinsky. Smith’s performances, hailed as “stunningly beautiful” by the American Record Guide, have been broadcast on CBS’s Sunday Morning and on the radio throughout the United States, including American Public Media’s Performance Today and SymphonyCast.

Smith has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Houston Symphony since joining the orchestra as Principal Cellist in 2005. Prior to this appointment, he was the first musician chosen by Lorin Maazel to join the New York Philharmonic and was Principal Cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphonies. As a chamber musician, Smith has collaborated with artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, James Ehnes, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Dawn Upshaw, and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Berg quartets. Smith is also a faculty member of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and Aspen Music Festival.

The son of a mathematician and a pianist, Smith was admitted to Arizona State University at age 10, where he took courses in mathematics, music, and German. At age 17, Smith completed a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. He then became a student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, where he was also a teaching assistant in the mathematics department, and completed work for a Master of Arts in Mathematics at age 19. He subsequently studied with the renowned cellist Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts, disserting on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann. Smith resides in Houston with his wife, pianist Evelyn Chen, their daughter, Calista, and two slightly evil, but kind-hearted dogs. For further information, please visit www.brintonaverilsmith.com

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Lin Ma

Jury Members:

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Marilyn McDonald

Marilyn McDonald, a founding member of the Smithson Quartet and the Castle Trio, currently plays in the Axelrod Quartet in residence at the Smithsonian Institution and so named in honor of the donor of the decorated Stradivarius instruments on which the quartet performs.

She has toured worldwide as a chamber musician in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary, appearing at Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, the Frick Gallery, the Caramoor, Utrecht and Mostly Mozart Festivals, Wigmore Hall, Disney Hall, Ravinia and the Concertgebouw, as well as appearing as soloist with the Milwaukee and Omaha symphonies. Concertmaster positions include Boston Baroque and the Peninsula Music Festival.

McDonald is well known for her interest in performing on historical instruments. Former students in this area occupy positions of importance worldwide.

Recent students occupy positions in the Boston and Houston symphonies, in several active string quartets, and have been international prize winners in the Locatelli, Berkeley Bach, Naumberg, Stulberg, and Fischoff competitions.

She has been artist in residence at Boston University and has held visiting professorships at the Eastman School of Music and at Indiana University. She teaches each summer at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and has been honored with Oberlin’s Excellence in Teaching award.

Judge TBD

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Yue Bao

Conductor Yue Bao serves as conducting fellow of the Houston Symphony to Andrés Orozco-Estrada. In May 2019, she completed a two-year tenure as the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, closely working with Maestro Nézet-Séguin during her studies in Philadelphia. At Curtis, she was active as both a conductor and assistant, working with Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vänskä, Gilbert Varga, Giancarlo Guerrero, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

Bao was the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2019. In 2018, she served as the David Effron Conducting Fellow at the Chautauqua Music Festival, where her concerts with the Festival Orchestra received major accolades from audiences and musicians. Prior to her time at Curtis, in 2015, she served as a conducting fellow at the Eastern Music Festival under Gerard Schwarz. In March of 2020, Bao conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in their Music Around the Globe program, part of their Young People’s Concerts series. She will also conduct the Houston Symphony in four Upper Elementary concerts. In summer 2020, she will hold a conducting seminar at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

 

She has worked extensively in the United States and abroad. In 2019, Bao toured through China with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, assisting Andrés Orozco-Estrada. She served as an assistant for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta and David Lockington (2015-17), making her conducting debut with Buffalo in 2016. Bao has also assisted Vänskä at the Minnesota Orchestra and Varga at the St. Louis Symphony. Recent appearances include the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra, the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New Symphony Orchestra. Equally at home with both symphonic and operatic repertoire, her credits include Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Bizet’s Carmen, Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel, and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium. She is also active as a pianist, recently playing for a production of Les contes d’Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

 

Along with her Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music, Bao holds Bachelor of Music degrees in orchestral conducting and opera accompanying from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music following her studies of composition and a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Mannes School of Music.

 

Yue Bao is represented worldwide by Tanja Dorn at Dorn Music.

This approved biography is not to be altered or shortened without the management’s permission. Please replace older versions.

Brinton-Smith-thumbnail.jpg

Brinton Averil Smith

Cellist Brinton Averil Smith continues to win rave reviews for virtuosic performances with musical ideals rooted in the golden age of string playing. His debut recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra won widespread international critical acclaim, with Gramophone praising Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” and his recording of the chamber music of Fauré with Gil Shaham was chosen by numerous critics as one of the year’s best albums. A passionate advocate of compelling unfamiliar repertoire, Smith recently gave the North American premieres of rediscovered works of Jean Sibelius and Alexander Zemlinsky. Smith’s performances, hailed as “stunningly beautiful” by the American Record Guide, have been broadcast on CBS’s Sunday Morning and on the radio throughout the United States, including American Public Media’s Performance Today and SymphonyCast.

Smith has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Houston Symphony since joining the orchestra as Principal Cellist in 2005. Prior to this appointment, he was the first musician chosen by Lorin Maazel to join the New York Philharmonic and was Principal Cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphonies. As a chamber musician, Smith has collaborated with artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, James Ehnes, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Dawn Upshaw, and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Berg quartets. Smith is also a faculty member of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and Aspen Music Festival.

The son of a mathematician and a pianist, Smith was admitted to Arizona State University at age 10, where he took courses in mathematics, music, and German. At age 17, Smith completed a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. He then became a student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, where he was also a teaching assistant in the mathematics department, and completed work for a Master of Arts in Mathematics at age 19. He subsequently studied with the renowned cellist Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts, disserting on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann. Smith resides in Houston with his wife, pianist Evelyn Chen, their daughter, Calista, and two slightly evil, but kind-hearted dogs. For further information, please visit www.brintonaverilsmith.com

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Lin Ma

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Gregory Allen

Gregory Allen was the Grand Prize winner of the 1980 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv; he also won the Second Prize at the 1978 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, as well as top honors in the Los Angeles Young Musicians Foundation, Washington International, and Gina Bachauer Competitions. His concert engagements have included appearances with the New York, Los Angeles and Israel Philharmonics, the Brussels RTF and Jerusalem Radio Symphonies, and the orchestras of San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston, Austin and San Antonio; he has collaborated with such conductors as Rafael Kubelik, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Sergiu Comissiona, Louis Lane, Garcia Navarro, Leon Fleisher, Lukas Foss, James Sedares, David Atherton and Georges Octors. He has appeared in recital at New York's 92nd St. Y, Washington’s Kennedy Center, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium, and Brussels’ Palais des Beaux-Arts.

Mr. Allen holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the Peabody Institute; his principal teachers were John Perry, Jerome Lowenthal and Leon Fleisher. He is currently Professor of Piano at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has taught since 1973; he has become one of the most sought-after teachers in the country. He is also a founding member of the Chamber Soloists of Austin, a mixed ensemble which was chosen to appear at the Kennedy Center's Texas Festival in 1991. The group has also toured South America as Artistic Ambassadors of the U.S. Information Agency; their highly-acclaimed programs included Mr. Allen's original transcription for chamber ensemble of Alberto Ginastera’s Tres Danzas Argentinas.

Mr. Allen's recordings include The Rubinstein Dedications, a unique project devoted to the many 20th-century piano works written for and dedicated to Arthur Rubinstein; these recordings, which include a number of recorded premieres, are available in three volumes on the Musical Heritage Society label. Mr. Allen has also recorded the first complete collection of the piano works of the renowned Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo for Bridge Records.

 
 

Jury Members:

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Gregory Allen

Gregory Allen was the Grand Prize winner of the 1980 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv; he also won the Second Prize at the 1978 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, as well as top honors in the Los Angeles Young Musicians Foundation, Washington International, and Gina Bachauer Competitions. His concert engagements have included appearances with the New York, Los Angeles and Israel Philharmonics, the Brussels RTF and Jerusalem Radio Symphonies, and the orchestras of San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston, Austin and San Antonio; he has collaborated with such conductors as Rafael Kubelik, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Sergiu Comissiona, Louis Lane, Garcia Navarro, Leon Fleisher, Lukas Foss, James Sedares, David Atherton and Georges Octors. He has appeared in recital at New York's 92nd St. Y, Washington’s Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium, and Brussels' Palais des Beaux-Arts.

Mr. Allen holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the Peabody Institute; his principal teachers were John Perry, Jerome Lowenthal and Leon Fleisher. He is currently Professor of Piano at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has taught since 1973; he has become one of the most sought-after teachers in the country. He is also a founding member of the Chamber Soloists of Austin, a mixed ensemble which was chosen to appear at the Kennedy Center's Texas Festival in 1991. The group has also toured South America as Artistic Ambassadors of the U.S. Information Agency; their highly-acclaimed programs included Mr. Allen's original transcription for chamber ensemble of Alberto Ginastera's Tres Danzas Argentinas.

Mr. Allen's recordings include The Rubinstein Dedications, a unique project devoted to the many 20th-century piano works written for and dedicated to Arthur Rubinstein; these recordings, which include a number of recorded premieres, are available in three volumes on the Musical Heritage Society label. Mr. Allen has also recorded the first complete collection of the piano works of the renowned Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo for Bridge Records.

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Yue Bao

Conductor Yue Bao serves as conducting fellow of the Houston Symphony to Andrés Orozco-Estrada. In May 2019, she completed a two-year tenure as the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, closely working with Maestro Nézet-Séguin during her studies in Philadelphia. At Curtis, she was active as both a conductor and assistant, working with Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vänskä, Gilbert Varga, Giancarlo Guerrero, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

Bao was the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2019. In 2018, she served as the David Effron Conducting Fellow at the Chautauqua Music Festival, where her concerts with the Festival Orchestra received major accolades from audiences and musicians. Prior to her time at Curtis, in 2015, she served as a conducting fellow at the Eastern Music Festival under Gerard Schwarz. In March of 2020, Bao conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in their Music Around the Globe program, part of their Young People’s Concerts series. She will also conduct the Houston Symphony in four Upper Elementary concerts. In summer 2020, she will hold a conducting seminar at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

 

She has worked extensively in the United States and abroad. In 2019, Bao toured through China with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, assisting Andrés Orozco-Estrada. She served as an assistant for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta and David Lockington (2015-17), making her conducting debut with Buffalo in 2016. Bao has also assisted Vänskä at the Minnesota Orchestra and Varga at the St. Louis Symphony. Recent appearances include the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra, the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New Symphony Orchestra. Equally at home with both symphonic and operatic repertoire, her credits include Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Bizet’s Carmen, Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel, and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium. She is also active as a pianist, recently playing for a production of Les contes d’Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

 

Along with her Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music, Bao holds Bachelor of Music degrees in orchestral conducting and opera accompanying from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music following her studies of composition and a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Mannes School of Music.

 

Yue Bao is represented worldwide by Tanja Dorn at Dorn Music.

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Lin Ma

A native of China, Lin Ma was appointed principal clarinetist of the National Symphony Orchestra by Gianandrea Noseda in 2018. Prior to joining the NSO, he has served as assistant principal and Eb clarinetist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2015. He also played a one-year position as second clarinet in the Houston Symphony. Ma won the 2014 Ima Hogg International Competition and performed as soloist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Later, he appeared as soloist at the Baytown Symphony Orchestra’s 2014–15 season opener. In addition, Ma has soloed with National Repertory Orchestra at the NRO music festival in 2013.

Ma earned his Master of Music degree at Rice University, under the tutelage of Richie Hawley, and he holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied with Richard Hawkins. Ma has also studied at the Idyllwild Arts Academy with Yehuda Gilad, and the middle school attached to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing with Yuanfu Huang. 

Ma is a Buffet Crampon Performing Artist.

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Marilyn McDonald

Marilyn McDonald, a founding member of the Smithson Quartet and the Castle Trio, currently plays in the Axelrod Quartet in residence at the Smithsonian Institution and so named in honor of the donor of the decorated Stradivarius instruments on which the quartet performs.

She has toured worldwide as a chamber musician in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary, appearing at Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, the Frick Gallery, the Caramoor, Utrecht and Mostly Mozart Festivals, Wigmore Hall, Disney Hall, Ravinia and the Concertgebouw, as well as appearing as soloist with the Milwaukee and Omaha symphonies. Concertmaster positions include Boston Baroque and the Peninsula Music Festival.

McDonald is well known for her interest in performing on historical instruments. Former students in this area occupy positions of importance worldwide.

Recent students occupy positions in the Boston and Houston symphonies, in several active string quartets, and have been international prize winners in the Locatelli, Berkeley Bach, Naumberg, Stulberg, and Fischoff competitions.

She has been artist in residence at Boston University and has held visiting professorships at the Eastman School of Music and at Indiana University. She teaches each summer at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and has been honored with Oberlin’s Excellence in Teaching award.

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Brinton A. Smith

Cellist Brinton Averil Smith continues to win rave reviews for virtuosic performances with musical ideals rooted in the golden age of string playing. His debut recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra won widespread international critical acclaim, with Gramophone praising Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” and his recording of the chamber music of Fauré with Gil Shaham was chosen by numerous critics as one of the year’s best albums. A passionate advocate of compelling unfamiliar repertoire, Smith recently gave the North American premieres of rediscovered works of Jean Sibelius and Alexander Zemlinsky. Smith’s performances, hailed as “stunningly beautiful” by the American Record Guide, have been broadcast on CBS’s Sunday Morning and on the radio throughout the United States, including American Public Media’s Performance Today and SymphonyCast.

Smith has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Houston Symphony since joining the orchestra as Principal Cellist in 2005. Prior to this appointment, he was the first musician chosen by Lorin Maazel to join the New York Philharmonic and was Principal Cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphonies. As a chamber musician, Smith has collaborated with artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, James Ehnes, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Dawn Upshaw, and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Berg quartets. Smith is also a faculty member of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and Aspen Music Festival.

The son of a mathematician and a pianist, Smith was admitted to Arizona State University at age 10, where he took courses in mathematics, music, and German. At age 17, Smith completed a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. He then became a student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, where he was also a teaching assistant in the mathematics department, and completed work for a Master of Arts in Mathematics at age 19. He subsequently studied with the renowned cellist Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts, disserting on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann. Smith resides in Houston with his wife, pianist Evelyn Chen, their daughter, Calista, and two slightly evil, but kind-hearted dogs. For further information, please visit www.brintonaverilsmith.com