2021-2022 GUEST ARTISTS AND COMPOSERS
Penelope Corbett is a freshman at the University of Minnesota double majoring in Music and Psychology. She studies violin with Stephanie Arado in the School of Music, and her former teachers include Minnesota Orchestra members Natsuki Kumagai and Aaron Janse. In addition to playing with the University Symphony Orchestra, she is a member of the Honors Program, a Colin MacLaurin Fellow at Anselm House, and a research assistant in the Auditory Perception and Cognition Laboratory. In 2021, she placed first in the high school strings division of the Thursday Musical Scholarship Competition. Penelope is an enthusiastic promoter of music education and has taught violin to students from Stillwater Middle School and Folwell Community School in Minneapolis. In her free time, she enjoys going on walks with her standard poodle, Louis.
Noah Greenstein Sheppard, 14, lives in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota and has been studying piano since he was 3. For the past 9 years he has been a member of Dr. Paul Wirth’s studio at the Wirth Center for Performing Arts in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He loves piano and has a deep appreciation of the wide range of music his study has introduced him to, from the Baroque to Modern. He is currently in the 8th grade at Minnehaha Academy, where he especially enjoys his coursework in math, communication arts, and Latin as well as doing nothing in particular with his friends from school.
Over the course of his piano studies, Noah has been fortunate to be selected for master classes with Yekwon Sunwoo, Seymour Bernstein, Ann Schein, Andrew Staupe, and Alexander Braginsky. Like many – and like all musicians – he is thrilled at the possibility of a continued general return to live performance and in-person lessons – recordings of music are like photos of the Grand Canyon; lovely, but you aren’t really there, and for performance, it is harder to share what you love with a camera than with an audience. He is happy to be part of a piano studio that emphasizes the development and success of all its members, and over the years, Noah has enjoyed a measure of his own, including:
First place, 2021 SPPTA Concerto Competition
Second place, 2021 Schubert Club Bruce P. Carlson Student Scholarship Competition
First place, 2019 Los Angeles International Piano Competition
First place, 2019 Chopin Youth Piano Competition
First place, 2018 YAWPF Mozart Concerto Competition
Second place, 2018 Chopin Youth Piano Competition
Second place, 2018 Music Teachers National Association, MN
Third place, 2018 William Knabe International Piano Competition
First place (tied), 2017 YAWPF Chopin Competition
Guest artist, 2018, 2019, 2020 (remote), 2022 Mountain Lake Music Series
Ryan Holt is an eighteen-year-old pianist from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. He began taking piano lessons from Sandra Stenzel at age seven and went on to study with Dr. Paul Wirth and Dr. Christopher Weldon. Ryan has succeeded in numerous piano competitions, most notably placing first in the 2020 Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MMTA) Senior Young Artist Piano Competition, first for the State of Minnesota in the 2020–2021 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Senior Performance Piano Competition, and second in the 2021 Thursday Musical High School Piano Young Artist Scholarship Competition. Each summer since 2017, Ryan has attended Young Artist Piano Camp, where in 2020 he performed in a masterclass for pianist Inna Faliks.
During his career at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, Ryan was a member of the National Honor Society and excelled in rigorous coursework while participating in several school music organizations as a multi-instrumentalist. Namely, he played bassoon in the symphonic band and various select orchestras, piano in the top jazz band, and alto saxophone in the marching band. Outside of school, Ryan earned the rank of Eagle Scout in October 2020 and was also an active member of Holy Nativity Lutheran Church.
Currently, Ryan is a freshman at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he plans to major in physics and piano performance. Aside from school and piano, Ryan enjoys running, hiking, camping, and traveling and has a profound interest in technology.
Nicco A. Ibarra Acevedo is a Chilean-Mexican-US violinist, guitarist, bandoneonista, luthier, scholar and composer. Nicco grew up in the Mexican countryside where he learned to play guitar in local churches, his love for music has grown ever since, and he hopes to expand Chilean and Mexican folk music in the same way that Bela Bartók expanded Romanian music. Currently, Nicco is studying music at the University of Minnesota and violin construction and repair at Minnesota State College, under luthier Steve Rossow. His inspirations for composition are Tchaikovsky, Sarasate, Piazzolla, Juan D’Arienzo, Antonio C. Jobim, Gardel, Luiz Bonfá, Tárrega, M.M. Ponce, Chopin, Ravel, Bartók, S. Grappelli, Heifetz, Agustín Lara, Astrud and João Gilberto and many more.
I love to talk about music, composition or violin repair! - https://niccoaibarraacevedo.com/
Andrew J. Kim is James Sample Fellow of orchestral conducting and a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at University of Minnesota, studying with Mark Russell Smith. He serves as the co-director of the UMN Campus Orchestra program comprised of three ensembles and as the assistant conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra.
Previously, he received his master’s degree at Ithaca College under the mentorship of Octavio Más-Arocas. During his time at Ithaca, he served as the assistant conductor of IC Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and as the co-principal conductor of IC Sinfonietta and Trombone Choir. In addition, he has worked with Ithaca College Contemporary Ensemble and Cornell University Open Orchestra and enjoyed frequent collaborations with his friends for recital performances and composition premieres.
Before coming to Ithaca, Andrew studied Music and English Literature at Swarthmore College, where he served as the assistant conductor for the College Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Chorus, and Garnet Singers, and studied with Andrew Hauze and Joseph Gregorio. He was one of two conductors of the College Lab Orchestra, performing both on- and off-campus and collaborating regularly with professional artists-in-residence.
Andrew has performed with distinguished artists such as David Kim, the concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jasper String Quartet, and Chamber Orchestra First Editions. He has participated in several programs of The Conducting Institute led by Miguel Harth-Bedoya and served as his teaching assistant for the past two summers. In addition, Andrew has participated in the Conductor’s Workshop at Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and performed at PRISMA and Wintergreen Festivals. He has been selected as the winner of Vincent C. LaGuardia Jr. Conducting Competition and was invited to guest conduct the Arapahoe Philharmonic.
His other teachers include Gary Gress, Vadim Serebryany, Richard Rotz, and Matthew Caretti. In masterclasses and festivals, he has been taught by renowned artists and pedagogues such as Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Cristian Macelaru, Jeffery Meyer, Gary Lewis, and Jerry Blackstone. He is deeply grateful for all the excellent guidance and mentorship he has received thus far in his life as a musician.
Thomas Kociela is currently Music Director of the Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra (Lowell, MA) and the Parkway Concert Orchestra (Norwood, MA). He is also a Score Reader for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a position which involves collaborating with the entire Broadcast and Media crew as well as Boston Symphony Assistant Conductors. Most recently, Thomas was Assistant Conductor of the Temecula Valley Symphony and Music Director of the Temecula Valley Youth Symphony in California.
As a performer, Thomas spent seven years as a substitute musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). He has shared the stage with conductors and artists such as Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, Yo-Yo Ma, Michelle DeYoung, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, David Robertson, Sir James Galway, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sir Mark Elder, Edwin Outwater, Alastair Willis, and Sir Patrick Stewart. Thomas traveled to Carnegie Hall on tour with the CSO three times, performing under Pierre Boulez and Riccardo Muti – and once to Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor with the CSO. He also performed with the CSO for Festa Muti! A Free Concert for Chicago in Millennium Park (Muti’s first concert as Music Director). Thomas has also performed with the Ars Viva Symphony, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Kenosha Symphony, Racine Symphony, West Michigan Symphony, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, among others.
While in Chicago, Thomas was the assistant conductor at the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, he conducted ensembles at the University of Chicago and the Chicago High School for the Arts. He also served as the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Pathways Neighborhood Ensembles Music Director, designing and implementing ensemble and private lesson programs at underserved schools around Chicago.
Thomas earned a master’s degree in conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from the Chicago College of Performing Arts in trombone performance and music education studying under Jay Friedman and Charles Groeling respectively. He currently studies conducting with Neil Varon, Professor of Conducting at the Eastman School of Music and has pursued additional studies and masterclasses with conductor pedagogues Victor Yampolsky, Cristian Măcelaru, Robert Franz, Markand Thakar, David Jacobs, Erin Freeman, and Donald Schleicher.
Ben Odhner joined the Minnesota Orchestra at the beginning of the 2017-18 season. He won a section violin position with the Colorado Symphony in 2014 and held the position of fixed 4th chair in the first violin section since 2015. He has appeared as a soloist with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Ashland Symphony, Warminster Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles. In 2008 and 2009, he was selected to participate in the New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall. A fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and School, he has been concertmaster of the Aspen Sinfonia and the Aspen Concert Orchestra. He was also a member of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, which performed at Carnegie Hall in April 2009 as a part of the first international classical music summit brought together through the internet.
Odhner started his violin studies at age five in Michigan. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his master’s degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, studying with Paul Kantor. He has been featured on NPR’s From the Top as part of the Gray Charitable Trust Piano Trio and appears frequently in concert at the Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. Throughout his studies, he received generous scholarship funding from the D.R. Starling Foundation.
Ryne Siesky (b. 1996) is a Filipino-American composer, educator, and consultant. Described as “beautifully haunting” (Robert Avalon Competition), “attractive and inventive” (Dorothy Hindman), and “patiently evocative” (George Lewis), Ryne’s music explores the relationships between art, community, and identity. His recent works engage with Asian American identity politics and social intersectionality as idiosyncratic mechanisms for musical creation and sonic processes. His music has been performed by Hypercube, Transient Canvas, Duo Sequenza, the Sprezzatura Horn Quartet, the Braeburn Brass Quintet, Robert Black, Lindsay Garritson, Jacob Mason, Madeline Harts, and Laura Silva, among others. His music has also been featured at several festivals including the Atlantic and Charlotte New Music Festivals, Society of Composers, International Trumpet Guild, Diffrazioni, Festival DME, New York Electroacoustic Music Festival, International Computer Music Conference, and SEAMUS, among others.
Recently, Ryne was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Prize in Instrumental Chamber Music for his work solo piano work Art Miniatures. His work for 8.1 channel fixed media …grind…, was selected for programming at the International Computer Music Conference, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and Simposio Internacional de Musica Nova. Additionally, his work for stereo fixed media, [wanton hush] was selected as an honorable mention in Ars Electronica Forum Wallis. Lastly, his work for flute, guitar, and electronics, panopticotíri was funded by an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation CREATE Grant and was premiered by Duo Sequenza in collaboration with the Lowe Art Museum.
Ryne earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Virginia Commonwealth University and his Master of Music in Music Composition from Ohio University, studying under Robert McClure. He is currently ABD status and working towards his Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Miami – Frost School of Music. His primary teachers are Dorothy Hindman and Lansing McLoskey. Ryne is currently a member of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) National Student Council, Author and Curator of the Charlotte New Music Opportunity Newsletter, and Co-Founder of the -NESS Composer Collective. Outside of music, Ryne is an active foodie, tea connoisseur, and semi-professional racquetball player.
Pianist Andrew Staupe is emerging as one of the distinctive voices in a new generation of pianists. Andrew has appeared as soloist with many of the top orchestras throughout the United States and in Europe, including the Baltimore Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Houston Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, the George Enescu Philharmonic in Romania, the Orquestra Filarmónica de Bogotá in Colombia, and many others. He has collaborated with distinguished conductors Osmo Vänskä, Cristian Măcelaru, Jahja Ling, Gerard Schwarz, Andrew Litton, Lucas Richman, Josep-Caballé Domenech, and Philip Mann among numerous others. Andrew has performed recitals across the United States and extensively in Europe, appearing at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Rachmaninov Hall in Moscow, the Schumann Haus in Leipzig, and the Salle Cortot in Paris.
An avid chamber musician, Andrew has jammed with legendary vocalist Bobby McFerrin, played Tangos with the Assad Brothers, and has collaborated with numerous other instrumentalists and singers. Most recently, his debut recording of the complete works for piano and violin of Carl Nielsen, with Danish violinist Hasse Borup, has been released on the acclaimed Naxos label. Andrew has a keen interest in performing new music and has collaborated with composers Howard Shore, Augusta Read Thomas, Yehudi Wyner, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Libby Larsen, Pierre Jalbert, Richard Lavenda, and debuted Christopher Walczak’s Piano Concerto in August 2020. Other notable performances include concerts at Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York, and the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress in Washington DC. He has been a featured guest on American Public Media’s “Performance Today,” and on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” in 2004.
Deeply committed to teaching, Andrew is an Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Houston, and formerly taught at the University of Utah. He is Artistic Director of the Young Artist World Piano Festival in Minnesota, and gives frequent master classes and lectures around the United States. A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, he earned his Doctorate at Rice University with Jon Kimura Parker, and also studied at the University of Minnesota with Lydia Artymiw.
A driven and versatile conductor, Ryan Tani has been praised for his compelling musicianship in a wide range of symphonic and choral repertoire. Ryan recently completed his tenure as the Orchestral Conducting Fellow for the Yale Philharmonia under Music Director Peter Oundjian, where he received the Dean's Prize for artistic excellence in his graduating class. He also serves as the Music Director of the Occasional Symphony in Baltimore. In 2015, he was declared the winner of the ACDA Undergraduate Student Conducting Competition at their national conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
An advocate of new and early music, Ryan has stayed active as conductor and performer for new compositions by emerging composers. He is resident conductor of the New Music New Haven series, where he collaborates, under guidance of Aaron Jay Kernis, with Yale University composition students and faculty.
During his tenure as Co-Founder and Music Director of the Concerto Chamber Orchestra from 2012-2015, Ryan helped positively shape the orchestral scene in the Los Angeles area by providing a medium for high-level performance opportunities to student musicians of all majors. The infrastructure that he and his Board put together thrives to this day.
Prior to his conducting study, Ryan worked actively as a tenor in the Los Angeles area. He was in demand as a soloist in several professional early-music and new-music groups, including the USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia, Horizon Music Group, Tesserae LA, De Angelis, Flos Campi and Thornton Edge, among others. He was also a member of the USC Chamber Singers, which recently received the 2015 American Prize in Choral Music.
Ryan is a graduate of the Peabody Institute where he studied conducting with Marin Alsop and Markand Thakar, and of the University of Southern California, where he studied voice with Gary Glaze. In addition to his studies at Peabody, Ryan has also studied conducting with Grant Cooper, José-Luis Novo, Larry Rachleff, Donald Schleicher, and Gerard Schwarz. Ryan remains an active tenor in New Haven, and plays violin, jazz piano, and computer programming for enjoyment.
Founded in 1962, the Minnesota Boychoir is the oldest boy choir in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan area. The Boychoir’s reputation for excellence has brought invitations from local and national music conventions as well as sporting events, local theater productions and touring Broadway companies. The Boychoir has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Prague Philharmonic, and a long list of local and national performers. During the 2017-18 season, our choirboys share the stage for the first time with the Shoreview Northern Lights Variety Band and have return engagements with the Minnesota Orchestra, Sweet Adeline’s City of Lakes Chorus, Partners in Praise Girls Choir and the American Composers Forum. We will share our music at several prominent church music concert series’ and gather with other boychoirs from around the state for the 5th Minnesota State Boychoir Festival. Our Spring Tours have us traveling to Rochester and Litchfield, MN, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in the summer of 2018. The choir’s schedule includes national and international tours, thrilling audiences in sixteen states and on five continents. The boys headlined the World Voices Australia International Choral Festival at Sydney’s famed Opera House in 2007 and in celebration of the choir’s 50th Anniversary, toured Italy in 2011, which featured a performance for Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. The choir sang at Monserrat Abbey and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain to celebrate its 55th Anniversary in June 2017.
Today, as a model organization for the training, education and performance of young voices, the Minnesota Boychoir has four core ensembles and several outreach programs to its credit. The choir’s vast repertoire includes challenging sacred, classical, secular, folk and contemporary choral music sung in more than 30 languages and dialects. The organization also boasts well over 150 singers ages 6-18, from more than forty communities throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Each season, they spend hours in rehearsal, build community through music retreats and tours, and perform up to 30 concerts in churches, hospitals, schools, retirement homes and convert venues across the globe.
The Minnesota Boychoir trains young men to be outstanding musicians and strives to help them develop a sense of poise and self-confidence through education and performance. A choirboy is challenged to sing well, stand tall, stay on schedule, take pride in his appearance, respect those in charge and tap into the best part of who he is and what he can accomplish.