Hailed as a "leading force for the music of our time" for her work as a conductor, communicator, recording artist, audience builder, champion of American composers, and distinguished musical citizen, JoAnn Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center. Her conducting has been acclaimed by the Washington Post as having "Toscanini's tight control over ensemble, Walter's affectionate balancing of inner voices, Stokowski's gutsy showmanship, and a controlled frenzy worthy of Bernstein." Internationally celebrated as a vibrant ambassador for music and an inspiring artistic leader, Ms. Falletta is invited to guest conduct many of the world's finest orchestras. She has guest conducted over 100 orchestras in North America, and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa.
Music Director of the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra, Little Orchestra Society New York, Music Director Emeritus of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and from the 2017/18 season, Music Director of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, British conductor James Judd is sought after for both his passionate musicianship and his charismatic presence on and off the podium. Known for his extraordinarily communicative style and bold, imaginative programming, repeat engagements in concert halls from Vienna to Tokyo, from Istanbul to Wellington, attest to his rapport with audiences and musicians alike. In addition to his international conducting career, James Judd has led the orchestras of the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Guildhall School, Trinity College of London, Aspen Music Festival and the National Youth Orchestras of Australia and New Zealand. Since 2007, he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Asian Youth Orchestra, an ensemble of the most gifted musicians from mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Korea.
In April 2016, Nicholas Platoff was appointed the Associate Principal Trombone of the San Francisco Symphony by Michael Tilson Thomas. He has been recognized in both national and international competitions, as winner of the Aspen Music Festival and School Brass and Percussion Concerto Competition, National Brass Symposium Trombone Excerpt Competition and United States Coast Guard Band Young Artist Competition. In September 2015, he was the only American to advance to the second round of the ARD competition in Munich. He is also a committed educator and works weekly as the low brass section coach for the award-winning SFS Youth Orchestra. He was a co-founder of the Miami Brass Festival, a day-long clinic for young brass players. Nicholas is an alumnus of the National Orchestral Institute + Festival.
James Ross is presently Music Director of the Orquestra Simfonica del Valles in Barcelona, Spain, Orchestra Director of the National Youth Orchestra USA at Carnegie Hall, and Conducting Faculty at the Juilliard School. He recently completed a distinguished 16-year tenure as Professor and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Maryland at College Park. Ross has conducted such diverse orchestras as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Utah Symphony, Les Arts Florissants, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica of Galicia, the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in side-by-side concerts. He has served as Music Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His principal conducting teachers were Kurt Masur, Otto-Werner Mueller, Seiji Ozawa, and Leonard Bernstein.ing and, in 1999, ASCAP’s first-ever Leonard Bernstein Award for Outstanding Educational Programming.
John Morris Russell
The 2016/2017 season marks John Morris Russell’s sixth as Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, one of Cincinnati’s most treasured assets and one of the world’s most respected pops orchestras. Consistently winning international praise for his extraordinary music-making and visionary leadership, he is also Music Director of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, in South Carolina, where he leads the classical subscription series as well as the prestigious Hilton Head International Piano Competition. Mr. Russell also serves as Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, in New York, following in the footsteps of Marvin Hamlisch and Doc Severinsen. John Morris Russell completed his eleven-year tenure as Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada in 2012, whereupon he was named that orchestra’s first Conductor Laureate.
James Stern is a multi-faceted musician whose violin playing has been heard worldwide and cited by the Washington Post for “virtuosity and penetrating intelligence.” He is a member of two critically acclaimed ensembles, the Stern/Andrist Duo with his wife, Canadian pianist Audrey Andrist, and Strata, a trio in which the two of them are joined by clarinetist Nathan Williams. He has performed at theMarlboro, Ravinia, Banff and Bowdoin festivals as well as at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. Stern has served on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music and is now Associate Professor and Chair of the String Division at the University of Maryland School of Music.