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Eastman School of Music Conducting Institute Participants

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Experience the next generation of orchestral conductors! Extraordinary young conductors from the Eastman School of Music's Summer Conducting Institute will lead the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for this special evening in Kodak Hall. Five finalists from this group of talented conductors will be selected to conduct the RPO for the July 21 concert at 7:30 in Kodak Hall.

Tse_Mark.jpgMark Tse began violin studies at age six, but later switched to the saxophone, pursuing classical and jazz studies at the University of Toronto under Alex Dean and Don Englert. He taught high school for 11 years, where he has conducted concert bands, jazz bands, and musicals. Tse is completing his Masters degree and will begin his doctoral studies in music education starting in September, both through the University of Western Ontario. He has attended many conducting symposiums, working with renowned conductors such as Craig Kirkhoff, Timothy Reynish, Mallory Thompson, Jack Stamp, Michael Votto, and Paula Holcomb.
Merrill_Michelle.jpgMichelle Merrill is currently the Assistant Conductor and Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Meadows Symphony Orchestra at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Texas where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting under the tutelage of Dr. Paul Phillips. Merrill began her conducting studies at SMU as an undergraduate student with Dr. Jack Delaney, guest conducting both the Meadows Wind Ensemble and Meadows Percussion Ensemble during her time there. Through various workshops, Merrill has conducted such ensembles as the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), Richmond Symphony (VA), and Ocmulgee Symphony Orchestra (GA), and worked with numerous conductors including Gustav Meier, Larry Rachleff, JoAnn Falletta, Frank Battisti, Donald Schleicher, Charles Peltz, Adrian Gnam, and Robert Gutter.

Merrill is no stranger to diverse musical styles, and spent four years teaching a variety of disciplines including strings, chorus, band, jazz, and music theory in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, and Dallas, Texas. While in Boston, Merrill performed with Gamelan Galak-Tika, an Indonesian music group that presents traditional as well as contemporary gamelan music. She also performs Indian Classical music on the bansuri (flute) with her husband, Steve, on tabla.
Quinn_Troy.jpgTroy Quinn has been lauded for his energetic and riveting, yet sensitive conducting throughout the United States and Europe. A versatile young conductor, Quinn is the founder and Music Director of the Portsmouth Institute Orchestra of Rhode Island. He has conducted many notable ensembles both in the U.S. and abroad, including the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra under the guidance of Boston Philharmonic Maestro Benjamin Zander as well as the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra. Quinn has also performed at such notable venues as the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and Southwark Cathedral in London. A grand prize recipient from the Rhode Island Foundation, Quinn has received numerous awards from several foundations, including the Rislov Foundation and Anna Sosenko Trust, among others. As a conducting fellow, he has attended Conducting Institutes at the University of South Carolina and at Bard Conservatory of Music, where he was coached by conductors Paul Vermel, Donald Portnoy, and Leon Botstein.

A native of Connecticut, Quinn pursued a bachelor of arts degree from Providence College, where he was the recipient of the Leo S. Cannon Award for superior achievement in the music field. He went on to earn his Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music in classical voice performance, studying with highly acclaimed Metropolitan Opera singer Mark Oswald. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in conducting at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he studies with Larry Livingston and Jo-Michael Scheibe. Quinn has previously served on the faculties of Providence College and the Portsmouth Abbey School and is an active member of the Conductor’s Guild.

Lai_ Ching-Chun.jpgConductor Ching-Chun Lai is newly appointed as Orchestra Conductor/Assistant Professor at SUNY-Potsdam, Crane School of Music, beginning with the fall semester of 2011. Highlights of her professional conducting career include performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Madison Bach Musicians (a professional period instrument ensemble), and the world premiere of Maura Bosch’s opera Art and Desire, a University of Wisconsin-Madison commission, in the spring of 2009.

Other honors and awards include Church Memorial Conducting Award, music competitions in Taiwan, scholarships for graduate study in the U.S., and multiple academic honors. Lai has taught at Mount Holyoke College and elite music programs in Taiwan. She has studied conducting with James Smith, Gunther Schuller, Charles Peltz, Yu-Hsian Chang, and with Gustav Meier and JoAnn Falletta in workshops. She received her DMA in orchestral conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Master of Music degrees in Conducting and Music Education from New England Conservatory, as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan.

Ting_Chaowen.jpgChaowen Ting began her musical studies on the piano at the age of three, and started performing when she was five years old. She started her conducting training at the age of 17, and studied with Professors Amy Chang and Sung-jen Hsu in her home country of Taiwan before moving to the United States in 2007.
Winner of the 2009 International Conductors’ Workshop and Competition in Georgia, U.S., Ting currently holds the position of the Music Director and Conductor of Cincinnati Sinfonietta, a chamber orchestra she founded in 2010. She has served as the conductor of Mercer/Macon Symphony Youth Orchestra, the apprentice conductor of Macon Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor of CCM Philharmonia, Concert Orchestra, and Mercer University Orchestra. In 2010, the production of Haydn’s La Canterina directed by Ting won second place in the 2009-2010 Opera Production Competition held by the National Opera Association.
Ting has appeared with orchestras and ensembles in the US, Romania, Russia, Taiwan, and Honduras. She received her Masters of Music in conducting from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Her mentors include renowned conductors Gustav Meier, Lief Segerstam, Yuri Simonov, Alexander Polishchuk, and Mark Gibson.
Powell_Mark.jpgMark Powell is the founding music director of ARCO, the American Radio Chamber Orchestra. As managing artistic director at Houston’s Hobby Center for the Performing Arts’ Uniquely Houston program, he initiated the Discovery Series of hands-on music, dance, and theatre exploration concerts that today serve 20,000 Houston school children annually. Since his Concertgebouw debut with the Netherlands Radio Symphony, he has conducted the Fort Worth Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Houston Symphony Principals, as well as at the Korsholm Festival in Finland and with Da Camera of Houston. A Ford Foundation American Conductor’s Prize winner, he is currently an instructor at the Institute for Music Leadership, and performed at last year’s Conductor Preview here with the Rochester Philharmonic.
Buhidar2_William.jpgConcert reviews of performances by American freelance conductor William Buhidar reflect his solid reputation among critics and audiences alike. His work has been presented on broadcasts of National Public Radio's "Performance Today." Buhidar has conducted a wide spectrum of music that has included symphonic and chamber orchestra concerts, complete dramatic opera and ballet productions, choral programs, and a wide variety of "pops" concerts. In Summer 2010 he was among the conductors invited to conduct the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra representing the Eastman Conducting Institute. He continues his professional development with study under Maestro Neil Varon. Please visit www.williambuhidar.com for more insight into his experience and background.
Eldredge_Brandon.jpgBrandon Eldredge is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a degree in Music Education. During his term at TCNJ, where he studied piano with Tomoko Kanamaru, Eldredge won competitions to participate in master classes with internationally acclaimed pianists Leon Bates, Fred Karpoff, and Elizabeth and Eugene Pridonoff. In the spring of 2009, he won the TCNJ Orchestra Concerto Competition and performed with the orchestra as a piano soloist. He has also made a guest appearance with the college’s woodwind quintet, and continues to serve as the accompanist for the TCNJ College Choir and Chorale. Outside of his academic work, Eldredge served as the TCNJ chapter President of The National Association for Music Education. He was inducted as a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key International Honor Societies. Eldredge currently teaches piano at the Hunterdon Academy of the Arts. He regularly accompanies student vocalists and instrumentalists, and church children’s choirs and adult choirs in Flemington. He is also presently the Assistant Orchestra Director at TCNJ, where he works with the TCNJ Orchestra, several instrumental chamber ensembles and as Assistant Conductor for Lyric Theater and Chorale.
Unger_Christopher.jpgChristopher Unger is a first year DMA conducting student at the Eastman School of Music studying with Dr. Mark Scatterday. Unger originally hails from British Columbia, Canada where he studied horn from a young age. His principal teachers included Jeff Nelsen and Richard Mingus. During his post secondary education he was in demand as a freelance musician throughout the Lower Mainland where he performed regularly with a number of orchestras, wind ensembles, and chamber groups including: the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the UBC Symphony Orchestra, the British Columbia Chamber Orchestra, the West Coast Symphony Orchestra, the Burnaby Symphony Orchestra, the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, and the Quintessence Brass Quintet.

Having received his Bachelor of Music (2002), and Bachelor of Education (2003) degrees at the University of British Columbia, he taught senior secondary music at GP Vanier Secondary School for five years.  During that period Unger received private instruction in conducting, and participated in professional development experiences across the country. In 2010, he received a Masters of Music degree from the University of Western Ontario in Wind Conducting where he studied with Dr. Colleen Richardson. Unger has participated in a number of conducting workshops which has given him the opportunity to study under Craig Kirchhoff, Allan McMurray, Richard Blatti, Gary Hill, Mallory Thompson, Michael Haithcock, Rodney Dorsey, Charles Peltz, Frank Battisti, Michael Votta, Donald Hunsberger, and Rodney Winther. Unger was the assistant conductor of the Eastman Wind Orchestra and the Eastman Wind Ensemble for the 2010/2011 season. 
Hou_Jerry_ 01.jpgBorn in Taiwan, Jerry Hou received his early musical training as a trombonist in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Houston. During his studies, he performed regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, and Fort Worth Symphony. In addition, he was awarded first prize at the Frank Smith International Trombone Association Competition in Utrecht, Netherlands. After completing his Masters degree from the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Hou went to Europe to study contemporary music performance with Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Lucerne Festival Academy and with members of the Ensemble Modern in their academy. Hou began his conducting studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England with Clark Rundell and Mark Elder. He continued his studies in Germany and Sweden, working closely with Jorma Panula and Alan Gilbert. An advocate of new music, he has collaborated with composers Emily Howard, Mark Anthony Turnage, Unsuk Chin, Brett Dean, Benedict Mason, Peter Eotvos, and Harrison Birtwistle. Hou has conducted orchestras such as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, St. Petersburg Academy Orchestra, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, and members of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.

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