Ruth Mar, Harp
Harpist Ruth Mar has performed as a soloist in the US, Toronto, and Israel, including concerto appearances with the University of Washington Symphony and University of Puget Sound Orchestras. From 2009-10 she served on the music faculty as harp instructor at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and recently was a featured performer at the American Harp Society national conference. She is currently the Artistic Director of Parnassus Project, an innovative chamber music series in the greater Seattle area.
As a chamber musician, Ruth has performed with flutists Paula Robison and Marco Granados, violist Melia Watras, and as a featured artist at the Yachats Music Festival. An active freelance musician, she regularly performs with ensembles such as Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Spokane Symphony, Opus 7 vocal ensemble, Rainier Symphony, and Thalia Symphony. She also maintains a private teaching studio inKirkland.
In 2006, she completed her Bachelor of Music at The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto as a student of Judy Loman, and her Master of Music at the University of Washington in 2010 under the tutelage of Heidi Lehwalder.
Violinist Ronald Patterson, the Ruth Sutton Waters Endowed Professor at the University of Washington School of Music since 1999, was a student of Jascha Heifetz, Eudice Shapiro and Manuel Compinsky. Mr. Patterson has concertized extensively in the United States and Europe since the age of 11, performing 45 works (including six world premieres) in more than 150 solo performances. He has been acclaimed for his “skill, authority and imagination” by the New York Times. From 1965 to 1999, he was concertmaster of the Monte-Carlo, Houston, Denver, and Miami symphonies, St. Louis Little Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He was a founder and Associate Professor of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University (Houston, 1974-1979). Assistant Professor at Washington University (St. Louis, 1967-1971), as well as on the faculty of Stetson University (Florida, 1975-1979), MacMurray College (Illinois, 1966) and the University of Miami (Florida, 1965). Mr. Patterson has recorded for CRI, Erato, Orion, Vox, Ante Aeternum, Virgin Classics, Serenus, Philips, and EMI. A five time First Prize Winner of the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, he has performed chamber music with some of the greatest musicians of our day, including Heifetz, Piatigorsky and Szeryng. In 1998 he was named Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite Culturel, one of the Principality of Monaco’s highest honors. Mr. Patterson is currently Chairman of the Strings Division at the University of Washington School of Music and teaches violin, chamber music and orchestral studies.
Violist Roxanna Patterson began her professional career at age 16 as a member of the Fort Worth Symphony and the Forth Worth Opera Orchestras. She later attended the Shepherd School of Music (Rice University) and played in the Houston Symphony, Houston Opera Orchestra and served as concertmaster of the Houston Ballet Orchestra. Her teachers included Ronald Patterson, Eudice Shapiro, Wayne Crouse and Karen Tuttle. In 1979 she moved to Monte Carlo with her husband, Ronald Patterson. There she changed from violin to viola and the couple formed the unique violin/viola ensemble Duo Patterson. A chamber music enthusiast, Ms. Patterson has performed extensively in this capacity. She has also appeared in recital and as soloist with orchestras in France, Italy, Germany, England, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, and the U.S. In 1984 she received the first Special Award from the Princess Grace Foundation and was recently decorated by Prince Rainier of Monaco with Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Culturel. Ms. Patterson has recorded for the Ante Aeternum, CRI, and Vox labels, and has appeared on European and American television.
SARAH MATTOX, Mezzo-soprano
Sarah Mattox has appeared in principal roles with many companies nationally, including Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Eugene Opera, Tacoma Opera and many others. Favorite roles include the title characters in Carmen and Cendrillon, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She received special acclaim for her professional debut as Feodor in Seattle Opera’s Boris Godunov and was a recent First Prize winner in the Belle Voci national competition. Also at home on the concert stage, Ms. Mattox has made several appearances at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony and has also been a soloist with the Northwest Sinfonietta, Cascade Festival of Music, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Eugene Concert Choir, Sunriver Music Festival and many others. April 2010 marked her fourth appearance as a concert soloist at Carnegie Hall in New York. Also an advocate for new music, Ms. Mattox is a founding member and composer for TangleTown Trio, a group specializing in accessible new music in a chamber setting, as well as classical crossover music. Their first album, ‘Song Nouveau,’ has been broadcast internationally to critical acclaim.
ANTHONY KALIL, tenor
Anthony Kalil sang in his first opera at the age of 17, singing the role of Thomas in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe at Interlochen Center for The Arts. While at Interlochen, Anthony also performed the role of Nanki-Poo in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. In 2000, he began studying at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, where he studied Vocal Performance and Math Education, sang with the Wartburg Choir, and was selected as a soloist for Wartburg’s annual Winter Concert. He has also performed in a variety of musicals, including Grease, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof and Bye Bye Birdie. In 2002, he left Wartburg College and began a career in the Paint Industry, and has continued in this vocation ever since. In the summer of 2009, he resumed his vocal studies in Yakima, WA. In October of 2009, he took first place in the Spokane NATS Competition. Since then, he has performed with many opera groups across the Northwest as well as several Orchestra’s, performing roles such as, Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme, Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca, The Count of Lerma in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Gabriel Von Eisenstein in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Canio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, and will be performing his first Messiah with the Federal Way Symphony at Town Hall in Seattle, WA. In 2010, Anthony entered the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and won first prize in the first round and the award for Audience Favorite. In January of 2011, he won second place in the second round of the MONC, and once again won the award for Audience Favorite. Anthony is continuing to take additional roles and concert engagements.
BENJAMIN HARRIS, Baritone
Benjamin Harris has been seen all across the Pacific Northwest on both opera and concert stages. Recent engagements include Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Kitsap Opera, Marcello in La Boheme with Bellevue Opera, Angelotti in Tosca with Skagit Opera, and Bonze in Madama Butterfly with Vashon Opera. Benjamin has been seen frequently with Tacoma Opera where his credits include Biscroma in Viva la Mamma, Baron Douphol in La Traviata, Marullo in Rigoletto, Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Bonze and Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, and the Jailor in Tosca OSCA. Other opera roles include Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, Sarastro and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Caronte in L’Orfeo, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, Ben in The Telephone, the Cold Genius in King Arthur, Grandpa Moss in The Tender Land, the Friar in Don Carlo, and the Sergeant of Police in Pirates of Penzance. Equally at home on the concert stage, Mr. Harris has appeared as a soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Verdi’s Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Durufle’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah. Upcoming engagements include Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore with Skagit Opera, Messiah with Tacoma Symphony, and Carmina Burana with Seattle Choral Company.
ALLAN DAMERON, Piano
Allan Dameron is a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts where he was a National Merit Scholar. It was there that he fell in love with chamber music, vocal accompanying, and ballet, and it is these collaborative arts which have inspired him ever since. Later, when working as a vocal coach at Chicago Lyric Opera he was assigned to play for ballet rehearsals for Gounod’s Faust under Maestro Georges Pretre’s direction, and thus renewed his affinity for the choreography of Balanchine, who had designed the dances for the Walpurgisnacht Scene. Shortly after he was invited to join Maria Tallchief’s Chicago City Ballet as solo pianist and later Music Director. He came to the attention of Kent Stowell and Francia Russell at Pacific Northwest Ballet, who engaged him as Pianist and Conductor, in which post he has performed most of the active Balanchine repertory on four Continents.
As a chamber pianist Allan has performed at numerous chamber music venues such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Gardner Museum in Boston, The National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Chicago Symphony Chamber Music Concerts, the Colorado Music Festival, The Seattle International Music Festival, Second City Chamber Music in Tacoma, and the Vashon Island Chamber Music Series.
Allan writes, “I am thrilled to be performing with Stephen and the Thalia Symphony a piece I have adored since I was twelve years old and which, despite being one of The Three Most Famous Piano Concertos, has never lost its freshness: keyboard writing which makes the piano speak in so many varied voices – noble declamation, delicate filigree, striding power, heartfelt singing, Chopinesque veiled moods, dancing ebullience – and a sense that every note follows inevitably from the note before
LAUREN ROTH, Violin
Lauren Roth is twenty four years old and a native of Seattle, Washington. Shortly before her third birthday, she informed her parents that she wanted a violin and private lessons. They complied and her musical career began. She studied the Suzuki method with Yuko Honda and later with Professor Ronald Patterson at the University of Washington. Lauren graduated from the University of Washington in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian studies. While there, she won the University’s concerto competition and soloed with the UW Symphony and Bremerton Symphony.
Lauren has served as the concertmaster of the UW Symphony, Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Northwest, Bellevue Opera Orchestra, Marrowstone Festival Orchestra and the Thalia Symphony Orchestra, the last two with Maestro Stephen Radcliffe. In July 2011, Lauren was the concertmaster of the 5th Avenue Theater’s premiere of Disney’s “Aladdin: The New Stage Musical.”
An active teacher, Lauren was an adjunct faculty member at Holy Names Academy in Seattle from 2006–2010, and she maintained a private studio.
Last August, Lauren moved to Cleveland to pursue a Master of Music degree with William Preucil at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Alongside her studies, she was recently appointed concertmaster of the Canton Symphony in Ohio and plays with the Cleveland Pops orchestra. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys reading, playing and watching sports, and spending time with her two nieces.
SOPHIA STOYANOVICH, Violin
Hailed as “a spectacular young violinist” by the Seattle Times music critic Bernard Jacobson, fourteen-year-old Sophia Stoyanovich has appeared as soloist with a number of orchestras. She premiered at age ten with the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra, followed shortly by an appearance with the Butte Symphony Orchestra. This season, in addition to appearances with Thalia Symphony and the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, she will make her debut at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. Miss Stoyanovich is the winner of the Seattle Symphony Young Artists Auditions (2010), selected by Maestro Gerard Schwarz.
She has been awarded scholarships to the Interlochen Arts Academy (2007), Indiana University String Academy (2008) and the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (2010). She was a winner of the Bremerton Symphony Youth Showcase (2006 and 2008) and has served in various leadership roles, including concertmaster of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras’ Junior Symphony and the Greater Kitsap Honors Orchestra. She is also a regular soloist with the Saint Cecilia Festival Recital Series.
She began violin studies at age six and is currently a student of Ron Patterson, past concertmaster of the Monaco Symphony and student of Jascha Heifetz. Miss Stoyanovich lives with her family on Bainbridge Island, where she is a freshman at Bainbridge High School.
WALTER GRAY, Cello
Walter Gray has now broken the 30 year mark with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra after humble beginnings in the Pacific Northwest. During those years, he has been featured as soloist several times, including the world premier of a new concerto by David Kechley. “Gray played with his usual intensity and flair… the cello’s lyrical possibilities are realized” (Seattle Times). Never one to rest on his laurels, he has also been on the faculties of the University of North Texas, Western Washington University, State University of New York at Geneseo, and is currently enjoying afternoons with his students at Seattle University.
This summer Mr. Gray has performed at the Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival. “The evening closed with a shatteringly beautiful rendition of Samuel Barber’s Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1932) by cellist Walter Gray.” He is also principal cello with the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra and has participated in the Marrowstone, Waterloo, Mostly Mozart, Grand Teton, Mt. Gretna, Olympic, Cabrillo, and Tidewater Music Festivals.
Mr. Gray has recorded for Delos, CRI, New Albion, Klavier and Mode. He has also served as recording producer for the London Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, and the New Performance Group. As a founding member of the new music ensemble Quake, Mr. Gray produced and performed on the CD Seven Mirrors, music of Chinary Ung, on New World Records. Quake was recently featured in a performance at the Zagreb Biennale in Zagreb, Croatia. The past year has seen Mr. Gray continue his world travels: from DePaul University in Chicago for Cello Slam to Moscow with the ODEONQUARTET to Korea with the Liverpool Trio.
Keep your eyes open this coming season, and you will see him continuing to perform and record with Music of Remembrance, the Barston Quartet, the Liverpool Trio, and in solo performances around Washington state.
GEORGE HALVERSON FIORE, Piano
Dr. George Halverson Fiore began his tenure as Senior Organist at First Presbyterian Church in November of 1999. Prior to his arrival at First Pres, George spent twenty-one years as organist and Coordinator of Music at Edmonds United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church of Seattle, and from 1967-71 was organist and choir director at The Cathedral of St. James in Seattle. George holds a Doctorate degree from Alaska Pacific University.
Perhaps George is best known to the Seattle community in his role as chorus-master of the Seattle Opera, a position he held for sixteen years. In the summer of 2000, he was appointed Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony for Choral Activities, a role which has won him much acclaim. An accomplished pianist, George has performed as soloist with the Seattle Symphony in Saint-Saens Third Piano Concerto. He has been heard as soloist with the Bellevue Philharmonic, Federal Way Philharmonic, Thalia Symphony, and Cascade Symphony in all five Beethoven concertos, the two Chopin concertos, and the Schumann piano concerto.
See Melinda Bargreen’s article about Maestro Fiore in the Seattle Times
KIMBERLY GIORDANO, Soprano
Soprano Kimberly Giordano, lauded for her “polished”, “sterling” and “honest performance” (Seattle Times) embodies the lyric soprano repertoire with her distinctive blend of elegance and emotion. Recent highlights include Ms. Giordano’s appearance as Marguerite in Faust with Tacoma Opera and her Seattle Opera debut in Elektra (Die Vertraute). The 2010-11 season brings a return to Tacoma Opera, singing Nedda in Pagliacci and Trio Soprano in Trouble in Tahiti, as well as song recitals in Seattle and New York. The 2009-10 season marked her first foray into Verdi, appearing as la Voce di Cielo in Don Carlo with Bellevue Opera as well as her Benaroya Hall debut, singing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Seattle Youth Symphony. Ms. Giordano’s operatic roles typify her skill as both an actress and musician, including the principal roles of Micaëla in Carmen, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Rose in Street Scene and the title role in Hansel and Gretel. She has appeared with a wide range of companies, including Tacoma Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Aspen Opera Theater Center, Bellevue Opera and NOISE.
Equally compelling on the concert stage, Ms. Giordano made her Carnegie Hall debut in Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. She has sung Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Helena Symphony, and Mozart’s C minor Mass with the Bremerton Symphony Association. A committed performer of contemporary music, Ms. Giordano sang the role of Kelly in the West Coast premiere of Black Water, with music by John Duffy and libretto by Joyce Carol Oates. She has sung Madame Altina in Pasatieri’s La Divina, and appears this season with the Affinity Chamber Ensemble, performing Elizabeth Alexander’s My Aunt Gives Me a Clarinet Lesson.
Ms. Giordano was a finalist in the inaugural Irene Dalis Competition, the Vera Scammon SOS Competition, the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle Award-Tour Competition and a semi-finalist in the Joy in Singing Competition. She holds a Master of Music degree in Voice from the University of Washington and a BFA in Music Theatre from Illinois Wesleyan University.