2020 Artists

Anna Reider, violin

Anna Reider, violin, is first violinist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and concert mistress of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Her first solo orchestra performance was at age seven, and has since had a highly acclaimed career. Full Bio.

Helen Hwaya Kim, violin

Helen Hwaya Kim, vioiln, made her orchestral debut with the Calgary Philharmonic at the age of six, and has gone on to become a respected and sought-after artist. She is the full violin professor at Kennesaw State University. Full Bio.

Ashley Sidon, cello,

Respected as both a soloist and chamber musician, Ashley Sandor Sidon is the Briggs Endowed Professor of Cello at Drake University and Executive Director of the Zenith Chamber Music Festival. As an invited performer and clinician, Dr. Sidon’s credits include international solo performances across China, in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Italy, Germany, France, Poland, and Brazil.  Nationally, her performances as a chamber musician and as an orchestral soloist have taken her to the leading universities, chamber music festivals, and concert stages from Maine to California.  Full Bio.

Sheldon Person, viola

Sheldon Person has been a member of the Houston Symphony since 2011, performing over 150 concerts annually with the world’s most celebrated soloists and conductors. He has toured with the Houston Symphony in seven countries on three continents and performed with them on their live recording of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck that received the 2017 Grammy Award. Full Bio.

Paula Kosower, cello

Paula Kosower is an active performer and teacher currently residing in Evanston.  Recently she has performed concerts with Fulcrum Point New Music Project, with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, for the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, and for faculty concerts at North Park University and Northeastern University. Full Bio.

Kelly Kuo, piano

Praised by the Cincinnati Enquirer as “a leader of exceptional musical gifts, who has a clear technique on the podium and an impressive rapport with audiences,” Kelly Kuo brings a dynamic versatility and nuance to a diverse repertoire, which includes over 90 operas and an expansive symphonic repertoire as well. Currently in his eighth season as Artistic Director of Oregon Mozart Players, recent engagements have included productions with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, Madison Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Brevard Music Center, Tulsa Opera, Anchorage Opera, and The University of Texas at Austin, and concerts with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ballet Fantastique.
Full Bio.

Xavier Foley, bass

Xavier Foley is known for communicating his virtuosity and passion for music on the double bass, which is rarely presented as a solo instrument. Winner of a prestigious 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he was recently recognized on New York WQXR’s “19 for 19” Artists to Watch list, and featured on PBS Thirteen’s NYC-ARTs.
Also a composer, Mr. Foley has been co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the Sphinx Organization for a new work entitled “For Justice and Peace” for Violin, Bass, and String Orchestra, which will be performed at Carnegie Hall this season as part of a program designed to promote social justice.
Full Bio.

Local Artists

Patricia Weitzel, bass

Dr. Patricia Weitzel has appeared as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral performer, teacher and clinician in several countries including Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, the Netherlands and the United States. At Augustana College and St. Ambrose University, Dr. Weitzel oversees the instruction of applied double bass, chamber music, in addition to String Methods classes. She is also a member of the Des Moines and Quad City Symphonies and maintains an active private studio.
Full Bio.

Nicholas Roth, piano

Nicholas Roth, Professor of Piano at Drake University, is a featured performer and teacher throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. He is a Yamaha Artist, a Fellow of the American Pianists Association, earned prizes in chamber music competitions in Italy, and received a DAAD grant to further his studies in Germany. Roth holds the DMA from Michigan State University, Artist Diplomas in solo piano and art song collaboration from the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, and MM and BM degrees from Indiana University where he was a recipient of the distinguished Performer’s Certificate and the Joseph Battista Memorial Scholarship. He studied with Ralph Votapek, Elisso Virsaladze, Helmut Deutsch, Edward Auer, Emilio del Rosario, and Michel Block. He has recorded for Blue Griffin, Naxos, MSR Classics & Innova.

Damani Phillips, saxophone

Dr. Damani Philips is a native of Pontiac, MI, where he began playing saxophone at the age of 10. He currently serves as associate professor of jazz Studies and African-American studies at the University of Iowa, where he teaches applied jazz saxophone, directs jazz combos and teaches courses in African-American music, African-American Culture, jazz education and improvisation. He earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from DePaul University (Chicago) and The University of Kentucky in classical saxophone; and a second Master of Music degree in jazz studies from Wayne State University (Detroit).