Bohemian Rhapsody

The Program

Apex Concerts opens its Ninth Season with a spectacular concert in the Hall Recital Hall in the newly opened University Arts Building. The first performance will include works by Bohemian composers Antonin Dvorak and Erno Dohnanyi. A spectacular opener with the rarely heard Martinu Nonet will showcase the University woodwind faculty Mary Miller (flute), Aaron Hill (oboe), Joshua Anderson (clarinet), and Eric Fassbender (bassoon), as well as Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio (violin), Dustin Budish (viola), Dmitri Atapine (cello) and Scott Faulkner (double-bass). This evening we will also welcome one of the newest additions to our faculty, the wonderful Natalie Higgins on the French horn.

The Artists

Mary Miller, flute

Mary MillerMary Miller teaches applied flute in the Department of Music at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is also the principal flutist with the Reno Philharmonic and the Reno Chamber Orchestra. Miller has been a featured soloist with the Reno Philharmonic, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Ruby Mountain Symphony, the Carson City Symphony, the University Symphony Orchestra and the National Flute Association. She is the director of the annual Flute Day, held on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Miller received her Bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1986 and a Master's degree in music performance in 1997. Her primary teachers were Catherine P. Smith and Alan Cox, with additional studies from Tim Day, Mary Karen Clardy, Lloyd Gowan, Bettine Clemen and Susanna Watling.

Aaron Hill, oboe

Aaron HillAaron Hill serves as assistant professor of Oboe at the University of Nevada, Reno and principal oboe of the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra. Prior to moving to Reno, he held appointments teaching oboe at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Virginia and James Madison University. While in Virginia, he held the positions of principal oboe of the Charlottesville Symphony and English horn with the Roanoke Symphony. His academic affiliations have included extensive chamber music activities with the Wingra Wind Quintet and Albemarle Ensemble. Hill enjoys a performing career with constant stylistic variety. As a proponent of new music, Hill regularly premieres works by living composers and has performed as a guest with the International Contemporary Ensemble. He travels around North America as an active recitalist and masterclass clinician and has been a featured speaker at the TEDxSkidRow and Tom Tom Founders Festival conferences, along with a featured guest appearance on the Double Reed Dish podcast. Always active as an orchestral musician, Hill has performed as principal oboe with the Ann Arbor Symphony, Flint Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Reno Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and Saginaw Bay Symphony, and has also appeared with the Elgin, Hartford, Rockford, San Diego and Virginia Symphonies. He played principal oboe on William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and Experience with Leonard Slatkin, a recording for Naxos that won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album.

Joshua Anderson, clarinet

Joshua AndersonJoshua Anderson is an active orchestral and chamber musician and has given performances in such venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall. Anderson currently performs with the Reno Philharmonic, holds the position of principal clarinet with the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra and has played under the baton of such conductors as Valery Gergiev and Peter Oundjian. As a chamber musician, Anderson has performed internationally alongside members of the New York and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. He is also a member of the Four Corners Ensemble, which was recently in residence at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival, both of which are committed to crossing cultural divides both at home and abroad.

Anderson has taught lessons for the University of Michigan and Yale University and has worked as a teaching artist for Yale's Music in Schools Initiative, the MPulse Clarinet Institute and the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival Young Artist Program. He currently serves on the faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno as assistant professor of clarinet. Anderson attended the Interlochen Arts Academy and holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, the Yale University School of Music and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Eric Fassbender, bassoon

Eris FassbenderEric Fassbender teaches bassoon, chamber music and sight-singing and ear training at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is also the coordinator of the aural skills curriculum. Fassbender performs regularly with the Reno Philharmonic, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Trio Reno and several other orchestras and chamber ensembles in the area. He has performed at the 2017 national conference of the Society of Composers, Inc. and will give a solo recital at the 2018 International Double Reed Society conference in Granada, Spain. Fassbender is an active commissioner and performer of new works for double reeds, including pieces employing electroacoustic sounds and pre-recorded media.

Fassbender received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, studying with Janis McKay. He received his Master of Music degree in double reed performance from the University of Nevada, Reno, studying with Christin Schillinger, Lindsey Bartlett and Andrea Lenz. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Michigan University, studying bassoon with Donald Grant. An accomplished accordionist, Fassbender has appeared with the Reno Philharmonic and as soloist with the Reno Pops Orchestra. Fassbender lives in Reno with his wife Melanie, Director of Bands and Chorus at O'Brien STEM Academy. He performs on a Fox 601 bassoon and a kingwood Yamaha 841 oboe.

Natalie Brooke Higgins, horn

Natalie HigginsNatalie Brooke Higgins currently serves as the assistant professor of music in horn at the University of Nevada, Reno. Higgins received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, Master's of Music from George Mason University and Bachelor of the Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. Higgins is an active performer, educator, administrator and entrepreneur. Based on her innovative achievements, service to her community and commitment to inspire the next generation of musicians and music educators, she was recently recognized as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s 40 Under 40 honorees, a feature that celebrates the best and brightest in business, government, nonprofits, education, healthcare, banking and professional sports. As a performer, Higgins is a founding member of the Alias Brass Company and an active solo, chamber, orchestral and wind band musician. Most recently, Higgins toured the Midwest as a part of an Allied Concert Services tour with the Alias Brass Company, performing 13 concerts in Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Montana and North Dakota, was a featured artist at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Hershey, PA, participated as a contributing artist at the International Horn Symposium in Natal, Brazil and made her San Francisco debut in a chamber music series hosted by the San Francisco Community Music Center.

Higgins has performed with such ensembles as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony, Symphony of Southeast Texas, Macon Pops, St. Joseph Symphony, American Festival Orchestra, Banff Festival Orchestra and Columbus Symphony Orchestra. She has been a member of the award winning Fountain City Brass Band, award winning University of Missouri-Kansas City Graduate Fellowship Woodwind Quintet, award winning Borderline Brass Quintet, Topeka Symphony and the University of California, Los Angeles Gluck Scholarship Woodwind and Brass Quintets.

Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, violin

Stephanie SantAmbrogioDescribed by Gramophone Magazine as a "violinist who most often takes your breath away" and praised as an "expressive and passionate chamber musician" by the San Antonio Express-News, Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio enjoys a varied performing and recording career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. Professor of violin and viola at the University of Nevada, Reno and member of the Argenta Trio, she is also artistic director of Cactus Pear Music Festival, which she founded in 1997 while serving as concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony. Previously first assistant principal second violin of The Cleveland Orchestra, under Christoph von Dohnányi, she toured and recorded internationally with this ensemble for eight seasons. Sant'Ambrogio has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. as well as in Mexico, Canada, Estonia, Sweden, Ghana, Italy, Peru and Chile. In 2009, she was appointed concertmaster of the Lancaster Festival Orchestra and the following year was appointed concertmaster of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra. Sant'Ambrogio has a discography of over 75 orchestral and chamber music CDs. Audiophile Review described her Johannes Brahms: The Violin Sonatas CD as one of "fine readings of great finesse, rich coloring and complete understanding." Her other releases include Late Dates with Mozart; Going Solo: Unaccompanied Works for Violin & Viola and Soaring Solo: Unaccompanied Works for Violin & Viola, II on the MSR Classics label, as well as Argenta Trio: The Piano Trios of Felix Mendelssohn on Bridge Records. In addition to her performances as violinist, violist and artistic director of Cactus Pear Music Festival, Sant'Ambrogio frequently performs and teaches at various festivals including: Bach, Dancing & Dynamite Society (WI), Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival (WA), Nevada Chamber Music Festival (NV), Music in the Vineyards (CA), Round Top Festival Institute (TX) and Tuckamore Festival (Newfoundland, Canada). Sant'Ambrogio plays a violin crafted in 1757 by J.B. Guadagnini of Milan, Italy, the city from which the family name Sant'Ambrogio originates. She and her graphic designer husband Gary Albright, enjoy exploring Lake Tahoe with their daughters, 19-year-old Isabel and 17-year-old Gabrielle.

Dustin Budish

Dustin BudishDustin Budish is the acting principal violist of the Reno Chamber Orchestra, where he also serves as personnel manager and principal violist of the Reno Philharmonic. A native of Reno, after graduating from the Washoe County School District, he went on to study at Oberlin College and the Cleveland Institute with Jeffrey Irvine for which he received his Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance and then received his Master in Music degree with honors at the New England Conservatory with Martha Katz. While in school, Budish was a founding member of the Mephisto Quartet, which worked with and performed alongside members of the Cavani, Tokyo, Vermeer and Cleveland Quartets and received the Russell Award at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in 2001. He has performed at the Ravinia, Norfolk and Cactus Pear Music Festivals, and in 2005 was invited to Israel to perform with Maxim Vengerov’s Mozart Project with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. As a member of the New World Symphony, Budish was featured as soloist with the orchestra as a winner of the annual concerto competition. He is a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and is also a regular substitute with the San Francisco Symphony.

Dmitri Atapine, cello

Dmitri AtapineDmitri Atapine has been described as a cellist with “brilliant technical chops” (Gramophone), whose playing is “highly impressive throughout” (The Strad). He has appeared on some of the world's foremost stages, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Zankel and Weill halls at Carnegie Hall and the National Auditorium of Spain. An avid chamber musician, he frequently performs with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is an alum of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two). His multiple festival appearances have included Music@Menlo, La Musica Sarasota, Pacific, Aldeburgh, Aix-en-Provence, Nevada and Cactus Pear, with performances broadcast in Spain, Italy, the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South Korea. His many awards include the first prize at the Carlos Prieto Cello Competition, as well as top honors at the Premio Vittorio Gui and Plowman chamber competitions. He has collaborated with such distinguished musicians as Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Wu Han, Bruno Giuranna and David Shifrin. His recordings, among them a critically acclaimed world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s complete works for cello and piano, can be found on the Naxos, Albany, MSR, Urtext Digital, Blue Griffin and Bridge record labels. Atapine holds a doctorate from the Yale School of Music, where he was a student of Aldo Parisot. The artistic director of Apex Concerts and Ribadesella Chamber Music Festival, he is the cello professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Scott Faulkner, bass

Scott FaulknerScott Faulkner is principal bassist of the Reno Philharmonic and acting principal bassist of the Reno Chamber Orchestra. In addition to playing in the Nevada Chamber Music Festival, he performs regularly at La Musica Chamber Music Festival in Sarasota (FL). He has worked with the likes of Bruno Giuranna, Antonio Meneses, Edgar Meyer, Leonard Nimoy, Luciano Pavarotti and Itzhak Perlman. From 2001 to 2015 he was executive director of the Reno Chamber Orchestra and in that capacity, helped found the Nevada Chamber Music Festival. Faulkner is very active in the League of American Orchestras. A past League board member, he is associate director of the League’s Essentials of Orchestra Management seminar and teaches on behalf of the League around the country. He authored the entry on Reno for the Grove Dictionary of American Music and writes a monthly column for the Reno Gazette-Journal. Faulkner plays a 1735 Hornsteiner-Mittenwald bass and is married to Reno musical legend Andrea Lenz.

Hyeyeon Park, piano

Hyeyeon ParkSelected as an Artist of the Year by the Seoul Arts Center, Hyeyeon Park has been described as a pianist “with power, precision and tremendous glee” ( Gramophone). She is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, including Oberlin, Ettlingen, Hugo Kauder, Maria Canals, Prix Amadèo and Corpus Christi, and her performances have been broadcast on KBS and EBS television (Korea) and RAI3 (Italy), WQXR (New York), WFMT (Chicago), WBJC (Baltimore) and WETA (Washington, D.C.) radio. She is artistic director of Apex Concerts (Nevada) and a professor of piano at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her first solo CD, Klavier 1853, has been released on the Blue Griffin label.

James Winn, piano

James WinnJames Winn, piano and composition professor at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1997, made his professional debut with the Denver Symphony at the age of 13 and has been performing widely in North America, Europe and Asia ever since. With his duo-piano partner, Cameron Grant, he was a recipient of the top prize given in the two-piano category of the 1980 Munich Competition. Musical America wrote about the team, "Not since Josef and Rosina Lhevinne regaled us in the 1930's have we heard such technical prowess paired with such genuine musical values." Winn has been a solo pianist with the New York City Ballet, a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, of Hexagon (woodwind quintet plus piano) and the pianist and resident composer of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, as well as a frequent guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum, the Group for Contemporary Music, Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival, La Musica International Chamber Music Festival and Bargemusic. Well-known as a specialist in new music, he has been involved in numerous world premieres and premiere recordings by many renowned composers, among them 13 Pulitzer Prize winners. He is currently a member of Argenta, the University of Nevada, Reno resident piano trio, a founding member and regular participant in the Nevada Chamber Music Festival and performs regularly in recital with internationally acclaimed New York-based violinist Rolf Schulte. An active recording artist, Winn has been featured in more than three-dozen CDs as soloist, chamber musician and composer. He has received numerous career recognitions including an artist fellowship from the Nevada State Council of the Arts and the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.

The Reno Phil proudly supports Apex Concerts