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The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Appoints Musicians to Eight Positions Following Highly Competitive Auditions


CINCINNATI – Following extensive, highly competitive auditions, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced seven orchestra seats have been filled starting in the 2018-19 season and one position was filled in the final months of the 2017-18 season. Of the eight newly filled positions, five musicians are newly hired, two are CSO members who won new positions and one musician, Principal Trumpet Robert Sullivan, marks the return of a former member of the Orchestra. For the 2018-19 appointments, auditions were held between November 2017 and May 2018 and attracted candidates from around the world.

“The CSO attracts musicians of the highest caliber from around the globe and we are thrilled to welcome these artists to the Orchestra and to the Cincinnati community,” said CSO Music Director Louis Langrée.

An endowment campaign announced in 2015 included 14 newly endowed Orchestra chairs and resulted in a multi-year process to raise the complement to 90 full-time musicians. That process continues with auditions for a section viola player and Assistant Principal Horn, which are scheduled for this month. Other auditions will take place later in the season.

Stefani Matsuo, Associate Concertmaster, Tom & Dee Stegman Chair

Praised by the Washington Post for her “temperament and clear musical purpose” and “great technical maturity,” violinist Stefani Matsuo is emerging as one of today’s most promising talents. She has been a member of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s second violin section since 2015. In Cincinnati, Ms. Matsuo also serves as a co-artistic director of Concert: Nova. Ms. Matsuo, along with her husband, CSO cellist Hiro Matsuo, co-founded the 2M Duo, which made its international debut in Taiwan in 2017.

In the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Matsuo made her New York debut in Alice Tully Hall performing the Britten Violin Concerto under the baton of Jeffrey Kahane.

She also made her solo recital debut at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. and was featured soloist with Greensboro Symphony and Symphony in C. She was the winner of 2012 Washington International Competition, and also won the 2012 Juilliard Concerto Competition and top prizewinner of the 2011 Michael Hill International Competition.

Philip Marten, First Assistant Concertmaster, James M. Ewell Chair

Philip Marten joined the Kansas City Symphony in 2016 as a member of the first violin section and served as Acting Assistant Concertmaster in 2017. Before his appointment in Kansas City, he was Concertmaster of the American Youth Symphony for the 2015-16 season.

As an active chamber musician, he has collaborated with Jessica Bodner, David Chan, Desmond Hoebig, Benny Kim, Scott Lee, Cho-Liang Lin, Jon Kimura Parker, Ivo-Jan van der Werff and Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu. He is a founding member of the Rodin Trio, which participated in La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest in 2017.

Mr. Marten has also been a member of Amicus Trio and Fairway String Quartet, the latter of which won fellowships to chamber music festivals including the Juilliard String Quartet Program, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and the McGill International String Quartet Academy, among others.

Christopher Pell, Principal Clarinet, Emma Margaret & Irving D. Goldman Chair

He is also the former Principal Clarinetist of The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Second Clarinetist of The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Christopher has performed as Principal Clarinetist with The Toronto Symphony, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería (Mexico City), The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, second clarinet with The Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and a variety of positions with The American Ballet Theatre.

He appeared as a soloist with The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in February of 2013 when he filled in at a moment’s notice to perform the Copland Clarinet Concerto.

Mr. Pell has performed as soloist with The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, The U.S. Army Band at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fischer Hall, and The Long Island Sound Symphony. He has also won first prize in the Vandoren Emerging Artists Competition.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Pell has performed with the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Twickenham Fest, Lyrica Baroque, The Orlando Chamber Soloists, the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival, NOLA 360, and the Lake George Music Festival. As a teacher, Christopher has taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp and the University of New Orleans. Mr. Pell graduated from The Juilliard School in 2013 and has twice been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center.

Christopher Sales, Principal Bassoon, Emalee Schavel Chair

In years prior, he held Principal positions with the Calgary Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, Norrkӧping Symphony, and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestras. Described as "fleet-fingered and nimble" by the Calgary Herald, Christopher has showcased his virtuosity in concerto performances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, as well as the Aspen and Eastern Music Festivals. Mr. Sales spent seven years with the Aspen Music Festival, and also attended the Bellingham, Sarasota, Lucerne, Interlochen, and Spoleto Festivals. He also served a season as Principal Bassoon Faculty for the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Mr. Sales has performed numerous solo and chamber music recitals at such institutions as the Juilliard School, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with retired CSO Principal Bassoonist William Winstead and retired CSO bassoonist Martin James, the Instrumental Society of Calgary, and the University of Calgary, among others.

Charles Morey, Section Second Violin

Charles Morey was born in Fayetteville, West Virginia and began playing the violin at the age of two. Leading a diverse musical life as violinist, composer, conductor, and teacher, he regularly performs in the country's most prestigious halls, including the Kennedy Center, Severance Hall, and New York's Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Morey won the Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition in 2009, performing Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2. He was also a prize winner in the 2009 Annual Milhaud Performance Prize Competition.

He joins the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s second violin section in the 2018-19 season after serving as Acting First Assistant Concertmaster of the CSO during the 2017-18 season.

Mr. Morey received degrees in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he was a student of William Preucil. A recipient of the Bock scholarship, he was chosen in 2010 to study in an orchestra leadership program at the Music Academy of the West under San Diego Symphony Concertmaster Jeffrey Thayer.

Caterina Longhi, Section Viola

Violist Caterina Longhi was a member of the San Diego Symphony since 2015. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees under the tutelage of Heidi Castleman, Steven Tenenbom, Hsin-Yun Huang and Misha Amory.

Ms. Longhi served as Principal Viola with the Juilliard Orchestra and New Juilliard Ensemble as well as at various festivals including the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Spoleto Festival the USA and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Other festivals Ms. Longhi has attended include The New York String Orchestra Seminar, Taos School of Music, Heifetz Institute of Music, Perlman Music Program and Music Academy of the West. During her time in San Diego, Ms. Longhi has performed regularly with the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, Art of Élan and Luscious Noise ensembles.

As a chamber musician, Ms. Longhi has performed throughout Lincoln Center as part of Juilliard’s Chamberfest Series and was invited to perform as part of Juilliard’s Transatlantic Music Project, collaborating with musicians from Cologne, Germany.

Christopher Fischer, Section Viola

Prior to joining the CSO, Christopher Fischer served as Assistant Principal of the North Carolina Symphony and remains the Principal Violist of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Previous engagements have also included Principal Viola of the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Fellow at the New World Symphony. Born in Columbia, Missouri, Mr. Fischer holds degrees from Indiana University and the University of Missouri. His principal teachers have included Atar Arad, Leslie Perna, and Yuval Gotlibovitch.

As a chamber musician, he has performed with the Borromeo Quartet, the Mallarme Chamber Players, and was a member of the Permian Basin String Quartet. He appeared as a soloist with the Brussels Chamber Orchestra at the Cross Currents Chamber Festival and performed concerts with the orchestra in Europe and the USA. Playing with the International Sejong Soloists, a chamber orchestra based in New York City, Mr. Fischer performed nationally televised concerts at the Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea. As a member of the North Carolina Symphony’s Ensembles in the Schools String Quartet, he has performed outreach concerts for students across North Carolina.

Robert Sullivan, Principal Trumpet, Rawson Chair

During his years teaching at Northwestern University, Robert Sullivan was a regular performer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Previous to his first tenure in Cincinnati, Mr. Sullivan served as Associate Principal Trumpet in the New York Philharmonic for eleven seasons and the Cleveland Orchestra as Assistant Principal Trumpet for 5 years. Robert has been on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, the Cleveland Institute, Charleston Southern University and the College of Charleston.

Mr. Sullivan began playing trumpet at age ten in the Norwood, Massachusetts public school system, and while in high school became associate principal trumpet in the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble. Later, while a student of Armando Ghitalla at the University of Michigan, where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree, he was featured soloist with many of the University ensembles. He was the winner of the concerto competition at the National Music Camp, Interlochen, Associate First Trumpet with the All-American College Band of Disneyland, and winner of the Armando A. Ghitalla Fellowship to the Berkshire Music Center, Tanglewood. He was later a member and soloist with the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., as well as an extra player in the National Symphony. After leaving the Air Force, Mr. Sullivan became solo trumpet in the Chicago Chamber Brass.

Mr. Sullivan is an active recitalist and clinician; he toured the U.S. for two seasons with the trumpet and organ duo, “Toccatas and Flourishes”, and his recitals as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston have been recorded and broadcast on American Public Media’s Performance Today.

Recent solo performances have included appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, and the Hilton Head Symphony under the baton of John Morris Russell.

As a member of the Principal Brass of the New York Philharmonic, Robert performed recitals throughout Europe, South America, and Asia, and collaborated on concerts with the Canadian Brass and the German Brass. He has also performed and recorded with the Summit Brass and Empire Brass, as well as dozens of Hollywood film scores. In November 2000, Mr. Sullivan received a special citation from the Congress of the United States in recognition of community service. Two recordings featuring Mr. Sullivan and pianist James Rensink, Treasures for Trumpet and Kaleidoscope, are available on the Summit Records, and a new recording of solo trumpet and piano repertoire will be released in the winter of 2018.