Barbara Fisher Agresti
Barbara Fisher Agresti was born in Lima, Ohio, and received her violin training at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of New Mexico and Indiana University where she earned a M.M. degree. Her major teachers have included Vartan Manoogian, Leonard Felberg, Ruggiero Ricci and Franco Gulli. Before joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1975, she was a member of the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra and the Thouvenel String Quartet.
Since arriving in Indianapolis, she has been active in chamber music performances with Suzuki & Friends, the Ronen Ensemble and the Cameo Trio. With the Orchestra, Ms. Agresti serves on the String Section Rotation Committee and has been an alternate member of the Orchestra Committee. She and her husband, ISO first violinist Gino Agresti, are the parents of two daughters. Ms. Agresti enjoys floral gardening and volunteering with her children’s activities.
Joined the ISO: September 1997
It was inevitable that Violinist Jennifer Greenlee who joined the ISO in 1997 would become a musician. She has many musicians in multiple generations on both sides of her family, professional and amateur, including the ISO’s principal bassoonist, John Wetherill, who is her mom’s brother. Another influence was The Strings for Schools program in the suburb of Philadelphia where Jennifer grew up. Jennifer asked for violin lessons for her 7th birthday.
Before joining the ISO, Jennifer played in the Delaware Symphony, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the North Carolina Symphony. She attended the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Charlie Castleman. Jennifer has also studied with Helen Spencer, Yumi Ninomiya Scott and Helen Kwalwasser. Jennifer has performed as soloist with the Navy Band in Washington, D.C., where her father conducted. Her violin was made in 1959 by Giacomo & Leandro Bisiach in Cremona.
Outside of the ISO Jennifer loves bicycling, reading, and sewing. She was a member of Quattra, a string quartet with 3 other ISO women, until child-rearing became the focus of her life. Jennifer is married and has a 10-year-old daughter. Both her husband and daughter have a mitochondrial disease, which is a form of muscular dystrophy. When she can find the time, Jennifer puts on fundraising concerts to benefit the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. For more info on “mito” Jennifer encourages one to visit umdf.org.
The 1997 European Tour was right at the beginning of Jennifer’s time in the ISO - a fond memory and also intense introduction to the orchestra. Jennifer loves anything written by Prokofiev, but also Beethoven, Brahms, and Bach.
Sherry Hong, of Willowbrook, Illinois, comes to the ISO from the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. She was previously Concertmaster of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and performed in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Hong has appeared as a soloist with the symphony orchestras of DuPage, Evanston, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, and River Forest, and the Fox Valley Symphony. She studied at the University of Michigan and at La Schola Cantorum in Paris, France. This summer Ms. Hong performed with the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago.
Joined the ISO: 2007
Born in South Korea, Michelle began playing violin at age seven. She moved to the United States at age 12 to enter the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School, and she later received her Bachelor of Music degree from their conservatory division and was the winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition.Prior to joining the ISO, she was a member of the San Diego Symphony for two seasons. She has two older sisters, a pianist and a flutist, and plays a violin made by Carlo Tononi in 1727.
"When I was in Korea, I won the Korean Monthly Magazine National Competition and the Korean Times National Competition," Michelle says. "I also soloed with the Korean Symphony Orchestra. Since coming to the U.S., I've won competitions in Connecticut and Aspen, and had a solo engagement sponsored by the Brooklyn Philharmonic."
With a natural knack for creativity, Michelle loves art, drawing, cooking and fine dining. “Outside of playing classical music, I also love to listen to jazz, R&B, Bossa Nova, Latin and Brazilian Jazz and even hip-hop,” she says.
Vladimir Krakovich was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and earned a master’s degree from the Music Conservatory in Rostov-on-Don. He studied with Abram Shtern, concertmaster of the Kiev Opera. Before joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1984, he played four years with the Syracuse Symphony and a season with the Cincinnati Symphony.
Krakovich has served as a section coach for the ISO’s Side by Side program, is a founding member of the Indianapolis String Quartet and teaches privately. He and his wife are the parents of two children. Reading and collecting compact discs occupy some of his spare time.
Joined the ISO: September 1979
Born in Minneapolis, Dinah did not seem destined for the musical world as a child. "Neither of my parents were musicians, but they both loved music," she says. “We always loved watching Lawrence Welk on Sunday evenings and Jack Benny. I remember I had to take a music talent test in the third grade – and I failed..."
However, Dinah's musical talent eventually emerged and she went on to study violin at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. Throughout college and the following year, Dinah was a member of the Clifton String Quartet, the ensemble in residence at the University of Cincinnati from 1973-74, and her quartet won the very first Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Prior to joining the ISO, Dinah was a member of the Dayton Philharmonic from 1971-73 and the Colorado Philharmonic in 1972. Her instrument was made in Chicago by Tetsuo Matsuda in 1986. (Matsuda also made instruments played by ISO members Phil Palermo and Dave Bartolowits).
Dinah is a proud mother of three and even prouder grandmother to one! Konner was born to her son Pat and his wife Beth in August of 2009. Pat teaches fifth grade at Spring Mill School in the Washington Township School System, and Beth is a physical therapist at Ortho Indy. Dinah's son Colin works at Northside Glass in Indianapolis, and is married to Amy, a senior consultant for Deloitte. And daughter Tori received her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois, in May of 2010 and now works as a physical therapist for children in Phoenix, Arizona.
Dinah plays recitals with the ISO Violin Quartet, and does school presentations with ISO's Mary Anne Dell’Aquila for the ISO's Learning Community. Her musical life outside the ISO includes extensive chamber music performances with her ISO horn-playing husband, Jerry Montgomery, and as a member of the Indianeapolitan Piano Trio, with ISO Program Annotator Marianne Williams-Tobias and cellist Geoff Lapin. Dinah is president of the Hoosier Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, enjoys champagne, cooking, entertaining and "gardening, even though I have a black thumb!" she says. Read her ISO blog entries here.
Yefim Pastukh joined the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1982. Born in Sverdlousk, Russia, U.S.S.R., he studied at the Moscow and the Kishinev conservatories. His major teachers have included Boris Kuznetsov and Gergy Nyaga.
Before coming to Indianapolis, he was concertmaster of the Florida Philharmonic in 1980-82. In his native land, Pastukh played with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra and was concertmaster of the Moldavian State Philharmonic Orchestra. He is the father of two children and enjoys reading and gardening.
Principal Second Violin
Konstantin Umansky was born in Odessa, U.S.S.R., and graduated from the Odessa Conservatory in 1974. From 1974-78 he was assistant concertmaster of the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre in addition to performing many solo engagements. After playing in the first violin section of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra for two seasons, he arrived in the United States in 1979. He became a member of the St. Cecilia Orchestra, and the Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra in New York. He also played in the Virginia Festival of the Performing Arts Orchestra in Norfolk, the Soviet Emigre Orchestra at the Ticonderoga (NY) Festival and the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Umansky joined the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1981 and has been soloist on several occasions. He and his wife, a cellist, are the parents of two sons. Away from the violin, he enjoys music by The Beatles, bowling and playing softball and soccer.
Associate Principal Second Violin
David Bartolowits was born in Milford, Connecticut, and moved to Pittsburgh at an early age. He holds a BFA degree from Carnegie-Mellon University where he studied with David Cerone. He has also studied with Charmain Gadd, Richard Goldner and Lois Dietrich. Prior to joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1981, Bartolowits was concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Chamber Orchestra and principal violin of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and performed in recital at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Bartolowits has twice appeared as soloist with the ISO. The winner of the 1999 Patch Leadership Award, he has been a section coach for the ISO’s Side by Side program and served as a member of the Orchestra Committee, including two terms as Chair, the Tour Committee and the Strategic Long Range Planning Committee. He and his wife, a violist/educator, are the parents of a son and a daughter. He is a licensed pilot.
Mary Anne Dell'Aquila
Assistant Principal Second Violin
Mary Anne Dell’Aquila became a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1986. Born in Sioux City, IA, she earned a B.M. degree from the University of Iowa where she studied with Allen Ohmes. Additional study came with Bernhard Goldschmidt of the Cleveland Orchestra and David Cerone at the Meadowmount School of Music. Before joining the ISO, she played with the Canton (OH) Symphony and the North Carolina Symphony.
She has served as a section coach for the Orchestra’s Side by Side program and is involved in the Artists in Schools classroom performances. A member of the New Century String Quartet, she has served as a violin instructor at Interlochen. She is married to a mathematician/physicist and enjoys dogs, reading, working out and gardening.
Louise Alexander was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She began her study of the violin at age three and later earned degrees from McGill University and the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Stephen Rose and Stephen Majeske at the latter institution.
Before joining the second violin section of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in March 2006, she played in the New World Symphony (Florida), the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia (Spain) and the Winnipeg Symphony (Canada). Louise recently married Rob Simonds, also a violinist. If you see two bicyclists with violins on their back riding the streets of downtown Indianapolis, you’ll know who they are..
Patrick Dalton-Holmes is a native of Syracuse, New York. He began his study of the violin at age three. Dalton-Holmes earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with William Preucil, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, where he was a student of Paul Kantor.
Before joining the second violin section of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in March 2006, he played with the New World Symphony Orchestra (Florida) and as a substitute musician with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Away from music, Patrick enjoys golf, rooting for the Boston Red Sox and “if I feel like using my brain, anything including math, science and philosophy."
Victoria Griswold joined the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in April 1993 after membership in the Boston Pops Esplanade and Boston Ballet orchestras, the Rhode Island and the Florida philharmonics and the Spoleto Festival in both America and Italy. She was also a substitute musician with the Boston, Pittsburgh and Oregon symphony orchestras.
Born in Huntington, New York, she grew up in Milwaukee and earned a B.M. degree from the University of Wisconsin with additional study at Portland, Miami (FL) and Yale universities. Ms. Griswold is a member of the Quattra String Quartet. She is married to a computer consultant, and they are the parents of one son.
Joined the ISO: January 2009
The ISO "stole" Hua Jin from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, where she was assistant concertmaster from 2004 to 2009. Prior to being a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, she was associate concertmaster of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and a regular "sub" with the Detroit Symphony.
"My father is a violinist and conductor, and was music director of Jiamusi Orchestra in Jiamusi, China," Hua says. "I received my first violin lessons from him at the age of four. And at age 12, I was accepted as a violin student by the Central National Conservatory of Music in Beijing and at 15, I won a prize at the Chinese National Youth Violin Competition." I earned my Bachelor of Music degree at Shanghai Conservatory of Music." Hua received second prize at the Beijing Youth Violin Competition, and won the 1982 Gold Prize at the Harbin Music Festival Competition. She appeared as soloist throughout northern China, and in the U.S. with performances of film composer Franz Waxman's "Carmen Fantasy" and "The Lark Ascending" by Ralph Vaughan-Williams.
"In addition to my music performances, I like to play chamber music and teach private violin students," says Hua. "I like teaching. It gives me joy when I see my students progressing and I learn a lot from teaching."
Hua's most memorable musical mishap occurred during a performance with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic a few years ago. "During a concert in Fort Wayne, the concertmaster broke a string," Hua says. "He just handed me his instrument and grabbed mine and I tried to make a graceful exit from the stage. I ran down to the dressing rooms to try to find a replacement, put it on, and get back onstage without looking TOO flustered!"
Becky McKibben was born in Quincy, Florida and grew up in South Carolina. She earned a B.M. degree from Converse College and an M.M. from Boston University where her teacher was Roman Totenberg. Before joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1967, she played with the Springfield (MA) Symphony.
Ms. McKibben is married to former ISO contrabassist Don McKibben, and they are the parents of two daughters. Away from music, she is interested in archeology and word puzzles.
Barbara Radomski became a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1974. Born in Camden, New Jersey, she grew up in Maryland and earned a B.MEd. degree from DePaul University where she studied with Victor Aitay. Before coming to Indianapolis, she played in the Chicago Civic Orchestra.
Ms. Radomski is the mother of one son and enjoys reading, gardening and raising her two Papillion dogs.
John Radomski was born in Krakow, Poland and began studying the violin with Otokar Kocma. After coming to the United States and settling in the Chicago area, he continued his studies with David Moll and Victor Aitay. While attending DePaul University, he was a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and performed with other area orchestras before joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1973.
An expert in string instrument repair and restoration, Radomski has been a section coach for the ISO’s Side by Side program and a coach for the Indiana All-State Orchestra. He is married to a cellist/educator and is the father of two sons and a daughter. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, fishing and crossword puzzles.
Joined ISO: 1969
Cathy grew up not in a musical family, but in a military family. "I was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on the Naval Station and moved to San Diego where my father became a Chief Warrant Officer on that base" she says. "My mother was also in the Navy as a parachute rigger in World War II. I grew up calling my dad 'Sir!'"
Prior to joining the ISO, Cathy performed with the San Diego Symphony from 1965 to 1969, at the Medford Oregon Music Festival and with San Diego's Sherwood Hall Chamber Orchestra. Both of her instruments were made in Italy: one by Paulo Testore in 1749 and the other by Maurizio Tadioli in 2001. Although she is careful with her instruments, her strangest moment performing came when one of them suddenly failed her. "I remember years ago playing in the ISO when Lynn Harrell was doing the Dvorak Cello Concerto with us," Cathy says. "Suddenly my bow just…broke. It felt like it exploded in a cloud of flying rosin! So I just sat quietly until the end of the piece."
Cathy is married to clarinetist Achille Rossi, now retired after performing with the ISO for 43 years. "He still practices, plays in chamber groups and teaches at Butler University. He is a Yankee baseball fan and a great Italian cook!" Cathy is a proud mother and grandmother—daughter Lisa has three kids of her own: Kyle, William, and Sarah.
Cathy's love of all things Italian has led her to study Italian at IUPUI along with ISO pianist Sylvia Scott and Indy Opera soprano Danielle Steele. "I love to read, especially American and European classics from the 1800s and 1900s," Cathy says. "I'm very interested in art history of the same periods and back to the Renaissance." Cathy also travels, draws, paints, and does needlework. One of her drawings of musical instruments done in "pointillism" is prominently displayed in the ISO's Symphony Centre offices.
Lisa Scott became a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1983. Born in New York City, she grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. Ms. Scott earned a B.M. degree from Indiana University, where she studied with Tadeusz Wronski, Jacques Israelievitch and Daniel Guilet. She participated in master classes at the Banff School of Fine Arts and with the Rowe Quartet in Switzerland. Ms. Scott has appeared twice as soloist with the ISO and served as a section coach for the Side by Side program.
She is married to ISO cellist Perry Scott, and they are the parents of two sons. The Scotts, along with ISO violist Beverly Scott and his wife, formed the Scott Chamber Players in 1981 and are the piano quartet in residence at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Ms. Scott is a recognized visual artist in the pen and ink medium.
Oleg Zukin was born in Odessa in the former Soviet Union and studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Leonid Kogan. After serving as concertmaster of the Odessa Symphony, Zukin immigrated to New York City in 1989 where he became associate concertmaster of the New York Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra. He became a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in November 1990.
Zukin is married to an opthalmologist, and they are the parents of two sons. He enjoys collecting art books and playing jazz.
Michael Isaac Strauss*
Michael Isaac Strauss has served as principal violist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra since 1994. He performs around the world as a soloist, chamber and symphonic musician. He made his solo debut with the Minnesota Orchestra. Formerly a member of the distinguished Fine Arts Quartet, Strauss has performed at the Schleswig-Holstein and Montpellier festivals in Europe. In North America he has performed at the LaJolla, Caramoor and Banff festivals and appears on chamber music series throughout the United States.
Strauss made the debut recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Sonata (I Virtuosi), and recorded David Finko's Viola Concerto with Orchestra 2001 (CRI) and Mozart's complete viola quintets with the Fine Arts Quartet (Lyrinx), in addition to several CDs of 20th century chamber music works with the Philadelphia-based Orchestra 2001. In 2007, Centaur released a CD featuring his performances of Stamitz's works for solo viola with orchestra. He recently recorded the official CD for the Suzuki Association of the Americas Viola School Volume 8 released in Fall 2008.
Strauss' work has been honored with the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Cinnamon Award, Artist Fellowship Awards from South Carolina and Indiana, First Prize of the WAMSO Competition of the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Ealing prize at the Tertis International Viola Competition. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and performs on a viola made by Matteo Albani from Bolzano, Italy in 1704.
*currently on a one-year leave of absence to serve as Associate Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Oberlin (Ohio) Conservatory of Music.
Associate Principal Viola
Mike Chen joined the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in September 2011 and came to the ISO from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, where he performed since 2003. Originally a violinist, he served as co-concertmaster in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago during the 1994-95 season and, as a member of its violin section from 1992-1995, he had the opportunity to work with prominent conductors such as Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim and Zubin Mehta. In recent years, Chen also has performed with the Chicago, Indianapolis and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University where he studied violin with Blair Milton, a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1998, he returned to Northwestern University and earned a master’s degree in conducting, studying with Victor Yampolsky and Mariusz Smolij. In 1999, he began studying viola, first with Li-Kuo Chang and later with ISO Principal Viola Michael Isaac Strauss. Other teachers include Keith Conant and Baird Dodge. He taught chamber music in the Chicago Youth Symphony, Chicago Academy for the Arts and the Western Springs School of Talent Education and was an educator for many years in the Chicago area.
Assistant Principal Viola
Beverly Scott was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, and earned M.M. degrees in both viola and piano at Indiana University. His major teachers have included Georges Janzer and Laurie Kennedy on viola and Jorge Bolet and Hans Graf on piano. Prior to joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal viola in 1981, he played in the Costa Rican National Symphony for three seasons.
With his brother, ISO cellist Perry, his sister-in-law, ISO violinist Lisa, and his wife, a pianist, he is part of the Scott Chamber Players, an active chamber music group. He and his wife are the parents of two sons. Away from music, Scott likes sports and is a talented tennis and softball player.
Joined ISO: September 1987
Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, Nancy grew up in a large family. "They're all wonderful and we love getting together!" Nancy says. Music is a passion in Nancy's family. Her daughter Kathleen is a 2005 graduate of Carnegie Mellon earned a Bachelor of Humanities and Arts Degree in Cognitive Psychology Cello Performance. Kathleen will finish up her Ph.D at Cornell University with a focus on Musical Perception and Cognition.
Prior to her arrival on the Indianapolis music scene, Nancy performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and as principal viola in the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. She also spent a year playing for the National Opera in Mexico City. Locally, she performs with the Ronen Chamber Ensemble and has been a member of Suzuki and Friends and the Spring Mill Quartet. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Local 3 chapter of the American Federation of Musicians. Her primary instrument was made in Naples, Italy, ca. 1930, by Vincenzo Sannino and her bow collection includes those crafted by Alfred Lamy (Paris), Malcolm Taylor (London), and William Salchow (New York). In 1997, she received the ISO’s highest honor for a musician, the Patch Leadership Award.
Nancy is a born outdoor adventurer. "I love traveling and am trying to see all our National Parks before I get too old!" she says. "I was in Yosemite, where I climbed Half Dome—didn't get quite to the top, so I guess it was just 'Quarter' Dome. And during the 2010 summer I stopped by Yellowstone again and went to the Black Hills of South Dakota."
Viola - Acting Assistant Principal
Joined ISO: May 1998
Amy was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, and grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina. "I am the only musician in my family," she says. "I remember the day my mother asked me if I wanted to play piano and I said 'Sure, why not?' I was nine. From that time, Mom and Dad supported my decision to study music, though they didn't know that much about it."
Amy and ISO Principal Tuba Tony Kniffen were married on August 12, 2000, and have three children. Their twins Jason Whitford and Evelyn Rose were born in 2006 at 29 weeks and are now healthy and enjoying their new little sister, Kathryn Elizabeth, who was born May 13, 2010.
Amy plays two different violas in the ISO: one made in 1997 by Hiroshi Iizuka and another that was "formerly owned and loved" by ISO violinist Victoria Kintner Griswold's father. The viola was built in 1945 by an Englishman named Aubrey Tarr and bought in 1965 by Mr. Kintner from the dealer William Moennig in Philadelphia for $500. Mr. Kintner played it as an avid amateur for 45 years, and even met the maker while on a tour of England. Upon turning 90, Mr. Kintner decided to sell his viola since he couldn't play it anymore, and he wanted it to go to someone who would play it and care for it. "I bought it because it sounds great and is easy to play," Amy says. "And because I need an instrument good enough to play in the orchestra in case mine gets out of commission for some reason."
In April 2010, Amy and Vicki performed a short recital at Mr. Kintner's retirement home in Hendersonville, North Carolina, in which Amy played his former viola. "Mr. Kintner told me that the viola maker was trained as a shipbuilder," Amy says. "When he decided to get married, he sold a violin he had made because he needed money. After the wedding he wanted to play again, but alas, no money. So he went to the library, got a book on violinmaking and started making instruments. I think he got remarkably good results from his reading!"
Terry E. Langdon
Terry Langdon joined the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1979, holding the title of associate principal viola until 2002 when she elected to move into the section. Born in New York City, she earned a B.M. from Indiana University and an M.M. from Yale University and has studied with Georges Janzer and Raphael Hillyer. Before coming to Indianapolis, she was principal viola with the Owensboro Symphony and played in the viola sections of the Buffalo Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony and the Aspen Festival Orchestra.
She is a member of the Linden String Quartet and assists the ISO's education programs as an Artist in Schools and a Side by Side section coach. Ms. Langdon is married to a biology professor, and they are the parents of three children. She is active as a volunteer at her church and her children's schools. Knitting, sewing, cooking and running provide additional enjoyable moments for her.
Eva Lieberman was born in Teplice in the Czech Republic and received her musical training at the Prague Conservatory. She studied with Vladimir Reiser in Prague and, after coming to the United States, with Daniel Majeske in Cleveland and Alan DeVeritch in Los Angeles. Very active as a performer in the Los Angeles area, she played with the La Jolla Chamber Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony before joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1981.
The mother of two children, Ms. Lieberman is an avid reader and also enjoys gardening and knitting. She often appears in area chamber music ensembles including Suzuki & Friends and the Ronen Chamber Ensemble.
Stephanie Tong was born in Taiwan and was a scholarship student on violin at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, studying with Lorand Fenyves, and at McGill University in Montreal, under the tutilege of Denise Lupien. She switched to viola in 1997 and earned an M.M. degree from Northern Illinois University where she worked with the Vermeer Quartet. She has also studied with Li-Kuo Chang and Lisa Boyko.
Before coming to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 2000, Ms. Tong played in the Illinois Symphony, the Rockford Symphony, the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra and the Louisville Orchestra. Married to ISO cellist Jian-Wen Tong, she enjoys playing piano, drawing, traveling and reading.
Associate Principal Cello
Joined the ISO: February 1980
Perry is proud to say that his mother is Raiford Scott, the first registered woman architect in South Carolina. His father, Ronald Scott, was the State Planner for North Carolina. His siblings include ISO Assistant Principal Viola Beverly, Marian, an architectural historian, and Lauren, a cellist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Perry's wife Lisa is an ISO violinist, and with brother Bev and his wife, pianist Sylvia Patterson-Scott, they are collectively known as the Scott Chamber Players, longtime artists-in-residence at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
"I play a 'hybrid' cello," Perry says. "The top was made in Venice by Matteo Goffriller in 1696. The back and sides are the work of the Roman maker Francesco de Emiliani from around 1730. And the scroll is made by an unidentified Flemish craftsman of a slightly later period."
Perry and wife Lisa live in a home tucked away in the woods, complete with a large-windowed music room, which is a perfect fit for Perry's non-musical interests. "I have done rare plant inventories for the Indiana DNR, and do botany field studies in the Boundary Waters Wilderness and Quetico Provincial Park," he says. "I hope after many years of field work to write a book on the complete vascular flora found in this two-nation wilderness."
Perry and Lisa are the proud parents of two sons. Aaron is at IU in Bloomington and about to apply to medical school and Brian is at the University of Vermont pursuing a degree in geology.
Joined the ISO: September 1980
Sarah grew up in Richmond, Virginia, where her mother was a violinist in the Richmond Symphony and Sinfonia. She started Sarah and her two sisters, Rebecca and Miriam, on violin when they were very young, but Sarah found the cello more interesting. "I had already begun the violin but I told my mother the cellos seemed so exciting in the Richmond Symphony," Sarah says. "Within 24 hours, she had a cello in hand and a lesson scheduled. Mr. Cartwright was my first cello teacher – my first lesson was on April Fool's Day. I now own Mr. Cartwright's former cello and keep a picture of him in its case."
Sarah's sister Rebecca now plays violin in the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra in Heibronn, Germany. Miriam is an architect in Baltimore, Maryland. Sarah's partner, Barbara Bell, is an acclaimed author and award-winning documentary filmmaker, poet, and songwriter.
Since moving to Indianapolis in 1980, Sarah has been very active in the local chamber music scene, playing trios with Hidetaro and Zeyda Suzuki and many other performances with Suzuki and Friends. She also co-founded the quartet Quattra with fellow ISO musicians Jennifer Greenlee, Victoria Griswold and Amy Kniffen. "For me, the classic and contemporary repertoire creates an experience of immersion," Sarah says. "It grabs me and won’t let go. Late in life, I'm beginning to also enjoy many of the popular artists to which my friends introduce me."
Sarah learned mountaineering in Outward Bound and has backpacked throughout Colorado. Her avid interest in photography has led to experimentation with vintage cameras, toy cameras, and the creation and use of pinhole cameras.
Ingrid Fischer-Bellman was born in Bucharest, Romania, and received her advanced musical training at Tel-Aviv University Music Academy and Indiana University School of Music. Her major teachers have included Janos Starker, Paul Tortelier, Uzi Wiesel and Samuel Shore. Before joining the cello section of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1978, she played with the Jeunesse Musicale International Orchestra, the Holon Chamber Orchestra and the Tel-Aviv Academy Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Fischer-Bellman also is quite active in community outreach as an Artists In Schools instructor in the ISO's School Partnership Program. She has appeared as soloist with the Jerusalem Radio Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis and the Carmel Symphony. Married to ISO principal clarinet David Bellman, they are the parents of one daughter and co-founders of the Ronen Chamber Ensemble. She enjoys painting, reading and nature walks.
Geoffrey S. Lapin
Joined ISO: September 1972
Of his musical beginnings, Geoff says, "I was actually 'groomed' to be a linguist, science teacher, or librarian, but somehow got sidetracked. My parents said I must have gotten my musical talent from my schizophrenic Aunt Emelija, since she played the accordion 'by ear.'" (You can read of his early musical life in Baltimore here). Geoff does have one illustrious relative: legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas was his cousin.
Geoff is known as longtime host of the ISO's Words on Music series, which he helped start during the 1980-1981 season, and of the First Monday Music Club. His hosting skills have resulted in similar duties with the Indianapolis Prelude Awards, a lecture/interview series at the Indiana State Museum and most recently, on a 2-week Classical Music cruise of the Caribbean. He can also be seen around town as the official Santa for the ISO, at community centers and hospitals, and on two occasions for the annual Indianapolis Circle of Lights Celebration, turning on the “World’s Tallest Christmas Tree. “You NEED to ask me about my Santa stories," Geoff says.
Geoff also volunteers as a biographer for the ISO program book and writes program notes for the International Violin Competition. Prior to its demise, he was correspondent for The Indianapolis News, acting as a "backup" when Arts Reporter Charles Staff was not available or was overwhelmed with reporting events. Geoff has published more than 30 works (including some by Johns Hopkins University Press and in Scarecrow Press' Best of Library Literature: 1989), has written educational materials for the ISO and other symphony orchestras for more than 10 years and had a writing commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He won a national Telly Award for one of the three educational videos he wrote for the ISO.
When not working with the ISO in some capacity, Geoff serves as the artistic director of the Indianapolis Propylaeum's Salon Society. He performs with ISO violinist Dinah Montgomery and program annotator and pianist Marianne Williams-Tobias as The Indiananeapolitan Trio, and with Ms. Williams-Tobias and ISO Concertmaster Zach DePue as the Indiana Landmark Trio. Geoff's partner, Bart V. Rettberg, is a pianist, composer, and assistant sports information director at Eastern Illinois University. They have five offspring – all adopted canine orphans!
Mark Maryanovsky was born in Riga, Latvia, and he studied with Valentin Feigin and Sergei Shirinsky at the Moscow Conservatory and Harvey Shapiro at Juilliard. He played principal cello in the Moscow Conservatory Orchestra and the Riga Chamber Orchestra and, after immigrating to the United States in 1979, was a member of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and played as a substitute with the Baltimore Symphony before joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1985.
Married to a ballerina with Ballet Internationale, Maryanovsky owns the Tone Studio, a high-end audio store. He is an amateur architect and has designed and built his own home and store.
Anne Duthie McCafferty
Joined the ISO: 1973
Anne was born and raised in a musical family on the east side of Indianapolis and attended IPS #54, #74, and Arsenal Technical High School. Her grandmother, Neva Whitaker Duthie, was a prominent church organist, vocal coach, and recitalist in the first half of the 20th century. “My grandmother was the organist at Central Avenue Methodist at the height of its prominence in the community. I’m thrilled by the building’s stunning restoration as the Landmark Center.” Her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather served concurrently in the Choir of Men and Boys at Christ Church Cathedral. Majoring in music at Northwestern University, her father, David Duthie, planned to teach public school music. But after his education was interrupted by The Depression and World War II, he became a telegrapher for the New York Central Railroad. "My mother, Cora McConaha Duthie, worked in banking prior to my birth, and returned to the business world once I started school, working out a scheme in which she would be home in time for my return from school each day," Anne says. "She was a member of the choir at Memorial Presbyterian Church, where, by the early 1940s, my grandmother was the organist. My father, who was a paid tenor soloist at St. Paul's Episcopal, was occasionally brought in for special works at Memorial, and that is how my parents met."
Before joining the ISO, Anne was Assistant Principal Cellist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic from 1970-1973. "When I got the Ft. Wayne gig, I had two classes, my recital, and my student teaching left to do at IU," says Anne. "I couldn't student teach because of the new job, although I did give my senior recital and took a class at IU's Fort Wayne campus. After I got into the ISO, I spoke with the dean at IU about completing my degree in Music Performance rather than Music Education, but he wouldn't let me out of .... orchestra! So I never completed my degree." Anne has been active in the programs of the ISO’s Learning Community and has served as cello coach for Side By Side. For 10 years, Anne performed with the Spring Mill Quartet alongside ISO musicians Philip Palermo, David Bartolowits, and Nancy Agres. On the ISO's 1997 European tour, they gave concerts in Madrid, Vienna, London, and Cologne. Anne has also performed with the Tarkington Trio as well as the Peaceful Valley Chamber Players in Brown County, Indiana. On the 1st Tuesday of the month, she is often found reading chamber music at Mass Avenue’s Chatterbox as part of Classical Revolution.
Anne is married to Dennis, also a cellist, who is on the faculty of the University of Indianapolis. He performs frequently in their Faculty Artist Series and is a member of the New Century Quartet with ISO violinists Dean Franke and Louise Alexander and violist Susan Chan. He's also a member of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, a recording studio musician, and a frequent ISO extra. Their son Corey is a drummer and visual artist living in Chicago. "I’m delighted that there’s a drummer in the family. After two weeks of playing the cello in elementary school, I told my teacher that I didn’t want to play the cello, that I really wanted to play the drums," Anne says. "She wouldn't let me switch so here I am! I wanted to be a jazz drummer and fortunately, I live that life vicariously through my son."
Katherine Vaccaro Natali
A member of the ISO cello section since September of 1972, Katherine Natali was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. From a family of music lovers and musicians, she studied at Webster College in St. Louis and earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from Butler University. She says, “I believe my greatest teachers were people who didn’t know that I was observing them – balance, phrasing, intensity, etc., can be demonstrated by most any human endeavor.” She has been a member of the St. Louis Philharmonic, The Indiana Little Symphony and the Dorian String Quartet, and founded the Leitton String Quartet with other members of the ISO.
“My father, Charles, has an electrical engineering background. His mother was a singer, and his sister studied voice in Milan and sang with the opera at La Scala. My mother, Blanche Julia, was a lifelong educator, teaching from the elementary level all the way up to college courses. She was a singer in a quartet, and her father was a singer and a composer, Katherine says. She has two sons: Christopher is with a law firm in Chicago, and Paul is working on his MBA at Indiana Wesleyan.
Outside of the Orchestra, she enjoys meditation. “In fact, my favorite book is Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East by Baird T. Spalding. I just like things that are quiet and beautiful. I watch the History Channel. If I were not playing with the ISO, I most likely would be working at the Indianapolis Museum of Art or The Christel DeHaan Family Foundation,” she added.
On her years with the ISO, she says, “I have met the most wonderful people since being here. They were drawn to Indianapolis from all over the world. It seems to be a very spiritual community. I have come to know so many dear friends from the audience. They are out-of-town subscribers who drive in from Muncie, Richmond, Terre Haute, as well as those living in the greater Indianapolis area. Our orchestra loves the enthusiasm and support we feel from our patrons, subscribers and all those who have come to enjoy the beauty of our music. THIS is our life!”
A native of China, Jian-Wen Tong began studying the cello at age 6. He was educated at the Shang-Hai Conservatory of Music and won a top prize in the 1988 National Cello Competition in China. His string quartet placed fourth in the Portsmouth International Competition in England in 1988. In 1989 he began his study with Eleanor Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California. He has been heard in many recitals around Southern California and as a soloist with the Burbank Chamber Orchestra and the Westchester Symphony and won second prize in the 1991 Irving Klein International String Competition.
Before joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in September 1997, he was a member of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra since 1992 and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra since 1993. Married to ISO violist Stephanie Tong, he enjoys computers, automobiles, traveling and watching movies.
Joined the ISO: September 2003
Ju-Fang (pronounced roo – FONG) started playing the piano when she was three, and began studying the bass at the age of six—she originally wanted to play the viola, but her parents were told that since she was the tallest person in her school, she was better suited to the bass. Although born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan R.O.C, she was awarded a scholarship to attend Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, majoring in both double bass and piano. Prior to winning her position with the ISO, she performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Aspen, Tanglewood, the Sun Valley Music Festival, the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, the Evansville Philharmonic and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. While performing with the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami, Ju-Fang remembers being in an elevator with Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas. “It was very interesting,” she says. “The longest 48 seconds in my life!”
Most of Ju-Fang’s family still lives in Taiwan. Her father is a retired professional military lieutenant who loves to read, cook and practice Chinese calligraphy, and her mother a Chinese teacher in Taiwan, who loved to sing, was a certified sign language teacher and did a lot of volunteer work in the community. Her older brother, Albert, works as a software engineer for IBM in Taiwan. “My younger sister's name is Josephine,” Ju-Fang says. “Ru-Fen is her actual Chinese name—in Chinese "Fen-Fang" together means the ‘fragrance of flowers.” She currently holds a research position at the physics lab at Nancy University in France. Her younger brother Bob has a master’s degree in civil engineering and construction design and “just got offers to a consulting firm with Giant in China (the bike maker in Taiwan, whose manufacturing facilities are in China) and a building construction firm in Taipei. He can't decide where to go yet!”
When not performing with the ISO or teaching, Ju-Fang enjoys playing jazz. “The first time feeling comfortable improvising feels great!” she says. “I am fortunate to have a small but awesome jazz jamming band in town, with the ISO’s Dean Franke (as a special guest from Icarus), Becky Archibald on piano, and PJ Yinger (trumpeter/CD/Graphic Designer and an awesome jazz trumpeter). And if you like to play golf, come on over to my house. I live next to the sixteenth tee section. Never get hit, but lots of free golf balls in my yard!”
More information on Ju-Fang can be found on these websites:
Robert Goodlett II
Assistant Principal Contrabass
Robert Goodlett II is a native of Frankfort, Kentucky. He received his B. M. degree in organ and church music from the University of Louisville and his M.M. in contrabass performance from Indiana University. He has studied with Murray Grodner, Gary Karr, Larry Hurst, Warren Benfield and Julius Levine. Prior to joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1972, he played four seasons with the Louisville Orchestra.
In addition to his performing duties, he teaches many private students through the Quattro String Academy, which he and his wife, Chin Mi Kim (a violinist) formed in 2009. He also srves as a section coach in the ISO’s Side by Side concerts. He was the recipient of an Artist Renewal Grant from the Indianapolis Arts Council in 2003. The father of three sons, Goodlett has been a coach, official and administrator for several soccer programs around Indianapolis and is the former organist/choirmaster at All Saints Episcopal Church. Away from music he is an avid bicyclist.
Nami Akamatsu was born in Hokkaido, Japan, and came to the United States as an exchange student to attend high school in Forest City, Iowa. She earned a B.M. degree from the University of Michigan and an M.M. from Juilliard. Her major teachers have included Lawrence Hurst, David Walter, Jeff Bradetich and Stewart Sankey.
Prior to joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1994, she was a member of the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra and Fort Worth Symphony and often appeared with the Dallas Symphony.
In Indianapolis, she is a member of Outer Bass, a contrabass quintet. She has served on the Orchestra’s tour committee and enjoys cooking, flower gardening and traveling whenever possible.
Leonard Bennett Crantford
Leonard Bennett Crantford was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and grew up in South Carolina. He studied with Stuart Sankey, Eugene Levinson, Peter Rickett and Murray Grodner and received his degree from Indiana University. After playing with numerous regional orchestras in the South, Texas and Indiana, he became a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1983.
Crantford serves as the assistant orchestra personnel manager and has been a section coach for the Orchestra’s Side by Side program. He and his wife, a published author, are the parents of two sons. Away from music, Crantford is interested in cycling, kayaking and computers.
Gregory Dugan became a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1979. A native of Eugene, Oregon, Dugan earned a B.M. degree from Indiana University. His major teachers included Murray Grodner and Robert Hladky. Before coming to Indianapolis, he was principal contrabass of the National Symphony of Costa Rica.
Dugan has held faculty positions at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, Indiana University, Ohio University, Indiana State University, Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, the Congress of Strings sponsored by the American Federation of Musicians and currently teaches at DePauw University. He spent two seasons on sabbatical from the Symphony in order to act as principal contrabass with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (1989-91) and has also served as guest principal contrabass with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (1993) and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (1996). He is principal contrabass of the Oregon Coast Festival of Music.
Dugan plays chamber music as a member of OuterBass, a contrabass quintet. He has served the Orchestra in the Artists in Schools program, a section coach for the Side by Side concert, a member of the Orchestra Committee and was the 2002 winner of the Patch Leadership Award. Away from music he spends time hiking, traveling and railroading. Married to a microbiologist, he is a former board member of Habitat for Humanity of Indianapolis.
Peter Hansen began playing the bass at the age of 13 after first studying piano, violin and guitar. He attended Northwestern University and was an active freelancer in the Chicago area in the late 1970s and early 1980s playing both jazz and classical performance. After one-year stints with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Hansen joined the ISO in 1983.
Outside of his performances with the Orchestra, he has remained active as a jazz performer and has developed an interest in composition, having written pieces for local groups including Outer Bass, the Ronen Chamber Ensemble, the New Century String Quartet and most recently, the Icarus ensemble, of which he is a founding member. He joined the music faculty of the University of Indianapolis as an instructor of bass in 1995 and maintains an active private teaching studio. He was the recipient of a 2009-2010 Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, which he used to study the traditional music of the British Isles.
Michael Hartt joined the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1989. A native of Boulder, Colorado, Hartt attended Indiana University. His major teachers include Stuart Sankey, Lawrence Hurst and Bruce Bransby on bass and Harvey Sollberger and Donald Erb in composition.
Hartt has been a member of the Orchestra Committee, including a term as Chair. He has a keen interest in contemporary music as a performer in numerous recitals, a composer/arranger of works for his instrument and a sponsor of commissions. Away from music, he enjoys reading and visual arts.
Brian Smith was born in Hampton, Va., and grew up in Georgetown, Ind. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1997 at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Prior to the ISO, Smith was a member of the Virginia Symphony (1997-2000), the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony (2002-2008) and also performed with the National Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, the Haddonfield (NJ) Symphony, the Reading (PA) Symphony and the National Repertory Orchestra.
Brian is married to violinist Jayna Park, who joined the ISO in 2001. They have one daughter.
Principal Harp The Walter Myers Jr. Chair
Joined ISO: 1981
Born and raised near Cleveland, Ohio, Diane began her musical journey with the piano, which she played by ear as a preschooler. Formal lessons began at age five, where she learned to read music before she was comfortable reading English. When Diane attended the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan, to study piano and art, she also signed up for a beginning harp class, having been fascinated by a harpist she saw on television. She fell in love with the instrument and began working with the Cleveland Orchestra's renowned harpist, Alice Chalifoux. Participation in various summer music festivals, including Tanglewood, supplemented her studies at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she earned her degree in Harp Performance.
Before joining the ISO, Diane was a member of the Toledo (OH) and Omaha (NE) Symphonies. She has appeared many times as a soloist with the ISO, including performing the premiere of a harp concerto written for her by Illinois composer Jan Bach. She has also been a soloist with the Indianapolis Philharmonic, the Springfield (IL) Symphony and the Omaha Symphony and several of her solo and chamber performances have been featured on television and radio. "The largest live audience I have ever encountered was when I wrote a harp solo arrangement of the National Anthem which I played at the Hoosier Dome before an Indianapolis Colts game," she says. Diane also loves to teach music. "I feel privileged to have inspired and been inspired by many students of all ages and levels over the years," she says.
Diane's two harps are two distinctive designs, both made by Lyon & Healy in Chicago. The 1968 instrument is an ornately carved harp decorated with gold leaf while the 1980 instrument, a "Salzedo Model," has an Art Moderne profile. Although classical music is her favorite, Diane also enjoys listening to pre-20th century folk music of American and European origin.
Outside of music, Diane has focused her effort as a mother to twins, who are now in high school. Over the years, Diane has taken classes in drawing, sculpture, quilting and stained glass. Currently she is grappling with the challenges of painting on canvas. "I live on a street with beautiful trees that connect me to nature and inspire me, and I'm not the only one," Diane says. "Surrounding neighbors are two singers, an oil painter, a watercolorist and a nature photographer."