Next Guest

Anne Martindale Williams
Anne Martindale Williams, Cello
November 11, 2018

Anne Martindale Williams has enjoyed a successful career as principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1979. Throughout her tenure with the orchestra, she has often been featured as soloist both in Pittsburgh and on tour in New York at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. Williams was soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony in the Pittsburgh premier of The Giving Tree conducted by the composer, Lorin Maazel. She has also collaborated with guest artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, André Previn, the Emerson Quartet, Lynn Harrell, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham and Pinchas Zukerman in numerous chamber music performances. She made her London debut performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic, Andre Previn conducting. Her solo in The Swan on the Pittsburgh Symphony’s recording of Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns was described by Grammophon critic Edward Greenfield as “…the most memorable performance of all.”

Williams divides her time between the orchestra, teaching at Carnegie Mellon University, and solo and chamber music performances in America, Europe and the Far East. She has appeared in several nationally televised productions including Concertos, produced by the BBC and Previn and the Pittsburgh, produced by WQED. She has given master classes at many universities and festivals throughout the country, including The Curtis Institute of Music, SUNY at Stony Brook, Manhattan School of Music, the New World Symphony in Miami, the National Orchestral Institute, Aspen, Credo at Oberlin College and the Masterworks Festival. She also has performed at many of America’s prestigious summer music festivals including Aspen, Caramoor, Skaneateles, Maui, Rockport Festivals in Massachusetts and Maine, Grand Teton, Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs, Orcas Island, and Mainly Mozart in San Diego. For many years she has enjoyed performing throughout the country with her Piano Trio, which includes her good friends Andrés Cárdenes and David Deveau.

Williams has performed numerous times as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, performing Schumann’s Concerto in A minor, Tippett’s Triple Concerto, Previn’s Reflections, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3 and 6, Strauss’s Don Quixote, Bloch’s Schelomo, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, Dutilleux’s Tout un mondelointain, Saint-Saëns’ Concerto No. 1 and Brahms’ Double Concerto, as well as Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet. In recent seasons, she was featured in Haydn’s Concerto in C, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Cello, Oboe, Bassoon and Orchestra, and Walton’s Cello Concerto.

Williams is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Orlando Cole. Her Tecchler cello was made in Rome in 1701. Her husband, Joe, is the director of student ministries at Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church in Mount Lebanon. They reside in Pittsburgh.

pittsburghsymphony.org



Recent Guests

Efe Baltacigil
Efe Baltacıgil, Cello
April 15, 2018

Efe Baltacıgil, Principal Cello of the Seattle Symphony since fall 2011, was previously Associate Principal Cello of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2003. Recent highlights include his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, performing Bottesini’s Duo Concertante alongside his brother Fora; performances of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with the Bilkent Symphony and the Seattle Symphony; and Brahms’ Double Concerto with violinist Juliette Kang and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.

Baltacıgil performed a Brahms Sextet with Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman and Jessica Thompson at Carnegie Hall, and has participated in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project. He has also performed the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Curtis Chamber Orchestra, has toured with the group Musicians from Marlboro, and is a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society II.

Named String Player of the Year in Turkey in 2013, Baltacıgil has also received the Peter Jay Sharp Prize, the Washington Performing Arts Society Prize, and first prizes in concerto competitions in Istanbul and New York, as well as in the Allentown (Pennsylvania) Schadt String Competition. He was the winner of the 2005 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2006.

Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Baltacıgil started studying the violin at age 5 and changed to the cello at age 7. He received his bachelor’s degree from Mimar Sinan University Conservatory in Istanbul in 1998 and an artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 2002, where he studied with Peter Wiley and David Soyer. He was a recipient of the Curtis Institute’s Jacqueline du Pré Scholarship.



Desmond Hoebig
Desmond Hoebig, Cello
March 2, 2018

Desmond Hoebig, Professor of Cello at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, has had a distinguished career as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician.

Desmond was born in 1961 and raised in Vancouver, Canada. He studied with James Hunter, Jack Mendelsohn and Ian Hampton. In 1978 he moved to Philadelphia to study with David Soyer at the Curtis Institute of Music. He received his BM and MM at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins, and participated in master classes with Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi at the Banff Centre.

Mr. Hoebig won the First Prize at the Munich International Competition (1984), the Grand Prize of the CBC Talent Competition (1981) and the Canadian Music Competition (1980). He was also an award winner at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1982).

Mr. Hoebig has been a soloist with many prominent orchestras in North America, including; Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. His international orchestral engagements have been in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Mexico and Columbia.

As a chamber musician, Desmond was the cellist with the Orford String Quartet when they won a Juno award for the best classical music album in 1990. He has also performed for 30 years with the Hoebig-Moroz Trio and a duo with Andrew Tunis. Mr. Hoebig has taught and performed at festivals throughout North America, including; Aspen, Banff, La Hoya, Marlboro, Music Bridge, Orcas Island, Sarasota and Steamboat Springs.

Before joining the faculty of The Shepherd School, Mr. Hoebig had been Principal Cellist of the Cleveland, Houston, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras.



Kenneth Freudigman
Kenneth Freudigman, Cello
January 29, 2018

Kenneth Freudigman is Co-Founder of Camerata San Antonio, Principal Cello of the San Antonio Symphony, Adjunct Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Education Director of the Cactus Pear Music Festival, and a highly-respected cello pedagogue.

Mr. Freudigman began playing the violin at age six and found his true love, the cello, at the age of nine. After six years of study, he was accepted to attend the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts. After graduating with honors in music performance he went on to receive a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music. He began his orchestral and chamber music career while at Eastman, winning a position with the Rochester Philharmonic and was also a founding member of the Esterhazy Chamber Ensemble. In 1992, Mr. Freudigman joined the New World Symphony, an advanced training orchestra for recent graduates of music schools, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. He has also performed with the Grand Rapids, Charleston, and Virginia Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Sarasota Opera and the Mexico City Philharmonic. Mr. Freudigman was also a founding member of the American Sinfonietta.

His orchestra engagements have taken him to the major concert halls of Europe, the Middle East, and throughout South and North America. In addition to his orchestral experience, Mr. Freudigman has performed chamber music with members of the Amadeus and Cleveland quartets and with the pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. He has been a featured soloist with the World Youth and New World Symphony Orchestras and the Mexico City Philharmonic. Mr. Freudigman can be heard in recordings on the Argo and Summit record labels and is featured with Renée Fleming and the New World Symphony Orchestra performing Bachianas Brasileiras by Heitor Villa-Lobos on BMG Classics.



Christopher Adkins
Christopher Adkins, Cello
March 6, 2017

Christopher Adkins is the principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He received his musical training at the University of North Texas and at Yale University, where he studied with the distinguished pedagogue Aldo Parisot. During his tenure at Yale, Mr. Adkins held the position of principal cellist with the New Haven Symphony. Upon receiving his Master of Music degree he assumed the duties of assistant principal cellist with the Denver Symphony. After two seasons in the Rockies, he was offered the post of principal chair with the Milwaukee Symphony. In 1987, he returned to his native Dallas to occupy the chair once held by his former teacher, Lev Aronson.

In addition to his duties with the Dallas Symphony, Mr. Adkins serves on the faculty of Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas. He remains an active recitalist and chamber musician. A member of a large musical family, Mr. Adkins and his six brothers and sisters formed the Adkins String Ensemble, whose performances were praised by the Dallas Morning News as among the ten best concerts of the year.

Mr. Adkins enjoys gardening, songwriting and woodworking, but most of all spending time with his wife, Dallas Symphony violinist Alexandra Adkins, and his children, Rachel, Rebekah, Theresa, Christian, Carmen, and Ariel.



Eric Kim
Eric Kim, Cello
January 23, 2017

Eric Kim has a diverse career performing throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Middle and Far East as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestra.

Having made his solo debut at age fifteen with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Kim was a featured soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra on its critically acclaimed tour of the Far East, and has appeared as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Denver, and San Diego. Kim has collaborated with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Paavo Jarvi, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Sergiu Comissiona, and Lawrence Foster, and has appeared in recital in the cities of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. He served as Principal Cello of the Cincinnati Symphony from 1989-2009, and has also held Principal Cello positions with the San Diego and Denver symphonies.

Active as a chamber musician, Kim has performed with such artists as Emmanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Susan Graham, Lynn Harrell, Stephen Hough, Jaime Laredo and Menachem Pressler, as well as collaborating with members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Orion string quartets. At the invitation of violinist Pinchas Zukerman, he performed with Mr. Zukerman at the festivals of Athens (Greece), Mostly Mozart (NY), Schleswig-Holstein (Germany), and Verbier(Switzerland). He has also participated in several tours with Mr. Zukerman to South America and Israel as a member of the “Pinchas Zukerman and Friends” chamber ensemble. Highlights include chamber music debuts at Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts performing both Brahms Sextets with Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, and Michael Tree, among others. Mr. Kim can also be heard at the festivals of Angel Fire (New Mexico), Aspen, Bravo! Colorado (Vail), LaJolla, and Santa Fe, and Savannah. Mr. Kim has also made several recordings for the RCA, EMI, Telarc, and Koch labels.

Kim joined the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music faculty at the beginning the 2009-2010 academic year. As a teacher, he has students in major orchestras throughout the world. He is a regular teacher and performer at the Aspen Music Festival and School as well as the Music Masters Course in Japan program held in Kasuza, Yokohama, and Tokyo. Kim also regularly appears at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach coaching the next generation of symphonic cellists.

Born of Korean parents in New York City, Mr. Kim grew up in Illinois where he began piano studies with his mother at age five. At age ten, he began cello studies with Tanya L. Carey. Mr. Kim received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School where he studied with Leonard Rose, Lynn Harrell, and Channing Robbins. Upon graduation, Mr. Kim received the first William Schuman Prize, awarded for outstanding leadership and achievement in music.



Brinton Averil Smith
Brinton Averil Smith, Cello
November 7, 2016

Praised by New York Newsday for “extraordinary musicianship…forceful, sophisticated and entirely in the spirit of the music,” American cellist Brinton Averil Smith‘s performances have elicited rave reviews around the world, praising virtuosic performances and musical ideals rooted in the golden age of string playing. Smith’s debut recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra on Koch Classics won widespread international critical acclaim, including the annual Gramophone Awards Issue which praised Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” and continued, “The sheer bravura of Smith’s reading is infectious.” His recording of Fauré’s Piano Trio and Après un Rêve with Gil Shaham was selected as one of BBC Music magazine’s best albums of the year and the American Record Guide praised their performance as “Stunningly beautiful”, continuing “I cannot imagine a better stylistic match for Shaham”

Mr. Smith has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Houston Symphony since joining the orchestra as principal cellist in 2005. Prior to this, he was the first musician chosen by Lorin Maazel to join the New York Philharmonic and the principal cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Smith’s North American engagements have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Banff Centre for the Arts and with orchestras throughout the country. A passionate advocate of unjustly neglected repertoire, Mr. Smith recently gave the North American premiers of rediscovered works of Jean Sibelius and Alexander Zemlinsky. His performances have been broadcast on CBS’s Sunday Morning and on the radio throughout the U.S., including NPR’s Performance Today and Symphonycast.

An active chamber musician, Smith has collaborated with violinist Gil Shaham on numerous occasions including Carnegie Hall’s Gil Shaham and Friends series. He has also collaborated with cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Lynn Harrell, violinists Cho-Liang Lin, James Ehnes, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Sarah Chang, soprano Dawn Upshaw, pianist Jonathan Biss and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Berg quartets. Smith has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Society, the Sarasota Music Festival, the New York Philharmonic Chamber Series, the Killington Music Festival, El Paso Pro Musica, the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Brevard Music Festival and the Texas Music Festival and is an artistic director of the Restoration Chamber Music festival in Galveston. As a student, he was a prize winner in the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition and in several consecutive Juilliard concerto competitions and was invited to perform at the American Cello Congress. Mr. Smith is currently a member of the faculty at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and has given masterclasses throughout the United States, including at the Aspen Music Festival, the New World Symphony and the National Orchestral Institute.

The son of a mathematician and a pianist, Brinton Averil Smith was admitted to Arizona State University at age 10, where he took courses in mathematics and German and, at age 17, completed a B.A. in mathematics. He subsequently became a student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, where he was also a teaching assistant in the mathematics department, and completed work for an M.A. in mathematics at age 19. He then studied with the renowned cellist Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, writing on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann. Mr. Smith resides in Houston with his wife, the pianist Evelyn Chen, and their daughter, Calista.



Past Guests

The UT Butler School of Music has welcomed an illustrious list of guest artists to visit Austin and work with its student. These cellists have included:

Christopher Adkins
Boris Andrianov
Eric Bartlett
Mike Block
Jesús Castro-Balbi
Herine Coetzee Koschak
Andrés Díaz
David Finckel
Norman Fischer
Lynn Harrell
Matt Haimovitz
Desmond Hoebig
Ralph Kirshbaum
Mark Kosower
Nina Kotova
Antonio Lysy
Yo-Yo Ma
Brian Manker
Aldo Parisot
Stefan Popov
Sharon Robinson
Brinton Smith