Instrument Days at Interlochen Arts Academy
Young musicians in grades 8–12 are invited to join Interlochen Arts Academy’s faculty and students for the inaugural Instrument Days. Each event includes an overnight stay on campus, master classes with renowned guest artists, and performances.
9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. | Arts Academy Open House
Open Houses include a campus tour, lunch at Stone Cafeteria*, and class visits
7:30 p.m. | Interlochen Arts Academy Ensemble/Orchestra Concert
10 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Master Classes with Guest Artists
Break for Lunch*
2 p.m. | Combined Guest Artist Recital
*All meals are provided by Interlochen Arts Academy
Martin Chalifour, Principal Concertmaster, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Martin Chalifour began his tenure as Principal Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1995. The recipient of various grants and awards in his native Canada, he graduated with honors from the Montreal Conservatory at the age of 18 and then moved to Philadelphia to pursue studies at the Curtis Institute of Music. Chalifour received a Certificate of Honor at the Tchaikovsky Competition, and is also a laureate of the Montreal International Competition. Apart from his Philharmonic duties he maintains an active solo career, playing a diverse repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary commissions. He has appeared as soloist with conductors Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir Neville Marriner, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Masumi Per Rostad, Associate Professor of Viola, Eastman School of Music
The Grammy Award-winning violist Masumi Per Rostad has received praise for his rich and expressive tone, energy, and commanding presence, and has been described by critics as an “electrifying, poetic and sensitive musician.” In addition to performing, Rostad teaches and has contributed to online and print publications.
As a member of the Pacifica Quartet, which he joined in 2001, Masumi has performed and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In 2009, the quartet received a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance and was named Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year. Other honors include the Cleveland Quartet Award and the Avery Fisher Career Grant. From 2009 to 2012, Pacifica was the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
As a soloist, Rostad has appeared at prominent festivals including Spoleto USA, Music@Menlo, Marlboro, and Rockport Chamber Music; collaborated with such string quartets as the St. Lawrence, Pavel Hass, Emerson, and the Ying Quartet, which is the quartet-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music; and toured extensively and recorded as a former member of the International Sejong Soloists and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra.
Rostad’s advocacy for the arts and passion to increase opportunities for audiences to hear chamber music led him to launch DoCha, a festival in Champaign, IL. Events feature multi-genre collaborative presentations from classical chamber music to contemporary dance to the spoken word.
Rostad has served on the faculties of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University, and given numerous solo and chamber music master classes at schools, venues, and festivals including the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Colburn School, the New York Youth Symphony, Suntory Hall, Sydney Conservatory, the Royal College of Music, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Aspen and Bowdoin festivals.
Melissa Kraut, Conservatory & Preparatory Cello Faculty, Cleveland Institute of Music
Co-head of the cello department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Dr. Melissa Kraut is recognized as one of the leading pedagogues of her generation. With degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Iowa and Northwestern University, Dr. Kraut has had the opportunity to study with the great pedagogues Alan Harris and Hans-Jorgen Jensen as well as summer study/master classes with cellists such as Aldo Parisot, Frank Miller, and Yo-Yo Ma.
An active performer, Dr. Kraut has led a diverse career on stage, with solo and chamber performances throughout the United States and Europe. She has held leadership positions in several orchestras, and has played under the baton of conductors such as Sir Georg Solti, Valery Gergiev and Semyon Bychkov.
In the summer of 2014, Dr. Kraut and famed cellist Zuill Bailey launched the inaugural summer of the Sitka Cello Seminar in Sitka, Alaska, bringing 10 elite cellists from all over the world to study under their guidance.
Dr. Kraut’s students have achieved great success, with top prizes in National and International competitions. Students of Dr. Kraut have won the Gold Medal and Audience Award at the Gaspar Cassado Competition in Hachioji, Japan, Grand Prize in the Music Teachers National Association Competition, First Prize in the American String Teachers Association, Grand Prize in the Walgreen’s Competition, Grand Prize in the Fischoff Competition, as well as prizes in many local and regional competitions.
Yung-chiao Wei, Professor of Double Bass, Louisiana State University (IAA 90-92)
Taiwanese American bassist Yung-chiao Wei made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2003. Her performance garnered tremendous praise from New York Concert Review Inc. Critic Anthony Aibel said “Wei is phenomenal.” Her performance of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata in A minor elicited another mention of praise: Aibel affirmed that “nuance on the double bass is hard to accomplish, but Wei plays with subtlety of dynamics, color and expression one seldom, if ever, hears on the bass.”
As a bassist with unusual physical disadvantages—she has hands that have thumbs and little fingers half the size of those found on normal hands—Wei was able to overcome these physical challenges and establish a distinguished career as both a performer and an educator. She has performed at major concert halls and prestigious summer festivals, and has given master classes and recitals at major music schools on four continents. She has concertized with the National Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, New World Symphony (FL), Formosa Philharmonic, and Louisiana Sinfonietta. She has also performed and gave master classes at Opera Bastille in Paris, Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Boston University, Berlin University of the Arts, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Japan Double Bass seminar, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Taipei University of the Arts, Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and Shanghai Conservatory, among many.
Wei is a recipient of numerous honors, including the prestigious Awards to Louisiana Artists and Scholars Grant, LSU Tiger Athlete Foundation Teaching Award, Taiwan Young Concert Artists’ Competition, and both the 2nd Prize and Audience prize in the First Izuminomori International Double Bass/Cello Competition in Japan, among others. She is a frequent adjudicator in major double bass competitions (International Society of Bassist Solo Competition and International Sperger Competition for Double Bass), and has founded a youth orchestra in Brazil, with the mission of bringing music to the underprivileged.
Thomas Flippin, Guitar Department Head, The Diller-Quaile School of Music
Thomas Flippin is an original and versatile voice in the world of contemporary music. Whether premiering new works with his pioneering classical guitar ensemble, Duo Noire; performing avant-garde art songs on the theorbo as part of Alicia Hall Moran’s Motown Project; playing otherworldly electric guitar in Heartbeat Opera’s The Extinctionist; or plucking the banjo in the American Repertory Theater’s The Black Clown, Flippin’s playing has been hailed as "lovely" (New York Times), and "spectacularly precise" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
Flippin's 2018 Duo Noire album, Night Triptych, was released on New Focus Recordings as the culmination of a 2015 project he launched through the Diller Quaile School of Music to address the lack of women composers programmed in classical guitar concerts. Featuring new works exclusively by accomplished women composers, it was praised for being a "truly pathbreaking recording" (AllMusic). It was named one of the Best Classical Music albums of 2018 by both All Music and I Care if You Listen.
Recent concert highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The 2022 Guitar Foundation of America Convention, National Sawdust, The Metropolitan Museum, The Cleveland Orchestra, Beijing’s Peking University, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Flippin’s duo recently premiered a new commission by GRAMMY-nominated composer Nathalie Joachim.
Flippin is the Guitar Department Head at the Diller-Quaile School of Music in Manhattan, and he plays Glenn Canin and Martin Blackwell guitars.
Yolanda Kondonassis, Head, Harp Department, Cleveland Institute of Music (IAA 78-82)
Yolanda Kondonassis is celebrated as one of the world’s preeminent solo harpists. Hailed as “viscerally exciting” (The Chicago Tribune) and a “brilliant and expressive player” (The Dallas Morning News), she has performed around the globe as a concerto soloist and in recital, pushing the boundaries of what listeners expect of the harp. Also a published author, speaker, professor of harp, and environmental activist, she weaves her many passions into a vibrant and multi-faceted career.
Praised by Gramophone for her “keen sense of dramatic timing and a range of colour that’s breathtaking,” Kondonassis has sold hundreds of thousands of albums and downloads worldwide and her extensive, critically acclaimed discography includes over twenty titles and over two-dozen world-premiere recordings. She was nominated for a 2020 GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for her live, world premiere recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Harp Concerto (written for Kondonassis) with The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (Azica, 2019). Her 2008 album of music by Takemitsu and Debussy, Air (Telarc), was also nominated for a GRAMMY Award.
Since making her debut at age 18 with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, Kondonassis has appeared as soloist with major orchestras in the United States and abroad including The Cleveland Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic (Poland), Orquesta Sinfonica de Puerto Rico, Odessa Philharmonic (Ukraine), and New World Symphony to name a few. Other appearances include renowned festivals including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Spoleto Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Bravo! Vail, and others. She has been featured on CNN, PBS, Sirius XM Radio, and National Public Radio.
Born in Norman, Oklahoma, Kondonassis attended high school at Interlochen Arts Academy. She continued her education at The Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees as a student of Alice Chalifoux. Kondonassis heads the harp department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, is the founding Artistic Director of The Maine Coast Harp Institute, and presents masterclasses around the world.
Ethan Bensdorf, Trumpet, New York Philharmonic (IAC 95-00, 02)
Ethan Bensdorf joined the New York Philharmonic’s trumpet section on June 3, 2008, after spending the 2007–08 season as acting assistant principal trumpet with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra in Naples, Florida. He received his bachelor of music degree from Northwestern University in 2007, where he studied with Barbara Butler, Charles Geyer, and Christopher Martin. While a student at Northwestern, Bensdorf spent two years performing with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and also performed with the New World Symphony and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary ensemble, MusicNOW. In May 2005, Bensdorf was selected to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts representing Northwestern University as part of The Conservatory Project recital series.
In September of 2006, Bensdorf received the Armando Ghitalla International Trumpet Classic Award, which included solo appearances with the United States Coast Guard Band and the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts. He also spent two summers as a participant in the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan; spent one summer at the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland; and was selected as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in the summers of 2006 and 2007, where he received the Voisin Trumpet Award.
Leelanee Sterrett, Horn, New York Philharmonic (IAA 02-04, IAC 00-01, AS 02)
Leelanee Sterrett joined the New York Philharmonic in June 2013. She was previously a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and a regular substitute with the New York Philharmonic. Sterrett is also an alumna of The Academy, Carnegie Hall’s collective of young professionals and music advocates, and a former member of Ensemble ACJW.
A northern-Michigan native, Sterrett grew up in a musically enthusiastic family and attended Interlochen Arts Academy. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. Her primary teachers include William Purvis, Douglas Hill, and Julie Schleif. Sterrett has spent summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Pacific and Sarasota music festivals, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. She is a past prizewinner in the International Horn Competition of America and the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program.
In recent seasons, Sterrett has made solo appearances at Carnegie Hall, with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and at the 2015 International Horn Symposium with her Philharmonic colleagues. She currently serves on the horn faculties of Rutgers University and New York University.
James Box, Principal Trombone, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
James Box caught the music bug watching military bands in his childhood. His grandfather, who conducted a brass band, was his first teacher. At the age of 15, James joined the Memphis Youth Symphony and went on to study at the Southern Methodist University and the Cleveland Institute of Music with Marta Hofacre, John Kitzman, James DeSano, and Steve Witser. His first concert with the OSM was a performance of Ravel’s Bolero, in which he held down the famous trombone solo part. In addition to his performance career, James Box teaches trombone at McGill University.
Grant Jameson, Teaching Fellow, Euphonium, University of North Texas
Originally from Dublin, Ohio, Grant Jameson has spent extensive time both in the United States and the United Kingdom. During his time in the UK, Grant immersed himself in the British brass band tradition and won many awards and prizes within this genre, including Best Soloist at the Welsh Open (2014). Grant has also performed as guest soloist with many of the UK's finest bands, including Cory, the world's No. 1 ranked band; Grimethorpe Colliery from the movie 'Brassed Off!'; Brighouse and Rastrick; and the current National Champions of Great Britain (2018), Foden's.
Grant was also principal euphonium of Tredegar Town, Tongwynlais and Woodfalls bands, before joining the Flowers Band with whom he won various contests.
As a chamber musician, Grant was the winner of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Competition (2013, 2014 and 2016) and gave several world premières with his award winning euphonium quartet. In 2015 Grant won the prestigious RWCMD Concerto Competition and performed Joseph Horovitz' Euphonium Concerto with the RWCMD Orchestra. During the same year he appeared as soloist with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force, performing as a duet artist alongside Philip Cobb, Principal Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition Grant also won the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Award (2015), the first American to ever achieve this distinction.
As a recording artist, Grant has released two solo albums: Genesis (2015) and Versatility Reimagined (2019).
Justin Benavidez, Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium, Eastman School of Music
Hailed by Fanfare Magazine as “a true virtuoso of his instrument,” Justin Benavidez is the newly appointed Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the Eastman School of Music. He previously held a similar faculty position at Florida State University. In the summer, he teaches and performs at the Round Top Summer Music Festival in Round Top, Texas.
Benavidez has performed across North America, Europe, and Japan. He has been featured numerous times on APM’s Performance Today radio program. His debut solo album, Emblems, won silver medals in the Classical Album and Solo Instrumentalist categories of the Global Music Awards. The International Tuba Euphonium Association Journal described it as “an impressive and highly entertaining record” on which Benavidez “shreds with enthusiasm, exuberance, and precision.” His second album, Storyteller, also won silver medals in the Classical Album and Solo Instrumentalist categories of the Global Music Awards. Fanfare Magazine described it as “splendidly eloquent […] a masterclass in expressiveness” with a sound that is “gloriously warm and comforting.”
As an orchestral musician, Benavidez has performed as tubist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, and Utah Symphony. He was previously the principal tuba of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. Benavidez is a Melton Meinl Weston and Denis Wick performing artist.
Matthew Duvall, Solo Percussionist, (IAA 85-89, IAC/NMC 84-85)
Matthew Duvall | I KNOW NOBLE ACCENTS | Eighth Blackbird: Founder, Artistic Director, Percussionist | AND LUCID INESCAPABLE RHYTHMS | Accomplishments: Four Grammy Awards, The MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, Musical America Ensemble of the Year, The Chamber Music America Visionary Award | BUT | Initiatives: Eighth Blackbird, Blackbird IV, The Blackbird Creative Lab, The Chicago Artists Workshop, Blackbird Productions, Unexpected Outcomes | I KNOW TOO | Recording Catalog: Cedille records, Nonesuch Records, 37d03d | THAT THE BLACKBIRD IS INVOLVED | Education: Interlochen Center for the Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University | IN WHAT I KNOW | More information: eighthblackbird.org
Matthew proudly endorses Pearl Drums and Adams Musical Instruments; Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets; Zildjian Cymbals; and Black Swamp Percussion Accessories. Poem: Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. VIII.
Timothy Day, Principal Flute, San Francisco Symphony (retired, IAA 69-70, IAC/NMC 69)
Tim Day served as Principal Flute of the San Francisco from 2006-21, occupying the Caroline H. Hume Chair. Mr. Day served as principal flute with the Baltimore Symphony for twelve seasons, taught at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, has been acting principal flute with the Minnesota Orchestra, and was guest principal flute with the Boston Symphony. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Mr. Day joined the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1987. During the summers he is on the faculty of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. For more on Tim Day, visit sfsymphony.org/TimDay.
Elaine Douvas, Principal Oboe, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (IAA 67-70, IAC/NMC 67-69, AS 66)
Elaine Douvas is an institution in the oboe world, having served as Principal Oboe of the Metropolitan Opera for 46 years and Oboe Instructor at The Juilliard School since 1982, where she also served as Chairman of the Woodwind Department. In the summers, she is a long-time artist/faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Ms. Douvas has given intensive one-week seminars at Le Domaine Forget in Quebec, Interlochen Arts Camp, and the Hidden Valley Music Seminars in California. She has given master classes in Beijing, Shanghai, and London, and in 2017 she served as Jury Chairman for the ARD Munich International Oboe Competition. Her former students hold positions in orchestras and universities around the world.
Her career highlights include the Strauss Oboe Concerto with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, James Levine conducting. Her CDs comprise a solo recital for Boston Records, Pleasure is the Law by her quartet of the same name, and Oboe Divas on the Oboe Classics label. Douvas trained at Cleveland Institute of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy. Her first job was Principal Oboe of the Atlanta Symphony at the age of 21. She played several summer seasons as guest Principal in the New York Philharmonic, and participated in the Grand Teton, Marlboro, Angel Fire, and BravoColorado Festivals. For 25 of her adult years she devoted her spare time to figure skating and passed eleven USFSA tests.
Richie Hawley, Professor of Clarinet and Chair of Woodwinds, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University
Hawley is one of the most celebrated clarinetists of his generation, a sought-after recitalist and chamber musician who regularly appears on stages around the world. During his 17 years as principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO), he made an indelible mark on the institution. Hailed by the Cincinnati Enquirer as “an example of the real virtuosity that lies within the [CSO’s] ranks” and praised for possessing the “seamless flowing tone so many clarinetists long for and few can achieve,” he has wowed audiences and critics with his technique and velvety tone. Hawley has also left his mark on recorded classical music, appearing on dozens of albums with the CSO.
Hawley is as much an educator as he is a performer, a leader of his own generation who is dedicated to inspiring future ones. In 2011, he left the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and moved to Houston, Texas to become the Professor of Clarinet at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. During the summer months he is in residence as a faculty artist at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, one of the premiere summer festivals for exceptionally talented musicians.
Hawley has garnered awards both as a performer and an educator. He won the Coleman-Barstow prize at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in 1988 with Trio con Brio; the same year, he was one of five musicians to receive the Gold Medal as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts from Ronald Reagan in a ceremony at the White House. He is a two-time recipient of the Léni Fé Bland Foundation Career Grant and was awarded the 2009 Glover Award for outstanding teaching at University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.
Keith Buncke, Principal Bassoon, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (IAA 09-11, IAC 08)
Keith Buncke began his tenure as Principal Bassoon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in July 2015, having been appointed to the position by Music Director Riccardo Muti. He previously served as Principal Bassoon of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, a post he was appointed to in 2014 while still attending the Curtis Institute of Music.
At the age of eleven, Buncke heard a recording of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 1, with prominent parts for the oboe and bassoon, and was immediately struck by the sound of bassoon. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, he went on to study at Interlochen Arts Academy and the Curtis Institute. He has also studied at the Pacific, Tanglewood, and Aspen music festivals, as well as Music Academy of the West. His principal teachers include Daniel Matsukawa, Dr. Eric Stomberg, and Mark Eubanks.
Working with acclaimed artists like pianist Mitsuko Uchida and violinist Vadim Gluzman, Buncke has performed chamber music both in Chicago and around the country at festivals like Marlboro Music Festival and La Jolla Music Society. He has been a frequent guest artist and teacher at Aspen Music Festival and the Interlochen Academy and Camp, and has given masterclasses at universities across the country. He is an adjunct faculty at DePaul University.
Tim McAllister, Professor of Music, Saxophone, University of Michigan (IAC/NMC 90)
Saxophonist Timothy McAllister has been hailed as an “exemplary soloist” (Gramophone Magazine), “a virtuoso, one of the foremost saxophonists of his generation” (The New York Times) and “a titan of contemporary music and the instrument, in general” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer). He is one of today’s premier wind soloists, a member of the 2018 GRAMMY® Award-winning PRISM Quartet, and a champion of contemporary music credited with over 40 recordings and 200 premieres of new compositions by eminent and emerging composers worldwide.
His rise to international fame came in 2009 with his celebrated work in John Adams’s City Noir, filmed as part of Gustavo Dudamel’s inaugural concert as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the World Premiere of John Adams’s Saxophone Concerto in August 2013 with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the composer in the Sydney Opera House. Subsequent performances included the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the New World Symphony, among others.
To date he has appeared with over forty of the world's top orchestras and ensembles in twenty countries, and he has the distinction of being only the second saxophonist to appear as soloist in the 120-year history of the BBC Proms concerts. McAllister won a 2015 GRAMMY® Award with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and David Robertson as soloist on the album John Adams: City Noir.