Baltimore, Md. (March 12, 2014) – The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is pleased to announce several changes to its orchestra roster. Following an extensive national search, the BSO has engaged Lisa Steltenpohl as the principal viola of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, effective March 3, 2014. Additionally, Principal Bassoonist Fei Xie, Fourth Chair First Violin Rui Du and Assistant Principal Second Violin Angela Lee have been granted tenure.
“Building a great orchestra is a complex process,” said Music Director Marin Alsop. “We audition for world-class musicians with excellent technical skill who also possess a spirit in keeping with the BSO’s greater goal: to perform inspired concerts that move our listeners while reaching out to our community to enable music that changes lives.”
“As we approach the Orchestra’s 2016 centenary, it is gratifying to see the next generation of the finest musicians drawn to the excitement of being a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,” said President and CEO Paul Meecham. “Their exceptional musicianship and fresh energy makes our Orchestra even stronger.”
About Lisa Steltenpohl
Lisa Steltenpohl, the newly appointed principal viola of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. Prior to joining the BSO, Ms. Steltenpohl was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also served as principal violist of The Curtis Symphony Orchestra and the Haddonfield Symphony, now Symphony in C. Ms. Steltenpohl has also performed with such ensembles as The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. She began her musical studies on viola at age 11 and while a student in high school was one of the youngest members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
Ms. Steltenpohl made her Orchestra Hall debut performing Bartók’s Viola Concerto with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2001. In addition to her orchestral career, she has participated in many chamber music concerts and festivals, performing alongside notable musicians such as Arnold Steinhardt, Leonidas Kavakos and others. Originally from North Barrington, Ill., Ms. Steltenpohl comes from a musical family. She and her twin sister, Anna (who is an oboe and English horn player), have been featured on the educational series “Musical Encounters” and have performed many recitals together highlighting the viola and oboe repertoire. Her teachers have included Misha Amory, Roberto Diaz, Desiree Ruhstrat and Stephen Wyrczynski.
About Fei Xie
Principal Basson Fei Xie joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as second bassoonist in January 2008. A native of China, Mr. Xie comes from a musical family; his parents are renowned Peking Opera musicians. He started studying piano at age three and at 13 began bassoon studies at the middle school attached to the Central Conservatory of Music, where he studied with YunHua Dai and Jun Zhu. Mr. Xie graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in music from Oberlin College, where he studied with George Sakakeeny. As a student at Oberlin, he performed with the Akron Symphony and the Canton Symphony, and served as principal bassoonist of Mansfield Symphony in the 2003-2004 season. Mr. Xie also holds a master’s degree in music from Rice University (2006), where he was a student of Benjamin Kamins, the former principal bassoon of the Houston Symphony. As a student at Rice, he performed at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.
Mr. Xie joined the Houston Grand Opera while he was in the second year of his master’s degree, and has also performed with Houston Symphony as guest principal bassoonist. He has attended many music festivals, among them the Music Academy of the West, the National Repertory Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center and Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Mr. Xie was a finalist in the 2010 Gillet-Fox International Bassoon Competition, and he was the only American bassoonist chosen for the final round.
As an avid chamber music player, Mr. Xie has played in the Music by Candlelight Series and the Sundays at Three Chamber Music Series. He is a founding member of the bassoon quartet Black Sheep Bassoon Quartet, and has traveled to Beijing and performed at the Central Conservatory of China.
Mr. Xie resides in the Baltimore area with his wife and two young sons, Kevin and Colin.
About Rui Du
Rui Du joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2012 as fourth chair first violin. He was formerly concertmaster of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and also served as associate concertmaster of the Aspen Festival Orchestra for two years at the Aspen International Music Festival and School.
Rui Du has won numerous violin competitions including the Grand Prix at the 2006 Canetti International Violin Competition in France. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras in concert halls throughout the world, including the Seiji Ozawa Hall in Massachusetts, Antalya Culture Park Hall in Turkey, Esplanade Concert Hall and Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore and the Grand Concert Hall in Shanghai. He has also been featured as an artist with the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra and the Fuzhou Symphony Orchestra, and was also soloist at the Baroque Evening Concert Series in 2011 Aspen Music Festival under the direction of Nicholas McGegan.
Born in Hefei, China, Rui Du received his early training in violin performance at the middle school attached to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music before accepting a full scholarship to study at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore. Following his mentorship with Qian Zhou, Rui Du was further offered full scholarship to pursue graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory with violinists Herbert Greenberg and Victor Danchenko in 2008.
Rui Du currently plays on a 1750 Nicola Gagliano, generously loaned by Mr. and Mrs. Rin Kei Mei.
About Angela Lee
Angela Lee, a native of Korea, began studying violin at the age of seven at the Carrara School of Music in Carrara, Italy, where her father served at the Carrara Art School as a visiting professor.
Ms. Lee earned a bachelor of music degree in 2007 from the Seoul National University in Korea and later that year began graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music, where she earned her master of music degree and professional studies certificate in orchestral performance. Her primary teachers were Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic and Lisa Kim, associate principal second violin also of the New York Philharmonic.
She has maintained an active performing career in New York as a substitute player in the New York Philharmonic and the New Jersey Symphony. She was also a principal member of the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of Americas (POA). Ms. Lee was a visiting artist of National Symphony of the Dominican Republic led by French pianist and conductor Philippe Entremont.
Prior to her post with the Baltimore Symphony, she completed her fellowship with the New World Symphony, having often served as one of the rotating concertmasters, working under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas.
She has participated in numerous music festivals including Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. She has also participated in Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival’s Russian/American tour.
Ms. Lee joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in September 2012 as assistant principal second violin.