Santa Monica Symphony Guest SoloistsDelores Stevens, piano
Delores Stevens studied with Bach authority Ian Chiapusso, Ernst Von Dohnarryi and Joanna Graudan. Shortly after her arrival in Southern she won the coveted Coleman Award and her musical career was launched. As a member of the Montagnana Trio, with her longtime associate Caroline Worthington and clarinetist John Gates, she toured North America, Europe and Asia receiving universal acclaim. She frequently performs with such chamber music ensembles as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, at the Ojai and La Jolla festivals and has recently toured the Czech Republic, Japan, China and Australia. This summer, she performed in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Ms. Stevens is a six-term former Trustee of the National Academy of Recording Artists (NARAS) and is the Director of Chamber Music for the Young Musician's Foundation in Los Angeles. She is both co-founder and co-artistic director of the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society and Chamber Music Palisades in Pacific Palisades, California. In addition Ms. Stevens directs the chamber music program at Mount St. Mary’s College and is Head of the Piano Department at California State University at Dominguez Hills.
A longtime supporter of contemporary composers, she was honored by the National Association of Composers for “Outstanding Achievement in Contemporary Music.” Her CD “Pilgrimage' showcases the works of five outstanding U.S. composers. She has recorded for ten record labels and recently completed a video/surround sound recording of the Brahms Piano Quintet that is scheduled for a Fall 2000 release. Ms. Stevens gave the premier performance of Ninnescah, a piano concerto composed for her by Maria Newman (who composed the MVCMS commissioned work Chilmark). Ninnescah, a river in Kansas, was commissioned by the Delores Wunsch Stevens New Music Foundation at the University of Kansas in honor of Ms. Stevens.
Catherine Del Russo, oboe
Catherine Del Russo, oboist is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Robert Sprenkle. As a freelance musician, Catherine has performed with almost every orchestra in Southern California. Currently, she is the principal oboe of the Santa Monica Symphony, the Downey Symphony and the Beverly Hills Live Orchestra and performs regularly with the Glendale Symphony Orchestra. Recently, she played principal oboe for the Three Tenors concert in Las Vegas that was also heard over the Internet. In October, Catherine performed the Bach Brandenberg Concerto No. 2 with the Glendale Symphony.
Catherine has traveled on various tours and performed with symphony orchestras in Venezuela, Japan, Brazil, Spain and Alaska. She is also the English horn player with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and has recorded with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and on the Telarc recording "Movies Go Baroque," to name a few. She has been heard on television films such as "David and Lisa," many commercials, and feature films including "Pocahontas," "One Tough Cop," and "Homeward Bound."
Catherine teaches oboe at Occidental College and Pepperdine University and resides in Pasadena.
Ronald Leonard, cello
Ronald Leonard recently retired as principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras throughout the United States under the direction of such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Charles Groves, Carlo Maria Giulini, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Giuseppi Sinopoli and Andre Previn. A critically acclaimed chamber music performer, Mr. Leonard has been a Marlboro Festival participant including tours and recordings, and he is a former member of the Hartwell, Vermeer and Eastman quartets. Mr. Leonard has performed at the Spoleto (Italy) Festival of Two Worlds, the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico, and has performed and taught at the Aspen Music Festival and School each year since 1975. He was professor of cello at the Eastman School of Music for 17 years and in 1974 was named Kilbourn Professor, the school's highest honor. In May 1996, Mr. Leonard was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in recognition of his achievements in the field of music.
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