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Woodwind Program



Richard Graef
Eugenia Moliner
Marie Tachouet


Eugene Izotov
Peggy Michel, Oboe / English Horn
Lora Schaefer


Gregory Smith
John Bruce Yeh
Charlene Zimmerman


Sean Hurlburt


David McGill, Masterclasses/Orchestral Excerpts
Dennis Michel, Head of Woodwinds
Theodore Soluri
Richard GraefRichard Graef

Assistant Principal Flutist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1968, Richard Graef holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University. He also attended the Aspen Music School and later traveled to Salzburg, Austria, to attend the Mozarteum Academy of Music.

Before coming to Chicago, Graef served as assistant principal flutist of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1966 to 1968. On leave of absence from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the 1985-1986 season, he returned to his home state, where he was appointed professor of music in flute at Indiana University.

Graef is an active performer and teacher of the Baroque, one-keyed flute, and he has an extensive collection of historic flutes. Graef is currently an associate professor in flute at Northwestern University School of Music, teaching both modern and early flute technique. Richard was also honored with a Grammy Award for his performances with Chicago Pro Musica.

During the 1990s, Graef teamed up with his flutist wife Emily to lead the Galena Chamber Ensemble in an extensive chamber music concert series in Galena, Illinois. More recently, the couple is active in the Chicago area performing with other CSO colleagues as the Juliani Ensemble

Outside of music, Graef has an active interest in environmental causes and is involved in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the restoration and preservation of a remnant oak woodland and tall-grass prairie on his property in Wisconsin.

Richard is the father of four children: Rick, Rachel, Anita and Julian.

Eugenia MolinerEugenia Moliner

Eugenia Moliner is a member of the “Cavatina Duo" with guitarist Denis Azabagic. They have performed in concert halls and festivals across Europe, the USA, and Asia in venues such as the Ravinia Festival, The Harris Theater, DaCamera Society,(Los Angeles), at the Buntrock Hall  at Symphony Center in Chicago, Mainly Mozart San Diego, National Performing Arts Center in Beijing (China), the Opening Gala at the 2008 National Flute Association Conference USA, the Aix-en-Provence Summer Festival (France), the Eem & Veem Festival in Groningen (Netherlands), the International Guitar Festival in Frechen (Germany), The Link (Netherlands), and in three occasions at the National Concert Hall in Taipei (Taiwan), among many others. 

Composers from around the world have written and dedicated new works to the Cavatina duo;  Sérgio Assad and Clarice Assad (Brazil); Carlos Rivera, Michael Karmon; Alan Thomas (UK-USA), Erik Otte (the Netherlands); Alejandro Yagüe (Spain); Boris Gaquere (Belgium) and V. Ivanovic (Bosnia/Greece). The Duo received the Encore Prize in 2003 for their collaboration with Michael Karmon.

Ms. Moliner has  performed recitals with pianist Rob Broek and the New Opus Trio. She has collaborated with Chicago Symphony and Rotterdam Philharmonic principals and co-principal players, the Rotterdam Baroque Ensemble, the National Philharmonic of the Netherlands and the Montebello Ensemble, among others.As a soloist she has appeared with the Chicago Sinfonieta, the Camerata Serbica, Sarajevo Philharmonic, Monterrey symphony and Traverse Symphony.

While studying in the Netherlands, Ms. Moliner won the Young Musicians of De Doelen competition in Rotterdam. Ms. Moliner studied at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica Joaquin Rodrigo in Valencia, and at the Rotterdam Conservatorium, where she obtained degrees in solo performance and chamber music. Her teachers include; Jo Hagen (principal Rotterdam Phil), Jaime Martin (Principal St. Martin in the fields, European Chamber Orchestra), Kate Hill (English Chamber Orchestra), and Els Van Zundert (principal Royal Opera Belgium). She has given Master classes in Spain, Taiwan, Mexico, Bosnia, Serbia, India, Holland, Portugal, as well throughout the United States.

Ms. Moliner's discography includes six CDs with international record labels such as Cedille, Bridge, Orobroy and Opera Tres (Spain). Her CDs and live performances have been broadcasted on NPR and Radio Nacional de Espana. She has also appeared on TV programs in Spain, the Netherlands, Taiwan and the USA.


Marie Tachouet

Marie Tachouet is the Principal Flute of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has played acting principal flute with the Milwaukee Symphony, Sante Fe Opera, Joffrey Ballet, and Pittsburgh Opera orchestras. Prior to her appointment at Lyric Opera, Marie enjoyed playing principal flute with the Sarasota Opera and Akron Symphony while substituting frequently with the Pittsburgh and Oregon symphonies.

A passionate advocate of contemporary music, Marie has worked closely with composers including Charles Wuorinen, Elliot Carter, and John Zorn in varied venues such as the Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, and the Guggenheim. In 2011 she performed David Felder's "Inner Sky" as a New Foromm Player at Tanglewood, where the New York Times praised her "extraordinary agile" solo playing. She has performed at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Music Academy of the West, and Spoleto Festival USA. Marie studied with Jeanne Baxtresser, Alberto Almarza, and Amy Porter while earning degrees from the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University. Having led recent masterclasses at Western Illinois University and University of Arkansas Fort Smith, Marie has a keen interest in mentoring the next generation of musicians.

Eugene IzotovEugene Izotov

Eugene Izotov was recently appointed by Daniel Barenboim to the position of Principal Oboe with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He was formerly the Principal Oboist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a position he has held since 2002. Mr. Izotov has previously served as the Associate Principal Oboist of the San Francisco Symphony and as Principal Oboist of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Izotov has performed as guest Principal Oboe with the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the New World Symphony Orchestra. He is the First Prize Winner of the 2001 Fernand Gillet International Solo Oboe Competition, a Laureate of the 1995 New York International Competition for Solo Oboe Players, the 1991 Russia Wind Players Competition, and the 1991, New Names International Competition. Mr. Izotov performs regularly with the MET Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall and has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops, Kansas City Symphony, United States Army Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony performing the works by Mozart, Strauss, Marcello, Krommer, Hummel and Bach.

Born in Russia in 1973, Izotov began his musical career at the age of six at the Gnesin School of Music in Moscow, and performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and North America appearing at Sarasota, Hampden-Sydney, Bowdoin, and Tanglewood Music Festivals where he received the 1995 "Outstanding Wind Player" Award. Izotov is the recipient of the 2001 Distinguished Alumni Award at Boston University School of Music where he studied with Ralph Gomberg.

Mr. Izotov taught at the Juilliard School and has presented numerous masterclasses at conservatories across the nation and abroad at New World Symphony, Boston University, Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, University of Michigan, University of California, Berkeley, Mannes College, and Boston University Tanglewood Institute. At the invitation of Maestro James Levine, Mr. Izotov joined the woodwind faculty of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland where he remains since 2003. He also serves on the International Principals faculty of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan.

Peggy MichelPeggy Michel

An active and versatile freelance oboist in Chicago, Peggy Michel performs with a wide variety of ensembles from The Music of the Baroque to the Fulcrum Point New Music Project. She has performed with the cities finest ensembles including the Chicago Symphony (including the CSO’s MusicNow series), Lyric Opera, Grant Park Symphony, Ars Viva, the Chicago Philharmonic, The Ravinia Festival Orchestra and the Chicago Chamber Musicians.  

In addition to teaching oboe and coaching chamber music at CCPA, she teaches at Concordia University in River Forest and for The New Music School in Chicago.   As former principal oboist of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and a founding member of the Arioso Wind Quintet Ms Michel can be heard on several CD’s on the Koch International label, including as a featured soloist in Samuel Barber’s Capricorn Concerto.  

Ms. Michel has performed with several music festivals including SummerFest La Jolla, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and the Peter Britt (OR) Festival. She has taught at Wichita State University, the University of California at San Diego and San Diego State University. She received her Masters degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with John Mack.

Lora SchaeferLora Schaefer

Lora Schaefer joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in July 2009, the first musician appointed to the Orchestra by Riccardo Muti. Prior to that, she served as principal oboe of the Kansas City Symphony since 1996.

Ms. Schaefer received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with John Mack, former principal oboe of the Cleveland Orchestra. She pursued graduate studies at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, under the tutelage of Robert Atherholt, principal oboe of the Houston Symphony. She left after a year upon winning the principal oboe audition with the Kansas City Symphony.

In addition, she has played with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra in Jackson, Wyoming, since 2000. Lora has participated in many festivals including Tanglewood, the Blossom Music Festival, and the National Orchestral Institute. She has given numerous master classes across the country.

A native of Buffalo, New York, Schaefer began playing the oboe in third grade. She attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Among many influential musicians in her career, her early teachers include Florence Myers, John Dee and Daniel Stolper.

Lora and her husband Will, a photographer, enjoy traveling together in search of perfect photo spots, hiking and cooking. They share their lives with three perfect rescue dogs: Watson and Sophy, the basset hounds, and their beagle Elsie.

Gregory Smith

Gregory Smith has played clarinet in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1983. He is a former Associate Principal and Eb Clarinetist with the San Francisco Symphony. He also has played Principal Clarinet for numerous festival orchestras such as the Ravinia Festival Orchestra and the Music of the Baroque. He has appeared with several orchestras as soloist, including the Scotia Festival of Music directed by Pierre Boulez.

Mr. Smith is sought after as a chamber musician. His playing as a featured artist for the Chicago Symphony Winds earned him a nomination for a Grammy Award for best chamber music performance. He was a guest chamber musician for the AFFINIS Music Festival in Japan, and was a featured guest artist with members of the Vermeer Quartet when they played in the Bay Chamber Concerts. He has also performed numerous times as a soloist on Chicago classical radio station WFMT-FM.

Mr. Smith's teachers include Robert Marcellus, Larry Combs, and Mitchell Lurie. He has been on the faculty of The Music Conservatory of Roosevelt University since his arrival in Chicago in 1983.

John Bruce YehJohn Bruce Yeh

John Bruce Yeh joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1977, having been appointed solo Bass Clarinet of the Orchestra at the age of nineteen by Sir Georg Solti. Two years later, he was named Assistant Principal and solo E-flat Clarinet.  He currently serves as Assistant Principal Clarinet of the CSO. Recently he has performed as Guest Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra as well as of the Seoul Philharmonic in Korea.

Mr. Yeh has performed concertos with the CSO on several occasions, including the 1998 American premiere of Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto with Pierre Boulez conducting and the 1993 performance of Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto with Neeme Järvi. A concert recording of the Nielsen was released on the CSO CD set Soloists of the Orchestra II: From the Archives, vol. 15.  In 2004, Yeh was featured in Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs in collaboration with the Hubbard Street Dance Company and the CSO conducted by David Robertson. An enthusiastic champion of new music, John Bruce Yeh is the dedicatee of new works for clarinet by numerous composers, ranging from Ralph Shapey to John Williams.

Mr. Yeh is director of Chicago Pro Musica, which received the Grammy Award in 1986 for Best New Classical Artist.  He frequently appears at festivals and on chamber music series worldwide, and he has performed several times with Music from Marlboro; the Guarneri, Ying, Colorado, Pacifica, and Avalon string quartets; as well as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Yeh recently formed an innovative quartet, Birds and Phoenix, dedicated to musical exploration by bridging Eastern and Western musical cultures. North Central College in Naperville presented their Chicago-area debut on April 11, 2010 at Wentz Concert Hall, featuring the World Première performance of “Other Echoes Inhabit the Garden” by William Neil, former composer-in-residence of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Passionately committed to music education, Yeh served for twenty-six years on the faculty of DePaul University’s School of Music, and he joined the faculty at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College for the Performing Arts in 2004.  He has taught masterclasses at many universities and conservatories including the Juilliard, Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music, The Cleveland Institute of Music, Northwestern University, and the University of Michigan.  He is also on the faculty of Midwest Young Artists in Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

Charlene Zimmerman

Charlene Zimmerman is Principal Clarinet with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra (since 1990) as well as the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra (since 1978).  She was educated at Northwestern University where she was a student of Jerome Stowell.

She has performed with many  musical organizations including the Chicago Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, Music of the Baroque, American Ballet Theater,  Grand Teton Music Festival, the Sanibel Festival, and the Chicago Philharmonic.   She has been a soloist many times with the Grant Park Symphony, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Elmhurst Symphony, the Symphony of Oak Park-River Forest, and with the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble.  She has recorded with the Chicago Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, as well as hundreds of TV and radio commercials.

She was on the clarinet faculty of Northwestern University from 1992-99 and has also taught at Northern Illinois University, Wheaton College, and Elmhurst College.  She also has coached orchestral sectionals for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and maintains a private studio.

Sean Hurlburt

Sean Hurlburt received his bachelors and masters degrees in saxophone performance at Northwestern University under the tutelage of Dr. Frederick L. Hemke. As co-founder of the Amethyst Quartet, he continually works to promote and legitimize saxophone quartet in the chamber music world.

To this end, the Amethyst Quartet has garnered first prizes at the Fischoff, Coleman, and MTNA chamber music competitions. As a soloist, Sean has played concerti with the Northwestern Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Northwestern Chamber Orchestra, Northwestern Movie Music Ensemble, and Simpson University Symphony Orchestra. His performances of Ingolf Dahl’s Concerto and Jacques Ibert’s Concertino da Camera have aired on Chicago’s WFMT and Public Radio International, respectively.

Sean was invited as guest lecturer and clinician of saxophone to Stanford University, University of the Pacific Music Conservatory, Los Medanos Community College, Morehead State University, Vandercook College of Music, Marshall University, and Simpson University. In the fall of 2009, Sean began his doctorate in the musical arts at Northwestern University.

David McGillDavid McGill

Appointed principal bassoon in 1996 by then-music director Daniel Barenboim, bassoonist-author David McGill began his tenure with the Chicago Symphony in 1997. He came to Chicago from the Cleveland Orchestra, where he had been principal bassoon since 1988. Prior to that, he was principal bassoon of the Toronto Symphony (1985 to 1988) and principal bassoon of the Tulsa Philharmonic (1980-81). McGill has appeared as soloist with the CSO on over twenty-five occasions, including at Carnegie Hall in 2005 and with John Williams in his bassoon concerto, The Five Sacred Trees. He also has performed as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Toronto, Oklahoma,and Annapolis symphonies, among others. McGill was principal bassoon of the World Orchestra for Peace in 1995 and the Solti Orchestral Project at Carnegie Hall in 1994, both under Sir Georg Solti. He also has performed at the Marlboro, Tanglewood, Aspen, and Santa Fe Chamber Music festivals.

McGill received the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra for the Chicago Symphony’s recording of Strauss’s wind concertos. Other recordings include Musique Française with oboist Alfred Genovese and pianist Peter Serkin, Orchestral Excerpts for Bassoon (a teaching CD) and Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra. In 1994, McGill gave the world premiere of Oskar Morawetz’s Concerto for Bassoon and Chamber Orchestra, which was written for him, and in 1996, he performed in the American premiere of Jean Françaix’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano at the International Double Reed Society’s convention. 

McGill has given master classes in Canada, Finland, Hungary and throughout the United States. He has taught at the University of Toronto, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University and DePaul University. McGill is the author of Sound in Motion: A Performer’s Guide to Greater Musical Expression, published in 2007 by Indiana University Press. He currently is writing a bio of the legendary theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore. A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, David McGill holds a bachelor of music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teachers included Sol Schoenbach, John de Lancie, and John Minsker. In 1983, he won first prize in the Fernand Gillet Competition sponsored by the International Double Reed Society.

Dennis MichelDennis Michel

Dennis Michel is Second Bassoonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and an Ensemble Artist with the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He has served on the faculty of The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA since 1988. He is also Director of the Chicago Chamber Musicians’ Professional Development Program, a ground-breaking educational program which seeks to develop young musicians performance and business skills. Prior to establishing his career in Chicago, he was Principal Bassoonist of the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera for 16 years, and was a founding member of the Arioso Wind Quintet, an ensemble that toured widely and recorded for Koch International Classics.

Mr. Michel has been a featured performer with many organizations including the Da Camera Society of Houston, The Ravinia Festival and the chamber series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York.  He has appeared at numerous summer festivals including SummerFest La Jolla, the Bard College Festival in New York, The Grand Teton Festival and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival. As a chamber musician, he has performed with artists including violinists Cho-Liang Lin, Sergiu Luca, cellists Lynn Harrell and David Finckel, and pianists Andre Previn, Wu Han and Warren Jones. In 1996, Mr. Michel was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for advanced study with Milan Turkovic at the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna. During that time he also performed with the Vienna State Opera.

Mr. Michel is a graduate of Yale University where he was a student of Arthur Weisberg. He has previously served on the faculties of San Diego State University, The University of California at San Diego, the University of Southern California and Northwestern University.

Theodore SoluriTheodore Soluri

Theodore Soluri has been the principal bassoonist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra since the fall of 2005. Prior to his appointment, he held the same position with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Akron Symphony Orchestra, and the Wheeling Symphony. As a soloist, Mr. Soluri has performed numerous works with orchestra, including Mozart’s Concerto for Bassoon, Carl Maria von Weber’s Bassoon Concerto, Ferdinand David’s Concertino, Richard Strauss’s Duett-concertino, and Michael Daugherty’s Dead Elvis.

Throughout his career, Mr. Soluri has attended many music festivals, including the National Repertory Orchestra, The National Orchestral Institute, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. In 1994, he was privileged to work under Sir Georg Solti at Carnegie Hall as a member of the Solti Orchestral Project. In the summer of 2005, Mr. Soluri was invited to play principal for three weeks at The Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. While there he also played on several chamber music concerts.

Mr. Soluri has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he had the opportunity to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for their East Coast Tour to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Carnegie Hall in 2005.

Mr. Soluri received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Florida State University and his Master of Music degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music. His teachers were John Hunt, Jeffrey Keesecker and David McGill.