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Woodwind Program



Richard Graef
Eugenia Moliner
Marie Tachouet


Peggy Michel, Oboe / English Horn
Lora Schaefer


Gregory Smith
John Bruce Yeh
Charlene Zimmerman


Michael Holmes


Lewis Kirk
David McGill, Masterclasses/Orchestral Excerpts
Dennis Michel, Head of Woodwinds

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.

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.

Michael Holmes

Dr. J. Michael Holmes is a talented solo and chamber musician who " one of the rising young saxophone stars in the United States" (Saxophone Journal) and he "ranks among the very finest of today's young intellectually and musically gifted saxophonists" (Dr. Frederick Hemke). Dr. Holmes' active playing career has seen him performing at some of the most prestigious venues in the United States, Taiwan, and throughout Europe (including a 2012 European tour with the renown St. Louis Symphony Orchestra). Dr. Holmes has received national acclaim as an orchestral saxophonist, and has performed as principal saxophonist with numerous orchestras including recent performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Sinfonia da Camera, the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. Holmes has also shared the stage with artists such as Ben Folds, The Temptations, Manhattan Transfer, and Idina Menzel, just to name a few. An active chamber musician, Holmes is a founding member and soprano saxophonist in the Obsidian Quartet, which is comprised of passionate performers, teachers, and advocates for the arts.

Dr. Holmes is currently Artist-Teacher of Saxophone at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts as well as Instructor of Saxophone at the College of Wooster. Prior to his appointments at Roosevelt and Wooster, Holmes was Clinical Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Illinois School of Music as well as the Enrollment Management Director for the School of Music. Dr. Holmes has also held positions as the Director of Marketing for Reed Instruments at Conn-Selmer, Inc., Artistic Advisor and Product Specialist with the Vandoren Corporation, and Guest Instructor of Music at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Holmes' diverse background as a performer, educator, and former member of the music industry have provided him with unique insight in preparing the next generation of music students for successful careers in their chosen field. As such, he has been invited to present clinics, masterclasses, and performances at some of the most prestigious saxophone programs both nationally and internationally. Holmes is an active soloist of contemporary music and has commissioned and premiered numerous works for the saxophone. His performances have received great accolades and can be heard on the Mark, Aucourant, SEAMUS, and Klavier Record labels; a forthcoming recording of Percy Grainger's music for saxophone will be released on the NAXOS Record label. Dr. Holmes is a saxophonist on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Resound album's release of a recording featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Riccardo Muti, playing an extended suite drawn from Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet ballet score. The Chicago Tribute describes this recording as "played here with a brilliance and panache that brought the dramatic narrative alive." The disc can be ordered from iTunes here.

Holmes holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Saxophone Performance, a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University where he was a student of Distinguished Research/Artist Professor John Sampen, and a Masters degree in Saxophone Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois where he was the graduate saxophone teaching assistant for Professor Debra Richtmeyer. He has had additional studies with saxophonists Jean-Marie Londeix, Claude Delangle, Griffin Campbell, Daniel Kientzy, and Eugene Rousseau. Dr. Holmes is a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance and has performed in many of the national and regional conferences, as well as at the World Saxophone Congress. Dr. Holmes was the co-host of the highly successful 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference which was held at the University of Illinois in 2014. He was recently a featured artist in the "We Are Vandoren" international ad campaign, appeared on the cover of the Sept/Oct 2012 Saxophone Journal, and is a Selmer Artist/Clinician as well as Vandoren Performing Artist.

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Lewis Kirk

Lewis Kirk is a member of the orchestras of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Santa Fe Opera, playing both bassoon and contrabassoon. He performs regularly with Music of the Baroque, Bach Week in Evanston, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, and the Chicago Philharmonic. Mr. Kirk has performed frequently as a guest musician wit the Chicago Chamber Musicians and the Chicago Symphony where he played the 2003-2004 season as a regular substitute. He has played under the batons of Sir Andrew Davis, Bruno Barteletti, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, David Robertson, Alan Gilbert, Kurt Masur, David Zinman, Charles Dutoit, Sir Georg Solti, George Manahan, and many other fine conductors. He has performed Michael Daugherty's Dead Elvis - a solo piece for bassoon and chamber ensemble in which the bassoonist impersonates Elvis Presley - four times including the Chicago premier in 1999.

Mr. Kirk studied music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and the Manhattan School of Music. After his studies he travelled to Berlin for additional instruction. While in Germany he was appointed Principal Bassoonist of the Stadtischen Orchester of Bremerhaven, playing there for five years. Returning to the United States, he joined the New Orleans Symphony as Second Bassoonist for three seasons before coming to Chicago in 1987.

He has recorded music of Heitor Villa-Lobos and Henk Badings for the Albany label, and his original compositions for bassoon are published by Prairie Dawg Press.

Mr. Kirk taught at DePaul University and Northwestern University before joining the faculty of Roosevelt 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.