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Left to Right: Michelle Rofrano, Elizabeth Hill, Nicholas Bentz, Sarah Eckman McIver, Ledah Finck, Kika Wright, Garrett Hale, Sean Meyers, Jordan Randall Smith, Melissa Lander, Kelso Jones, James Duncan, Alex Takasugi, Brendan Betyn, Christina Mincer, Joe Isom

Left to Right: Michelle Rofrano, Elizabeth Hill, Nicholas Bentz, Sarah Eckman McIver, Ledah Finck, Kika Wright, Garrett Hale, Sean Meyers, Jordan Randall Smith, Melissa Lander, Kelso Jones, James Duncan, Alex Takasugi, Brendan Betyn, Christina Mincer, Joe Isom

About Us

SYMPHONY NUMBER ONE is Baltimore's newest chamber orchestra, performing substantial works by emerging composers, alongside riveting masterworks, beloved classics, and a twist of pop. SYMPHONY NUMBER ONE brings together great composers of the past, virtuoso performers of the present, and the leading compositional voices of the future, creating electrifying concert experiences for all of Baltimore.

Praised for presenting "full-length freshness on each program" by the Baltimore Sun, the orchestra was founded in 2015 by Music Director Jordan Randall Smith after recruiting a creative team of colleagues from the Peabody ConservatoryNicholas BentzSean MeyersMelissa Lander, and Christopher Ciampoli. In just one year's time, SYMPHONY NUMBER ONE has premiered new works of over a dozen composers, released two "must get" albums (available for purchase or download on Amazon & iTunes), and performed at Baltimore's inaugural Light City Festival. The orchestra was also highlighted in Baltimore STYLE as "brazen...like an indie rock band", featured on the acclaimed television show MPT Artworks, granted the "Category Buster" award by Baltimore Magazine for their Best of Baltimore 2016, and chosen as runner up for Baltimore's Best Band in this year's 2016 Best of Baltimore Reader's Poll.

SYMPHONY NUMBER ONE develops close working relationships with young and emerging composers, gives new works multiple hearings, produces substantial recordings, and creates unique concert experiences for the public by juxtaposing new music with the classical canon. 

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Jordan Randall Smith

Founder | Music Director

Award-winning conductor Jordan Randall Smith is also the Music Director at Govans Presbyterian Church and conductor of the FRYO Symphonia. Smith was formerly Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Dallas Festival of Modern Music and Assistant Conductor of the Peabody Opera Theater. According to the Ft. Worth Music Examiner, Jordan, "drove an intensity in the air," leading the festival’s ensemble in residence, Ars Nova Dallas, in a series of performances of Schoenberg's landmark Pierrot Lunaire. New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert called Jordan’s conducting of Boulez’ Le Marteau sans Maître, “impressive.” According to The Baltimore Sun, Smith is "an attentive partner."

Smith received a prestigious Bruno Walter Fellowship at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2010 where he studied with Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, and Jennifer Higdon and conducted the festival orchestra in concert. Jordan formerly served as Apprentice Conductor of the Dallas Bach Society Orchestra and Chorus. He has mentored hundreds of young musicians in ensembles across the country including the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Cross Timbers Youth Orchestra. Smith is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory, and studied with the legendary conductor and conducting pedagogue Gustav Meier, as well as Markand Thakar and Marin Alsop. Learn more: jordanrsmith.com.

Elizabeth Hill

DELLA F. HILL PRINCIPAL PIANO | DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Elizabeth G. Hill is an accomplished soloist, chamber musician, orchestral pianist, and educator. Her recent concert appearances include performances for the Embassy Concert Series, the Arts Club of Washington, the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, and the Robert-Schumann-Haus in Zwickau, Germany. A devoted supporter of new music, Elizabeth’s work in contemporary music ranges from solo and chamber ensemble performances,  including John Hilliard’s Piano Concerto No. 2,  the premier of the solo piano cycle “Mosaics” by Tim Rumsey, and performances for the New Voices Festival and Capital Fringe in Washington, DC. Hill is the co-founder of Meraki.
 
Elizabeth’s principal instructors of solo and collaborative piano include Drs. Lise Keiter, Eric Ruple, Gabriel Dobner, and Ralitza Patcheva. Elizabeth studied Piano Performance at Mary Baldwin College and James Madison University. She earned the Doctorate in Musical Arts (DMA) in Chamber Music at The Catholic University of America. In addition to her performing career, Elizabeth maintains a successful studio of private students in the Washington, DC area since 2008. Learn more at elizabethghill.com.

 

 

Ben Goldberg

Composer-In-Residence

Ben Goldberg is a New York-based composer who has received awards for his concert music, film music, and academic achievements. A storyteller though music, his compositions often use programmatic elements to communicate to the listener. Ensembles that have performed his works include the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Central Ohio Symphony, and Reno Philharmonic Youth Strings Symphonia. His composition Reconnecting was featured in Symphony magazine and at The League of American Orchestras and Percussive Arts Society national conferences. He was the winner of the 2013 Susanville Symphony Composition Competition, and selected as the only orchestral Composer Fellow for the 2015 UC Davis Music and Words festival and Composition Workshop. He was one of three composers selected for the Lexington Philharmonic’s 2016 New Music Experiment, where they performed his composition Declaration. His work American Frontier was the winner of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 Audience of the Future composition contest. Goldberg’s music has been broadcasted in over thirty countries and featured internationally in films, television programs, podcasts, video game apps, and advertisements. He studied composition at Berklee College of Music, and was the recipient of the school’s Film Scoring Achievement Award. 

 

Guilherme Andreas

Principal Flute

Guilherme began his musical journey in a wind ensemble at a church in Brazil. At age 22 he won a flute audition to be principal flute with the Brazilian Marine Wind Symphony in Rio de Janeiro, working with this distinguished ensemble for 4 years. Andreas also studied with Claudia Ribeiro do Nascimento (São Paulo Symphony) and Michel Bellavance (Music Conservatory of Geneva).

Andreas’ powerful sound, interpretation and engaging stage presence have earned first prize in the São Paulo Symphony Masterclass Competition (performing for Emmanuel Pahud). Andreas made his Carnegie Hall debut in the summer of 2016 performing with the New England Symphonic Ensemble as a principal flute. Recent performances include a recitals at Duke University, a lecture recital at the Johns Hopkins University Language Department for the Symposium on Brazil and a recital at the Griswold Hall at the Peabody Conservatory. In spring of 2016, Andreas was accepted into the studio of Professor Emily Skala at the Peabody Institute.

Caleb Bradley

PRINCIPAL OBOE | PRINCIPAL LIBRARIAN | Asst. Director of Development

Caleb Bradley is a relative newcomer to Baltimore, but has been excited to jump into the thriving artistic community that it nourishes. Bradley was previously based out of Denver, performing throughout Colorado with groups including the Fort Collins Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and Greeley Philharmonic orchestras, among others. Internationally, Caleb had the privilege of performing extensively in Italy as principal oboe of the Tuscia Opera Festival in 2013, and has performed in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. Caleb is an avid proponent of new music, and served as Principal Oboist of the Nebula Ensemble, a new music collective in Denver. He earned a B.M. from Colorado State University in 2012, a M.M. from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music in 2014, and is currently pursuing a Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory. As a Librarian, Caleb is the Library Fellow at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and has served as Librarian for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, as well as the Chamber Music Librarian for the Aspen Music Festival and School.

SARAH ECKMAN MCIVER

AssociatE Principal FLUTE

Dr. Sarah Eckman McIver attained her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland – College Park, with a focus on modern works by flutist-composers. She began her advanced studies at McGill University in Montreal, where she developed an appreciation for historical performances and a fascination with contemporary works. While pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, she wrote a thesis on electro-acoustic music for flute and computers and at the same time began studying baroque flute with Lisa Beznosiuk. Her primary flute teachers include Timothy Hutchins, Peter Lloyd, and Dr. William Montgomery. Sarah served as flutist and section leader with the US Army Field Band from 2003 – 2014. She was a NFA Convention Performers Competition winner in 2015, and is an active teacher and freelancer in the Baltimore/DC region. Learn more at sarahflute.com.

Andy Tazwell Ezell

PRINCIPAL Trumpet

Originally from Billings, Montana, Andy is pursuing a Master’s degree in Trumpet Performance at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. Andy also has a Bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance and a minor in French linguistics from the University of Northern Colorado. It was during this time in Colorado that Andy channeled his passion for playing in an orchestra, leading the Boulder Symphony as Principal trumpet for three seasons, and joining the Denver Young Artist’s Orchestra on their tour of New York City including performances at Carnegie Hall. Currently residing in Baltimore, Andy has been heavily involved with the Peabody Conservatory’s top ensembles ranging from the Peabody Symphony Orchestra to the Peabody Brass Band. This has included recording the Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis’s music with both Marin Alsop and Leonard Slatkin. Andy is also a bugler with the American Legion, and maintains a small private teaching studio. When he’s not busy with that, you can find him in the kitchen baking away

Mateen Milan

PRINCIPAL Bassoon | Outreach Director

Baltimore native Mateen Milan is a performer, teacher and advocate of music that uses the bassoon as a tool for impactful, thoughtful and inspiring musical experiences. Mateen serves as an orchestral, chamber and solo musician throughout Maryland and beyond while also being an avid teacher for institutions such as the Peabody Preparatory, Baltimore School for the Arts and the Baltimore Symphony's Orchkids Program. Mateen’s diverse ensemble experiences have lead him to perform with the Hunt Valley Symphony, Occasional Symphony, Symphony Number One, Astronaut Symphony and other freelance ensembles such as the Johns Hopkins Orchestra, Northern Neck Symphony and the Baltimore Symphonic Band, all while performing with Peabody’s Concert and Modern Orchestras within his ongoing education at the Peabody Conservatory.

Scott Ullman

PRINCIPAL Horn

After living in Baltimore for about a year, Scott Ullman has made this city his home. Originally from Moorpark, California, he honed his talents in Denver, Colorado while performing with groups such as The Nebula Ensemble, The Pueblo Symphony,  The Longmont Symphony, and The Evergreen Chamber Ensemble. Also, in 2014 Scott had the honor to study abroad in Glasgow, Scotland and study with Stephanie Jones, 4th horn of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

In past summers, Scott won auditions to attend the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute, and the Miami Music Festival. He has also attended the Mendez Brass Institute and two international horn symposiums.

Scott earned his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Denver with Susan McCullough, and he is currently pursuing his Master of Horn Performance degreeat the Peabody Conservatory under the tutelage of Denise Tryon.

sUsan Summers

Principal Saxophone, Publicist

Saxophonist Susan Summers is recognized as a versatile soloist and collaborative artist. She has commissioned several new works for saxophone, including Molly Joyce’s Attainability for tenor saxophone and double wind quintet, which she performed and recorded at The Delaplaine Arts Center in July 2015. Susan recently made her New York City debut at the Triskelion Arts CollabFest where she gave the world premiere of Justin Porter’s Cosmic Meditation for saxophone + electronics + dancer. Other notable premieres include Porter’s Catapult for saxophone + electronics, which was premiered at the 2015 SEAMUS National Conference where it was recognized as an ASCAP Award Finalist.
Susan earned her Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University where she studied with eminent saxophonist Gary Louie. In her spare time, Susan enjoys practicing POP Pilates, and sipping a cappuccino while exploring the art of lettering and calligraphy. Learn more at susansummersmusic.com

Matt Stiens

Principal Percussion

Matthew Stiens is a chamber musician and dedicated to expanding the percussion repertoire. He has premiered dozens of works, from solos to orchestra works, in places such as Maryland, Missouri, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. His repertoire interests include solo marimba, mixed chamber groups, and theatric works. As a performer, he has gained many accolades. In Wichita, Kansas, he twice won the Instrumental Division of the Naftzger Competition, competing against strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion players. In the summer of 2012, he was selected to attend the Aspen Music Festival and School; there he became the first percussionist in 28 years to win a concerto competition. The following spring, he won the University of Missouri Concerto Competition and performed a concerto with the University Philharmonic the following year.

 

Michael Rittling

Principal Contrabass | Sales Director

Michael Rittling is also the Associate Principal Bass with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra in nearby Hagerstown, and Section Bass with the Apollo Orchestra in Bethesda, Maryland. He joined the bass section of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra in 2009, and served as Principal from 2011 to 2014. Michael was Principal Bass with the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra for nearly two seasons, starting in 2009. Michael has also performed with the National Philharmonic, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Outside of playing, Michael enjoys teaching and maintains a private teaching studio in Baltimore. He served as Double Bass Faculty at the Tennessee Valley Music Festival in Huntsville, Alabama from 2009 to 2013, Teaching Assistant at Brevard Music Center from 2007 to 2008, and as an Instructor at the Florida State University Double Bass Camp in 2005.

Michael received Bachelor degrees in Music and Music Education from Florida State University in 2006. He attended Indiana University and completed a Master’s of Music degree in 2008 and a Performer Diploma in 2009. Throughout his education, Michael studied under Lawrence Hurst, Melanie Punter, Jeff Turner, Peter Lloyd, and Michael Allen. Michael has also attended numerous summer festivals including the National Repertory Orchestra, Brevard Music Center, and Sewannee Summer Music Festival.

Dan Rorke

DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA

Dan is a classical pianist and Baltimore-based music recording engineer who founded Charles Street Sound, a recording studio that captures the incredible live music performed throughout Baltimore each week. His work revolves around finding new ways to capture the ambience and energy of each performance. He earned a BA and BS in music and engineering from Stanford University and an MA in recording arts from the Peabody Conservatory Institute.

Nikita Borisevich

Daniel HeifEtz CONCERTMASTER

Violinist Nikita Borisevich, who attended the Heifetz International Music Institute in the summers of 2010 and 2012, swept onto the Russian stage as one of today’s most promising young virtuosos. He was born into a musical family and was five years old when he began studying the violin. His first teacher was his father, who was trained by students of the renowned Russian teachers Pyotr Stolyarsky and Boris Gutnikov. At age twelve, he made his debut with the Perm Opera Symphony Orchestra. Later, Nikita enrolled in the Moscow Conservatory on full scholarship to study with Maya Glezarova and Marina Keselman.

During his years at the Moscow Conservatory, Nikita toured and performed in Ukraine, Latvia, Spain, and the Czech Republic. Nikita also broadened his musical horizons by attending the Russische Musikakdemie Dortmund (2005). He has performed in such concert halls as the Great hall of the Moscow conservatory, Manuel de Falla Auditorium (Granada, Spain), and the W.M.P. Concert Hall “Strad for Lunch” music series in New York City.

Nikita is now pursuing further graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory with Victor Danchenko. In 2015, he was Artist-in-Residence for the EPPM El Paso Pro Musica Festival, and also offered Master Classes at the UTEP - The University of Texas at El Paso.

James Duncan

PRINCIPAL CLARINET | AssT. DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Described as “poised” and “communicative” by the Baltimore Sun, James Duncan has began to garner acclaim as a solo, chamber, and orchestral clarinetist. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Peabody Institute of Music, under the tutelage of Anthony McGill. He also received his Bachelor of Music Degree under the guidance of McGill at the Peabody Institute of Music. An avid chamber musician, James has performed in masterclasses for the Jupiter, Emerson, Takács, and Chiara String Quartets.

Mike Newman

Principal Cello

Michael Newman is a classically trained cellist from Southampton, Pennsylvania. He has been pursuing a career in cello performance at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance under the tutelage of Udi Bar-David, a cellist with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Michael received his Bachelor of Music degree in May 2016 and will continue his education at the Peabody Conservatory this fall. While pursuing his Master of Music degree, he will study with distinguished cellist, Alan Stepansky (who also instructed our Principal Cellist, Joe Isom!). Most recently, Michael was awarded the Marc von May Cello Scholarship, has been selected as a co-principal of the Peabody Symphony Orchestra and has joined Peabody’s first conductorless orchestra, the Peabody String Sinfonia. The Peabody String Sinfonia will perform exclusively in community venues and their mission is to bring beauty to people in challenging situations, a principle very much aligned with the values of Symphony Number One.

In May, Michael had the opportunity to play with the New Jersey Capital Philharmonic Orchestra. Michael was a student member of the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia and was featured as a soloist in 2015. As an accomplished chamber musician, Michael has performed in various concerts and festivals, and had an opportunity to work with the Jerusalem Quartet, the Dover Quartet, the Miró Quartet and the Montrose Trio in master classes.

In addition to his studies, Michael volunteers as a teacher every summer at the Council Rock Summer Music School. He tutors cello students in two orchestras and conducts sectional training. Michael also enjoys being a private cello instructor.

Karin Kilper

Principal Viola | Grants Coordinator

Karin Kilper started her musical journey at age 9 with the viola. She graduated high school from the Interlochen Center for the Arts Academy and went on to major in music at LSU. She then got her Master’s Degree from the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Victoria Chiang and Steven Wyrczynski. After her formal training, she was fortunate enough to study with Rita Porfiris, formerly a member of the Houston Symphony and currently Professor of Viola at the University of Hartford Hartt School.

Karin has attended such summer festivals as Eastern Music Festival, Henry Mancini Academy, and Aspen Music Festival and School. She has had chamber music master classes with members of the Ying, Cavani, American, Uptown, Brentano, and Mendelssohn quartets. Currently, Karin maintains an active performance schedule with local orchestras, including Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Fairfax Symphony and Amadeus Orchestra. In her time off, she thoroughly enjoys performing with the DC-based bluegrass band, The Bachelor and The Bad Actress and drinking as much coffee as possible.

Nicholas Bentz

CO-FOUNDER | COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE

Nicholas Bentz is quickly building a reputation as a rising star across the globe. As a composer, Bentz has been commissioned by the Annual Robinson Jeffers Association Conference, SONAR New Music Ensemble, the College of Charleston Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. As a violinist, Nicholas has soloed with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Philharmonic, Piccolo Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and has performed with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Nicholas was a finalist for the Dorothy DeLay Fellowship Competition in 2012 at the Aspen Music Festival and was a finalist for the 2014 Marbury Competition. Nick won the 2014 Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy Concerto Competition. 

Nicholas received the David and Karen Stahl Memorial Scholarship from the Charleston Symphony Orchestra League in 2013, and is currently enrolled at the Peabody Institute as a recipient of both the Eugene Scheffres and Richard E. Hartt Scholarship as well as the Randolph S. Rothschild Scholarship. Bentz is pursuing composition and violin studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he is co-concertmaster of the Peabody Concert Orchestra and a student of Kevin Puts and Herbert Greenberg. Learn more at nicholasbentz.net.

sean Meyers

Co-Founder

Praised by the Baltimore Sun for his “technical aplomb and keen expressive nuance,” saxophonist Sean Meyers performs as a soloist and collaborative artist across the Eastern U.S. and beyond. He has commissioned more than a dozen new compositions for saxophone, including theConcerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestraby Andrew Boss, which he premiered and recorded in Baltimore in September 2015.

Sean’s repertoire also encompasses masterpieces by renowned composers ranging from Bolcom to Piazzolla. He has performed extensively in the Baltimore-D.C. area in both traditional and non-traditional venues. He has a passion for making music exciting and accessible to everyone, regardless of ability to pay or travel to traditional concert venues. He has organized and performed concerts for patients at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and seniors at the Basilica Place Senior Living Community as part of his work with the Creative Access at the Peabody Conservatory. Learn more at seanmeyers.net.

Symphony Number One is Baltimore's Newes Chamber Orchestra, devoted to substantial works by emerging composers.