MEET THE ENSEMBLE
MARIA SCHLEUNING has been a member of the Voices of Change Modern Music Ensemble since 1996 and Artistic Director since 2009. An advocate of new music, she has worked with many of the leading composers of our day including the legendary Witold Lutoslawski, George Crumb, Aaron Jay Kernis, John Corigliano, Augusta Read Thomas, Sebastian Currier, Bright Sheng, Samuel Adler, Donald Erb, David Dzubay, Pierre Jalbert, and David Amram. She has premiered many new works, including Dream Catcher a solo violin work written especially for her as a gift by Augusta Read Thomas, and Partners a double concerto written for her and cellist Jolyon Pegis by David Amram; the world premiere was December 9, 2018 in Ann Arbor Michigan.
An active chamber musician, Ms. Schleuning has performed in venues such as New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Museum of Modern Art as well as at numerous festivals throughout the United States and Europe. She has been a faculty member and performer at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Idyllwild Arts, Bennington Music Festival, University of North Texas, and the Blackburn Academy. She has recorded with Continuum modern music ensemble in New York, and in Dallas with grammy-nominated Voices of Change and the Walden Piano Quartet; the most recent being all water has a perfect memory featuring the music of David Dzubay, to be released by INNOVA in October 2019.
In addition, Ms. Schleuning has served as principal second violin of the New York Women’s Ensemble and with the Classical Tahoe Orchestra. A member of The Dallas Symphony since 1994, she has been featured as soloist with the orchestra on many occasions. Other solo highlights include appearances with the Oregon Symphony, Seattle Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Abilene Symphony, Laredo Philharmonic, Bozeman Symphony (MT), Las Cruces Symphony(NM), and with the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra on a tour of Eastern Europe including concerts at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and the Rudolfinuum in Prague, in addition to a tour of China in 2015. She studied with Josef Gingold at Indiana University, where she was awarded a Performer’s Certificate; with Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School in London with a grant from the Myra Hess Foundation; and with Joel Smirnoff at the Juilliard School where she received her Master’s Degree.
STEPHEN AHEARN joined the Dallas Symphony in the fall of 2012. Prior to moving to Dallas, he served as the acting second and E b clarinetist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, adjunct professor of clarinet at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, bass clarinetist with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, and as the principal clarinetist of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra. He has also appeared as a guest of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Philadelphia and at Carnegie Hall, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and at the Santa Fe
Chamber Music Festival. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Music from the University of Richmond, and a Master of Music from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. His teachers include Todd Levy, Ricardo Morales, David Weber and David Niethamer. He is a D’Addario Winds Performing Artist.
Stephen lives in Dallas with his wife Lori, his daughter Elin, and his bulldog Lucille.
Paul Garner is Associate Principal and E-flat clarinetist of the Dallas Symphony. Prior to his Dallas appointment, he held similar positions in the orchestras of Denver and New Orleans and was a member of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. Garner is Principal Clarinetist of Music in the Mountains in Durango, Colorado and has performed with the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra of Wyoming. He has also served on the faculty of Brevard Music Center, North Carolina. He is a member of the contemporary music ensemble Voices of Change and is active in several Dallas-area chamber music series, including the Nasher Sculpture Center, Fine Arts Chamber Players, Walden Chamber Music Society, Crowley Chamber Music Series at the University of Dallas and Hubbard Chamber Music Society. He has been a contributing writer for "The Clarinet," and has presented master classes at universities and music festivals throughout the country.
A dedicated teacher, Garner is presently on the faculty of Southern Methodist University where he teaches clarinet and chamber music. He holds degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Kansas.
Dr. Liudmila Georgievskaya
DR. LIUDMILA GEORGIEVSKAYA has performed as a recitalist in Russia, Italy, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, France, Netherlands, England, Hungary, Panama, and in the United States. Winner of top prizes in more than a dozen national and international piano competitions, her performances have been broadcast on radio and television programs in Russia, United States, Uzbekistan, Italy and Vatican City.
She appeared as soloist with the Dubna Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Turkeston Symphony Orchestra (Uzbekistan), National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan and with some American orchestras including Meadows Symphony Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony, Garland Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Arlington, UNT Concert Orchestra, and Concert Artists of Baltimore.
Active also as chamber musician, she is a member of Voices of Change, one of the most distinguished new music ensembles in the United States. She often performs in piano duos with her husband Thomas Schwan and with her sister Olga Georgievskaya. Her solo CD with music by Beethoven and Schumann (Odradek Records, 2013) was received enthusiastically by the international press and won two Global Music Awards.
She teaches piano at the University of North Texas (Denton) and is on the music faculty at Southern Methodist University (Dallas). She has been giving masterclasses worldwide, including Italy, Hungary, Uzbekistan, Netherlands, Panama, and United States,
An inheritor of the Russian piano school, she studied in Moscow with Tatiana Galitskaya and Liudmila Roschina, both former students of the legendary Russian pianist and composer Samuil Feinberg, Alexander Goldenweiser’s pupil and disciple. She graduated from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory cum laude. She also completed her post-graduate studies with Sergio Perticaroli at the Santa Cecilia National Academy in Rome (Italy), followed by the Artist Certificate at Southern Methodist University with Joaquín Achúcarro and the Doctorate in Piano Performance at the University of North Texas with Dr. Pamela Mia Paul.
ERIN HANNIGAN is the Principal Oboe of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and was previously a member of the Rochester Philharmonic. She has been guest Principal Oboist with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony. Erin spends the summer months performing and teaching at summer festivals, including The Strings Festival, Mainly Mozart, National Youth Orchestra (NYO), the Grand Teton Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, the Festival-Institute at Round Top and the Gstaad Menuhin Festival (Switzerland).
Hannigan has recorded three CDs on the Crystal Records label, and also recorded Jeremy Gill’s Serenada Concertante, a piece she commissioned and premiered with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.
She is Adjunct Associate Professor of Oboe at Southern Methodist University and is also co-founder of nonprofit Artists for Animals. Applying the arts to community outreach earned her the “Ford Award for Excellence in Community Service”, awarded to five musicians nationally through the League of American Orchestras and the Ford Motor Company.
Hannigan is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with James Caldwell and received her master's degree, the prestigious Performer's Certificate and the 2019 Distinguished Alumna Award from the Eastman School of Music, where she was a student of Richard Killmer.
DREW LANG performs regularly with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and many regional orchestras in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in addition to the Dallas Chamber Symphony. He is also the principal mallet player with the Dallas Wind Symphony. As a theater percussionist, he is percussionist for Casa Mañana Musicals, performs at the ATT Performing Arts Center, and the Dallas Theater Center. Drew is also a regular performer with the new music ensemble Voices of Change and plays drum set in local symphonies, churches and other venues.
Drew spent eight summers as principal percussionist for the Breckenridge Music Festival in Breckenridge, Colo., and one summer as principal percussionist of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, Colo.
As a marimba specialist, he has commissioned, premiered and recorded works for marimba in solo, chamber and concerto settings. His most recent project was an 11 university consortium commission of NAMASTE: Concerto for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble by G. Bradley Bodine. Drew appears throughout the United States as a soloist and in his duo with Flutist Helen Blackburn.
Drew is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Percussion and Co-Coordinator of Percussion Studies at Southern Methodist University and is percussion instructor at Eastfield College and Brookhaven College. Drew is also founder and director of the “MARIMBA MADNESS” summer Junior High/High School percussion camp and plays in the rock band Scarlet Vermillion. He is a contributing author to the Revised and Enhanced 3rd Edition of Teaching Percussion by Gary Cook and endorses Vic Firth Sticks and Sabian Cymbals.
Praised for her “communicative, emotionally intense expression” (Jerusalem Post) and for “playing exquisitely” (Dallas Morning News), EMILY LEVIN is the Principal Harpist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Bronze Medal Winner of the 9th USA International Harp Competition.
Now in her fourth season with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Emily has also performed as Guest Principal Harp with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Houston Symphony, and regularly appears with the New York Philharmonic. As a soloist, she has performed throughout North America and Europe, in venues including Carnegie Hall (New York), the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia) and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Rugen, Germany). At the request of conductors Jaap van Zweden and John Adams, she appeared as soloist with the DSO in 2018 and 2019; other concerto performances include the Jerusalem, Colorado and West Virginia Symphony Orchestras, the Louisiana Philharmonic, and the Lakes Area Music Festival, among others. For debut album, Something Borrowed, the Classical Recording Foundation named her their 2017 Young Artist of the Year.
A strong believer in music’s impact on community, Levin organized a concert series in early 2017 with her fellow Dallas musicians benefiting the International Rescue Committee and the Refugee Services of Texas. She is the newly appointed Artistic Director of Fine Arts Chamber Players, a concert chamber music series at the Dallas Museum of Art that presents seven chamber concerts presented free of charge to the general public. At the 2019 DSO Women in Classical Music Symposium, she will be featured as a soloist in Full STEAM Ahead, and will also moderate a panel discussion on classical entrepreneurship.
Emily works extensively with established and emerging composers alike, which led to commendation from the New York Times for “singing well and playing beautifully,” She is a core member of the New York-based new music group Ensemble Échappé and the Dallas new music group Voices of Change. In 2012, The Indiana University Composition Department recognized her for her collaboration and performance of new music. Most recently, Emily commissioned a four-composer set of character pieces inspired by the characters of Shel Silverstein.
Emily was named Adjunct Associate Professor of Harp at Southern Methodist University in 2019. She received her Master of Music degree in 2015 at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Nancy Allen and she completed undergraduate degrees in Music and History at Indiana University with Susann McDonald. Her honors history thesis discussed the impact of war songs on the French Revolution.
Deborah Mashburn, Principal Timpanist of The Dallas Opera, and past Assistant Principal Timpanist/Percussionist of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria where she was a recipient of a Rotary International Undergraduate Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship and Austrian Government Grants. She graduated from the University of North Texas School of Music with a Masters in Percussion Performance. While in Europe, she toured with the Glorieux Ensemble and performed frequently with the Mozarteum Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, and the Nuremberg Opera. She has been resident Percussionist with Voices of Change since the early 1980s, and had the privilege of playing with the original core ensemble.
JOLYON PEGIS hails from Rochester, New York. He attended Indiana University and the University of Hartford, and his principal teachers include Alan Harris, Gary Hoffman, and David Wells. MR. Pegis is a winner of the Artists International Awards in New York. He subsequently made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 1990 and has since appeared as a recitalist and chamber musician across the country.
As a champion of new music he has worked with composers such as Gunther Schuller, Lukas Foss and Don Freund, and has commissioned concertos from the late Eric Hekard and David Amram. A dedicated teacher, he has served on the faculty of the D’Angelo School of Music at Mercyhurst College, the Hartt School of Music, and Southern Methodist University. Recent master classes include Baylor University, Eastern Michigan University, the University of Georgia, SUNY Fredonia, The University of Toronto, Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Eastman School of Music. Jolyon was a member of the Arcadia Trio in residence at the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival and has also been featured at the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival and the Anchorage Festival of the Arts. A frequent soloist with orchestra, he has appeared multiple times with the orchestras of San Antonio, Norfolk Virginia, Dallas, Charleston West Virginia, and the Chautauqua Symphony. Jolyon served as the San Antonio Symphony Principal Cellist from 1995-2000 He is currently an Associate Principal Cellist with the Dallas Symphony and Principal Cello of the Chautauqua Symphony
BARBARA SUDWEEKS is the former Associate Principal Viola of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She recently retired after 42 years of service with the orchestra. Ms. Sudweeks has been a concerto soloist with the Dallas Symphony, the Shanghai Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Latvian Chamber Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra in Durango, Colorado and the New Philharmonic of Irving, Texas. She is a member of the contemporary music ensemble, Voices of Change. She is a former member of the Walden Piano Quartet, the original Dallas String Quartet and An die Musik (New York). She has recorded and concertized extensively throughout the US and Europe, as well as Australia and China. Ms. Sudweeks has participated in summer festivals such as the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival and Music in the Mountains in Durango, Colorado. She has also given master classes at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Texas Christian University. Before coming to Dallas, Ms. Sudweeks was Principal Viola of the Hamilton Philharmonic (Ontario, Canada) and a member of the Utah Symphony. She continues to teach viola, chamber music and orchestral repertoire at Southern Methodist University. She has been on the faculty since 1983.
In addition to playing the viola, Ms. Sudweeks loves Chinese music and enjoys playing the Chinese erhu. She has been an erhu soloist with the Kaohsiung City Chinese Orchestra in Taiwan, the Shanghai Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Jiangsu Province Symphony Orchestra in Nanjing, China, the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra in Durango, Colorado, the Dallas Symphony, and the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving, Texas. She has also been a recitalist in Shenyang, China.
Her non-musical activities include spending as much time as possible with her five exceptional grandchildren. She also enjoys hanging out with her sweet rescue Chihuahua. She loves travel and she and friends go on an interesting, and often exotic, trip every year. She enjoys cooking and canning and when she has time to sit down, she relaxes with her knitting.
Ebonee Thomas is an active solo, orchestral and chamber musician who holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and the New England Conservatory of Music. She was most recently Principal Flute of the Knoxville Symphony for 3 seasons. She is currently a flutist with the Central City Opera. Ebonee was previously Principal Flute of the Florida Grand Opera and held a one-year position as Second Flute with the Houston Symphony. Ebonee completed a fellowship with the prestigious New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson-Thomas where she performed the North American premiere of Christian Lindberg's flute concerto, The World of Montuagretta. She also performed John Adams' Chamber Symphony in Carnegie Hall under the composer's baton. Ebonee was principal flute for the Star Wars: In Concert! orchestra during their U.S., Canada, and Mexico tour. She also performed as Principal flute in The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess: A Broadway Musical with the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony and the Santa Fe Opera. Locally, she performs regularly with The Dallas Opera and the Dallas and Fort Worth symphonies. In addition to performing, Ebonee serves on the board of Greater Dallas Youth Orchestras and is an adjunct professor at Brookhaven College.
LYDIA UMLAUF attended Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music where she received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance studying with Alexander Kerr. She is an alumnus of the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy program for gifted pre-college musicians where she studied with Desiree Ruhstrat. During college, she attended the prestigious Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Academy Orchestra for two summers. Lydia has been playing in the 2nd violin section of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for 5 seasons and has also founded and runs a concert series in Dallas called Mozart in the Bar.