Ferree_142An Atlanta native, James Ferree joined the Richmond Symphony in 2012 as Principal Horn. He began horn studies with Richard Deane, and in 2003 was the recipient of the Jon Hawkins Memorial Scholarship of the International Horn Society. In Germany, he studied with horn legend Hermann Baumann. He was accepted to the Juilliard School with Presidential Distinction to study with Jerome Ashby (BM) and William Purvis (MM), and  studied composition and theory with Dr. Philip Lasser and Eric Ewazen. He then joined the New World Symphony in Miami under music director Michael Tilson Thomas, followed by his tenure at the Richmond Symphony. James has also performed as guest with the orchestras of Atlanta, Virginia, Florida, Jacksonville, Charleston, and Kansas City, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Solo appearances include the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings with the RSO and Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux Ètoiles at Juilliard. When he performed Glière’s Horn Concerto as a member of the New World Symphony, the South Florida Classical Review wrote, “The accuracy of James Ferree’s playing stood out…and [James] displayed a mastery of the instrument that allowed him to paint all the moods…golden sounds.”
James has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia, Atlantic Chamber Ensemble, Richmond Chamber Players, and the Staunton Music Festival. He can also be heard alongside the American Brass Quintet in their 50th Anniversary album. James has also participated in the festivals of Tanglewood, Spoleto USA, and Music Academy of the West, and has been a member of the Verbier Festival since 2010, performing with them and violinist David Garrett on his 2014 Germany tour. Notable premieres include James’s Sonata on its Knees with renowned horn soloist David Jolley, Love for a Sweater with RSO concertmaster Daisuke Yamamoto, and his quintet For a Newborn with the RSO’s principal winds. James resides in Richmond with his two cats, who do not like the horn but do like eating bugs. When not performing, he enjoys a good game of baseball or disc golf, reading a book over coffee, and participating at his church.

Nicholas FinchSince performing as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 18, cellist Nicholas Finch has established himself as an artist of great depth and diversity, performing a wide variety of repertoire both within and beyond the classical genre. Finch was appointed Principal Cellist of the Louisville Orchestra during the 2013-2014 season by music director Teddy Abrams. During that same season he also appeared with the elite Boston-based chamber orchestra, A Far Cry, touring to Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Illinois. He played on two recordings with A Far Cry: Dreams and Prayers, which received a Grammy nomination in 2015, and The Law of Mosaics, selected by New Yorker as a top CD pick. Finch has collaborated with some of the most prominent artists of today, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble, violinist Sarah Chang, pianist Joyce Yang, conductor Keith Lockhart, fiddler Jeremy Kittle, the Argento New Music Ensemble, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble 20>>21, and composers Gabriela Lena Frank, Osvaldo Golijov, Andrew Norman, Bright Sheng, and many more. Performances have taken him to the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Spectrum in New York City, and Alice Tully Hall. He has made concerto appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Civic Orchestra. A native of Boston, Finch began his cello studies at the age of 12. He attended Harvard, Juilliard, the University of Michigan, and the Mannes College of Music, studying with Harvey Shapiro, David Soyer, Richard Aaron, and Marcy Rosen. He attended the Aspen Music Festival and School for Six Summers, three of which he performed as the solo cellist of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. For two years Finch was a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, during which time he made appearances as principal and assistant principal cello. Finch currently splits his residence between Louisville and New York City.

Chuck West_croppedCharles West, clarinetist is an orchestral, chamber and solo clarinetist, and a conductor, performing throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. His recorded repertoire ranges from standard sonatas to avant-garde, on labels including Klavier, Wilson Audiophile, Centaur, CRI, Crystal, and on a 1993 Grammy Award-winning Telarc CD.  Mr. West holds a Doctorate and three other university degrees, has been a Fulbright Scholar and he has been President of the International Clarinet Association. His career has included nearly thirty years as Principal Clarinetist in six different professional orchestras and opera companies.  He has held teaching positions in three North American universities, has been Conductor of Orchestras and opera conductor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and has served as conductor or adjudicator of bands and orchestras throughout the U.S, including a seven-year tenure as Conductor of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra.  Dr. West is presently Professor of Music and Coordinator of Winds and Percussion at VCU, conductor of the Youth Orchestra of Charlottesville-Albemarle, and artist-clinician for the Buffet Crampon Corporation. His book, The Woodwind Player’s Cookbook: Creative Recipes for a Successful Performance, was published in 2008 by Meredith Music Publications.

Yamamoto_cropped_smallDaisuke Yamamoto, violinist, has been Concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony since 2013, and he has been featured as a soloist on several occasions since his arrival, including a performance of the Theme from Schindler’s List for the Holocaust Remembrance Concert, which was recently broadcast statewide. Other performances include Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Ravel’s Tzigane and Vivaldi’s “Autumn” from The Four Seasons. An avid orchestral performer, he has performed with many orchestras across the US, including The Cleveland Orchestra, New World Symphony, and the Spokane Symphony. As a concertmaster, he has led the New World Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Blossom Festival Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra. He has worked with such notable conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Franz Welser-Möst, Fabio Luisi, Osmo Vänskä, Nicholas McGegan, Robert Spano, Jeffrey Tate and David Zinman. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with Robert McDuffie, Ida Kavafian, Peter Wiley, Steven Tenenbom, Jasper String Quartet, members of The Cleveland Orchestra, Tokyo String Quartet, Duo Patterson and Jerry Wong.

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