Richard Beene, bassoon
Richard Beene enjoys an active career as a teacher, soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. In 2001, while serving as Professor of Bassoon at the University of Michigan, he was awarded the 2001 Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio teaching. He has been invited to present master classes and teaching residencies at a number of institutions, including the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, and McGill University, among others. He has also served on the faculties of Michigan State University and Wichita State University.
In addition to performing numerous times with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Beene has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. While maintaining his teaching schedule in Michigan, he also held the position of Principal Bassoonist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, where he performed many times as a soloist. Additionally, he has toured Europe as a soloist with the American Sinfonietta and performed as a soloist at the Festival de Musique de St. Barthelemy in the French West Indies. Summer festival engagements have included the Sunflower Music Festival in Kansas, the Basically Bach Festival in Anchorage (Alaska), the Colorado Music Festival, Strings in the Mountains (Colorado), the Arkansas Music Festival, Washington's Centram Chamber Music Festival, the Bellingham Festival of Music, and the Peninsula Music Festival (Wisconsin).
Chamber music and recital engagements have taken him to New York's Merkin Concert Hall and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as well as venues throughout Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria. Mr. Beene has also been a featured recitalist at the annual convention of the International Double Reed Society.
Richard Beene is Dean Emeritus of the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, Chair of the Winds Department and teaches bassoon.
Leone Buyse, flute
Photo credit: David Long
Leone Buyse is the Joseph and Ida Kirkland Mullen Professor of Flute at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. In 1993 she relinquished her position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra to pursue a more active teaching and solo career after 22 years as an orchestral musician. Acting principal flutist of the BSO during her last three years in Boston, she was invited by Seiji Ozawa to join the orchestra in 1983 as assistant principal flutist and principal flutist of the Boston Pops. Previously she served as assistant principal flutist of the San Francisco Symphony and played solo piccolo and second flute with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
The only American finalist in the 1969 Geneva International Flute Competition, Ms. Buyse has appeared as soloist with l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops, the San Francisco Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the New Hampshire Music Festival, of which she was principal flutist for ten years. She has performed with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players throughout Europe and Japan, with the Tokyo, Juilliard, Brentano, and Muir String Quartets, the Boston Musica Viva, Da Camera of Houston, and in recital with Jessye Norman and Yo-Yo Ma. Ms. Buyse has also been a guest artist on the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s chamber series in Ottawa. Summer festival appearances include Aspen, Sarasota, Norfolk, Orcas Island, Domaine Forget (Quebec), ARIA International Summer Academy, the Ithaca Flute Institute, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Sitka, Maui, Steamboat Springs, Strings in the Mountains, the Lake Placid Institute, and the Park City International Festival in Utah. With her husband, clarinetist Michael Webster, she performs in the Webster Trio and the Buyse-Webster Duo.
Widely renowned as an educator, Ms. Buyse has taught at the University of Michigan, the New England Conservatory, Boston University, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and as a visiting associate professor at the Eastman School of Music. Her students hold positions in many major orchestras, including the symphony orchestras of Cleveland, San Francisco, St. Louis, Houston, Kansas City, Syracuse, and Charlotte, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Colorado Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony, the Singapore Symphony, the National Taiwan Symphony, and the Adelaide Symphony. Others are professors at such schools as the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Arizona State, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Memorial University (St. John’s, Newfoundland), Ball State University (Muncie, IN) and St. Olaf College.
Ms. Buyse has presented recitals and master classes at universities, conservatories and festivals across the United States, as well as in Canada, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Panama, Chile, and Brazil. She may be heard as solo flutist on numerous recordings of the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops and the San Francisco Symphony for the Philips, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA Victor, and Sony Classical labels. Her solo and chamber music recordings are available on the Crystal, Boston Records, CRI, Centaur, Hyperion, Elektra/Nonesuch, Equilibrium, Danacord, and Nami/Live Notes labels.
A native of Ithaca, New York, Ms. Buyse graduated with distinction from the Eastman School of Music, where she was a student of Joseph Mariano. Awarded a Fulbright grant, she subsequently studied in France with Michel Debost, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and Marcel Moyse. Also an accomplished pianist, she served for two years as accompanist at Rampal’s summer master classes in Nice, France. An active member of the National Flute Association, she has served on the Board of Directors and as program chair for the 1987 convention in St. Louis, an event attended by more than 2200 flutists. She has been a featured soloist at NFA conventions in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Columbus, San Diego, Anaheim, Las Vegas, and New Orleans.
During the 2010 convention in Anaheim Ms. Buyse was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the flute community worldwide.
Jonathan Fischer, oboe
Photo credit: Eric Arbiter
Jonathan Fischer joined the Houston Symphony as Principal Oboe in September 2012, after serving as Associate Oboe of the San Francisco Symphony. Mr. Fischer also serves as Principal Oboe with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho and is an Affiliate Artist in Oboe at the University of Houston Moores School of Music.
Mr. Fischer has held positions with The Cleveland Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Grant Park Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Savannah Symphony and the New World Symphony. Mr. Fischer has performed as a guest Principal with many of the nation’s leading orchestras including the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Fischer has performed as a soloist with the Grant Park Symphony, the New World Symphony and several times with the San Francisco Symphony. In October 2013 he made his solo debut with the Houston Symphony performing the Mozart Oboe Concerto.
Mr. Fischer has taught and performed at the Aspen Music Festival Music at Menlo, as well as the Texas Music Festival, and he frequently coaches at the New World Symphony. Mr. Fischer holds a degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Richard Woodhams. He grew up in the Carolinas and travels there often to visit his family.
St. John Flynn, narrator
Born and raised in Coventry, England, St. John Flynn received his B.A. (with honors) in French from the University of Liverpool.
St. John lived and worked in France for two years before coming to the U.S. in 1986 to attend graduate school at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens. He worked as a teaching assistant while pursuing his master's degree in French and taught introductory level French classes. After completing his M.A. Mr. Flynn was accepted into the Ph.D. program in comparative literature at UGA where he taught world literature survey classes.
Mr. Flynn started in public radio at WUGA-FM, the Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) affiliate on the UGA campus, as a part-time weekend classical announcer.In the spring of 1995, he was asked to host Night Music, WUGA's weeknight classical program that aired on all 15 GPB stations around Georgia. As a result of this exposure St. John was offered a part-time job at GPB headquarters in Atlanta and moved away from Athens leaving behind an unfinished Ph.D. dissertation.
He was hired full-time at GPB as a cultural affairs producer in 1997; he continued to host classical music on the network but also began to produce arts pieces for GPB's weekly news magazine. He also developed Cover to Cover, a monthly call-in book show focusing on Georgia authors.He was the GPB network host for NPR's All Things Considered for a number of years before moving to Morning Edition which he hosted for eight years.
In 2001 Mr. Flynn was promoted to Radio Program Manager, supervising all GPB network programming, and in 2005 he was asked to become Radio Manager, reporting to the Executive Director, with responsibility for GPB radio operations around the state.
Welcoming the chance to work at a major market station, St.John Flynn joined KUHF as Program Director for KUHF-Classical in March 2008, and now acts as Arts and Culture Director for Houston Public Media.
Mark Hughes, trumpet
Photo credit: Eric Arbiter
Mark Hughes "knows how to spin out a long line with the eloquence of a gifted singer," says Derrick Henry of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Mr. Hughes developed his abilities while a student at Northwestern University where he studied with the late Vincent Cichowicz of the Chicago Symphony. After graduation, he was selected to be in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago allowing him to be a scholarship student with Adolph Herseth, the legendary Principal Trumpet of the Chicago Symphony.
Mr. Hughes then began touring with Richard Morris as the popular organ and trumpet duo, "Toccatas and Flourishes," performing throughout the US and Canada. His appointment as Associate Principal Trumpet with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra followed, a position he held for 12 years. During his time with the ASO, Mr. Hughes appeared as soloist with the orchestra on numerous occasions, performed on dozens of recordings, and was an active studio musician.
Mr. Huges is currently Principal Trumpet of the Houston Symphony, a position he has held since 2006. He has appeared as soloist with the orchestra on several occasions, including the performance of the Shostakovich Concerto #1 for Piano and Trumpet with Jon Kimura Parker, a performance heard nationally on American Public Radio’s “Symphony Cast”. Since his arrival in Houston, Mr. Hughes has performed and recorded with the Boston and Chicago Symphonies, and continues to be in demand as a soloist, with orchestras and in recital. In addition, each summer Mr. Hughes serves on the faculties of the Brevard Music Center and the Texas Music Festival. He is also an Affiliate Artist in Trumpet at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. Mr. Hughes lives in Bellaire with his wife Marilyn and their two children, Thomas and Caroline.
Robert Johnson, horn
Photo credit: Eric Arbiter
Robert Johnson is the Associate Principal Horn of the Houston Symphony. Before joining the Houston Symphony in 2012, he was Assistant Principal/Utility Horn of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, Principal Horn of both the Dayton Philharmonic and Richmond Symphony, Fourth Horn of the Honolulu Symphony, and a member of the New World Symphony. Mr. Johnson has performed with the IRIS Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and San Antonio Symphony. He has performed as a Concerto Soloist with the Dayton Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and at the Chicago Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.
His students have been accepted into Interlochen Arts Camp and Academy, Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States, and Yamaha’s Young Performing Artist Program. University acceptances have included Carnegie Mellon University, University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, New England Conservatory, Northwestern University, Oberlin, Rice University, Roosevelt University, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
In summers, Mr. Johnson has performed with the Aspen Music Festival, Cascade Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Strings Music Festival, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Tanglewood Music Festival as well as the Perlman Music Program in both Shelter Island, NY and Sarasota, FL. He is also a faculty member at the Texas Music Festival and an Affiliate Artist in Horn at the University of Houston Moores School of Music.
A graduate of Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, Johnson was a student of William VerMeulen.