Leon Chodos, Bassoon
Leon Chodos joined the Utah Symphony in March, 2007. His duties include contrabassoon and associate principal bassoon. Most recently he came from the Oregon Symphony as contrabassoonist, before which he was a member of the Colorado Symphony and the San Jose Symphony, playing contrabassoon in both. Mr. Chodos received his Bachelor of Music from California State University, Northridge, studying with Michele Grego. He received his Masters of Music from the University of Michigan and studied with Richard Beene and Robert Williams. During the summers, Mr. Chodos has spent much time with the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival in Keene, New Hampshire, as counselor, student, camp director, and faculty. He loves all kinds of food, especially ethnic foods, and is an avid baseball fan, getting to a game whenever possible. He lives with his wife Gisela and has two children, Gabriel and Abigail.
Lun Jiang, Violin
Violinist Lun Jiang is a native of Beijing, China, and grew up in Westchester, New York. He has appeared in concerts with Paul Katz, Ruth Laredo, Glenn Dicterow, Ian Swenson and members of the Brentano, Pacifica and Ying String Quartets. Most recently, he performed at Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Lun has recorded the complete string quartets of Camille Saint-Saens for Eroica Classical Records. A new album was recently released featuring Lun and his twin brother Quan playing music of Ysäye, Rosza and Paganini. Lun was a founding member of the Equinox String Quartet and Gotham Quartet, which was a graduate quartet in residence at Rice University from 1999-2001. The Gotham Quartet was a winner of Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and has appeared in New York, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Dallas-Fort Worth, Indiana and North Carolina. Lun is a graduate of the Rice University and Manhattan School of Music and has worked with Stanley Bednar, Isidore Cohen, Sergiu Luca and Raphael Fliegel. He has coached chamber music with Isaac Stern, Joseph Silverstein, Miriam Fried and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard and Tokyo String Quartets. Lun is currently a member of the Utah Symphony. He plays on a Januarius Gagliano violin made in 1780, Naples.
Anne Lee, Cello
A native of Calgary, Alberta, cellist Anne Lee started music lessons at the age of 5 and has since enjoyed appearances in several music festivals, including Casalmaggiore in Italy, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, the Banff Arts Festival, and the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In 2003, Anne made her solo debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Music at McGill University with professors Antonio Lysy and Elizabeth Dolin. She then received her Master’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music with teacher Natasha Brofsky. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Alberta Foundation of the Arts grant and spent a year in Barcelona, Spain studying with Lluis Claret. Prior to joining the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera in 2011, Anne was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. Aside from her love of performing the orchestral repertoire, Anne enjoys playing chamber music, teaching, and exploring the great outdoors with her husband Claude Halter.
David Porter is a violinist with the Utah Symphony and President of the Intermezzo Chamber Music Series. He, with the help of his friends and colleagues in the Utah Symphony, created MOTUS After Dark, a series of concerts in alternative venues designed to make classical music accessible and attractive to new audiences. He has enjoyed many opportunities to perform as soloist and in chamber music both in the United States and abroad, often in duo with pianist Vedrana Subotic. A native of Northfield, Minnesota, Mr. Porter attended Indiana University, where he studied under violinists Miriam Fried and Sylvia Rosenberg. He is the proud father of seven-year-old Divna, who, on a daily basis, does her best to keep his puns in check and locate his keys. When not playing the violin or otherwise torturing his students, David enjoys skiing, hiking, and potentially destroying his kitchen in efforts to make something palatable for friends and family alike.
David Porter, Violin
Whittney Thomas, Viola
First prize winner in the 2006 Pasadena Showcase Instrumental Competition and second place senior laureate of the 2007 Sphinx Competition, violist, Whittney Thomas just completed a two-year fellowship in Japan playing with the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra. Her past summers have included participating in the Schleswig Holstein Orchestral Academy as the principal viola, where she toured Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Spain and Turkey, as well as the Sarasota Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, and many more. As an avid chamber musician, Whittney collaborated closely with Midori Goto for three years,playing and performing extensively throughout the United States. She has also performed with several well known artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Arnold Steinhardt, Isabelle van Keulen, Cho-Liang Lin and Kathleen Winkler. Ms. Thomas has performed in masterclasses given by Richard O’Neill, Kim Kashkashian, Andrés Díaz, the Takacs Quartet, members of the Cleveland Quartet and the American String Quartet. Born in San Diego, California, Whittney began her studies on the violin at age 8 and discovered her love for the viola nine years later. In 2009, she earned her Bachelor’s of Music degree at the University of Southern California under the guidance of Donald McInnes and studied with Martha Strongin Katz at the New England Conservatory. Ms. Thomas plays on a 2003 Zanetto model by Mario Miralles made on loan to her through the Maestro Foundation. When she is not practicing, she enjoys cooking and baking and would like to extend her interests to many of the Salt Lake pastimes like hiking and skiing.
Pegsoon Whang, Cello
Cellist Pegsoon Whang is a graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Mannes College, where she graduated as "Most Outstanding Graduating Student." She has performed with the Seoul Philharmonic, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Lawton Philharmonic, and the North Carolina School of the Arts Orchestra. As a chamber musician, she has concertized in France, Italy, Germany, and the US. She is a member of Quattro Amici and the Snake River Chamber Players in Colorado. Festival appearances have included the Grand Teton Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival, and the Colorado Music Festival, where she was appointed principal cello.
Claude Halter, Violin
Originally from Paris, France, violinist Claude Halter moved to the United States in 2001 and has since been heard nationwide as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader. Claude completed his Bachelor and Masters of music from Lawrence University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music respectively. As an avid chamber musician, Claude has performed alongside artists such as Menahem Pressler (Beaux-Arts Trio), Robert Mann (Juilliard String Quartet), faculty members of the San Francisco Conservatory and members of the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, and Utah symphonies. Claude is equally passionate about orchestral repertoire and has led many performances as concertmaster under great conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vaanska, Stephane Deneve and many others. In January 2012, Claude joined the Utah Symphony and Opera as principal second violin. He was previously assistant concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony in British Columbia. When not in rehearsal, Claude enjoys hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and fly-fishing in the beautiful Wasatch mountain range.
Veronica Kulig, Violin
Veronica Kulig began musical study at the age of four with her parents, professional violinists. A native of Hartford, Connecticut, she is a graduate of Boston University. She received a master's degree from The New England Conservatory of Music under the guidance of Masuko Ushioda. Ms. Kulig attended the Tanglewood Music Center in 1983 and 1988, the recipient of two fellowships. She participated in the Evian International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France and the Holzhausen International Music Festival in Germany. While living in Boston, Ms. Kulig performed with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Boston Ballet Orchestra, the Opera Company of Boston and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Ms. Kulig joined the Utah Symphony in 1991. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, James Boesch.
Alexander Martin, Violin
Alexander Martin joined the Utah Symphony in February 2011. He comes to Salt Lake City from Miami Beach, Florida, where he was a member of the New World Symphony. He holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degree from Indiana University, where he studied first with Paul Biss, and then with Alexander Kerr, former concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. He has participated in many music festivals including the Verbier Festival in Verbier, Switzerland, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany where he was concertmaster of the chamber orchestra. In the United States, he was principal 2nd violin in the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, CO and was a member of the Spoleto USA Festival Orchestra in Charleston, SC. In his spare time Alex enjoys reading string quartets, playing his guitar, and watching and playing baseball. He recently went skiing for the first time in his life, and ambitiously aspires to one day learn how to turn and stop.
Erin Svoboda, Clarinet
Clarinetist Erin Svoboda is in her first season with the Utah Symphony. Originally from the East Coast, Erin began her musical studies with the piano at the age of five and added the clarinet at ten. She earned degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, Temple University, and Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Thomas Martin, Ricardo Morales, and Mark Nuccio respectively. She spent her summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, Marlboro Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival. Erin freelanced in New York City after she graduated, playing with such ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and American Symphony Orchestra. She spent a year as the Assistant/2nd/E-flat clarinetist in the Colorado Symphony before moving to Utah. Also an active chamber musician and soloist, she recorded the trio Tibetan Dances on Spring Dreams with Cho-Liang Lin on violin and the composer, Bright Sheng, on piano. Erin also premiered Michael Gandolfi's Concerto for Clarinet and Bassoon. When not performing, Erin enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, camping, and biking, and recently learned to ski. She looks forward to exploring Utah.
Titus Underwood, Oboe
Oboist Titus Underwood recently received his Artist Diploma at the Colburn School, where he studied with Allan Vogel. He received his Master of Music from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Elaine Douvas, and additional studies with Nathan Hughes and Pedro Diaz. He earned his Bachelor of Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a pupil of John Mack, legendary principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra. There he also studied with Frank Rosenwein and Jeffrey Rathbun. Mr. Underwood has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Puerto Rico Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and San Diego Symphony. Festivals he has attended include Music Academy of the West, Breckenridge Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, and Aspen Music Festival and Domaine Forget.
Karen Wyatt, Violin
Violinist Karen Wyatt joined the Utah Symphony in 2013. Prior to joining the symphony, she performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2013. During her time with Pittsburgh Symphony, Karen toured nationally and internationally, and performed on many recordings. She also performed with the Baltimore Symphony and held a position with the Virginia Symphony. Karen began her orchestral career with a 3 year fellowship at the New World Symphony in Miami, FL, under the leadership of Michael Tilson Thomas. During her fellowship at New World, Karen toured internationally and participated in a residency at the Opera Comique in Paris. She also performed as a principal musician with many notable conductors such as Manfred Honeck, Robert Spano and Itzhak Perlman. Karen holds a Bachelors of Music and a Performer's Diploma in violin performance from Indiana University where she studied with Paul Biss. She has also studied with Pavel Pekarsky, Alexander Kerr and Jennifer Ross. Karen especially enjoys performing chamber music, baroque music, and teaching. When not performing with the orchestra, Karen enjoys gardening and baking.
Roberta Zalkind, Viola
Roberta Zalkind, Associate Principal Viola and Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah, began her musical career with the piano when she was eight years old. At sixteen, she decided to study the viola. Her father wanted to find the best teacher for her, which led her to Manuel Compinsky. He initially refused to teach her, insisting that she was "too old to begin playing a stringed instrument," but after hearing her play without any formal training, he took her as his student. After two years of intense study, she entered the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and then the University of Southern California, both with full scholarships. Her most influential teachers include Compinsky, Frank Bundra, and Louis Kievman. Roberta joined the Utah Symphony in 1981 and won the Associate Principal position in 1988. She has participated in numerous music festivals, notably the Grand Teton Music Festival, which she has played in for more than twenty years. Along with her symphony duties, she is an active viola teacher, soloist, and chamber musician in Salt Lake City, as well as a board member of the American String Teachers Association. She is married to Larry Zalkind, Principal Trombone, and they have three children—Benjamin, Matthew, and Aaron—as well as an adorable miniature poodle, Charley.