Orca Artists

Sean Osborn

Orca Concert Series Director Sean Osborn has traveled the world as soloist and chamber musician, and during his eleven years with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has also appeared as guest principal clarinet with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the American Symphony Orchestra. The New York Times dubbed him “…an excellent clarinetist,” the Boston Globe called him “…a miracle,” and Gramophone “…a master.”

With over forty concertos in his repertoire, Sean has also recorded dozens of CDs for London, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Albany, and others, as well as premiering works by Philip Glass, John Adams, John Corigliano, Chen Yi, and Jennifer Higdon to name a few. He has performed at many festivals including Marlboro, Seattle Chamber Music, Aspen, Zagreb Bienalle, Pacific Rims, and Colorado.

Sean has received grants from many organizations, including the NEA and the Aaron Copland Fund. He is also an award-winning composer whose works have been played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and members of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Marlboro Music Festival, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic among others. As an educator, he has presented over 100 master classes around the world, developed many multi-media educational series, and served on the faculty of the University of Washington and the Cornish College of the Arts.

Composer, flutist, and educator Sarah Bassingthwaighte is an acclaimed member of the contemporary classical music scene, a music lecturer and clinician, and an award-winning composer who has taught, performed, and had her pieces performed in England, Iceland, Russia, Canada, Mexico, and the US. Her compositions have twice been awarded  the NFA Newly Published Music Award, in 2013 and 2018. This coming March, she will be Composer-in-Residence in Sweden, at the Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC).  The British journal Pan Magazine acclaims her “hypnotic and rich sound” and goes on to say “The tone quality is full of depth and power. Bassingthwaighte seems to have a particular talent for communicating the message of contemporary pieces,” which are “performed with polish and virtuosity.” Her solo CDs include Songs from the Caucasus, Stalks in the Breeze and Flute MeetsMachine, and she and Mark Wilson recorded Around the World and Through Time  as the ensemble Sirocco. She is the author of the full-length book Flute Meets Machine, and has been awarded the Stan Chu Essay award.  

Sarah Bassingthwaighte

Jennifer Caine Provine

Violinist Jennifer Caine Provine was a first prize winner of the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Competition and recipient of several awards and grants including the Royal College of Music’s Isolde Menges Prize for solo Bach. She has concertized throughout the U.S. and Europe in venues including the Phillips Collection, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Glinka Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Jennifer is Associate Concertmaster of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, and violinist of the Volta Piano Trio (formerly Icicle Creek Piano Trio), with whom she has performed extensively throughout the Northwest and abroad, been heard on national radio stations, and recorded two discs on the Con Brio label to critical acclaim. She was assistant director and resident violinist at the Icicle Creek Music Center from 2007-2010.

Jennifer regularly appears on several Northwest chamber music series, and performs frequently with the Seattle Symphony. She is a graduate of Harvard University with a B.A. in Music and Slavic Languages and Literatures, and holds Masters Degrees from the Royal College of Music (London) and Oxford University.

Dana Jackson recently completed a one-year contract with the Seattle Symphony as 3rd bassoon/contrabassoon, and is a member of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, and Santa Barbara Symphony. She maintains an active freelance career up and down the West Coast, which includes recording studio work and chamber music performances. She is a member of Seattle-based woodwind quintet Olympic Winds. When performing in a chamber music concert aside Yoyo Ma in Chicago’s Symphony Center, the Chicago Tribune noted that Martinu’s Tango “had its most seductive effect when led by Dana Jackson’s bassoon.” Ms. Jackson is also founder and director of the Archipelago Collective, a summer chamber music festival on San Juan Island that brings the highest-level professional performances to this remote community, and provides outreach concerts to the school-aged children on the island. www.archipelagocollective.org Ms. Jackson holds degrees from Colburn, Northwestern, and University of Southern California.

Dana Jackson

Mary Kantor

Professor of Clarinet at Seattle Pacific University, Mary Kantor received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Washington and graduated from the Academy of Music in Vienna with Honors in clarinet performance, class of Rudolf Jettel. As a soloist, she has performed the Mozart Concerto and Richard Strauss’ Duet-Concertino with Philharmonia Northwest.

She has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, as well as on numerous movie soundtracks. She also coaches both the Seattle Youth Symphony and Cascade Youth Symphony clarinet sections, and appears in Who’s Who in America, 59th and 60th editions.

Recent projects include concerts with the Sound Ensemble, and a new CD with the Seattle Jewish Chorale entitled The Light of Tradition- Hanukkah in the Northwest.

Juilliard graduate and Fulbright Fellow Rajan Krishnaswami has toured nationally and internationally as recitalist and soloist with orchestra. He has also performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, and Seattle Opera.

Chamber music being his first love, in 2005 he founded Simple Measures, an innovative Chamber Music Series in the Puget Sound, WA area. His CD of new music for cello and piano, American Interweave, on the Ambassador label with his long time duo collaborator Mark Salman, includes two works that he commissioned.

Equally devoted to the arts of teaching and performing, he is well established as an important learning resource for serious cellists, both student and professional. He has been on the cello faculty of the University of Washington, and Cornish College of the Arts. Mr. Krishnaswami plays on a magnificent and historically important cello by J.B. Guadagnini, the ex-Davidoff, made in 1780.

Rajan Krishnaswami

Kokopelli

Kokopelli was formed in 2012 when five musicians from diverse backgrounds decided to explore a classic repertoire that is new to most audiences. From Brahms to the Beatles, Mozart to modern, Kokopelli has music for everyone. Having performed with such diverse ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, Lucerne Festival, Metropolitan Opera, Volta Piano Trio, Pacific Northwest Ballet and other fine groups, these five musicians each bring a special skill set to this quintet.

Video of Kokopelli playing live on KING-FM

Pianist Bathsheba Marcus has performed throughout the United States in chamber music and solo recitals. A versatile pianist Ms. Marcus is at home in a wide array of repertoire and is an ardent supporter of music of our time. A graduate of LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in NYC, Ms. Marcus  holds a B.A. in Music from New York University and Master of Music and Doctoral of Musical Arts degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Previously based in New York City, Ms. Marcus now lives and performs in the Seattle area. Recent engagements include performances with Seattle Modern Orchestra, soloist with Seattle Festival Orchestra, pianist with the UW Chamber Dance Company and The Sound Ensemble.  More about Ms. Marcus can be found on www.bathshebamarcus.com

Bathsheba Marcus

Jamie Namkung

Pianist Jamie Namkung has achieved public recognition through concert appearances in distinguished summer festivals, including the Aria International Summer Academy and Banff International Piano Festival. An avid chamber musician and a collaborative pianist in high demand, Jamie has appeared live on King FM 98.1 and American Public Media’s Performance Today, and frequently collaborated with former and current members of the Chicago and Seattle Symphony Orchestras, Seattle Opera, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. In 2015-2016, as a recipient of the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts she served as Collaborative Artist in Residence at Seattle University. Jamie has also built a successful teaching career at such institutions as Peabody Preparatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Harper College, and Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago as Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano. She currently maintains a private studio in Seattle, and serves as adjunct faculty and staff pianist at Seattle Pacific University. 

Dash Point native Jennifer Nelson is currently Principal Clarinet with the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Auburn Symphony Orchestras. She also has a very active freelance career, including playing Broadway-style shows at the Fifth Avenue and Paramount Theaters, extra with the Seattle Symphony and Opera Orchestras, and recordings for various television, motion picture, and video game scores.

She is also Affiliate Artist Faculty in Clarinet at the University of Puget Sound, in addition to having several students in her private studio in Seattle for many years. Ms. Nelson has also traveled throughout the United States with the national touring companies of Phantom of the Opera and New York City Opera. In addition to her stateside concerts, Jennifer’s orchestral and recital performances have also taken her to Mexico, Japan, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Honduras, and most recently, India.

Jennifer Nelson

Laura Renz

Violist Laura Renz is a member of the Pacific Northwest Ballet orchestra, and also performs regularly with the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera. Before moving to Seattle, Ms. Renz has held positions in the San Antonio Symphony, the Austin Symphony, and the IRIS Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Renz is an avid chamber musician, participating in the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, a residency in Lake Wales, FL, and the Focus Festival as a member of the Vaux String Quartet.

She has also performed at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival and with Simple Measures, among other groups. Ms. Renz participated in the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and was a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival.

She is a graduate, summa cum laude, of the University of Michigan, and the Juilliard School, where she studied with Samuel Rhodes.

Dr. Florie Rothenberg enjoys an active performing career, playing with several Seattle area concert and pit orchestras, including the Auburn Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Tacoma Opera. She has worked in film scoring in Seattle, and has her own CD, Voices of Trees, Modern Works by Women Composers for Clarinet and Piano, available on Origin Classical Records.

Splitting her time between performing and teaching, Florie Rothenberg works with clarinetists of all ages and levels, drawing students from around the entire Puget Sound region. She has taught at Central Washington University and the University of Arizona, and is currently on the faculty of the University of Puget Sound Community Music. Dr. Rothenberg earned a D.M.A. from the University of Arizona, a M.M. from the University of Michigan and a B.M. from the University of the Pacific. Her teachers include Jerry Kirkbride, David Shifrin and William Dominik.

Dr. Florie Rothenberg

Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir

Icelandic-American cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir enjoys a varied career as a performer, collaborator and teaching artist.  She has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Iceland Symphony, among others, and her recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the US, Europe and Asia.  Sæunn has performed in many of the world’s prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall, Elbphilharmonie, Barbican Center and Disney Hall and the Los Angeles Times praised her performances for their “emotional intensity”.

In the 2018-2019 season, Sæunn made her debut with the BBC and Seattle Symphonies performing the award-winning cello concerto, Quake, written for her by Páll Ragnar Pálsson. Chamber music appearances took her to Carnegie Hall in New York City, Glasgow, and Los Angeles, as well as recitals in Reykjavík, Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago following the Spring 2019 release of “Vernacular”, her recording of Icelandic solo cello music on the Sono Luminus label.

Recently hailed by Fanfare Magazine as “excellent” and “clearly sensitive”, pianist Cristina Valdés is known for presenting innovative concerts with repertoire ranging from Back to Xenakis.  She has performed across four continents and in venues such as Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Miller Theatre, Jordan Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Cristina has appeared as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Johns Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic, and many others. An avid chamber musician, Cristina has toured extensively with the Bang On a Can “All Stars”, and has performed with the Seattle Chamber Players, the Mabou Mines Theater Company, the Parsons Dance Company, and Antares. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington, and Director of the UW Modern Music Ensemble.

Jack Walters joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2017 under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. In 2016, he was awarded the Zarin Mehta Global Academy Fellowship with the New York Philharmonic. He has also performed with the New World Symphony in Miami and collaborated with New Music Detroit. In the summers of 2016 and 2017, Jack has been a festival participant at the Music Academy of the West as a recipient of the Spencer and Myra Nadler scholarship and has also attended the Texas Music Festival and Blossom Music Festival.

After completing his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Dan Gilbert and Chad Burrow, he attended the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University studying with Richie Hawley. His other principal teachers include Sean Osborn and Craig Lawrence. Jack is a D’Addario artist and plays exclusively on Reserve Classic reeds.

Jack Walters