Meet the Iris Musicians
Five times a year, Iris musicians travel from around the world to gather in Germantown, TN and share their talent and love of music with the audiences of the Mid-South. Our musicians touch the lives of people of all ages through Iris Orchestra concerts, chamber concerts, community engagement programs for adults and students, and ongoing relationships with their host families. At the end of each performance week, Iris musicians return to their home cities, carrying stories of the warmth and generosity of the Memphis/Germantown community, becoming ambassadors who champion the reputation of the Mid-South across the country and across the globe.
Venezuelan violist Adriana Linares is one of today’s most talented Latin American artists. Her playing has been called “meltingly beautiful” by
Ajibola Rivers is a Nigerian-American performing artist of many talents. He has received classical training as a cellist and is a self-taught composer.
Praised as “spellbinding” by the New York Times, violinist Alex Shiozaki is a member of the Momenta Quartet and on faculty at the Juilliard School’s Preparatory Division. In demand as a chamber musician, he performs frequently with
Alisa Coffey joined the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra as Principal Harpist in 2011 and has established an active performing and teaching career in Little Rock. She currently teaches at University of Arkansas and Hendrix College. Orchestrally, she performs regularly with the ensembles such as Artosphere
Violinist Allison Ostrander is concertmaster of the Minnesota Opera, a member of the IRIS Orchestra and The Four Voices String Quartet, and performs regularly with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. Previously, she has held positions with the Naples Philharmonic
Ara Sarkissian began studying violin at the age of four and continues to teach and perform domestically and abroad as a conductor, soloist, and chamber and orchestral musician.
Internationally acclaimed Canadian cellist Arlen Hlusko is a dynamic, versatile young artist who has performed extensively as soloist and chamber musician across North America, Asia, and Europe.
Ashley Vines is a violist and teaching artist from Philadelphia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance and was a viola student of Renard Edwards.
CHRISTIE KEIKO ABE
Dara Hankins is a cellist who joins us from New York City where she has been working as a freelance musician and coaching private students. Hankins grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia. She began playing the piano at age 7,
Domenic Salerni is the recently-appointed first violinist of the Dali Quartet. He moved up to Philadelphia from the Atlanta area, where he served on faculty as instructor and first violinist of Emory University’s quartet-in-residence, the Vega String Quartet.
and ideas associated with the double bass.
Hailed by the Chicago Sun Times as a “superb cellist,” Dr. Kimberly Patterson was the founding cellist for the Tesla Quartet, winners of the 2012 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition
Cellist Laura Metcalf, renowned as a compelling solo and chamber musician, has been acclaimed for her “brilliant” playing (Gramophone Magazine), “gorgeous cello legatos” (Washington Post) and described as “a cellist whose passion for music is as evident as her artistry and talent”
As a member of Sybarite5, Louis Levitt was the first double bassist to win the Concert Artist Guild Competition. Since then, he has performed with Sybarite5 in hundreds of concerts across
Marcos Vinicius Miranda dos Santos is taking a hiatus from the pursuit of his doctorate degree in violin performance at the University of Alabama. Born in Bauru, Brazil, Santos spent most of his life close to home.
Praised as “an outstanding musician…with an artful, expressive power” by Zürichsee Zeitung, Mari
Lee is a violinist dedicated to engaging her audience by instilling curiosity for music. A concert
violinist, chamber musician, and a teaching artist, she aims to bridge the gap between the
audience, the performer, and the composer.
Dr. Sampen teaches a talented studio of violinists at the University of Puget Sound. She also coaches chamber music, directs the New Music Ensemble and chairs the string
Mariama was introduced to music by her father, a professional guitarist in Brazil, and chose violin as her way to travel the world and gain exposure to different cultures. She is a recent graduate of the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. Mariana is working with the orchestra programs at Kingsbury and Snowden Elementary Schools.
Marian Shaffer is Principal Harpist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and is a charter member of the Iris Orchestra.Â She taught at Vanderbilt University and the University of Memphis for 20 years
Violinist Miho Saegusa enjoys a multifaceted career as a versatile chamber musician, orchestral leader, and soloist. She is a founding member of
MILENA PAJARO-VAN DE STADT
Violinist, Rebecca Anderson is a versatile soloist and chamber musician based in New York City. Her recent appearances include solo performances with the Philidelphia Orchestra
ROSA ORTEGA IANNELLI
ROSS MONROE WINTERS
Hailed by La Nacion for his “beautiful sound and exquisite musicality”, Argentinean violinist Sami Merdinian has received worldwide recognition for his outstanding performances as a soloist and chamber
age expressed her passion and interest for languages, music being one of them. In
2013 she was awarded Top Prize for viola and Special Prize for Best Performance of
an Israeli Composition at the Aviv Competition in Israel. Her most recent
performances include recitals
William Hakim plays, composes, and arranges music of many styles, from jazz/rock to
Yun Zhang began his violin studies under the tutelage of his father at the age of three and gave his first public performance when he was five years old. While studying in the renowned Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Yun Zhang was awarded the Fu Cheng Xian Memorial Scholarship for excellence in performance and artistic potential.
Violinist Zoe Martin-Doike from Honolulu, Hawaii is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Pamela Frank.
Adrian Morejon has been a member of IRIS Orchestra since 2002. When not in Germantown,
Agnes Marchione is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and The University of Southern
Bill Kalinkos is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of Missouri and a member of the resident Missouri Quintet. He enjoys a diverse musical career as a member of critically acclaimed groups such as Alarm Will Sound, Deviant Septet,
Bryan tours the US and internationally as bassoonist and co-founder of the Poulenc Trio.
Danny Goldman is a multi-faceted musician, clarinetist, and producer. He most recently became a core member of The
Praised by the Cleveland Plain Dealer for her “superb command of color and nuance,” Elise Blatchford is the Associate Professor of Flute at the University of Memphis Scheidt School of Music.
Heralded a “bold, emergent, personality” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Harrison Hollingsworth is widely regarded as one of the premier wind players
Julie Gramolini Williams joined the Minnesota Orchestra in September 2007 after two seasons as a member of the Omaha Symphony. She previously held the principal oboe post with the United States
Kathleen Nester is Assistant Principal Flute/Solo Piccolo of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Second Flute of the Stamford Symphony Orchestra.
Kemp Jernigan performs extensively in and around New York City in ensembles varying in size and style.
Laura Dwyer is currently Flute/Piccolo with the Santa Fe Symphony, Winter Opera St. Louis, Iris Orchestra and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.
LEAH CRAFT BEDARD
Leah Craft Bedard joined the United States Coast Guard Band as co-principal oboist in February 2016.
Mark Timmerman, a native of Davenport, Iowa, is an accomplished orchestral and chamber musician. He is member of the New Jersey Symphony
Born in Portugal, New York-based clarinetist Nuno Antunes is an active orchestral and chamber musician. He is a member of Sylvan Winds and Ensemble 54, and collaborates regularly with groups
Peter Kolkay is Associate Professor of Bassoon at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and has been named a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow for 2015-17. He is the only bassoonist to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Dr. Messich serves as the Assistant Professor of Oboe at the University of Georgia’s Hugh
Samuel is currently the contrabassoonist/utility bassoonist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. He has music performance degrees from Southern Methodist University and Yale University. He then attended the New World Symphony in
SASHA GE ENEGREN
Dr. Enegren is Assistant Professor of bassoon and Woodwind Coordinator at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University.
2007. Prior to joining the DSO, she was co-principal of the Hyogo
Canadian flutist Todd Skitch joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) in September 2013. He is also a member of the Atlanta Chamber Players and is the Artist-in-Residence at Kennesaw State University. Mr. Skitch started his orchestral career with the
Dr. ToniMarie Marchioni has been a member of the IRIS Orchestra since 2007. Most recently, she has been a featured artist at the Moab Music Festival, as well as in Carnegie Hall’s collected stories festival and the Stefan Wolpe Society’s series, Portrait of a Visionary. She has appeared with the National Symphony, American
VIVIANA CUMPLIDO WILSON
Andrew Sorg is an active performer, composer, chamber musician and trumpet teacher in the Boston area. Originally from New Jersey, he began playing trumpet at the age of eight. A graduate of The Boston Conservatory, Andrew is a proud member of two award winning
Anna Spina, a native of Skokie, IL, has established herself as an active freelancer in the Nashville area, regularly playing in studio recording sessions and with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her work in Nashville,
Dr. Brandon Craswell is Associate Professor of Trumpet at University of Georgia, in Athens, Georgia.
Highly sought after freelance Bass Trombonist Chris Beaudry performs regularly in classical, jazz, chamber, and musical theater settings in Boston and throughout New England. Chris performs frequently with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Odyssey Opera, Plymouth Philharmonic, Lexington Symphony and holds degrees in
Darin Kelly (trumpet) appears frequently with the Philadelphia Orchestra and other performing
David Murray was appointed second trombonist of the National Symphony Orchestra by Christoph Eschenbach in 2014. Prior to joining the NSO, Murray was a freelance musician performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore, Cincinnati
Jaime Morales-Matos is an Associate Professor of Trombone at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has received the Bachelor of Arts, Performer’s Certificate, and Artist Diploma from Indiana University, and a Master’s Degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Jeremiah Frederick is a Chicago-based horn player. He plays regularly with the Chicago Philharmonic, the Grant Park,
John Freeman is a busy freelance trumpeter in the San Francisco Bay area, and has been coming to
LYDIA VAN DREEL
MARY ELIZABETH BOWMAN
BM (Oberlin Conservatory), MM (Yale University). Former principal horn of the South Dakota
Nat Dickey is associate professor at Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.), principal trombonist of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, trombonist of the Post-Traumatic Funk Syndrome, and
Robert Schulz has long been considered one of Boston’s most versatile percussionists.
Adrienne Park is the principal pianist of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and has been on faculty