Grand Valley Winds

Grand Valley Winds




Follow us on Facebook!

Grand Valley Winds

The Grand Valley State University faculty chamber music ensemble's mission is to:

  • enrich Grand Valley State University and its community by performing concerts of varied repertoire
  • promote chamber music in the region
  • serve the state by offering free public school clinics and recitals
  • host instrument days for middle school and high school students (Clarinet Day Double Reed Day)


To listen to excerpts click HERE


Christopher Kantner - flute

Christopher Kantner received his musical training at the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Michigan and S.U.N.Y. Stonybrook where his teachers were Bonnie Lake, Keith Bryan, Clement Borone, Samuel Baron and Albert Tipton. He studied most recently with Jacques Zoon of the Boston Symphony, working with him on reintroducing the wooden flute as a solo and orchestral medium. Since joining the Grand Rapids Symphony as Principal Flutist in 1976, Mr. Kantner has made numerous solo appearances with the orchestra, playing works of Bach, Mozart, Lucas Foss, Nielsen, Martin and Schoenfeld. His work as a soloist and chamber player is well known to Michigan audiences through his association with the Fontana Ensemble and as a charter member of Baroque and Beyond, the Mackinac Trio, and the Hartwick Duo. A Naumburg finalist, Mr. Kantner has been a fellow of the Aspen and Bach Aria Festivals. He has appeared with the Bach Aria Group in a cycle of the complete Brandenburg Concertos and as Principal Flutist and soloist with the Colorado Music Festival. Mr. Kantner's other solo appearances within Michigan include the Ann Arbor Symphony and Lansing's Renault Chamber Orchestra. He has held appointments on the faculties of Interlochen, Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University.


Marlen Vavrikova - oboe

With a doctorate from the University of Illinois, Marlen Vavrikova has performed in Sarasota, Hot Springs, Banff, and Ostrava New Music festivals, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music and International Double Reed Society conferences, and has been a soloist with the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble, the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, and the Janacek Chamber Orchestra. Besides receiving a stipend from the Czech Musical Fund and travel grants from the Ostrava City Council and the Civic Foundation, Marlen won the Presser Musical Award and the Kate Neal Kinley Musical Fellowship, and was awarded the Fellowship for the Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Illinois. A member of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra 2005, she has taught chamber music and oboe at the AMEROPA international festival in Prague and the Illinois Summer Youth Music Festival. Her primary teachers include Nancy Ambrose King, Richard Killmer, Daniel Stolper, and Josef Zidek. For a more detailed bio, you may visit her website at


Arthur Campbell - clarinet

Reviews in preeminent classical music publications over the past two decades have consistently celebrated Arthur Campbell as one of the world's leading clarinet virtuosos. Campbell was nominated with his wife pianist Helen Marlais, for the 2013 International Classical Music Awards, one of the most prestigious distinctions available to classical musicians today.

Spring 2012 saw Germany's classical music magazine Fono Forum select the Campbell/Marlais duo for the "Star of the Month" award, and Stereo Magazine selected their most recent recording as "CD of the Month". In 2010, The New York Times hailed Campbell as an "eloquent soloist" following his Merkin Hall concerto debut. His recording Brahms: Clarinet Chamber Music, won critics choice awards in Luxembourg, France, and Spain and critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe. Campbell has received rave reviews in the American Record Guide, Fanfare Magazine, The Clarinet, Opus Magazine (France), Ensemble Magazine (Germany), Fono Forum (Germany), Stereo Magazine, Audiophile Audition,,, International Record Review, Scherzo Magazine (Spain), Cd Compact (Spain),, Le Monde de la Musique (France), Pizzicato Magazine (Luxembourg), and Diverdi (Spain). Visit: to read reviews.

Campbell's classical recordings are exclusively with the German Audiophile label Audite and he has recorded contemporary repertoire releases for Everglade RecordsCentaur RecordsGasparo Records, and the ICA Recording Project. (In addition to his highly praised performances of the standard canon, Arthur Campbell is recognized as one of the foremost champions of contemporary repertoire of his generation. The official journal of the International Clarinet Association, regarding the premiere recording of Three Scenes for Solo Clarinet written for him by Pulitzer Prize winner Shulamit Ran states, "The performance of this work is exceptional. Campbell's tone, phrasing and dynamic contrast really portray the essence of this piece, a work which will most likely become a standard in the clarinet repertoire." More recently, Campbell's live performance of Benjamin Broening's Radiance at the 2011 National SEAMUS Convention was selected for the Best of SEAMUS award. Also in great demand as a master teacher, Dr. Campbell has presented master classes at top pedagogical institutions literally throughout the world.

Campbell received the Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Northwestern University, where he studied with renowned clarinetist and pedagogue Robert Marcellus. Campbell has won several international and national competitions and holds the distinction of being one of only three people ever to have completed a doctoral degree as a student of the late Marcellus. A native of Canada, Campbell grew up in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where he studied at the Mount Allison University Conservatory of Music. Home base is now Grand Rapids Michigan with his wife, pianist and renowned piano pedagogue, Dr. Helen Marlais. Campbell is Artist Faculty and Professor of Music at Grand Valley State University, where he has built a thriving studio of clarinet students from around the corner to around the globe. Dr. Campbell was named the 2013 GVSU Alumni Association Outstanding Educator.


Victoria Olson- bassoon

Victoria Olson was recently appointed Assistant Principal of the Grand Rapids Symphony by Maestro Marcelo Lehninger but is currently Acting Principal. Prior to joining the Grand Rapids Symphony, Ms. Olson has held positions with the Missouri Symphony, Symphony in C, and Colorado MahlerFest. In addition, she is frequently asked to substitute with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Philadelphia Ballet, Harrisburg Symphony and more. Ms. Olson has attended numerous festivals such as Castleton Music Festival under the direction of Lorin Maazel, National Music Festival, Interlochen Arts Academy, where she was awarded the prestigious Emerson Scholarship, and the Aspen Music Festival as a New Horizons Fellow. An active soloist, Ms. Olson has appeared with the Concord Chamber Symphony where she performed the Gordon Jacob Concerto for Bassoon, and the Longmont Symphony Orchestra where she performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto. Her Primary teachers include Daniel Matsukawa, Nancy Goeres, and Eric Stomberg.


Richard Britsch - horn

Richard Britsch teaches French Horn at Grand Valley State University and is the Principal Horn of the Grand Rapids Symphony, a position he has held since 1990. Formerly with the Florida Orchestra and the Southwest Florida Symphony, he has appeared as soloist numerous times with the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Peninsula Music Festival on the scenic Door County peninsula on Green Bay in Wisconsin, where he has also been Principal Horn since 1992. He performs regularly with the Detroit Symphony and has performed as guest Principal Horn with the Milwaukee Symphony and the Taegu City Symphony in Korea. In addition to being a founding member of the Florida Wind Quintet, he was a member of the Emerald Brass, which won first prize in both the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the Yamaha/Summit Brass International Brass Competition. He holds a BA from the University of South Florida in Tampa where his principal teacher was Ralph Froelich and participated in such festivals as the Southern Illinois Music Festival, the Florida Music Festival and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria. He has taught horn at Calvin College, Grand Rapids Community College, and Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Florida, as well as horn and brass ensembles at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and the Luzerne Music Center in New York's Adirondack Park. He is a member of Beyond Classical and Ensemble Montage, two music groups dedicated to introducing great music to new audiences.


To book a HS/MS clinic, contact Dr. Marlen Vavrikova at (616) 331-2999, or email


Page last modified July 4, 2017