Megan Crawford

A Michigan native, MEGAN REITER-CRAWFORD gave her first public recital, at the age of six, in Detroit. Her concerto debut, at the age of 12, was in her hometown of Dearborn as part of a concert series in Henry Ford’s Fairlane Estate. She has since concertized throughout the United States, appearing with orchestras in Ann Arbor, Aspen, Basalt, Dearborn, Detroit, Ft. Collins, and New York. She has performed extensively in recitals with Ann Arbor pianist Michele Cooker, and since marrying Grand Rapids Symphony Concertmaster James Crawford, the family duo has appeared on the scene here in West Michigan.

In addition to her recital appearances, Megan has been an active chamber musician and performed recitals with a Manhattan-based trio, Quest, when coaching with Isidore Cohen at the Manhattan School of Music. Most notably, Megan appeared with Vienna Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist Peter Schmidl in the trio version of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale while touring Japan with the Pacific Music Festival.

Crawford is a Visiting Professor of Violin at GVSU.

LESLIE VANBECKER has been principal viola of the Grand Rapids Symphony since 1978. She earned a bachelor of music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and master’s in music from the Yale University School of Music. She attended the Conservatory with a four-year full tuition Rockefeller Grant and held a School of Music Assistantship at Yale. Her principal teachers included Raphael Hillyer and William Lincer, and she studied chamber music with Broadus Earle and the Lennox and Concord Quartets. 

In recital, Leslie has appeared with the DeVos Quartet, Castalia, Ghandarva Piano Quartet, Trio Nouveau, New World String Quartet, Clifford Music Group and Lakeshore Chamber Players as well as on the Saugatuck Chamber Music Festival. She has appeared as a soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony on its Casual Classics Series in 1987, 1989, 1995 and 2005 performing Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher, Will Gay Bottje’s Concerto for Piano and Viola, Walton’s Viola Concerto, Bruch’s Romanze and Von Weber’s Andante and Rondo Ungararese. In addition, she was featured in Don Quixote on the Symphony’s Grand Series in DeVos Performance Hall in 1999 and 2011.

Leslie VanBecker

PABLO MAHAVE-VEGLIA, is a cellist and teacher with broad interests whose repertoire ranges from the early Baroque, performed on period instruments, to his ongoing interest in researching, performing and recording the work of contemporary Latin-American composers. 

Dr. Mahave-Veglia holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University and the Eastman School of Music. Additionally, he has attended such music festivals as Banff (Canada), NOI (Maryland), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), the Jerusalem International Festival (Israel) and the Schleswig-Holstein and Heidelberg Music Festivals (Germany).

Mahave-Veglia has appeared as soloist or chamber musician throughout Europe and South America. His “modern” instrument is a 1790 William Forster on loan to him by an anonymous private collector. 

More information at pmvcello.com

MICHAEL HOVNANIAN has been a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony since 2007 and is also the Associate Principal Bass of the West Michigan Symphony and Principal Bass of the Baroque on Beaver Island Festival. Michael has performed with numerous orchestras throughout Michigan, including the Detroit Symphony, and has held positions with the Kalamazoo, Midland, and Lansing symphonies. Dr. Hovnanian is also an active chamber and solo musician, and is a member of noted chamber group Ensemble Montage.

Born and raised in the metro Detroit area, Michael received his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees under the instruction of Jack Budrow at Michigan State University and received Bachelor degrees in both Music and Music Education from Central Michigan University. He has also studied with Stephen Molina and Larry Hutchinson of the Detroit Symphony, Robert Goodlett of the Indianapolis Symphony, and Lawrence Angell, formerly of the Cleveland Orchestra. Michael Hovnanian is an active double bass teacher, instructing a large private studio as well as being on faculty at Calvin College in addition to teaching at Grand Valley State University.


String Leadership Day Coordinator and Conductor

HENRY DUITMAN joined the faculty of Grand Valley State University in the Fall of 2008. For more than 20 years Duitman was the Music Director and Conductor of the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra as well as Professor of Music on the faculty of Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, during which time he built an orchestra program with national exposure.

Henry Duitman received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University and Master of Arts degree from the University of South Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Music Education from the Ohio State University.

Dr. Duitman's focus at GVSU has been exposing the orchestra program to the wider West Michigan community and to high schools throughout Michigan. He has instituted a yearly Side-by-Side Concert with top high school orchestras. In addition, his passion to develop an honors orchestra which would focus on the development of leadership skills in high school musicians has led to the highly successful GVSU String Leadership Day, which brings more than 100 of the finest high school string players to campus each year.

Duitman has a strong interest in conducting opera and helped form the West Michigan Opera Project, which has the goal of bringing a great opera experience to those hearing their first live opera.  He conducted their first production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica and it was met with strong positive response.  He recently performed as Assistant Conductor for Opera Grand Rapids’ production of Orpheus and Eurydice and was principal conductor for their June, 2016 production of Romberg’s The Student Prince.

A sought-after guest conductor, recently he has led community and professional orchestras in Michigan,Iowa, South Dakota and London, England. He has conducted numerous honors orchestras including  the Iowa All-State Orchestra and the Michigan Youth Arts Coalition Honors Orchestra.

Page last modified October 3, 2019