Violinist and Philadelphia native Grace Ye-Eun Kim currently pursues a Specialist of Music degree at the University of Michigan with David Halen, concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony. She recently completed a masters in violin performance and chamber music at Michigan under Aaron Berofsky.
Ms Kim made her concert debut at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia after winning the Philadelphia All-City High School Orchestra concerto competition. During her undergraduate study at Penn State University Ms Kim was also the winner of the school's concerto competition and performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the University Orchestra. She is the first recipient of the East West Music Scholarship from the Asian American Women's Coalition of Philadelphia.
As a chamber musician, Ms Kim toured Argentina with the Elan String quartet, led by violinist and Penn State professor Max Zorin, and gave a masterclass at the Conservatoria Superior de Musica in Villa Maria. She later spent a summer in Italy as a young professional fellow with the Amalfi Coast Festival. Her quartet and trio have won both first and second prizes in the Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Competition.
PAUL SWANTEK, viola, retired from the Air Force in 2006 after 20 years of service and recently accepted a position with The Grand Rapids Symphony as violist and as Affiliate Professor at Grand Valley State University.
As Principal Violist with the USAF Strings and Orchestra he has performed for every U.S. President since George H. W. Bush, and for such dignitaries as Margret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Queen Elizabeth, Boris Yeltsin, Nelson Mandela, Gerhard Schröder and Mikhail Gorbachev as well as the heads of state for almost every sovereign nation in the world.
Currently Swantek divides his time between Grand Rapids where he performs with the symphony and teaches at Grand Valley State University and Washington, D.C., where he continues his performance as a free-lance musician and principal violist with the National Gallery Orchestra.
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.