The Music

Show credits for “Bell Curve”

Posted by SoundBox

April 12, 2017

Timothy Higgins is the San Francisco Symphony’s Principal Trombone and he occupies the Robert L. Samter Chair. He was previously acting second trombone with the National Symphony. A Houston native, Mr. Higgins graduated from Northwestern University and has performed with the Milwaukee, Virginia, and Chicago symphonies, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Washington National Opera, and the Baltimore Symphony. In 2005, he won the Robert Marsteller Competition and the ITA Trombone Quartet Competition, both part of the International Trombone Association. In addition to a successful career as an orchestral trombonist, he is also gaining recognition as a composer and arranger for brass. His compositions and arrangements have been heard in San Francisco Symphony holiday and chamber music concerts and the National Brass Ensemble’s recent recording of music of Gabrieli also leaned heavily on Higgins’s arranging talents. For more on Timothy Higgins, visit

Nicholas Platoff
joined the San Francisco Symphony as Associate Principal Trombone in the 2016-17 season. A graduate of Northwestern University, he was previously a trombone fellow at the New World Symphony.

Paul Welcomer joined the SFS in 1994. Born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, he received a bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory. Before joining the SFS, he served as principal trombone of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and the United States Air Force Band. He is a founding member of the Bay Brass and teaches trombone at the SF Conservatory of Music.

Jacob Nissly was appointed Principal Percussion of the San Francisco Symphony in 2013. Previously, he was principal percussion of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony. He also served as a member of the New World Symphony. Mr. Nissly has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, Houston Symphony, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is on the percussion faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory and was previously on the percussion faculty at the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2014 he gave recitals at SFJAZZ as a part of the San Francisco Jazz Festival, and he was a featured artist at the Ojai Music Festival in 2015. Mr. Nissly holds a Bachelor of Music and Jazz Studies from Northwestern University where he studied with Michael Burritt, James Ross, and Paul Wertico. He received his Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where he studied with Greg Zuber and Dan Druckman. He began his percussion studies with Woody Smith in Iowa. For more on Jacob Nissly, visit

Robin Sutherland, occupant of the Jean & Bill Lane Chair, studied with Rosina Lhevinne at the Juilliard School and with Paul Hersh at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. While still an undergraduate there, he was appointed Principal Keyboards of the San Francisco Symphony by Seiji Ozawa. Mr. Sutherland was for thirty seasons co-director of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival in Colorado. A re-mastered, limited edition release of Robin Sutherland’s 1996 recording of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations is available on SFS violinist Sarn Oliver’s SarnWorks label. For more on Robin Sutherland, visit

Alexander Barantschik, occupant of the Naoum Blinder Chair, began his first season as Concertmaster of the SFS in September 2001. Since joining the SFS, Mr. Barantschik has led the Orchestra in several programs and appeared as soloist in concertos and other works by J.S. Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Walton, Piazzolla, and Schnittke, among others. Previously, he was concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Born in Saint Petersburg in 1953, Mr. Barantschik attended the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. After emigrating from Russia in 1979, he served as concertmaster of Germany’s Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. Through an arrangement with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Mr. Barantschik has the exclusive use of the 1742 Guarnerius del Gesù violin. For more on Alexander Barantschik, visit

Mark Volkert joined the SFS in 1972 and has been Assistant Concertmaster since 1980. Born in Milwaukee and raised in Minneapolis, he studied at the University of the Pacific and at Stanford University. Mr. Volkert performed with the Carmel Bach Festival from 1975 to 1991, and from 1985 to 1991 he was concertmaster of the festival’s orchestra. Also a composer, he has had several works performed by the SFS, including Pandora, Solus, a Sinfonietta, and his arrangement of Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello. Mr. Volkert has received commissions from the Marin Symphony, Paul Masson Vineyards, Monterey Bay Aquarium, C.O.D.A. Orchestra, Marin Arts Quartet, oboist Donald Leake, and Stanford University. His arrangements are performed by the Volkert-Walther Trio on the album Delectable Pieces (Con Brio Recordings).

Stephen Paulson joined the SFS as Principal Bassoon in 1977. Also a conductor, he has been Music Director since 1998 of Symphony Parnassus, which performs throughout the Bay Area. Mr. Paulson graduated from the Eastman School and studied with K. David Van Hoesen and Mordechai Rechtman, and composition with Samuel Adler. He previously held principal bassoon positions with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Mr. Paulson has appeared numerous times as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and has given master classes at colleges worldwide, including the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, and the Shanghai Conservatory. He is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. For more on Stephen Paulson, visit

Stephen Tramontozzi, the San Francisco Symphony’s Assistant Principal Bass and occupant of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair, is a native of Newton, Massachusetts. He studied at the Eastman School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the San Francisco Conservatory, and joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1980. He has performed many times in the SFS Chamber Music Series and appeared as accordion soloist with the Orchestra in 1997 for a Music for Families concert. Mr. Tramontozzi teaches privately and has been on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory since 1985. He has led master classes across the United States, and he coaches members of the SFS Youth Orchestra bass section.

Grammy-nominated guitarist, lutenist, and director Richard Savino is professor of music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Sacramento State University. He received his doctorate from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and he has studied with Andrés Segovia, Oscar Ghiglia, Eliot Fisk, Albert Fuller, and Jerry Willard. Mr. Savino has toured and recorded with Joyce DiDonato, Monica Huggett, Stephanie Chase, Chanticleer, and Paul Hillier. As a continuo player, he performed with Houston Grand Opera, the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Opera, West Edge Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Colorado, Dallas Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. He guest directed the Aston Magna Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Ensemble Rebel, and Milano Classical Chamber Orchestra. From 1986 to 1998 Mr. Savino directed the CSU Summer Arts Guitar and Lute Institute. He is presently director of the ensemble El Mundo. He is the recipient of a Diapason d’Or and a 10 du Rèpertoire award.

Jonathan Dimmock is well-known as an organ recitalist, accompanist, conductor, church musician, and chamber music artist. A graduate of Oberlin and Yale, his teachers and mentors include Gillian Weir, Simon Preston, Jean Langlais, Peter Hallock, Haskell Thomson, William Porter, Thomas Murray, Harald Vogel, J. Franklin Clark, Paul Halley, Naji Hakim, and Frédéric Blanc. He has held posts at Westminster Abbey, Saint John the Divine (New York City), Saint Mark’s (Minneapolis), and Grace Cathedral and Saint Ignatius Church in San Francisco. He is currently accompanist at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco, organist at the Legion of Honor museum, and on the performance faculty at Sonoma State University, and he often appears with the San Francisco Symphony. As an organ soloist, he has toured on six continents. Mr. Dimmock has recorded more than forty CDs and can be heard on the Grammy-winning SFS recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8. He is co-founder of the American Bach Soloists, founding director of Artists’ Vocal Ensemble, and founding president of Resonance—which uses music in international conflict resolution. He speaks regularly on healing through music.

John Engelkes joined the SFS in 1981. He has been a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and Florida Symphony. He studied with John Hansen at the University of Northern Iowa, where he received his bachelor’s degree, and later pursued a master's degree at Northwestern University. At Northwestern, he studied with Frank Crisafulli and Edward Kleinhammer. While in Chicago, Mr. Engelkes performed in the Northwestern Wind Ensemble, Northwestern Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and Chicago Pops. He serves on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is a founding member of the Bay Brass.

Sharon Rietkerk is an actor and singer, performing with theater companies across the country. Regional credits include Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility at Old Globe Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; Emma, Marry Me A Little (Theater Bay Area Award), Little Women, and The Secret Garden at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley; Candida in A Minister’s Wife at San Jose Repertory Theater; Triangle at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma; The Illusion and Gunmetal Blues at North Coast Repertory Theater; Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with San Francisco Opera Guild; Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday, Life Could Be a Dream, Rumors, and Xanadu at CenterRepertory Theatre; Marian in The Music Man with South Coast Symphony; and Little MeNymph Errant, and Strike up the Band with 42nd Street Moon. Ms. Rietkerk has also performed in concert with the Bay Brass, the Bear Valley Symphony, and at Feinstein's at the Nikko with her two woman cabaret. She studied at the University of California Irvine, graduating with a degree in Acting and Honors in Musical Theater.

Jeffrey Anderson, San Francisco Symphony Principal Tuba and occupant of the James Irvine Chair, joined the SFS in 2002. Mr. Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree and performer's certificate from Indiana University, where he studied with Harvey Phillips, and he completed his master’s degree at Arizona State University as a student of Daniel Perantoni. He has held positions with the New Mexico Symphony (from 1989 to 1998) and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (1998 to 2002), and he was featured numerous times as soloist with both ensembles. He has also performed with the National Repertory Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra (1992 to 1998). Mr. Anderson is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. For more on Jeffrey Anderson, visit

Video Designer
Adam Larsen is a documentary filmmaker and designer for live performance who has designed for several SF Symphony productions including Debussy’s Le martyre de Saint Sébastien, Peter Gynt, Peter Grimes, On the Town, and most recently Das klagende Lied. He is the resident projection designer for SoundBox. Notable works include Hal Prince’s LoveMusik on Broadway; The Gospel at Colonus at the Athens, Edinburgh, and Spoleto festivals; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at the Singapore and Edinburgh festivals; Brief Encounters and My Fair Lady at the Shaw Festival; The Women of Brewster Place at Alliance Theatre and Arena Stage; Ghost Brothers of Darkland County and Native Guard at Alliance Theatre; big at Atlanta Ballet; Love Lies Bleeding, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, and Balletlujah at Alberta Ballet; Saariaho’s Maa with Atlanta Symphony and GloAtl; Janáček’s From the House of the Dead at Canadian Opera; Dove’s Siren Song and Handel’s Semele with Pacific Musicworks; Adams’s A Flowering Tree and Handel’s Agrippina at Opera Omaha; Cage’s Second Hand and Foss’s Phorion, and Michael Tilson Thomas’s Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind with New World Symphony; Dove’s Flight at Juilliard; Yoon’s Sunken Cathedral at Prototype; Mascagni’s Iris at Bard Summerscape; and recently the world premiere of Mazzoli’s Breaking The Waves at Opera Philadelphia. Mr. Larsen holds a BFA in cinematography from North Carolina School of the Arts. His documentary about autism entitled Neurotypical aired on the PBS series POV.

Lighting Designer
Luke Kritzeck has worked with artists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in theater, dance, music, circus, and opera on stages around the world. Prior to joining New World Symphony as the Director of Lighting in 2014, Mr. Kritzeck spent six years working for Cirque du Soleil on its touring production TOTEM and in Macau, China on its resident show ZAiA. His other projects with Cirque du Soleil include serving as the lighting director for featured performances, including the Venetian Macau Tennis Showdown and the International Indian Film Awards, which was broadcast to more than 350 million viewers. Mr. Kritzeck’s design credits include Chautauqua Opera Company, Cincinnati Ballet, Cedar Fair Entertainment, Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Lafayette Ballet Theatre, and the San Francisco Symphony.

Projection Co-Designer
Hana S. Kim
 is a set and projection designer based in Los Angeles, CA. Recent credits include projection design for Wonderful Town directed by David Lee at Los Angeles Opera, set and projection design for White Snake directed by Natsu Onoda Power at Baltimore Center Stage, projection design for Fallujah directed by Andreas Mitisek at Long Beach Opera and New York City Opera, projection design for Collective Rage directed by Lindsay Allbaugh at Theater@BostonCourt, and projection design for City of Conversation directed by Michael Wilson at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Kim is a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in Theater Design. Her designs have won Stage Raw, StageSceneLA, and Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards and have received Ovation, Theater Bay Area, and Helen Hayes award nominations.