SUMMER 2021 SEASON

Blackburn Music Academy

Faculty

Festival Napa Valley attracts some of the world’s finest musicians, who serve as faculty and coaches for the Academy.  Performing chamber and orchestral music with renowned musicians is a distinctive part of the Academy experience at Festival Napa Valley.

For a list of past performers, click here. 

Strings

Laura Hamilton
Laura Hamilton

Laura Hamilton was Principal Associate Concertmaster for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, where she led hundreds of performances over 33 years. She was previously a member of the Chicago Symphony and served as concertmaster at the Sydney Opera House. She currently teaches violin and chamber music at New York University.

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Brinton Averil Smith
Brinton Averil Smith

Brinton Averil Smith is the principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. He previously was a member of the New York Philharmonic and served as principal cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphonies. Smith is currently an Associate Professor at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and a faculty member of the Aspen and Sarasota Music Festivals. 

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Christopher Costanza
Christopher Costanza

For over three decades, cellist Christopher Costanza has enjoyed a varied and exciting career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. Costanza is currently the cellist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and with the quartet, he is an Artist in Residence at Stanford University, where he teaches cello and chamber music and performs a wide variety of concerts each season.

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David Coucheron
David Coucheron

David Coucheron is concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and was the youngest concertmaster among all major orchestras in the United States when he won the position in 2010. He is also the Artistic Director for the Kon Tiki Chamber Music Festival in his hometown of Oslo, Norway, and he serves on the faculty for the Aspen Music Festival and Brevard Music Festival.

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Jodi Levitz
Jodi Levitz

A recipient of the Sarlo Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, Jodi Levitz serves as professor of viola at the Frost School of Music, Artistic Coordinator of Stamps Ensembles, and Co-Artistic Director of the Zephyr Chamber Music Festival. She was previously the principal viola soloist with the Italian chamber orchestra "I Solisti Veneti" and violist of the Ives Quartet and Chicago String Trio. 

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Bettina Mussumeli
Bettina Mussumeli

Violin soloist, pedagogue, and clinician Bettina Mussumeli enjoys a storied and varied career as a concert artist on the great stages of the world. She was co-concertmaster and soloist of the Italian chamber orchestra "I Solisti Veneti" and the first violinist of the Ives Quartet. She currently serves on the faculty of the Frost School of Music and the Zephyr Chamber Music Festival.

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Geoff Nuttall
Geoff Nuttall

Geoff Nuttall is the first violinist and co-founder of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, with whom he has performed well over 2000 concerts internationally. Over the years, the quartet has been as an ensemble-in-residence at the Juilliard School, Yale University, and Hartt School of Music. Nuttall is currently on faculty at Stanford University, where the St. Lawrence Quartet is the ensemble-in-residence.

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Scott Pingel
Scott Pingel

Scott Pingel has been serving as the principal bass of the San Francisco Symphony since 2004, after having worked with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Pingel has served as a tenured Associate Professor of Music at the University of Michigan and is currently a faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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Woodwinds

Andrew Brady
Andrew Brady

Andrew Brady joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as principal bassoon in January 2016, having previously served in the same position with the Louisiana Philharmonic. Enthusiastically involved in music education, he has served as an artist-in-residence at Kennesaw State University and is sought after for masterclasses and private tutelage. 

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Margaret Donaghue
Margaret Donaghue

Margaret Donaghue is an associate professor of clarinet and director of the woodwind program at the Frost School of Music, as well as co-founder and Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Chamber Music Festival. She has performed as a chamber musician and soloist in more than a dozen countries across three continents and at major venues around the world.

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Jennifer Grim
Jennifer Grim

Hailed as "a deft, smooth flute soloist" by the New York Times, Jennifer Grim's remarkable depth and breadth as a performer of solo and chamber repertoire has gained broad national acclaim. Grim is currently an associate professor at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, and she serves on the Board of Directors of Chamber Music America.

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Erin Hannigan
Erin Hannigan

Erin Hannigan is the principal oboe of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and an adjunct associate professor at Southern Methodist University. As the co-founder of the non-profit Artists for Animals, Hannigan has received the "Ford Award for Excellence in Community Service," and as a graduate of Eastman School of Music, she has received the Distinguished Alumni Award.

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Mark Nuccio
Mark Nuccio

Mark Nuccio is currently principal clarinet of the Houston Symphony and former associate principal and solo E-flat clarinet of the New York Philharmonic. He serves on the faculty at both the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston and is a Rico Advising Artist & Clinician.

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Brass

David Byrd-Marrow
David Byrd-Marrow

Atlanta native, hornist David Byrd-Marrow is a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Knights. On Broadway, David most recently was in the orchestra for the musical Carousel. He is currently an assistant professor of horn at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, and he has served as a faculty member at the Banff Music Centre.

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Craig Morris
Craig Morris

Grammy-nominated trumpet soloist Craig Morris is a versatile performer, comfortable in all genres of music. Prior to his work as a soloist, Morris was principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and associate principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony. Morris is currently a professor of trumpet at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. 

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Weston Sprott
Weston Sprott

Weston Sprott is currently Dean of the Preparatory Division at the Juilliard School and a trombonist in New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He is a recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence and the Atlanta Symphony Talent Development Program Aspire Award and is an active speaker, writer, and advisor for diversity and inclusion efforts in classical music. 

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Richard Todd
Richard Todd

Richard Todd served as principal horn of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for 35 years, and his studio career has included over 2,000 film and television scores. He has served on the faculty at Cal Arts, UCLA, USC, and the University of Indiana Jacobs School of Music and is currently a professor of horn at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

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Percussion

Svet Stoyanov
Svet Stoyanov

Svet Stoyanov is a driving force in modern percussion who has performed more than 1,000 recitals and has presented over 200 masterclasses worldwide. Winner of the prestigious Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Stoyanov is currently an associate professor and Director of Percussion Studies at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

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Opera

Chad Goodman
Chad Goodman

With a flair for inventive programming and a bold presence on stage and in the community, Chad Goodman is the recipient of Festival Napa Valley's 2021 Joel Revzen Conducting Fellowship. Goodman has also served as a Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, an Assistant Conductor for the San Francisco Symphony, and the Founder and Artistic Director of Elevate Ensemble.

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Ronny Michael Greenberg
Ronny Michael Greenberg

Pianist, Opera Coach and Producer, Ronny Michael Greenberg is a leading innovator in the world of performing arts. A native of Montreal, he has toured internationally, performing in opera houses and concert halls including the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall, Montreal’s Place des Arts Theater, and across Italy, New Zealand, and Hawaii.

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Rhoslyn Jones
Rhoslyn Jones

Described as a “superb singer and artistic presence,” Rhoslyn Jones has established herself as an important presence on the operatic and concert stages of the world. Hailed as “The delicious diva," Jones captivated the audience with her “unforgettably powerful voice” in her role debut in Vancouver Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro.

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Noah Lindquist
Noah Lindquist

Pianist and vocal coach Noah Lindquist is assistant conductor at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In his private studio he has coached singers heard on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Oper Frankfurt, and Opernhaus Zürich, among others. Lindquist is also in demand as a guest coach at Young Artist programs and has coached the young artists of the Ryan Opera Center, San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellows, and Hawai’i Opera Theatre’s Orvis Studio.
 

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Malcolm Mackenzie
Malcolm Mackenzie

With a voice described as having a “rich vocal range full of inviting nuance,” Malcolm MacKenzie continues to attract attention in the dramatic baritone repertoire. Opera News recently praised him as a “confident, commanding Count di Luna…of robust tone, ardent address, arching phrases and genuine baritonal squillo.” Of his recent role debut as Baron Scarpia they wrote: "His rich, warm, and dark tone was bolstered by a relentless legato line which amplified the sensuous sleaziness of his Scarpia."

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Slater Penney
Slater Penney

Slater Penney (He/Him) is an Emmy award-winning performer delighted to play a corpse in this opera. His feature-length production, The Submarine Show, is a live-action cartoon created with Cirque du Soliel clown Jaron Hollander, and over the past 10 years has earned awards at the fringe festivals in San Francisco, Edinburgh, New York, and Montreal.

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Donna Racik
Donna Racik

Donna Racik is an assistant conductor, vocal coach and prompter at the Metropolitan Opera. In her more than 30 years with the company she has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s greatest singers, including Marilyn Horne, Renée Fleming, Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo, to name a few.

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Michael Sheppard
Michael Sheppard

Known as “a virtuosic soloist possessed of power, sensitivity, earthiness, and humor” (Whitney Smith, Indianapolis Star) with the “power to make an audience sit up and pay attention...thought-provoking for performers and listeners alike” (James Manheim, All Music Guide ), Michael Sheppard studied with the legendary Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory. He was selected by the American Pianists Association as a Classical Fellow, which designation led to the recording of his Harmonia Mundi CD of 2007.

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Conductors & Others

Robert Britton
Robert Britton

Robert Britton is an Alexander Technique instructor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he has also served as chair of "The Complete Musician" department. He was awarded the George S. Sarlo Award for Excellence in Teaching in Colleges and Universities in 2012, and he currently serves on the Board of the Alexander Technique Congress Association.

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James Conlon
James Conlon

James Conlon has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra since his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1974. Since 2006, Conlon has served as Music Director of the Los Angeles Opera, and in 2016, he became the first American to hold the position of Principal Conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy.

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Chad Goodman
Chad Goodman

With a flair for inventive programming and a bold presence on stage and in the community, Chad Goodman is the recipient of Festival Napa Valley's 2021 Joel Revzen Conducting Fellowship. Goodman has also served as a Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, an Assistant Conductor for the San Francisco Symphony, and the Founder and Artistic Director of Elevate Ensemble.

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Kent Nagano
Kent Nagano

Kent Nagano is considered one of the outstanding conductors for both operatic and orchestral repertoire. He has been General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra since September 2015.

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Christopher James Ray
Christopher James Ray

Christopher James Ray is a conductor with a diverse background in both traditional and contemporary operatic works. He is currently Resident Conductor at Opera San José and an assistant with the San Francisco Symphony. In 2017, Ray joined the music staff of the renowned Bayreuth Festival where he worked on productions of Der Fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin, Götterdämmerung, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal.

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