A native of Parisian, Thanos Adamopoulos started his musical studies with his father in Israel. He first came to the attention of the musical world in 1957, when he and members of his family appeared on US television with Leonard Bernstein and Issac Stern. At the age of 19 he was appointed solo violinist of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Following successful engagements as concertmaster of the Belgian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Antwerp Philharmonic, Mr. Adamopoulos was named concertmaster of the Monnaie Symphony Orchestra, Brussels, a position he commands today, while also teaching at the Brussels Royal Conservatory.
Pacalin Zef Pavaci
Paçalin Zef Pavaci joins the AYO violin artist-faculty with highest recommendations from Maestro Loren Maazel, who writes: “I am impressed by his talent as a violinist and as concertmaster. His dedication to the music is amazing . . . as are his musical talents . . . He animates the music and his colleagues . . . I relied on his leadership and his great experience….”
Born in Kumamoto, Japan to the parents who are both Suzuki Violin instructors, Ms. Inomoto started violin lessons at a very early age mainly under her mother. She started playing in Kumamoto Youth Orchestra at age 7, and completed a Masters of Art degree at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (Department of Japanese, Faculty of Language). Her music diploma studies, on viola and violin, were completed with distinction at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien (Conservatory of the City of Vienna). From 2000 - 2012, she played full time with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in the Viola Section.
In her training she was invited in 1999 to join the National Youth Orchestra of Canada as one of 3 principal violists. She joined Asian Youth Orchestra (music director: Lord Yehudi Menuhin) twice as principal 2nd violinist (90, 92), 1st violin (91), and viola (93). In 2000, also, she was asked to join Asian Youth Orchestra as principal violist. Both of Toko’s parents were centrally involved in starting the Kumamoto Youth Orchestra, one of the oldest youth orchestras in Asia, and her late father, Inomoto Otoya, played a critical role in the successful launch of the Asian Youth Orchestra in Japan. This is Ms. Inomoto third summer with AYO as viola coach.
Rhonda Rider, recently appointed Chair of Strings at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, served as the cellist of the Naumburg Award winning Lydian Quartet and Triple Helix Piano Trio each for over twenty years. Ms. Rider has adjudicated and served on the panels of Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff and Stulberg Competitions, American String Teachers' Association and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been a frequent guest and teacher at the Asian Youth Orchestra, Green Mountain Festival, ARIA, Music from Salem and Tanglewood. Ms. Rider is heard on over 30 recordings of chamber and solo music, including numerous works written for her. Ms. Rider has been a member of the AYO Faculty since 2002. She will be on sabbatical leave this summer.
Anna Kwan Ton An, an acclaimed young virtuoso of the new generation, started learning the cello when she was ten at the Hong Kong Academy For Performing Arts. She received her Bachelor Degree at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and obtain her Masters of Music at Yale University. She was awarded the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund and Yale University Scholarship for her studies. she has worked with members of Vermeer, Emerson, Colorado and Tokyo String Quartets. In 1992, she was chosen to be the only representative from Hong Kong to attend the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, USA with full scholarship. She was a member of the Asian Youth Orchestra from 1993-95 and was principal cellist in 1995. She joined Jeunesse Musicales World Youth Orchestra in 1996-97. Ms. Kwan joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 2001 and is now a member of the Hong Kong String Quartet and the Anonymous Quartet. This is her fourth summer with AYO.
Kansas Native David Sheets started his career as Associate Principal Bassist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra during his Sophomore year at the Eastman School of Music after playing for one season as a tutti player. Since then he has performed with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Minnesota Orchestra. He is currently the Associate Principal Bassist of the Baltimore Symphony, where he has been a tenured member since 1996. In addition to playing solo bass with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, he has been featured in recital at the International Society of Bassists Convention and has taught master classes at a number of leading music conservatories. Mr. Sheets has been a member of the AYO faculty since 2006.
Flute & Piccolo
Paola Bonora was born in Milan, where she begun her first musical studies at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi, graduating in 1985. That same year she moved to Paris where she started post graduate studies under Raymond Guiot at the Conservatoire Hector Berlioz, obtaining first prize by unanimous consent. In 1987 she won the competition at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris and was admitted to Alan Marion's class who guided her until she obtained in 1990 the Premier Prix both in Flute and in Chamber Music.
Oboe & English horn
Asian Youth Orchestra alumnus and recipient of the “Young Artist Award” by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Bobby Chi-Yuen CHENG is the Principal Oboe of l’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse since 2016. A promising player in his generation, Mr. Cheng appears regularly as guest principal oboist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre National de France, l’Orchestre de Paris as well as the London Symphony Orchestra. He has worked under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano, Tugan Sokhiev, François-Xavier Roth, Klaus Mäkelä, Lahav Shani among others.
As a soloist, Mr. Cheng has performed with Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Korean Chamber Orchestra, China NCPA Orchestra and l’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. He has also given performances throughout Europe, USA and Asia.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Mr. Cheng graduated from the HKAPA and CNSMD Lyon with highest honours. During his studies, he has participated in numerous international music competitions, and is a laureate of competition including “Giuseppe Ferlendis” in Italy and the 41st IDRS Oboe Competition in the USA, among many others. Mr. Cheng is an artist of the renowned French brand Buffet Crampon and he plays on the “Legende” model oboe. This is his first summer with AYO.
Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
Paolo Beltramini, Solo Clarinet of the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana (Lugano, Switzerland), is the only Italian clarinetist to have won the First Prize at the prestigious Prague Spring International Clarinet Competition (1996). In duo, together with the pianist Roberto Arosio, he was the winner of the International Chamber Music Competitions in Paris (1996) and Trapani (1997). The forementioned awards brought Beltramini to the atention of audiences and critics and helped establish his reputation as one of the most interesting wind-instrument virtuosos on the international concert circuit.
Bassoon & contrabassoon
Principal Bassoonist of the Bergamo Music Festival Orchestra, the Orchestra del Festival Pianistico di Brescia e Bergamo, the Italian Philharmonic Orchestra, and I Musici di Parma, Giorgio Versiglia was born in Pavia, Italy in 1962. He has worked with RAI's Orchestra, RTSI Lugano, Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, Orchestra da camera CARME, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, Orchestra da Camera in Bologna, Orchestra Quartettone in Milan, Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese, Cameristi Lombardi, Orchestra Milano Classica, Symphony Orchestra Toscanini in Parma, Orchestra Teatro Regio in Parma, I Musici di Parma, Orchestra Stabile of Bergamo, Orchestra della Scala, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, and Teatro dell'Opera in Roma.
Andrea Corsini, Principal Horn of the Orchestra Filarmonica della Fenice in Venice since 1998, graduated in horn in 1985 at the Conservatory Giuseppe Verdi in Milan with Maestro Elvio Modonesi, and he specialized with Radovan Vlatkovic taking part at the courses of the School of Music in Stuttgart. Under his guidance Maestro Corsini also obtained a diploma of merit at Chigiana Academy of Siena in 1994.
An active orchestral performer, Maestro Corsini has performed with the Orchestra Camerata Salzburg, the Orchestra OSI Lugano, the Human Rights Orchestra based in Lucerne, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, and Orchestra I solisti Veneti. As a soloist, he has collaborated with the Theatre des Variétés of Monte Carlo, the Chamber Orchestra of Belluno, the Orchestra of the Teatro Stabile di Bergamo, and the prestigious instrumental group Achille Berruti in Milan. In 1995 he won the international competition for the first horn soloist at the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, holding the position until 1998. This is his fifth summer with AYO.
Principal Trumpet at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Prof. Fabiano Cudiz began his musical studies under the guidance of Prof. L. De Cecco, graduating in trumpet in 1987 at the Conservatory J. Tomadini in Udine. He completed advanced studies with Stanko Arnold in Ljubljana Slovenia, and later won the first prize at the post-graduate course at the National Conservatory of Versailles, France.
Trombone & tuba
Eugenio Abbiatici was the first trombone from 1985 to 1989 in the orchestra of the “Teatro Regio” di Parma and from 1989 to 1993, at the” Teatro alla Scala” of Milan, and is currently Principal Trombone in the Orchestra Della Radio Svizzera Italiana.
For 20 years he has also played with “I Solisti Veneti” directed by Claudio Scimone.
Mr. Abbiatici completed his studies at the Music Conservatory of Brescia with Guido Delmonte, and he has also participated in masterclasses with Branimir Slokar.
In his career he has collaborated with the most important conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Yuri Temirkanov and Seiji Ozawa.
PERCUSSION & HARP
Danilo Grassi holds the Chair of Percussion Instruments at the A. Boito Conservatory in Parma and he is the principal instructor of the Master classes for percussionists under the patronage of the European Union. As a soloist, Danilo Grassi has participated in the preparation and performance of premieres by Luciano Berio, Chick Corea, Adriano Guarnieri, Giacomo Manzoni, Steve Reich, Max Roach, Giacinto Scelsi, Iannis Xenakis, in venues such as the Paris Opera Bastille, New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Centre, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera.
A leading harpist and teacher in Taiwan and Asia, Shannon Chieh has been principal harpist with the National Symphony of Taiwan and faculty of National Taiwan Normal University since 1999. Former principal harpist with the Knoxville and San Antonio symphony orchestras, Ms. Chieh presented her New York debut recital in Carnegie Hall in 2000. Since then, she has been active in the international harp scene, including served as soloist and jury member at Japan International Harp Competition and Singapore Harpfest. Currently, Ms. Chieh also serves on the Board of Directors of the World Harp Congress.