The Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Chair, in honor of Wendell J. and Belva B. Ashton
Ralph Matson was appointed Utah Symphony Concertmaster in 1985. He began his violin studies in Detroit with Emily Mutter Austin. Mr. Matson received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale College and a master's degree from the Yale School of Music. His principal teachers were Joseph Silverstein and Steven Staryk. He was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, and prior to his Utah Symphony appointment, was Assistant Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Mr. Matson's solo appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Utah Symphony include collaborations with Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Neville Marriner, Eiji Oue, Joseph Silverstein, Keith Lockhart, and Pavel Kogan. Since 1996, he has participated in the Grand Teton Music Festival where he is Concertmaster of the Festival Orchestra.
Violinist Kathryn Eberle is the newly appointed Associate Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. Previously, Ms. Eberle was a violinist with the St. Louis Symphony and Guest Concertmaster with the Omaha and Richmond Symphonies. She served extensively as Concertmaster for the Juilliard Orchestra, including the ensemble’s tour of China, as well as performances in Avery Fisher, Alice Tully and Carnegie Halls.
Ms. Eberle’s solo performances include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Louisville Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, the Bahia Symphony in Brazil and the Fireworks Ensemble at the Library of Congress. She has collaborated with such artists as Edgar Meyer, Jaime Laredo, Arnold Steinhardt, Ricardo Morales, and members of the New York Philharmonic. Eberle garnered Grand Prize in the YMF National Debut, Pasadena Instrumental, and USC Concerto Competitions and top prizes in the Klein, Stulberg, and Corpus Christi International Competitions. An avid chamber musician, her festival appearances include Aspen, Banff, Yellow Barn, Encore School for Strings, Missillac (France), Sewanee, Laguna Beach, Innsbrook and Festival Mozaic.
Ms. Eberle received a Master’s Degree from The Juilliard School studying with Sylvia Rosenberg. She previously studied with Robert Lipsett both at the Colburn School and the University of Southern California, where she received the String Department and Symphony awards upon graduation. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, she was a pre-college student of Cornelia Heard at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. Ms. Eberle performs on a J.B. Vuillaume, Paris, 1870.
Leonard Braus, a native of Cincinnati, began studying violin with James Stephenson at the age of 9, after his father, a chemist and community orchestra musician, realized he had a remarkable sensitivity to pitch. Two years later, he made his debut performing a Vivaldi Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony. It was in high school that Mr. Braus determined that playing the violin “was what I did best and what I enjoyed most,” and decided to become a professional musician.
He continued his studies at Indiana University, where he came under the guidance of eminent violinists Tadeusz Wronski and Josef Gingold, whom he credits as having had the greatest influence on his musical development. Additionally, he has studied with Franco Gulli and Ivan Galamian. In 1976, Mr. Braus was a semifinalist in the Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa, Italy. The following year he was a finalist in the Young Artist Competition in Lansing, Michigan. He is also a former first prize winner in Cincinnati Symphony’s Young Artist Competition.
From 1978 to 1981 Mr. Braus served as concertmaster for the Tulsa Philharmonic and Opera Orchestra, and in 1980 and 1981, he acted in the same capacity for the Tulsa Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. For the past three decades, Mr. Braus has been Associate Concertmaster for the Utah Symphony. He has made numerous solo appearances with Utah Symphony and orchestras in Ohio, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Missouri. In addition to his position with the Utah Symphony, Mr. Braus was named Concertmaster of Salt Lake City’s LA East Recording Orchestra. He has also been the Concertmaster of the Opus Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Braus’ teaching experience includes assisting Professors Wronski and Gingold at Indiana University, faculty positions at Oklahoma State and DePauw Universities and currently he is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah. He and Utah Symphony violinist Loi Anne Eyring have performed together as the Guarneri Duo.
DAVID H. PARK, ‘a soloist with extraordinary artistic gifts’, (Salt Lake Tribune) started playing the violin at the age of five in Seoul, Korea. Park has studied with two of the most distinguished pedagogues, Josef Gingold and Dorothy Delay. He received his Bachelor of Music at the University of Indiana and Master of Music at the Juilliard School. At the age of 14, he was one of the last students of the legendary Jascha Heifetz.
Park maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras throughout the world and his recital and chamber music activities. Park appeared as a soloist with the Utah Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Festival Orchestra, the Korean Chamber Orchestra, Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra, the Daegu Symphony, the Inchon Symphony and the Santa Ana Symphony. Park has given recitals in many of the world's great concert halls including Carnegie Weill Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, Salle Pleyel in Paris, and Sejong Music Center in Seoul. Park has also performed on national television and radio broadcasts in the United States, France and Korea. Recently, he has been featured on CBS 2 News and FOX 13 News. Furthermore, Park has participated as both soloist and chamber musician in music festivals of Aspen, Santa Barbara, Vienna, and Aix-en-Provence.
Some of Park's highlights include his first return to Seoul, Korea, performing the Lalo Symphonie Espagnole with the Seoul Philharmonic. Park made his New York debut performing Vivaldi's Four Seasons in Carnegie Weill Hall. Park performed both solo and chamber music in collaboration with Augustin Dumay in France which was broadcasted nationally by France Musique, the premier classical radio station in France. In 2004, Park soloed with the Pyongyang State Orchestra of North Korea in a highly anticipated Cultural Exchange Gala Concert. Recently, he performed with Roanoke Symphony, Crown City Symphony, Pan-Asia Symphony Orchestra in Hong Kong, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra as a Guest Concertmaster. Furthermore, Park was invited to give a recital for Musique Au Coeur du Médoc concert series in Bordeaux, France, as well as International Music Festivals of Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany, Vianden, Luxembourg, and Sochi, Russia. He has presented rare series of concerts pairing Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesu violins with critical acclaim.
Park is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony and an Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of Utah. In 2005, Park held a position of Distinguished Artist at the University of California Santa Barbara. He has served on the jury of the Irving M. Klein International Competition in San Francisco. Prior to joining the Utah Symphony, Park was the Concertmaster of the Festival International d'Art Lyrique de Musique d'Aix-en-Provence, Wintergreen Music Festival Orchestra, the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra working with such musicians as Myung whun Chung, Leonard Slatkin, Joseph Silverstein, John Williams, Keith Lockhart, Robert Mann, and Reinhart Goeble of Antiqua Cologne.
In 2011, Park’s passion for Bordeaux wines culminated in his induction as Commandeur d’Honneur for an exclusive wine society in Bordeaux, France, Commanderie du Bontemps de Medoc et des Graves Sauternes et Barsac. Some of its distinguished members are Prince Philip, Queen Paola of Belgium, Placido Domingo, Ben Kingsley, and Hugh Grant.
Originally from Paris, France, violinist Claude Halter moved to the United States in 2001 and has since been heard nationwide as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader. Claude completed his Bachelor and Masters of music from Lawrence University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music respectively.
As an avid chamber musician, Claude has performed alongside artists such as Menahem Pressler (Beaux-Arts Trio), Robert Mann (Juilliard String Quartet), faculty members of the San Francisco Conservatory and members of the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, and Utah symphonies. Claude is equally passionate about orchestral repertoire and has led many performances as concertmaster under great conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vaanska, Stephane Deneve and many others.
In January 2012, Claude joined the Utah Symphony and Opera as principal second violin. He was previously assistant concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony in British Columbia. When not in rehearsal, Claude enjoys hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and fly-fishing in the beautiful Wasatch mountain range.
Associate Principal Second
Violinist Wen Yuan Gu joined the Utah Symphony in 1998, became Associate Principal Second Violin in 1999, and serves as Acting Principal Second Violin for the 2007-08 season. She is a native of China, where as a child she studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and performed for Isaac Stern during his famous visit in 1979.
Ms. Gu moved to the United States to study at North Carolina School of the Arts and then to Pittsburgh to study with concertmaster Andres Cardenes (Pittsburgh Symphony) and to obtain her M.A. degree at Carnegie Mellon University. Between 1994 and 1998, She played with the orchestras of the Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera. She has won numerous competitions, including fourth place in the Chinese National Competition in 1985 and first prize in the Hennessy Cognac Performing Arts Competition in New York in 1992. Her recent recitals include a 2006 performance in Libby Gardner Hall at the University of Utah, a 2006 performance in Zhaoqing, China, and a 2007 performance at Beijing University.
During the 2006-07 symphony season, She spent a sabbatical in Beijing to practice and study Chinese music and musical styles.
Violinist Karen Wyatt joined the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera in 2013. Prior to joining the symphony, she performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2013. During her time with Pittsburgh Symphony, Karen toured nationally and internationally, and performed on many recordings. She also performed with the Baltimore Symphony and held a position with the Virginia Symphony.
Karen began her orchestral career with a 3 year fellowship at the New World Symphony in Miami, FL, under the leadership of Michael Tilson Thomas. During her fellowship at New World, Karen toured internationally and participated in a residency at the Opera Comique in Paris. She also performed as a principal musician with many notable conductors such as Manfred Honeck, Robert Spano and Itzhak Perlman.
Karen holds a Bachelors of Music and a Performer's Diploma in violin performance from Indiana University where she studied with Paul Biss. She has also studied with Pavel Pekarsky, Alexander Kerr and Jennifer Ross.
Karen especially enjoys performing chamber music, baroque music, and teaching. When not performing with the orchestra, Karen enjoys gardening and baking.
Before joining the Utah Symphony in 1968, violinist Tom Baron spent two summers touring and recording in Nashville and Dallas with country-music legend Ray Price. Following the five-week South American tour of the Symphony, he attended the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California on scholarship, studying chamber music with Gabor Rejto and Jerome Lowenthal. He went to the Blossom Music Festival on full scholarship, working toward a Master's degree in performance and studying with violinist Ma-Sihon. He performed chamber music under the tutelage of Henry Temianka and Cleveland Orchestra members John Mack, Maurice Sharp, and Kurt Lobell.
Between the next five seasons of the Symphony Mr. Baron played in the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra in Carmel, California, and married Carolee Baron, a cellist with the Utah Symphony. Together they raised two sons, Andrew and Nicholas. Mr. Baron's hobbies include maintaining a stable of vintage motorcycles, building and flying model airplanes, and hiking the Wasatch mountains. He holds a Master's degree in performance from the University of Utah and has a private pilot's license.
Violinist Joseph Evans has been a member of the Utah Symphony since 1996. Prior to joining the Utah Symphony, he was a member of the New World Symphony, in Miami Beach, Florida. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Utah and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. His main teachers were Miriam Schneider, Mikhail Boguslavsky, and Arianna Bronne.
Joseph has played in several music festivals, including Tanglewood, Sarasota, the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. He has been a frequent performer with the Nova chamber music series and the Canyonlands New Music Ensemble
Leave of Absence
Loi Anne Eyring is in her fifty-first season since joining the Utah Symphony at age 16. She received her BA from the University of Utah and was a full scholarship student at the Manhattan School of Music in NYC. The winner of numerous prizes and competitions, including the National Congress of Strings Competition, the Piatigorsky Chamber Music Competition, and the title of Miss Utah, Loi Anne was also awarded the Most Talented Musician at the Miss America Pageant.
She has studied with Raphael Drurian, Sascha Jacobson, Berl Senofsky, and Raphael Bronstein and has performed seasons with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera Co., Oakland Symphony, Western Opera, and Springfield Symphony. She has also soloed with the Utah Symphony and has performed as a recitalist and with chamber ensembles, including the Guarneri Duo with Leonard Braus. She was a soloist on the Utah Arts Tour many years. A memorably fun performance was when she played the Bach Concerto for Two Violins with the comedian, Jack Benny.
She and her husband, Harden, have been married for forty-five years. They have five children and nine grandchildren.