Principal Bassist of the Utah Symphony since 1988, David Yavornitzky has performed as concerto soloist, participated in U.S. and International tours, and has collaborated with many of the world's finest conductors and guest artists. David also holds the position of Professor of Double Bass at the University of Utah, where he maintains an active teaching studio. Several of his students have won statewide and national solo double bass competitions. He is a tireless proponent of contemporary music, having had compositions written for him, as well as having given important premieres of contemporary works. As a conductor, David has led many diverse ensembles, including area youth, collegiate and professional orchestras, and he has conducted several Utah premieres of contemporary works with the Nova Chamber Music Series. In 2007 David was appointed to the position of Cover Conductor for the Utah Symphony's educational programs.
David attended Baldwin-Wallace College and Conservatory, where he earned degrees in both musical performance and in theoretical physics. His double bass teachers include the late Anthony Knight of the Cleveland Orchestra and Edwin Barker, Principal Bass of the Boston Symphony. He is an alumnus of the Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship program and was awarded its C.D. Jackson prize for outstanding achievement.
Associate Principal Bass
Corbin Johnston joined the Utah Symphony as Associate Principal Bassist in 1999. Prior to his appointment in Utah he held Principal Bass positions with the Charleston and Charlotte Symphonies. His teachers were renowned bassists Lawrence Wolfe and Edwin Barker of the Boston Symphony.
As soloist Corbin has performed concerti with the Charleston, Roanoke and Utah Symphonies, the Roanoke Chamber Orchestra and Shenandoah Bach Festival Orchestra. In 1998, with Shenandoah Bach Festival Orchestra he gave the premiere of Larry Wolfe’s “Scenes from an Opera” for double bass and orchestra, a work written for him.
Chamber music collaborations include performances with the Borromeo, Fry Street and Muir String Quartets, the Kandinsky Trio, the Canadian Brass, pianist James Tocco, soprano Henriette Schellenberg and composers John Cage and Gunther Schuller. He has been a frequent guest at the Great Lakes, Park City, and Garth Newel Chamber Music Festivals and appears regularly on the NOVA Chamber Music Series.
Since 2005, Mr. Johnston has spent summer seasons performing at the Grand Teton Music Festival. Other summer festivals include the Oregon Bach Festival and the New Hampshire and Peninsula Music Festivals.
With the Utah Symphony he has served under three Music Directors, participated in International and domestic tours and appeared on numerous recordings. He can also be heard on recordings with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra and the NOVA Chamber Players. Corbin has been on faculty at Virginia Tech and the College of Charleston. In 2011, he joined the faculty of the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University.
Jamie Allyn, double bass, graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in music composition, studying with composers Peter Fricker and Stanley Krebs. He also studied double bass there and at the Music Academy of the West with Peter Mercurio. Other teachers include Edwin Barker and Lawrence Wolfe of the Boston Symphony.
Prior to joining the Utah Symphony in 1978, he was Assistant Principal of the San Diego Symphony for two seasons. Spending the 1995-96 season as a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he played under such conductors as Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Mr. Allyn has participated in summer festivals in San Diego (Mainly Mozart), Jackson, WY (Grand Teton), and Chautauqua, NY. Locally, he has performed with many groups over the years, including NOVA, Utah Chamber Artists, Utah Virtuosi, and OPUS.
Away from the orchestra he enjoys cooking, bocce, and working on his house in East Millcreek. In addition, he has been player/manager of the Symphony softball team for nearly thirty years.
Claudia Norton became a member of the Utah Symphony's string bass section in 1967 and enjoyed extensive touring and recording under the tutelage of Maurice Abravanel. She is privileged to own a Joannes Baptista Gabrielli string bass from 1787. The instrument was previously owned by Anselm Fortier, principal bass of the New York Philharmonic, and Audrey Bush, principal bass Utah Symphony.
Ms. Norton graduated from the University of Utah in 1972, where she studied biology and English literature as well as music. Ensembles in which she has performed include Utah Chamber Artists, Colors of the Baroque, and Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
She has three children, enjoys athletic pursuits, and has completed several marathons and triathlons. Other favorite occupations include dancing tango, gardening, boating, and hiking with her husband, Nick Norton, Principal Trumpet.
Double Bassist Thomas Zera has been a member of the Utah Symphony since 1999. Previously a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic, he was also a member of the New World Symphony based in Miami Beach, Florida. Mr. Zera also substitutes regularly in the Bass Section of the Minnesota Orchestra both in concerts and recordings.
Mr. Zera holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of music where he studied with Gary Karr and holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Eugene Levinson, Principal Bass of the New York Philharmonic.
Thomas has played in the Intermezzo and Nova chamber series in Salt Lake City, as well as the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Colorado and Music from Angel Fire in Taos, New Mexico. He teaches privately, is a faculty member of Westminster Collage, and has spent two summers as faculty at the Kinhaven Summer Chamber Music Festival in Weston, Vermont.
When not performing with the Symphony, Mr. Zera enjoys the wonderful outdoor activities that Utah offers, including fishing, hiking, and skiing.
Jens tenBroek comes from a long line of musicians. Born and raised in Oakland, CA he received a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a Professional Studies Certificate from the Colburn Conservatory. He has participated in many music festivals including Verbier, Aspen, New York String Orchestra Seminar and Music Academy of the West where he was the concerto competition winner. His primary teachers have included Lawrence Hurst, David Moore, Paul Ellison, Leigh Mesh and Peter Lloyd.