Nick Curry, Associate Professor, Cello, Area Coordinator
Dr. Nick Curry is the Associate Professor of Cello at the
University of North Florida. At UNF, he also serves as the coordinator of
scholarships and admissions for the music department and as the area
coordinator for strings. He is a founding member of Trio Florida with violinist
Simon Shiao and pianist Gary Smart, featuring new compositions as well as
timeless classics. In early 2015, he joined fellow Jacksonville musicians
Aurica Duca, violinist, and Clinton Dewing, violinist/violist, as founders of
the Lawson Ensemble to
play and promote chamber music in the region. From 2004-2007, he served as the
assistant professor of cello and the cellist in the Rawlins Piano Trio at the
University of South Dakota.
He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from The Westminster Schools,
where his chamber music coaches included Martha Gerschefski and Allan Sandlin.
Nick received his Bachelor of Music, cum laude, from Vanderbilt, where he
studied with Grace Mihi Bahng. While at Vanderbilt, he served as Professor
Bahng’s teaching assistant and was the recipient of the Jean Keller Heard Award
for Excellence in string performance. Nick then served as Hans Jorgen Jensen’s
teaching assistant for five years at Northwestern University, earning both his
Master and Doctor of Music degrees. He also was the teaching assistant to
Professor Jensen at the Meadowmount School of Music for four summers. At
Northwestern, Nick performed as soloist with the Northwestern Philharmonic
Orchestra and won the Northwestern Chamber Music Competition.
Nick’s chamber training includes master classes with the Emerson String
Quartet, the Pacifica String Quartet, and the Blair String Quartet. Private
studies also included summers in Canada and Italy studying with Harvey Shapiro
of Julliard fame. Nick has played concerts in Austria, France, Italy, England,
Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan and Turkey, and throughout the United
States. In April of 2006, he performed as a soloist on National Public
Radio (USA) Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion on the King Amati (ca.
1538) cello. The performance was heard by over 4,000 people live and by
approximately four million on radio and can be found on the Prairie Home
Companion website archives.
In the summers of 2012 and 2013, Dr. Curry was visiting faculty at the
Meadowmount School of Music and was full-time faculty at the Tennessee Valley
Music Festival. In 2016, he joined the faculty of the ARIA International
Summer Music Academy. He has presented at national conferences; is a
sought after clinician and adjudicator; and active with the Florida Chapter of
the American String Teachers Association. His research has been printed
in the ASTA journal. In 2017 he founded the first annual Jacksonville Cello Workshop.
Contact: (904) 620-3837 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Barrett, Adjunct Professor, Violin
Melissa Barrett is the Associate Concertmaster of the Jacksonville Symphony. She holds degrees in violin performance from Michigan State University and the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Walter Verdehr and Sylvia Rosenberg. Her chamber music coaches include the Juilliard Quartet, Franco Gulli, Raphael Druian, Gyorgy Sebok, and Gunther Schuller. Prior to her tenure with the Jacksonville Symphony, Melissa spent one season performing in the Savannah Symphony. She was also on the full time faculty at Sam Houston State University for five years, where she performed in the faculty piano trio and the Houston Grand Opera orchestra. She has performed in numerous summer festivals, including Aspen, Boulder, Lake George Opera, Sandpoint, Banff, and Sarasota. Melissa was a member of Chamber music Hilton head for eight seasons, and founded the Lantana Piano trio. As an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Florida, she enjoys mentoring students on violin, chamber music, and orchestral repertoire.
Contact: 904) 620-2961 - email@example.com
Grace Bahng Gavin, Adjunct Professor, Cello
Grace Bahng Gavin was a scholarship student of
Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins at the Juilliard School where she
received her B.M. and M.M. degrees. She was a member of the Blair String
Quartet and Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University from 1984-1999. Widely
acclaimed in concert performances across the country, she has appeared in
recital at the Library of Congress, Kennedy Center, 92nd St. Y in New York,
Alice Tully Hall and on National Public Radio and Television. She has been in
residence at the Aspen, Marlboro, Sunflower, Sewanee, Buzzard's Bay and the
Crested Butte Chamber Music Festivals, the El Paso Pro Musica International
Chamber Music Festival, the Sedona Chamber Music Festival, the
Highlands/Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, the Irving S. Gilmore International
Keyboard Festival, and the St. Barths Music Festival. Ms. Bahng has performed
with a wide array of musicians, including: Edgar Meyer, Robert McDuffie, Donald
McInnes, Joseph Silverstein, Bela Fleck,Nigel Kennedy, Mark O'connor,
Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Andrea Bocelli and
has played on numerous movie soundtracks.
Contact: (904) 620-2961 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Renate Falkner, Adjunct Professor, Viola
Praised for her versatility and creativity, American violist
Renate Falkner enjoys an active career as an orchestral and chamber musician,
performing across the U.S. and abroad. Equally at home on both modern and
baroque viola, she is a former member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and
performs regularly with groups such as Boston Baroque, the Baltimore Symphony
Orchestra, Orchestra New England, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. In Florida,
she performs regularly with the Jacksonville Symphony and the Naples Philharmonic,
as well as with Opera Tampa and the St. Petersburg Opera Company.
As a chamber musician, she frequently collaborates with internationally
renowned flutist Sergio Pallottelli in diverse chamber ensembles with guitar
(Trio Tropicale) and harp (Anthos Trio and Trio Salzedo) and is a frequent
guest artist with the Fontenay Chamber Players in NY, and the Westminster Trio
in Baltimore. Renate has also performed alongside such artists as violinist
Erick Friedman, violist Jesse Levine, harpist Rita Costanzi and oboist Joe
Robinson. She has been heard in chamber collaborations in venues as diverse as
the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book
Library, in orchestras at Carnegie Hall and Boston’s Jordan Hall, as well as such
forums as the American Harp Society and the National Association of Composers,
Summer appearances abroad have included the Verbier Festival, Switzerland, the
Spoleto Festival, Italy, and a faculty appointment at the Carvalho Festival of
Music in Fortaleza, Brazil. In the U.S., she has appeared or taught at the
Quartz Mountain Music Festival, OK, Chautauqua Festival, NY, and the
Weathersfiled Festival, VT. Currently, she is a member of the orchestra at the
prestigious Bellingham Festival of Music in Washington state every summer. She
has recorded for the Chandos, Nimbus and Rezound music labels.
An accomplished educator, Dr. Falkner received her undergraduate training at
the Oberlin College and Conservatory, earning degrees in both viola and Ancient
Greek, studying with Roland Vamos. She completed her graduate studies at Yale
University as a scholarship student of the late violist Jesse Levine. She has
performed and given masterclasses and presentations at schools and universities
throughout Florida, Valdosta State University (GA), Bowling Green State
University (OH), Ball State University (IN), and the College of Wooster (OH).
She is also a co-founder, along with her sister Dr. Annegret Falkner, of
Project Left Brain/Right Brain, a new initiative designed to illuminate the
complementary relationship between Music and the Brain through education
integrating both S.T.E.M. fields and the Fine Arts. Most recently, she earned a
doctoral degree in viola from the Florida State University, studying the viola
music of English composer York Bowen. She currently serves as Prof. of Viola,
Adjunct at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
Contact: (904) 620-2961 - email@example.com
Simon Shiao, Associate Professor, Vioin/Viola
Dr. Simon Shiao is a versatile performer who holds the distinction
of having performed at Carnegie Hall in three different capacities, as a
recitalist and with both string quartet and orchestra.
Dr. Shiao has appeared around the world in concert, as well as on broadcasts of
CNN's Science and Technology program and on Public Radio's Live on WGBH Radio.
Highlights of his performances include concerts at the Museum of Oceanography
in Monte Carlo, the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum
in Boston, and as soloist with the New World Symphony in Miami. He has also
appeared at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, A Winter Festival in
Jerusalem, and the Heidelberg Schloss Festspiele in Germany. As
co-concertmaster of the New World Symphony, Dr. Shiao led that orchestra at
Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco under the direction of Michael Tilson
Thomas and John Adams.
Dr. Shiao currently performs with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and with
the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra in Wyoming. At the University of North
Florida he teaches violin and viola and is the Director of Orchestral Studies.
He has adjudicated the Music Teachers' National Association Young Artist Competitions
and the UNF String Competition, and has presented lecture-recitals and master
classes at numerous universities and conservatories in the U.S., Belize,
Taiwan, and China. He is currently the chair of the solo competition for the
Florida Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.
Dr. Shiao holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music
and Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the State University of New
York at Stony Brook.
Contact: (904) 620-3835 - firstname.lastname@example.org
John Wieland, Adjunct Professor, Bass
John Wieland has been principal bass for the Jacksonville Symphony
since 1989. He is also an Assistant Conductor for the Jacksonville Symphony
Prior to joining the Jacksonville Symphony, Mr. Wieland was
principal bass of the Virginia and Oklahoma Symphonies, as well as the Orquesta
Sinfonica de Mineria in Mexico City. For many summers, he was also a member of
the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra in Boulder Colorado as well as the
National Repertory Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Eastern Music
His bachelor’s degree is from the New School of Music in
Philadelphia (now part of Temple University) and included studies with Michael
Shahan (Associate Principal Bass/Philadelphia Orchestra) and (the late) William
Smith (Assistant Conductor/Keyboard/Philadelphia Orchestra). Additional
teachers include Eugene Levinson (Principal/New York Philharmonic) and (the late)
H. Stevens Brewster (Principal of the National Symphony).
An avid educator, he has taught students from age three up to the
university level. He has held faculty positions at the University of Central
Oklahoma, Langston University, Bethune-Cookman University, as well as teaching
bass at Stetson University for over sixteen years. Many of Mr. Wieland’s former
students now teach all over North and Central America and play professionally
around the world.
Contact: (904) 620-2961 - email@example.com