The Performers

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Dr. Boyan Bonev - Artistic Director

Dr. Bonev is an award winning cellist and a native of Bulgaria. He holds Doctor of Music and Master of Music degree from the Florida State University, and Bachelor of Music degree from the National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. Dr. Bonev has performed in a number of prestigious music festivals and conferences in Europe and USA such as FestivalSouth in Hattiesburg, MS, "Bach Around the Clock" Festival in New Orleans, LA, College Music Society Southern Regional Conference and Florida Music Educators' Association Conference in Tampa, FL, "Varga Celebration" in Greensboro, NC, "Seven Days of Opening Nights" and Festival of New Music in Tallahassee, FL, "Musica Nova" and "New Bulgarian Music" in Sofia, Bulgaria, "Varna Summer" in Varna, Bulgaria, "Apolonia" in Sozopol, Bulgaria and "March Music Days" in Rousse, Bulgaria.  

Dr. Bonev has performed across the United States and Europe. He was featured as a soloist by the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, the University of West Florida Chamber Orchestra, the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra and the Stara Zagora Symphony Orchestra, and performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall. Dr. Bonev is a prize winner from the Bulgarian National Competition for Singers and Instrumentalists and the International Competition "Music and Earth". He is also a recipient of the Radio Stara Zagora National Award for Outstanding Concert and Artistic Achievements and the Florida State University Graduate Teaching Assistantship.  
Dr. Bonev teaches cello, double bass, chamber music and orchestra at the University of West Florida. He is also a faculty member of the Florida State University Summer Music Camps.

Caroline Holden

Caroline has played with many orchestras across the country, including the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Mississippi Symphony, and the West Michigan Symphony. She currently serves as Assistant Concertmaster of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the Tallahassee Bach Parley. She is a founding member of the Bach Parley String Academy, where she maintains an active teaching studio.
Caroline performs chamber music as a violinist in the Purple Martin String Quartet, and is a founding member of the Argot Trio with her husband, Dr. Jonathan Holden, which recently released their debut CD, Mostly Mississippi
Caroline is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and earned degrees from Hope College in Holland, MI and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She resides in Tallahassee with her husband and two young children. Outside of music, she enjoys gardening and stained glass projects.


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Pamela ryan

Pamela Ryan was praised by the American Record Guide for “superb technique and musicianship.” Since her debut as winner of the Aspen Young Artist Concerto Competition, she has given master classes and performed as soloist and chamber musician in Asia, Europe, and North America. She performed the Bartok Viola Concerto as soloist with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra and has been invited to return in 2018 to perform Alan Shulman’s Theme and Variations for Viola and Orchestra.  She has served on the summer artist faculty of Aspen, Brevard, Yellow Barn, Schlern Italy, Idyllwild, Bowdoin, and Green Mountain. She is the professor of viola at Florida State Universty.  She is proud that her former students hold professional titled viola positions on five continents.

shannon thomas

Shannon Thomas has performed at the Kennedy Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Carnegie Hall, and the Banff Centre where she has collaborated with artists such as the St. Lawrence String Quartet, David Halen, Richard King, Wendy Chen, and Anita Pontremoli.

Currently Assistant Professor of Violin at Florida State University, she has also been on the faculties at University of Southern Mississippi, the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory Division, Interlochen Arts Camp, and Lee University. Her students have been prizewinners and finalists at national competitions.  She has been on the violin and chamber music faculty of the Kinhaven Music School since 2012, in addition to teaching at the Stony Brook University Chamber Music Camp, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Luby Violin Symposium, and the Innsbrook Institute Summer Music Academy and Festival, where she also served as Education Director.

Shannon earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she served as Paul Kantor’s teaching assistant. She received a Master of Music at Yale University and a Bachelor of Music at Vanderbilt University, and also pursued graduate work at Arizona State University, where she was the first student to be accepted into the Artist Diploma program.

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Gregory Sauer, cello

Gregory Sauer performs in many different musical arenas. He has appeared in recital at the Old First Concert Series in San Francisco, Vanderbilt University, Rice University, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, and the Brightmusic Concert Series in Oklahoma City, among many others throughout the U.S.   Mr Sauer has performed concertos with orchestras such as the Houston Symphony, the Quad City Symphony, the Columbus (GA) Symphony, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the Missoula Symphony, among many others. As a member of Trio Solis, he performed in Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall.  

Greg has recorded for Harmonia Mundi, MSR Classics and Mark Records.

Sauer holds the positions of principal cello of the Tallahassee Symphony and assistant principal of the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.  He served nine seasons as principal cellist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra.

A committed teacher and mentor, Greg was appointed to the music faculty at Florida State University in 2006.  He taught eleven years at the University of Oklahoma, and was named Presidential Professor in 2005. Other teaching positions have been a visiting professorship at the University of California at Los Angeles, and at summer programs such as the Texas Music Festival, the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, the Duxbury Music Festival, and the Foulger International Music Festival.

karl barton

Karl Barton is Professor of Music and Chair of Humanities and Interdisciplinary Studies at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia. He is also coordinator of Arts for Community at Thomas University (ACTU, “Act Two”), which includes the Sundays at Four and Fridays at Noon concert series that he programs. Additionally, he serves as Production Coordinator for the Thomasville Entertainment Foundation concert series and is a regular guest on the Classical-music, public radio station WFSQ in Tallahassee.

 A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Karl earned his Doctorate in flute performance, a Master's degree in Historical Musicology and certificates in early music and world music at Florida State University. He also earned a Master of Music degree in flute performance at the University of Akron and a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz performance at Duquesne University.

 Dr. Barton regularly performs in Thomasville and Tallahassee as a soloist, with chamber orchestras and other small ensembles, the Tallahassee Bach Parley, and the salsa-jazz group Latin Attitude. 

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corinne stillwell

Violinist Corinne Stillwell entered The Juilliard School at the age of ten, where she spent 15 years working with Dorothy DeLay.  A versatile musician, she is a teacher, soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster. She has appeared with numerous orchestras, including the Nanjing Philharmonic in China, and on tour to Romania, Hungary, and Poland.  She has given recitals at Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess series, and in Germany, Canada, and across the United States.

Ms. Stillwell has coached with the Juilliard, Cleveland, Amadeus and Vermeer quartets.  She has performed with Ohio’s ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and has collaborated with clarinetists Richard Stoltzman and David Shifrin, violinist Mikhail Kopelman, pianist Robert Levin, guitarist Pepé Romero, and members of the Cavani, Ying and Pro Arte quartets. She has also performed in New York’s Alice Tully Hall and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Rochester, the Amarillo Chamber Music Society, and the American Festival of Microtonal Music.  Other festival appearances include Saarburg (Germany), Aspen, Norfolk, Skaneateles, and Victoria Bach.

Ms. Stillwell has served as Assistant Concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic, Concertmaster of the Amarillo Symphony, first violinist of the Harrington Quartet, and faculty at West Texas A&M University. Currently, she is Associate Professor at Florida State University, Artist Faculty at the Brevard Music Center, a founding member of Trio Solis, and Concertmaster of the Tallahassee Symphony. She has recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, and MSR Classics.

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melissa brewer

Melissa Brewer began her professional studies in violin & viola at the University of Miami, studying with George Zazofsky & Victor Stern and with David Becker at the University of Wisconsin Madison.  She has performed with groups as diverse as the Florida Philharmonic, Miami Chamber Orchestra, West Palm Beach Opera Company, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.  

The breadth of her repertoire stretches from symphonic to chamber, opera to popular, and she has
performed with artists as varied as Perlman and Sinatra. On period instruments, she has performed with
Conspirare in Austin, TX and at the Victoria Bach Festival. She recently performed Vivaldi's Concerto in D Major for Viola d'amore with the Tallahassee Bach Parley. Ms. Brewer is a charter member of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra.  She plays on a 1760 Locky Hill viola.

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dr. minyoung cho

Dr. Minyoung Cho, a native of Seoul, South Korea began to play the violin at the age of ten. She attended Dankook University where she studied with Daesik Kang and received her Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance in Korea. She moved to the U.S. in 2005 and earned her Master’s and Doctor’s degrees at Florida State University.

As a leading orchestral musician, she has served as Associate concertmaster for Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and Assistant concertmaster for Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. She also has performed with Tallahassee Symphony, Valdosta Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony and Tallahassee Bach Parley. She has been appointed Principal second violin of Mobile Symphony Orchestra.

As a winner of American Fine Arts Festival, she played a solo performance at the Weill Recital hall at the Carnegie Hall in 2012. She has also performed solo and chamber recitals at Pensacola, Jacksonville, Mariana, Tallahassee, Thomasville and Seoul. She has taught Applied Violin and Viola at University of West Florida and Pensacola State College. She has also given masterclasses in Niceville and Tallahassee.

christian marshall

Christian Marshall is currently an undergraduate double bass student at the Florida State University College of Music. Native to England, he moved to south Florida at age five, and at twelve began playing the double bass. His primary teachers include cellist Joachim Bischof, and currently Melanie Punter at Florida State University. Christian also performs on viola da gamba and violone, having worked with specialists such as Alison Crum, Josh Lee, and Robert Mealy. In the summer, he has attended Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute to study with Catharina Meints and Kenneth Slowik. Currently, Christian is a member of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Tallahassee Bach Parley and Florida State University Symphony Orchestra.  In the future, he hopes to pursue a post-graduate program specializing in historically-informed performance.

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