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New Musicians to Join RPO Ranks

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has announced that eight new musicians will be joining its ranks.  A combination of full-time and part-time (B-contract) players, these musicians will join the woodwind, brass, and string sections, and even includes a twin sister of a current RPO member:

• Lisa Albrecht, Second Trombone
• Christopher Haritatos, Fourth Chair Cello
• Min Na Lee, Second Clarinet
• Elizabeth Porter, Assistant Principal Horn
• Samantha Rodriguez, Section Viola
• Lisa Steltenpohl, B-contract Viola
• Patrick Walle, Fourth Horn
• Yu-Wen Wang, Section Cello

Trombonist Lisa Albrecht comes to the RPO while Mark Salatino is on leave.  Ms. Albrecht has held positions with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, and Honolulu Symphony, and has performed with orchestras around the world, including the London Sinfonietta, Czech National Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, St. Petersburg Orchestra, and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie in Bremen.  She also has performed regularly at Lincoln Center, in Broadway musical theater productions, for film and commercial recordings, and with early music ensembles.  A founding member of the Excelsior Trombone Ensemble, Ms. Albrecht is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she received the Remington Scholarship and Performer’s Certificate.

Since 2003, cellist Christopher Haritatos has held positions with the Austin (Texas) Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra.  He was awarded his doctoral degree in cello performance and literature in 2002 from the Eastman School of Music, having studied with Steven Doane and Alan Harris. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied baroque cello under Jaap ter Linden at the Akademie für Alte Musik in Bremen, Germany. He received his master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago with special honors.  While at Eastman, he performed with the RPO as a regular substitute cellist during 2002-03.

Min Na Lee comes to the RPO after having been associate principal clarinet with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra and second clarinet with Opera Pacific in California since 2008.  She received her bachelor’s degree from the School of Music at Seoul National University in 2004, received her master’s degree from the University of Southern California in 2006, and was awarded the Artists Diploma from The Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.  Ms. Lee is filling a one-year position while Robert DiLutis is on-leave.

An Indiana native, hornist Elizabeth Porter just completed her Artists Diploma from the Hamburg School for Music and Theater in Germany, after being receiving the Alexander von Humboldt Chancellor Scholar award to study the natural horn.  While in Germany, she was associate principal horn with the Lübeck Philharmonic Orchestra.  No stranger to Rochester, Ms. Porter graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 2002 with the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, and continued on to the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where she received her master’s degree in horn performance in 2004. 

Violist Samantha Rodriguez’s early musical career brought her to The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, and to the stage of Carnegie Hall where she performed with the New York Youth Symphony.  She is currently a master’s degree student at the Eastman School studying with Professor George Taylor.  While attending Eastman as an undergraduate, she performed as a substitute with the RPO, and continues to regularly substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Originally from Long Island, Ms. Rodriguez is an RPO B-contract musician.

Audiences will have to do a “double-take” with the addition of B-contract violist Lisa Steltenpohl, twin sister to the RPO’s oboe/English horn player Anna Steltenpohl.  A Barrington, Illinois native, Lisa just completed her master’s degree at The Juilliard School under Misha Amory, and received her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music.  She has been a substitute violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and was a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.  She also performed as Principal Viola of the Haddonfield (NJ) Symphony from 2003-06. 

Hornist Patrick J. Walle has performed throughout Western and Central New York since 2005 in various positions with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Syracuse Symphony, and the RPO.  He is a 2009 graduate of the Eastman School, where he studied with Professor Peter Kurau (RPO Principal Horn), and was a Howard Hanson Scholar.  Mr. Walle has attended numerous summer festivals, including the Pierre Monteux School for Conducting, the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, and the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Institute.

Born in Taiwan, Yu-Wen Wang started playing the cello at age eight.  In 2000, she came to the United States, and in 2003 enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music from which she received her bachelor’s degree this past May.  While at Curtis, she toured with the Curtis Chamber Ensemble throughout Maine, California, and Florida.  She has performed at the Amelia Island, Santa Fe, and Caramoor Chamber Music festivals, and has performed in recital and chamber music in the United States and in Taiwan.  Ms. Wang will be a B-contract player with the RPO.