Jennifer Sternick - Violin
Jennifer is an active and enthusiastic freelance musician in Pittsburgh, PA. Jennifer holds the concertmaster position of Berks Sinfonietta in Eastern Pennsylvania and the concertmaster position of Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra in Western Pennsylvania. In 2015 she was featured as soloist with both groups performing Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. During the upcoming 2016-2017 season, she will perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 with the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra.
Jennifer performs professionally with symphony orchestras including Butler County Symphony Orchestra, Altoona Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Washington Symphony Orchestra, and the Pennsylvania Philharmonic. Adding to her versatility, Jennifer regularly performs with chamber groups and new music ensembles.
Hailing from the farmlands of Mohnton, Pennsylvania, Jennifer grew up studying violin with Barbara Lanza. She earned her bachelors in music and philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, summa cum laude, while studying with Roger Zahab. After university, she studied intensely with Huei-Sheng Kao of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Jennifer maintains a private violin and viola studio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and she is the advanced instructor of violin and viola at I AM Music Academy in Irwin, Pennsylvania. When Jennifer is not making music, she is an avid runner, rock climber, and is rediscovering her fondness for Ultimate Frisbee.
Christina Crivelli - Violin
Christina Crivelli received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education with a concentration in Violin from Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she studied with violinist Dr. Stanley Chepaitis, former concertmaster of the Arkansas Symphony, and Alejandra Urrutia, Concertmaster of the Concepcion Symphony Orchestra in Chile. Christina has performed with the Pittsburgh Philharmonic Orchestra, serving as assistant concertmaster for a season, as well as the Johnstown Symphony and Washington Symphony Orchestras. Christina has performed at numerous oversea venues such as the Minoritenkirche and the Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria, as well as many concert halls in Germany and Prague. She has performed and recorded with several local artists and has performed on stage with country singer LeAnn Rimes. She is the founding member of the Three Rivers String Quartet.
Christina currently serves as a conductor with the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Prelude Strings Ensemble and as a violin coach with the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. She has taught strings in the Mt. Lebanon School District and conducted the Bethel Park Summer Orchestra Camp. She maintains an extensive studio of violin and viola students in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh. During the summers she coaches at the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic strings summer camp. She enjoys composing and arranging modern pieces for string quartet and her hobbies include finding old violins and violas in need of repair and bringing them back to life.
Erika Pierce - Viola
Erika Pierce attended Oberlin conservatory as a viola performance major and holds two Masters Degrees from Chatham College. Erika's past teachers include prominent violists Thomas Dumm, former principal violist of the St. Louis Symphony, and Chatauqua Symphony Orchestra, as well as Jeffrey Irvine, former violists in the New World String Quartet and the principal violist in the Wichita Symphony. Erika has also played under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, David Lobel, and Kirk Muspratt. Erika was a National Solo Competition Semi-Finalist on viola in 1992 and has soloed with the Pittsburgh Philharmonic orchestra several times. She has held positions as the principal violist with the Pittsburgh Philharmonic and has performed with the Washington Symphony Orchestra, Butler Symphony, Chautauqua Choir, St. Louis Opera and the St. Louis Philharmonic. She has performed on viola for the Berkman Festival, the Surreal Ethereal Realists, Drywall Macbeth and was a featured performing artist on Tony Buba's recent film Playing to an Empty House.
Erika is the founder and conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra's Prelude Strings Ensemble and is the viola coach for the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. She was formerly on the music faculty of the Oberlin Community Music School, Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Seton Center School of Music, and is currently on the music faculty at the Glen Montessori School as a string, piano, and music and movement teacher. Erika also enjoys working with her extensive studio of private Violin and Viola students.
Steve Ehrlich - Cello
Steve Ehrlich is a graduate of Duquesne Unversity where he received his Masters in Cello Performance as well as degrees in Music Education. Steve has been performing as a freelance musician in Pittsburgh for the past 20 years performing with groups such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Vincent Chamber Orchestra and as principal cello of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, performing various solos and concertos. Steve has performed with many artists including Josh Groban.
He is a private studio instructor on all stringed instruments. As a conductor, Steve has lead the Edgewood Symphony, Opus II String Sinfonietta, the Musik Innovations Chamber Orchestra, the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras Sinfoniette; and is currently the conductor of the Young Artists Orchestra at Carnegie Mellon University. Steve is also the Orchestra Director and Musical Conductor for the East Allegheny School District and District 1 Immediate Past President of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.
Our Other Musicians
Kristen Strom - Violin/Viola
Kristen has studied classical music performance for her entire life and has a passion for the art in a variety of capacities. She currently holds the position of Principal Viola with the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra. Kristen has performed professionally with Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Slippery Rock University Orchestra, Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts, Undercroft Opera, and the University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra. She also regularly performs both violin & viola in various events around the greater Pittsburgh area including for chamber music ensembles, recitals, weddings, and private functions. Kristen has performed with Summit Station in multiple concerts including at the Three Rivers Arts Festival and in private label recordings. She also won two concerto competitions in Knoxville, Tennessee and performed on the international public radio show From the Top at the age of 17. Outside of performance, Kristen is an active and founding board member of Undercroft Opera.
Younga Reitz - Cello
Cellist Younga Reitz began her musical training at an early age with piano, violin, then onto cello, and graduated from Sunhwa Arts School in Seoul, Korea. She holds a Bachelor’s degree Cum Laude (1995) and Master’s degree (1997) from Duquesne University Mary Pappert School of Music. Mrs. Reitz was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society in 1997. She earned an Artist Diploma in 2001 from the same institute. As the first prize winner of the Korean Music Education Association Younga Reitz has made a solo appearance with Les Arts de Baroque Orchestra at Hoahm Arts Hall for the Performing Arts in Seoul, Korea in 1994. Also, her solo and chamber music performance was heard in Switzerland, Holland, and the U.S. Her performances include the winner’s recital of Pittsburgh Young Artist Series in 1999. Younga Reitz has studied with Misha Quint, Anne Martindale Williams, Jennifer Langham, Sung Yon Lee, Lauren Mallory, and has participated in numerous international music festivals in the U.S., Europe and South Korea.
Mrs. Reitz Conducts Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra Chamber Strings and has been on the faculty at the Pittsburgh School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA 6-12), Center for Musically Talented at CAPA, the cello coach for the Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra and Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the String Coach at the Quaker Valley High School, Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, City Music Center and Pittsburgh Jewish Community Center. She has maintained an extensive private cello, violin and viola studio throughout the Tri-state area and has taught solo repertoires, orchestral studies, chamber music, in Westminster College, Geneva College, Seton Hill College, Quaker Valley High School, Fox Chapel Area High School and Beaver Area High School.
During summer months, she has coached at Pittsburgh Chamber Music Festival (1997 & 1998), Musik Innovations Chamber Music Camp (2001- 2007), Pine Richland School District Summer Strings Camp (2002-2016) and Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra Summer Camp (2014-2016). She has played in the orchestras including the Pittsburgh Philharmonic (principal cellist), Wheeling Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Altoona Symphony, Johnstown Symphony and Butler Symphony.
Patrick Forsyth - Violin
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Patrick began violin studies at the age of three, and first performed professionally with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra at 16, becoming the youngest musician ever to occupy a position in the orchestra. Patrick studied with renowned pedagogues and world-class performers Oleh Krysa and Cyrus Forough, former pupils of the legendary Russian violinist David Oistrakh. Patrick received his Bachelor’s in music performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and his Master’s from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Patrick now lives in Pittsburgh, teaches a private studio of violin students, serves as assistant conductor at the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra, and Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Strings Director. Patrick actively performs with chamber groups, new music ensembles, and orchestras across the U.S. In addition to his classical music training, Patrick is also an accomplished performer and improviser in jazz, pop, and fiddle music, and frequently arranges music from various genres for special events and weddings. His arrangements have been performed internationally in Australia, Great Britain, Sweden, Brazil, New Zealand, and the United States.
Dawn Paulus - Cello
Regina Ketter - Violin/Viola
Regina Ketter, violin and viola, an active performer in the Pittsburgh area for more than 20 years, has a diverse musical background that ranges from baroque ensembles to contemporary music and rock & roll. She is a graduate of CMU where she received BFA and MFA degrees. Her teachers include Yitzak Schotten, a protégé of William Primrose, and Atar Arad, a former member of the Cleveland String Quartet. Active in electronic string music, she was a founding member of the electrified string quartet EQ, and has performed and recorded with several rock and alternative musical groups. She currently leads King Fez, a rock-tinged belly dance group. Her contemporary musical studies have included study in France at the Ecole D’Art de Fontainbleau in 2000 & 2001 and the Arabic Music Retreat in 2014 through 2016.
Ms. Ketter began studying baroque viola at Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute in the late 1980s and shortly after joined the University of Pittsburgh’s Bach and the Baroque Ensemble. She currently is a member of the Pittsburgh Baroque Ensemble and frequently performs with Chatham Baroque and the Calvary Episcopal Church baroque concerts. Since 2012 she has been on the faculty of the Cello Fury Rock String Camp. Ms. Ketter is a full time string specialist in the Mt. Lebanon School District where she has taught since 1991.
Sarah Garin - Violin
Sarah Albani - Viola
Ms. Albani graduated with her degree in music from the University of Pittsburgh and received her Masters of Arts in Education from Georgetown College. Ms. Albani's prinicpal viola teachers include Roger Zahab of Pitt University and John Wilcox at Youngstown State.
Sarah has performed as a featured soloist with the Pitt University Orchestra performing the Bruch Romance and Walton Viola Concerto. She has held principal viola positions with the Lexington Community Orchestra and the Pitt University Orchestra and performed with the Kentucky Bach Choir, Center College, and Eastern Kentucky Unversity Orchestras. You can find Sarah performing in various chamble ensembles and orchestras throughout the Pittsburgh area. When Sarah is not performing on Viola she is busy attending Dental School.
Katya Janpoladyan - Cello
Ms. Janpoladyan is a native of Armenia, where she completed a Bachelor of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the Yerevan State Conservatory under the direction of Zareh Sargissyan and Medea Abramian. Ms. Janpoladyan continued her studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she received her Master of Music degree. She is currently a doctoral candidate as a student of Yehuda Hanani.
An active performer, Ms. Janpoladyan is a former member of the State Piano Trio “Shell” of Armenia and a former member of the Baur Quartet with whom she was the 2001 winner of the Pierre Lantiere International Chamber Music Competition. Ms. Janpoladyan has collaborated with artists such as Cyrus Forough, James Dunham, Yehuda Hanani, Ross Harbaugh, Awadagin Pratt, Piotr Milewsky and the Montclair Quartet. She has been featured as a soloist performing with the Yerevan Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata San Marco (NY), and the Mary Miller Dance Company. With the Freya String Quartet, Ms. Janpoladyan has been a featured performer with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, was a cellist in residence with the Charlotte New Music Festival Ms. Janpoladyan has also collaborated with numerous living composers and is an avid proponent of new music.
With a dual passion for performing and educating, Ms. Janpoladyan has served on the faculties of the University of Cincinnati, Wyoming Fine Arts Center, the Cincinnati Starling Project, the Great Wall Music Festival, and the Bacchannalia Festival. She has taught masterclasses throughout the US, China, and Chile. Ms. Janpoladyan currently resides in Pittsburgh where she maintains a private cello studio and performs regularly.
Maija Anstine - Viola
Violist Maija Anstine is equally passionate about both contemporary and classical repertoire, and is deeply committed to both genres with enthusiasm. She has performed with contemporary ensembles such as Alia Musica, OvreArts, Brevard Music Center's itch ensemble, the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Music Ensemble, and is a core member of Pittsburgh-based new music ensemble NAT 28. She has performed with classical ensembles such as the Wheeling, Westmoreland, Oshkosh, Green Bay, Fox Valley and Manitowoc Symphonies, and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.
Maija holds degrees in Viola Performance and English Literature magna cum laude from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, a Master of Music from Carnegie Mellon University and has spent summers at the Brevard Music Center, the Berkshire Opera Festival, the Pierre Monteux School, the Manchester Music Festival, the North American Viola Institute in Québec, and as a featured artist with the South Beach Up North Chamber Music Festival.
Maija is also passionate about connecting to the next generation of musicians, and has taught private violin and viola studios in the Midwest and the Pittsburgh area. She is currently Instructor of Violin & Viola at the Carnegie Mellon University Preparatory School, the Urban Academy of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School, and at the El Sistema-inspired Orchestra on the Hill program in Pittsburgh's Hill District.
Olga Taimanov - Viola/Violin
Olga Taimanov began her musical studies on viola as a native of Saint Petersburg, Russia, where she attended the Special Music School for Gifted Children. She has a Master of Music degree from the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory and an Artist Diploma from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Before moving to the United States in 2000, Ms. Taimanov held numerous orchestra positions in Russia and Israel. She was Principal Violist of the Saint Petersburg Chamber Orchestra “Mozarteum and toured extensively with them, as well as Principal Viola of the State Symphony Orchestra “Klassica”. She was also Associate Principal Viola of the Israel Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra and performed with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under world famed conductors, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Yuri Temirkanov, Lorin Maazel, and Mariss Jansons, and many others.
Ms. Taimanov has extensive chamber music experience and has performed at international chamber music festivals, including “Abu-Gosh” in Israel, “Villa Music” in Germany, “The White Nights” in Russia, and “Goetehanum” in Switzerland. While in Russia, her string quartet “String Quartet Klassica”, toured extensively for two years throughout Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, and Finland. After coming to the US, Ms. Taimanov was recognized for her chamber music and her piano trio won the Pittsburgh Concert Society Competition in 2001. In 2002 she was nominated for the National All-American Scholar Collegiate Award.
As a resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ms. Taimanov has performed extensively with orchestras in the greater Pittsburgh area. She was a member of the Erie Philharmonic and Associate member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (Ohio). She has also performed with the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and the Three Rivers City Orchestra.
Currently Ms. Taimanov devotes the majority of her time teaching violin and viola students and maintains a large studio in Pittsburgh. She is on the string faculty of the Carnegie Mellon String Preparatory School, a position she has held since 2005, teaching private students as well as group string classes. She also teaches at the Carnegie Mellon Summer String Workshop and Johnstonbaugh’s Music Center. Ms. Taimanov was invited to Italy to teach at the summer program, InterHarmony International Music Festival, in 2014. Many of Ms. Taimanov’s students play in the local youth orchestras and have achieved many honors with their positions in these orchestras.
Cecilia Caughman - Cello
Cecilia Caughman holds a Master of Music degree and an Advanced Music Studies certificate in cello performance from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied with Anne Martindale Williams. She was a member of the Honors String Quartet and co-principal cellist of the CMU Philharmonic. Currently, Cecilia performs with numerous regional ensembles, including the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. Certified as a Suzuki cello teacher, Cecilia maintains an active teaching studio in Pittsburgh.
A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Cecilia earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Richard Weiss. During her senior year, she served as principal cellist of the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra and as the Librarian of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.
Cecilia has spent her summers at the National Repertory Orchestra, Round Top Music Festival and Chautauqua Institution Music Festival, among others. She has played in masterclasses for cellists Desmond Hoebig and Richard Aaron and has been coached by the Pacifica and Cavani String Quartets, as well as Peter Salaff, Noah Bendix-Balgley and Alisa Weilerstein.
Stefanie Schore - Violin
Violinist, Stefanie Schore, a native of Northern California, attended the Interlochen Academy for the Arts before going on to completing her Undergraduate Degrees in Violin Methodology and Violin Performance at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Germany. During her studies she also taught and performed with the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz and served as Concertmaster of the Konzerthaus Orchester Trossingen. Before beginning her final year of study, Stefanie won a one-year contract with the Frankfurter Opern und Museums Orchester where she had the opportunity to collaborate with acclaimed conductors and artists, including Daniel Barenboim, Christian Tezlaff, Kirill Petrenko, Bertrand de Billy and Nicola Luisoti.
Stefanie returned to the States to pursue her Masters in Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with both William Preucil and Ivan Zenaty. In the summer of 2014 Stefanie attended the Brevard Music Festival, serving as Concertmaster of the Sinfonia Orchestra and as assistant concertmaster to both William Preucil and Noah Bendix-Balgley in the Brevard Music Center Orchestra. Stefanie is now a violinist in the Akron, Youngstown and Firelands Symphonies, City Music Cleveland Chamber Orchestra and holds the position of principal 2nd violin for the Cleveland Opera Theater Company.