Diana Haskell is currently Associate Principal Clarinet and E-flat Clarinet with the St. Louis Symphony, under the direction of Music Director David Robertson. She has held Principal positions in five orchestras and has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Cuba, Europe, and Japan. Haskell began her career as Principal Clarinet with the Savannah Symphony and also joined the Charleston Symphony as Principal Clarinet for one season. Soon after, she joined the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Clarinet under the direction of Maestro Semyon Bychkov. In 1991, she joined the Milwaukee Symphony as Associate Principal, Second Clarinet and E-flat Clarinet. Later former STL Symphony Music Advisor Itzhak Perlman invited Haskell to join the St. Louis Symphony as Assistant Principal Clarinet. Robertson appointed her as Associate Principal and E-flat Clarinet.
As a finalist in the Naumberg International Competition, Haskell performed a solo recital in the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. Haskell was Principal Clarinet for the Grammy award-winning recording of Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra, an opera directed by Gian Carlo Menotti and produced by New World Records.
Haskell has taught at SUNY Buffalo, Houghton College, UW Whitewater, Savannah College of Art and Design, Armstrong State College, and Wisconsin Lutheran College. She has given master classes at universities and conservatories in Japan, Cuba, Europe, and the United States. She maintains an active private clarinet studio in St. Louis, specializing in audition preparation for high school, college, and post-graduate students. Her teaching website may be found at dianahaskell.musicteachershelper.com/home.
Haskell's students occupy positions with orchestras around the country and in bands of the Armed Forces. Former students also have become public and private school band directors, administrators, and private music instructors.
Haskell earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Eastman School of Music, where she studied with D. Stanley Hasty, and Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, where she worked with Joseph Allard. Her early studies were with James Barkow, and she worked with Mitchell Lurie at Music Academy of the West. Haskell was a high school camper at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, and has been Principal Clarinet in many summer music festivals, such as Santa Fe Opera, Colorado Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, and Lake Placid Sinfonietta.
Haskell is a Buffet-Crampon Artist and also is an artist for Vandoren by DANSR.
Diana Haskell’s CD, Clarinet Enchantments (AAM Recordings) has received critical acclaim. It can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, or at AAM Recordings website aamrecordings.com.
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David Halen is living a dream that began as a youth the first time he saw the St. Louis Symphony perform in Warrensburg, Missouri. Born in Bellevue, Ohio, he didn’t have to look far for his musical influences: his father, the late Walter J. Halen, was also his violin professor at Central Missouri State University; his mother, a former member of the Kansas City Symphony; and his older brother, the Acting Concertmaster of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Halen began playing the violin at the age of six, and earned his bachelor’s degree at the age of 19. In that same year, he won the Music Teachers National Association Competition and was granted a Fulbright scholarship for study with Wolfgang Marschner at the Freiburg Hochschule für Musik in Germany, the youngest recipient ever to have been honored with this prestigious award. In addition, Halen holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, studying with Sergiu Luca.
Halen served as Assistant Concertmaster with the Houston Symphony Orchestra under Sergiu Comissiona and Christoph Eschenbach until 1991. He then came to St. Louis, where he was permanently named Concertmaster in September 1995, without audition, by the Orchestra, and with the endorsement of then Music Directors Leonard Slatkin and Hans Vonk. He has soloed with the orchestra in much of the major concerti in the violin repertoire. In addition, he has soloed with the Houston, San Francisco and West German Radio (Cologne) symphonies.
During the summer he teaches and performs extensively, serving as Concertmaster at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He has also soloed, taught and served as Concertmaster extensively at the Orford Arts Centre in Quebec, the Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, the National Orchestra Institute at the University of Maryland, the Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. In 2007 he was appointed Distinguished Visiting Artist at Yale University, and at the new Robert Mcduffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. In the fall of 2012, Halen join the string faculty of the University of Michigan.
As cofounder and artistic director of the Innsbrook Institute, Halen coordinates a weeklong festival, in June, of exciting musical performances and an enclave for aspiring artists. In August, he is artistic director of the Missouri River Festival of the Arts in Boonville, Missouri. His numerous accolades include the 2002 St. Louis Arts and Entertainment Award for Excellence, and an honorary doctorate from Central Missouri State University and from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis.
David Halen plays on a 1753 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin, made in Milan, Italy. He is married to Korean-born soprano Miran Cha Halen and has a teenage son.
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A native of Bay Village, Ohio, Susan Gordon was appointed to the viola section of the St. Louis Symphony in March 1987. Before joining the STL Symphony, she was a member of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra String Quartet in Residence, where she studied with Dr. Jerzy Kosmala, Professor of Viola at Louisiana State University. Gordon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Edward Ormond and later joined the class of Cleveland Orchestra Principal Viola, Robert Vernon (the two are former members of the STL Symphony). Gordon has served the STL Symphony in numerous roles including Co-Chair of the Musician’s Council for many years and with various other committees.
She is one of the founders of a local recording company, AAM Recordings, dedicated to helping local musicians make their recording projects a reality. In 2009, Gordon established the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis with her husband, Marc, which has enjoyed great acclaim in the St. Louis community. She enjoys performing chamber music in this informal environment and the challenge of administrating the organization. Outside of her musical activities, Susan Gordon enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with her husband. (Rev 6/5/13)
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