Jonathan Johnson, Tenor

This season, American tenor Jonathan Johnson makes his debut as The Prince in The Love for Three Oranges at Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O19, as Beppe in I Pagliacci at Opera Colorado, and Matthew Gurney in Emmeline at Tulsa Opera. In concert, Johnson appears as a soloist with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri as the Young Man, with the Detroit Symphony for Messiah, and in recital with the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago. Johnson is also an Emerging Artist for Opera Philadelphia, where he will be singing in community recitals and special events throughout the 2019-2020 Season.

A graduate of the Patrick G. & Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s professional artist-development program, he appeared in the house’s main productions of Les Troyens, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Merry Widow, Der Rosenkavalier, Capriccio, The Magic Victrola and Mieczysław Weinberg’s Holocaust opera The Passenger. Other recent engagements have included his debut of the title role of Bernstein’s Candide with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Utah Symphony Orchestra, and Des Moines Metro Opera. He made his debut at Canadian Opera Company’s production of Anna Bolena, Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance and Lensky in Eugene Onegin at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Fenton in Falstaff at San Diego Opera, Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri at the Portland Opera, La Damnation de Faust at the Grant Park Music Festival, Le Fils in Les mamelles de Tirésias with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and concert version of Don Giovanni with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, a performance of Schumann’s Dichterliebe as part of a Liederabend in Chicago, and various appearances in the Harris Theater’s Beyond the Aria series, the 125th Anniversary Gala for the Auditorium Theater, and on WFMT radio as part of the Ryan Opera Center Recital Series. He also enjoys a touring relationship with Chris Botti, which has taken him through many cities in the US and abroad.

Hailing from Macon, GA, Mr. Johnson holds a Master’s degree and Professional Artist Certificate from the A.J. Fletcher Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Bachelor’s degree in music from Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music.

Jory Vinikour, Harpsichord

Jory Vinikour, Harpsichord

In repertoire ranging from Bach and before, to Poulenc and beyond, Jory Vinikour has performed as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonic of Radio France, and as recital soloist in series and festivals throughout much of the world.

Mr. Vinikour’s debut recording for Sono Luminus, the complete harpsichord works of Jean-Philippe Rameau, was nominated for a Grammy® award, in the category of Best Classical Solo Instrumental Recording in 2013, an honor also accorded to his Toccatas (Contemporary American works for harpsichord) in 2015. Jory’s recording of J.S. Bach’s Partitas for harpsichord was released in late 2016. His recording of Bach’s Six Sonatas for violin and Obbligato Harpsichord with Rachel Barton Pine marks Jory’s debut on Cedille Records. Also for Cedille – 20th century concerti for Harpsichord and Orchestra (Leigh, Rorem, Kalabis, Nyman) with the Chicago Philharmonic, slated for a 2019 release.

In recent seasons, Mr. Vinikour has made appearances as conductor/soloist with the St. Louis Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Korea Chamber Orchestra, musicAeterna, Juillard415, Alabama Symphony, West Edge Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Florentine Opera. He will conduct four performances of Handel’s Messiah with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra this winter.

Vist Jory Vinikour’s website.

Travis Heath, Trumpet

Travis Heath – Trumpet

Travis Heath is Acting Chair and Associate Professor of Trumpet at Northeastern Illinois University where he teaches Applied Lessons, and conducts the NEIU Wind Ensemble. Equally at home with classical and jazz genres, Travis Heath has played principal trumpet with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Lead trumpet with The American Rhapsody Orchestra, and is currently principal trumpet of Camerata Chicago.

His international touring includes performances in Japan, England, Ireland, France, Italy, The Czech Republic and Canada at prestigious musical festivals. His debut solo recording Point of Departure released by the Mark recording label, as well as numerous other recordings found on the BRT and Naxos labels.

As a member of the touring and recording ensemble Brass Roots Trio, Dr. Heath has presented concerts and clinics in 38 states and abroad, including a special command performance at the White House in 2009. As a brass clinician, he has presented his work at several universities throughout the country as a recitalist and lecturer at ITG Festivals. Dr. Heath’s articles have been published in the Instrumentalist, Brass Herald, and ITG Journals. He currently resides in Chicago, IL and is director and founder of the Chicago Brass Festival. Travis holds a D.M.A and M.M. from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts and his Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Heath is a Yamaha performing artist.

Amy Barwan, oboe

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Amy Barwan currently plays with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Philharmonic, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Camerata Chicago, and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. She has worked under the baton of Solti, Barenboim, and Boulez, and has performed with Lyric Opera, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera, and the Grant Park Orchestra, to name a few. She recently performed with Broadway in Chicago for productions of Disneyís Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, and made her prime time television debut appearing in two episodes of the top-rated show, EMPIRE. This winter, Amy played principal oboe in performances of Joffreyís Giselle and Nutcracker productions.

Amy has been involved in several recording projects, including Brian Wilsonís new album featuring Jeff Beck. She can also be heard on Wendy Warnerís album with Camerata Chicago and Chicago Jazz Philharmonicís Trilogy Recording Project. In recent years, she has performed onstage with Bernadette Peters and Celtic Women, and has had the pleasure of working with stars such as Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, and Shirley Jones.

A native of Chicago, Amy is a graduate of DePaul University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Oboe Performance.

Rose Armbrust

rosearmbrust01Violist Rose Armbrust Griffin received her Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School, Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music and Masters of Music from Indiana University.  During her time at The Curtis Institute of Music she held the James and Betty Materese Annual Fellowship. Most notably, Rose was awarded a Performers Certificate at the conclusion of her Masters for  “recognition of her outstanding musical performance”.  Her teachers include Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yung Huang, Roberto Diaz, Michael Tree and Atar Arad.

Rose has performed as soloist with the Bogota Symphony Orchestra, Woodstock’s Mozart Festival Orchestra, The Curtis Chamber Orchestra and the Indiana University’s Chamber Orchestra.  Composer Johnathan Graybill’s  “Viola Concerto”, was written for and premiered by Rose along side the Ball State University Orchestra. She was awarded first prize in the Chicago Viola Society and Rembrandt Chamber Players Competitions and was a prizewinner at The Fichoff Chamber Music Competition.

As an active chamber musician, Rose has collaborated with renowned artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, Vadim Gluzman, Peter Wiley and the Amernet String Quartet.  Her chamber music performances include concerts at The Kennedy Center, Avery Fischer Hall, Music from Angelfire, Zankel Hall, Ravinia’s Steans Institute and The Musica Bella Concert Series. She has been a guest artist at The North Shore Music, Chataqua and the Kingston Chamber Music Festivals and has performed with The Chicago Ensemble, The Jupiter Chamber Players, The Pilgrim Chamber Players, The Chicago Chamber Musicians, The Rembrandt Chamber Players and the MusicNOW series.   Currently, she is an active member of the International Chamber Artists and can be heard throughout the year on WFMT.

Rose has served as principal violist of The Haddonfield Symphony and as guest principal of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Firebird Chamber Orchestra.  Other orchestral performances include Woodstock Mozart Festival, and the Lyrique-en-Mer Festival in Le Palais, France.  Rose is currently the Principal Violist of Camerata Chicago, Assistant Principal of The Lake Forest Symphony and guest musician with The Promusica Chamber Orchestra (OH).

Rose’s passion is music education.  During her time at Indiana University, she was awarded the merit-based Viola Associate Instructorship.  She has been a guest lecturer at Fort Hays University (KS) , Northern Illinois University, Washington and Lee University (VA) and Florida International University (FL).  She is currently the viola instructor at Wheaton College where she serves as the Chamber Music Coordinator and teaches an Introduction to Music History Course.   Because of her love of teaching and chamber music, Rose fills her weekends with coaching chamber music at Midwest Young Artists.

Rose has recorded for Albany Records.  She plays on a 1989 Marten Cornelissen that was borrowed during her time at Curtis and subsequently purchased after she realized she couldn’t live without it.

Susan Saylor – Flute

Susan Saylor PhotoSusan Saylor is an active soloist and chamber musician who has performed throughout North America and Europe. She is currently principal flutist of Camerata Chicago, Metropolis Symphony, Handel Week Festival Orchestra, Kithara Trio and a founding member of the Mozart Project.

She performs regularly with Broadway in Chicago, The Paramount Theater in Aurora, St. Charles Singers, Valparaiso Bach Institute, Chicago Chorale, Milwaukee Symphony, “Live from Studio One” WFMT radio broadcasts, and has played in the back up band for Ray Charles and Pacquito DʼRivera. She has recorded with the Milwaukee Symphony, Camerata Chicago, NuClassix Chamber Players, St. Charles Singers, GIA music publishing house and numerous radio and TV commercials. She has participated in both Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals and has played with the Boston and Philadelphia Orchestras.

Teaching is a passion for Susan; she has a private studio of more that 35 students ranging from elementary school through adult learners and gives master classes and clinics throughout the Chicago-land area. She is an avid gardener who loves to cook and dine with her friends in the Finer Things Club! She lives in Wheaton with her husband, Jonathan, (musicologist/bassoonist), and her two dachshunds, Star and Gracie.

Susan performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with Faye Seeman in our 2019 Mozart Series concerts.