Baroque Violin/Viola d'amore/Viola
As a historical performance musician, Dan has been a featured guest artist with the Colorado Chamber Players where his composition "La Folia" for two violas d'amore was premiered in 2019. Additionally Dan has appeared with the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, Piccolo Spoleto, The College of Charleston, and as a guest lecturer/recitalist at Augusta University. Apart from baroque endeavors Dan is currently a violist in the Sarasota Orchestra. Urbanowicz performs regularly with the Jacksonville Symphony and The Florida Orchestra. Dan has played with the New World Symphony at Carnegie Hall, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Atlantic Symphony, Gulfshore Opera, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Firelands Orchestra, and the Plymouth Philharmonic. Urbanowicz has served as principal violist of the Augusta Symphony, Charlottesville Opera, Gulfshore Opera, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, and Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra. His principal teachers include Martha Katz and Jeffrey Irvine. Mr Urbanowicz plays on a 2017 Robert Clemens Viola. Urbanowicz’s viola d’amore is from the 19th century and is of unknown origin. Urbanowicz holds a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Sarah Shellman is currently principal second violin with The Florida Orchestra; she joined the ensemble as a section violinist in 2002. She last appeared as a soloist on the TFO Masterworks series in March 2011, performing Thomas Ades’ Violin Concerto “Concentric Paths.” She’s also been featured on the Coffee series programs performing “Winter” and “Spring” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor with Nancy Chang.
During the summer, Shellman performs as a member of the orchestra at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (Santa Cruz, California). She is an advocate for the performance of works by living composers as well as for the expansion of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the classical music profession.
Shellman graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in music and the University of Houston in 2000 with a master’s degree in music. While living in Houston, she played with the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, and as a freelance musician. In addition to her work on the modern violin, she has also performed with several early music ensembles as a violinist, violist, and mezzo-soprano.
Cellist Michael Amos currently resides in Tampa, Florida, where he graduated with both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Cello Performance from the University of South Florida where he studied under the direction of cellist Scott Kluksdahl.
An avid performer of chamber music, Michael plays with the Fifth Avenue Chamber Players and The Bach Ensemble, which are both located in Naples, FL. Also, in recent years, Michael has attended Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival in Keene, New Hampshire, and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont, where he was featured as an Emerging Artist.
As an active performer in the Tampa Bay area, Michael has been a featured soloist with both the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay in live concerts and on their most recent album “Light of the Midnight Sun”. Michael currently plays with The Florida Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, Opera Tampa, among others throughout the state.
Recipient of the prestigious "Classical Musician of the Year" award presented by Creative Loafing Magazine Tampa Bay in 2016, Brent Douglas stands as an accomplished and passionate conductor with an extensive background in symphonic, operatic, and choral genres. His illustrious career has taken him across the United States and overseas, collaborating with esteemed organizations like the London Classical Players, Berlin Sinfonietta, and the National Women's Chorus of Cuba. Notable positions held include Director of Orchestra and Chorus at Eckerd College for a remarkable nine years, Assistant Conductor for the Tampa Bay Symphony for two seasons, and Chorus Master with Gulfshore Opera and Opera Tampa. Furthermore, he has conducted captivating performances at renowned festivals and events such as the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival in Sicily, the Vienna Summer Music Festival, the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, and the Venice Symphony in Florida. In 2017, Douglas's international career soared with a ground-breaking “blacklight” performance of “The Magic Flute” at the Düsseldorf Lyric Opera in Germany alongside the Vivazza Orchestra. With his extraordinary talent, unique concert design philosophy, and commitment to diverse programming, he has left audiences inspired and garnered acclaim from both critics and fellow musicians.
Beyond conducting, Douglas is a remarkable pianist, harpsichordist, and organist, lending his exceptional skills to performances with renowned orchestras such as The Florida Orchestra and St. Pete Baroque. He has also showcased his musical prowess with esteemed ensembles like The Springfield Symphony in Missouri, The Venice Symphony, The Sarasota Orchestra, and The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. As an opera pianist and vocal coach, he has formed partnerships with acclaimed organizations including St. Petersburg Opera, Opera Tampa, the Springfield Regional Opera in Missouri, and the Savannah Voice Festival in Georgia.
In addition to his remarkable performing career, Douglas has made significant contributions to education and the performing arts administration field. During his tenure at Eckerd College, he not only taught choir, orchestra, piano, and organ but also led successful concert tours and initiated an innovative choral music commission project. His commitment to music education is further evident through his involvement in various adjudication panels, including the St. Petersburg Opera Guild College Competition, the Charlotte Symphony Young Professional Competition, and the Florida Vocal Association Music Performance Assessments. Notably, he served as the Managing Director of the Palladium Theater for five years, securing grants from the Pinellas County Arts Council and Music Teachers National Association for his educational initiatives and a self-founded chamber music series.
Douglas began his studies at Missouri State University and holds a Bachelor of Piano Performance and a Master of Conducting from the University of South Florida, where he studied under Dr. William Wiedrich and Dr. James Bass (UCLA). He has refined his skills through training with renowned conductors such as Leonardo Catalanotto in Sicily, Michael Francis of The Florida Orchestra, Kenneth Kiesler at the University of Michigan, and Diane Wittry of the Allentown Symphony.
SANDRA DEL CID-DAVIES
Anybody who meets Sandra del Cid-Davies, who joined TFO on flute/piccolo this season, knows she has a passion for music and life that far outsizes her tiny piccolo. And it certainly comes through in this Q&A, which feels like a friendly chat over a piece of chocolate cake.
Background: Grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, and received her bachelor’s in music from the Peabody Conservatory, following up with her master’s at Northwestern University. Since 2008, she has been part of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, where she has been a featured soloist. Other professional experience includes the Bach Festival Orchestra, Brevard Symphony Orchestra and Washington Bach Consort.
How did you choose flute/piccolo?
I started on violin when I was 4 and piano when I was 7. So here I was at 8 years old walking to school when suddenly I had an epiphany that the time had come for me to learn a new instrument. I thought very carefully and I decided on the piccolo because it was the smallest instrument and, therefore, the cutest. That meant I had to learn the flute, which was just fine with me. After all, everyone I knew who played the flute was either a glamorous high school student or an angelic child that would float in and play some Gluck at all those Suzuki Summer Institutes I went to while I was schlepping on Vivaldi and Bloch. So after a year of pleading with my parents and dismantling my wire stand so I could pretend I was playing the flute, I finally got one! And the rest is history…
What fascinates you besides music?
Faith and family for sure. People, I really love people. And then definitely watching elite and NCAA gymnastics! Seriously, I’m obsessed because I never got to actually do it. Figure skating, gastronomy (I just love to eat), and pandas (plus any other cute animal).
Describe a musical experience that changed your life.
This is a hard question because I feel there is a constant symbiotic relationship between the music I am experiencing and what’s happening in my life. For example, a few years ago I was going through a difficult season of life, and I heard this incredibly moving and simple melody on the flute streaming on my computer. It expressed everything that was in my heart. So I immediately looked it up and saw it was the first movement of the Rouse Flute Concerto. I felt so far away from making music of that caliber, so I just said this little silent prayer that I wanted to play this music. Somehow. And then life went on. Four months later, I was corresponding with a conductor who said, “Hey I was thinking of doing some of Christopher Rouse’s music next season. How would you feel about playing his flute concerto?” Boom! I could not believe it. It remains to this day the most organic artistic process I have ever had with a piece of music. Now whenever I listen to it, I am filled with gratitude and peace.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on stage?
Oh dear. Last season TFO was performing Mahler’ Symphony No. 2 and at the time I was living in Orlando. I left around 4 for a concert that began at 7:30, and was making great time until a massive car accident caused a 90-minute delay. All I could do was call the personnel manager and explain that I would certainly be late to the concert. So while I was stuck on I-4 catastrophizing like a mature adult, the rest of the TFO flute section scrambled to cover my part until I arrived. At which point, it had been decided that I would walk on stage along with the soprano during the third movement (you know, like the featured guest artist that I wasn’t!). And that’s exactly what we did, and I sat down like nothing was wrong and proceeded to play the rest of the symphony. And it’s funny, because the piece is so involved for all musicians that several TFO members later said they had no idea what happened!
What excites you about the Florida Orchestra, especially in its 50th season?
The quality of the orchestra. We are performing a lot of difficult music this year that lesser orchestras would not be able to handle. That is definitely something to celebrate!
What about you would surprise people?
I met my husband, Dan, while dangling 30 feet in the air at a local rock climbing gym. It was hilarious. Our story was like one of those cheesy romantic comedies that you see on the Hallmark Channel. The only thing missing was having perfectly straight white teeth. It sounds totally obnoxious, but it truly is our story!
Yuan-Yuan Wang performs with The Florida Orchestra as a tenured first violinist. She frequently performs with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Yuan-Yuan Wang, holds a Doctor of Music degree in violin performance from Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University Bloomington, as well as Masters of Music in violin performance. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Her major teachers included Alex Kerr, Mark Kaplan, Paul Biss, Martin Beaver, Misha Rosenker, Keng-Yuen Tseng and John Mrill. Before arriving in the United States from China for high school, she attended the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and Wuhan Conservatory.
Active as a recitalist, chamber musician, and educator, Yuan-Yuan Wang has also appeared in concerts, while collaborating with principal musicians of The Florida Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony Orchestra and faculty artists at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Cellist Scott Kluksdahl has performed for nearly four decades as chamber musician, recitalist and soloist in the United States, Europe, Israel, and Central and South America.
Following a daring New York debut program of cutting-edge modern works at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Strings Magazine identified Scott Kluksdahl as “a simply superb cellist, playing with consummate technical ease, a beautiful sound, total conviction, authority and dedication to the music.” Scott Kluksdahl’s devotion to the works of current composers is widely regarded, and he is known for his close affiliations with Nicolas Bacri, Richard Brodhead, David Del Tredici, Robert Helps, Gunther Schuller, Augusta Read Thomas and Richard Wernick, whose works he has commissioned, studied, and recorded. He has also collaborated with Benjamin C.S. Boyle, Tamar Diesendruck, Philip Lasser, Eric Moe, Laura Elise Schwendinger and Scott Wheeler, and he has worked closely with American legends Leonard Bernstein, Elliott Carter, Andrew Inbrie, Donald Martino, and Ralph Shapey. As cello soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Kluksdahl premiered Philip Lasser’s Vocalise for Cello and Orchestra at Symphony Hall, and he has made acclaimed recordings of many of these composers’ works on the CRI, Centaur, Triton, Pierian, Nimbus, Crystal, and Albany labels.
Scott Kluksdahl presented his solo debut with the San Francisco Symphony, and since then he has performed a broad gamut of his instrument’s repertory throughout the entire United States and in the major musical centers of New York City, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Kluksdahl has been heard in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Kennedy Center, Dame Myra Hess Series, Phillips Collection and Tanglewood Music Festival, and continues to perform the complete cycle of Bach Suites for cello, notably at the Oregon and Philadelphia Bach Festivals. He has been a frequent a guest chamber artist at the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society, Music from Salem, Killington Music Festival, Craftsbury Chamber Players, Lancaster Music Festival, and Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. Scott Kluksdahl was a founding member of the Lions Gate Trio for two decades. He also performed as cellist of the Veronika String Quartet, and he has been a guest artist with numerous ensembles including DaPonte, Miami and Pacifica String Quartets.
Scott Kluksdahl serves as Professor of Cello at the University of South Florida, where he is a designated Theodore and Venette Askounes-Ashford Distinguished Scholar, and he has presented master classes in such institutions as Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, Boston Conservatory, Northwestern University, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He teaches summers at the Brancaleoni International and the ARIA International Summer Festivals, as well as at the Cello Seminar at the Brown Farm in Salem, New York. Mr. Kluksdahl’s commitment to teaching prompted the renowned cellist Zara Nelsova to remark, “It is rare to find a cellist who is equally at home as a concert artist as well as a great pedagogue. In my opinion Scott Kluksdahl has one of the great talents of his generation.”