Michael Shih, violin
Chinese-American violinist Michael Shih, currently concertmaster of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, has performed throughout the United States and his native Taiwan, as well as on tours of Canada, France, Germany, Costa Rica, Honduras, Japan, and Korea. A U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, he was a winner in the Naumburg.
International Violin Competition and Artists International's Auditions, the latter award resulting in his New York debut recital at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall in 1992.
He has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Little Orchestra Society at Avery Fisher Hall, with the symphony orchestras of Fort Worth, Hartford, New Amsterdam, and Long Beach, the Williamsburg Symphonia, New York Youth Symphony, San Pedro Sula Symphony in Honduras, and Taipei City Symphony at Taiwan's National Concert Hall. He has also made a solo appearance at the prestigious Chiehshou Hall Concert at the Office of the President of Taiwan.
An avid performer of chamber music, he has collaborated with such artists as Leon Fleisher, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Tree, and Charles Wadsworth. From 1992 to 2002, he was first violinist of the Whitman Quartet, formerly graduate quartet-in-residence at the Juilliard School and winner of the Naumburg Chamber Music and Catherine Filene Shouse Debut Artists awards. Music festival appearances include Aspen, La Jolla, Ravinia, Spoleto USA, Chamber Music Northwest, and Mostly Mozart of Lincoln Center. Shih has also appeared at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and on National Public Radio, NBC's "Today Show" and Japan's NHK Television.
He holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, where he was under the tutelage of Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang. He has also studied with Chiu-Sen Chen, Masao Kawasaki, Shue-Tee Lee and Margaret Pardee. He was on the violin faculty at the Lucy Moses School for Music and Dance in New York from 1995 to 2001. Shih plays a 1710 Antonio Stradivari violin, generously on loan to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association by Mr. and Mrs. William S. Davis of Fort Worth, Texas.
Swang Lin, violin
A native of Taipei, Taiwan, Swang Lin began the study of violin at the age of six. In 1984, he began studies with Zvi Zeitlin at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he earned both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in violin performance.
Before joining the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in 1991, Lin performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York. Engagements with the latter groups have taken him to concert halls and festivals across the U. S. and Europe, including the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Kennedy Performing Art Center in Washington D.C., Tanglewood Music Festival, among others. He has held Concertmaster positions with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and the Bear Valley, California, Music Festival Orchestra. Swang serves as a member of the faculty of and as a performing artist for the Utah Music Festival in Logan and Snowbird.
A frequent and favorite soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Swang Lin has soloed before the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra (Taiwan), Shanghai Broadcast Symphony Orchestra, Kunming Symphony (China), and Taipei City Symphony Orchestra, among many others. His performances have been heard nationally on National Public Radio's Performance Today series and have been televised on CBS's Good Morning America and on PBS.
An active proponent of chamber music, Lin regularly performs with the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth and with the Spectrum Chamber Music Society. He has performed at Utah Music Festival at Logan, Snowbird Institute String Chamber Music Festival in Utah, Bear Valley Music Festival in California, Steger International Music Festival in Oklahoma.
In recent seasons Swang made a successful Mainland China debut at the Shanghai Music Hall with Shanghai Broadcast Symphony under the direction of Tan Lihua. Upon the invitation from the 1999 Kunming International Horticultural Expo's committee, he has performed two sold-out concerts with Kunming Symphony Orchestra and gave masterclasses throughout the region. With a triumphant solo appearance before the Northeast Orchestra, Texas in 1996, Swang returned the following year to play Dvorak Violin Concerto.
In 2000, Lin has performed Stravinsky Violin Concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony at the Bass Performance Hall. He was also engaged to three-week concert tour in Australia and has released his first compact disc Serenade .
Highlights of recent seasons also include a “Distinguished Artists Series” recital at Coppel's Museum of Arts, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra, a recital in Massachusetts, and performed Shostakovitch Violin Concerto under the direction of Miguel Harth-Bedoya.
A devoted and dynamic teacher, Swang has taught various institutions including University of Texas in Arlington and Charleston University in West Virginia. His students have earned numerous awards and prizes at both local and national competitions
Susan Dubois, viola
Hailed by The Strad as “an impressive protagonist proclaiming a magnetic, outgoing personality, a lustrous, vibrant tone, and excellent intonation,” violist Susan Dubois is considered one of the leading young artist-teachers of viola today. From New York's Carnegie Hall to Argentina's Teatro Colón , Dubois has won the hearts of audiences worldwide with her commanding and persuasive performances.
A native of San Diego, California, Dubois was chosen as the sole viola winner of Artist International's Twenty third Annual Auditions and was presented in her solo New York Recital Debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in April of 1996. She was also selected as the winner of the Sigma Alpha Iota International Women's Music Fraternity 1995 Verna Ross Orndorff Career Performance Grant. Dubois was a recitalist and award winner in the 1991 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in the United Kingdom and has also competed in the finals of the 1991 Primrose and Washington International Competitions. In 1990 she was selected as the scholarship winner in the San Diego Musical Merit Foundation Instrumental/Vocal Competition and was also the scholarship winner and soloist with the La Jolla Civic-University Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Music Academy of the West. Dubois was twice winner of the American String Teachers Association State Solo Competition in 1985 and 1988, and was an award winner in the 1990 ASTA National Competition.
A teaching assistant and student of Karen Tuttle, and a recipient of the Cartwright and Irving Ruckens Scholarships at The Juilliard School, Dubois earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and was awarded the William Schuman Prize for outstanding achievement and leadership in Music. She has traveled to France as principal violist of the Juilliard Orchestra performing under guest conductors Yehudi Menuhin and Jean-Pierre Rampal. As winner of The Juilliard School Concerto Competition, Dubois made her New York Concerto Debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall with Maestro Otto Werner Mueller and the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra. Dubois holds a Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, and Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California where she studied with Donald McInnes and was a winner of the 1991 Concerto Competition.
Dubois has extensive experience as a chamber musician, performing and coaching throughout the United States, South America and Australia as a faculty member of the American Festival for the Arts and a former member of the Rackham String Quartet. She has attended the Marlboro, Taos, and La Jolla Chamber Music Festivals, and has participated in The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Young Artists series. Dubois has performed with such outstanding artist as Lynn Harrell, David Soyer, David Finkel, Donald Weilerstein, Menahem Pressler, Atar Arad, and Carter Brey.
Formerly the principal violist of the Dallas Opera Orchestra, Dubois is currently the principal violist of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the artist faculty and string-area coordinator at the University of North Texas. Dubois is on the faculty of Sound Encounters and Musicorda Summer Music Festivals.
Deborah Brooks, cello
Deborah Brooks, cellist, is a member of the Fort Worth Symphony and is much in demand as a free-lance soloist, recording artist, and chamber music collaborator. Ms. Brooks is also the cellist for Casa Manana and Dallas Summer Musicals, including the 2002 National Tour of Lion King .
Her debut Compact Disc entitled REUNION with Yamaha artist and composer Joyce Valentine was released in 2000, with Yamaha producing a Midi-Disc version in 2001.
Ms. Brooks held the title of Associate Principal Cellist of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra until 1999 and had been the featured soloist with Bobby McFerrin, Bernadette Peters, and Mark O'Connor on the Fort Worth Symphony Pops Series. In 1996 she was awarded the American Airlines Distinguished Musicians Award as a result of her contribution to the community during her over two decades of service with the orchestra.
Ms. Brooks received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees under the tutelage of Adolfo Odnoposoff at the University of North Texas. She attended the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood in 1979 and 1980 and received prizes both summers, including the Gregor Piatorgorsky Prize for outstanding cellist. Ms. Brooks performed with such notable artists as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Colin Davis, Wynton Marsalis, Raymond Leppard, and John Williams.