The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Alfred Savia announce the recent appointment of a new concertmaster and three principal musicians who will make up the Eykamp String Quartet beginning with the 2018-2019 Concert Season.
Alan Snow has been appointed as concertmaster, Dr. Jia-Rong Gan was appointed Principal Second Violin, Mark Hatlestad was appointed Principal Viola and Graham Cullen was named Principal Cello. Read the full press release.
Eykamp String Quartet
Meet the Members of the Eykamp String Quartet
Alan Snow, Concertmaster
Alan Snow was appointed Concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and first violinist of Eykamp String Quartet at University of Evansville in June of 2018. Since his performance with the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra at age 14, Alan has performed solo and chamber works throughout the USA and Mexico, including appearances at Chicago’s Symphony Center, the Sarasota Opera House, Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, the University of Alaska Anchorage, la Sala Manuel M. Ponce in Mexico City, and others throughout the continent.
As a member of the Chicago Panamerican Ensemble, Alan recorded an album titled, “Voices of Mexico Past and Present,” and subsequently toured the US and Mexico with the program. In addition, Alan and pianist, Joanne Chang won the 2016 Latin American Music Center Recording Competition through Indiana University and released another album of Mexican music titled, “Dialogos.”
Alan has also won several other competitions as soloist and with his quartet Contrapunctus (2011-2013), including grand prize at the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, the DePaul Festival for Young Performers, the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, the Discover Chamber Music Competition, second prize at the Rembrandt Chamber Players and honorable mention at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Previous chamber collaborations include performances with James Buswell, Martin Chalifour, Desmond Hoebig, Jorja Fleezanis, Robert Vernon, Steve Wyrczynski, and Eric Kim.
In addition to having been the concertmaster of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic for the 2017-18 season and concertmaster of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra from 2016-2018, Alan has also served as concertmaster at the Music Academy of the West, the Festival Napa Valley Orchestra, and Indiana University’s top orchestras, collaborating with musicians such as Stephane Deneve, James Gaffigan, Joshua Bell, and others. Alan has also served on faculty at the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, an intensive chamber music festival in Alaska.
A Chicago native, Alan participated at Midwest Young Artists for nine years, where he received intensive orchestral and chamber training. He studied with Gerardo Ribeiro at Northwestern University before receiving his Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University under Sibbi Bernhardsson of the Pacifica Quartet and Alexander Kerr, concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Jia-Rong Gan, Principal Second Violin
Though described as “a small young woman”, violinist Dr. Jia-Rong Gan was praised for having a “sound and command of her instrument that belied her physical stature” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). A native of Malaysia, Dr. Gan began her violin studies at the age of five and has since captivated audiences across the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Dr. Gan currently serves as the Principal Second Violin of Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and performs regularly with Owensboro Symphony Orchestra and Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Previously, she has been a member of Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra; and has served as concertmaster for Florida State University Symphony Orchestra, Brevard Music Festival Sinfonia, and Western Illinois University Symphony and Chamber Orchestra.
Using chamber music as a platform for cultural diversity, Dr. Gan founded Stephenson|Gan - a violin and piano duo that seeks to promote diversity and equality on the concert stage. The duo was awarded First Prize in the Great Composers - Art of Chamber Music Competition and in 2017, made their Carnegie Weill Recital Hall recital debut. Apart from her duo, Dr. Gan has held resident string quartet positions at various university. Currently at University of Evansville - Eykamp String Quartet, and previously at Florida State University as well as Western Illinois University. Her passion for chamber music has led her to various international chamber music festival such as Moritzburg Music Festival Academy, Zodiac Trio Festival, and Vermont Music Festival.
Dr. Gan has won numerous competitions, including concerto competition at Brevard Music Festival and Western Illinois University; First Prize winner of the Young Musical Talent of Malaysia Competition, Music Teachers National Association Senior String Category at the State Level, and the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition; and has performed as a soloist with Florida State University Symphony Orchestra, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, and WIU Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Gan earned a Doctor of Music at Florida State University, where she served as Corinne Stillwell’s teaching assistant. She received a Master of Music at Florida State University and a Bachelor of Music from Western Illinois University in which she graduated summa cum laude. Her principal teachers have included Corinne Stillwell, Dr. Julieta Mihai, and Malgorzata Potocka.
Mark Hatlestad, Principal Viola
Mark Hatlestad is a violist and Minnesota native. Mark is an avid performer, music educator, and advocate for contemporary music. He has appeared in festivals across the globe, including the Sommerakadamie Leutkirch in Germany, the Keshet Eilon Summer Master Course in Israel, as well as the Chautaqua Summer Music Festival in New York. Mark completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, where he studied viola performance with Atar Arad and Edward Gazouleas. During his time in Bloomington, Mark worked closely with Steve Wyrczynski, Peter Stumpf, Kevork Mardirossian, Mark Kaplan, Stanley Ritchie and members of the Pacifica Quartet. Believing in the importance of contemporary music, Mark collaborated with several student composers at IU, and served as principal viola for the IU New Music Ensemble under Dr. David Dzubay. In addition to performing, Mark studied string pedagogy with Mimi Zweig and Dr. Brenda Brenner, and worked as an assistant teacher for the IU Summer String Academy and the Fairview Violin Project, a program that gives free violin lessons to underprivileged elementary-school students. Other important teachers and mentors include Roland Glassl, Aaron Janse, and the Artaria String Quartet.
Mark has been a member of the Evansville Philharmonic since 2014, and is excited to have the opportunity to greater serve the Tri-State Area.
Graham Cullen, Principal Cello
Graham Cullen, cellist, is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Peter Stumpf. He has had the opportunity to hold the principal chair of the Indiana University Symphony Orchestra for multiple years while studying there. He also holds the Assistant Principal chair of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, as well as being a member of the Richmond Symphony and Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. Aside from orchestral playing, Graham has a very impassioned sense for chamber music. After winning the Beethoven Haus residency competition held at the Jacobs School, Graham and his quartet were awarded the opportunity to perform a full recital at Beethoven’s house in Bonn, Germany. He was also the Grand Prize winner at the Alice Coleman Chamber Music Competition and was the fellowship quartet in residence at the Aspen Summer Music Festival. A dedicated chamber musician, Graham has collaborated with a wide array of musicians, including Alisa Weilerstein and Alex Kerr.