FORT MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 17, 2022) – The Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County’s only professional orchestra and the fourth oldest in the state, is excited to welcome a variety of talented new section musicians for the 2022-23 concert season. Following national auditions held in September and October, Victoria Bramble, assistant principal 2nd violin; Yuhao Zhou, section violin; Eliot Roske, section violin; and Joseph Henderson, section viola, have been selected to join the symphony. In addition, Orin Laursen was appointed as concertmaster and will support Music Director Maestro Radu Paponiu as he leads his inaugural season.

“We are thrilled to have these exceptional musicians join us for an incredible season,” said Amy Ginsburg, executive director of the Southwest Florida Symphony. “Artistic growth is already evident under Maestro Paponiu’s leadership. He has attracted extraordinary talent to audition for our orchestra through relationships he has fostered within the classical music industry.”

Victoria Bramble is completing her bachelors of music degree in violin performance at Lynn Conservatory, where she studies with Elmar Oliveira. A native of South Florida, Bramble plays as a substitute musician with New World Symphony and Symphony in C, and has performed under the batons of Gerard Schwarz and Marin Alsop. As a chamber musician, she has appeared on the concert series of the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach and Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York, as well as in performances with Itzhak Perlman and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Yuhao Zhou first started playing the violin at age 6 and began teaching at age 15. A native of Lishui, China, Zhou has taught at numerous music schools in Shanghai and throughout Zhejiang province, and is currently a doctoral candidate at the Frost School of Music in Miami. He is the recipient of many scholarships, awards and honors, including winning the Concert of Soloists Competition at Marshall University in 2014, as well as the Belle and Lynum Jackson Award in 2017. Professionally, Zhou has shared stage with world renowned artists such as Midori, Joshua Bell and Gerald Schwarz and performed in master classes for Rachel Barton Pine, Elmar Oliveira, Regis Pasquier, Nikki Chooi, Charles Castleman and the Emerson Quartet. Additionally, he regularly attends popular festivals such as Round Top Music Festival in Texas, Festival Napa Valley and AIMS in Graz and performs with the Palm Beach Symphony, Venice Symphony and Florida Grand Opera.

Eliot Roske is a violinist, and former violist and pianist, who recently received his master’s in violin performance at the Frost School of Music in Miami where he studied under Charles Castleman and completed an HMI fellowship. He previously earned degrees in music and math from Bard College and Bard Conservatory of Music. Roske began taking Suzuki violin lessons with Nicolette Solomon when he was just 3 years old. At age 10, he began studying every summer at Meadowmount and at age 11, moved to the Dallas studio of Jan Mark Sloman to study with Weigang Li and Shmuel Ashkenasi at Bard Conservatory. Following six summers at Meadowmount, he began attending the Castleman Quartet Program, where spent the next four summers. Roske is the former concertmaster of the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, the Bard Conservatory Orchestra, and the Frost Symphony Orchestra, and is a current member of the Venice Symphony Orchestra. He has performed in master classes with Anne Setzer, Brian Lewis, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, the Danish Quartet, the JACK quartet and others.

Joseph Henderson has performed with ensembles of all types throughout the eastern United States. In 2022, he was awarded first prize in the Orchestral Audition Competition at the American Viola Society Festival and has been invited to participate in prestigious programs such as the National Orchestral Institute and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival. In addition, he had the honor of performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto as a soloist after being selected as a winner of the University of North Florida Concerto Competition. Henderson has played in master classes for Rachel Barton Pine, Charles Castleman, Jeffrey Irvine, Sphinx Virtuosi, Hans Jorgen Jensen, the Ying Quartet, the Tokyo Quartet, the Vega Quartet and more. As an orchestral musician, he has performed with Nashville Symphony, Venice Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Coastal Symphony of Georgia, Civic Orchestra of Jacksonville, Symphony of the Goddesses, Roy Orbison Hologram Tour, Electric Lights Orchestra and Video Games Live Orchestra.

In addition to the new arrivals, Katherine Baloff was recently awarded a section violinist position with the Sarasota Orchestra and will transition from her current role with the symphony to part time orchestra personnel manager. Yordan Tenev will assume the role of assistant personnel manager, in addition to his librarian position.

The Southwest Florida Symphony made its debut as a community orchestra on April 15, 1961, playing in schools and community centers, with a roster of only 24 volunteer musicians. Today, the symphony boasts a roster of 70 world-class musicians, and is Lee County’s only fully professional orchestra. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 62nd year continues the orchestra’s tradition of artistic excellence as newly appointed Music Director Maestro Radu Paponiu leads his inaugural season of spectacular performances. Maestro Paponiu, the sixth music director in the organization’s history, also serves as the associate conductor and youth orchestra director for the Naples Philharmonic in addition to guest-conducting with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Symphony, upcoming season performances and subscription and ticketing information, visit swflso.org or call 239-418-1500.

Contacts:
Amy Ginsburg, Southwest Florida Symphony, 239-418-0996, aginsburg@swflso.org
Angela Bell, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758, Angela@gsma.pro