MUSICIANS 

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 Calin Ovidiu Lupanu

Born in Timisoara, Romania, violinist Calin Ovidiu Lupanu is the Concertmaster of the Charlotte Symphony. Mr. Lupanu completed his
undergraduate studies at the Music Academy in Bucharest, where he served as Concertmaster of the conservatory’s Chamber Orchestra. During his summers as a student, Mr. Calin Lupanu performed in festival orchestras in Lanciano, Italy as Assistant Concertmaster and the

Monica Boboc

Born in Romania, violinist Monica Boboc gave her first performance as a soloist with a professional orchestra at the age of 14 and completed her musical studies at the Bucharest Music Conservatory, where she was later appointed Assistant Professor. Mrs. Boboc was a Prize Winner at the London International String Quartet Competition, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the D. Shostakovich International String Quartet Competition.

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Phillip Bush

Acclaimed as "a pianist of poetry, elegance, and power" (American Record Guide),  "a pianist of exceptional, cherishable finesse" (Los Angeles Times), and "one of those rare pianists who combine structural intelligence with a hundred color gradations" (Village Voice), Phillip Bush has established a performing career over the past three decades that is noted for its remarkable versatility and eclecticism.

Marlene Ballena

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Peruvian cellist Marlene Ballena began playing the cello at age seven in her hometown of Lima. She served as a member of the Peruvian National Symphony and as principal cellist of the Piura Symphony Orchestra. In 2003 she was awarded a performance scholarship at the University of Louisville where she earned her Bachelors degree. Later on, she continued her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Stephen Geber.

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Benjamin Geller

Benjamin Geller joined the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra as Principal Violist in 2014 where he regularly performs as a soloist in the orchestra and as a chamber musician in the Charlotte Area. Ben began violin lessons at the age of three in the Suzuki tradition at the Music Academy of Rockford. He continued his musical training at Butler University with Larry Shapiro and formally took up viola with Michael Isaac Strauss as well as a Jazz Minor with Mark Buselli.

Jon Lewis

The grand-prize winner of the 2007 Schadt International String Competition, American cellist Jon Lewis enjoys a diverse career that reflects his many musical interests. He currently holds the
positions of Assistant Principal Cello in the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Principal Cello of the Central City Opera, and is a regular substitute with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and
Atlanta Symphony.

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Alaina Rea

Violist Alaina Rea joined the Charlotte Symphony as Assistant Principal Viola in September 2020. Alaina holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory. Her teachers have included Victoria Chiang, Choong-Jin Chang, Heidi Castleman, and Steven Tenenbom. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated in recitals with Vadim Gluzman and Robert McDuffie.

Taylor Marino

Taylor Marino joined the CSO as principal clarinetist of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in 2019. He was previously the principal clarinetist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans and has performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony as well as guest principal clarinet with the Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia in New Zealand.

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Sarah Markle

Originally from Buffalo, NY, Sarah has been a member of the Charlotte Symphony since 2014. After receiving her Bachelors from the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Alan Stepansky, she completed her Masters in Orchestral Performance at the Manhattan School of Music in 2013. Prior to joining the CSO, Sarah performed frequently with the Buffalo Philharmonic, New Haven Symphony and New World Symphony.

Tatiana Karpova

Tatiana Karpova joined the Charlotte Symphony shortly after immigrating to the US in 1999. As a graduate of the Sverdlovsk Conservatory, she continued her musical studies at the Moscow Gnessin Institute of Music, where she completed her DMA. After winning second price at the David Oistrakh Violin Competition in 1988, Tatiana began a busy performing career as a soloist and chamber musician.

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Kurt Riecken

Kurt Riecken is principal bassist of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, a position he won in October 2014. Kurt graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida with degrees in music performance and electrical engineering. At Indiana University in Bloomington he received his masters of music under Craig Brown and Kurt Muroki.

Leonardo Soto

Leonardo R. Soto, Jr. was appointed Principal Timpanist of the Houston Symphony in 2018. Before arriving to Houston, Leo served as Principal Timpanist of the Charlotte Symphony from 2009 to 2018, and the Michigan Opera Theatre-Detroit Opera House from 2003 to 2009. He was also an active member of Miami’s Nu-Deco ensemble. Leo has the unique distinction of being the first native Hispanic Timpanist to play in a major orchestra in the United States.

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Byron Johns

Byron Johns was born and raised in the Gulf Coast city of Venice, Florida. He earned undergraduate degrees in horn performance and choral music education from the Florida State University where he studied with Kevin Reid, James Wilson and Michelle Stebleton.  He earned a masters degree in horn performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music while studying with Peter Kurau.

Lynn Kompass

Versatile as a collaborative pianist, chamber musician, and vocal coach,
Lynn Kompass has performed in Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Brazil, China, South
Korea, and Thailand. She has also appeared in venues across the United States including Weill Recital Hall and the Nicholas Roerich Museum, the Strings in the Mountain Festival, Harold Washington Library, North Carolina Museum of Art, as well as numerous colleges and conservatories nationwide.

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Joshua Hood

Joshua Hood, bassoon bassoonist with the Charlotte Symphony , received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Lewis H. Cooper. He completed his Masters’ degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University with Benjamin Kamins, noted teacher and former Principal Bassoonist of the Houston Symphony.Mr Hood joined the Charlotte Symphony immediately after graduating with his masters from Rice.