Coaching Artists



JUSTIN BRUNS (violin) joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Concertmaster in 2006 and was appointed Associate Concertmaster this past fall after winning a national audition for the position. In the summer he serves as Concertmaster of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Before moving to Atlanta, Bruns was Assistant Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and served as Concertmaster of the Boulder Bach Festival. He has also played with the Houston and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, and toured Germany with the American Sinfonietta. He has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Beijing Music Festival, BRAVO Vail Valley Music Festival, Lakes Area Music Festival, Music in the Mountains Festival and Conservatory in Durango, CO and Bellingham Music Festival. He has been a guest concertmaster with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, IRIS Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Louisville Orchestra and São Paulo Symphony (OSESP).

Actively involved in teaching and bringing music to young audiences, he maintains a private teaching studio and regularly gives master classes, orchestral excerpt courses and chamber music coachings. Through programs of the ASO, he has taught and mentored students in the Talent Development Program, coaches sections of the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra and strives to build relationships with schools and other civic organizations through Community Engagement and Outreach. He served as a teaching assistant at Rice University and participated in the founding and organization of its outreach program. He regularly appeared with Chamber Music Ann Arbor’s outreach program and throughout Colorado with Up Close and Musical. He has served as Director of Chamber Music at Kennesaw State University.

As a chamber musician, Bruns has performed throughout the United States and England. He has appeared on the Faculty Tuesdays Series at the University of Colorado, with the String in the Mountains Music Festival and Michigan Chamber Players. He has also performed cycles of the Brahms, Beethoven and late Mozart sonatas. In the Atlanta area, he has performed with Georgian Chamber Players, Sonic Generator, Bent Frequency, KSU Faculty Chamber Music, ASO Chamber Music Concerts and the North Georgia Music Festival. While he was first violinist of Atlanta Chamber Players, he appeared at the San Miguel de Allende Chamber Music Festival and made his chamber music debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

Violinist Justin Bruns began his studies at age three and won his first competition two years later. He made his solo debut with an orchestra at age nine. Since then he has appeared with numerous orchestras throughout the US, South America and UK. Bruns graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan and was awarded the top prize upon graduation, the Stanley Medal. He received his master’s degree from Rice University. Performance highlights of this year are a series of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, performances in Lima, Peru, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Denver and at the Lake Tahoe Music Festival.

JULIANNE LEE (violin, viola) has a distinctive career as both a violinist and violist, appearing frequently as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. Lee had been assistant principal second violinist of the Boston Symphony orchestra prior to joining the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra last season as their new principal second violinist. She has toured with the Marlboro Music Festival as well as multiple international tours with the Australian Chamber Orchestra as guest principal violist. In past summers, she has been invited to perform at numerous music festivals including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber music at the Banff Centre, and the Marlboro Music Festival. She was the second violinist of the Johannes String Quartet, an ensemble who has performed commissioned works by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Derek Bermel and William Bolcom. Lee graduated with an unanimous First prize at the Conservatoire Superieur de Paris in France. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in both violin and viola performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and a Master’s Degree from the New England Conservatory.

JUN-CHING LIN (violin) joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Concertmaster in 1988 after a year as concertmaster of the Augusta Symphony. He has been the concertmaster of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and a guest concertmaster with the Florida Orchestra, Fort Worth, and Phoenix Symphonies. He was recently appointed Concertmaster of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

Recent solo performances have included Prokofieff First Concerto with the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the complete Brandenburg Concerti with the ATL Symphony Musicians. In addition, he has performed works by Bach, Barber, Beethoven, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Vivaldi with the Atlanta Symphony.

Mr. Lin is very active in education, hosting educational residencies at Trinity School in Atlanta and in Kalamazoo, MI. He has been the first violin coach of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra for over 25 years and has taught at Emory University, Georgia Tech University, Meadowmount, Encore School for Strings, and Franklin Pond Chamber Music.

Jun-Ching is the first violinist of the Franklin Pond String Quartet and a founding member of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta. He has played chamber music on the violin and viola with Alan Gilbert, the Merling Trio, Robert Spano, and Yo Yo Ma. He has also played with members of the Cleveland, Miami and Tokyo String Quartets and principals of the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Lin has participated in festivals in Highlands-Cashiers, La Jolla, San Diego, and Steamboat Springs among others.

Jun-Ching Lin was born in Taipei, Taiwan and grew up in Boston. While in Boston he studied with Sara Scriven, Roman Totenberg, and Robert Koff. He was one of the first Presidential Scholars in the Arts. He is a graduate of the Curtis and Cleveland Institutes of Music where he was a student of Ivan Galamian, Jascha Brodsky, and David Cerone. He met his wife, Helen Porter, during the first summer of Encore and they are the proud parents of Emma and Nicholas.

CAROLYN TOLL HANCOCK (violin) began studying piano and violin at the age of 5. While in High School, Ms. Hancock soloed on piano with the Elgin Symphony and Harper Community College orchestras near Chicago. Ms. Hancock has a Bachelor of Music from Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. She performed and toured Germany with The Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, performed with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, and played numerous performances with the college’s quartet. In December of 1981, Ms. Hancock was asked to reunite with the Concerto Soloists in their debut concert in Carnegie Hall. Ms. Hancock was awarded a Fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival in 1981. She has a Master of Music from Indiana University, where she performed regularly in both the Fort Wayne Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. Her teachers include Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Yuval Yaron and James Buswell IV.

Ms. Hancock joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 1985. Since then, she has played numerous solo and chamber performances in and around Atlanta, including performing and recording with the Atlanta Chamber Players and the Chamber Orchestra of Tennessee. Ms. Hancock runs Chamber Music Atlanta, an organization that hires solo musicians and chamber groups for special events in the Atlanta area. For 15 years, she has coached for Franklin Pond Chamber Music, a year-round chamber music program for middle- through high school-age musicians. Most recently, she was granted the opportunity to perform in the chamber orchestra of the Highlands-Cashiers Music Festival.

Ms. Hancock has two daughters, Sara and Anastasia.

RONDA RESPESS (violin, President and Artistic Director of Franklin Pond) has been recognized for her active role in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s outreach programs by being named to the UPS Community Service Chair. Deeply committed to education, she teaches privately, gives masterclasses, coaches chamber music, and is a long-time coach of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.

In cooperation with WGTV and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, she filmed a teaching video called “Instrumental Success”. She is founder and artistic director of Franklin Pond Chamber Music, a year-around chamber music program in Atlanta for talented young musicians. In 2007 Ronda received the Loridans Arts Award given in honor of her work with Franklin Pond and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. As a former teaching affiliate at Emory University, she has performed in several chamber-music concerts there and around the city. She also served as Principal Second Violin of the Atlanta Opera for eight years.

Respess, a New Jersey native, took lessons from Samuel Applebaum, and as the high school winner of the New Jersey Music Educators Association Solo Competition, she played a recital in Carnegie Recital Hall. She went on to study with Sally Thomas and Ivan Galamian in New York, then received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Indiana University as a student of Daniel Guilet and Josef Gingold. She also had chamber music coaching with Janos Starker and William Primrose at Indiana University and Walter Trampler at the Sarasota Music Festival.

After winning a position with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra she continued her study in Florida with Richard Burgin and did graduate work toward a Masters in Music Education at Georgia State University. In 2013, Respess was elected to the Board of the ASO. She is the mother of Virginia Respess Fairchild, a professional violinist now working in Atlanta, and adopted mother to two dogs.

PAUL MURPHY (viola) is the Associate Principal Viola with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, having held that position since 1986. Previously he held principal positions with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Kansas City Philharmonic, the Caracas (Venezuela) Philharmonic, and was a regular player with the St. Louis Symphony. He has also performed as Guest Principal for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Murphy is a native of Pensacola, Florida, where he studied with the renowned Anna Tringas. He later graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music where his principal teachers were David Cerone and Robert Vernon. During college he also served as an assistant teacher at the prestigious Meadowmount School of Music.

Mr. Murphy is an avid chamber music performer and has played extensively with the Emory Chamber Music Society, the Atlanta Chamber Players, the Georgian Chamber Players, and the Minneapolis Artists’ Ensemble. He has collaborated with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Sadao Harada, Robert McDuffie, Alan Gilbert, and Robert Spano. He can be heard in chamber music performances on the Innova, GM, Arundax, and ACA labels and is a featured performer on the short children’s film, “The Orchestra Gets Dressed”. Mr. Murphy has participated regularly in music festivals such as the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs, the Bellingham Festival of Music the Wintergreen Music Festival, the Highlands Music Festival, and the Pensacola Chamber Music Festival. On a different note, he has recorded extensively with the rock bands R.E.M. and Collective Soul, and has also worked with Stone Temple Pilots, Indigo Girls, and Usher, Widespread Panic, and Outkast. He has soloed with the Atlanta Symphony in works by Mozart, Gubaidulina, Rorem, Bruch, and Freddy Mercury.

A dedicated teacher, Murphy has served as an Artist Affiliate at Emory University, a Distinguished Artist at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, as well as Adjunct Professor at Kennesaw State University. He also maintains a private studio. He lives with his wife, Christina Smith, in Vinings.


LACHLAN MCBANE (violia and Manager of Fall Into Spring), joined the viola section of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 1998 and has served as Acting Assistant Principal during several ASO seasons. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and The Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Robert Vernon, Principal Violist of the Cleveland Orchestra. His other teachers included Peter Slowik, Nathan Gordon and Bernard Linden. Before coming to Atlanta, Mr. McBane was Principal Violist of the Nashville Symphony, and was a member of the San Diego, New Jersey and Toledo Symphonies. He has also been invited to perform with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra.

Mr. McBane is active in chamber music around Atlanta, and is a faculty member at Franklin Pond Chamber Music, where he directs the Fall Into Spring student chamber music program during the school year. A member of the American String Teachers’ Association (ASTA), he has twice been an adjudicator for ASTA’s National Solo Competition. He has also served on the faculty of the William Pu Music Academy and the ASO’s Talent Development Program. Lachlan is the founder and music director of Bravo Homeschool Strings, which offers string orchestra programs for Atlanta-area homeschooled students (

DANIEL LAUFER (cello) is the Associate Principal Cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (since 1991).

Daniel Laufer began studying cello with his father, Wolfgang Laufer, former cellist of the Fine Arts Quartet. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Robert Marsh and performed as a soloist and chamber musician on two European tours with the International Music Program. Laufer continued his studies with his father and mother at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He won a section position with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) at age 18 and joined a year later under Eduardo Mata. After two years with the DSO, Mr. Laufer joined the ASO as the Associate Principal Cello.

A regular chamber music performer, Laufer was a founding member of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta and the Franklin Pond Chamber Music Program. He has performed at chamber music festivals, such as the Kfar Blum Chamber Music Festival in Israel, the Barge Chamber Music Series in New York, the Highlands Chamber Music Festival, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Amalfi Coast Festival in Italy, and the prestigious Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, France. Mr. Laufer has collaborated with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Sadao Harada, Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles, Alan Gilbert, James Ehnes, and Pinchas Zukerman, among others and has performed on many occasions as a guest with the Fine Arts Quartet both in the United States and abroad.

As soloist, Mr. Laufer performed and recorded in 1991 Ott’s Concerto for Two Cellos with his father and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for the Koss label. Other solo performances have taken place with the Dallas Symphony, a number of appearances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and numerous community orchestras over the years.

Since 2012, Mr. Laufer has enjoyed being associated with the Grand Teton Music Festival as Principal Cellist under Maestro Donald Runnicles and enjoying chamber music performances at the summer festival.

BRAD RITCHIE (cello) joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 1997. Originally from Portland, Oregon, he earned his Bachelor of Music at Indiana University where he studied with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Janos Starker. In his senior year, his string quartet won the school’s Kuttner Quartet Competition, which provided them with a year of recitals and trips to a number of chamber music competitions from Osaka, Japan, to Evian, France. Following a summer of quartet concerts in Europe, Ritchie enrolled in the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany, and earned his graduate degree studying with Adriana Contino.

After completing his studies in Germany, Ritchie played for two years in the New World Symphony in Miami under Michael Tilson Thomas. In 1997, he became a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and also joined the Atlanta Chamber Players. During his tenure with the Atlanta Chamber Players, he has made recordings on the CRI, ACA Digital, and MSR labels, and toured extensively, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, the American Cathedral in Paris, France, and at the International Chamber Music Festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

In addition to his Orchestra commitments, Ritchie has played with many other chamber music and new music ensembles in and around Atlanta including Riverside Chamber Players, Thamyris Ensemble, Emory Chamber Players, Franklin Pond Quartet, GLO-ATL, and Bent Frequency, as well as annual concerts with faculty at Kennesaw State University and recitals with Robert Henry in Highlands, NC. He is a founding member of the contemporary music ensemble Sonic Generator, currently in its 10th season in residence at Georgia Tech University.

In his spare time, Ritchie enjoys traveling to distant lands, running through the woods and finding new places to eat.

Thomas Carpenter (cello) joins the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, where he spent the previous two years. Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, he completed his undergraduate degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Stephen Geber and completed his master’s degree with Norman Fischer at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.Carpenter has participated in music festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the New York String Orchestra Seminar, The National Repertory Orchestra, the Britten Pears Orchestra, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Mr. Carpenter was also a winner of the New World Symphony concerto competition and performed Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo with the orchestra.

He particularly enjoys teaching and in addition to working with his students in South Florida, Thomas was able to travel to Medellin, Colombia as part of a partnership with the New World Symphony and Universidad EAFIT, to teach students from both Colombia and Chile.

Aside from music, Carpenter enjoys playing soccer, swimming, golf, hiking and camping. He also loves cooking and is excited to explore many of the amazing restaurants that Atlanta has to offer.


EMILY BREBACH (horn, oboe) joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra playing English horn and oboe in the fall of 2012.

Brebach, a Philadelphia native, has performed with several orchestras throughout the United States, including the Boston Symphony, Houston Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Sarasota Opera. Prior to joining the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Brebach held the position of English horn and oboe with the Sarasota Orchestra.

Brebach is an Artist Affiliate Instructor of Oboe at Emory University, a faculty member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program, and also maintains an active private studio out of her home. She spends her summers in residence as English horn and oboe as well as artist faculty at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, NC. She has also performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Des Moines Metro Opera, Strings Music Festival (Steamboat Springs, CO), Festival Mozaic (San Luis Obispo, CA), Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival.

Brebach holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and has studied with Louis Rosenblatt, James Caldwell, Robert Atherholt and Robert Walters. She has performed in recitals at Merkin Hall in New York, NY; Reinberger Hall in Cleveland, OH; and at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, where she represented Oberlin Conservatory as part of The Conservatory Project. Locally, she performs with the Riverside Chamber Players in Roswell, GA.

LAURA NAJARIAN (bassoon) has played second bassoon with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) since 2005.

Prior to her appointment with the ASO, Ms. Najarian was Principal Bassoon of the Savannah Symphony for 15 years and spent her summers as Principal Bassoon of the Des Moines Metro Opera. She has also performed with orchestras in Jacksonville (FL), Charlotte, Charleston, Omaha, the North Carolina and Utah Symphonies and the Houston Grand Opera. Summers during college were spent at Tanglewood and the Aspen Music Festival and more recently at the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival.

Ms. Najarian graduated from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music and studied with Otto Eifert. Ms. Najarian later studied with K. David Van Hoesen at the Eastman School of Music, where she received a Master of Music in Performance and Literature degree and a Performer’s Certificate while serving as a graduate teaching assistant.


SUSAN WELTY (horn) joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Horn in 1988.

The Illinois native received her Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from Northwestern University, where she studied with Dale Clevenger, Norman Schweikert and Richard Oldberg. Welty was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago while studying there.

In addition to being a featured artist at the 1999 International Horn Workshop, she also served as a guest artist at the 2011 and 2012 National Brass Symposiums. Welty has been a member of the Bellingham Music Festival Orchestra since 2009, and she has performed at the Grand Tetons, Highland Cashiers, Astoria and Amelia Island Music Festivals.

Outside of music, Welty has a passion for houses, interior design and furniture. She was the winner of the 2013 “Kitchen of the Year” award in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. Welty lives in Atlanta with her husband Brice Andrus and their two longhaired dachshunds.

Franklin Pond Quartet

Jun-Ching Lin, violin
Carolyn Hancock, violin
Paul Murphy, viola
Daniel Laufer, cello