JUSTIN BRUNS (violin) joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2006. Actively involved in teaching and bringing music to young audiences, Mr. Bruns has given master classes at Bradley University, Kennesaw State University, Denver Young Artists Orchestra, taught classes in orchestra repertoire at the University of Colorado and Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra, and consulted at Medomak Conducting Institute and HarpArts, as well as maintaining a private teaching and coaching studio. 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.
As a chamber musician Mr. Bruns has performed throughout the United States and England, appearing with ensembles such as the Kocapelli String Quartet, Brave New Works, and Michigan Chamber Players. He was a performer on the Faculty Tuesdays Recital Series at the University of Colorado, with the String in the Mountains Music Festival, North Georgia Music Festival, and Georgian Chamber Players. He has also performed cycles of the Brahms, Beethoven, and late Mozart sonatas. As 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.
Before moving to Atlanta Mr. Bruns was assistant concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and served as concertmaster of the Boulder Bach Festival. He has also played in Symphony II of Chicago, the Houston Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and IRIS Chamber Orchestra, besides having toured Germany and Italy with the American Sinfonietta. He has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Beijing Music Festival, BRAVO Vail Valley Music Festival, and Bellingham Music Festival, and he maintains his affiliation as concertmaster with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, California. He has been a guest concertmaster with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and São Paulo Symphony (OSESP).
Mr. Bruns began his violin 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 including the Colorado, Michigan Pops, and Amarillo Symphonies, and Sinfonia of Colorado. In England he has appeared with the Chester Philharmonic Orchestra and Stockport Symphony. He received his master’s degree from Rice University, where he studied with Kathleen Winkler and Raphael Fliegel.
CAROLYN TOLL HANCOCK (violin) joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra violin section in 1985. She 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.
ELISABETH REMY-JOHNSON (harp) was appointed principal harpist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) in 1995. She holds the endowed Carl and Sally Gable Chair and also held the honorary UPS Community Service Chair from 2006-07. With the ASO, Ms. Remy Johnson has performed concertos by Debussy, Handel, Mozart and Ginastera. Her studies were with Ann Hobson Pilot in Boston and with Alice Chalifoux at the Salzedo Summer Harp Colony in Camden, Maine. She graduated from Harvard University Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in Music and French.Ms. Remy Johnson has recorded extensively with the ASO. Her first solo CD, Whirlwind, was released in fall 2000, and a flute and harp recording with ASO principal flutist Christina Smith, Encantamiento, was released in fall 2008.In addition to frequent solo and chamber music recitals in the Atlanta area, Ms. Remy Johnson has performed with the Atlanta Chamber Players, the Carolina Chamber Music Festival and is a frequent guest at the Meeting House Chamber Music Festival. She has been a featured guest soloist at the Mid Atlantic Harp Festival and the International Harp Festival in Rio de Janeiro.
Ms. Remy Johnson teaches harp privately through the ASO Talent Development Program and at several universities in the Atlanta area. She coaches the harpists of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and is an artist affiliate at Emory University, Artist in Residence at Kennesaw State University and Adjunct Instructor at Georgia State University. In fall of 2009, Ms. Remy Johnson was awarded the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Up & Comers Award,” showcasing young community leaders in Atlanta.
DANIEL LAUFER (cello) is the Associate Principal Cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. A regular chamber music performer, Mr. Laufer was a founding member of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta and has collaborated with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Sadao Harada, Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles, Alan Gilbert, James Ehnes, and Pinchas Zukerman, among others. He has performed on many occasions as a guest with the Fine Arts Quartet both in the United States and abroad. Mr. Laufer is also a founding member of the Franklin Pond Chamber Music Program, which teaches aspiring quartets the art of chamber music during the summer in Atlanta.
Mr. Laufer won First Prize in the Young Artists Competition of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at the prestigious Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, France, Kfar Blum Chamber Music Festival in Israel, and the Amalfi Music Festival in Italy among others. Mr. Laufer also serves by invitation as a Principal Cellist at the Grand Teton Music Festival under the leadership of Donald Runnicles.
Mr. Laufer has given recitals in Milwaukee, Madison, Dallas, Boston, and Atlanta, as well as performed live recitals for radio on WFMT in Chicago. He has performed as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony and has made a number of appearances performing as soloist also with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. In 1991 he performed and recorded Ott’s Concerto for Two Cellos with his father and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for the Koss label.
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. Mr. Laufer continued his studies with his father and mother at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. At age 18 he won a section position with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and joined a year later under Eduardo Mata. After two years with the DSO, Mr. Laufer joined the ASO as the Associate Principal Cello.
JUN-CHING LIN (violin) has been Assistant Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) since 1988.
Mr. Lin has performed violin concertos and solos by Barber, Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Tchaikovsky with the ASO. In addition to being an affiliate artist faculty member at Emory University in violin and chamber music, he coaches the first violins of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and spends part of each summer teaching at Encore School for Strings and Franklin Pond Chamber Music. As an active as a chamber musician, Mr. Lin has participated in festivals in Highlands-Cashiers, North Carolina, in California at La Jolla, Palm Beach, and San Diego.
While born in Taipei, Taiwan, Mr. Lin grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. As a high-school senior, he was one of the first Presidential Scholars in the Arts. He earned degrees at the Curtis and Cleveland Institutes of Music, studying with Ivan Galamian, Jascha Brodsky, and David Cerone. He was a semi-finalist in both the Montreal Competition and the Naumburg Violin Competition. Prior to his position in Atlanta, Mr. Lin was concertmaster of the Augusta Symphony Orchestra.
Catherine Lynn (viola) joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2002 and became Assistant Principal Viola in 2009.An active teacher and chamber musician, Ms. Lynn is on the faculty of Kennesaw State University and plays with the Atlanta Chamber Players.Ms. Lynn is a viola coach for the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and has performed as a soloist with the Kennesaw State University and Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestras. Prior to joining the Atlanta Symphony, Ms. Lynn was Principal Viola of the Flint Symphony Orchestra in Michigan and a member of the Rosseels String Quartet in residence at the University of Michigan.
Ms. Lynn received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and her Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she studied with Yizhak Schotten and Andrew Jennings.
PAUL MURPHY (viola), a native of Pensacola, Florida, is the Associate Principal Viola of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 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 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.
JESSICA OUDIN (viola) joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2011. Ms. Oudin has been a frequent substitute with both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra, and has in addition performed with the Baltimore, Houston, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras. During the summer, she serves as the Assistant Principal Violist of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music under the direction of Marin Alsop. Additional festival appearances include Festival Mozaic, The International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove (UK), The Sarasota Music Festival, Yellow Barn, Music@Menlo, The Perlman Chamber Music Program, and The Aspen Music Festival.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Oudin has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has collaborated with renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman at both Carnegie Hall and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. With the Kashii String Quartet, she was a Silver Medalist at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and has served on the chamber music faculty for the Innsbrook Music Institute and the Yellow Barn Music School Young Artist Program. She currently performs with the Riverside Chamber Players.
Ms. Oudin maintains a private viola studio, and she currently serves on the faculty of the ASO’s Talent Development Program. She has taught at Reinhardt University, Franklin Pond Chamber Music Program, and has presented a viola master-class at Kennesaw State University.
Ms. Oudin graduated with high honors from The Cleveland Institute of Music, where she was a student of Jeffrey Irvine, and holds a Masters degree from The Juilliard School, where she was a teaching assistant to Heidi Castleman and Misha Amory. Further studies were undertaken at CIM as a student in the Professional Studies Program under the tutelage of Robert Vernon.
RONDA RESPESS (violin, President and Artistic Director of Franklin Pond)Violinist Ronda Respess has been recognized for her active role in the Orchestra’s outreach programs and she is deeply committed to education. She teaches privately, gives master classes, coaches chamber music and was a long-time coach of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. In cooperation with WGTV and the ASO, she filmed a teaching video called “Instrumental Success.” She is founder and artistic director of Franklin Pond Chamber Music — a year-round 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.
A New Jersey native, she took lessons from Samuel Applebaum. She went on to study with Sally Thomas and Ivan Galamian in New York and 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. She is the mother of Virginia Respess, a professional violinist in The Florida Orchestra in Tampa, and an adopted mother to two dogs.
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, Mr. Ritchie enrolled in the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany, and earned his graduate degree studying with Adriana Contino.
After completing his studies in Germany, Mr. 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, Mr. 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, Mr. Ritchie enjoys traveling to distant lands, running through the woods and finding new places to eat.
Franklin Pond Quartet
Jun-Ching Lin, violin
Carolyn Hancock, violin
Paul Murphy, viola
Daniel Laufer, cello