ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, VIOLIN FACULTY
Ms. Solomon was born in Laingsburg, South Africa. She began her studies with Neil McKay in Port Elizabeth followed by Pierre de Groote at the College of Music in Cape Town. Nicolette completed her High School and University studies under the tutelage of Alan Solomon, who introduced her to the implementation of the Suzuki method. In 1975 she played at the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Scotland and later toured Europe and Israel. She has played in the International Festival Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, London and performed in Israel, Taiwan and Hong Kong with Harmonia Juventia. She studied Chamber Music from 1974 – 1981 with Betty Pack and Alan Solomon. She has also been an Adjudicator/Examiner for music competitions and examinations in South Africa and the USA.
Nicolette Solomon obtained a Bachelor of Music (Honors) and Higher Education Diploma (Post Graduate) at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her Suzuki training continued with Christophe and Judy Bossaut at the Ecole Suzuki in Lyon, France. Nicolette studied with Dr. Suzuki at the Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto, Japan in 1992. During that training, she taught at a private studio in Nagano City, Japan and at Shinshu University. Ms. Solomon founded and directed the Solomon Suzuki School in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In 1994, Ms. Solomon attended the International Strings workshop in France, playing in the Eduard Melckus Baroque Ensemble. She has taught at Suzuki workshops in South Africa, Dublin, Ireland, Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand. Ms. Solomon teaches at workshops and institutes throughout the USA and Central America. Nicolette Solomon is Executive Director and President of the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas.
RENEE JOLLES — VIOLIN FACULTY
Renée Jolles, violinist, enjoys an eclectic career as soloist and chamber artist specializing in a wide variety of styles from the Baroque to the contemporary. Hailed as a “real star” by The New York Times for her New York Concerto debut in Alice Tully Hall, she has premiered hundreds of works, including the American premiere of Schnittke’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Her concerto engagements have included orchestras such as Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey, The Cape May Festival Orchestra, and The Salisbury Symphony. Ms. Jolles is a member of the Jolles Duo (harp and violin), Continuum, Intimate Voices, T
he New York Chamber Ensemble, and is a concertmaster of the world-renowned, Grammy Award winning, conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Honored to be a featured soloist in three world premieres as part of the Orpheus “New Brandenburg” commissions, she can be heard as soloist on the WQXR website in live performances from Carnegie Hall performing the music of Paul Moravec, Melinda Wagner, and Peter Maxwell Davies. She has performed at festivals such as Marlboro, Cape May, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Rockport (Mass.), Norfolk, Taos, Riverrun, and The Chamber Music and Composers’ Forum of the East. Committed to recording new music, she can be heard as soloist and chamber artist on the Cambria, CRI, North/South Recordings, Albany, and New World record labels. She can also be heard on three recently released albums appearing this season which showcase the music of composers Oleg Felzer, Victoria Bond, and Ushio Torikai. Before accepting the position of Associate Professor of Violin at Eastman, Ms. Jolles was on the faculty of The Juilliard School, Pre-College Division, The Mannes School of Music, Preparatory Division, Hoff-Barthelson Music School, and The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. During the summer, she is on the faculty at the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
Ms. Jolles received her BM and MM degrees from Juilliard, where, upon graduation, she was presented with the school’s highest award, the William Schuman Prize. While at Juilliard, she held teaching fellowships in Chamber Music as an assistant to the Juilliard Quartet, and in Ear-Training. Her teachers have included Lewis Kaplan, Felix Galimir, Jacob Lateiner, and members of the Juilliard, Tokyo, and American String Quartets.
ROSSITZA JEKOVA-GOZA — VIOLIN FACULTY
Rossitza Jekova-Goza joined the School of Music faculty in 2010 as first violinist of the Harrington String Quartet. At the same time she was appointed concertmaster of the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra. She holds a doctoral degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and master and bachelor (summa cum laude) degrees in violin performance from Louisiana State University.
Dr. Goza has served on the faculties of the Universities of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and North Texas. Summer teaching appointments include the prestigious Encore School for Strings, Oklahoma Arts Institute, Heber Springs Chamber Music Festival, and Schlern International Music Festival in Italy.
Currently, Dr. Goza also serves as concertmaster of the Tulsa Symphony, a position she enjoys since 2006. Previous concertmaster appointments include the Baton Rouge Symphony and the Verbier Festival Orchestra (Switzerland). A native of Bulgaria, Dr. Goza is an avid reader of the great literary works in Bulgarian and English. She also enjoys running, yoga and meditation, and recently has rekindled her interest in becoming fluent in Russian.
KATHY ALMQUIST — VIOLA FACULTY
Ms. Almquist received her Bachelors Degree from the Hartt School and a Masters degree at the Yale School of Music. Her viola teachers include Patricia McCarty, Harold Coletta, Lawrence Dutton, Rosemary Glyde, Jesse Levine and Scott Nickrenz.
After completing studies at Yale, she went on to Long Term Suzuki Teacher Training in viola as well as violin with Teri and David Einfeldt at the Hartt School of Music. Suzuki training continued with Carol Smith, Carrie Reuning Hummel and Elizabeth Stuen-Walker. She has been a faculty member of The Hartt Suzuki Program, The Suzuki School of Newton and was Upper Strings Coordinator and viola faculty for Intensive Community Program of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras. Kathy is a frequent guest clinician at Suzuki Workshops and Summer Institutes. A former member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, she often performs with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and has been a substitute player at the National Opera of Finland.
In addition to principal players at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, her students include a featured violist on Public Radioʼs From the Top, a 2011 Virtu Foundation Scholarship recipient, the winner of the 2010 Rosemary Glyde Scholarship from the New York Viola Society, the 2009 winner of the A-muse the World Competition, as well as a semi-ﬁnalist in the 2008 New England String Ensemble Concerto Competition. Current and former students have continued their studies at such places as Juilliard, Harvard University, Amherst College, Oberlin College, The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Bates College, University of Michigan, the Walnut Hill School, Meadowmount and the Tuscia Opera Festival in Rome, Italy.
DR. SCOTT CONKLIN — VIOLIN FACULTY
Commended by The Strad for his “brilliance of tone and charismatic delivery,” Dr. Conklin regularly appears as a recitalist, soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and teaching clinician throughout the United States and abroad, and he is Associate Professor of Violin at The University of Iowa School of Music and a violin teacher at the Preucil School of Music. Conklin has performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Louisville, Nashville, and Berlin Symphony Orchestras. Conklin is the 2008 Iowa String Teachers Association Leopold LaFosse Studio Teacher of the Year, and he has been a featured clinician and artist at the 2010 Suzuki Association of the Americas Conference and the 2004 Music Teachers National Association Conference.
Dr. Conklin is a former faculty member of The University of Texas at Arlington, and he also taught on several occasions as a substitute violin professor at The University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music. In the summer months, Conklin has served and/or continues to serve on the faculty of The University of Iowa All-State Camp, Sound Encounters (Kansas), American Suzuki Institute (Wisconsin), Ottawa Suzuki Institute Mid-Southwest and Young Artist Camp (Kansas), and the Interlochen Arts Camp All-State Division (Michigan). During the academic year, Conklin teaches at many clinics, conferences, workshops, and educational settings throughout the country and serves on the Editorial Board of the American Music Teacher, the official magazine of the Music Teachers National Association.
During his youth, Conklin was a student of Carol Dallinger, Violin Professor at the University of Evansville. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied violin with David Updegraff and chamber music with Peter Salaff. Conklin also earned Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees from The University of Michigan School of Music as a student of Paul Kantor.
DR. JEREMY DITTUS — ENRICHMENT FACULTY
Jeremy Dittus enjoys a career as a pianist, theorist, and Dalcroze eurhythmics instructor. An avid recitalist, he has performed solo and chamber programs in the United States, Switzerland, and Italy. A former Lecturer in piano, theory, and solfège at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory in Cleveland, he also has instructed undergraduate solfège, piano, and composition courses at the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as eurhythmics and solfège at L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dr. Dittus has presented Dalcroze workshops at home and abroad including the World Piano Conference, International Early Childhood Music and Movement Convention, National Dalcroze Conference, National Flute Convention, Colorado Music Educators Association State Convention, Piano Celebration at Metro-State University in Denver, University of Louisville Piano Institute, in addition to several summer music institutes.
He completed a doctorate of musical arts in piano performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder; for the master of music, he studied piano performance and music theory at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. During his undergraduate work, he obtained bachelor degrees in piano performance and chemistry. His Dalcroze License and Certificate comes from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, while the Diplôme Supérieur (a doctoral equivalent in Switzerland) comes from the L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in conjunction with La Haute École de Musique de Genève and Le Conservatoire de Musique de Genève. While in Geneva, he received top honors including the 2009 Prix pour les qualities musicales exceptionnelles and the 2010 Prix pour les qualités artistiques et pédagogiques exceptionnelles.
Currently, he is the founder and director of the Dalcroze School of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado. The DSR offers Eurhythmics classes for children ages 4-14, adult enrichment classes, and full time study toward the Dalcroze Certificate/License (Eurhythmics, Solfège, Improvisation, and Methodology/Pedagogy).
MELISSA SOLOMON DeFREITAS– CELLO FACULTY
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Melissa came from a family of professional musicians and developed an early passion for music. She immigrated to the United States after receiving a full merit scholarship for study at Interlochen Arts Academy. She continued her studies with internationally renowned cellist Timothy Eddy at the Juilliard School in New York City. She gained her Suzuki training at the Colorado Suzuki Institute and the Chicago Suzuki Institute. Ms. Solomon has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Africa, including such major cities as New York, London, Florence, Edinburgh, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
DR. CARL VAN WYK — ENRICHMENT FACULTY
Carl van Wyk, born in Cape Town, South Africa, graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1964 and completed his Master of Music degree in 1965 from the University of Cape Town. His compositions have won many competitions and awards including, the composer’s competition of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the Manson, and West awards for composition. He spent a year studying with British composer Alan Bush at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and returned to South Africa and worked toward his Doctorate of Music degree. After an initial appointment at the University of Port Elizabeth, Dr. van Wyk joined the staff of the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 1976 as Senior Lecturer in Music Theory. In 1991 he was appointed Head of the University’s School of Music, serving in this capacity through 1996.
He has subsequently been involved in arranging music for a variety of student-based ensembles. The works are designed for the enrichment of the Suzuki environment and includes several World Music offerings. Carl van Wyk has served as accompanist at a number of Suzuki workshops and presents computer-driven composition and theory classes at the Colorado Suzuki Workshop.