MARDI GRAS WORKSHOP

2020 Clinicians

We are honored to announce our clinicians for the 2020 Mardi Gras Workshop:

Gabriel Bolkosky, Violin

Gabriel Bolkosky has performed and taught across the United States and abroad. He performs a diverse repertoire of classical and contemporary works, collaborating with different artists from many genres of music making.  Over the last decade, Gabe has founded and directed the music festival, PhoenixPhest with the intent of creating an environment open to all levels and ages of musicians, creating a more holistic musical experience without sacrificing quality.

Gabe’s performances have focused in the areas of contemporary music, jazz and tango as well as traditional classical music.   He has collaborated with many composers, among them Fredric Rzewski, William Bolcom, John Harbison, Thomas Ades, Bright Sheng, William Albright, Andrew Kirshner, Lars Holmer, Carter Pann, Michael Daugherty, George Tsontakis, Derek Bermel, and Bernard Rands.

As a jazz and tango musician, Gabe has worked with great artists such as John Lindberg, Peter Soave, Tad Weed, Ed Sarath, Chris Howes, Andy Bishop, and is a founding member of The Oblivion Project.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Gabe began his violin studies at age three. His primary teachers were Michael Avsharian of Ann Arbor, Paul Kantor at the University of Michigan, and Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Gabe earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance and a master’s degree in chamber music, as well as studying improvisation at the master’s level, at the University of Michigan. At the Cleveland Institute he earned a Professional Studies degree, served a year as Professor Weilerstein’s teaching assistant and won the school’s prestigious Darius Milhaud prize. He attended the Aspen Music Festival from 1991–98 on fellowship, first playing with the Aspen Chamber Symphony and then the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble for four years. During those four years he premiered hundreds of new works, and with his group, Non Sequitur, conducted workshops and concerts for thousands of students in the Aspen valley as well as at schools such as Harvard, Dartmouth, Brandeis and Princeton.

Gabe has released seven CDs that show his breadth as a musician. His debut solo album, This and That, features classical and jazz music. Other albums include The Shape of Klez to Come with the klezmer group Into the Freylakh; The Orchestra Is Here to Play, a live recording teaming the Gemini children’s-music group with a full orchestra; The Oblivion Project Live, showcasing the music of Astor Piazzolla; Non Sequitur, contemporary and experimental music, including one of his own compositions; Home from Work, an eclectic mix of jazz, folk and blues in collaboration with San Slomovits, and as sideman on John Lindberg’s recording Two by Five.

His most recent CD is Bonne Nuit, which includes the Debussy Sonata and other small works for violin and piano with Michele Cooker, and can be found here.

Gabe was guest artist at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor teaching violin and chamber music for six years.  He has worked with all ages of young musicians in most of the 50 states and parts of Asia.  He is the executive director of The Phoenix Ensemble, a nonprofit organization dedicated to being a musical resource for artists and educational institutions. He still directs PhoenixPhest! and PhoenixPhest! Grande, two amateur chamber music festivals held each May and August, and maintains a private violin studio.

Susan Kempter, Violin

University of New Mexico

Susan Kempter is a Senior Lecturer in String Pedagogy, a registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, a specialist in interdisciplinary applications to music teaching and learning, and Founder/Director of the UNM Lab School at the University of New Mexico.

Susan created Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in String Pedagogy at the University of New Mexico. She also has been President of the New Mexico Chapter of The American String Teachers Association and served as Private Teacher’s Forum Editor, Consulting Editor, and Chair of the National Certificate Committee, for The American String Teacher. She also served on the board of the New Mexico Chapter of ASTA for over 17 years, and was editor of the state newsletter for two terms.

In 1998, she was awarded the Citation for Exceptional Leadership and Merit by the American String Teachers Association and was awarded Private Studio Teacher of the Year by the New Mexico Chapter of ASTA in 2006. In 2009, Susan was awarded the prestigious Bravos Award for Excellence in Music by the Albuquerque Arts Alliance.

In addition to her work at the University of New Mexico, Susan founded the Albuquerque Suzuki School, as well as the Suzuki violin program at the College of Santa Fe. She ran student retreats at Hummingbird Music Camp for many years, began a series of student performances at the Rio Grande Zoo and founded the student touring group – Mad About Music, which has performed in Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, California, Florida, Idaho, Utah, Washington, Virginia, Washington DC, Arizona and Texas. Many of her students have won the opportunity to solo with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony. She has also had several younger students solo with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. Her former students are teaching and playing professionally throughout the country.

She has two published books: Between Parent and Teacher: A Teacher’s Guide to Parent Education [SHAR]and How Muscles Learn: Teaching the Violin with the Body in Mind [Alfred]. A third book, Folk Melodies of New Mexico and the Southwest will be published in the near future, and she is beginning a fourth book about human cognition and music teaching and learning.

Susan has presented sessions at many national conferences, including The American String Teachers Association, the Suzuki Association of the Americas, The Music Teachers National Association, National Association of Physical Therapists in 2003, and the Research Symposia at Northern Arizona University, The University of New Mexico College of Fine Arts and SAA Talent Education Research sessions in Minneapolis.

Susan’s education has been eclectic, and has included fields as diverse as nursing, zoology, 17th century literature, cognition, kinesthetics, as well as violin performance and pedagogy. She studied at DePaul University, the University of Utah and the University of New Mexico. She has Bachelors and Masters degrees from UNM. Her violin teachers have included Harold Wolf, Victor Aitay, Sally Peck [violin and viola], and Leonard Felberg. She studied pedagogy with John Kendall and interdisciplinary work with William Seymour.

Rolando Freitag, Violin

Orlando Suzuki Music School

Rolando Freitag is a registered Violin Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA). He currently serves on the SAA’s Board of Directors as the 2019-2021 Chair-Elect, and as director for the Florida Music Institute. He has extensive experience working with students of all ages and ability levels, and has taught lessons, workshops and teacher training courses throughout the Americas. Save & Exit

Mr. Freitag earned his M.M. in Violin Performance from Penn State University, and his B.M. in Violin Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory. In addition, he holds the Certificate of Achievement from  the Suzuki Association of the Americas, an award given to teachers who demonstrate outstanding commitment to excellence in their teaching.

At the Orlando Suzuki Music School he offers Suzuki Teacher Training courses as well as individual and group lessons

Daniel Gee Cordova, Viola

Daniel Gee Cordova currently resides in Austin, Texas where he directs the Austin Suzuki Music School which offers Suzuki Violin and Viola study for all ages as well as Suzuki Early Childhood Music for children ages 0-3. Daniel is the director of the Greater Austin Suzuki Institute, which had its inaugural year in 2013.

Daniel Gee received his degrees in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York College at Potsdam and the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Dr. Sarah Hersh, Brian Lewis, Dr. Laurie Scott, Sandy Yamamoto, and with viola study with John Largess. Daniel’s Suzuki training has included study with Dr. Sarah Hersh, Linda Fiore, Nancy Lokken, Teri Einfeldt, Ed Sprunger, Doris Preucil, Mark Mutter, William Preucil, Bill Dick, Dr. Laurie Scott, Betsy Stuen-Walker, Ed Kreitman, Allen Lieb, and Cathy Lee. He has also taken three stages of Suzuki ECE training with Dorothy Jones and cello books 1 and 2 with Melissa Kraut. 

Daniel is an active clinician giving presentations at National Conferences as well as being a guest teacher at workshops around the country. He has presented at the Suzuki Association of the Americas conferences, ASTA conference, Texas Music Educator’s Conference, and the Texas Orchestra Director’s Association Conference, and participated in the SAA Parents As Partners (2012, 2013, 2016). Daniel has been invited to guest conduct the Texas Region Middle School String Orchestras for Region 11 in San Antonio and Region 18 in Austin. 

Daniel served as the Orchestra Director at Chisholm Trail Middle School in Round Rock ISD from 2009-2019, which served about one hundred twenty sixth grade violin, viola, cello, bass and harp students. In the summers, Daniel has been on faculty of various Suzuki Institutes such as the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute, Chicago Suzuki Institute, Acadiana Suzuki Institute, and the Northern California Suzuki Institute.

Daniel Gee Cordova serves as the Assistant Principal Viola with the Austin Opera. Outside of teaching and performing, he enjoys spending time with husband Jerry and their two terriers, Bamboo and Tristan.

Irene Mitchell, Violin

Irene Mitchell was fortunate to experience a diversity of cultures in her youth, living in ten countries throughout Latin America, Europe and Asia. This shaped her appreciation for a wide range of music, eventually leading her to earn a BM and MME at the University of North Texas. After exploring theatre, violin performance and orchestral conducting, she discovered her life-long passion in teaching the Suzuki method. Irene studied twice with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan; returning to establish Suzuki Strings of Dallas in 1981. Irene serves as a clinician for Suzuki programs throughout the world.

Nicolette Solomon, Violin

Nicolette Solomon, Director Emeritus of the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas, was born in Laingsburg, South Africa. She obtained a Bachelor of Music (Honors) and Higher Education Diploma (Post Graduate) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. After her introduction to the Suzuki method, she became a fervent proponent and pioneer of the method in South Africa, founding and directing the Solomon Suzuki School in Johannesburg in 1980. She expanded her training with Christophe Bossuat in Lyon, France, and in 1992 she studied with Dr. Suzuki himself at the Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. While in Japan, she taught at a private studio in Nagano City, Japan and at Shinshu University. She has led violin and viola workshops and master classes internationally, and trained and conducted String Orchestras in South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand and throughout the USA and Central America. In 2000 she emigrated to the United States, where she served as string specialist and then Director of the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas.

More teachers will be announced soon!