View print version of this page.
Music Where You Live

Guest Artists

Joan Holland, Harp

Joan Raeburn Holland is the Associate Professor of Harp for the Moore School of Music, Theater and Dance of the University of Michigan and the Resident Instructor of Harp for the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Interlochen Arts Camp. Joan performs as principal harp for the Midland Symphony, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, the Lexington Bach Festival and is Co-Principal for the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. Prior to her appointment at Interlochen, Joan was Principal Harp for the Phoenix Symphony and the Cleveland Ballet Orchestra. Substitute Harp positions included the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and Ohio Chamber Orchestra. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the American Harp Society.

An avid chamber musician, Joan has participated in various chamber music series and venues such as those of the World Harp Congress, the International Viola Congress, the Moore School of Music, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Chamber Music North, Central Michigan University, Manitou Music Festival, Thunder Bay Arts Council, Dancing Bear, and Lexington Bach Festival. In June 2010, Ms. Holland traveled to Qingdao, China, performing on a Chamber Music Recital with U.S. colleagues. Solo performances, in addition to solo recitals, include recital programs for the regional and national conventions of the American Harp Society. Ms. Holland has collaborated as concerto soloist with the Midland Symphony, Traverse Symphony, Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, Lexington Bach Festival, Sault Symphony, and Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra. Ms. Holland has acted as a master class clinician for the American Harp Society, the American String Teachers Association, and various universities, conservatories, and music communities around the United States. 

Joan studied with Cleveland Orchestra Harpist Miss Alice Chalifoux from the age of twelve through her Bachelorís Degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music.


Christopher Wells, Guest Conductor

Christopher Wells is from Annapolis, Maryland, where he began his organ studies with James Dale at the United States Naval Academy. Mr. Wells received his undergraduate degree in organ performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music on the Deanís Talent Grant. During these years, he absorbed elements of the Anglican tradition serving as Organ Scholar at Saint Paulís (K Street) in Washington, D.C. and taking lessons at Washington National Cathedral. Mr. Wells took his Masterís in organ from the University of Michigan as a student of Robert Glasgow. While there, Mr. Wells also served as Assistant Organist at Christ Church, Cranbrook, in Bloomfield Hills from 1999-2002. In addition to accompanying Christ Churchís four choirs, he was soloist for Poulencís Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings as well as the premieres of Enid Sutherlandís Alpha and Emma Lou Diemerís In Hope We Sing, Alleluia!. Starting in 2002, Mr. Wells was the Director of Music and Organist at Christ Church, Bronxville, where he directed a comprehensive music program of five choirs. He was the founding director of SHA!cappella, Bronxvilleís acclaimed a cappella ensemble. As a recitalist, he has appeared in many venues across the country, among them Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue, and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, all in New York City. His recent solo recording on the ProOrgano label "Fanfare: The Organ Music of Craig PhillipsĒ was favorably reviewed as "virtuosic, elegant phrasing, clean technique that makes the music sparkle.Ē

Christopher is now back at Christ Church Cranbrook where he has recently assumed the position of Music Director and Organist. The Christ Church Choir leads the congregation in singing and presents a wide range of choral music on Sundays from September through June; as well as holiday services, monthly services of Evensong, and special concerts. The Christ Church Choir is a semi-professional ensemble widely acclaimed for its contributions to Anglican Church Music. They have produced several recordings and tour locally and internationally.


Nancy Ambrose King, Oboe

Nancy Ambrose King, oboe, is the first-prize winner of the Third New York International Competition for Solo Oboists, held in 1995. She has appeared as soloist throughout the United States and abroad, including performances with the St. Petersburg (Russia) Philharmonic, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Janacek Philharmonic, Tokyo Chamber Orchestra, Puerto Rico Symphony, Orchestra of the Swan in Birmingham (England), Festival Internacionale de Musica Orchestra in Buenos Aires (Argentina), New York String Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and Sinfonia da Camera. She has performed as recitalist in Weill Recital Hall and as soloist at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.  She has recorded nine CDs of works for the oboe, on Boston Records, Cala Records, Equilibrium, Naxos, and Centaur Records. Her latest releases include a CD of 20th-century oboe concertos, Global Reflections, recorded with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, featuring the works of Strauss, Skalkottas, Sierra, and Foss, as well as the premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Oboe Concerto with the University of Michigan Symphony Band. She can also be heard in performances on the Athena, Arabesque, and CBS Masterworks labels.

A graduate of the University of Michigan with a bachelor of music degree, studying with Arno Mariotti and Harry Sargous, King was the recipient of the school's prestigious Stanley Medal and was honored with the 2010 Hall of Fame Award by the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts, Masterís in Music, and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Richard Killmer.


2014-2015 SEASON

Yannis Tsitselikis

One of the most acclaimed cellists of Greece, Yannis is renowned for his intensity and forward drive of music, his capacity to produce a wide range of sounds, marked with distinctively pure and smooth qualities and tone shading. Yannis followed cello studies in Thessaloniki under the leading music pedagogue, Manolis kazambakas at the Thessaloniki State Conservatoire and received with the highest distinctions and awards his Diploma degree in 1990. The Academy of Athens has paid Yannis the highest honor for his artistic excellence, giving him the Spyros Montsenigos Award.

Yannis quickly achieved musical performance prominence, making his professional debut at age 14 in a series of recitals organized by the British Council in Greece and pianist Yannis Papadopoulos. His very successful first public performance led to a unique donation by the British Council to carry out his graduate studies in London, with William Pleeth, at the Royal College of Music. At the same time he was invited by the Greek National Radio for concerts and recordings, as well as by the State Orchestra of Athens and Thessaloniki to give concerts as a soloist. His acclaimed concert performances led to a debut concert invitation in Venice from the Italian Radio and Television.

Yannis joins the BBSO for the first time this fall to celebrate the start of a 40th Anniversary season. Yannis will perform the Rococo Variations by Antoine Dvorak on October 17, 2014 at Christ Church Cranbrook at 8:00 PM.

Jeffrey Smith

Jeffrey Smith is the Interim Director of Music at Christ Church Cranbrook. He has served on the organ and church music faculty of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and was the organist of Londonís oldest parish church, St. Bartholomew the Great, and previously served as Director of Music at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, California. As one of the most sought after organists of North America and the UK, Jeffrey Smith has collaborated with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his degrees from Yale and Northwestern universities, Dr. Smith won highest honors in receiving the Fellowship of the American Guild of Organists and was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal School of Church Music in 2004.

His teachers have included Thomas Murray, Geere Hancock, Wolfgang Rübsam, John Birch, and David Willcocks. He studied improvisation with Philippe Lefebvre, organist of Notre Dame de Paris.

Jeffrey Smith has been heard on both NPR and BBC Radio. His choral and organ disks on the Pro Organo label have been critically praised.

Dr. Smith gives his debut solo performance with orchestra for Christ Church Cranbrook with the Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM.


Kurt Nikkanen

American violinist Kurt Nikkanen is an international soloist of the highest order. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he began his violin studies at the age of three, later studying with Roman Totenberg and Jens Ellerman. At twelve he gave his Carnegie Hall debut, performing with the New York Symphony; two years later he was invited by Zubin Mehta to perform the Paganini Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic for a Young Peopleís Concert. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay.

Mr. Nikkanen regularly receives invitations from the leading orchestras and presenters in the USA and Europe, and has toured Japan and the Far East. In North America he has appeared with the Dallas Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and in Europe with the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Dresden Staatskapelle.

Highlights of recent seasons have included a UK tour with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, performances with the Gothenburg Symphony and Neeme Jarvi at the BBC Proms, and concerts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Prague Symphony and RTE Orchestra in Dublin; also with the Bayerischer Rundfunk and Suddeutscher Rundfunk orchestras, both with the late Yakov Kreizberg, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra with Junichi Hirokami. He has also appeared with the Belgian National Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony and the orchestra of RAI Turin, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra of Galicia, the Bilbao Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic and performances of the Dvorak concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and Vladimir Ashkenazy, both in Prague and on tour in the USA, with concerts in New York and Chicago.

Mr. Nikkanen has had many works written for him, including Steven R. Gerberís violin concerto, which he has recorded for Koch International. In 2009, Mr. Nikkanen performed the world premiere of Mikko Heinioís concerto Alla Madre, subsequently recording it for Sony Classical with the Turku Philharmonic under Petri Sakari and released in 2010. His recording of William Waltonís Violin Concerto with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra was released on the Nimbus Alliance label in 2010 and was chosen as "Critics Choice for 2010Ē in Gramophone Magazine.

Mr. Nikkanen gave the New York premiere of the Violin Concerto by Thomas Adès in May 2010 and has since performed it in Australia with the Perth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Daniel.

In addition to his orchestral appearances, Kurt Nikkanen performs regularly as a recitalist both in the US and abroad with his wife, pianist Maria Asteriadou, presenting repertoire ranging from the complete Beethoven sonatas to Piazzolla tangos.

He is the Concertmaster of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and maintains a private teaching studio in New York, where he resides with his family.

Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra
PO Box 1925, Birmingham, Michigan 48012
248.352.BBSO (2276)

Mobile Website
©2014 The Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra
All Rights Reserved