Inna Faliks performs Beethoven's First Piano Concerto on Opening Night, August 7
Anna Burden plays the Schumann Cello Concerto August 9
Kathy Pyeatt performs Bernstein and Copland on August 11
Alastair Willis is guest conductor on August 21
Andrew Altenbach is guest conductor on August 14
Tessa Lark performs the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto on August 16
Andrew Armstrong performs Mozart's Piano Concerto #25 on August 18
Maya Anjali Buchanan performs Korngold's Violin Concerto on August 21
Riana Anthony performs Kabalevsky's Cello Concerto on August 23
Spencer Myer plays Liszt's Piano Concerto #2 on August 25
PMF Music Director Victor Yampolsky

Alastair Willis, conductor

Grammy nominated conductor ALASTAIR WILLIS is the newly appointed Music Director of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.

In past seasons, Willis has guest conducted orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica de Rio de Janeiro, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, China National Orchestra (Beijing), and Silk Road Ensemble (with Yo-Yo Ma) among others. His recording of Ravel’s “L’Enfant et les Sortileges” with Nashville Symphony and Opera for Naxos was Grammy nominated for Best Classical Album in 2009.

Willis recently completed a successful four-year tenure as Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Last season he was re-engaged by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Victoria Symphony B.C., North Carolina Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica Barra Mansa, Symphonia Boca Raton, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, and made his debuts with the Wichita Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra and Roosevelt Contemporary Ensemble. This season he returns to Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boca Raton Symphonia, and makes his debut with Philharmonie Südwestfalen.

Previous positions include Principal Guest Conductor with the Florida Orchestra’s Coffee Concert series 2008-2011, Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony 2000-2003, Assistant Conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, and Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Born in Acton, Massachusetts, Willis lived with his family in Moscow for five years before settling in Surrey, England. He received his bachelor’s degree with honors from England’s Bristol University, an Education degree from Kingston University, and a Masters of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

Andrew Altenbach, conductor

Maestro Andrew Altenbach brings an energetic ingenuity to his symphonic and operatic conducting that continues to garner him national attention as a musical leader of his generation. Critically acclaimed for his deep sense of musical style and nuance, with a repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary works, Maestro Altenbach has conducted for such companies as Minnesota Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Birmingham, Opera Africa, Milwaukee Opera Theater, Opera on the James, and MetroWest Opera.

Altenbach is Music Director of Opera at the Boston Conservatory and has also conducted for Indiana University Opera Theatre and Temple University. Altenbach recently served as Artistic Director of the Boston Opera Collaborative, leading the company in several new productions, which received rave reviews. The Boston Globe recently wrote, “Altenbach built the drama with such point and purpose, it was as if Rossini were creating a new art form.” Mr. Altenbach has held coaching and conducting staff positions with several prestigious American opera companies, including the Santa Fe Opera, Music Academy of the West, Cincinnati Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Merola Program.

Altenbach serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble. Symphonic conducting credits include engagements with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Altenbach maintained great success as Music Director of the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and has also conducted the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minneapolis Musical Offering Series, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, and Grand Harmonie in New York.

Altenbach served as associate conductor for the world renowned Grand Teton Music Festival under Donald Runnicles and previously held posts as music director for the North Shore Chamber Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor to the Evanston Symphony, and Conducting Fellow of the prestigious Chautauqua Institution. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Altenbach received degrees from Northwestern University and Indiana University.

Jiannan Cheng, emerging conductor

Jiannan Cheng is the 2015-2016 recipient of The Miami Symphony Orchestra Conducting Fellowship, second prize winner of the 2016 4x4 Competition for Composers and Conductors, and was invited to the 2015 Aurora Music Festival in Sweden to study with Kurt Masur. She has conducted and worked with world class orchestras and musicians in the United States, China, Germany, Sweden, and Greece. Cheng is trained in orchestral, choral and wind ensemble conducting and is equally at home on stage as well as in the opera pit.

This year, Ms. Cheng is studying at the Munich Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Germany under the tutelage of Marcus Bosch and Alexander Liebreich. She serves as the assistant conductor of the Ensemble Oktopus für Musik der Moderne and has appeared in performances with the Georgisches Kammerorchester in Ingolstadt, collaborated with Münchener Kammerorchester, and led rehearsals regularly with the Munich Hochschule Symphony Orchestra.

Cheng spent two years as a Doctor of Musical Arts student in orchestral conducting at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, studying under Mark Gibson. She has served as Assistant Conductor and has led performances with the CCM Philharmonia, Concert Orches tra, Café MoMus modern music ensemble, and Mainstage Opera Series. Cheng earned her Master’s degree in conducting from the University of Washington in Seattle and her Bachelor of Music degree from the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing.

Taichi Fukumura, emerging conductor

Taichi Fukumura is the Assistant Conductor of the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble and Founding Music Director of Accompanietta. In June, he will complete his Master of Music in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University, studying with Victor Yampolsky.

As conductor of the project-based orchestra called Accompanietta, Fukumura has led public concerts and outreach projects since 2010. They performed a flash mob concert at Boston Medical Center on the first anniversary of the marathon bombings, featured by CBS Boston. As part of their mission, Accompanietta has featured and collaborated with up-and-coming soloists of various instruments. Fukumura has led the orchestra in a performance of Mahler Symphony No. 1, attracting the largest public audience for a student conductor in Northwestern history.

During his time as Associate Conductor of the Boston Civic Symphony, Fukumura was noted by critics of the Music Intelligencer for the ability to “create a sumptuous sound world. …The broad unanimity of the plentiful strings and the unleashed horns and brass gave an old-fashioned quality to the play as excellently shaped by Fukumura”. Fukumura has led the orchestra on works such as Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, Wagner Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey, and Enescu Romanian Rhapsody No. 1.

As guest conductor, Fukumura led members of the Boston Symphony in the BSO community chamber concert series. He has also served as assistant conductor for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras.

Taichi studied with Peter Zazofsky for his Bachelor in Violin Performance at Boston University. He was a winner of the 2011 CFA Bach Competition and graduated BU with a Departmental Honors Award. Along with his mentor, he performed Bach Double Violin Concerto as soloist with the Boston Civic Symphony. In the other end of the spectrum, he has collaborated on the violin with contemporary composers such as Joan Tower and Malcolm Peyton. As assistant conductor at NU CME, he has worked with Steve Reich and Andrew Norman.

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Alexandra Dee, emerging conductor

Alexandra Dee is the newly appointed Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL. In this capacity she serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Joliet Symphony Orchestra and teaches other music courses. Additionally, she is the Music Director and Conductor of Chicago's South Loop Symphony Orchestra and a Cover Conductor for the Joffrey Ballet. Currently a doctoral candidate in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, Ms. Dee is a student of Victor Yampolsky. Her time at Northwestern included performances with the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Baroque Music Ensemble, and Opera Theater.

Ms. Dee is an alumna of The Florida State University College of Music, where she completed both a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting and a Bachelor of Music Education. While at FSU, she studied conducting with Dr. Alexander Jiménez, choral conducting with André Thomas, and violin with Corinne Stillwell. Her conducting positions at FSU included Assistant Conductor for both the University Symphony Orchestra and University Philharmonia, Conductor for the New Music Ensemble, and founding Music Director and Conductor of the Campus Orchestra. A strong believer that music-making is beneficial and important at all ages and ability levels, Ms. Dee began the Campus Orchestra in the fall of 2011 as a string orchestra geared toward non-music majors from across the university community. The ensemble continues to grow and thrive.

Internationally, Ms. Dee has conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Orkney Conductors Course in Scotland and the Dulwich International Music Academy's Festival Orchestra in Beijing, China. Her previous appointments include Assistant Conductor of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras' Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Big Bend Community Orchestra, and Director of Orchestras at high schools in Florida and Connecticut. In addition to her formal studies, Ms. Dee has attended conducting workshops and festivals at such institutions as the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. She has worked with such renowned conducting pedagogues as Larry Rachleff, Marin Alsop, James Ross, Michael Jinbo, Sian Edwards, Diane Wittry, and Paul Vermel. A consistent advocate for contemporary music, Ms. Dee has performed and premiered numerous works by living composers. In particular, she is a vigorous champion of the works of her husband, composer Roger Zare. 

August Symphony Series performance location

Door Community Auditorium - Fish Creek 

The Peninsula Music Festival - 10347 Highway 42

Unit B Green Gables Shops 

P.O. Box 340, Ephraim, Wisconsin  54211


Phone: (920) 854-4060