MSO Biographies

Season listing | Biographies | Program | Pre-concert talk

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Edo de Waart, is among the finest orchestras in the nation. Now in his sixth season with the MSO, Maestro de Waart has led sold-out concerts, elicited critical acclaim, and conducted a celebrated performance at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2012. The MSO’s full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee. The MSO’s standard of excellence extends beyond the concert hall and into the community, reaching more than 40,000 children and their families through its Arts in Community Education (ACE) program, Youth and Teen concerts, Meet the Music pre-concert talks, and Friday Evening Post-Concert Talkbacks. Celebrating its 25th year, the nationally-recognized ACE program integrates arts education into state-required curricula, providing opportunities for students when budget cuts may eliminate arts programming. The program provides lesson plans and supporting materials, classroom visits from MSO musician ensembles and artists from local organizations, and an MSO concert tailored to each grade level. This season, more than 7,600 students and 500 teachers and faculty in 25 Southeastern Wisconsin schools will participate in ACE.

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Featured Biographies

Yaniv Dinur, conductor
Born in Jerusalem in 1981, Yaniv Dinur has performed with orchestras in Israel, Europe, the United States, Canada and Mexico. He has won numerous conducting awards, among them the 2nd Prize at the 2009 Mata International Conducting Competition in Mexico, and the Yuri Ahronovitch 1st Prize in the 2005 Aviv Conducting Competitions in Israel. He was chosen by the League of American Orchestras to be a featured conductor in the 2011 Bruno Walter Conducting Preview, and he is a recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Zubin Mehta Scholarship Endowment.

Ilana Setapen, violin
Since her solo orchestral debut at age 15 with the Amarillo Symphony, Ilana Setapen has been flourishing as a violinist with a powerful and original voice. She is the associate concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She has won top prizes in many competitions, including the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, the Pasadena Showcase Competition, and the Kingsville International Competition. Solo and chamber music performances have brought her to France, Brazil, Holland, England, Monaco, and Italy.

Sonora Slocum, flute
Sonora Slocum is principal flute of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. “Slocum’s solo work continues to impress. She plays with a clean, well-tuned sound, easily floating through the hall rather than slicing the air, always creating graceful phrases” (Shepherd Express, 3/14). Ms. Slocum has performed with orchestras throughout the United States and Asia. She has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra and performed as guest principal with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Katherine Young Steele, oboe
Katherine Young Steele is the principal oboe of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 2012. Of her recent performances of Richard Strauss’ Oboe Concerto with Music Director Edo de Waart, Steele was praised for her “engrossing performance…with a ringing, beautifully centered sound and elegant interpretive direction” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 2/15). Steele was principal oboe of The Florida Orchestra, 2007-2012, where she appeared as soloist and collaborated on the orchestra’s multi-year cultural exchange with musicians in Havana, Cuba. She has also served as guest principal oboe in the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony and the Sarasota Orchestra.

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video: Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra YouTube Channel