SEATTLE SYMPHONY HONORS RETIRING MUSICIANS JUNE 16


FOR RELEASE Thursday, June 02, 2005

Seattle, WA—Seattle Symphony honors six musicians retiring at the end of the 2004-2005 season. Janet Fisher Baunton, Principal Second Violin; Glen Danielson, Principal English Horn; Martin Friedmann, Violin; Bruce Lawrence, Bass; Bernard Shapiro, Principal Oboe Emeritus; and Joan Martin Woodard, Violin, will be honored by Gerard Schwarz at the Seattle Symphony’s Thursday, June 16 Masterpiece series performance for their exemplary service to symphonic music in Seattle.

Janet Fisher Baunton joined the Symphony in 1968 and has been Principal Second Violin since in 1974 after serving as Acting Principal from 1972-74. She recently decided to retire because of an injury she sustained in December 2000. Baunton said she looks forward to enjoying her family, boating and downsizing to a smaller home in Ballard. With strong positive memories of the musical training available to her in her childhood, she shares these thoughts: “I’d like to speak out for all the children to come. Let’s be sure that we make available to them a full menu of knowledge. Variety is more than the spice of life: it’s the glue that binds us to the unique skills each person brings to the table, much like that of a great orchestra, one of the most successful amalgams of society in existence.”

Glen Danielson, principal English horn of the Seattle Symphony, began his musical education in West Allis, Wisconsin. He holds a B.M.E. from Milton College (WI) and an M.S. in music education from the University of Illinois, Urbana. His teachers include oboists Richard Koebner, Lewis Dalvit, Ray Still, Blaine Edlefsen, Jerome Roth, and flutist Samuel Baron. Danielson’s orchestral experience includes the Waukesha Symphony (WI), Milwaukee Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Seattle Symphony since 1967. He has participated in all 42 Ring productions of Seattle Opera. He has recorded Piston’s Fantasia for English Horn, Harp and Strings and participated in more than 70 other Seattle Symphony recordings with Maestro Schwarz on the Delos and Naxos labels, as well as having recorded Sibelius’ Swan of the Tuonela for Northsound. Mr. Danielson also has served as pre-concert lecturer for Masterpiece series performances.

Reflecting on 25 years as a member of the Seattle Symphony, Martin Friedmann expressed the joy of being part of a group of musicians constantly challenged with new music, new interpretations of great musical literature and the ability to work with the outstanding performers of our time. He started piano lessons at age 7 with his mother in his native Vienna. Arriving in America in 1940, he grew up in the Midwest. He earned his Masters degree at The Juilliard School and had the chance to perform with the Juilliard String Quartet. After teaching in a small college in Pennsylvania, he moved to Puerto Rico with his wife, Laila, to play in the Puerto Rico Symphony and the Casals Festival. With their daughter, Aloysia, also a violinist, they moved to Seattle in 1968. Martin earned his DMA at the University of Washington, served as chairman of the music department of the Cornish Institute, and joined the Seattle Symphony in 1980.

Bruce Lawrence joined the Seattle Symphony in 1968 after a career as a jazz musician who worked with such legendary figures as Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and countless others. In his youth Mr. Lawrence studied classical music—which has always been his favorite genre—before moving professionally into jazz, a decision reflecting the difficulty classically oriented African-American musicians faced in the not-too-distant past. In 1957, he signed on with the Ottawa Symphony. Canadian orchestras were less afflicted by racism than their American counterparts at the time. In the nearly four decades he has served in the Seattle Symphony, Mr. Lawrence has been a larger-than-life figure with an equally imposing double bass constructed in 1975 by the late Hammond Ashley in Des Moines. “It sounds like an organ,” he has said. “I like the deep tones, the way it penetrates through the orchestra.”

Bernard Shapiro, Principal Oboe since 1961 (and recently Principal Oboe Emeritus), was born in New York City and received most of his training on the East Coast. At age 11 he began clarinet lessons and started his oboe instruction at the High School of Music and Art in New York. On scholarship he entered the Manhattan School of Music where he earned his B.A. and M.A. in music. While serving with the Armed Forces he played first oboe with the 8th Army Band in 1957-58. During this time he performed with the Seoul and the Korean Broadcasting symphonies. He received a Fromm Foundation Fellowship with Princeton University in the spring of 1960. Before coming to Seattle, he toured with the Sadlers’ Wells Royal Ballet Orchestra and was oboist with the New York Baroque Quintet. His teachers included Louis Wann, Anton Maly, William Arrowsmith and Mark Lifshey.

Joan Martin Woodard joined the Seattle Symphony in 1976. She began studying violin at 2-1/2 years of age with her father, Leslie Martin. An alumna of Seattle Youth Symphony under Vilem Sokol, Woodard studied violin with Sokol and Don McInnes at the University of Washington (where she graduated cum laude), and during summers with Erick Friedmann. An accomplished classical mandolin and guitar player, she has performed on those instruments with Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, and other Northwest ensembles. She had a “real kick” playing mandolin in a duo concerto with Bobby McFerrin. Another favorite memory is playing in the Seattle Violin Virtuosi under Michael Miropolsky. Ms. Woodard has adjudicated solo and ensemble contests, concerto competitions for young musicians, and has been a member of the Seattle Classic Guitar Society for 25 years, active on its board of directors. Ms. Woodard was on the faculty of Seattle University for five years.

The Symphony will also recognize those musicians who have 40 or more years of service: Bruce Bailey, Cello; Raymond Davis, Principal Cello; Wesley Fisk, Violin; Nancy Page Griffin, Bass; Larey McDaniel, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet; Kenneth Moore, Violin; Bernard Shapiro, Oboe; and Ronald Simon, Bass. Special recognition goes to Randolph Baunton, Principal Percussion, for 50 years of service.