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Karen Sinclair, Violin and Co-Artistic Administrator

Violinist Karen Sinclair enjoys an active performance career as an orchestral and chamber musician. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, she has been a member of the Phoenix Symphony’s first violin section since 2008. During the summer months, Karen performs for ten weeks with the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago, where she has been a first violinist since 2007. An avid chamber musician, Karen has been featured many times on Phoenix’s Downtown Chamber Series and has performed with groups such as Mill Ave Chamber Players and Fountain Hills Chamber Players. She is the co-artistic administrator of Urban Nocturnes, a Phoenix-based chamber ensemble made up of six of the area’s finest musicians, which she founded with Phoenix Symphony colleague, Christopher McKay.

 Karen made her solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra when she was eleven years old and subsequently returned to perform as a soloist with the same orchestra on two other occasions. Her major awards include top prizes at the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition in Switzerland and the International Competition of Padua, Italy, where she performed as soloist with orchestra in the final round. Karen’s professional orchestral experience includes performances as a substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra (London), Houston Symphony, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. A former member of the Canton Symphony in Ohio, she was featured several times as soloist with the orchestra during her tenure there. During the 2017/18 season, she appeared as a soloist with the Phoenix Symphony conducted by music director Tito Munoz on the orchestra’s Classics Series, performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violist Mark Deatherage. She holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, Royal Academy of Music in London, and Rice University, and her major teachers have included Jascha Brodsky, Yumi Ninomiya Scott, Gyorgy Pauk, Kathleen Winkler and William Preucil.
 


Christopher McKay

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Viola and Co-Artistic Administrator

In 2008, Christopher McKay joined The Phoenix Symphony as a section viola player and is currently the Acting Assistant Principal Viola, a post he has held since 2009.  Maintaining an active orchestral performing career, his other current orchestral engagements include performances with the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago and the Central City Opera in Colorado.  Previous orchestral experience includes a one-year position with the Louisville Orchestra from 2007-08, substitute with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and positions with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony, New Jersey Opera, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra.

In addition to his extensive orchestral experience, Mr. McKay’s career also includes chamber musician, soloist, and teacher.  From 2001-07 he held a unique position with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Evansville that included a residency with the Eykamp String Quartet.  As a member of the Quartet he performed numerous concerts each year at the University, gave various outreach concerts in and around the Evansville metropolitan area, and coached University and Youth Orchestra students in chamber and orchestral music.  As Principal Viola of the Philharmonic he had the opportunity to perform as a soloist in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola in 2004, and performed the part of Sancho Panza in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote in 2006.  His duties as Adjunct Instructor of Viola at the University included teaching private viola lessons and performing solo recitals.

As a passionate chamber musician, Mr. McKay, along with TPS first violinist Karen Sinclair, founded the modular chamber music ensemble Urban Nocturnes in 2009.  Born out of friendship and a desire to collaborate together, this ensemble has expanded to a six-person roster and is dedicated to the highest level of performance of the traditional chamber music repertoire.  As a Phoenix based ensemble they are currently Artists-in-Residence at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Phoenix, AZ.

Mr. McKay received his viola performance degrees from Louisiana State University (BM) and Indiana University (MM), and has twice been a fellow at the world renowned Tanglewood Arts Center. His primary teachers were Julian Wilkison, Alan deVeritch, and Jerzy Kosmala, with additional instruction from Paul Neubauer and James Dunham.

 


Viviana Cumplido Wilson

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Flute

Powell Artist, Viviana Cumplido Wilson joined the The Phoenix Symphony as Principal Flute in 2006. A native of Miami, Florida, she began her musical studies at age six as a pianist before discovering a passion for the flute. Her flute studies include work with Fenwick Smith at the New England Conservatory  of Music in Boston, Jim Walker at the University of Southern California, Catherine Ransom Karoly of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Keith Underwood. Upon completion of her Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California in 2003, Viviana was appointed the Principal Flute of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and performed in this capacity with the TSO for three seasons. She has also performed with the IRIS Orchestra, Oregon Symphony,  New World Symphony, National Orchestral Institute, National Repertory Orchestra, and American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. During the summer Viviana spends time in Boulder, Colorado performing with the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra as well as the Britt Festival Orchestra in southern Oregon.

Known for her fearless virtuosity and consummate musicality, Viviana is equally accomplished on the orchestral and solo stage in repertoire that ranges from Baroque to contemporary. She performs regularly as a soloist and has been featured several orchestras including The Phoenix Symphony and the Tucson Symphony performing Nielsen’s Flute Concerto, Reinecke’s Flute Concerto, Corigliano’s Pied Piper Fantasy, Bach’s Orchestral Suite No.2, and Jacques Ibert’s Flute Concerto. In the summer of 2012 she was featured with the Colorado Music Festival in the North American premier of  Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s Flute Concerto No.1. Viviana has also been invited as a guest artist for Jim Walker’s Beyond The Flute Masterclass held at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, guest artist with the Arizona Flute Society’s annual Flute Festival and has performed in the 2007 National Flute Association’s Annual Convention held in Albuquerque, NM. She also competed in the 2006 Carl Nielsen International Flute Competition in Odense, Denmark where she was the only American semi-finalist. 

A strong advocate of music education, Viviana, while completing her Master of Music degree, worked in many Los Angeles inner-city schools as a Young Musician Foundation (YMF) Mentor, a very rewarding program giving hundreds of underprivileged children the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument. In Tucson she was a participant in the Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA) Program which uses the arts to help reinforce the academic curriculum.

Away from the flute, Viviana enjoys training for marathons and triathlons and in 2013 she completed her first (and probably only!) Ironman distance triathlon. She is also proud to serve as  a volunteer for Hospice of the Valley, the largest not-for-profit hospice in the nation. Viviana is married to timpanist, Peter Wilson, and they reside in Phoenix with their menagerie of four legged furry children. 
 


Erin Finkelstein

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                           Clarinet

Clarinetist Erin Finkelstein is in demand as an orchestral and chamber musician. She performs frequently with the Phoenix Symphony and Arizona Opera, and has been featured on the Phoenix Downtown Chamber Series. Erin just celebrated 10 seasons with the world-class Carmel Bach Festival and was engaged as principal clarinet in 2012 and 2017. Prior to moving to Arizona, Erin was a member of the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, and performed regularly with most of the professional orchestras and opera companies in Northern California. She has participated in summer festivals at the National Orchestral Institute, Domaine Forget Festival, and the Bear Valley Festival. Erin has been review by the Stockton Record, the Peninsula Review, and the Modesto Bee. 

As a advocate for chamber music, Erin has been involved in building local chamber ensembles wherever she has resided. Erin was clarinetist with the Mill Ave Chamber Players for 5 years and performed on two CD’s of woodwind music, including the transcription of Shostakovich's Eighth String Quartet. She is delighted to join Urban Nocturnes in 2018 who is resident ensemble at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Phoenix. 

As a passionate educator, Erin is currently an adjunct music lecturer and  Feldenkrais Practitioner® at Phoenix College and runs a pre-college studio in clarinet and piano. Erin holds a Bachelor’s  and Master’s degrees from the University of the Pacific and Arizona State University and continued studies at Mannes College of Music in New York City under the tutelage of Dr. Patricia Shands, Dr. Robert Spring and David Krakauer.


Melita Hunsinger

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Cello

                     


Melita Hunsinger joined the Phoenix Symphony as principal cellist in 2015. Previously Melita served as principal cellist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in Indiana.
A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Melita graduated summa cum laude from St. Olaf College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. She received her Master of Music degree from Rice University. Melita is indebted to her teachers, including Louis Potter, Jr., Norman Fischer, Paul Katz, and Chris French.
From 2002 to 2009 Melita held the position of principal cellist of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and, as a member of that orchestra’s resident string quartet, she performed over seventy-five chamber recitals throughout the state. She also appeared as soloist with the orchestra on two occasions, performing concertos by Saint-Saëns and Brahms.
While residing in Fort Wayne Melita performed regularly with the Grand Rapids Symphony, the South Bend Symphony, and the Richmond (IN) Symphony as principal cellist. Melita appeared as soloist with the Richmond Symphony in 2014, performing Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto. After joining the Fort Wayne Philharmonic as principal cellist, Melita was heard regularly in chamber recitals as a member of the orchestra’s resident string quartet.
The Phoenix Symphony’s 2016-2017 season featured Melita as soloist performing Leonard Bernstein’s Three Meditations from Mass. In addition to performing with the Phoenix Symphony, Melita enjoys regularly collaborating with her colleagues in chamber recitals throughout the valley.  
Melita and her husband Jeff have two young children, Paul and Clara.
 


Olga Gorelik

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                               Piano

Belorussian-born pianist Olga Gorelik maintains an active career as a solo and chamber musician while serving as a devoted mentor to her students. Chamber music has been a significant part of Ms. Gorelik’s education and performance career. As a member of Klimt trio, she took a Silver medal at the 2007 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition as well as the Alice Coleman/Coleman Barstow Prize at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition. Since graduating cum laude from the Cleveland Institute of Music, her career highlights include a series of collaborative recitals throughout the US and the UK, including appearances in Chicago, Cleveland, Edinburgh, St.Andrew’s, and London. Ms. Gorelik, having recently relocated to Phoenix, continues her mission to contribute to the culture of her new home as a performer, an educator, and an advocate for the tradition of the art.