Bios: Concert IV

Emily Adams Pearson, dancer

Emily just concluded her first season as a principal dancer at Ballet West. She joined the second company in 2005 after graduating from Professional Children’s School and the School of American Ballet in NYC.  She joined the corps de ballet in 2007, was promoted to Demi-soloist in 2011, was promoted to Soloist in 2013, and was made a Principal dancer in 2015. Her performance highlights include Myrthe in Giselle, Lilac Fairy and Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty, Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote, Woman #2 in Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, second principal woman in George Balanchine’s Emeralds, Soloist Woman in George Balanchine’s Rubies, Principal Woman in George Balanchine’s Square Dance, and roles in ballets by Jiri Kylian, Val Caniporali, and Nicolo Fonte.  Her choreographic credits include Homage (2015), Mixed Signals ( 2014), Forces at Play ( 2012), and Regarding Us (2011), all created for Ballet West’s Innovations programs.



Mark Davidson, trombone

Mark Davidson, a native of Dallas, Texas, began playing the trombone at age 11. He began his studies under the guidance of James Wallace before attending the University of North Texas, where he received his Bachelor’s of Music Education in 2006. During his undergraduate studies, Mark was a student of Jan Kagarice and Tony Baker. After graduation, he went on to attend The Juilliard School and studied with Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic. During this time, Mark also attended the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan and was the winner of the International Trombone Association’s Lewis Van Haney Tenor Trombone Competition.

In 2007, Mark was appointed Assistant Principal/Second Trombone of the San Antonio Symphony. In 2009, Mark was the Acting Second Trombonist of the Cincinnati Symphony and for the 2010 season, he was the Acting Principal Trombonist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In 2011, he returned to the San Antonio Symphony and also performed as a member of the San Antonio Brass Quintet. Most recently he joined the Utah Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2013 as Associate Principal/2nd Trombone.

Mark has also performed with several other orchestras including the Houston Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, and the San Antonio Opera. In addition, he has been on the faculty of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Academy and has presented master classes and recitals at schools such as the Peabody Institute of Music, Shepherd School of Music, and the University of Utah.


Justin Ivie, actor

Justin is a professional actor, singer and director, who proudly makes his home in Utah. His extensive acting credits include engagements with Pioneer Theatre Company, Salt Lake Acting Company, Utah Musical Theatre, Egyptian Theatre Company, Old Lyric Repertory Theatre and many other others – both locally and in Chicago. Favorite roles include Sweeney in Sweeney Todd…, Bob Wallace in White Christmas, Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate, Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, Salieri in Amadeus, Dev in Stupid F***ing Bird, and Roger Marshall in the world premier of The Pirated Penzance. He’s currently performing in his 8th Season of Saturday’s Voyeur at Salt Lake Acting Company as (a suspiciously Trump-like version of) God – So, He’s excited for this opportunity to represent the opposition for an evening. Justin is the Producing Director of Walk-Ons, Inc. – a small theatre company dedicated to bringing affordable works to underserved audiences. He has directed Walk-Ons, Inc.’s productions of Driving Miss Daisy, Senior Stages-The Art of Aging, and multiple seasons of The Senior Theatre Project. Other directing credits include Arthur Miller’s The Price for The OtherSide Players, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol for OurSpace Theatre Co., and several staged readings for Salt Lake Acting Company, StageRight Theatre Co. and others. Justin studied Musical Theatre at Weber State and has an MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University. He has taught theatre and communications at LDS Business College, NIU, Triton College, and Weber State. He also designs scenery, props and theatrical masks, writes an occasional play, and sometimes even plays his banjo (when he’s pretty sure no one is listening).


Seth Keeton, bass

Bass-baritone, Seth Keeton’s performances have been described by The New York Times as “driven” and “emotionally pointed.” He has performed roles on the stages of The Minnesota Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Central City Opera, Arizona Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Austin Lyric Opera and Opera Omaha, Chautauqua Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, and Theater Bremen in Bremen, Germany. A passionate recitalist and oratorio performer, Mr. Keeton has been seen in concert as the bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat and St. Matthew and St. John Passions, Haydn’s Creation, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. In 2006, he was a national finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has received awards from the Sullivan Foundation and the Eleanor McCollum Competition. Mr. Keeton received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota and is an Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Utah School of Music.


Ubeeng Kueng, piano

Ubeeng Kueq found his passion in piano playing at age 11. In 2004, he moved to Salt Lake City, Utah with his father who pursued his love of violin making there. While a student at Glendale Middle School, Ubeeng continued piano lessons with Ms. Alexis Boskovich through the Youth Enrichment Foundation program. Two years later with Dr. Vedrana Subotic at the University of Utah, his musical abilities began to take shape. Under Dr. Subotic’s tutelage, Ubeeng earned the honor to perform with Utah Symphony in the 2009 Salute to Youth concert. He won first place in four consecutive SummerArts Piano Competitions at the University of Utah (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) and first place in the Utah Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition (2009). Ubeeng has performed at Abravanel Hall, Assembly Hall on Temple Square, Libby Gardner Concert Hall, Steinway Hall, and numerous other venues. Ubeeng received his bachelor’s degree in piano performance at University of Utah in 2015 and is continuing his studies at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2016.


Tito Livas, actor

Tito is very excited to be on stage with Intermezzo collaboration! He is currently performing in Saturday’s Voyeur at Salt Lake Acting Company and has also appeared as Lady and Lord Capulet in their production of Romeo and Juliet in a bar, as Amir in Two Stories, and voiced Stilts in Climbing with Tigers. He also appeared in the reading of Honor Killing at Pioneer Theatre Company, in Caravan and Marry Xmas with Plan-B, and before moving to SLC worked as a lead vocalist for Holland America for three years, traveling to six of the seven continents. He was a principal vocalist at Walt Disney World, and also a principal vocalist for Princess Cruises and Resorts. He has toured with The National Theatre for Children, TheatreWorks USA, and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. He was also lucky enough to work with Tony nominated Alex Timbers and Grammy winner David Byrne in the Off-Broadway hit, “Here Lies Love” in NYC at The Public Theatre.


Alex Martin, violin

Alexander Martin joined the Utah Symphony in February 2011. He came to Salt Lake City from Miami Beach, Florida, where he was a member of the New World Symphony and appeared as concertmaster under the batons of Michael Tilson-Thomas and other conductors. He also has served as concertmaster of the Indiana University Philharmonic Orchestra and of the Terre Haute (Indiana) Symphony Orchestra, and assistant concertmaster of the Columbus (Indiana) Philharmonic. Mr. Martin holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degree from Indiana University, where he studied with Alexander Kerr, former concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw orchestra in Amsterdam, and with Paul Biss, the violinist, violist and conductor. A chamber-music devotee and performer since grade school, Mr. Martin is a regularly featured artist in the Westminster Concert Series at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Reviewer Edward Reichel called his 2015 performance of Cesar Franck’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, with pianist Karlyn Bond, “a magnificent presentation of one of the most technically challenging and significant violin works from the late 19th century.” Mr. Martin has participated in many music festivals, including the Verbier Festival in Verbier, Switzerland; the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan; and the Schleswig-Holstein festival in Germany, where he was concertmaster of the chamber orchestra. In the United States, he has played at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and at the Spoleto USA festival in Charleston, South Carolina, where he was concertmaster of the festival orchestra under the baton of noted conductor Joseph Flummerfelt. Mr. Martin also served as principal second violin in the National Repertory.


Yuki MacQueen, violin

Violinist Yuki MacQueen joined the Utah Symphony in June 2000. Previously a member of the Nashville Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, and Associate Concertmaster of the Knoxville Symphony, she has also played with the National Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the National Chamber Orchestra. A frequent substitute member of the Pittsburgh Symphony before her current position with the Utah Symphony, she participated in concert tours to Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, Europe, Japan, Canada, and South America. Ms. MacQueen holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Arnold Steinhardt of the Guarneri Quartet and Jascha Brodsky. She received her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York, studying with Robert Mann of the Juilliard Quartet, and chamber music with Jerome Lowenthal and Seymour Lipkin. She has been a regular participant with the Grand Teton Music Festival since 1994. Locally, she has been a featured performer in the Nova Chamber Series, the Intermezzo Chamber Series, the Contemporary Music Consortium, and the Westminster College Faculty Recital Series, among others. When she is not performing with the Utah Symphony, She enjoys playing chamber music, baking sweets, and traveling the world.

bwEdward Merritt Headshot

Ted Merritt, bass

Edward Merritt, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, joined the Utah Symphony’s bass section in at the start of 2014. Prior to this port he held principal positions in the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony and Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has also appeared as guest principal with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and CityMusic Cleveland, and as a substitute with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. A rock-star at heart, Mr. Merritt enjoys performing music of all styles. He has performed with Marvin Hamlisch, Neil Sedaka, Ellis Hall, Joe Negri, Jimmy Heath, and others. Mr. Merritt received his Bachelor of Music degree from Rice University, studying with Paul Ellison. He also studied briefly at Northwestern University with Peter Lloyd and Carnegie Mellon University with Micah Howard. He is very thankful for his early bass training with Jeffrey Turner, principal bass of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Festival appearances have included Aspen Music Festival, Le Domaine Forget, New York String Orchestra Seminar and Tanglewood Music Center.


Michael Pape, percussion

Michael Pape joined the Utah Symphony as Section Percussion in 2015. Prior to his appointment, he served as Acting Section Percussion with the Utah Symphony. Mr. Pape spent five seasons as a percussionist with the Fort Wayne (IN) Philharmonic. During the 09/10 season, Michael held a one-year position with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He performed with them on several national and international tours and recordings. He has also has held positions with the Canton (OH) Symphony and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has performed and recorded with the Chicago Symphony and has also performed with the New World Symphony (FL), Pittsburgh Opera, Mendelssohn Choir, and the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. In 2004, Michael was the winner of the 1st prize at the International Snare Drum Competition in Paris, France. He also received the best interpretation prize for his performance of ‘Breakaway’ by Tim Adams. In 2005, he was invited by Frederic Macarez to perform a solo recital at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Michael received a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Percussion Performance from Carnegie Mellon University. His principal teachers are Timothy K. Adams and Paul Evans. Michael has also studied with Chris Deviney, John Soroka, Andy Reamer, and Chris Allen. Michael is married to Utah Symphony violinist Karen Wyatt.


Jay Perry, narrator

Jay Perry (AEA) is thrilled to join Intermezzo Chamber Music Series for this production. This is Jay’s third L’Histoire du soldat, having voiced the Narrator et al. in Paradigm Chamber Orchestra’s recent production this spring and The Soldier in NOVA’s collaboration with Plan-B Theatre Company in 2013. Jay has voiced James Newton Howard’s PETER PAN with The Utah Symphony, Prokofiev’s PETER AND THE WOLF with the Salt Lake Symphony and with Gina Bachauer in collaboration with Plan-B, and all 10 installments of RADIO HOUR on KUER’s Radio West. His voice has been featured by Ballet West, BAE, Squatters, Hertz, The Utah Arts Festival, Chair Entertainment and Reading Horizons to name a few. Off-Broadway, Jay performed in Plan-B’s critically acclaimed production of FACING EAST which he also performed in Salt Lake (City Weekly Arty Award – Best Theatre Performance) and at San Francisco’s historic Theatre Rhinoceros. Other regional highlights include DARK PLAY (Best Featured Actor In A Play – IN Magazine) and GO, DOG. GO! (Best Leading Actor In A Musical – IN Magazine) at Salt Lake Acting Company; GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL!, SHE WAS MY BROTHER and CLEARING BOMBS at Plan-B Theatre Company where he can be seen this season in the world premieres of ONE BIG UNION and VIRTUE. Jay is Program Coordinator and theatre school faculty for the University of Utah Youth Theatre.


Travis Peterson, cornet

Travis Peterson, 29, joined the Utah Symphony as principal trumpet in 2013. He grew up on a dairy farm outside of the central Minnesota town of Milaca. He started playing trumpet at the age of 10 and joined the school band and jazz band. While in high school and during his first years in college, he was also a member of the drum and bugle corps, The Madison Scouts. After high school, he went on to study music education at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he studied with Edmund Cord. After finishing his degree at IU, he went on to receive his Graduate Diploma in performance from The New England Conservatory in Boston, MA. He studied with Ben Wright and Tom Rolfs, both of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He played with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach for 3 years under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Travis has performed with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto USA Festival Orchestra, Artosphere Festival Orchestra, and Opera North. He has performed several times with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops. Mr. Peterson is happily married to the love of his life.


Vedrana Subotic, piano

Pianist Vedrana Subotic has won international acclaim from critics and audiences for her refined interpretations, rich tonal palette, and supreme levels of technical and musical mastery. Her debut solo performance at age nine was broadcasted on national television in her native country, the former Yugoslavia. Upon winning the top prize in Yugoslavia’s National Piano Competition, Vedrana moved to the United States. She has since been active as a soloist and a chamber musician in the Americas and Europe. She performs in dozens of concerts a year, combining concerto appearances, solo recitals, chamber music collaborations, and orchestral performances. Vedrana’s more recent performances include concert tours in Puerto Rico, the Utah premier of Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto, appearing as a soloist in Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto with the Dubrovnik Symphony, and Prokofiev’s third piano concerto at the Chautauqua Festival in New York, as well as chamber music concerts at the International Chamber Music Festival in Nis, Serbia, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the Chautauqua Festival, the American Festival for the Arts in Houston, and Intermezzo and Temple Square Concert Series in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has collaborated in recital with such artists as Joseph Silverstein and Paul Neubauer, and is a member of the Porter-Subotic Duo with her husband, Utah Symphony violinist David Porter. Vedrana has also performed concerts in Bratislava, Prague, Belgrade, London, and Venice, as well as throughout the United States and Canada. Vedrana’s artistry and extensive concert activity has attracted the attention of the Director of the Worldwide Concert and Artists division at the Steinway corporation in NY. In 2003, she was invited to join the distinguished roster of Steinway Artists. In addition to faculty recitals and lectures, Vedrana performs regularly in local concert venues, and has appeared as a soloist with the Utah Symphony, Utah Chamber Orchestra, and the Weber State and Snow College Orchestras. Vedrana is a founding member and Music Director of the Intermezzo Chamber Music Concert Series, hailed by the Salt Lake Tribune, in its first year (2003), as one of the top ten musical events in Utah. Vedrana has taught piano at Indiana University, Hartford Conservatory, and the Chautauqua Institution in NY where she was also Head of the Instrumental Accompanying from 1995-2001. In 2003, she founded the piano program at the Horne School of Music at Snow College (UT), an all-Steinway school, and directed it until 2008. An active clinician and adjudicator, Vedrana has served on the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition Jury, and is a frequent guest as a master-teacher at the Utah Symphony’s Youth Guild masterclasses. She has presented lectures on a variety of pedagogical and performance topics for the Utah Music Teachers Association and the Suzuki Piano Association. An avid admirer and dedicated champion of the piano traditions from the days of the “old-world” performing legends, Vedrana has been trained by internationally acclaimed pedagogues and performers who continued the legacy of Arthur Schnabel, Rosina Lhevinne, Robert Goldsand, Rudolph Serkin, and Vladimir Horowitz. In addition to her University of Utah piano studio, Vedrana maintains a private studio of gifted young students in Salt Lake City. Her students have continued their musical studies at leading music schools in United States and Europe and have won awards in numerous competitions. Vedrana graduated from the former Yugoslavia’s State Music Conservatory at age fifteen, and received  Bachelor of Music degree from Belgrade University four years later. She has since earned a Master of Music from Michigan State University, and an Artist Diploma and Doctor of Music from Indiana University. Her teachers have included Menahem Pressler, Arbo Valdma, Leonard Hokanson, Peter Frankl, Ralph Votapek, Gyorgy Sebok, Byron Janis, Janos Starker, and Josef Gingold.


Erin Svoboda, clarinet

Clarinetist Erin Svoboda is in her first season as associate principal with the Utah Symphony.  Originally from the East Coast, Erin began her musical studies with the piano at the age of five and added the clarinet at ten. She earned degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, Temple University, and Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Thomas Martin, Ricardo Morales, and Mark Nuccio respectively. She spent her summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, Marlboro Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival.  Erin freelanced in New York City after she graduated, playing with such ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and American Symphony Orchestra.  She spent a year as the Assistant/2nd/E-flat clarinetist in the Colorado Symphony before moving to Utah.  Also an active chamber musician and soloist, she recorded the trio Tibetan Dances on Spring Dreams with Cho-Liang Lin on violin and the composer, Bright Sheng, on piano.  Erin also premiered Michael Gandolfi’s Concerto for Clarinet and Bassoon. 

When not performing, Erin enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, camping, and biking, and recently learned to ski.  She looks forward to exploring Utah.


Lori Wike, bassoon

Lori Wike joined the Utah Symphony as Principal Bassoon in 2005. Originally from North Carolina, she holds a Bachelor of Music degree and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine. Her principal teachers were John Hunt, Nancy Goeres, Mark Popkin, and Michele Grego.

A former member of the Louisville Orchestra, Ms. Wike has also performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Utah Festival Opera, the San Bernardino Symphony, the Redlands Symphony, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. Prior to joining the Utah Symphony, she performed for three seasons with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.

Her solo appearances include performances with the Utah Symphony, the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, the University of California-Irvine Symphony and the Salt Lake Arts Festival. She is a frequent performer on both the Nova and Intermezzo Chamber Music series in Salt Lake and is also a member of the Three Fish and a Scorpion woodwind quartet. Ms. Wike is currently Adjunct Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Utah and Lecturer at Westminster College.


Karen Wyatt, violin

Violinist Karen Wyatt joined the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera in 2013. Prior to joining the symphony, she performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2013. During her time with Pittsburgh Symphony, Karen toured nationally and internationally, and performed on many recordings. She also performed with the Baltimore Symphony and held a position with the Virginia Symphony. Karen began her orchestral career with a 3 year fellowship at the New World Symphony in Miami, FL, under the leadership of Michael Tilson Thomas. During her fellowship at New World, Karen toured internationally and participated in a residency at the Opera Comique in Paris. She also performed as a principal musician with many notable conductors such as Manfred Honeck, Robert Spano and Itzhak Perlman. Karen holds a Bachelors of Music and a Performer’s Diploma in violin performance from Indiana University where she studied with Paul Biss. She has also studied with Pavel Pekarsky, Alexander Kerr and Jennifer Ross. Karen especially enjoys performing chamber music, baroque music, and teaching. When not performing with the orchestra, Karen enjoys gardening and baking.