Bios: Concert V

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Joel Gibbs, viola

Joel Gibbs joined the viola section of the Utah Symphony in 2011. He is also a member of the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago, and a former member of the Dallas Symphony and the Louisville Orchestra. He is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Gibbs holds performance degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, having studied with Lewis Rosove, Myron Kartman and Yuan-Qing Yu. In his free time, he enjoys running and hiking, and he hopes never to run out of new territory to explore in the Wasatch Mountains.

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Matthew Johnson, cello

Cellist Matthew Johnson was recently appointed to the position of Associate Principal Cello of the Utah Symphony. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he studied with Ron Leonard and Andrew Shulman. Prior to his appointment with the Utah Symphony, Matthew was a member of the Kansas City Symphony for six seasons. While in Kansas City, Mr. Johnson was an active chamber musician as a member of the Bach Aria Soloists and the cello quartet, CelloRondo. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, Matthew was a faculty member of the Kansas City String Quartet Program. He has also participated in music festivals such as the Sarasota Music Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, where he served as principal cellist. A musician with Utah roots, Matthew moved to Salt Lake City from Massachusetts when he was twelve years old. He was a student of Richard Hoyt and Utah Symphony cellist, John Eckstein. While attending Skyline High School, he performed with many ensembles led by musicians of the Utah Symphony. In 1997, Matthew was featured as a soloist with the Utah Symphony, after winning the Symphony’s Youth Guild competition. Mr. Johnson is married to violinist and former Kansas City Symphony member, Tina Cho Johnson. They have a six-month old daughter, Ella.

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Tina Johnson, violin

Violinist Tina Johnson is a native of Chicago, where she studied with Roland and Almita Vamos. Ms. Johnson later attended The Juilliard School, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. She has participated in such music festivals as the Aspen Music Festival and the Spoleto Festival in Italy.

Prior to living in Utah, Tina was a violinist in the Kansas City Symphony for nine seasons. While in Kansas City, Tina met her husband, Matthew Johnson. Together they moved to Salt Lake City after Matthew won the position of Associate Principal Cello of the Utah Symphony. They have a daughter, Ella.

 

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Alexander 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 Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado.

In his spare time Mr. Martin enjoys reading string quartets, following the Washington Nationals, and playing his guitar. A longtime lover of heavy metal, he was featured in a Salt Lake Underground (SLUG) Magazine article discussing the surprising parallels between metal and classical music.

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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.