Jonathan Flaksman, born in Akron, Ohio in 1981, has been playing the cello since the age of five, with his first teacher being Madalena Burle-Marx. He has studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music under Richard Aaron, and then the Julliard School under Fred Sherry. He graduated from Mannheim University in Germany, in the class of his father Michael Flaksman, with an artist diploma in Orchestral Studies. Jonathan has taken many masterclasses, including those taught by Harvey Shapiro, Siegfried Palm, Bernard Greenhouse, Youngchang Cho, Jens Peters Maintz, Frans Helmerson, and Ralph Kirshbaum. As a soloist and chamber musician, Jonathan has traveled the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has attended the Interlochen Arts Camp and music festivals (Aspen), Schleswig-Holstein, Cividale (Italy), Łancut (Poland), Aurora Chamber Music (Sweden), and the Ascoli Piceno Festival, and performed as a soloist with the Bari Symphony at the Carl Orff Festival in Putignano. He has given masterclasses in both Italy and California and has served on the juries of various competitions. Jonathan lives in Los Angeles, playing with the symphonies of Pasadena and Modesto, composing and arranging his own works, and records for tv and film. He recently earned the Assistant Principal Cellist position of New Mexico Philharmonic in addition to winning his spot in the Long Beach Symphony. He has also been tenured as Assistant Principal Cellist of Santa Barbara Symphony since 2015.
Cellist Trevor Handy enjoys an active career as a freelance musician in Los Angeles. A member of the Long Beach Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, he is also Principal Cellist of the Santa Barbara Symphony, and performs with ensembles such as the LA Philharmonic and LA Opera, in various chamber music series, at festivals and as a studio musician for Hollywood.
Prior to living in Los Angeles, he had been a member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu and Jacksonville Symphonies, and the New Haven Symphony. While freelancing in New York, Trevor was a member of the Griffon String Quartet, which won the grand prize at the 1991 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and performed throughout the United States. He was also a member of the Juilliard School Pre-College’s Solfège Faculty.
A native of Boston, Trevor made his solo debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and went on to study with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins at The Juilliard School earning a B.M. and M.M. While there, he also studied and played Baroque cello professionally under the tutelage of Albert Fuller and Jaap Schroeder. He spent summers at Aspen and Tanglewood, as well as in Switzerland at Yehudi Menuhin’s Summer Academy and at Lausanne’s Academy of Music in master classes given by Maurice Gendron.
He has taught at the Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Pepperdine University, and Westmont College, and currently coaches chamber music each summer at Vermont’s Point Counter Point School.Ji Sun Jung
Korean American cellist Ji Sun Jung is an active soloist, chamber musician, and an orchestra member. Some highlights as an orchestra member include acting as a substitute with LA Phil and Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and she won LACO-USC Mock Audition to play with LA Chamber Orchestra. Ji Sun served as principal cellist at the USC Symphony Orchestra, Bob Cole Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, and Colburn Chamber Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Ji Sun formed an Angeles Trio at the Colburn Academy. It is here where the trio appeared and performed From the Top radio broadcast. The trio also performed at the La Senora Research Institute concert, in collaboration with The Colburn School, in Santa Monica.
Some highlights as a soloist include winning numerous competitions, such as Bob Cole Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition, 1st place at Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts Competition, 2nd place at Brentwood Westwood Symphony Orchestra Competition. Ji Sun has participated in masterclasses, including a recent masterclass with Steven Isserlis, Seth Parker Woods, and David Requiro.
A native of South Korea, Ji Sun began playing the cello at the age of 11. She attended Sun-Hwa Arts Middle School and Seoul Arts High School in South Korea. After moving to the United States, Ji Sun studied with Ronald Leonard and Clive Greensmith at the Colburn Academy. Ji Sun earned her bachelor’s degree from Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU Long Beach, studying under David Garrett. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in Cello Performance at University of Southern California under the teachings of Andrew Shulman, and plans to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Cello Performance starting next Fall 2022.Jake Saunders
Dr. Jake Saunders is a cellist, educator, and collaborative artist based in Boise, Idaho. He is active within the contemporary-classical, chamber, symphonic, and popular music realms.
An omnivorous cellist, Saunders approaches music both contemporary and historical with creativity and commitment. He is the founder and Artistic Director of 208 Ensemble, the first professional contemporary music ensemble in Idaho. Since 2014, 208 Ensemble has presented Idaho the premiere of more than 50 chamber works to diverse audiences. The ensemble’s flagship project, Avant-Garden, commissions new chamber music from emerging and historically underrepresented composers. As cellist of The Playground Ensemble and Sphere Ensemble, Jake is also on the vanguard of the contemporary scene in Denver, CO.
As a recording artist, Saunders is featured on the soundtrack for the film The Social Dilemma. He has also collaborated on forthcoming studio releases by LA-based artists The Naked and Famous and Luna Shadows. Saunders can be heard on recent releases by Idaho-based artists East Forest, LED, Quiet Arrows, and Tispur. His forthcoming solo album, One by One, includes works for cello by Bright Sheng, Nathalie Joachim, Nina Shekhar, and Sarah Kirkland-Snider.
Additionally, Saunders serves as Associate Principal with the Boise Philharmonic, Section Cellist with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra and is a substitute cellist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Orchestras he’s previously held principal positions in include Symphony Tacoma and Opera Idaho. Saunders received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from University of Colorado Boulder in 2021, where he served as teaching assistant for Prof. David Requiro.Allan Hon
Praised for his lush, professionally robust sound, cellist Allan Hon has enjoyed a multifaceted career, performing for audiences in Asia, Europe, Canada, and North America. Allan joined the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal in 2022 and serves as a substitute cellist for the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. A prizewinner in many competitions and is the cellist of the Zelter String Quartet – the Gold Prize winner of the 2021 Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition. Allan has performed with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles, Thornton Edge, The Second Movement Series, with Herencia Flamenca in 2018, Cantata Profana, and was a part of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo, Japan, for the ‘15- ‘16 season. Allan has performed with some of today’s leading artists, such as Nicholas McGegan, Yayoi Toda, and the Attacca String Quartet. Beyond Classical Music, Allan is active in the studio scene, performing on the soundtracks for television shows and video games, including The Orville, Kingdom of Hearts 2.5 ReMIX, and Final Fantasy XV. Allan holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he studied with Desmond Hoebig. He earned his Master of Music and Master of Musical Arts degrees from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Aldo Parisot. And Allan holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Andrew Shulman. When he’s not playing the cello or partaking in musical activities, he loves exploring new places and looking for the next tastiest brew.Youna Choi
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Miss Youna Choi earned her bachelor’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music under Peter Wiley and Carter Brey. Subsequently, she studied with Clive Greensmith at The Colburn Conservatory of Music and received an Artist Diploma and Master of Music. Youna has been featured internationally throughout Korea and the United States. She has been featured in Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and Nantucket Atheneum as both a soloist and chamber musician. Youna’s accomplishments include prizes and scholarships from David Weiss Scholarship Competition, Rio Hondo Competition, Concerto Competition at the Ambassador Auditorium, and numerous national competitions in Korea. She has been named a special prize winner of the Astor Piazzolla International Music Competition for chamber division. She recently debuted a Walton Cello Concerto with Colburn Orchestra and, in 2019, has been appointed as Principal Cellist of New West Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Choi has performed under the baton of conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Rossen Milanov, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Robert Spano, Osmo Vänska, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Ms. Choi is also founding member of the Three Strings Ensemble. They have performed numerous recital series sponsored by the city of Seoul, and the Ensemble was nominated as a winner of the Manhattan International Music Competition. Three Strings Ensemble debuted in Carnegie Hall for a winner’s concert in 2022.Inbal Segev
Inbal Segev is “a cellist with something to say” (Gramophone). Combining “thrillingly projected, vibrato-rich playing” (Washington Post) with “complete dedication and high intelligence” (San Francisco Classical Voice), she makes solo appearances at leading international venues and with preeminent orchestras and conductors worldwide. Celebrated for her fresh insights into music’s great masterworks, the Israeli American cellist is equally committed to reinvigorating the cello repertoire, and has commissioned and premiered major new works from an international who’s who of today’s foremost contemporary composers.
Segev is personally responsible for commissioning, premiering, recording and championing new works by important contemporary composers from the U.S., Israel and beyond. Most recently, she launched the “20 for 2020” project, commissioning new chamber works from 20 of today’s most compelling composers, including Vijay Iyer, Viet Cuong and John Luther Adams, for a music video series and four-volume Avie Records set to document the challenging year. Other recent projects include Anna Clyne’s concerto DANCE, which Segev co-commissioned and premiered under Cristian Măcelaru’s leadership at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California (2019), before recording the work alongside Elgar’s iconic concerto with Marin Alsop and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Released by Avie, the album was an instant success, topping the Amazon Classical Concertos chart and inspiring glowing praise from The Guardian, BBC Radio 3 and other outlets; DANCE’s opening movement was named among NPR Music’s “Favorite Songs of 2020,” receiving more than five million listens on Spotify.
Segev has also brought to life a host of other new works. It was she who gave the world premiere performance of Timo Andres’s concerto Upstate Obscura at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (2018); premiered Dan Visconti’s Cello Concerto with the California Symphony (2017); commissioned and premiered Gity Razaz’s multimedia piece Legend of Sigh at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust (2015); premiered and recorded Lucas Richman’s Declaration with the composer conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony (2015); co-commissioned and premiered Avner Dorman’s Cello Concerto with the Anchorage Symphony (2012); and commissioned and premiered Paola Prestini’s Oceano at Columbia University (2002). She also gave the overdue U.S. premiere of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s long-lost, posthumously reconstructed Cello Concerto, and joined the Albany Symphony for the first performance of Christopher Rouse’s Violoncello Concerto since its premiere 24 years earlier by Yo-Yo Ma.
The cellist’s premiere recordings crown a rich and wide-ranging discography. Having studied Bach’s solo cello suites for many years, she recorded the complete cycle over a six-month period with Grammy-winning producer Da-Hong Seetoo at New York City’s Academy of Arts and Letters for release by Vox Classics in 2015; documenting this process behind the scenes, a companion film by Nick Davis Productions was screened at Lincoln Center and in Maine and Bogotà. Segev’s other recordings include a Romantic program of Schumann, Chopin and Grieg with pianist Juho Pohjonen (Avie, 2018); Dohnányi serenades with the Amerigo Trio (Navona, 2011); and cello sonatas by Beethoven and Boccherini with pianist Richard Bishop (Opus One, 2000). The cellist can also be heard playing music by Peter Nashe on the soundtrack of Bee Season, a 2005 feature film starring Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche.
A prodigy who first played for the Israeli president at just eight years old, Segev came to international attention ten years later when she made concerto debuts with both the Berlin Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta. Since then she has appeared as soloist with such leading orchestras as the London Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Dortmund Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and St. Louis Symphony, collaborating with Marin Alsop, Stéphane Denève, Lorin Maazel, Cristian Măcelaru, Zubin Mehta and other of the world’s foremost conductors. She co-curated the Baltimore Symphony’s New Music Festival from its inception in 2017.
Segev has given solo performances of Bach’s cello suites at international venues from New York’s Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Shanghai Concert Hall and Jerusalem Theatre. Her other recital highlights include appearances at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, Chicago’s Harris Theater and Bogotá’s Teatro Mayor. Also a dedicated chamber artist, she has undertaken international tours with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and collaborated with such esteemed musicians as Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, Anthony McGill, Jason Vieaux and the Vogler Quartet. With former New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and violist Karen Dreyfus, she is a founding member of the Amerigo Trio.
Besides holding regular interactive live-streamed masterclasses and Q&A sessions at the CelloBello resource center, Segev has been featured in a live Q&A session at Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse and a dedicated episode of The Musical Life podcast series. Available at her YouTube channel, the cellist’s popular masterclass series, Musings with Inbal Segev, has thousands of subscribers around the world and almost two million views to date.
A native of Israel, Inbal Segev began playing the cello at the age of five. At 16 she was invited by Isaac Stern to the U.S., where she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot, Joel Krosnick, Harvey Shapiro and Beaux Arts Trio co-founder Bernard Greenhouse, earning degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School. Today she lives in New York City with her husband, their three teenage children and her cellos, made by Francesco Ruggieri (1673) and Carl Becker & Son (1958) respectively.Joshua Roman
Joshua Roman has earned an international reputation for his wide-ranging repertoire, a commitment to communicating the essence of music in visionary ways, artistic leadership and versatility. As well as being a celebrated performer, he is recognized as an accomplished composer and curator and was named a TED Senior Fellow in 2015.
During the 17-18 season, Roman will make his Detroit Symphony Orchestra debut, and perform his own Cello Concerto, Awakening, with the Princeton Symphony in collaboration with conductor Teddy Abrams. In Europe, Roman will perform one of his favorite 20th Century Cello Concertos, that of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski, with the Szczecin Philharmonic of Poland. Other season highlights include performances of Tornado with the JACK Quartet with San Francisco Performances, Town Hall Seattle, Interlochen and numerous presenters throughout the country.
Notable events from the 16-17 season include the premiere of Tornado, a new work composed by Joshua Roman and commissioned by the Music Academy of the West and Town Hall Seattle. The lauded premiere took place with the JACK Quartet at the Music Academy of the West in June of 2017. He also gave his debut at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, comprised of not only performances with high caliber musicians from the St. Lawrence String Quartet and other corners of the chamber music world, but a performance of his solo piece Riding Light. Orchestral highlights of the season included performances of the Mason Bates Cello Concerto with the Portland, Berkeley, Spokane, and Memphis Symphonies. The concerto is dedicated to the cellist, who gave its “world-class world premiere” (Seattle Times) with the Seattle Symphony in 2014, and has since performed it with orchestras around the U.S. At TED2017 in Vancouver, Roman opened the conference during its first-ever live simulcast to movie theaters around the world with a collaborative music and dance piece created and danced by Huang Yi, with the industrial robot KUKA as dance partner, followed by an original composition to kickstart the first session of speakers. In November of 2016, Roman’s musical response to the tension around the U.S. Presidential election – Let’s Take a Breath – brought almost one million live viewers to TED’s Facebook page to hear his performance the complete Six Suites for Solo Cello by J.S. Bach.
Prior seasons have seen Roman premiere Awakening, his own Cello Concerto, with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, and subsequently perform it with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra; make his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra playing Dvorák’s Cello Concerto; give a solo performance on the TED2015 main stage; perform a program of chamber works by Lera Auerbach at San Francisco Performances with Auerbach and violinist Philippe Quint; and make appearances with the Columbus, Fort Worth, New World, Seattle Symphonies as well as with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He also served as Alumnus-in-Residence at the prestigious Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
Roman has demonstrated inspirational artistic leadership throughout his career. As Artistic Director of TownMusic in Seattle, he has showcased his own eclectic musical influences and chamber music favorites, while also promoting newly commissioned works. Under his direction, the series has offered world premieres of compositions by some of today’s brightest young composers and performances by cutting-edge ensembles. In the 2015-16 season at TownMusic, he presented his own song cycle, … we do it to one another, based on Tracy K. Smith’s book of poems Life on Mars, with soprano Jessica Rivera. He has also recently been appointed the inaugural Artistic Advisor of award-winning contemporary streaming channel Second Inversion, launched by Seattle’s KING-FM to cultivate the next generation of classical audiences. In the summer of 2016, the cellist took on the role of Creative Partner with the Colorado Music Festival & Center for Musical Arts. The same organization sponsored him in April 2016 at the 68th Annual Conference on World Affairs on the University of Colorado campus, where he contributed his innovative ideas about how classical music is conceived and presented. Roman performed at the Kennedy Center Arts Summit that same month and was a member of the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors artists committee.
Roman’s cultural leadership includes using digital platforms to harness new audiences. In 2009 he developed The Popper Project, performing, recording and uploading the complete etudes from David Popper’s High School of Cello Playing to his dedicated YouTube channel (youtube.com/joshuaromancello). In his latest YouTube project, Everyday Bach, Roman performs Bach’s cello suites in beautiful settings around the world. He has collaborated with photographer Chase Jarvis on Nikon video projects, and Paste magazine singled out Roman and DJ Spooky for their cello and iPad cover of Radiohead’s Everything in Its Right Place, created for the Voice Project. For his creative initiatives on behalf of classical music, Roman was named a TED Fellow in 2011, joining a select group of next-generation innovators who show potential to positively affect the world. He acted as curator for an outdoor amphitheater performance at the TED Summit in Banff in the Canadian Rockies this past summer.
Beyond these initiatives, Roman’s adventurous spirit has led to collaborations with artists outside of the music community, including his co-creation of On Grace with Tony Award-nominated actress Anna Deavere Smith, a work for actor and cello which premiered in February 2012 at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. His outreach endeavors have taken him to Uganda with his violin-playing siblings, where they played chamber music in schools, HIV/AIDS centers, and displacement camps, communicating a message of hope through music.
Before embarking on a solo career, Roman spent two seasons as principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, a position he won in 2006 at the age of 22. Since that time, he has appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, New World Symphony, Alabama Symphony, and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Ecuador, among many others. An active chamber musician, Roman has collaborated with established artists such as Andrius Zlabys, Cho-Liang Lin, Assad Brothers, Earl Carlyss, Christian Zacharias and Yo-Yo Ma, as well as other dynamic young soloists and performers from New York’s vibrant music scene, including the JACK Quartet, Talea Ensemble, Derek Bermel and the Enso String Quartet.
A native of Oklahoma City, Roman began playing the cello at the age of three on a quarter-size instrument and gave his first public recital at age ten. Home-schooled until he was 16, he then pursued his musical studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Richard Aaron. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance in 2004, and his Master’s in 2005, as a student of Desmond Hoebig, former principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra. Roman is grateful for the loan of an 1899 cello by Giulio Degani of Venice.Kathleen Hood
A professional musician for over 30 years, cellist Kathleen Hood has been a member of the Long Beach Symphony since 1980. She has performed in a wide variety of contexts, including various professional orchestras, chamber ensembles, and film soundtracks. In addition to her B.A. in music performance from UCLA, she has also has received a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from UCLA in ethnomusicology, and she specializes in music of the Near East. Since 1992, she has played cello in a variety of Arab music ensembles. She is also the founder and director of the Ondine Chamber Ensemble, a group that performs at weddings and other events.Helen Z. Altenbach
Tenured in 2008
(Formerly known as Xiao-Dan Zheng)
Cellist Helen Z. Altenbach grew up in a family of musicians. Her cellist father was her primary teacher until she was accepted to the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory at the age of 12, and later, to Juilliard Pre-College at 14. As a young musician, Helen frequently performed in Avery Fischer Hall, Juilliard Theater, Carnegie Hall (with Itzhak Perlman, as part of the Perlman Music Program), Alice Tully Hall, and many other venues as a soloist and a chamber musician.
Helen’s achievements include winning the Juilliard Pre-College Concerto Competition, Juilliard Honor Strings Competition, Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Young Artist Award, LaGuardia High School for Music, Arts, & Performing Arts Concerto Competition, ASCAP Ira Gershwin Award, and second prize in Corpus Christi Young Artist Competition. Her piano trio at Juilliard was featured on WQXR 93.6 Radio NY with host Robert Sherman and NPR “From the Top” show with host Christopher O’Riley.
In 2001, Helen moved to Los Angeles to study with Ron Leonard at USC’s Thornton School of Music. Shortly after graduation, Helen won the audition for the Long Beach Symphony. She also served as a regular substitute cellist for the San Diego Symphony, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. Between 2009-2012, Helen held a tenured Principal Cello position with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra but eventually moved back to L.A. after winning a permanant position with the L.A. Opera. Helen is now a tenured member of the L.A. Opera Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and the New West Symphony Orchestra.
Her album “Grieg and Prokofiev” with pianist Clara Yang on Albany Records label won the 2014 Global Music Award Silver Medal. She is also part of the recording music industry for motion pictures and television in Hollywood.
Photo by Kat Tuohy Photography