Oleg Proskurnya, Co-founder
B.M.A., M.M.A., St. Petersburg Conservatory
D.M.A., University of South Carolina
Dr. Proskurnya earned a Master’s Degree in performance on violin and viola from the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Conservatory. He was the violinist of the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, and served as Associate concertmaster of the Leningrad Chamber Orchestra. In 1988, he immigrated to the USA and served as the principal violinist of the second violin section with the Savannah Symphony Orchestra until 2003.
Dr. Proskurnya studied conducting under Professor Ilia Musin from 1994 to 1999. He assisted Professor Musin at the International Conducting Workshop, St. Petersburg, RF. He also served as the assistant conductor for the Symphony Orchestra of the University of South Carolina, where he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in orchestral conducting. In 1997, Oleg founded the International Academy of Advanced Conducting. In 1998, he again assisted Ilia Musin working with the International Conducting Workshop.
From 1999 to 2001, Proskurnya served as music director of the Sochi Symphony Orchestra, Russia, and since 2002 has served as a guest conductor of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society Symphony Orchestra. He was adjunct professor of Georgia College and State University, guest faculty member at Valdosta State University, and concertmaster of the Central Florida Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Proskurnya has taught master classes in the United States, Italy, Spain, Russian Federation, and Taiwan. He has performed throughout Canada, Greece, Finland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Russian Federation, and the United States as a guest conductor, violist, and violinist.
From 2006 to 2011, Dr. Proskurnya has served as an Assistant Professor of Music and the Director of Orchestras at Beloit College.
In the fall of 2011, Dr. Proskurnya joined the Texas A&M University - Kingsville Department of Music as an Assistant Professor of Music and become the Music Director of the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra.
He had taken classes at Moscow (class by Prof. Gindzburg) and Leningrad Conservatories. In 1975 he graduated from Leningrad State Conservatory named after N. Rimsky-Korsakov (class by Prof. Musin). He was à [assistant] conductor of Saint-Petersburg Philharmony Orchestra for two years. 1976 - 1979 he was the conductor of the state symphony orchestras at Voronez and Ekaterinburg.
From 1979 - 1984 he was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the State Saratov Philharmony orchestra. During the years of 1986 - 1988 he was the conductor of the State Saint-Petersburg Chamber "Saint-Petersburg Opera" musical theatre.
Since 1989 he has been the conductor at Mariinsky Theatre.
He was conducting the orchestras of Saint-Petersburg and Moscow Philharmonies, Moscow State orchestra many times. He has toured through Germany, Scandinavia, Italy, USA, France and Portugal with the company of Mariinsky Theatre and as guest conductor.
During the years 1999 - 2001 at the stage of Mariinsky Theatre and the halls of St Petersburg and Moscow Philharmonies he had conducted concert performances of the operas "Didona and Eney", "Ortheus and Euridica", "Country Honor", "Nabukko" and others.
He staged the performances of"Somnambule" and "Barber of Seville" at Kurasaare Opera festival (Estonia)during the years 2000 - 2001.
He is the Professor of opera and symphony conducting at Saint-Petersburg conservatory.
Sian Edwards graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music, and from 1983-85 was a student of Professor A.I. Musin at the Leningrad Conservatoire and it was during this time, in May 1984, that she won the first Leeds Conductors' Competition. Sian Edwards has worked with many of Britain's leading orchestras including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Hall§ª, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Mozart Players, Scottish Chamber
Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, and made her BBC Prom debut in 1993.
Orchestral engagements abroad have included concerts in the USA with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the National Symphony in Washington, the Atlanta Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony.³T Engagements have also included a nationwide tour
of Australia for the ABC and concerts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the Sydney Festival, concerts with the Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble Modern, the Ensemble Resonanz in Koeln, the Hessische Rundfunk Frankfurt, the Schoenberg Ensemble, an extensive tour with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie (including Berlin, Cologne and Vienna), SWF-Sinfonieorchester, the NDR Hamburg, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the
Rotterdam Philharmonic, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the Duesseldorfer Symphoniker, and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.
Sian Edwards' recording for EMI of Tchaikovsky orchestral music with the
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra received the highest critical acclaim as did further EMI recordings of: Peter and the Wolf, Britten's Young Person's Guide, and Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony, all with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.³T Sian Edwards' acclaimed performance of Judith Weir's Blond Eckbert with English National Opera was recorded and released by Collins Classics.
Scott E. Woodard
Scott E. Woodard was born in Huntington, WV and is the Founding Music Director and Conductor of the Charleston Chamber Orchestra of Charleston, WV and Associate/Cover Conductor of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Dr. Woodard serves as Director of Instrumental Music at West Virginia State University in Institute, WV, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, and teaches the Advanced Conducting Studio. In addition to his conducting duties, Dr. Woodard serves the University as its Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Dr. Woodard conducted by invitation in Vienna, Graz and Salszburg, Austria in November of 2007. His study of conducting has taken him all over the world as a contestant in workshops and competitions. Beginning in 2005, Dr. Woodard began his studies in the methods of the Leningrad School of conduction with students of its originator, Professor Ilya Musin. His primary teachers were Dr. Leonid Korchmar of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory of Music and the Mariinsky Theatre, Dr. Oleg Proskurnya, and Dr. Paul A. Balshaw. In 2005 and 2011, Dr. Woodard conducted orchestras of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society and the Mariinsky Theatre in concerts throughout the former Russian capitol. In 2006, he was named First Prize Winner of the International Conductor's Workshop Competition and served as Guest Conductor of the Macon Symphony Orchestra in Macon, GA. In the summer of 2011, Dr. Woodard was awarded First Prize at the International Academy of Advanced Conducting in St. Petersburg and is now a full faculty member of the Academy. He is currently in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras across the United States.
Dr. Woodard lives in Scott Depot, WV with his wife Nafi, who is a family practice physician, and their son, Gabriel.
Since 2011 Heather Buchman has served as Education and Outreach Conductor for Symphoria in Syracuse, NY. She has developed several innovative and collaborative programs for Symphoria’s Education, Spark, and Casual series. She also appears frequently as conductor and trombonist for the Society for New Music and other organizations.
Heather completed professional studies in conducting at the Juilliard School, earned a M.M. in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan, and a B. Mus. degree in trombone from the Eastman School of Music. More recent studies include workshops in St. Petersburg, Russia, and classes and intensives in ballet and related movement.
Heather’s work in regional arts advocacy, the arts in higher education, and innovative collaborations between arts organizations has been recognized by various arts groups throughout Central New York. She currently serves on the board of CNY Arts.
Heather served as Principal Trombonist of the San Diego Symphony from 1988 to 1997. She won prizes at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany and the New York Philharmonic Young Artists Concerto Competition.
International Academy of Advanced Conducting,
Dr. Oleg Proskurnya