Orca Artists














Orca Concert Series Director Sean Osborn has traveled the world as soloist and chamber musician, and during his eleven years with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has also appeared as guest principal clarinet with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the American Symphony Orchestra. The New York Times dubbed him "...an excellent clarinetist," the Boston Globe called him "...a miracle," and Gramophone "...a master." With over forty concertos in his repertoire, Sean has also recorded dozens of CDs for London, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Albany, and others, as well as premiering works by Philip Glass, John Adams, John Corigliano, Chen Yi, and Jennifer Higdon to name a few. He has performed at many festivals including Marlboro, Seattle Chamber Music, Aspen, Zagreb Bienalle, Pacific Rims, and Colorado. Sean has received grants from many organizations, including the NEA and the Aaron Copland Fund. He is also an award-winning composer whose works have been played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and members of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Marlboro Music Festival, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic among others. As an educator, he has presented over 100 master classes around the world, developed many multi-media educational series, and served on the faculty of the University of Washington and the Cornish College of the Arts.
Violinist Jennifer Caine was a first prize winner of the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Competition and recipient of several awards and grants including the Royal College of Music's Isolde Menges Prize for solo Bach. She has concertized throughout the U.S. and Europe in venues including the Phillips Collection, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Glinka Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia. Jennifer is Associate Concertmaster of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, and violinist of the Volta Piano Trio (formerly Icicle Creek Piano Trio), with whom she has performed extensively throughout the Northwest and abroad, been heard on national radio stations, and recorded two discs on the Con Brio label to critical acclaim. She was assistant director and resident violinist at the Icicle Creek Music Center from 2007-2010. Jennifer regularly appears on several Northwest chamber music series, and performs frequently with the Seattle Symphony. She is a graduate of Harvard University with a B.A. in Music and Slavic Languages and Literatures, and holds Masters Degrees from the Royal College of Music (London) and Oxford University.
Pianist Jessica Choe began her musical studies in Seoul, Korea at the age of 3. She made her recital debut at age 7 and since then, has performed throughout the US, Europe and Asia in such halls as The Kennedy Center, Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, Lincoln Center, Barns at Wolf Trap, Salle de Frank Martin and Fondation Bemberg. She has won numerous prizes including the top prize in Korea Daily Times National Competition, Samick Piano Competition, Baldwin Piano Competition, Steinway Society Competition amongst others. She was also the recipient of 2004 Presser Career Development Award. She made her Carnegie Hall Debut in 2003 under the auspices of LaGesse Foundation. As an avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with Philippe Quint, Alexei Lubimov, Joseph Swensen, Eric Jacobsen, Maya Iwabuchi as well as members of Baltimore, Kennedy Center, Philadelphia, Seattle and Boston Symphony. Her upcoming projects include performances with Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra as well as chamber concerts in the Untitled Series, Seattle Symphony Chamber Series, Vashon Chamber Music Series, as well as others in the Pacific Northwest. Jessica is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and The Juilliard School. Her principal teachers include Eleanor Sokoloff, Benjamin Pasternack and Herbert Stessin.
Senior Chief Musician Laura Grantier, from Natchez, MI and Denham Springs, LA, joined the Navy Band in 1995, and is now Principal Clarinet. She earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Alabama in 1993 and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Catholic University of America in December 2012. She was appointed assistant principal clarinet in 2001. Prior to her appointment with the Navy Band she was pursuing a Master of Music at the Eastman School of Music.
Grantier has traveled to Guatemala and Costa Rica to perform recitals and teach masterclasses. She has performed at the Morges Music Festival in Morges, Switzerland, and with the NSO, Rochester Chamber Orchestra, Annapolis, Arlington, McLean, New World, and Tuscaloosa Symphonies. She was principal clarinet of the American-Russian Youth Orchestra in 1995 and was a semi-finalist in the 1992 Ciudad de Dos Hermanas competition in Seville, Spain and the 1996 International Clarinet Association Young Artists Competition in Paris, France. She has appeared as a soloist with the Navy Band, Alabama Symphony, Susquehanna University Wind Ensemble, Alabama Wind Ensemble, CUA Orchestra and was also a featured soloist at the 2013 CMEA conference, the 2012, 2014, and 2016 International Clarinet Association Conference, the 2009 GMEA conference, and the 23rd annual Alabama Honor Band Festival (2007) in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
She founded Navy Band Clarinet Day in 2012, and is the Executive Director of the Harborwinds Clarinet Quartet. Her teachers include Eugene Mondie, Kenneth Grant, and Scott Bridges.
Korean-born Canadian cellist Eric Han made his concerto debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14. Following his debut, he had many engagements with Toronto Sinfonietta, Toronto Chamber Players and Boston’s Symphony by the Sea. As a guest artist and Artist in Residence, Han has participated at various festivals including the Moritzburg Festival, La Jolla SummerFest, Music@Menlo and Sarasota Music Festival, among others. Han studied with David Hetherington at the Glenn Gould School, and holds a Bachelor of Music from the Colburn School of Music under the tutelage of Ronald Leonard. Han is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Peter Wiley and Carter Brey. Han plays on a cello made by Frank Ravatin on generous loan to him by the Maestro Foundation
Professor of Clarinet at Seattle Pacific University, Mary Kantor received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Washington and graduated from the Academy of Music in Vienna with Honors in clarinet performance, class of Rudolf Jettel. As a soloist, she has performed the Mozart Concerto and Richard Strauss' Duet-Concertino with Philharmonia Northwest. She has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, as well as on numerous movie soundtracks. She also coaches both the Seattle Youth Symphony and Cascade Youth Symphony clarinet sections, and appears in Who's Who in America, 59th and 60th editions. Recent projects include concerts with the Sound Ensemble, and a new CD with the Seattle Jewish Chorale entitled The Light of Tradition- Hanukkah in the Northwest.
Juilliard graduate and Fulbright Fellow Rajan Krishnaswami has toured nationally and internationally as recitalist and soloist with orchestra. He has also performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, and Seattle Opera. Chamber music being his first love, in 2005 he founded Simple Measures, an innovative Chamber Music Series in the Puget Sound, WA area. His CD of new music for cello and piano, American Interweave, on the Ambassador label with his long time duo collaborator Mark Salman, includes two works that he commissioned. Equally devoted to the arts of teaching and performing, he is well established as an important learning resource for serious cellists, both student and professional. He has been on the cello faculty of the University of Washington, and Cornish College of the Arts. Mr. Krishnaswami plays on a magnificent and historically important cello by J.B. Guadagnini, the ex-Davidoff, made in 1780.
Kokopelli was formed in 2012 when five musicians from diverse backgrounds decided to explore a classic repertoire that is new to most audiences. From Brahms to the Beatles, Mozart to modern, Kokopelli has music for everyone. Having performed with such diverse ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, Lucerne Festival, Metropolitan Opera, Volta Piano Trio, Pacific Northwest Ballet and other fine groups, these five musicians each bring a special skill set to this quintet.
Video of Kokopelli playing live on KING-FM
German violinist Cordula Merks is Assistant Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony and former Concertmaster of Germany's Essen Philharmonic, Bochum Symphony, and Bergische Symphony. She has served as a guest concertmaster for many orchestras, including the Dresden Philharmonic, West German Radio Orchestra, Cologne Opera and Portuguese National Opera. This last summer she played as part of Claudio Abbado's famous Lucerne Festival Orchestra and toured in Europe as concertmaster of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. When not playing in the orchestra, Merks enjoys playing as a soloist and especially as a chamber musician and has performed in the US, Israel, and all over Europe. She was a prize winner at many competitions, including the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria, and holds degrees from the Amsterdam Conservatory and Northern Illinois University.
Dash Point native Jennifer Nelson is currently Principal Clarinet with the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Auburn Symphony Orchestras. She also has a very active freelance career, including playing Broadway-style shows at the Fifth Avenue and Paramount Theaters, extra with the Seattle Symphony and Opera Orchestras, and recordings for various television, motion picture, and video game scores. She is also Affiliate Artist Faculty in Clarinet at the University of Puget Sound, in addition to having several students in her private studio in Seattle for many years. Ms. Nelson has also traveled throughout the United States with the national touring companies of Phantom of the Opera and New York City Opera. In addition to her stateside concerts, Jennifer's orchestral and recital performances have also taken her to Mexico, Japan, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Honduras, and most recently, India.
Violist Laura Renz is a member of the Pacific Northwest Ballet orchestra, and also performs regularly with the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera. Before moving to Seattle, Ms. Renz has held positions in the San Antonio Symphony, the Austin Symphony, and the IRIS Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Renz is an avid chamber musician, participating in the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, a residency in Lake Wales, FL, and the Focus Festival as a member of the Vaux String Quartet. She has also performed at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival and with Simple Measures, among other groups. Ms. Renz participated in the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and was a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival. She is a graduate, summa cum laude, of the University of Michigan, and the Juilliard School, where she studied with Samuel Rhodes.
Dr. Florie Rothenberg enjoys an active performing career, playing with several Seattle area concert and pit orchestras, including the Auburn Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Tacoma Opera. She has worked in film scoring in Seattle, and has her own CD, Voices of Trees, Modern Works by Women Composers for Clarinet and Piano, available on Origin Classical Records. Splitting her time between performing and teaching, Florie Rothenberg works with clarinetists of all ages and levels, drawing students from around the entire Puget Sound region. She has taught at Central Washington University and the University of Arizona, and is currently on the faculty of the University of Puget Sound Community Music. Dr. Rothenberg earned a D.M.A. from the University of Arizona, a M.M. from the University of Michigan and a B.M. from the University of the Pacific. Her teachers include Jerry Kirkbride, David Shifrin and William Dominik.



Home