The Philadelphia Orchestra Association Recognizes Retiring Musicians and Honors Joseph Conyers with 2018 C. Hartman Kuhn Award
(Philadelphia, May 18, 2018)––During last night’s performance in Verizon Hall, The Philadelphia Orchestra Association honored three retiring musicians for their many years of outstanding musicianship, service, and collaborative spirit. The musicians retiring from the Orchestra at the end of the 2017-18 season are Assistant Principal Flute David Cramer, Associate Principal Percussion Anthony Orlando, and Principal Oboe Richard Woodhams. Each retiree has been with the Orchestra for over 30 years and received the traditional Emeritus Key during the ceremony.
Also announced was Assistant Principal Bass Joseph Conyers as the recipient of the annual C. Hartman Kuhn Award. Established in 1941 and named for a charter member of the Board of Directors who served from 1901 to 1933, the Award is given annually to “the member of The Philadelphia Orchestra who has shown ability and enterprise of such character as to enhance the standards and the reputation of the ensemble.” The selection is made by the music director each year. Conyers exemplifies the values of the Award through his tireless work, both on stage and off, in community outreach and education initiatives with The Philadelphia Orchestra as well as his non-profit Project 440. As head of Project 440, he has also played an instrumental role in the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth, a collaborative project funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, in which the Orchestra is a key partner. He serves as conductor of the School District of Philadelphia’s All-City Orchestra and is a guest clinician, mentor, and teacher at numerous summer music festivals and colleges across the country.
About the retiring musicians:
A native of Reading, PA, Anthony Orlando was appointed to The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1972. He previously served as principal percussion and/or timpani with the orchestras of the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and the Lancaster and Trenton symphonies. He began percussion training at age eight and also studied cello from ages nine through 12. He was an associate fellow at the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood in 1968 and earned a bachelor’s degree from the Philadelphia Musical Academy in 1969, where he studied with Michael Bookspan, former principal percussion with The Philadelphia Orchestra. He did post-graduate studies with Fred Hinger, former principal timpani with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Mr. Orlando currently teaches privately and has presented clinics and master classes at many colleges and universities. He was a former faculty member of the University of the Arts and the New School of Music. He is currently a member of the Network for New Music. He enjoys skiing and road cycling and resides in Gloucester City, NJ, with his wife and family.
Richard Woodhams became principal oboe of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1977, succeeding John de Lancie, his teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has appeared as soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and cities throughout the U.S. and Asia. His recordings include Strauss’s Oboe Concerto with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Orchestra and Joan Tower’s Island Prelude with the Tokyo String Quartet. Mr. Woodhams has taught at the Curtis Institute since 1985 and has given master classes at schools worldwide. His former students occupy many prominent playing and teaching positions in the U.S. and abroad. Since 2000 he has taught and played annually at the Aspen Music Festival; he has also participated in the Marlboro and La Jolla music festivals, among others. He began his musical studies in his native Palo Alto, CA, with Raymond Dusté, and started his orchestral career with the St. Louis Symphony at age 19. Mr. Woodhams has given first performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra of solo works by Bach, Bellini, Haydn, Rochberg, Rouse, Tower, and Vaughan Williams. He has also given numerous premieres of chamber works.
About the Kuhn Award recipient:
Joseph Conyers was appointed assistant principal bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010. He has performed with many orchestras as soloist including the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, the Flagstaff Symphony, the Savannah Symphony and Civic orchestras, the Dekalb Symphony, and the Sphinx Symphony. As an orchestral musician, he has performed throughout the United States and Europe. A recipient of numerous awards and honors, he attended the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with both Harold Robinson, principal bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and double bass soloist Edgar Meyer, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Sometimes juggling a studio of over a dozen students, Mr. Conyers is committed to education and community engagement through music. In 2007, he founded the nonprofit Project 440, which aims to expose children and adults to classical music throughout the Savannah region. Broadening on that mission, and acknowledging how the classical music industry must continually evolve with our ever-changing world, Project 440 educates musicians from around the country on how to become active, relevant, and integral pillars within their communities. Mr. Conyers serves on the board of directors of the American String Teachers Association as artist representative, the Board of Overseers for the Curtis Institute of Music, and the National Advisory Board for the Atlanta Music Project.
# # #
Amanda N. Olszewski