The Philadelphia Orchestra Names Priscilla Lee as Associate Principal Cello and Socrates Villegas as Second Clarinet
Angela Bilger named to a one-year appointment as Acting Fourth Horn
(Philadelphia, September 20, 2016)—The Philadelphia Orchestra is pleased to announce that two new players will join the roster beginning with the 2016-17 season: Priscilla Lee as associate principal cello and Socrates Villegas as second clarinet. Additionally, Angela Bilger joins the Orchestra for a one-year appointment as Acting Fourth Horn.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome these new members to The Philadelphia Orchestra,” said Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “They were outstanding among fields of very strong candidates, and I am confident they will be wonderful additions to our artistic family.”
Associate Principal Cello Priscilla Lee is a 2005 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient. She began studying at the age of five and made her solo debut in 1998 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A native of California, she studied with Ronald Leonard at the Colburn School of Performing Arts and in 1998 went on to the Curtis Institute of Music to study with David Soyer. In 2005 she received her Master of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music, where she studied with Timothy Eddy.
Ms. Lee has participated in the festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, Seattle, Delaware, St. Denis (Paris), Kingston, Lexington, and Taos. She was a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two from 2006 to 2009. She was a founding member of Trio Cavatina, a piano trio that won the Grand Prize at the 2009 Naumburg International Competition. The Trio made its debut at the New School and Merkin Hall’s Rising Star Series, along with Boston’s famed Jordan Hall and Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Ms. Lee was the principal cello of both Opera Philadelphia
(2014-16) and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia (2015-16). She resides in Newtown Square, PA, with her husband, Philadelphia Orchestra violist Burchard Tang, and their two daughters.
A native of Mexico, Socrates Villegas previously served as principal clarinet with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, both in Mexico City. He has held clarinet positions with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Toluca (both in Mexico), and the Orchestre de la Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris.
Mr. Villegas obtained his Master of Music degree from Temple University, where he studied with Ricardo Morales, principal clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra; a Cours de perfectionnement from the Versailles Conservatory in France, where he studied with Philippe Cuper, principal clarinet of the Paris Opera; and a Bachelor of Music degree from the National Conservatory in Mexico City.
Mr. Villegas has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras in Mexico, performing the clarinet concertos by Mozart, Copland, and Weber. He participated in the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he studied with Joaquin Valdepeñas, principal clarinet of the Toronto Symphony. Mr. Villegas has won various prizes in clarinet competitions, including the 2008 Young Artist Music Competition (International Clarinet Association), the 15th European Competition and the Lempdes National Clarinet Competition (both in France), Temple University’s Concerto Competition, and the National Clarinet Competition in Mexico, among others.
Mr. Villegas is a Backun clarinet artist and performs on MoBa Cocobolo clarinets.
Angela Bilger is a native of Jacksonville, FL. She began studying piano at age six and horn at age 10. She attended Florida State University and the Juilliard School, where she received her master’s degree. She is currently a member of the adjunct faculties of Drexel and Temple universities. She was also acting fourth horn with the Orchestra during the 2008-09 season.