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— N E W S - R E L E A S E —

Cleveland Orchestra Announces TWO MUSICIAN APPOINTMENTS:
Stephen Tavani as Assistant Concertmaster and Zhan Shu as a member of the First Violin section beginning in 2018-19 Season


For Release:  April 25, 2018

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst have announced that Stephen Tavani will join the Orchestra as Assistant Concertmaster and Zhan Shu as a member of the First Violin section beginning with the start of the coming Severance Hall season in September 2018. 

The upcoming 2018-19 season marks the beginning of the Orchestra’s Second Century, which extends the dedicated week-to-week work, creativity, and artistry required to continue being one of the world’s best orchestras year after year.

“The Cleveland Orchestra has a very rich tradition of excellence. Joining an orchestra with such an inspiring level of musicianship will challenge me to improve and grow as a musician. It is another step in my pursuit of making music at the highest level,” said Stephen Tavani. “I come from a very musical family, who greatly impacted the way I experience music. I was also blessed to study with some of the greatest violin teachers of our day at every level of my development. Every one of them had a tremendous influence on how I approach and interact with music. They include Ida Kavafian, Arnold Steinhardt, William Preucil, Robert Lipsett, Aaron Rosand, Shirley Givens, and Ronda Cole. The Cleveland Orchestra [also] influenced me early on: the Beethoven Symphonies cycle with Christoph von Dohnányi was my standard when I was growing up.”

“It is truly an honor to join this world-class ensemble,” said Zhan Shu. “For as long as I can remember, my friends and colleagues have raved about the amazing and unique string sound of The Cleveland Orchestra. Its long and rich history, legendary conductors and concertmasters, and artists in every section make this a dream job for me. I am excited and humbled for this opportunity to make music with musicians of this caliber and to sit in William Preucil's violin section (as his recordings with the Cleveland Quartet are legendary).”

About Stephen Tavani

Violinist Stephen Tavani has served as the concertmaster for the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia since 2016 and recently served as guest concertmaster for Jacksonville Symphony and the Louisiana Philharmonic. In the summer of 2016, he participated in his first season of the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival and returned again in 2017. He’s also performed at the Dresden Music Festival, Music From Angel Fire, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Colburn Chamber Music Society, Curtis Recital Series, and with Curtis On Tour and the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble.

As a soloist, he’s performed with Carlos Miguel Prieto and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the National Repertory Orchestra under Andrew Litton, the American Youth Symphony, the Brentwood Westwood Symphony, and others. He’s also served as concertmaster for the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, the Colburn Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra of Americas for a 2015 tour of Canada, the National Repertory Orchestra, the American Youth Symphony and the MasterWorks Festival Orchestra.

Mr. Tavani grew up in Northern Virginia and holds an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Ida Kavafian and Arnold Steinhardt. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, where he studied with Robert Lipsett and Arnold Steinhardt. He is currently completing his studies in the Concertmaster Academy program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he is working with William Preucil, concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra.


About Zhan Shu

Since 2014, violinist Zhan Shu has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Before that he was a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and served as Acting Associate Concertmaster for the 2008-2009 season. He also served as concertmaster of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra and Symphony of Southeast Texas, and guest concertmaster of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in Iowa, Xian Symphony Orchestras in China, and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra in Germany.

Mr. Shu has appeared as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Midland- Odessa Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Indiana University Philharmonic, the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, the Mannes Orchestra and the Hunan Symphony Orchestra in China. He has also participated in the Sarasota Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival and Vietnam Connection Music Festival, and Vietnam Connection Music Festival, and has performed regularly with Present Music in Milwaukee.

A native of China, Shu received his early training from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He holds of Bachelor of Music degree from Mannes College of Music, where he studied with Lucie Robert, and received a Master of Music from the University of Houston under Emanuel Borok. He later became recipient of the Josef Gingold and Jascha Heifetz Scholarships from Indiana University, where he was an Artist Diploma Student under the guidance of Mauricio Fuks and Alexander Kerr.


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