2023 Coltman Competition Judges

Patrice Calixte – Associate Concertmaster, Austin Symphony Orchestra

Beginning the violin at the age of eight, Canadian violinist Patrice Calixte was later admitted into a highly competitive high school music program in Montreal, Quebec. He then went on to study with Claude Richard at Université de Montréal where he obtained his Undergraduate and Master’s degrees in music performance. A very experienced orchestra musician, Patrice has worked with many orchestras in Québec and Ontario, including the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. He was then hired in the first violin section of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra where he stayed for two years.

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Rami El-Farrah – Saxophone Faculty, University of Texas San Antonio

Dr. Rami El-Farrah is a concert saxophonist best known for his work as a soloist and member of the Zenith Quintet, Bel Cuore Quartet, and the Austin Saxophone Ensemble. As an award-winning soloist and chamber musician, Dr. El-Farrah has performed across the United States and throughout Europe. Dr. El-Farrah has been featured on several musical albums, as well as new albums forthcoming with Bel Cuore Quartet and Austin Saxophone Ensemble. In addition to concertizing Dr. El-Farrah teaches saxophone at The University of Texas at San Antonio, where he also leads the university’s saxophone ensemble.

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Stephen Page – Associate Professor of Saxophone, University of Texas at Austin

Described by noted American composer Libby Larsen as “fearless on stage,” saxophonist Stephen Page has garnered international prominence as one of the leading saxophonist’s of today’s younger generation.

Dr. Page has appeared across four continents, in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, and across the United States. He has performed under such notable conductors as Fredrick Fennell, Ray Cramer, Craig Kirchhoff, Gary Hill, Toshiyuki Shimada, Gary Green, Richard Heidel and Akira Mori.

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Troy Peters – Orchestra Director, University of Texas San Antonio; Music Director, Youth Orchestras of San Antonio

Hailed by the San Antonio Current as “consistently brilliant and impossibly cool,” conductor Troy Peters is Director of the UTSA Orchestra at the University of Texas San Antonio and Music Director of YOSA (Youth Orchestras of San Antonio). In 2016, Musical America featured him in their special issue, The MA30 Professionals of the Year: The Innovators. Peters has guest conducted many orchestras, including the Oregon Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and Round Rock Symphony. He was previously Music Director of the Vermont Youth Orchestra and Montpelier Chamber Orchestra, and conducted college orchestras at Texas State University and Middlebury College. Among the summer festivals where he has appeared are Curtis Summerfest, the Kinhaven Music School, and the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and he has led All-State Orchestras in Alabama, Nebraska, and Washington. He has also gained international attention for his orchestral collaborations with rock musicians, including Blind Pilot, Jon Anderson (of the band Yes), and Trey Anastasio (of the band Phish), with whom he recorded two albums on Elektra Records. Working with dozens of San Antonio rock musicians, he created YOSA’s Classic Albums Live series, winner of a 2016 Centropolitan Award from Centro San Antonio and a 2016 Best of the City Award from San Antonio Magazine.

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Gregory Sauer – Professor of Cello, Florida State University

Gregory Sauer performs in many different musical arenas. He has appeared in recital at the Old First Concert Series in San Francisco, the Brightmusic Concert Series in Oklahoma City, at universities such as Vanderbilt and Rice University. Mr. Sauer has performed concertos with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, the Quad City Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Columbus (GA) Symphony, the Tallahassee Symphony, and the Missoula Symphony, among others. His most recent recording on the Albany label is titled Conversa, and features 20th and 21st century Brazilian and North American duos with pianist Heidi Louise Williams.

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Yevgeniy Sharlat – Associate Professor of Composition, University of Texas at Austin

Yevgeniy Sharlat has composed music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo, theater, ballet, mechanical sculptures, animations, and film. His commissions came from such institutions as the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, the Caramoor Festival, The Curtis Institute of Music, Texas Performing Arts, Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Astral Artistic Services, and the Seattle Chamber Players. He has written string quartets for the Amphion, the Aizuri, and the Aeolus Quartets. He was among the composers commissioned by the Kronos Quartet for its “Fifty for the Future” project. His music has been performed by such ensembles as Kremerata Baltica, the Seattle Symphony, Hartford Symphony, NCSA Symphony, Mikkeli City Orchestra (Finland), Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, the NOW Ensemble, and Le Train Bleu.

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Patricia Shih – Associate Professor of  Violin, Baylor University

Patricia Shih is recognized as one of Canada’s preeminent musicians as soloist, educator, and chamber musician. At 14, her mentor Josef Gingold described her as “one of the greatest talents that I have ever taught. Her great technique, inborn musicality, sense of style and virtuosity are unequalled.” Since her Carnegie Hall debut, Patricia has appeared worldwide as guest soloist with all the major orchestras in Canada and with leading orchestras worldwide such as the Royal Philharmonic, Halle Orchestra, Toronto and Seattle Symphonies, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Mexico National Orchestra and the Polish National Radio. Shih has performed in some of the world’s great venues such as the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Wigmore Hall in London, Benaroya Hall in Seattle and the Liszt Akademy Hall in Budapest. As first violinist of the Borealis String Quartet, she has mentored at many universities internationally and has toured extensively worldwide.

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Michael Webster – Professor of Music, Rice University; Artistic Director, Houston Youth Symphony

Michael Webster is Professor of Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and Artistic Director of the Houston Youth Symphony, winner of first or second place in the American Prize and the Foundation for Music Education’s Mark of Excellence over 20 times since 2008. Described by the Boston Globe as “a virtuoso of burgeoning prominence,” he has collaborated with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Tokyo, Cleveland, Muir, Ying, Dover, Chester, and Artaria String Quartets and internationally-known artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Lynn Harrell, and many others. He has been associated with some of North America’s finest festivals, including Marlboro, Santa Fe, Chamber Music West and Northwest, Norfolk, Angel Fire, Steamboat Springs, Sitka, Park City, Skaneateles, Stratford (Ontario), Maui, La Musica di Asola, Victoria (BC), and Domaine Forget (Quebec). As a soloist, he has appeared with many orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra with Aaron Copland and the Boston Pops with John Williams, and was for many years Aaron Copland’s favorite interpreter of his Clarinet Concerto.

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