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 Musicians

MaryBeth Schotting

MaryBeth Schotting

Executive Director,

Violin

Violinist, MaryBeth Schotting brings her extensive performing and teaching experience to life at Music With a Twist Summer String Festival.  She believes in the value of motivating and inspiring students through summer camps, knowing these experiences can provide lifelong value for students.  

Ms. Schotting currently teaches violin in the String Preparatory Division at Carnegie Mellon.  She was the Director of the String Preparatory Division from 2000-2016 and has taught music minors and non-major college students since 1998. Ms. Schotting also created the Summer String Workshop, a one week summer program for strings she ran for over twenty years that brought students from all over the greater Pittsburgh area.  Many of Ms. Schotting’s students have received recognition and held principal positions in the youth symphonies of Pittsburgh and placed in different competitions.

Ms. Schotting is a tenured member of the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestras and Concertmaster of the Civic Light Opera. She has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh, and Wheeling Symphony, among others.  She has performed at music festivals around the world including the Sunflower Music Festival, Breckenridge Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, New Hampshire Music Festival, Spoleto Music Festival USA and Italy, and at music festivals in Austria and France.


Ms. Schotting has a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Yale University, and a Performance Residency Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University.  She has played solo and chamber music recitals in New York City, South Carolina with Chamber Music Hilton Head, Tuesday Musical Club in Ohio and for the Steinway Society in PIttsburgh. 

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Johannes Linstead
Guitar

Website:  https://johanneslinstead.com

Johannes Linstead is a Canadian guitarist who fuses virtuoso Spanish-style guitar with Afro-CubanMiddle Eastern, and Latin American percussion and instrumentation. In 2017, Linstead was awarded the "Best World Album of the Year" in the T.I.M.A Awards (Toronto Independent Music Awards). He has/had an influential artist endorsement deal with the Yamaha Corporation of America and an endorsee with D'Addario String Co.. Further accolades include being named "Guitarist of the Year" in the prestigious Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards (2007), two NAR Lifestyle Music Awards, a nomination for a Juno Award and others.

From having over 350 million streams on Pandora Radio, to winning eight “Best Album” awards, to seven top-ten US Billboard charting albums, and winning the “People’s Choice” award in the UK, Johannes Linstead has become recognized internationally as one of the best selling guitarists in the Instrumental, New Age, Jazz and World Music genres.  

Johannes’ 11th studio album, Bohemian Strings has brought together musicians from many diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Greece, Palestine, France, Canada, Australia, Iran, and the Dominican Republic. Emotional ballads and upbeat rumbas with Latin percussion, Middle Eastern violin, and raspy Gypsy vocals add a distinct spice to this very colorful album.  In December 2019, Johannes’ holiday song, Tropical Christmas, became a verified hit on US radio, charting at #1 for two weeks as “Most Added” song on the Top 40 New Music Weekly chart, and #1 “Most Increased” song, putting him ahead of artists like Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, and Justin Bieber.  

Johannes’ songs have been used in some of the most popular TV shows, such as Californication, The Following with Kevin Bacon, Burn Notice, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Pawn Stars,Person of Interest, and others. World champion figure skater Stephane Lambiel used Johannes’ song “Zabuca” as part of his choreography during the Winter Olympics, and recently “Cafe Tropical” was featured in the hugely popular video game Tropical 4 and 5. 

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Alejandro Pinzon

Bandoneon

Website:  http://www.maestrotango.com


Conductor, violinist, bandoneon soloist, and tango specialist, Alejandro Pinzón is an artist with a quest to inspire others through performance and innovative programs. His varied repertoire of activities and projects has taken him around the world since he began studying music in his hometown of Mérida, Yucatán, México. His solo bandoneon performances include appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Soloists, WVU Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra, and the City of Merida Chamber Orchestra for the international MeridaFest. In March 2023 he performs "Four Tangos for Bandoneon and Orchestra" by Astor Piazzolla, and in 2022 he debuted with the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh. He has been featured  by Chamber Music Pittsburgh with the Alejandro Pinzón Quintet. 

 

Mr. Pinzón formed the “Maestro Tango” concept, under which he travels internationally to teach dance workshops and music master classes, conduct concerts, perform with chamber ensembles and orchestras, and to give lectures about tango.“Maestro Tango” has been featured in over a dozen US states, as well as in México, Spain, Greece, and Germany. For information about Mr. Pinzón’s international activities and to learn more about “Maestro Tango,” visit www.maestrotango.com or follow him on Facebook and Instagram @MaestroTango. 
 

In his role as conductor, Mr. Pinzon is the newly appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra. He has conducted symphony orchestras and symphonic bands, chamber orchestras, choirs and opera productions in México, USA, and Argentina.  These engagements include the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra, Morgantown Community Orchestra, Washington Symphony Orchestra, UTEP Music Theater Company, WVU Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Cattaruzzi de Argentina, Xalapa Chamber Orchestra, City of Mérida Chamber Orchestra, Yucatán Opera Company, Coro Latinoamericano Pittsburgh, OvreArts Sinfonia, and others. As the co-founder and co-director of “Camerata 33,” Mr. Pinzón helps promote Latin-American chamber music in the United States.

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Pierce Cook

Orchestra Conductor

Pierce Cook is the proud director of orchestras at Mellon Middle School. Mellon’s orchestra program includes many opportunities for all students to get involved – a Cross-Aged Tutoring Program, a Cello Ensemble, a Chamber Orchestra, a Pops Orchestra, and student-formed and managed small ensembles. Mr. Cook also serves as the conductor for Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras (TRYPO) Symphonette Orchestra and Tutti Strings, where he also serves as a Youth Chamber Coach (YC2) coach and Music Theory instructor for Tryposphere.

 

Additionally, as an educator, Mr. Cook has provided private lessons out of his home studio since 2005. Last spring, Mr. Cook had the honor of collaborating with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for their program “Beethoven In Your Neighborhood: The Library Project,” an interactive presentation of the 16 Beethoven String Quartets in 16 different Carnegie Libraries. As a performer, Mr. Cook serves as the bassist for Gary Racan and the Studio E Band, known nationally for their Warriors Rock concerts and performs with the Civic Light Opera Orchestra.

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Gina Ketter

Viola

Gina Ketter, viola, an active performer in the Pittsburgh area for more than 40 years, has a diverse musical background that ranges from baroque ensembles to contemporary music and rock & roll. She recently retired from teaching strings in the Mt. Lebanon School District after 30 years. She is a graduate of CMU where she received BFA and MFA degrees. Her teachers include Yitzak Schotten, a protégé of William Primrose, and Atar Arad, a former member of the Cleveland String Quartet.

 

Active in electronic string music, she was a founding member of the electrified string quartet EQ, and has performed and recorded with several rock and alternative musical groups. She currently performs pop rock on a 6 string electric 'Viper' violin for weddings and special events. Alternatively, after studying Arabic style violin performance at the Arabic Music Retreat held yearly at Mt. Holyoke College, she decided to create her own ‘east meets west’ ensemble. The King Fez band was created in 2013 performing original music blending middle eastern and western cultures. Other contemporary musical studies have included study at the Ecole D’Art de Fontainbleau in 2000 and 2001. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, NYC and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Ms. Ketter began  studying baroque viola at Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute in the late 1980s and shortly after joined the University of Pittsburgh’s Bach and the Baroque Ensemble. She currently is a member of the Pittsburgh Baroque Ensemble and frequently performs with Chatham Baroque and the Calvary Episcopal Church baroque concerts.

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Jennifer Madge

Violin

Jennifer Madge is an active and sought after violin teacher in the Pittsburgh area. Past positions include adjunct faculty of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, string coach of the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra, Assistant Director of the Greater Pittsburgh Suzuki Institute, and masterclass clinician at the Summer String Workshop. Ms. Madge is the owner and Academy Director of The Pittsburgh Music Academy, Inc. and certified in the Suzuki method.  Her students have held principal positions in all Pittsburgh area youth music programs and many have gone on to successful musical careers of their own. 

 

In addition to teaching, Ms. Madge has an active performing career.  She has performed with orchestras around the Pittsburgh area including the Civic Light Opera, Johnstown Symphony (Associate Concertmaster), the Westmoreland Symphony (Principal Second), the Erie Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and the Wheeling Symphony, as well as numerous summer festivals across the US.  She is a tenured member of the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra for more than 25 seasons, and has served as Acting Principal Second and Acting Assistant Concertmaster. Ms. Madge holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Duquesne University.

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Jeanne Tupper

Cello

Jeanne Tupper is the Middle and High School orchestra teacher in the South Fayette Township School District, where she founded the orchestra program in 2013.  Mrs. Tupper has had an active teaching and freelance career as a cellist, first performing in a chamber trio with her sisters from an early age.  She currently performs with Hot Metal Strings, a highly sought after all-female string ensemble in the Pittsburgh area.  Mrs. Tupper attended Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music for both undergraduate and graduate work, where she studied with Anne Martindale Williams and David Premo, and obtained her teaching certificate.  Mrs. Tupper is a member of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, and serves on the District 1 Executive Board as the String Content Area Representative.  She lives in Bethel Park with her husband, Bob, who is also a music teacher, and their two children, Ben and Bekah.  In addition to her passion for teaching and performing, Mrs. Tupper loves to cook, read, and go sailing on Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park.

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