Orchestra Bios


Eva Gruesser

Eva GruesserEva Gruesser was appointed to the Roger Sessions chair of concertmaster of American Composers Orchestra in 2000. She has performed throughout North America, Europe and Australia as soloist, chamber musician and concertmaster. As first violinist of the Lark Quartet from 1988 to 1996 Eva Gruesser performed on many occasions at Lincoln Center and Weill Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center and Corcoran gallery in Washington DC. With the Lark Quartet she won the Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1991 and the Gold Medal at the 1991 Shostakovich International String Quartet Competition in St. Petersburg in 1991. Following the Shostakovich Competition Ms. Gruesser was invited with the quartet by Gidon Kremer to play at the Lockenhaus Festival in Austria. With the quartet she also performed at the Sviatoslav Richter Festival at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Schleswig-Holstein and San Miguel de Allende festivals. She has performed as guest concertmaster with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and was a member of the Da Capo Chamber Players from 1997 until 2001. Eva Gruesser has collaborated on commissions with composers Aaron Jay Kernis, Libby Larsen, Penka Kouneva and Jon Deak. Recently she performed with Lukas Foss at Weill Hall in his 3 American pieces for violin and piano, recorded Martin Bresnick’s “Bird as Prophet” for violin and piano and Trio for violin, clarinet and piano and participated in a performance at the Kennedy Center honoring the compositions of Joan Tower. Eva Gruesser is a regular guest at many summer chamber music festivals including the Klangfrühling Schaining where she collaborates with acclaimed Austian piano duo pianists Eduard and Johannes Kutrowatz, the Moab Music Festival in Utah, the Kowmung Music Festival in Australia and Monadnock Music in New Hampshire. Ms. Gruesser has recorded with Decca/Argo, Arabesque and New World Records. She played in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for 2 years, performed as soloist with the BBC Scottish Orchestra and was a founding member of the Ensemble Modern in Germany. She studied with Wolfgang Marschner, Ilona Feher, Ramy Shevelov and Zinaida Gilels and graduated summa cum laude from the Freiburg Hochschule für Music. Eva Gruesser is also a graduate of the Hannover Hochschule für Music and the Juilliard School.

Diva Goodfriend-Koven

Diva Goodfriend-Koven has performed on both flute and piccolo with all of the major orchestras and chamber orchestras in the New York City area. She is active as a teacher and also plays in The Locrian Ensemble (the mission of the group is to perform music that is no older than 10 years). She has been a member of American Composers Orchestra since 1981 which is also when she became a regular Associate musician with the MET Orchestra. Besides membership in both the American Symphony and American Ballet Theater, she has attended and performed at the Bard Music Festival since its inception in 1989. She has been seen on Live From Lincoln Center performing with the NY Philharmonic,and has recorded extensively with Orpheus, ACO, The MET Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and also on numerous commercial films and sound-tracks.


Joseph Schor

Violinist Joseph Schor is currently principal second violin of American Composers Orchestra, and first violinist of the Bennington String Quartet. Joe is also a faculty member of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East, having served previously as its musical director. He has performed as a member of the Franklin, Tonart, and Silvermine String Quartets, and at Marlboro Chamber music. Joe was formerly concertmaster of the Denver and New York Opera Orchestras, and served as principal second violin of the Festival Casals Orchestra during its many years in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and for many years, was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. Joe has taught at Iowa University, Bennington College, Middlebury College, Windham College, Hartt College, and Peabody Conservatory, and is an original member of ACO.


John Lad

John LadViolist John Lad has performed in every ACO regular season concert since 1980. He received his early musical training at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a violin student of Fred Rosenburg, and later studied with Bonnie Hampton at Stanford and John Graham at Stonybrook. He has been active as a freelance orchestral and chamber musician in New York since the mid-70s, and has been especially involved in contemporary music. As a longtime member of the Michael Gordon Philharmonic he toured often in Europe and played many times at the Bang-on-a-Can marathon concerts in New York.

Since 1975 Lad has been an avid student of taijiquan, a Chinese traditional health and meditation art. He practices the classic Yang style form as taught by Professor Cheng Man-ch’ing, and has studied under Cheng’s senior students including Benjamin Lo, Maggie Newman and Tam Gibbs. In recent years he has also taught taiji, written articles on the subject and served on the editorial board of Taijiquan Journal.

In 1997 he became involved in a project that combines his interests in taijiquan and music when he collaborated with the St. Lawrence String Quartet in developing the performance of the Sixth String Quartet by R. Murray Schafer. Entitled Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane, the piece calls for the music to be accompanied by the execution of the 108 postures of the Yang style form in a precisely coordinated way. Performances have been given at the Theatre de la Ville in Paris and several other venues in the United States and Canada.

John Lad received a Ph.D. degree in philosophy from Stanford University in 1973, and for more than 25 years has taught undergraduate philosophy courses at Barnard College.


Maxine Neuman

Maxine NeumanCellist Maxine Neuman’s solo and chamber music career spans North America, South America, Europe and Japan. A grant recipient from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts and a two-time Grammy Award winner, her biography appears in “Who’s Who in the World.” She is a founding member of the Claremont Duo, the Crescent String Quartet, the Vermont Cello Quartet, Breve, and the Walden Trio, groups with which she has traveled and recorded extensively.

Her long list of recording credits includes Deutsche Grammophon, Columbia, Angel, EMI, Nonesuch, Biddulph, CRI, Orion, Leonarda, Argo, Opus One, SONY/Virgin, AMC, Thorofon, Vanguard, Musical Heritage, Albany, Northeastern and CBS World Records.

She has appeared as soloist before a sold-out audience in New York’s Town Hall in the American premiere of Giovanni Battista Viotti’s only cello concerto, and for Austrophon, she recorded Schumann Cello Concerto in Count Esterhazy’s historic palace in Austria. She can also be heard in such diverse settings as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the films of Jim Jarmusch, and with the rock band Metallica. She has expanded the repertoire for multiple celli and cello and guitar by arranging and transcribing works from every period.

Distinguished as a teacher as well as performer, Ms. Neuman has served as a judge for numerous international competitions. On the faculty at the New York’s School for Strings, she has taught at Bennington College, Williams College and C.W. Post University. Her cello is a J.B.Guadagnini, dating from 1772.


John Moses

John MosesJohn Moses is one of New York City’s leading free-lance clarinetists. Having performed with virtually every musical group in the area, he is currently the first clarinetist with: American Composers Orchestra, The New York Pops, The Little Orchestra Society, and The Westchester Philharmonic.

He has performed regularly with: The New York Philharmonic, The New York City Opera, The St. Louis Symphony, The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and The Royal Philharmonic of London. Mr. Moses has been involved with many Broadway shows including: the new 2002 Oklahoma!,Titanic, Nine, Into The Woods, Crazy for You, Jerome Robbins Broadway, and Sweeney Todd. He has also been featured on over 150 film scores including:You’ve Got Mail, Analyze This, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. He has also appeared on: The David Letterman Show, Good Morning America, Ainsley Harriott and The Rosie O’Donnell Show. A graduate of Juilliard, he is currently on the faculty at Brooklyn and Queens College, and has lectured at Yale, Curtis, Eastman, Mannes, and The Manhattan School of Music. His recordings include works with many solo artists: Marilyn Horne to Celine Dion, Placido Domingo to Mandy Patinkin, Wynton Marsalis to Judy Collins, as featured on RCA, Angel, Elektra, CRI, Varese Sarabande, BMG, and Columbia.


Roberta Cooper

Cellist Roberta Cooper was a winner of the Artists International Competition, which sponsored her debut in Weill Hall. She received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Lorne Munroe and Harvey Shapiro. Ms. Cooper was a founding member of the Wave Hill Trio, in residence at Wave Hill (the Toscanini estate in Riverdale, New York). The trio also performed in Boston, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, and toured the Far East. Ms. Cooper has performed with the Sea Cliff Chamber Players, and has been a frequent guest artist with the New Jersey Chamber Music Society and the Emerson String Quartet. She was a featured soloist at Merkin Hall’s centenary celebration of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Ms.Cooper appears regularly with the Berkshire Bach Society with harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper. She has performed chamber music at the Aspen, Bard, Cape and Islands, Crested Butte, St.Bart’s, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Kneisel Hall, Mohawk Trail, Montreal, Maverick, Rockport,Skaneateles and Casals Festivals . Ms.Cooper is scheduled to record as solo continuo performer on Vox Records this fall.


Michael Roth

Michael RothViolinist Michael Roth is a native of Scarsdale, NY and received his early musical training with Frances Magnes at the Hoff-Barthelson Music School. He attended Oberlin College and Conservatory, continuing his studies with Marilyn McDonald. At Oberlin, he won the Kaufman Prize for violin and First Prize in the Ohio String Teacher’s Association Competition. He completed his Master of Music degree at the University of Massachusetts where he worked with the distinguished American violinist and pedagogue Charles Treger and was a recipient of the Julian Olevsky Award. Mr. Roth is currently a member of American Composers Orchestra, the New York Chamber Symphony, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the EOS Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Orchestra of the American Ballet Theatre, and is associate concertmaster of the Westchester Philharmonic and Principal 2nd violin of the New York Pops. He has been concertmaster of the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra for many years and has often appeared as soloist there, as well as at the Caramoor and Bard Music Festivals. He plays with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the New York Chamber Soloists and tours with both groups nationally and internationally. As a chamber musician, Mr. Roth has collaborated with artists such as Eugene Drucker, Menahem Pressler, Steven Doane, Hamao Fujiwara and members of the Brentano, Manhattan and Ying Quartets, and recently presented a recital of
contemporary Cuban solo violin and chamber music in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall under the auspices of American Composers Orchestra. Mr. Roth has recorded for the Sony, Angel, Telarc, Decca, BMG, Point Music, ESSA.Y. and Arbors Music labels.


Raymond Mase

Trumpeter Raymond Mase enjoys a diverse career as soloist, chamber artist, orchestral player, and teacher. As a member of the American Brass Quintet since 1973, he has performed worldwide, premiered countless new works for brass, and has appeared with the quintet on over twenty-five recordings. He has contributed his own editions of 16th, 17th, and 19th century brass music on many of the ABQ recordings and was instrumental in the group’s recordings using 19th century instruments. He is also a founding member of the New York Cornet and Sacbut Ensemble and the Summit Brass.
As soloist, he has appeared with American Composers Orchestra, Boston Pops, Moscow Soloists, Naumberg Orchestra, New York Virtuosi, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Summit Brass, at the Bethlehem Bach and Aspen Music Festivals, and with numerous regional orchestras throughout the U.S. In 1994, he premiered David Sampson’s Triptych(written for Mase) with American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and recorded the work for Summit Records in 1998. Henri Lazarof’s Summit Concertante, also written for him, was premiered with the Summit Brass in 1996 and recorded in June of 1997. He is also soloist on recordings by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Summit Brass, the contemporary music group Parnassus, and on two solo compact discs entitled Trumpet in our Time and Trumpet Vocalise. As recitalist, he has been heard nationally with the popular trumpet and organ duoToccatas & Flourishes .

Mr. Mase serves as co-principal trumpeter of the New York City Ballet
Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Westchester Philharmonic, and has performed and recorded with many New York based ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum Musicae, Orpheus and Musica Sacra. He is Chairman of the Brass Department at The Juilliard School, on the faculty of the Aspen Music School, and has served on the faculties of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Manhattan School of Music. He can be heard on over 100 recordings and as soloist on the Deutsche Grammophon, Summit, Koch, Cambria and MHS labels.


Patrick McCarty

Patrick McCartyBME Baldwin Wallace College, 1973; trombone/bass trombone studies with M. Dee Stewart, Allen Kofsky, and Edwin Anderson; graduate studies in library and information science at Case Western and Kent State Universities.

Pat regularly performed with Cleveland’s Hanna, Palace, and Front Row theatre orchestras, accompanying such musicians/entertainers as Tony Bennett, Burt Bacharach, Michel Legrand, Henry Mancini, and Bernadette Peters; participated in innumerable jingle and record session dates, and performed with Canton Symphony and Ohio Chamber Orchestra. Relocated to New York in 1982, Pat subbed Broadway pit orchestras and played in a myriad of rock and roll bands and in the latin music network, and performed and recorded with downtown composers Rhys Chatham, Petr Kotik, Ben Neill, and La Monte Young.

His professional endeavors have evolved into the quieter aspects of music, working in the performance libraries of major music publishers, Carl Fischer and C.F. Peters, and as copyist for such composers as Henry Brant, Lukas Foss, Ulysses Kay, and Elie Siegmeister, and as librarian to American Composers Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic and Opera Orchestra of New York.

When not pursuing his profession, Pat enjoys the company of two cats, Bob and Dessie. He is an avid bicyclist, gardener and kite flyer.


Lauren Goldstein Stubbs

Lauren Goldstein StubbsLauren Goldstein Stubbs is currently Principal Bassoon with the Opera Orchestra of New York, Riverside Symphony and PDQ Bach orchestra. She is the Contra Bassoon player in American Composers Orchesta since its inception, as well as with the Westchester Philharmonic. A member of the American Ballet Theatre, Parnassus, League-ISCM chamber players and Principal bassoon with the San Fransisco Ballet New York season orchestra. Lauren has also performed with the N.Y. Philharmonic and New Jersey Symphony. She has been a chamber music coach and performer at the Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East since 1982 to the present. Lauren has recorded for: CBS,Columbia, CRI, Telarc, Vanguard and Musical Heritage Society. She lives in Teaneck, N.J. with her husband and two children.


Raymond Stewart

Raymond StewartRaymond Stewart is principal tuba of American Composers Orchestra and a co-founding member of the internationally acclaimed Meridian Arts Ensemble in New York City. He is also Assistant Professor of Music at SUNY Fredonia College where he teaches the tuba studio and lectures in World Music. He received his high school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy, BM from the University of Miami School of Music, and MM from the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Stewart has performed and/or recorded with numerous diverse musical entities including the New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, American Ballet Theatre, Broadway (State Fair, Candide), the off-Broadway hit Juan Darien, movie soundtracks (Sphere, Two Family House), TV jingle ads, the Walt Disney World Company, DURAN DURAN, and has appeared at countless international music festivals in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. At the age of 19, he was the featured solo sousaphonist in the international touring company of the Broadway musical Barnum. Mr. Stewart can be heard on the Channel Classics, CRI, Argo, and Knitting Factory Works labels, among others. His principal teachers have included Toby Hanks and John Stevens.



Susan Jolles

Susan JollesSusan Jolles is one of the foremost harpists in the United States. A founding member of the Naumburg Award winning Jubal Trio, she is presently solo and principal harpist with American Composers Orchestra, the Little Orchestra Society, Musica Viva, and the Queens Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she is an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and appears with daughter, Renee, violinist, in the Jolles Duo.

Ms. Jolles is a frequent guest artist with such groups as the Groups for Contemporary Music, ISCM, the New York Concert Singers, and the Mohawk trail Concerts. She was also harpist for many prestigious organizations no longer active, among them The Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, The Groups for Contemporary Music, Music Today, and the Juilliard Ensemble under Luciano Berio and the New York Chamber Symphony.

Susan Jolles is represented by an impressive discography. Three albums of French music with oboist Humbert Lucarelli are heard almost daily on radio stations from coast to coast. Her recording of Henze’s “Carillon, Recitatif, Masque” is used by the composer to showcase his compositions. Ms. Jolles has performed on two albums that received Grammy Awards: “Ancient Voices of Children” (Contemporary Chamber Ensemble) and Dawn Upshaw’s first album with the Orchestra of St. Lukes. Her recordings with the Jubal trio stand as a rich archival source for emerging composers and performers.

Susan Jolles’ diversity as a musician is exemplified by her collaboration with Klezmer artist Giora Feidman. Together they performed at many venues including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. Many of the pieces from their repertory were recorded for two albums. She was honored to be part of a documentary about Mr. Feidman produced by a Hamburg Germany television station.

Since receiving a Fromm Fellowship in the performance of twentieth century music in 1963, Ms. Jolles has been recognized as a gifted interpreter of contemporary music. Such composers as Elliott Carter, Lucian Berio, George Crumb, and Charles Wuorinen have chosen her to present their works.

Susan Jolles is on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes College of Music. Ms. Jolles has arranged many compositions for harp, several of which are published by the International Music Company and Lyra Music. She maintains a studio with her husband, composers Jerome Jolles, in Forest Hills, NY.


James Stubbs

James StubbsTrumpeter James Stubbs is currently principal trumpet of the American Ballet Theatre, American Composers Orchestra (co-principal), Brooklyn Philharmonic, Opera orchestra of New York, and San Francisco Ballet (City Center seasons). He is an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera, and has performed with PDQ Bach and the New York City Opera. Mr. Stubbs has recordings on Recordings with Columbia, CRI, Deutsche Grammophon, Music and Arts, Kultur, RCA, Telarc, Vanguard, and Vox. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Trumpet at the College of New Jersey, Trenton, New Jersey, and Orchestra Personnel Manager for American Ballet Theatre, Opera Orchestra of New York, and the San Francisco Ballet City Center Season. James Stubbs lives in Teaneck, NJ, with his wife and two children.

Linda Moss

Linda Moss graduated with a Masters Degree from the Manhattan School of Music where she was a student of Lillian Fuchs. She has participated in the Marlboro, Aspen, Tanglewood and Santa Fe festivals and spent two seasons as Assistant Principal Violist with the St. Louis Symphony.

Currently Ms. Moss performs with American Composers Orchestra, the Westchester Philharmonic, the New York Pops, the American Ballet Theater Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and various ensembles in the New York area. She has been guest artist with the Atlantic String Quartet, the American String Quartet, the Da Capo Chamber Players and the Orion String Quartet.


Stephen Hart

Stephen HartUpon graduation from Ithaca College with a Bachelor’s degree in music, clarinetist Stephen Hart found himself in heavy combat in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division where he received a presidential citation. Upon returning in one piece from the war, he taught instrumental music in southern New Jersey for 2 years and then entered the 2-year graduate program at The Juilliard School where he was a student of the late Leon Russianoff. Since then, Mr. Hart has freelanced in New York and besides being a regular member of ACO, he had performed for many years with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He can be heard on the Met’s recordings of Gotterdammerung and Ewartung. Mr. Hart has played with many NY freelance orchestras including the Westchester Philharmonic, Orpheus, Little Orchestra Society, NY Pops and the Orchestra of St. Lukes, to name a few. He has also performed in several Broadway productions such as: Sweeny Todd, La Cage aux Folles, Evita, Zorba, Man of La Mancha, Music Man, and Les Miserables. Mr. Hart was a teaching assistant to Leon Russianoff for many years and teaches clarinet and saxophone privately out of his home in New Jersey.

Robert Biddlecome

Robert BiddlecomeRobert Biddlecome, bass trombonist, is a founding member of American Composers Orchestra, having been invited to join the orchestra at its inception in 1977. He has been one of the city’s most active performers since returning to New York after serving as a trombonist and solo euphonium player with the United States Army Band in Washington, DC. He has been bass trombonist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra since 1963 and was bass trombonist of the American Symphony Orchestra (Stokowski) for 20 years and the Aspen Festival Orchestra in Aspen, CO, from 1970 to 1999. Other orchestras he was called to perform with include the NY Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the NY City Opera Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Also much in demand as a chamber music performer, Mr. Biddlecome was bass trombonist of the American Brass Quintet for twenty-eight years. He also performed regularly with the Group for Contemporary Music at Columbia University, the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and the Aspen Contemporary Concerts. He has participated in innumerable first performances and can be heard on numerous recordings with almost all of these orchestras and ensembles.

Mr. Biddlecome is executive director of the American Brass Chamber Music Association, a former director of Chamber Music America and former president of the American Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the Aspen Music Festival administration for more than twenty years, holding various positions, Associate Dean, Associate General Manager and was the Festival Orchestra manager for almost 30 years. He has served on the faculty of Brooklyn College Conservatory, the Mannes School of Music and the Juilliard School.

Born in Somerville, New Jersey, Mr. Biddlecome began piano studies at an early age but was sought after by the school instrumental instructor, Claude Shappelle, to study, first euphonium, then trombone. After high school graduation, he decided to continue his trombone studies with Simone Mantia who encouraged him to apply for Juilliard, where he auditioned and was awarded a scholarship to study with Roger Smith. He continued and earned both a bachelors and a master degree from Juilliard.


Neil Balm

Neil Balm is principal trumpet of the Mostly Mozart Festival, the New York Pops, the New York Chamber Symphony, is a member of the New York City Ballet and American Composers Orchestras, and is lead trumpet in the hit Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast giving over 400 performances a year. From 1989-91 Mr. Balm was the principal trumpet of the Canadian Opera Company. He toured with Peter Frampton’s rock band in the late ‘70’s and toured and recorded with famed drummer Louis Bellson.

He made his solo debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. performing the Leopold Mozart Trumpet Concerto and appeared as a soloist on the PBS Live from Lincoln Center series performing the Stölzel Trumpet Concerto. Mr. Balm has performed Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto over one hundred times, with artists such as Trevor Pinnock, Gerard Schwarz, and Nicholas McGegan and with the New York Chamber Symphony, Seattle Symphony, New York Chamber Soloists, New York Virtuosi and many others in dozens of cities across the U.S. He was a founding member and subsequently co-director of the Music Today contemporary music ensemble with percussionist Jonathan Haas. He gave the New York premiere of Ellen Zwilich’s Concerto for Trumpet and gave a recital at Merkin Concert Hall of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s music.

Mr. Balm made several recordings while he was a member of and arranger for the New York Trumpet Ensemble and has recorded with the Canadian Brass (two performing and one as an arranger). He recorded an album of the music of Kurt Weill with Teresa Stratas, Handel’s Let the Bright Seraphim with Arlene Auger and Harolyn Blackwell’s album, A Simple Song. He has also recorded Aaron Coplands Quiet City with the New York Chamber Symphony and Gerard Schwarz and is featured on the award winning recording of Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Eos Ensemble. Neil Balm attended the Juilliard School, where he received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees.