Guest Artists

Salt Lake Symphony is committed to keeping Utah music alive by working with local soloists and composers.

> Guest artists from past seasons

Ryan Van Liere

Photo of Ryan Van Liere - Guest Artist Ryan Van Liere began his music studies at the age of 12 while living near Charlotte, North Carolina. He originally played the clarinet and performed with the Gaston County Concert Band as their bass clarinetist. While there, another member of the clarinet section brought in a bassoon to play. Ryan quickly became fascinated with it and right then and there, he decided he wanted to play the bassoon. The bassoon that his junior high school owned was in unplayable condition so in the summer before his 9th grade year, he came to Utah to visit his father who gave him a job demolishing old office space in the Judge Building in downtown Salt Lake and he saved up enough money to buy his very own bassoon.

Complete Biography

The Ballet Student Performing Group from the University of Utah

The Ballet Student Performing Group from the University of Utah consists of student dancers from the University of Utah.

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Sterling Poulson

Photo of Sterling Poulson - Guest Narrator Sterling is the Music Director and Founder of The Choral Arts Society of Utah, conducting as many as six concerts each year with the 120-voice choir. He was appointed Associate Music Director of the Jay Welch Chorale in 1985 and served under Dr. Jay Welch for eleven years. He was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Choral Arts Society of Utah in December 1996. His career includes guest-conducting performances with the Utah Symphony, West Valley Symphony, the New American Symphony, the Sierra Nevada Master Chorale & Orchestra, the Fillmore Regional Chorus & Orchestra, the South Davis Community Choir & Orchestra and the Southern Utah Heritage Choir. He has had several guest conducting appearances with the Utah National Guard’s 23rd Army Band, including a performance of Randall Thompson’s Testament of Freedom in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square.

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Emily Nelson

Photo of Emily Nelson - Guest Artist Emily Nelson's enjoyment of a wide variety of styles has led her down diverse musical paths, from the ars subtilior to Milton Babbitt, Appalachian ballads, jazz, and the second Viennese school.

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Barbara Scowcroft

Photo of Barbara Scowcroft - Guest Conductor Barbara Scowcroft has been a member of the Utah Symphony violin section since 1982. She served as Acting Assistant Concertmaster in the 2008-2009 and 1998-1999 seasons. In 1986, Barbara and Utah Symphony Music Director Joseph Silverstein co-founded the Utah Symphony Side-by-Side with Utah Youth Symphony program.

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John Costa

Photo of John Costa - Guest Artist John Costa received his DMA from The University of Michigan (1994) where he has been a recipient of the Regents Fellowship, The Christine Rinaldo Memorial Scholarship, and The Eugene & Sayde Power Fellowship In The Performing Arts. His teachers have included Fred Lerdahl, Michael Daugherty, George Balch Wilson, William Albright, Eugene Kurtz, and William Bolcom.

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Shenae Anderson

Photo of Shenae Anderson - Guest Artist Shenae Anderson (16) began studying the violin at age three with Deborah Moench.  She has soloed with Utah Symphony in 2008 and 2010 for Salute to Youth.  In December of 2010, she was invited back by Maestro Thierry Fisher to be a guest soloist with the Utah Symphony for its assistant conductor auditions.  Since 2008, she has won numerous competitions, including, Youth Guild, MTNA, and Utah State Fair. Shenae was the winner of Stradivarius International Violin Competition Utah Division in 2013. Summer of 2013, she studied with Robert Lipsett at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. 2014, Shenae auditioned at Curtis Institute of Music and was one of the 13 finalists out of 130 applicants. Shenae will perform with Salt Lake Symphony in April of 2015 with full Beethoven Concerto.

Complete Biography

Michael Huff

Photo of Michael Huff - Guest Artist Dr. Michael Huff was called “a triple threat” by none other than his former boss at Utah State University, Dr. Craig Jessop, owing to his versatility as a conductor, pianist, teacher, arranger, and show producer, and his uncommon comfort with nearly all genres of music – choir, band, orchestra, classical, jazz, and all forms of popular music. His career has followed an unusual arc that can be measured in decades – as Music Director at Lagoon and at theatres throughout Utah during the ‘80’s; in the ‘90’s as an event producer-sales-marketing-director producing college bowl game halftime shows and major festival events all over America; as a freelance conductor-player-producer-arranger and part-time professor at the University of Utah with stops at Westminster College and Weber State University in the ‘00’s; as a full-time professor at Utah State University from 2010 until 2013; and now helping to lead the Music Education-serving non-profit, Legacy Music Alliance (

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Utah Voices

About Utah Voices Utah Voices was created by a handful of dedicated, hard-working people who truly love to sing. It is the culmination of the dreams and united vision of individuals who are passionate about making music. We desire to provide a unique and fulfilling musical opportunity to those who sing with us as well as those for whom we perform. We will strive to ensure that Utah Voices has a lasting position in our community and in the wonderful world of choral singing. In the beautiful words of the talented composer Gerald Finzi, " surely as birds must sing, so long as words exist and man is capable of feeling, there will be song."

Complete Biography