David Creswell, Principal
– Victor Borge Memorial Chair
David Creswell has been an integral part of the music scene in and around New York City for more than 20 years, with experience that spans nearly every musical style and setting from solo performance to orchestral work and opera, recording studio to the stage, and from classical to contemporary musical traditions. Principal viola of the Greenwich Symphony and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, he plays frequently with the New York Philharmonic, both at Lincoln Center and in other world-class venues in the U.S. and abroad. He is a core member of the Greenwich Chamber Players and has been part of over 30 Broadway productions. He appears on numerous film and television soundtracks, as well as musical collaborations with David Byrne, Rufus Wainwright, Sting, and many others. A dedicated music educator, David maintains an active private teaching studio and collaborates on pedagogical projects for collegiate students at the Juilliard School, including a popular course in eurhythmics that he developed. Furthermore, he is the co-developer and leader of a lecture series that explores the intersections of tuning and mathematics. Finally, David actively writes new arrangements of established chamber works, thereby expanding and diversifying the viola repertoire to match the technical caliber of today’s talented young violists.
Denise Cridge, Assistant Principal
– The Edith and Herbert Lehman Foundation Chair
Denise Cridge is an enthusiastic New York musician. Currently, Denise holds contracts with several orchestras including the Greenwich Symphony and the Canterbury Chorale. Every year she does outreach work for a series called "Sounds Like Fun." She plays with the Masterworks Chorale of New Jersey, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the Bach festival at St. Peter's Church. Since 2007, Denise has played summers with Lake Placid Sinfonietta. Early touring years included living in Lisbon, playing in the Novo Filarmonia Portuguesa and Kammerensemble Koln, a baroque ensemble. Ms. Cridge has toured with New York City Opera National Company, played with The Opera Ensemble of New York, and the Berkshire Opera. She was concertmaster for the national tour of Kiss of the Spiderwoman. More recently, she has been principal violist for the Little Opera Theatre of New York. Denises’ chamber group Quentre plays arranged and commissioned works for mixed ensemble. Her viola/cello duo held a grant from the Fischer Foundation. Euterpe Quartet plays outreach concerts in Queens. One of her earlier quartets appeared on Unsolved Mysteries. A dedicated teacher, Ms. Cridge is the viola teacher at the Allen-Stevenson School, where she has built a mighty class of young, enthusiastic violists. She enjoyed working with Francis Tursi while attending the Hartt School of Music and Raphael Bronstein, at the Manhattan School of Music.
Judith Ablon, a native New Yorker, recently returned to the tri-state area after twenty-six years as a member of the Nashville Symphony viola section. In Nashville she was an active chamber musician, both curating and participating in many recitals. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in violin performance from SUNY Purchase where she was a student of Ruth Waterman, and a Master of Music degree in viola performance from Indiana University as an Associate Instructor with Abraham Skernick. She spent three summers as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she performed as principal violist under Leonard Bernstein and received the Cynthia Busch Award, given to the most outstanding violist. Judith has been a member of the Peninsula Music Festival since 2011 and has spent twenty-five years as a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival. Previously, she was associate principal violist with the Omaha Symphony, principal violist with the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, and an associate member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Naomi Graf performs a wide variety of programs as a chamber musician, recital soloist and orchestral player. Naomi has been a member of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra for over twenty years. She performs regularly in the metropolitan area and was the principal violist for the Connecticut Grand Opera Orchestra. Ms. Graf is on the faculty of Eastern Music Festival, Greensboro, NC. Recordings include The Complete Haydn Masses with the Trinity Choir and Rebel Baroque Orchestra on the Hanssler Classic label. In addition to performing, Naomi is an avid creator of many educational programs including the “Casual Classics” Concert Series in Ithaca, NY, and the “Sound of Strings” Lecture/Demonstration for the Queensborough Community College Residency Program. She coordinated and designed the GSO Educational Outreach Workshop with the Greenwich Alliance in 2017. Naomi is currently the Director of Kol Arts, an innovative arts program at Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, NY. Graf has served on the Board of Music’s Recreation in Ithaca, NY and the New York Viola Society. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Viola Performance from The Juilliard School of Music and her
Master’s of Music Degree from Yale University School of Music. Her principal viola teachers include Lillian Fuchs, Paul Kantor and Donald McInnes.
Ardith Holmgrain has been a member of Greenwich Symphony since 1993, and is a violist of concert and popular music. She has performed in the orchestras of the American Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, New York Pops, Little Orchestra Society, Jacksonville (FL), Memphis (TN), Bridgeport, Ridgefield, and Westchester Philharmonic. She has toured nationally with the Bolshoi Ballet, Luther Vandross, and Andrea Bocelli as well as performed in New York City with Joni Mitchell, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Harry Connick Jr., Sarah Brightman, Petula Clark, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Diana Krall, Mariah Carey, and the musician Meat Loaf. She is a graduate of Mannes College of Music and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and her principal viola teachers include Sol Greitzer, Masao Kawasaki, and Roland Vamos.
Judith Insell has collaborated with such marquee artists as Beyoncé, India.Arie, John Cale, Suzanne Vega, Lee Konitz, Greg Osby, and Miguel Zenon. She has appeared on Saturday Night Live (SNL), Late Night With Stephen Colbert, and has performed in Broadway show orchestras for Les Miserablés (25th Anniversary Edition), An American In Paris, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Gypsy, Ms. Saigon, Tommy, Carousel, and Kiss of the Spider Woman. As an orchestral musician, Insell has performed with the New Jersey Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and National Chorale and Orchestra. As an improvising violist, she is formerly a member for the Solder String Quartet & Sojourner, and is currently a member of the avant-garde jazz collective “Jump Off This Bridge.” An experienced arts educator and administrator, Insell is currently the Artistic Director of the Bronx Arts Ensemble. She previously held the positions of Director of the School for Performing Arts at Bronx House, Director of Music at the Harlem School of the Arts and Assistant Director of Instrumental Studies at Mannes College of Music, The New School. She also served for six years on Manhattan Community Board 9, where she chaired the Youth, Education, Libraries Committee, as well as serving on the Arts & Culture Committee and the Executive Board.
Bernard Klinger is a graduate of Hartt College of Music where he received Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education and Viola Performance. He has a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Columbia University Teachers College. Mr. Klinger taught strings and orchestra in the Chappaqua and White Plains School Districts for 33 years. Upon retirement, he taught strings and orchestra at Holland Hill School in Fairfield, CT for five years. He was principal violist in the Ridgefield Symphony. A past President of the Westchester County School Music Association and a frequent adjudicator for the NY State School Music Association, Mr. Klinger has been the conductor of the Elementary Strings Orchestra since 1997, which is part of the Greater Westchester Youth Orchestras Association.
Liana Laura Mount graduated from The Juilliard School with a DMA and MM. She has been a member of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra since 1985 and appears frequently with orchestras in the Tri-State Area. In addition, she has performed throughout Asia and in Europe with La Sinfonica Galicia. Dr. Mount is currently on the faculty at New School University Mannes Prep and maintains an active teaching studio on Long Island and in New York City.
Saki Uetsuhara, a native of Japan, graduated from the Tokyo College of Music as a student of their prestigious violin department in 2013. Her teachers include Masayuki Kino, Yoshio Unno and Toshiro Yokoyama, and Yuki Hyakutake. An active musician around Tokyo, Ms. Uetsuhara has performed and recorded with artists of all genres, and regularly performs with orchestras in the Metropolitan area in Tokyo. She is a prizewinner of the 12th Chang Jiang International Music Competition in 2009. Since relocating to NY she has played with the New Jersey Symphony, Greenwich Symphony and several musicals on and off Broadway. She pursued graduate studies with Daniel Philips at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College where she is an artist diploma candidate.