Britt Orchestra Season
Britt Orchestra Principal Winds


Leslie Fagan, Principal Flute

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Currently Assistant Principal Flute with the Omaha Symphony
BACKGROUND/EDUCATION: I did my undergrad at Indiana University. After graduation, I spent 8 months studying with a teacher in England, and then I went on to do my Master's and Doctorate in Flute Performance at Northwestern University.
CAREER INSPIRATION: I have always loved playing the flute since I started in my third grade band. My parents were always very supportive and started me in lessons early on. They also were great about buying me recordings of great flute players and taking me to symphony concerts. I got hooked on classical music and loved listening to it. I think when you develop a love of classical music early on, you want to generate in others the same feeling it inspires in you. That's what motivated me to become a musician.
MUSICAL TASTES: I like all kinds of music from jazz to pop to latin.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: My teachers have had the greatest influence on me as a musician as well as my flute-playing friends and colleagues who I admire.
IF YOU WEREN’T A MUSICIAN: I have always loved reading and writing, so if I weren't a musician, I would love to be a book editor or English lit teacher.
BRITT HISTORY: I have been playing at Britt since 2008.
SOUTHERN OREGON FAVORITES: One of my favorite things to do during my free time at Britt is going for long bike rides with my Britt friends. The countryside is so beautiful in southern Oregon, and it's a great way to enjoy the scenery!
FAVORITE BRITT MEMORY: I have so many great Britt memories-this is a hard one to answer! One of my favorite memories is of a concert we gave a few years ago during a storm. Many people stayed to listen even though they were getting rained on, so Peter Bay invited them onto the stage to sit with us. We performed a couple of movements from Beethoven's Second Symphony with audience members all around us. It was a really special way to make music and share it with the community.

Joseph Salvalaggio, Principal Oboe

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Currently Principal Oboe with the Memphis Symphony
BACKGROUND/EDUCATION: I went to the Interlochen Arts Academy and then McGill University and the University of Toronto, followed by a brief stint at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. I later had the chance through funding from the Canada Council for the Arts to study with Richard Killmer at the Eastman School in Rochester, NY. Recently I launched my own design firm that builds educational concert programming for kids called, Babu Press.
CAREER INSPIRATION: My high school band was going on a trip to Florida and they needed an oboist so I lied to the band teacher (although I know that lying is wrong) and told her I knew how to play. I ended up joining the band and going to Florida. The tan I got on that band trip was incentive enough to continue playing the oboe.
MUSICAL TASTES: I listen mainly to old jazz standards and sort of alternative music.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Richard Dorsey, retired Principal Oboist of the Toronto Symphony. He was my last oboe teacher in college and he showed me that you could be both a brilliant musician and a great person.
IF YOU WEREN’T A MUSICIAN: Not sure really. I could see bringing the obsessive compulsiveness that the oboe requires to many other jobs.
BRITT HISTORY: I always lose track. I think this might be my12th season...?
SOUTHERN OREGON FAVORITES: I hang out with my host family a lot. And the people in the orchestra are so amazing that I try to spend as much time with my good friends there as possible. We have a lot of catching up to do in only three weeks.
FAVORITE BRITT MEMORY: I can't actually give too many details, BUT I do remember one particular incident where I sat on stage before a concert with Principal Flutist, Leslie Fagan and laughed uncontrollably for about 25 minutes. Another standout memory was after we completed the first piece on the first program I ever played here and Anna Hendrickson, Second Oboist with the orchestra turned to me and said simply, "Oh. I think my skirt is on backwards." And since that day she has been one of my all time favourite people.

Andrea Levine, Principal Clarinet

HOMETOWN: Louisville, KY
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:I am currently principal clarinet of the Louisville Orchestra. I have held interim positions with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony and the Akron Symphony. I was also a Fellow at the New World Symphony.
BACKGROUND/EDUCATION: I did my undergraduate degree at the Eastman School of Music, as a student of Kenneth Grant. I did graduate work at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Franklin Cohen. I have also studied with Daniel Gilbert, Lawrence Sobol, Mitchell Estrin, and Yehuda Gilad. CAREER INSPIRATION: My aunt was a musician in the New York Philharmonic for many years. I grew up going to concerts and knew that I wanted to be an orchestral musician even before I knew what a clarinet was.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: I have learned so much from all the teachers with whom I've studied. I would have to say that I probably wouldn't be in this field had it not been for Daniel Gilbert. His constant encouragement and help have made me want to always try to be better.
IF YOU WEREN’T A MUSICIAN: I would probably be a dog trainer or veterinarian. I love animals!
BRITT HISTORY: This is my second year at Britt.
SOUTHERN OREGON FAVORITES: I love being outside here, whether it be jogging, hiking, or walking through town.

Erich Heckscher, Principal Bassoon

HOMETOWN: Bethesda, MD
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Currently with the National Philharmonic and Maryland Symphony Orchestras and the University of Maryland
BACKGROUND/EDUCATION: I've held positions with the Alabama Symphony and Houston Grand Opera, was guest Principal Bassoon with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 2000 and acting Second Bassoon with the National Symphony Orchestra for the 2011/2012 season. I have degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Southern Methodist University.
CAREER INSPIRATION: Being the only kid in school who knew what the bassoon was, the movie Amadeus, and an aversion to academics.
MUSICAL TASTES: Most anything from Hildegard von Bingen to WWII, plus some classic rock, jazz and reggae. But I particularly enjoy the music of Bruckner, Sibelius, Bach, Wagner and Puccini.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: My teachers K. David Van Hoesen and Wilfred Roberts, Klaus Thunemann, Lothar Koch, Luciano Pavarotti, and many other people whose talent I do not possess.
IF YOU WEREN’T A MUSICIAN: If I were six inches shorter, racing Formula 1 cars for Ferrari. If that somehow didn't work out I could see myself in environmental/conservation advocacy or winemaking.
SOUTHERN OREGON FAVORITES: Wine tasting, hiking, rafting and cycling (particularly between wineries), going to the coast and exploring the region.
FAVORITE BRITT MEMORY: The years I spent working with Mahler symphonies with Peter Bay, and performing with Pinchas Zukerman, Marylin Horne, Federica von Stade, Gil Shaham and all my wonderful Britt colleagues. There was also a Brahms Third Symphony played in 96 degree heat, a Mozart Piano Concerto that was rained out and subsequently performed with the audience on stage, and my wife playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. I probably should have put that one first...