Judith and William Scheide

William H. Scheide and Judy ScheideBill Scheide believes that each member of the human family deserves a free and enlightened life. Musician, philanthropist and humanitarian, Bill’s life-long support of the arts, education, civil rights, health, and poverty relief programs expresses this belief… more

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under Music Director JoAnn Falletta presents more than 120 Classics, Pops, Rock, Kids and Music for Youth Concerts each year and…


Mark Laycock

Mark LaycockMark Laycock’s continuing musical journey began as a violist, leading to studies with the Curtis String Quartet in Philadelphia. In his final year in conservatory, and as winner of the Leopold Stokowski Memorial Competition he made his conducting début at age 21 with…

Jasmine Choi

Jasmine ChoiJasmine Choi is one of the most celebrated flutists of our generation. She has been critically acclaimed on international stages for her rich tone, technical brilliance, superb musicianship, and for her charismatic stage presence since an early age… more

Judith and William Scheide

Bill Scheide believes that each member of the human family deserves a free and enlightened life. Musician, philanthropist and humanitarian, Bill’s life-long support of the arts, education, civil rights, health, and poverty relief programs expresses this belief.

Born in Philadelphia on January 6, 1914, Bill is the only child of John Hinsdale Scheide and Harriet Hurd. He grew up in a household passionate about music, culture, rare books and the well-being of humanity. His father played the piano, and his mother sang. At age 6, Bill began piano lessons, and his passion for music has not diminished.

A Bach Scholar who majored in history at Princeton (Class of 1936) because there was no music department, he then earned an M.A. in music at Columbia in 1940. He was the first American to be published in the Bach Jahrbuch, a journal of Bach scholarship. In 1946, Bill founded and directed the Bach Aria Group, a vocal and instrumental ensemble that performed and recorded for 34 years.

Renowned for his interest in and collection of rare books, Bill is the owner of the Scheide Library, now housed in Firestone Library at Princeton University, which contains books and manuscripts that he, his grandfather, Willam T. Scheide, and his father, John H. Scheide (Class of 1896) acquired. The Scheide Library holds copies of the first four Bibles ever printed; materials on the invention and history of printing; books and manuscripts on the early voyages to the Americas; and musical manuscripts of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and many others.

Judith Scheide is the president of the Scheide Fund, a philanthropic organization that has touched the lives of people from all walks of life all over the world.

For 17 years she worked at Princeton University, planning and running campaign events and later fundraising for classes. Previously, she was an educator in the Upper Freehold Regional Schools, the Princeton Regional Schools, and the Minneapolis school system. She taught at the Wilmington Montessori School and founded the elementary program there.

She serves on the advisory council for the Democratic National Committee, the Dryden Ensemble, McCarter Theatre, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Center for Theological Inquiry. She has served on numerous other boards and committees, including the American Montessori Society, The Arts Council of Princeton, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and is the past president of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization.

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Judith received her bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Catherine and her master’s degree in English literature from the University of Minnesota.

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under Music Director JoAnn Falletta presents more than 120 Classics, Pops, Rock, Kids and Music for Youth Concerts each year and reaches more than 40,000 K-12 students per year across all eight counties of Western New York.

Since 1940, the orchestra’s permanent home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen with an international reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the United States.

Over the decades, the BPO has matured in stature under the batons of some of the leading stars of the podium. William Steinberg, Josef Krips, Lukas Foss, Michael Tilson Thomas, Maximiano Valdez, Semyon Bychkov and Julius Rudel are among the luminaries who have served as music directors of the Buffalo Philharmonic. Doc Severinsen and Marvin Hamlisch have served as principal pops conductors for the orchestra.

The BPO has a long history of breaking new ground and contributing to the national classical music scene. They made the world premiere recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, “Leningrad” in 1946. In 1964 and 1965, they toured as the Boston Pops under the baton of Arthur Fiedler. Music director and composer Lukas Foss ushered an experimental era at the BPO, culminating in a groundbreaking collaboration with the Grateful Dead in 1970 which saw both band and orchestra stretch themselves, feed off one another’s energy and draw inspiration from each other’s styles. In 1977, the BPO’s music was used in the soundtrack for Woody Allen’s film, “Manhattan.”

1988 saw the BPO’s first European tour, with stops in Vienna, Frankfurt, Geneva, and Milan. The BPO has toured widely across the United States and Canada, including the Florida Friends Tour with JoAnn Falletta in March 2010, the first multi-city tour since the 1988 European tour. In February 2014, the BPO returned to Florida with a six-performance tour, of which the Palm Beach Daily News said: “Rarely has an orchestra sounded so purely beautiful in sound, balance and clarity. Falletta, who has been at the helm of that band for nearly 15 years, has beyond a solid regional presence and, with recordings and tours, turned it into a truly international one.”

The orchestra has made 24 appearances at Carnegie Hall, most recently in 2012 at the Spring For Music festival. Designed to encourage innovation in classical music programming, participation in Spring For Music is extended to only six orchestras in the nation. At Spring For Music, the BPO shattered the record for hometown fan attendance and came close to beating the festival’s overall attendance record. The BPO’s program paired two rarely-performed works by Russian composers, Giya Kancheli’s “Life Without Christmas” and Reinhold Gliere’s Symphony No. 3 “Il’ya Muromets.”

JoAnn Falletta has served as the orchestra’s Music Director since 1999. Falletta is the recipient of many prestigious conducting awards, including the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award, the Stokowski Competition, and the Toscanini, Ditson and Bruno Walter Awards for conducting, and the American Symphony Orchestra League’s John S. Edwards Award. Hailed as a “leading force for the music of our time,” she has been honored with 12 ASCAP awards. The Western New York community has honored her by naming her Buffalo’s most influential community leader, Buffalo and Erie County’s Artist of the Year, inducting her into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, and presenting her with the Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal, the University of Buffalo’s highest award. During her tenure, the BPO has rekindled its distinguished history of radio broadcasts and recordings to become one of America’s most frequently recorded orchestras. The BPO’s concerts can be heard regularly on the nationally-syndicated radio program, Performance Today, carried by more than 200 public radio stations and available online.

The orchestra has released 29 CDs of a highly diverse repertoire on the NAXOS and Beau Fleuve labels. The Philharmonic’s Naxos recording of composer John Corigliano’s “Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan,” featuring soprano Hila Plitmann, won Grammys in two categories of the three for which it was nominated: Classical Vocal Performance and Classical Contemporary Composition.

The orchestra has released six recordings in the past year and a half, all of which garnered positive reviews and strong sales. These recordings include a Tchaikovsky disc, a disc of Duke Ellington's orchestral works, a disc of Gershwin music, the second installment of the BPO's multi-year Marcel Tyberg recording project, and a live CD from the 2014 Florida tour. The highly-anticipated release of Gliere's Symphony No. 3 was released to international acclaim in February 2014. “Listen to this magnificent disc and you will never again be moved to argue, merely, that the Buffalo Philharmonic is a world-class orchestra. What you have on this disc, giving a magnificent performance of one of the great and massive repertory rarities, is the work of a truly great world-class orchestra,” said the Buffalo News of this recording.

For more information, visit www.bpo.org.

Mark Laycock, Conductor

Mark Laycock’s continuing musical journey began as a violist, leading to studies with the Curtis String Quartet in Philadelphia. In his final year in conservatory, and as winner of the Leopold Stokowski Memorial Competition he made his conducting début at age 21 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Since then he has conducted more than 2,000 works with a wide array of orchestras and opera companies in Asia and Europe, as well as in Israel and North and South America.

Maestro Laycock appears regularly with the Wiener KammerOrchester, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Orquesta Naçional de Costa Rica, and the Georges Enescu Philharmonic in Bucharest, among others. This past season he appeared on two different occasions with the English Chamber Orchestra, and made a highly acclaimed return to The Philadelphia Orchestra. His performance with the Wiener KammerOrchester and the Westminster Symphonic Choir of the Beethoven 9th Symphony in January 2015 was taped by PBS for national telecast in its “Great Performances” series, and was recorded by Naxos Records for commercial CD release.

Mark Laycock’s productions with Opera New Jersey included Don Pasquale, The Barber of Seville, and H.M.S. Pinafore, all of which received sparkling response from audiences and critics alike. Additionally, a concert of Mendelssohn’s rarely performed Symphony No. 2 (“Lobgesang”) with the combined forces of Opera New Jersey and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra excited an enthusiastic review in The New York Times.

Mark Laycock was Music Director of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 years, transforming that orchestra from a small chamber orchestra into a full and critically acclaimed professional symphony orchestra awarded Citations of Excellence for two consecutive years from the State Arts Council of New Jersey for “exhibiting the highest standards of artistic excellence.” He was also Associate Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra from 2000-2003, and developed a reputation for stepping in to conduct without rehearsal, including performances of Ein Heldenleben, Carmina Burana, Brahms Symphonies, and a complete production of “Carmen” in Weimar, all to great acclaim.

As a published composer, his “American Fanfare”, written after the tragic events of September 11th, was used as the theme for the city of Columbus, Ohio’s 4th of July celebration last summer. His Flute Concerto for Jasmine Choi, being premiered this evening, will receive its European premiere with the Wiener KammerOrchester in the Vienna Konzerthaus in the 2015-16 season. Mr. Laycock is currently working on a new commission for orchestra, chorus, and soprano, based on the Via Dolorosa. Aside from his musical endeavors, he has recently completed a book of poetry, “After Snow: Selected Poems After Life Began at 50”.

Jasmine Choi, Flute

Praised by the Korea Times as “The goddess of flute”, Jasmine Choi is one of the most celebrated flutists of our generation. She has been critically acclaimed on international stages for her rich tone, technical brilliance, superb musicianship, and charismatic stage presence since an early age. After having served as principal flute of the Vienna Symphony and associate principal flute of the Cincinnati Symphony, Choi has now taken off with a career of a full-time soloist.

Choi is a flutist for whom it can be said that the descriptor “first” is uncommonly apt. She was the first Korean woodwind player to be hired by a major orchestra in the United States, the first Korean musician to join the Vienna Symphony in the orchestra’s storied 112-year history, the first classical musician to attempt the official Pops Recital tour in Korea, and the first Korean featured as a cover story in Flute Talk magazine USA.

Nominated by Symphony magazine as one of "America's Emerging Artists", Jasmine Choi was presented on the "Rising Stars" series in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Recent performance highlights include solo recitals at Wigmore Hall in London, Konzerthaus Schubert Saal in Vienna, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, Seoul Arts Center in Seoul, and has appeared as soloist in the Musikverein Golden Hall in Vienna, Konzerthaus Mozart Saal in Vienna, Dvorak and Smetana Halls in Prague, and Disney Hall in Los Angeles. She has performed as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Juilliard Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Salzburg Mozarteum, Czech Philharmonic Chamber, Seoul Philharmonic, among many others. Choi was invited as soloist for the National Flute Association (NFA)’s 40th anniversary in Las Vegas, and was highly celebrated with her solo performances including the opening gala concert and the closing ceremony, as well as a solo recital and also served as a jury member of their Young Artist Competition.

Born in Seoul and raised in Daejon, South Korea, Jasmine Choi is from a musical family and began her musical studies on the violin and piano at an early age. She began playing the flute at the age of nine, and one year later gave her first public performance with the Chongju Chamber Orchestra in Haydn's Concerto in D Major. Her professional solo career in Korea began at the age of fourteen, and she has been appearing as soloist in Korea numerous times a year. Her live performances and recordings are frequently broadcasted in Korea on national television and radio.

At 16, Jasmine Choi came to the United States when she was accepted to study at the Curtis Institute of Music on a full-scholarship. The legendary Julius Baker has called her "a huge sensation," and she studied with him for four years until his death in 2003. Jasmine Choi holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where she studied with Jeffrey Khaner. Later she had her further studies with Thomas Robertello. Choi was the winner of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Competition, Yamaha Young Performing Artists, Astral Artists, and the Concerto Competition at Juilliard School, which subsequently put her as soloist for the season opening concert of the school’s 100th anniversary under the conductor James DePreist.

Adventurous in expanding the repertoire for flute, Jasmine Choi performs her own arrangements of the violin concertos of Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, as well as numerous violin and cello sonatas. Her arrangements of the Bach’s Double Concerto for two violins and the Monti’s Czardas have been published by the Falls House Press USA. Also active on the contemporary classical music scene, her commissions include works by Korean-American composers Solbong Kim and James Ra, and she frequently performs the works of Isang Yun. More recently, a well-known flutist and composer Gary Schocker dedicated a piece for her called Winter Jasmine, in celebration of Choi’s new 14K gold flute handmade by David Straubinger.

As a recording artist, Choi has recorded four solo CDs with Sony Classical, including the Mozart Flute Concertos, Fantasy: Virtuosic Flute Works, Claude Bolling Suite for Flute and Jazz Trio, and her latest recording of the Mozart Flute Quartets, released in October 2013, played with the principal strings of the Vienna Symphony.

Despite the incredible success in her career, Choi had her low points in life several times. She was only 12 years old when she was brave enough to decide to leave her family in order to study music in Seoul. And had to go through severe stomach disorders driven from extreme homesickness and practicing day and night with malnutrition. Then off to the United States when 16, also was living by herself while enrolled at Curtis Institute of Music. Choi was only 18 when she suffered from a serious depression when she was diagnosed by several doctors that she would not be able to play the flute any longer because of a nerve-related issue on her right hand that she was not able to hold the flute nor such light things as a piece of pencil for 6 months. Choi now speaks of the incidents that it in the end made her stronger, more grateful in playing the flute, her music has gotten enriched in depth, and it is a miracle to be able to play the flute again until today.

Jasmine Choi is one of the musicians who believe in the genre called “music”, rather than separating any smaller: she also enjoys playing jazz, pop, movie tunes, Broadway, and is quick in communicating with fans around the globe through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Seeking to use music as a conduit to both console and inspire her listeners, and to break down the traditional distinctions of genre and audience, Choi enjoys sharing her life and thoughts and communicate directly with fans.