Princeton Symphony Orchestra Announces Violin Masterclass with Philippe Graffin

On Saturday, March 18, 2-5 pm, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) BRAVO! Masterclass features violin virtuoso Philippe Graffin. The masterclass is open to the general public, and will be held at Hamilton House on the campus of Westminster Choir College. Attendees will observe four violin students as they are coached on artistry and performance technique. Kathleen Tagg will accompany participants on the piano. The students are Kristy Chen (West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North), Dallas Noble (homeschooled), Joseph Jojo Prentice (Princeton High School), and Demi Fang (Princeton University). The masterclass is presented in partnership with Westminster Conservatory, the community music school of Westminster College of the Arts of Rider University.

Philippe Graffin has established an indisputable reputation for his interpretations of the French repertoire. He has rediscovered original settings of Chausson's Poème and Ravel's Tzigane and championed the forgotten violin concertos of Fauré and the English composer Coleridge-Taylor. As concerto soloist, he has performed with orchestras such as The Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbru?cken the Residentie Orkest, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and Georges Enescu Philharmonic, among others. Mr. Graffin performs works of many living composers and has had works written for him by Rodion Shchedrin, Vytautas Barkaukas, David Matthews, Philippe Hersant, and Yves Prin. He has recently acquired a Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin made in 1863, a copy of Stradivarius' famous "Messiah." In demand as a teacher, Philippe Graffin is a professor at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (CNSM) and at the Brussels Conservatoire Royal.

Student applicants were evaluated by a panel of Princeton Symphony Orchestra musicians. Those selected to participate in the masterclass are:

Kristy Chen, 9th grade, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North

Performance Piece: Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25, Introduction and Movements I, III, and IV, by Pablo de Sarasate

Violin Teacher: Hirono Oka
Kristy currently studies violin with Hirono Oka, a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has been a recipient of numerous violin competition prizes and scholarships, and participates in many music programs including Temple Music Prep, YOCJ, CJMEA, and the Settlement Music School Advanced Study Scholarship Program.

Dallas Noble, 11th grade, homeschooled

Performance Piece: Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47, I. Allegro Moderato by Jean Sibelius

Violin Teacher: Lee Snyder
Dallas is concertmaster of the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra. She also performs in a sonata duo at Westminster Conservatory and a piano trio at Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. A frequent performer in the Princeton area, Dallas will be a featured soloist with the Newtown Chamber Orchestra in April.

Joseph Jojo Prentice, 11th grade, Princeton High School

Performance Piece: Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61, I. Allegro non troppo by Camille Saint-Saëns

Violin Teacher: Peg Banks

Jojo has been playing the violin since he was five years old and piano since he was eight. He has been participating in the Honors Music Program at Westminster Conservatory for five years. The past two summers, he has gone to Interlochen to play in their orchestral program for six weeks.

Demi Fang, Senior, Princeton University

Performance Piece: Poème, Op. 25 by Ernest Chausson

Violin Teacher: Anna Lim

Demi serves as co-concertmaster of Princeton University Orchestra and studies violin with Anna Lim. She studies structural engineering and minors in musical performance. Her accomplishments include international performances (BBC Proms, Kennedy Center, Beijing, Liszt Academy, Mozarteum) as well as participation/awards at YoungArts, NYO-USA, Fischoff, and NPR's From the Top.

The PSO BRAVO! violin masterclass with Philippe Graffin is free and open to the public. Reservations are required via or by phone at (609) 497-0020.

The PSO encourages masterclass participants and attendees to purchase tickets to the Restless Romantics concert, Sunday, March 19, 4 pm at Richardson Auditorium. Philippe Graffin performs Edward Elgar's Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op. 61. Tickets are available at


The Princeton Symphony Orchestra's acclaimed PSO BRAVO! education programs reach more than 10,000 students each year. Meet the Orchestra! establishes PSO musicians in teaching partnerships at more than 30 public, private, and special-needs elementary schools throughout Central New Jersey, and stages full-orchestra performances for elementary school students each spring. At the middle school level, Listen Up! invites students to attend Classical Series concerts and create visual art in response to the music they hear. Advanced high school and college instrumentalists participate in public masterclasses with world-renowned artists. From kindergarten through college, PSO BRAVO! inspires the next generation of musicians and audiences.


The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a cultural centerpiece of the Princeton community and one of New Jersey's finest music organizations, a position established through performances of beloved masterworks, innovative music by living composers, and an extensive network of educational programs offered to area students free of charge. Led by Music Director Rossen Milanov, the PSO presents orchestral, pops, and chamber music programs of the highest artistic quality, supported by lectures and related events that supplement the concert experience. Through PSO BRAVO!, the orchestra produces wide-reaching and impactful education programs in partnership with local schools and arts organizations that culminate in students attending their first live orchestral performance. With considerable community support and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PSO is also a multiple-year recipient of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts' highest honors. The PSO has been recognized for its commitment to new music with an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and a Copland Fund Award. The only independent, professional orchestra to make its home in Princeton, the PSO performs at historic Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University.

Find the PSO online at; on facebook at; on Twitter at and on flickr at

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