Katie Althen, flute
A provider of “great sinuous magic” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), flutist Katherine (Katie) Lee Althen is an active freelance musician in the NYC area. Recent performance highlights include sharing the stage with Renée Fleming while performing in the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and concerts in Bermuda with the NYC based Frisson Ensemble.
As an orchestral and chamber musician, Katie has been heard in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, the Boston Opera House, Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Broadway Theatre. She serves as principal flute of the Reading, Pennsylvania based Berks Sinfonietta, and has also performed as a frequent substitute musician in the Reading Symphony Orchestra, The Orchestra Now, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, and the Artosphere Festival Orchestra.
Her passion for community outreach was sparked during her teenage years at the Immanuel United Church of Christ in Shillington, Pennsylvania, where she regularly donated her time and musical talent during Sunday services. This drive to serve her community would later bring Katie and Argentine violinist Jeremías Sergiani-Velázquez to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital where the two reached out to the injured runners and bystanders of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. The following year she and her chamber group, Dulce de Trio, presented a series of free concerts and masterclasses at assisted-living facilities and schools throughout Boston as recipients of the prestigious community outreach fellowship at the New England Conservatory. Katie was awarded a Juilliard Community Engagement Grant which enabled her to present a weeklong series of concerts in her hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania during May of 2016; “Duo Pagoda and Friends Concert Series.” Katie, along with fellow Juilliard student and Reading native, violist Linda Numagami, brought their music to several assisted-living facilities without ample or any activity budgets.
A firm believer in sharing her talent and love of music, Katie maintains a private flute studio in NYC where she teaches students of all ages. She has also taught as a substitute teacher at the New York Music School and at the JCC Thurnauer of School of Music, both in Tenafly, NJ.
Apart from sharing her music with her students and concert-goers, Katie also shares her passion for the flute with her 30,000+ followers on her popular Instagram account, @katieflute where she strives to make classical music readily accessible to all. This platform has allowed her to reach audiences around the world as well as act as a mentor to younger musicians.
Katie earned her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School where she studied with the New York Philharmonic’s Robert Langevin. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory, where she studied under international flute soloist, Paula Robison, who describes Katie as a “true, intelligent artist” with “a wonderful sense of humor and awareness of life’s surprises.” Most recently, she spent a year studying with Marina Piccinini at the Peabody Institute in the Graduate Performance Diploma program.
Jacob Shack, viola
Appointed Fourth Chair Viola of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2016, Massachusetts native Jacob Shack earned his Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School as a student of Misha Amory and Heidi Castleman and frequently performed as co-principal of the Juilliard Orchestra. As an undergraduate at Harvard College, Jacob enjoyed playing with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra as principal violist, including on their tours to Cuba and the Middle East. He has toured the world as a chamber and orchestral musician, performing on four continents, most recently in Hong Kong at Bright Sheng’s Intimacy of Creativity Festival and in Colombia at the Medellín International Music Festival. He has performed at several other music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was the recipient of the Maurice Schwarz Prize in 2013. In addition, he was selected to participate in Jaime Laredo’s New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall in both 2010 and 2012. In addition to his dedication to orchestral playing, Jacob has been recognized in solo and chamber music competitions, including the Washington International Competition for Strings and the Stulberg International String Competition. He has collaborated in performance with such world-renowned artists as James Buswell, Steven Doane, James Dunham, Joseph Kalichstein, Robert Levin, and Joseph Silverstein, and has received numerous awards and scholarships from Harvard University, as well as from his alma mater Phillips Academy. In the summer of 2015, Jacob served as the violist of the New Fromm Players, an ensemble-in-residence at the Tanglewood Music Center devoted to contemporary music performance.