St. Louis Symphony is proud to announce the appointments of new members for the 2014-2015 season: Jonathan Chu, assistant principal viola; Xi Zhang and Chris Tantillo, viola

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Contact: Erika Ebsworth-Goold, 314-286-4433, [email protected]



(ST. LOUIS) The St. Louis Symphony is proud to announce the appointments of new members for the 2014-2015 season:

Jonathan Chu, assistant principal viola.  Jonathan Chu has been a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra viola section since the start of the 2013-2014 season. Distinguished in chamber and orchestral music, he performs on both violin and viola. As a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s viola section, he toured throughout Asia and Europe, and he has performed with many other ensembles including ECCO, the St Louis Symphony and Santa Fe Opera orchestras as a violinist, the Juilliard Orchestra as concertmaster, and the St. Paul and Orpheus chamber orchestras as guest principal. Mr. Chu has performed chamber music with the Musicians from Marlboro and in Caramoor’s “Rising Stars” series. With the Fader Piano Quartet, he was a prizewinner at the Coleman Competition in Pasadena, CA. He is also a founding member of the Io String Quartet. Mr. Chu has attended festivals including Marlboro, Yellow Barn, and Taos, and has recorded with rock band Vampire Weekend as both violinist and violist. Mr. Chu attended Vanderbilt University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of music degree along with a second major in economics, and received his master’s degree at the Juilliard School, where he studied with Robert Mann. He plays on a violin made in 1823 by Nicolas Lupot, a gift from his former teacher Marianne Pashler, and a viola made in 2004 by Hiroshi Iizuka.


Xi Zhang, viola.  Ms. Zhang was born in Hubei province, China.  She has frequently participated in the Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival in Germany, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Tanglewood, Spoleto Music Festival, and New York String Seminar.  Ms. Zhang completed her bachelor degree with Ms. Martha Katz, and her master and graduate diploma with Ms. Kim Kashkashian at New England Conservatory.


Chris Tantillo, viola.  Chris Tantillo, originally from Long Island, NY, began playing the violin at the age of seven. He switched to the viola in high school while attending the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied with David Holland. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Stanley Konopka, and continued his graduate work there as a student of Robert Vernon.  After school, Chris was invited to join the New World Symphony, in Miami Beach, FL, under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas. The following year he spent playing with the San Diego Symphony and, since 2006, has been playing with the St. Louis Symphony.  He has spent past summers as a member of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, CO, at the Aspen Music Festival and school, as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he received the viola award for excellence in performance, and most recently playing with the Colorado Music Festival. An avid chamber musician and teacher, Chris performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, and maintains a private teaching studio.


Founded in 1880 and now in its 134th season, the St. Louis Symphony is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and widely considered one of the world’s finest. In September 2005, internationally acclaimed conductor David Robertson became the 12th Music Director, the second American-born conductor to hold that post in the Orchestra’s history.  The St. Louis Symphony strives for artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility and community connection while meeting its mission statement:  enriching people’s live through the power of music. The Symphony presents a full season of classical programs and Live at Powell Hall concerts, as well as hundreds of free education and community programs each year.

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