David Cubek, Conductor

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DAVID CUBEK has been the director of the Claremont Concert Orchestraof Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges since 2010. He also serves as Assistant Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony, Conductor of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra Philharmonic, and Conductor of new music ensemble Fonema Consort. In addition to being passionate about conducting and teaching, he is a firm believer in the power of music to foster social change. Mr. Cubek has conducted various ensembles from Venezuela’s admired music education program known as “El Sistema,” including the internationally recognized Teresa Carreño and Simón Bolívar symphony orchestras. He has collaborated with El Sistema inspired programs in the United States such as Youth Orchestra of LA (YOLA), a program committed to providing intensive music training to underserved neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area. 

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Mr. Cubek began private piano and composition lessons at the age of 7 before entering the Simón Bolívar Conservatory. In 1999, he moved to Montreal to continue his music education, studying piano and music theory at McGill University and orchestral conducting at the Conservatory of Montreal. At the latter institution, he was awarded First Prize with Great Distinction in orchestral conducting. Mr. Cubek completed his doctoral studies in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University, where he served as assistant and guest conductor of the opera program, and the Chamber and Symphony Orchestras. He was music director of the University of Chicago Chamber Orchestra and a lecturer in music theory at both Northwestern and McGill. In addition, Mr. Cubek has led ensembles in Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Italy, Mexico, and Ukraine.

A recipient of Scripps College’s Mary W. Johnson Award for excellence in teaching, Mr. Cubek is an enthusiastic advocate of new music. At the Claremont Colleges, he regularly teaches classes based on 20th- and 21st-century repertoires. As conductor of Fonema Consort, he sustains an active international concert schedule focused on premiering new compositions.

Aimée Kreston, Executive Director

A native of Chicago, violinist Aimée Kreston spent her formative years studying with with renowned pedagogue Almita Vamos. Ms. Kreston holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota. After completing her degrees, Kreston continued her studies with the legendary concertmaster Michel Schwalbe.

In 1989 Ms. Kreston became the youngest member of the Minnesota Orchestra and a year later won the post of Principal Second Violin in that ensemble. From 1993 to 1997 she served as Concertmaster of L’Orchestre de Paris, the only American in that ensemble. She has been privileged to perform, as concertmaster, with some of the worlds greatest conductors including Christoph Eschenbach, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Carlo Maria Giullini, Sir Gorge Solti, and Pierre Boulez.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1998, Ms. Kreston joined the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra as Concertmaster, and in June of 2000, she was engaged as Concertmaster of the Pasadena Symphony. Ms. Kreston has performed in nearly every European country, having appeared as soloist at Amsterdam’s Concertgebow and as chamber musician at the Chatelet Chamber music series in Paris, the Reims music festival, and at the Queluz Chateau festival in Portugal. Ms. Kreston was a prizewinner of the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition in Switzerland in 1989 and at the WAMSO Young artist’s competition in Minneapolis in 1988.

Kreston is on the faculty of the Colburn School and the Pasadena Conservatory. Ms. Kreston’s students have won numerous awards, and her graduating seniors have been invited to attend the Colburn Conservatory, Indiana University, San Francisco Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Juilliard, and the USC Thornton School of Music, among others.

Ms. Kreston is the Executive Director of the Eastern Sierra Symphony, a summer music festival in beautiful Mammoth Lakes California, and a member of the Pasadena String Quartet. 

Elizabeth Hedman, Concertmaster

Elizabeth Hedman joined the Eastern Sierra Symphony on the faculty and Concertmaster in 2012. Ms. Hedman has been a soloist with The National Repertory Orchestra, The Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, The Northwest Chamber Orchestra, and The Seattle Youth Symphony, among others. Her education includes Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she won both the Concerto Competition and the Valedictory Award and was teaching assistant to Donald Weilerstein.  Her principal violin teachers include Mr. Weilerstein, Margaret Pressley, and Naoko Tanaka; and for piano, Beth Hall. 

Currently, Elizabeth resides in Los Angeles and she is Principal Second and Acting Concertmaster for the Santa Barbara Symphony as well as a member of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and the Pasadena Symphony and Pops.  Elizabeth plays regularly with the Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the Santa Barbara Opera. She is a member of Ensemble Green and the Pasadena String Quartet.  Since 2009 she has been performing at the renowned Oregon Bach Festival, where she acts as Principal Second for select performances.