By Eric Dundon
Audiences at St. Louis Symphony Orchestra concerts this season will see several new faces, musicians appointed to the orchestra by Music Director Stéphane Denève. They come from prestigious music schools, other orchestras, and from freelance careers.
Meet the SLSO’s new musicians: Julia Paine, Second Bassoonist; Kevin Ritenauer, Associate Principal Timpanist/Section Percussionist; Matthew Roitstein, Principal Flutist; and Alejandro Valdepeñas, Associate Principal Violist.
Julia Paine, Second Bassoonist, joins the SLSO following appearances with a variety of orchestras including the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and Oregon Symphony. A graduate of the University of Miami and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Paine is a native of the Chicago suburbs.
Paine succeeds Felicia Foland, who held the Second Bassoon position for 31 seasons until her retirement at the conclusion of the 2021/2022 season.
Kevin Ritenauer, Associate Principal Timpanist/Section Percussionist and the Paul A. and Ann S. Lux Chair, was appointed to the SLSO following four seasons as a percussion fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. He has performed around the country with orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony. He received his Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Ritenauer succeeds Tom Stubbs, who held the Associate Principal Timpani position for 51 years prior to retirement in 2021.
Matthew Roitstein, Principal Flutist and the Herbert C. and Estelle Claus Chair, joins the SLSO after eight seasons as the Associate Principal Flutist of the Houston Symphony. He also held positions in the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and the Sarasota Opera Orchestra. Roitstein has performed as guest principal flute with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. He has also taught extensively in the United States as well as throughout South and Central America. Roitstein received bachelor’s degrees in architecture and music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
Roitstein assumes the position formerly held by Principal Flutist Mark Sparks from 2000 to 2021.
Alejandro Valdepeñas, Associate Principal Violist, enjoys a multi-faceted career as a violinist and violist. He has recorded with the Amici Chamber Ensemble and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Chamber Soloists. He has spent multiple summers as a violinist with the Santa Fe Opera and has also performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. In the summers, Valdepeñas has performed at the Aspen Music Festival and School and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival at Yale. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Valdepeñas made his solo debut on violin at age 9 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Valdepeñas succeeds longtime Associate Principal Violist Kathleen Mattis, who retired in September 2019.
The SLSO’s 2022/2023 season begins on September 14 with the annual free community concert in Forest Park. Throughout the season, Denève and the SLSO perform repertoire that spans genre and time and celebrates music without boundaries, offering a musical journey to places near and far, real and imaginary, physical and spiritual.
Eric Dundon is the SLSO’s Public Relations Manager.