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Michael Slon, Music Director

Michael Slon, Music Director of the Oratorio Society of Virginia

Active as a conductor of choral, orchestral, and operatic repertoire, Michael Slon has served as Music Director of the Oratorio Society of Virginia since 2011. In that time, he has created a series of new artistic partnerships with the chorus, including an acclaimed 2014 semi-staged production of Bernstein’s Candide with Ash Lawn Opera, performances with regional orchestras and youth choruses, and a Community Sing-In to benefit local charities. He is also Associate Professor and Director of Choral Music at the University of Virginia, where he conducts the University Singers, UVa Chamber Singers and also guest conducts the Charlottesville Symphony. His ensembles have recently sung for Philip Glass, and the creators of Les Misérables — Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg — during their UVa residencies. Recent repertoire with the choruses has also included Honegger’s King David, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Verdi’s Requiem, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Bach’s Mass in B minor and Cantata 140, Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia, and a range of shorter a cappella and accompanied works. After substituting on one hour’s notice for a performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1, Mr. Slon served as Interim Director of the Charlottesville Symphony in 2005-2006, leading performances of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, and Copland’s Appalachian Spring. In 2005, he also co-launched the UVa University Singers–Symphony Family Holiday Concerts.

Mr. Slon’s opera and musical theatre engagements have included a production of Stephen Paulus’s The Three Hermits with Buffalo’s Opera Sacra, regional premieres of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza with the Heritage Theatre Festival, South Pacific and The Magic Flute with Ash Lawn Opera, and Into the Woods and Bernstein’s Mass at Indiana University. He is also active as a guest conductor for honors choirs and orchestras, and currently serves as a Virginia American Choral Directors Association Repertoire and Standards Chair.

Prior to UVa, Mr. Slon served as visiting conducting faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory, and assistant conductor of Cincinnati’s May Festival Chorus, where he prepared and co-prepared choruses for concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His ensembles have worked with artists including Moses Hogan, Bobby McFerrin, Meredith Monk, Peter Phillips, and Franz Welser-Möst. Also a pianist, composer/arranger, and writer, Mr. Slon holds degrees from the Indiana University School of Music and Cornell University, where he became a member of Phi Beta Kappa. His first book, Songs from the Hill, was published in 1998, and he is currently working on a Leonard Bernstein project studying Kaddish, Chichester Psalms, and Mass.

Rowena Pinto Zimmermann, Executive Director

Rowena Pinto Zimmermann, Executive Director

Rowena Pinto Zimmermann serves as the Executive Director of the Oratorio Society of Virginia. Ms. Zimmermann has a master’s degree in Public Policy and earned her undergraduate degree in English and Economics from The College of William and Mary. Over the course of her career, she has acquired extensive experience in program evaluation and public relations. Her long history with volunteer management and board work positions her to help the Oratorio Society sustain its business and administrative functions. We look forward to her insight and guidance as we embark on our next 50 years as an organization.

Daniel Hine, Accompanist

Daniel Hine, Accompanist of The Oratorio Society of Virginia Daniel Hine, pianist, violist, and lyric baritone, joined The Oratorio Society as rehearsal accompanist in 2004, with 14 years' experience as an accompanist and performer in New Jersey, Italy, and Virginia. A graduate of Charlottesville High School and Westminster Choir College, he studied piano with Yvaine Duisit, piano pedagogy with Ingrid Clarfield, voice with Elem Ely, and viola with Kari Caplin. For three years he was a leader in the internationally renowned Westminster Concert Bell Choir. Mr. Hine currently serves as Director of Music at St. Paul’s Memorial Church in Charlottesville and as the accompanist for both The Oratorio Society and the Virginia Glee Club. In addition, he has recently collaborated with the University Singers, the Wellesley College Choir, Opera Viva, Ash Lawn Opera Theatre, and Operafestival di Roma.

Johanna Beaver, Orchestra Personnel Manager

Johanna Beaver, Orchestra
Personnel Manager of The Oratorio Society of Virginia Violist Johanna Beaver holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she was a student of Katherine Murdock and Mitchell Stern.

Since moving to Charlottesville in 2005, Johanna has played with The Oratorio Society of Virginia, Charlottesville Chamber Orchestra, and The Afton String Quartet. She also plays in the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and is a frequent substitute in the viola section of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. Johanna has been on faculty at the University of Virginia, Interlochen Arts Camp, Opus 118 Violin Program in New York, and at the Stony Brook Pre-college.

Johanna is currently a member of the faculty at the University of Mary Washington and teaches private lessons from her studio at home in Charlottesville. Johanna is thrilled to be the Orchestra Personnel Manager for The Oratorio Society of Virginia!