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New violinist: Luis Angel Salazar

The Great Falls Symphony Association and the Cascade Quartet are pleased to welcome violinist Luis Angel Salazar for the 2019-2020 season.

Auditions were held at the end of May this past spring. Highly qualified candidates from throughout the country travelled to Great Falls to perform for an audition committee consisting of members of the Chinook Winds, the Cascade Quartet, and the Great Falls Symphony Music Director, Grant Harville.

Luis Angel Salazar will be the interim principal second violin in the Symphony and perform with the Cascade Quartet for the 2019-2020 season. At the end of the last season Mary Papoulis, Cascade Quartet member and concertmaster of the Symphony, requested and was granted a leave of absence for the 2019-2020 season. Cascade Quartet member and violinist Megan Karls will assume the role of concertmaster in the Symphony and new-hire Luis Angel Salazar will serve as the principal second violinist and as the second violinist in the Cascade Quartet during this period. Entering her eighth season with the Symphony and the Cascade Quartet, Megan is a very familiar performer and teacher in Great Falls and with other orchestras in Montana.

Mary Papoulis’ well-earned leave comes after 29 years of service with the Great Falls Symphony. During her tenure with the Symphony and the Cascade Quartet she was part of performance collaborations with the Ying Quartet, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Phil Aaberg. Her solo appearances with the Symphony include Bach’s double violin concerto and oboe and violin concerto, Haydn’s Symphonie Concertante, Vivialdi’s concerto for cello and violin, Massenet’s Meditation from Thais, Saint-Saëns’ Dance Macabre, Bukvich’s Hanukkah Dance, Improvisations in D Minor with Phil Aaberg, Mendelssohn’s violin concerto, and most recently, Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnol. As an educator, Mary has regularly coached young musicians in the Great Falls Youth Orchestra, built a private violin studio over the years, and taught at the Olympic Music Festival in Washington and Summer Youth Orchestra Workshop in Bozeman. She was recently honored at the YWCA’s 2018 Salute to Women Gala for her contributions to the community as a performer and educator.

Mexican-American violinist Luis Angel Salazar has given tours nationally and internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. He joined the St. Petersburg String Quartet in April of 2014, and has toured with them throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. As a member of the quartet, he has performed in festivals and halls such as Toronto Concert Hall, Music Barge in New York, Christophori Piano Salon in Berlin, Zaubersee Russian Music Festival in Lucerne, Henschel String Quartet Festival in Germany, and many others. He has also performed with artists and groups such as Arianna String Quartet, Borealis String Quartet, James Dick, Oleg Poliansky, Stefan Milenkovich, and a number of orchestral ensembles in Mexico and the United States.

As an educator, Mr. Salazar has taught many masterclasses and conducted youth orchestras in national and international tours. In his native town of Ensenada, Mexico, he has given masterclasses to students from different institutions such as Centro de Estudios Musicales, UABC (University of Baja California), Esperanza Azteca, and REDES. In the United States, as a member of the St. Petersburg String Quartet, he has had the opportunity to teach solfege, harmony, history and chamber music in the St. Petersburg String Quartet Summer Academy. In Canada, he has given masterclasses at the Glenn Gould Conservatory of Music. In the city of Chicago, Luis founded “Cuerdas Mexicanas”, a free music program dedicated to Mexican families as an added program to Centro Autonomo, an institution dedicated to the support and well-being of the Mexican community in Chicago. Luis was a teaching artist at Kenwood Academy High School as part of the DePaul Music Community Division from 2016 to 2018. Looking forward to his move to Great Falls, Luis says, "I am beyond excited to be part of this community oriented organization, their dedication to their audiences is inspirational! I will do my best to contribute positively to this relationship!"

Luis will perform in Great Falls for the first time with the Cascade Quartet at the Paris Gibson Square’s Arts on Fire Family Day event on Saturday, September 14, 12pm. This event is free and family-friendly. He will play his first concert with the Great Falls Symphony’s in the first concert of the season on Saturday, October 5, 7:30pm, at the Mansfield Theater. Tickets and information are available at and

Great Falls Symphony

The Mission of the Great Falls Symphony is to infuse cultural vibrancy into the Great Falls community through transformative music events and education programs. The organization strives to be an essential cultural asset in North Central Montana that raises the quality of life for its citizens through outstanding performing arts programs.

The Great Falls Symphony includes a 75 member semi-professional Orchestra, a one hundred member Symphonic Choir and two professional resident ensembles (the Cascade Quartet and Chinook Winds) made up of nine "Core" orchestral musicians, and a Youth Orchestra program (established in 1996) which supports two student orchestras and over 100 talented young musicians grades six through twelve from Great Falls and surrounding areas. These components offer a rich and diverse mix of activities that include orchestra, choral, chamber and educational concerts which reach up to 40,000 people annually. The Great Falls Symphony presents a six-concert series every year, and plays host to a variety of guest artists and resident composers. The Cascade Quartet and Chinook Winds present fourteen concerts on the Symphony’s Chamber Music Series in Great Falls in addition to traveling an average of 4,500 miles each year performing concerts and educational programs throughout the northwest United States. To fulfill a state and regional mission, the Great Falls Symphony places the highest priority upon programs that provide state-wide education and outreach. Two Youth Matinees are presented each season by the orchestra and have served well over 115,000 students from the public, private and home schools in a one hundred mile region of Central Montana.

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