The Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra
Artistic Director & Conductor
Diane Wittry, joins the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra as our newly appointed Artistic Director and Conductor for the 75th Anniversary Season. She is excited to be working with our dedicated and talented musicians as the organization celebrates the history and accomplishments of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra over the past 75 years.
Diane Wittry is known nationally for her innovative programming style and her audience rapport. Her choices of repertoire and her ability to related to an audience always make her concerts unique and interesting. The Stamford Advocate, CT, featured Diane Wittry as “a conductor who specializes in finding creative ways to make the music fresh, accessible, and exciting.”
In addition to her work with the Ridgewood Symphony, Diane Wittry is currently the Music Director and Conductor of the Allentown Symphony in Pennsylvania, and the Artistic Director for the International Cultural Exchange Program for Classical Musicians with the Sarajevo Philharmonic in Bosnia. In the past, Diane Wittry has also been the Music Director of the Norwalk Symphony (CT), and the Conductor of the Symphony of Southeast Texas (TX) where she received the national Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras for outstanding artistic leadership of a regional orchestra.
As a guest conductor in the United States, Diane Wittry has led performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, among others. She has also conducted at the music festivals of Ojai (CA), Penn’s Woods (PA), and I-Park (CT). Internationally, her conducting engagements include concerts with the Sarajevo Philharmonic in Bosnia, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Russia’s Maikop and Sochi symphony orchestras, Poland's Zabre Philharmonic, Slovakia’s State Orchestra-Kosice, Italy’s Sinfonia Dell’Arte di Firenze, Canada’s Niagara Symphony, and Japan’s Osaka Symphony. She enjoys being an advocate for American music through her international engagements.
Diane Wittry is recognized as a leading teacher of conducting and she is in demand as a pedagogue for conducting seminars and workshops in the United States and Europe. She is the author of Beyond the Baton, a nationally recognized book about artistic leadership for conductors and music directors of American orchestras which has become a standard text for the industry. (www.BeyondtheBaton.com). Her new book, Baton Basics, Communicating Music Through Gestures, will be published by Oxford University Press, October 2014.
In addition to being a conductor, Diane Wittry is a accomplished composer with pieces performed by orchestras across the United States. Her music is published by the Theodore Presser Company. The Allentown Symphony will be premiering one of her new compositions in April 2015.
More information about Diane Wittry is available at her website: www.DianeWittry.com
Artistic Advisor & Assistant Conductor
Edmund A. Moderacki serves as Artistic Advisor and Assistant Conductor of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Moderacki graduated with honors from Montclair State College. He holds a MA from Hunter College (CUNY) and has done additional studies at Seton Hall University, Newark State College and the Center for Understanding Media. He is currently a music teacher in the River Vale (NJ) Schools, and has been conductor of the Waldwick Concert Band since 1978. Active in education and the arts, Mr. Moderacki is president-elect of the Music Educators of Bergen County, Inc., serves as a member of the Steering Committee of Bergen County Teen Arts and sits on the boards of several arts and education organizations. He was also the conductor of the 2001 All Bergen County High School Band and RSO Project Symphony 2003 at River Vale, Riverdale, and Wayne.
Director of Strings
Jina Choi serves as our Director of Strings. Ms. Choi is an active chamber musician, concert soloist and orchestra player in the metropolitan area since she came to the United States in 1996. She performs regularly as a soloist at Merkin Concert Hall, and as a soloist of the chamber ensemble Sonata da Chiesa.
In November 2009 she successfully performed Bruch violin concerto with Korean American Symphony Orchestra at the Bergen Performing Art Center in New Jersey.
Jina Choi has a passion especially for the orchestra. She lead many orchestras like Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra, PMF Orchestra, Mannes Orchestra, Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra as well as Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra as a concertmistress and principal.
She received numerous awards and prizes at the Ehwa- Kyunghyang Competition, Korea Music Festival Youth Competition, Yeum Chamber Music Competition and Mannes Chamber Music Festival Competition and also performed with Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Chamber Orchestra and Hwa-Eum Chamber Orchestra in Korea. She participated in Young Virtuosos’ Artist Concert at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Kumho Music Festival in Finland and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan.
Ms. Choi received her Professional Study Diploma at Mannes College of Music and Bachelor and Master Degrees from Seoul National University. In the year of 2006 she was invited to Honolulu Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the audition for season 2006-2007. Currently, she is acquiring Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at Rutgers University under Mr. Arnold Steinhardt as a full scholarship student.
She studied with Jong-Sook Lee, Ik-Hwan Bae, currently with Michelle Kim and Arnold Steinhardt at Rutgers University.