Demarre McGill, Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson, Xiaohui Yang, and Jeffrey Barker

Friday, April 4, 2025, 7:30 pm
Demarre McGill, Principal Flute
Seattle Symphony Orchestra

Demarre McGill, an awardee of the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Sphynx Medal of Excellence, is one of Seattle’s busiest world-class musicians. His many appearances span the globe and include concerto, recital, chamber festival, and National Flute Society Featured-Artist engagements.

With his trademark expressive beauty and virtuosic mastery, Demarre McGill is also one of the world’s leading orchestral flutists. He serves as Principal Flute of the award-winning Seattle Symphony and Associate Professor of Flute, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. In demand as a performer and educator, Demarre has concertized. coached, and presented master classes in South Africa, Korea, Japan, Quebec, and throughout the United States. Mr. McGill, who performs on a gold Powell flute, is a graduate of Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School.

Mr. McGill’s guests for the evening are world-renowned flutist Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson and Naumburg Prize pianist Xiaohui Yang. Jeffrey Barker, Associate Principal Flute, Seattle Symphony, will join Mr. McGill and Mr. Höskuldsson for a rousing trio to end the concert.

This performance is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear the flute at its highest level of artistic mastery.

Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson, Principal Flute
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson, declared by James Galway as a “master,” is the principal flute of one of the world’s leading ensembles, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His previous appointment was as principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, where he remained for nine years before his appointment at the CSO.

Höskuldsson has performed widely throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan under the direction of Fabio Luisi, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Barenboim, Seiji Ozawa, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Riccardo Muti. and has frequently performed at Carnegie Hall with the Met Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble. He has collaborated on performances and recordings with such artists as renowned pianists Evgeny Kissin, Alfred Brendel, and Yefim Brofman; violinist Gil Shaham; and sopranos Diana Damrau and Anna Netrebko, and has presented master classes at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes College of Music in New York, and, in London, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music.

Mr. Höskuldsson attended the Reykjavík School of Music in Iceland, where he studied with Bernhard Wilkinson and subsequently attended the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England as a student of Peter Lloyd and Wissam Boustany.

Mr. Höskuldsson, who performs on an Emanuel flute, has recorded for Castle Classics, Naxos label’s American Classics Series, and the Delos label.

Xiaohui Yang, piano

Pianist Xiaohui Yang, co-winner of the 2017 Naumburg International Piano Competition, has been hailed by the press as “a magician of sound and virtuosity” (La Libre, Belgium) and featured in performances throughout four continents, including such venues as Carnegie Hall, Ozawa Hall, and the Seoul Arts Center.

A dedicated chamber musician, Ms. Yang has taken part in renowned festivals such as Marlboro, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Banff, and Taos, and has performed with luminaries such as Peter Wiley, Charles Neidich, and Roberto Diaz.

Ms. Yang is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, under Ignat Solzhenitsyn, where she was recipient of the Festorazzi Prize for best pianist. Ms. Yang earned her master’s degree at The Juilliard School under Robert McDonald and is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the Peabody Conservatory, under the tutelage of Boris Slutsky.

Jeffrey Barker, Associate Principal Flute
Seattle Symphony Orchestra

Jeffrey Barker is the Associate Principal Flute of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Regularly heard as a solo voice during performances at Benaroya Hall, he and Mr. McGill alternate as solo flute of the ensemble, each performing with his unique style and color.

A student of Bonita Boyd at Eastman School of Music and Jeanne Baxtresser and Albero Almarza at Carnegie Mellon University, Mr. Barker joined the Seattle Symphony as Associate Principal Flute in 2015 and has performed with leading national and international orchestras, including Pittsburgh, Detroit, Oregon, and the Singapore Symphony.

Passionate about using music to serve his community, Mr. Barker received the 2018 Ford Musician Award for Excellence in Community Service in recognition of his work through the Seattle Symphony’s Simple Gifts Initiative with those experiencing homelessness.

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