UofL Artist Faculty
Brittany MacWilliams, Director
Violinist Brittany MacWilliams has an active career both as performer and educator. She made her professional violin debut at age ten with the Louisville Orchestra and went on to win numerous competitions including the Music Teachers National Association competition. Since then, Ms. MacWilliams has performed extensively as soloist and concertmaster in such diverse locales as Istanbul, Beijing, Salzburg, Munich, Lisbon, and New York. She has had solo engagements with such orchestras as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Munich Hochshule Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony, and Aspen Chamber Symphony. Ms. MacWilliams can be heard as soloist on two critically acclaimed compact discs of Giornovichi Violin Concerti for the Arte Nova Classics/BMG label.
As a frequent recitalist and avid chamber musician, Ms. MacWilliams performs in duos, piano trios, and string quartets throughout the United States. She is a founding member of the Baur Quartet and the Xavier Trio and has recorded four compact discs for the Vital Sounds label, including the Ten Celebrated String Quartets of W.A. Mozart. She can also be heard on “Passion from the Romantic Era,” a CD featuring Brahms’ Violin Sonata in D minor. She was chosen as resident artist for the Next Generation Music Festival where she toured and performed with the Baur Quartet and pianist Awadagin Pratt.
Ms. MacWilliams is currently a member of the violin and viola faculty at the University of Louisville School of Music. She is also the founder and director of the Oldham County Chamber Ensemble, where she conducts the Chamber Orchestra and teaches chamber music. She taught at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a member of the violin faculty from 2001-2012. She was also a member of the violin faculty at Xavier University, where she taught violin, viola, and chamber music for six years. She was the director and a member of the violin faculty of the Starling Preparatory String Project at the University of Cincinnati for twelve years. During the summers, Ms. MacWilliams has served on the faculties of the Aspen Music Festival and the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, and she currently teaches at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival.
Ms. MacWilliams was the first winner of the prestigious Dorothy Richard Starling Teaching Fellowship in 2001, and over the years her students have won national competitions, performed with major orchestras, and received music scholarships to many top universities and conservatories. Ms. MacWilliams received her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a student of Kurt Sassmannshaus and Dorothy DeLay.
J. Patrick Rafferty
Violinist J. Patrick Rafferty has been hailed for his "exciting performances," his "subtle and imaginative ideas about the music," and "a velvety, sweetly sonorous tone [that] captured the intellect and calmed the soul."(Milwaukee Sentinel). Before his career in higher education, Professor Rafferty served as Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra from 1986-1991. He previously served as Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony for eight years, and as Concertmaster for the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Dallas Bach Orchestra, and the Dallas Fine Arts Orchestras. He has also served as Acting Concertmaster of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, and Guest Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony. His concerto credits include more than 40 works performed as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, and many others. As a recitalist, Mr. Rafferty has performed in many major cities throughout the United States and overseas, including a recent series of performances of all ten Beethoven Sonatas in New York City and performances in China, Romania, Norway, Switzerland, and Italy. Teaching positions have included the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Alabama, and currently, the University of Louisville, where he is first violinist with the Louisville String Quartet and a founding member of the Grawemeyer Players. His former students perform in many of the USA’s major symphonies, as well as holding teaching positions in excellent schools.
Recently hailed by The New York Times for his “warm-toned” performance of Lutosławski’s Grave (Metamorphoses), cellist Paul York is an accomplished soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. He currently serves on the string faculty at the University of Louisville, where he maintains an active teaching and performing schedule. Recent solo appearances include performances of Karel Husa’s Concerto for Violincello and Orchestra at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Aaron Jay Kernis’s Colored Field for Cello and Orchestra with the Louisville Orchestra, and Vivaldi’s Double Concerto in G Minor with internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Of his performance at Carnegie Hall, New York Concert Review said “The fiendishly difficult solo part was brilliantly played by cellist Paul York; one had to be in awe of his playing.”
An avid chamber musician, Mr. York is a member of the Louisville String Quartet and was a founding member of The Logsdon Chamber Ensemble, a Texas Commission of the Arts Touring ensemble as well as ensemble-in-residence at Hardin-Simmons University. In April of 2006, he performed recitals throughout Japan. As a champion of contemporary music, Mr. York has commissioned works for the cello by such composers as Stefan Freund, Marc Satterwhite, Steve Rouse, Paul Brink, Douglas Knehans, and Fredrick Speck. He also premiered the work Ballad for Solo Cello and Seven Cellos by Grawemeyer and Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Aaron Jay Kernis as well as Alfred Bartles' new orchestration of Bartok’s First Rhapsody for cello with the Sewanee Festival Orchestra.
Mr. York has participated in numerous summer festivals. He is currently a member of the artist faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, where he performs solo and chamber works, in addition to his teaching schedule. He has also performed at Strings in the Mountains in Colorado, Accent 09 and 11 at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the Abilene Chamber Music Series, and served as principal cello with the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra. He has held principal cello positions with numerous regional orchestras and performed as a member of the cello section of the Saint Louis Symphony under the direction of Leonard Slatkin.
Mr. York received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and his master of music degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he studied with Ronald Leonard. Other teachers include Gabor Rejto, and Louis Potter. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Mr. York was selected to participate in the prestigious Piatigorsky seminar at the University of South California and recently received a Distinguished Faculty Award from the University of Louisville. Mr. York can be heard on the Centaur, Arizona University Press, Ablaze, and CRS labels. His latest CD of premiere recordings entitled Cello Vision has recently been released on the Centaur label.
Sidney A. King is the instructor of double bass at the University of Louisville School of Music and the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. He has recently retired as the assistant principal bassist of the Louisville Orchestra, having held that position from 1984-2006. As performer, composer, and arranger with the nationally prominent flamenco ensemble Al Sur, Mr. King has appeared on stages, in theaters, and on broadcasts throughout the country. As a member of Al Sur, he has also been featured as soloist with orchestras such as the San Diego Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, and the Mansfield (OH) Symphony. As a composer and arranger of church music, his choral and instrumental works have been featured in service settings and concerts throughout the country. Several of these works are published by St. James Music Press and Really Good Music, LLC. As an active soloist and chamber musician, Mr. King performs frequently throughout the Midwest in various recital settings, including service for fourteen years as a core member of the Kentucky Center Chamber Players. He has held a position on the board of directors of the International Society of Bassists (2003-2006).
Mr. King’s extensive experience as an orchestral performer includes appearances with some of the most prestigious ensembles in the country. He has been a performer at the Grand Teton Music Festival since 1992, often serving in titled positions with that orchestra. King has performed as principal bassist with the Houston Grand Opera, the Texas Opera Theater, the Sunflower Music Festival, and the Des Moines Metro Opera. He has also performed with ensembles such as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, and the North Carolina Symphony. As an educator, Mr. King also served as the double bass instructor at Indiana University Southeast and has long been involved in music education, teaching and coaching many youth ensembles as well as giving numerous solo performances in public and private schools.