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Artists & Clinicians

Celebration HomeJohn Michel Schedule | Lodging |  CWU Strings

Special Honorees:

Raymond Davis | Roberta Hansen DowneyTom Walworth | Anne Schilperoort

Conductor Biographies:
Nikolas Caoile | Barbara Balatero
Cellist Biographies:
 John Michel | Bruce Walker

Raymond Davis

As principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony since 1961, Raymond Davis has appeared as soloist on Seattle Symphony series concerts and recordings.  A hand-picked student of Leonard Rose, Davis did his undergraduate work at Juilliard in New York, and spent his collegiate summers in Meadowmount. During Mr. Davis’ tenure with the Symphony, he performed under the batons of Milton Katims, Rainer Miedél and Gerard Schwarz.  He has performed in recital regularly in the Northwest.  Of a Seattle Symphony Masterpiece concert, Cary Smith of the Journal American described Mr. Davis’ playing as “remarkable for its hushed beauty.”


Education and Performance History:

  • Graduate of Juilliard School of Music 1959
  • Principal Cellist, San Antonio Symphony 1959-61
  • Principal Cellist, Santa Fe Summer Opera 1960-65
  • Principal Cellist, Seattle Symphony Orchestra 1961-2006

Teaching History: 

  • Juilliard School of Music
  • Seattle Pacific University, Artist in Residence
  • University of Puget Sound
  • AF of M Congress of Strings
  • Cornish School
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • University of Washington

Retired from Seattle Symphony in 2006, Mr. Davis continues to teach in his Queen Anne Studio.

Roberta Hansen Downey

Roberta Hansen Downey grew up in Seattle and Tacoma. She received her Bachelor's degree in music at USC in LA studying cello with Gabor Rejto and her Master's at Eastman School of Music studying with Steve Doane and Pamela Frame. She also studied (and still takes an occasional lesson!) with Cordelia Wikarski-Miedel. She was a winner of the Northwest Young Artist Competition and the Don Bushell Concerto Competition. 


Tom WalworthTom Walworth  

Tom Walworth is the director of orchestras at Thomas Jefferson High School and Lakota Middle School in Federal Way, Washington. He is the principal cellist for the Rainier Symphony and serves as a cello coach for the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association. His teachers include Cordelia Wikarski-Miedel, Hamilton Cheifetz, and he has performed in a master class with Janos Starker. He received his BA in Music Education and his MA in Teaching from the University of Puget Sound. Mr. Walworth is a published composer of choral music and lives in Des Moines with his wife, Ellen, and their two cats.

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Anne Schilperoort
Anne Schilperoort has been heralded by music critics as a '"sensitive accompanist", a "pianist of great versatility", and a "congenial partner".   With a BMusic from the University of Victoria and a MM in accompaniment from USC, she established an accompanying program at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Anne has studied piano with Gwendolyn Koldofsky, Brooks Smith, and Dr. Robin Wood.   As a freelance artist in Toronto, Ontario   Anne served as accompanist for the famous Amadeus Choir, worked with the Canadian Opera Company, and played for numerous young artists. She has toured most of the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and Germany in Chamber Music Concerts.  Two unique concert tours have taken her to Saudi Arabia and Romania as well.   Anne now resides in Yakima, Washington with her husband and three children.  She serves as professor of piano at Yakima Valley Community College and is principal pianist with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra.

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Nikolas CaoileNikolas Caoile is Director of Orchestras at Central Washington University. There, he leads the Symphony, Chamber, and Opera Orchestras. Caoile has appeared with the Portland Youth Philharmonic, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, Salem Chamber Orchestra, Capital Area Youth Symphony, Willamette Falls Symphony Orchestra, and Portland State University Orchestra. Caoile has conducted internationally at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and at the Institute Musical de Provence Aubagne in France. Caoile has also participated in the 2003 Vahktang Jordania Competition in Kharkov, Ukraine where he was one of 24 competitors invited to conduct the Kharkov Philharmonic. Caoile also participated in the 9th Cadaques Conducting Competition in Barcelona, Spain. His principal teachers include: Kenneth Kiesler, Gustav Meier, Peter Erös, Larry Rachleff and Daniel Lewis. Caoile also thrives in the opera repertoire. He has served on the music staff of the Aspen Opera Theater Center as a Coach Accompanist Fellow preparing many operas such as: Rigoletto, The Cunning Little Vixen, Die Entführung auf dem Serail, The Turn of the Screw, and Giasone. He has served as an accompanist with the Seattle Opera assisting in productions of Eugene Onegin and Norma. He was a coach pianist and chorus master for the Bel Canto Vocal Institute in Portland, Oregon, as well as the Music Director of the Willamette Opera Theater. Caoile has also led operas from the harpsichord in performances of L'incoronazione di Poppea, Giasone, Calisto, and Dido and Aeneas. Caoile has also conducted performances of Così fan Tutte, Il Matrimonio Segretto, Gianni Schicchi, The Bartered Bride, and Dido and Aeneas. In 2004, he assisted Martin Katz in the University of Michigan production of Hänsel and Gretel . In 2006, Caoile premiered Nancy van de Vate's "Where the Cross is Made" for the Annual His teachers include Martin Katz, Phil Kelsey, David McDade, and Kenneth Merrill.

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Barbara BalateroBarbara Balatero graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with a Bachelors Degree in Cello Performance and a Masters of Music in Teaching where she studied cello with Andor Toth. Between 1974 and 1976 she served as a US Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador, playing in the National Symphony, teaching cello and starting the Suzuki Program in the National Music School.

Barbara maintains a large private studio of Suzuki students in Seattle, and is the Director of the “Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute”.  She is a registered Teacher Trainer of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and is a cello student of Rajan Krishnaswami.   

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 John MichelJohn Michel enjoys his career as a teacher, chamber musician and soloist.  More recently, in several recitals, he performed for memory all of the six Bach Cello Suites.  He was one of seven cellists featured at the First Kobe International Cello Festival, Japan in 2001, where he gave a solo recital and a master class.  At the World Cello Congress III, he gave the world premiere of the Solo Sonata “Othmar” by Maria Newman.  In addition to regular solo recitals, he has performed with orchestras the Dvorak, Shostakovich, Haydn D, Elgar, Tchaikovsky “Rococo”, Brahms Double and Beethoven Triple Concertos, much of which one can hear at He is founder of the Internet Cello Society (, a cyber-community of cellists, which currently has over 14,000 members representing 84 different countries.

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Bruce Walker

Bruce Walker

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Bruce Walker, 27, currently serves as director of Orchestral Activities for the Sunnyside School District in Sunnyside, Washington and Assistant Conductor and Conductor of Preparatory Orchestras for the Oregon East Symphony in Pendleton, Oregon. He has served as director of Orchestral Activities for Sprague High School and the Judson Middle School Camerata Orchestra in Salem, Oregon, conductor for the Kittitas Valley Youth Orchestra, co-conductor of the Ellensburg Campus-Community Orchestra, director of the Central Washington University Music Preparatory Strings Program, and cello/conducting intern for the Marrowstone Music Festival. Mr. Walker has also participated in some of the finest workshops and festivals across the United States such as the Marrowstone Music Festival, Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, the SIUE Conductor's Guild Workshop, Astoria Music Festival, and the Rose City International Conductor's Workshop.

As a instrumentalist, Mr. Walker remains very active as a solo performer, educator, adjudicator, and orchestral cellist. He has appeared as soloist with the Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra and the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also held principal cello positions with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Orchestra, Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra, Central Washington University Symphony, Wenatchee Valley Symphony, and the Pierre Monteux School Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Walker has won numerous competitions with Trio Giocoso and the DeKalb and Byron String Quartets. Currently, he is principal cellist to the Oregon East Symphony (Pendelton, Oregon), section cellist to the Mid-Columbia Symphony (Richland, Washington) and Walla Walla Symphony (Walla Walla, Washington), and is an on-call musician for the Yakima Symphony (Yakima, Washington).

Mr. Walker holds baccalaureate degrees in Music Education and Cello Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and completed masters degree work in Orchestral Conducting from Central Washington University. His primary teachers have been Kangho Lee and John Michel (cello) and Dr. Jeffery Meyer, Michael Jinbo, Dr. Nikolas Caoile, and Kenneth Woods (conducting).

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