Vols Flute Fest: Artist Biographies
Maria Fernanda Castillo
Assistant Professor of Flute at University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Flutist, musicologist and entrepreneur Maria Fernanda Castillo has been offering intentional and meaningful performances that can contribute to the search for balance in the music world. Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, and co-founder of the Latin American Music Initiative, Maria has found approaches to teaching, research, and performances that not only highlight the importance of standard works in the flute canon but also help the inclusion, awareness and accessibility of works by underrepresented composers.
Hailed by the New York Times as a flutist who performs with “…virtuoso panache,” Maria debuted in New York City with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in 2008, under Alondra de la Parra. Additionally, in 2009 she had her professional debut as a soloist in Venezuela with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra under Mtro. Carlos Riazuelo. She has also performed as a soloist with the Caracas Municipal Symphony under Mtros. Rodolfo Saglimbeni and her husband, Régulo Stabilito. Her latest collaboration include the performance of Shadow of Sirius for flute and wind ensemble by Joel Puckett with the University of Tennessee Wind Ensemble conducted by John Zastoupil.
Co-founder of the Latin American Music Initiative- LAMI (www.laminitiative.org) with her husband, orchestra conductor Régulo Stabilito, they are committed to advocating for raising awareness of Latin American repertoire. LAMI has allowed them to reach a large community by performing, recording, lecturing and editing Latin American works. Her work with LAMI has allowed her to be part of the 2020-2021 Mellon Public Engagement in the Humanities Fellow. As a musicologist, Maria has created an online flute catalogue with 143 flute works by Venezuelan composers, helping the repertoire be known and accessible for performers all over the world and develop a new approach to flute etude study by contextualizing etudes based on their historical context. In Addition, she is part of a group of 9 Latin American female flutsits to create the largest catalogue of flute works by Latin American composers (https://flautalatinoamerica.com/)
As an orchestral musician, Maria frequently performs with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. She has served as principal flute in orchestras in Venezuela, México and the United States. She was the Associate Principal of the Caracas Municipal Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Venezuelan Symphony, the Venezuela National Philharmonic, the Miami City Ballet, the New World Symphony, the Sphinx Symphony, the Mazatlán Sinfonietta, the “Sinaloa de las Artes” Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Acadiana Symphony and the Lake Charles Symphony.
A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Maria began her flute studies at nine with Venezuelan flutist Luis Julio Toro. She holds a Bachelors, Specialist, and Doctorate of Music degrees from the University of Michigan as a student of Amy Porter; a Masters of Music from the University of Miami under Christine Nield-Capotee; and a Masters in Latin American Musicology from the Unversidad Central de Venezuela.
Maria currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she divides her time between her work as an educator, performer and activist; and practicing Ashtanga Yoga or playing golf.
Professor of Flute at the University of Michigan
Professor of Flute Amy Porter has been praised by critics both for her exceptional musical talent and her passion for scholarship. Through a versatile and distinguished career as a concert performer, she has become one of the most skillful and creative muses for composers of our time.
From her prolific performances of Michael Daugherty’s Trail of Tears to her October 2022 performance at Carnegie Hall celebrating Lukas Foss’s centennial with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Porter’s accomplishments speak for themselves.
The multifaceted Porter is also an acclaimed professor of music. Recipient of the Henry Russel Award in 2006, Amy has served as a mentor to developing musicians at the University of Michigan for 25 years and leads an intensive residency at local colleges and universities for the study of flute performance. Her Flute Studio specializes in exercises, audition materials and advice, as well as performance techniques for the next generation of flutists.
Amy’s popular workshop Anatomy of Sound, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, focuses on the wellness and mindfulness needed to be a successful musician and entrepreneur. Building on Anatomy’s success, the new AOS-Wellness.com website offers courses in peaceful breathing, yoga and meditation, along with channels on movement, meditation, wisdom, practice, and breathing. Through these platforms, Porter highlights the importance of self-care as a direct path to a successful musical career.
Moreover, in an effort to create holistic experiences for orchestras, presenters and their respective audiences, Amy offers mini-residencies alongside her performances. There, she can connect 1:1 with her colleagues and audiences to support, inspire, and reinvigorate musicians and music listeners.
Winner of the 3rd Kobe International Flute Competition and the Paris/Ville d’Avray International Flute Competition, Ms. Porter has served on international juries around the world, including the 6th Kobe competition. She has been heard in recital on National Public Radio; on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center; and featured on the covers and as a writer for the magazines Flute Talk in the USA and The Flute in Japan. Her popular study guide on the early 20-century German composer Sigfrid Karg-Elert elicited the following comment from the Spanish Flute Society: “Strength, beauty, a captivating and seductive force, sensitivity, perfection and a sense of humor characterize the impressive American flautist Amy Porter.”
She has won praise both as a recording artist and as a chamber musician. Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, in her New York Times review of the CD “In Translation: Selections from J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites” on the Equilibrium label, applauded Ms. Porter for her “gleaming, lyrical reading.”
As a member of Trio Virado, with violist Jaime Amador and guitarist João Luiz, she recorded “Mangabeira,” a CD featuring works by Piazzolla, Brouwer, Hand, Assad, and Luiz, about which Ken Keaton wrote in American Record Guide: “They [Trio Virado] present a set of performances that are unfailingly strong, expressive, and imaginative.”
Formerly a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Porter is Principal Flute of North Carolina’s Brevard Music Center, where she performs as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player.
Born in Wilmington, DE, Ms. Porter graduated from The Juilliard School and pursued further studies at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg. She plays a 14K white gold flute with rose gold engraved keys made for her by the William S. Haynes Co.
We would like to thank Haynes Flutes for partially sponsoring Prof. Porter to our 2023 Vols Flute Fest
2nd flute at Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Jill Bartine has been a teacher for more than half her life. As a classically-trained flutist who performs with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, her first outlet for her teaching passion was music, and she was thrilled to add yoga to her teaching repertoire after completing her 200-hour RYT certification in August 2011. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in flute performance from Northwestern University and a Master of Music from the University of Tennessee.
Professional musical performance employs controlled breath, body awareness, energy, creativity, rhythmic flow, and harmony — all qualities of a successful yoga practice. Jill draws upon these elements in her classes, helping her students to feel in tune with their bodies and spirit, and those around them.
Principal Flute at Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Devan Jaquez is a graduate of the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles where he received a Master of Music Degree in 2019 studying with Jim Walker. He received his Bachelor’s Degree of Art in Music Performance in the spring of 2017 from UCLA where he also received the Presser Scholar Award and studied with Sheridon Stokes.
While in Los Angeles, Devan worked as a freelance musician and premiered works by Esa-Pekka Salonen and William Kraft, among others. He appeared in recital with revered oboe soloist and orchestral musician Ramón Ortega Quero while he was principal oboist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the Colburn Chamber Music Society 2018-2019 season. Devan Jaquez was a finalist in the 2020 Young Concert Artists International Competition. He was a 2020 instrumental fellow of the Music Academy of the West (MAW) and was a winner of the Keston MAX Competition. Devan was also selected to play in the 2020 Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra. He was part of the inaugural fellowship program at the Classical Tahoe Academy in the summer of 2021. He has played in the American Institute of Music, Graz Orchestra in Graz, Austria in 2019; the 2018 National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) in Breckenridge, Colorado; and was the 3rd Prize winner of the 2018 San Diego Flute Guild Young Artist Competition. He won the UCLA All-Star Concerto competition and appeared as a soloist with the UCLA Philharmonia Orchestra in their 2015-2016 season.
Devan has a passion for new music and amplifying underrepresented voices in the classical field. One of his favorite projects was working on the Queer Covid Quarantine Commission Project, his flagship album, sponsored by the Music Academy of the West. He commissioned and recorded three new works for solo flute which debuted in March of 2021.
In addition to being an avid performer, Devan also enjoys teaching music and has served on faculty for the Jumpstart Young Musicians’ Program at the Colburn School and Soriel Music Academy in Los Angeles, CA. He keeps an active private studio and offers lessons both online and in person.