Meet Symphony NH’s New Violinists Ryo Usami and Janny Joo

Symphony NH is pleased to welcome Ryo Usami and Janny Joo to the orchestra. These exceptional musicians will join the violin section of the orchestra starting in the 2017-18 season.

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Ryo Usami joins Symphony NH as the new Principal Second Violin and is looking forward to working alongside talented musicians to bring his “passion and emotion” (Art and Review Quarterly) to SNH.  

At the age of eight, Mr. Usami began studying violin and has continued throughout his life.  He attended the Peabody Conservatory where he received his Bachelors of Music degree under the instruction of Violaine Melancon, a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Peabody Trio. Currently, Mr. Usami is pursuing his Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory under the instruction of Ayano Ninomiya, who has won numerous awards such as the Tibor Varga International Competition, Astral Artists Nation Auditions, Young Performers Career Advancement, and the Lili Boulanger awards.

Mr. Usami is a devoted chamber musician, having performed at Weill Recital Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Symphony Space, and Walters Art Museum.  He has performed as concertmaster and leader under the baton of many conductors including Marin Alsop, Leon Fleisher, and Leonard Slatkin. Currently he performs with the Atlantic (MA), Charleston (SC), and Harrisburg (PA) Symphonies and is thrilled to join Symphony NH and work with terrific musicians.


New section violinist Janny Joo is passionate about educating and coaching the next generation of musicians.  She teaches violin and theory classes at Boston University where she is pursuing her Doctorate degree in Violin Performance. Ms. Joo received her Master of Music degree from Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with minors in Math and History.

A multifaceted musician who is equally at home in chamber, orchestra, and solo recital settings, Ms. Joo has studied with members of the Chiara, Muir, and St. Lawrence String Quartet and also performed with artists such as Desmond Hoebig, who held chair as Principal Cellist with the Cleveland, Houston, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras, and Rhonda Rider, whose chamber music and solo recordings have been nominated for Grammy Awards.

In addition to her involvement at Boston University, Ms. Joo serves as a fellow for the Music for Food organization, a musician-led initiative for local hunger relief, because she “[believes] that an artist is also a citizen who has a duty to further social justice.” The organization performs and promotes their mission around the Boston area.  The work she does in the Boston community falls suit to Symphony NH’s mission to inspire and enlighten through exceptional live music.

Serving as the concertmaster of Symphony Nova, Ms. Joo also plays professionally with the Phoenix and Boston Philharmonics and the Boston Ballet. In her free time, she enjoys ballroom dancing, horseback riding, traveling, and photography.

Symphony NH is proud to welcome Mr. Usami and Ms. Joo to our orchestra.  Hear them perform with Symhony NH during the 2017-18 season.  To learn more about upcoming Symphony NH concerts visit, sign up for our email list on the homepage, or call (603) 595-9156.

Teaching Music in the Middle East - Marc Thayer

Performing Baroque in a Church from 1115: Teaching in the Middle East - Marc Thayer

It’s exhausting work and never in ideal circumstances, but the students are the most grateful that I’ve worked with anywhere in the world.  They value the opportunity to make music and find any way they can to learn more about their instruments, perform with other people and have a chance to make their lives richer through these experiences.


Free Concert, Meet the Maestro, and More: Symphony NH's 2016-17 Season Kick-Off Events

For Immediate ReleaseDate: 8/31/2016 Contact: Audrey Alessi (603) 595-9156

Free Concert, Meet the Maestro, and More: Symphony NH’s 2016-17 Season Kick-Off Events

NASHUA, NH – Symphony NH announces its 2016-17 Season Kick-Off Events, including a free concert, opportunities to meet Music Director Jonathan McPhee and new Executive Director Marc Thayer, and an opening night reception with the internationally renowned vocal soloists performing in The Essential RING – Part II.

The Season Kick-Off Events begin on Thursday, September 15th at 6 pm with the Symphony NH Town Hall Meeting, an open discussion of the Symphony NH’s upcoming season and new plans for the future with Music Director Jonathan McPhee and Executive Director Marc Thayer.  The discussion will be followed by a reception and Symphony NH wind quintet concert.  The Symphony NH Town Hall Meeting will take place in Nashua’s historic Hunt Memorial Building thanks to the generous support of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.  Seats are limited, so RSVP is required for this event.  Reserve your seat by calling (603) 595-9156 or by vising

The series continues at the Nashua Public Library on Thursday, September 29th at 5:30 pm with a Library Talk led by Jonathan McPhee and Symphony NH Bassist Robert Hoffman.  Join McPhee and Hoffman for a discussion of McPhee’s The Essential RING – Part II, to be premiered in Nashua on October 2nd.  McPhee says, “We’re kicking off the season with the second part of an exploration of the highlights of Wagner’s amazing masterpiece The Ring Cycle.  Part one in April saw the most enthusiastic crowd I’ve ever seen at a Symphony NH concert, and everyone, including myself, is eagerly awaiting the premiere of part two in October.”

On October 2nd at 3 pm the series concludes with Symphony NH’s opening night at the Keefe Center for the Arts: The Essential RING – Part II.  Performing some of Wagner’s most magnificent music are an array of soloists including soprano Margaret Jane Wray, a frequent at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and bass-baritone Alfred Walker, who performs with the Seattle Opera and Komische Opera Berlin.  Join the soloists after the premiere for the Opening Night Reception at the Hunt Memorial Building; tickets are $25 and available online.

More information and tickets can be found at or by calling (603) 595-9156.

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Symphony NH Hires New Executive Director

For Immediate ReleaseDate: 6/6/2016 Contact: Audrey Alessi (603) 595-9156

Symphony NH Hires New Executive Director

Nashua, NH - The Symphony NH Board of Trustees led by President Dr. Robert Oot is pleased to announce the selection of Marc Thayer as the new Executive Director of Symphony NH.  Mr. Thayer is currently the Deputy Director of the Association of American Voices.  A search committee of individuals from the Symphony NH Board and Orchestra, assisted by Polly Kahn of PK Orchestra Solutions of New York City, conducted an extensive national search of industry professionals.

Board President Dr. Robert Oot gave the following statement upon Thayer accepting the position: “We at Symphony NH are delighted that Marc will be joining our organization.  His vast experience in the music world is an excellent match for Symphony NH, and we are very excited that he will be leading us as we continue to grow and perform across the state of New Hampshire.  I am confident that he will be successful as our Executive Director and am looking forward to his arrival next month.”

Symphony NH, New Hampshire’s leading professional orchestra, is committed to performing high quality classical music across the Granite State and concluded its 2015-16 season with Jonathan McPhee’s adaptation The Essential RING – Part I.  Part II of what The Boston Globe described as “intensely dramatic” and “outstanding Wagner” will be Symphony NH’s 2016-17 opening concert in Nashua on October 2nd.

Upon notification of his selection, Mr. Thayer made the following statement: “I’m excited and honored to join the Symphony NH family with Music Director Jonathan McPhee, whose vision has turned this organization into the premiere professional orchestra in New Hampshire.  The orchestra’s proud past and terrific potential promise a future of exciting growth, meaningful collaborations, and community connections throughout the region.”

Thayer worked with American Voices since 2011, where he managed cultural programs for the US Department of State and coordinated performing arts and education programs in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.  Previously he was Vice President for Education and Community Partnerships with the St. Louis Symphony and the Founder and Manager of Community Engagement for the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida.  Marc has been on faculty at Washington University, St. Louis University, and the Community Music School of Webster University.  Thayer holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Eastman School of Music.  Mr. Thayer will begin his role as Executive Director with Symphony NH on July 1st.

Symphony NH will be holding a public event for members of the community, press, and government wishing to learn more about Mr. Thayer’s goals for the future of Symphony NH and its work in the community.  This event will be scheduled for early fall; for more information call (603) 595-9156 or visit

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Symphony NH Announces 2016-17 Season

For Immediate ReleaseDate: 5/26/2016 Contact: Audrey Alessi (603) 595-9156

Symphony NH Announces 2016-17 Season

NASHUA, NH – Symphony NH announces its 2016-17 season, featuring world-class soloists, two New Hampshire premieres, and additional concerts across the Granite State.  Maestro Jonathan McPhee leads the orchestra into its 94th season with The Essential RING – Part II in Nashua on Sunday October 2nd.   Praised as “outstanding Wagner” by The Boston Globe, this monumental adaptation brings the stellar soloists, the combined forces of Symphony NH and the Lexington Symphony, and the epic story of Wagner’s Ring Cycle to New Hampshire audiences.  McPhee recalls the finale of Symphony NH’s previous season with the Essential RING – Part I: “The singers were amazing, the orchestra was fabulous.  Part I brought the most enthusiastic audience I’ve ever seen to a Symphony NH concert.”

In November Irina Muresanu returns to Symphony NH as violin soloist and conductor, leading and inspiring the orchestra’s string musicians in Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and other iconic stringed instrument repertoire.  Audiences across the state can enjoy this concert in Nashua, Concord, and Lebanon.

Now a Nashua tradition, Symphony NH will be performing the beloved Holiday Pops twice with an additional concert in Concord.  McPhee says, “Holiday Pops is always a meaningful time for our community as we celebrate some of the great music of the holiday season.  Now we get to share this time with an even larger community across the state.”

The season continues in January 2017 with the return of pianist Max Levinson performing Beethoven’s transformative Piano Concerto No. 4 on a concert with Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro and Schoenberg’s darkly romantic Verklärte Nacht.  Another Symphony NH favorite, cellist Sergey Antonov, returns in March to perform Tchaikovsky’s brilliant Variations on a Rococo Theme alongside Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and the New Hampshire Premiere of Theofanidis’ Dreamtime Ancestors.

The 2016-17 season concludes with Symphony NH’s own Cheryl Bishkoff, principal oboe, performing Martinů’s Concerto for Oboe, which McPhee calls, “one of my favorites”, on a program with Smetana’s beloved work The Moldau and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7.  This final concert featuring the works of Czech composers and their musical heritage will be performed in Nashua, Concord, and Lebanon.

Symphony NH continues to expand across the state and bring exceptional music to new audiences.  Tickets and subscriptions go on sale June 1st.  For more information visit or call (603) 595-9156.

Download this release: Symphony NH Announces 2016-17 Season