The Chicago Philharmonic Society is governed by musicians and leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to the organization’s mission of providing great music to diverse audiences.
Meet the Chicago Philharmonic Board of DirectorsClick here for board bios
Duffie Adelson, Vice Chairman, is a Life Trustee and past president of Merit School of Music, a community music school nationally renowned for the caliber of instruction and level of financial support provided to thousands of students annually. Prior to her work at Merit, Duffie directed school music programs in Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Illinois. She is a trustee of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Chicago High School for the Arts and Pilgrim Chamber Players, and is a member of the WFMT Radio Committee of WTTW. Duffie received a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.
James Berkenstock, Artistic Advisor, Ph.D., is a principal bassoonist with the Chicago Philharmonic and the principal bassoonist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, a position he has held for the past forty-two years. He received a Ph.D. and M.M. from Northwestern University and a B.S.in Music Education from George Peabody College. He is a former Professor of Music at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Professor Emeritus at Northern Illinois University.
JeNyce Boolton is Vice President, East Region Community Relations Manager for U.S. Bank where she is responsible for setting the strategic direction and driving the impact of community relations, foundation giving, charitable sponsorships and employee engagement. Most recently, JeNyce was Director of Public Affairs for RBS Citizens/Charter One Bank where she led charitable initiatives, philanthropic activities, community outreach and marketing sponsorships in Illinois. Prior to this role, JeNyce held positions of increasing responsibility in public affairs, cause marketing and communications at U.S. Cellular, United Airlines, Dominick’s Finer Foods and Flowers Communications Group. JeNyce earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Guillermo Bublik, Ph.D., has worked on developing mathematical tools for quantitative financial strategies for 25 years. He is currently a senior proprietary trader at Rosenthal Collins Capital Markets, where he is also heavily involved in the risk management of the firm’s commodities options trading operation. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Theoretical Physics and a Master of Science in Physics from the University of Washington, and he completed undergraduate studies at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Jennifer Cappelli, a violinist with the Chicago Philharmonic, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance as a student of Josef Gingold at Indiana University. Upon graduation, she spent six years with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra before returning to her native Chicago. Jennifer has performed with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra for the past fifteen seasons. She has been a substitute player with the Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras and has acted as Concertmaster for the Lakeshore Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Concertmaster of the Chicago Philharmonic and Chicagoland Pops Orchestras. She has also performed with Music of the Baroque, the Joffrey Ballet, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, and the Fulcrum Point New Music Project.
Reed Capshaw currently holds the position of Principal Trombone of the Elgin Symphony, the Lake Forest Symphony, and the South Bend Symphony, in addition to performing with the Chicago Philharmonic. He is an alumnus of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has performed with the Chicago Symphony and toured with the Cleveland Orchestra. While in Chicago he frequently performs with many of the great area ensembles, including the Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Grant Park Symphony. In 2011 Reed performed the Milhaud Concertino D’Hiver with the South Bend Symphony. He has also been a soloist with the Naperville Community Band. He is a member of The Chicago Trombone Consort, the Third Coast Brass Quintet, and Tower Brass of Chicago. He is currently an Artist-Teacher at Roosevelt University and teaches trombone at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Joel Cohen is a principal percussionist with the Chicago Philharmonic. Joel attended the Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University. He has been an active participant in Chicago’s music scene for almost 40 years, during which time he has performed with virtually every classical ensemble in the area.
Jeff Cote, Treasurer, most recently served in the dual role of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for Pfingsten Partners, L.L.C., a Chicago-based private equity firm. Jeff graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in accounting and began his professional accounting career as a certified public accountant with a local accounting firm. Following a path into the private equity industry, Jeff focused on accounting and tax matters for both the firm and the portfolio companies held by the firm during his 17-year tenure. He organized and implemented practices that delivered timely and accurate financial, tax and SEC-required reporting.
Bobby Everson, Vice Chairman, is a principal timpanist with the Chicago Philharmonic. A life-long Chicagoan, he was educated at DePaul University. In addition to playing with the Philharmonic he also performs with many orchestras in the Chicago area and teaches percussion at Concordia University.
Barbara Haffner A graduate with honors and a Performers’ Certificate from the Eastman School, Barbara launched into the professional world as Robert Shaw’s Principal Cellist. Moving on to seven seasons in the Philadelphia Orchestra and working towards a Masters’ degree with Richard Wernick at the University of Pennsylvania, her repertoire became chamber and solo music from the 20th century. At the invitation of the University of Chicago, she moved there to perform a myriad of fascinating 20th century works. She also became first call for TV, radio and film music in Chicago. There still being time to hold an actual job, she became the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, as well as Principal Cellist of Music of the Baroque and a Principal Cellist with the Chicago Philharmonic.
Paul R. Judy, was Chairman and Treasurer of the Society from 2012 – 2015. Mr. Judy is founder of the Orchestra Musician Forum at the Eastman School of Music, and of the Symphony Orchestra Institute. Prior to the Institute’s formation, he was a professional corporate director serving on the Boards of some 20 publicly and privately owned corporations. Paul retired in 1981 from A. G. Becker & Co. Inc., where he served as chief executive officer for thirteen years. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School.
Carmen Llop Kassinger has performed in the violin section of the Chicago Philharmonic for twenty seasons! In addition, as a busy freelancer Carmen has performed with many groups including the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera, Grant Park Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Lake Forest Symphony, the Joffrey Ballet and Music of the Baroque. Carmen enjoys playing Broadway Shows and with the Ravenswood Chamber Players. She is a former member of the Charleston Symphony, and has performed with the New World Symphony and Sarasota Opera. Carmen received her undergraduate degree in violin performance from Stetson University as well as a Masters of Music from the University of Miami.
Neil Kimel is a principal horn with the Chicago Philharmonic and holds the second horn chair with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Grant Park Orchestra. He is a member of the Tower Brass Ensemble and the Barossa Wind Quintet. Neil is adjunct professor of horn at DePaul University and a chamber music coach at Northwestern University. He received a B. A. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Melissa Kirk, violist, has been a member of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra since 1982 and was one of the first members of the Chicago Philharmonic. She is a staple of Chicago’s classical music scene and has performed with every major classical ensemble in the city, including the Chicago Philharmonic, Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, and Chicago Opera Theater.
Thomas Manning, Chairman, is a corporate board director and advisor who recently served as the CEO of Cerberus Asia Operations & Advisory Limited, the Beijing subsidiary of Cerberus Capital. Tom returned to Chicago in 2012 after living for 17 years in Hong Kong where he was CEO of Indachin Limited, Capgemini Asia, and Ernst & Young Consulting Asia, and a senior partner of Bain & Company. Currently, he is on the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School where he teaches corporate governance. Tom received an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Rex Martin is a principal tubist with the Chicago Philharmonic and a professor of music at Northwestern University. Rex tours extensively throughout the world presenting master classes and recitals, and has soloed with a number of leading orchestras. He received his B.M. degree from Illinois State University and his M.M. degree from Northwestern University. Rex is also Professor of Tuba and Pedagogy at the Berne University of the Arts in Berne, Switzerland.
Donna Milanovich, Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Secretary, was a flutist with the Chicago Philharmonic for 17 years and has performed with a number of other prestigious ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera Orchestra. Donna became Executive Director of the Chicago Philharmonic in 2010. Since that time, the organization’s revenue has grown from $463,000 to $1.6 million, the Society’s orchestras have become the exclusive ensemble for the Joffrey Ballet, and the total number of performances per year has more than tripled. Donna is on the music faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds a B.M. degree from Stetson University, an M.M. degree from the University of Kansas, and a postgraduate degree in Orchestral Studies from Royal Northern College of Music in England. In 2015, she was accepted to and completed the Harvard Business School’s highly competitive Executive Program “Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management.”
Ann Palen is a principal and assistant principal violinist with the Chicago Philharmonic and has been a member of Lyric Opera Orchestra since 1990. She has performed with a number of other orchestras in the Chicago area, has been a fellow at Tanglewood, and is an active chamber music player. Ann has a bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree from the Peabody Institute.
Feng Xue is a Partner in the law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. He heads the firm’s Shanghai office and China practice and focuses on complex M&A transactions, securities offerings, middle market buyouts, and venture capital. He has been quoted in a wide range of Chinese and US media and is a frequent speaker on legal issues affecting foreign investment in China. He is the co-author of Laws of the People’s Republic of China, Volumes III, IV, and V and Western Corporate Laws. Feng is a graduate of Beijing University and worked for the Legislative Affairs Commission and Law Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress prior to his studies at Duke University School of Law (JD, LLM).
Meet the Chicago Philharmonic StaffClick here for staff bios
Donna Milanovich, Executive Director, (see above)
Terrell Pierce, Personnel and Operations Director, is a recent graduate with a B.A. in Arts Administration and Tuba Performance from Trinity International University, where he worked as the Events Coordinator Assistant for the Department of Music. Pierce began working for the Chicago Philharmonic in May 2012 and currently serves as Personnel and Concert Manager. He also serves as a Business Volunteer for the Arts with the Arts & Business Council of Chicago. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cassandra Kirkpatrick, Marketing and Communications Director, manages all of the marketing, public relations and social media for Chicago Philharmonic. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Edith Cowan University and a Masters of Professional Communication from the Western Australian Screen Academy. Prior to moving the United States in 2016, she was Marketing Manager at West Australian Ballet. email@example.com
Jamie E. Bourne, Operations Manager, holds a dual Master’s in Library and Information Science from Indiana University. She brings her skills in knowledge/information management and customer service together to serve as the Chicago Philharmonic Society’s Office Manager and Accounting Support. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lydia Penningroth, Marketing and Development Associate, is a recent graduate with a B.S. in Sound Recording Technology from DePaul University. She began working for the Chicago Philharmonic in October 2016, providing support for the marketing, development, and outreach programs. She actively advocates for a more positive, public, and accessible musical community in Chicago. email@example.com
Paul Beck, Music Librarian, worked as an orchestra librarian in New York City and has recently relocated to the midwest where he has roots in Milwaukee and Chicago. Paul has had orchestra library affiliations with The Juilliard School, Metropolitan Opera, and Mostly Mozart Festival among many others. In addition to his work with the Chicago Philharmonic, Paul serves as the concert librarian for opera star Renee Fleming.
Michael Shelton, Music Librarian, studied violin at Indiana University, where he first worked in an orchestra library. He currently also serves as music librarian of the Grant Park Orchestra and has been a free-lance violinist in Chicago for 30 years, playing with the the Chicago Philharmonic, Lyric Opera, Music of the Baroque, Grant Park Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, and many other groups. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife, Leslie Grimm, and their son.
Steve Yépez, Stage Manager, received his Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance from California State University, Northridge and a Master of Music degree in flute performance from DePaul University in Chicago, and is currently a faculty member at the New Music School. He has performed with groups such as the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, the Lakeshore Symphony, and the Lira Ensemble of Chicago, as well as the West Los Angeles Symphony, Burbank Philharmonic, and Antelope Valley Symphony of Los Angeles. Steve has been working with the Chicago Philharmonic since 2011.
Tim Sawyier, Program Notes Writer, is a writer and freelance oboist in the Chicago area. He holds a Bachelor of Music in oboe from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and a Master of Arts in European history from the University of Chicago. A staff writer for the Chicago Classical Review, Tim was the principal oboist of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra for four seasons, and is currently second oboe in the West Michigan Symphony and a member of the Chicago Chamber Orchestra.