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Meet the Musicians

The New Musicians Joining Your Orchestra

A collection of six headshots of the new musicians, laid out in a grid.

When Thomas Søndergård takes the podium later this month for his debut as music director, he will be joined onstage by six players that are new to the Minnesota Orchestra. Four new full-time musicians will join our ensemble by year’s end in the bassoon, cello, oboe and violin sections. Additionally, we welcome clarinetist Olivia Hamilton and trombonist Felix Regalado, who will begin their two-year appointments as Minnesota Orchestra Fellows.

Massachusetts-born bassoonist Julianne Mulvey will be the Orchestra’s new associate principal bassoon, while fellow Bay State native Lukas Goodman will assume his role as assistant principal cello at the end of December. Connecticut-born Oboist Kate Wegener will become the Orchestra’s associate principal oboe, also joining the ensemble full-time in December. And, born in Henan, China, Yi Zhao will join the Orchestra’s first violin section in September.

The musicians come to Minnesota from positions with other orchestras across the United States. Originally from Texas, Hamilton was a clarinetist with The Orchestra Now at Bard College. This past summer, she was selected as one of the clarinet fellows at the renowned Spoleto Festival USA. Meanwhile, Regalado has served as a regular member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony’s training orchestra, since 2021.

For her part, Mulvey has performed with a variety of orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and as guest principal with the Houston Ballet Orchestra. Aside from giving solo and chamber recitals around Manhattan, Goodman made his concerto debut with the Missouri Symphony in 2019, performing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. Wegener has appeared as a substitute musician with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra and the Apex Ensemble. And before arriving in Minneapolis, Zhao was the assistant concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony for nine seasons.

Despite their histories with various ensembles, many of the musicians received training at the same music schools. Hamilton and Regalado both earned their master of music degrees from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. Mulvey, Goodman and Zhao each studied at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where Mulvey and Goodman both won first prize at the Shepherd School Concerto Competition. And Wegener completed her master’s degree at the Juilliard School, where Goodman is currently completing his master’s.

Also in the world of coincidences, the cohort also holds several ties to the Minnesota Orchestra. Amongst Goodman’s teachers in chamber music has been Jon Kimura Parker, creative partner for Summer at Orchestra Hall. At Juilliard, Wegener’s primary teacher is Nathan Hughes, the Orchestra’s new principal oboe. And amongst the renowned pedagogues that Zhao has worked with is the late-Jorja Fleezanis, who served as the Minnesota Orchestra’s concertmaster from 1989 to 2009.

Regardless of the path they took to get to Minneapolis, we are thrilled for the arrival of this immensely talented group of musicians.

The best way to meet the musicians of the Orchestra is to attend an upcoming Symphony in 60 concert—hour-long programs that are followed by an onstage reception with Orchestra members.

We Hope You'll Join Us!