BSO Principal Musicians

Strings

Lisa Ferrigno, Concertmaster

Read Lisa Ferrigno’s bio here.

Victor Ferroni, Associate Concertmaster

Year I joined the BSO: 2001
I was born in:  Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, former republic of USSR.
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: I grew up in a musical family. Both of my parents are cellists. My mother was a principal cello at the Opera Moldova for 30 years and father taught cello at Musical College (he is still teaching at the Republican Musical Lyceum “S. Rachmaninov” for gifted students in Chisinau, Moldova). I spent most of my childhood backstage, absorbing the musical atmosphere while my parents were performing. It was mesmerizing to me. I started playing violin at the age of six, and since then I cannot imagine doing anything else but playing in the orchestra. It feels very natural and organic to me.
Favorite composers: Shostakovich , Tchaikovsky,  Brahms. 
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet: Georgy Svirodov Time Forward
Hobbies/Interests: video/photography, fixing things, brewing good coffee

Joni Hanze, Assistant Concertmaster

Year I joined the BSO:  Sometime in the late 1980s.  I played for several years until I had my children.  Since I live in DeLand and it is quite a drive, I stopped playing for the BSO for several years while my children were young, but as they got older, I was glad I could gradually work the BSO concerts back in my schedule.  They are both adults now, and I’m thrilled to be back full-time as Assistant Concertmaster.
I was born in:  Swedesburg, Iowa
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music:  I love playing orchestral music because of the incredible amount of great music there is to play out there, the myriad of sounds and textures that an orchestra can produce, the fantastic musicians I get to work with, and experiencing the very real live reaction of the audience.  It’s quite a high!  🙂
Favorite composers:  Depends on my mood.  That’s like asking me to pick a favorite food.  Or a favorite child. Can’t do it……
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet:    “Rainbow Body” by Christopher Theofanidis 
Hobbies/Interests:  Travel, exploring new areas, gardening and catching as many of my daughters’ dance performances as possible.

Alexander Stevens, Principal Second Violin

Year I joined the BSO: 2009
I was born in: Herrin, IL
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: The incredible variety of repertoire and the visceral feeling of being immersed in the sound of acoustic instruments.
Favorite composers: Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Puccini
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet: Mahler 6th symphony
Hobbies/Interests: golf, reading, DIY home projects

Lisa Suslowicz, Principal Viola

Year I joined the BSO: 2019
I was born in: Chicago, IL
Favorite thing about performing orchestral music: (this one is hard for me) Music is music no matter the genre and I feel passionate about making music 
Favorite composer: orchestrally, Mahler
Piece of orchestral music always wanted to play but haven’t yet: I don’t have one (I’ve played all the greats many times over)
Hobbies/Interests: pickle ball and jogging and my dogs

Michael Hill, Principal Bass

Year I joined the BSO: 1998, I think.
I was born in: Rapid City, SD
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: Sharing the power and unity of a large ensemble to audiences.
Favorite composers: Beethoven for the power and emotion, Mozart for the clarity and details.
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet: Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss. We’ve performed the opening as the movie theme of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but have never performed the entire work.
Hobbies/Interests: Chamber music and implementing music educational programs for the Native American youth in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Dawn Marie Edwards, Principal Harp

Year I joined the BSO: 2004
I was born in: Minneapolis, Minnesota, but I mostly grew up in Rochester, New York
Favorite thing about performing orchestra music: The thrill of being on stage and performing great music to a live audience.
Favorite composer: Stravinsky. Mike and I actually flew to Paris for the 100-year anniversary performance of The Rite of Spring.
Piece of orchestra music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet: Firebird, the complete score
Hobbies/Interests:
Biking, gardening, traveling, and hiking with Mike and our two dogs Mato and Luna

Woodwinds

Christina Apelgren, Principal Flute (Prefers to be called “Tina”)

Year I joined the BSO: Beginning of the 1989/90 season – which makes this my 31st year coming up!
I was born in: New York, NY (Far Rockaway Queens to be exact)
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: Being part of a team where everyone is striving for excellence with a unified goal. Nothing feels better than that.
Favorite composers: Beethoven, above all. Then Ravel, Prokofiev, Bach, Haydn. I also love Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich.
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet: Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet (I have played a few excerpts, but not the entire work. Also would love to play Shostakovich’s 6th symphony.
Hobbies/Interests: I love to garden, cook, the NY Times crossword puzzles, and Sudoku. Also love professional baseball and college basketball, following the Washington Nationals and Duke Blue Devils.

Lora MacPherson, Principal Oboe

Year I joined the BSO: 1987 
I was born in:  Westport, Connecticut
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: I’m a sucker for a great melody.
Favorite composers: Puccini, John Williams, Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss, Jr., Schubert, Mahler, Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart operas and chamber works, de Meij
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet:  Mahler 3rd Symphony, Prokofieff Romeo and Juliet. 
Hobbies/Interests: I transport and foster for Low Rider Dachshund Rescue of Florida (dachshund wrangler), Irish traditional flute, American fife and drum music, Shakespeare and Star Trek fan.

Keith Koons, Principal Clarinet

Year I joined the BSO: 1992
I was born in:  Frederick, MD
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: I love the team aspect of orchestral music, with all of the different forces coming together to make a great result.
Favorite composers: Mozart, Brahms, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Ravel, Mahler, Strauss
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet:  Strauss – Don Juan
Hobbies/Interests: Travel, movies, science fiction

Julie Fox, Principal Bassoon

Year I joined the BSO: 1993
I was born in: Tacoma, WA
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: Being immersed in sound.
Favorite composers: Impossible to choose
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet: Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale, many operas
Hobbies/Interests: Gardening and volunteering as Osceola County Master Gardener, cross-stitch, jigsaw puzzles, reading, traveling

Brass

Benjamin Lieser, Principal Horn

Year I joined the BSO: 2005
I was born in: Tallahassee, FL
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: I really enjoy being an active participant in the music creation/re-creation process.
Favorite composers: Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet: Richard Strauss – Alpine Symphony
Hobbies/Interests: camping, golf, and spending time with my family.

Tom Macklin, Principal Trumpet

Year I joined the BSO: 2005
I was born in: El Centro, CA
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: The great thing about orchestral music is that it is truly a group/team effort – From the top on down the score order. Every musician has to be up to the task to pull off a great performance. No one player can do it by themselves. The orchestra has to trust the conductor and each other. And live music is the best.
Favorite composers: My favorite American composers would be Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and John Williams. On a bigger scale, I would have to go with Mr. Beethoven. He had quite a few hits in his day that have managed to survive through the years. 
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet: Artunian Trumpet Concerto
Hobbies/Interests: reading – especially mysteries and spy thrillers.

Brian Foote, Principal Trombone

Year I joined the BSO:  I joined the BSO in my current position in the Fall of 1989.  However I was a member of the orchestra while in high school 1979 – 1982.  
I was born in:  Des Moines, IA
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music:  I love how each part is vitally important to the whole sound of the orchestra.  I feel part of something much bigger than myself when I’m playing with the orchestra.  
Favorite composer:  Tchaikovsky
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet:  Mahler Symphony #2.  
Hobbies/Interests: Canoeing, camping.  I would like to get a private pilots license.

Robin Sisk, Principal Tuba

Year I joined the BSO: I first started playing with the BSO in 2019 and assumed the role of Principal Tuba in 2021.
I was born in: Pittsburgh, PA
Favorite thing about performing orchestral music: Orchestral music is a timeless genre and one of the great musical outlets that we have for expression and sharing our humanity, both individually and collectively. As a member of the orchestra, I especially enjoy having the opportunity to perform with my wonderful and talented colleagues.  We all have our role to play, but we also all have to work together as a team. Sharing orchestral music with each other and with an audience is such a special experience.
Favorite composers: Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Beethoven, John Williams
Piece of orchestral music always wanted to play but haven’t yet: Mahler 2
Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with my family and friends, sports, reading, and visiting the theme parks. 

Percussion

Brian Slawson, Principal Timpani

Year I joined the BSO: 1993?
I was born in: Plattsburgh, NY
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: Getting inside access to the orchestrations and helping to manage the rhythmic flow of the ensemble. 
Favorite composers: J.S.Bach, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Prokofiev
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet: Ralph Vaughan Williams – Symphony No. 4 in F Minor
Hobbies/Interests: Home audio, literature, dogs, baseball

Kirk Gay, Principal Percussion

Year I joined the BSO: I first played with the BSO in the spring of 1998 but I became a section member in 2003.
I was born in: 
Detroit, MI
Favorite thing about playing orchestral music: 
The range of emotions! 
Favorite composers: 
Prokofiev and John Adams
Piece of orchestral music I’ve always wanted to play, but haven’t yet: 
Mahler Symphony No. 6
Hobbies/Interests: 
Composition, wood working, chauffeur for my daughter!