Appearing October 2

David Rothenberg, Pre-concert Lecturer
David J. Rothenberg is a member of the music history faculty at Case Western Reserve University, where he has taught since 2005 and been chair of the Department of Music since 2015. He received his PhD from Yale University.

Rothenberg’s research focuses on music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, exploring connections between music, liturgy, visual art, and literature. His publications include The Flower of Paradise: Marian Devotion and Secular Song in Medieval and Renaissance Music (Oxford University Press, 2011); Music and Culture in the Middle Ages and Beyond: Liturgy, Sources, Symbolism, co-edited with Benjamin Brand (Cambridge University Press, 2016); and the Oxford Anthology of Western Music, Volume 1: From the Earliest Notations to the Early Eighteenth Century, co-edited with Robert R. Holzer (Oxford University Press, 2013, 2nd ed. 2019). He served as a senior editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts (Oxford University Press, 2015), for which he wrote several entries including “Requiem.”

In 2007 Rothenberg was the recipient of the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society. He has received research grants and fellowships from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University. In addition to his academic work, he is a regular pre-concert lecturer for The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, and other musical organizations, among which he is now happy to count the Suburban Symphony Orchestra.

He lives near Shaker Square with his wife Elizabeth, a cellist in SSO, and daughter Beatrice.

Don Verkuijlen –  Director of Music, First Baptist Church  

Appearing November 20

The Leo Esral Guest Conductor is sponsored by his daughter Dinah Jacobs Castle

It is a privilege to sponsor Maestro Sarmientos’s performance with the Suburban Symphony Orchestra (SSO) in memory of my father. My Dad was a Curtis Conservatory trained oboist although he earned his living at the US Post Office. I clearly remember when he worked to startup the SSO. My Dad loved conducting, could play virtually every instrument with some degree of expertise, and made music literally every day of his life. During his retirement he formed many chamber music groups and quartets in Tucson Arizona and later in West Palm Beach Florida.

As a child whose life already revolved around music, it was very exciting to hear about the beginning of the SSO. I could read music before I could read words; I began piano at age 3, and oboe at age 10 so I could play in my school’s orchestra. Today, decades later, I still love playing classical piano and practice as often as possible, ideally daily. 

I now work as a Musical Entrepreneur, specializing in advancing women in Classical Music and encouraging future generations of music lovers and listeners. I am the Chair of the Board of the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, in which renowned Maestro Marin Alsop has mentored 30 outstanding, next generation women conductors from 18 nationalities during the past 20 years. 19 of these women are now Music Directors and Chief Conductors. ( I also am the Lead Sponsor of the 2022 Inaugural Breaking Barriers Festival at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois. This year’s Festival’s theme is Women on the Podium/Leadership. (

If you are interested in learning more about my work – and how you might participate – please email me at Again, thank you very much to the SSO for allowing me to honor my Dad.

Appearing January 29

Marina Ziegler, violin
Marina Ziegler, 17, is a junior at Copley High School. She began piano study at the age of four with her mother Mayumi Kikuchi. At the age of five, Marina began violin study at the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), where she studied with Stephen Sims. Marina has also studied violin with Isabel Trautwein from the Cleveland Orchestra and Eugenia Postyreva at ClM. She currently studies with David Bowlin from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Marina has placed in or won many competitions in both violin and piano, including the Sigma Alpha Iota String Competition, State Buckeye Piano and Violin Auditions, and the 2020 Suburban Symphony Young Soloist Concerto Competition. She has performed in many venues in Northeast Ohio and in 2018 performed on both instruments in Japan. In the past few summers, she has attended the Tanglewood Institute Violin Workshop, Credo Music Festival, and Bowdoin International Music Festival. She currently plays in the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra as assistant concertmaster.

Appearing March 19

Gerardo Teissonnière, piano
Regarded by international critics and audiences as an artist of extraordinary musicianship and rare sensibility since his acclaimed solo recital debut at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, pianist Gerardo Teissonnière brings to the concert stage an exciting amalgam of the diverse and important musical traditions he represents. From the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, Lincoln Center in New York to concert halls in Asia, Europe, North and Latin America, Mr. Teissonnière appears in recital, with orchestra and chamber music performances in concert series as well as in radio and television broadcasts throughout the world.

Concert season highlights include his solo recital debuts in Munich and Vienna, as well as solo and chamber music performances in Italy, in the United States with members of The Cleveland Orchestra, a performance for an audience of twenty
thousand and a solo recital at the Diaoyucheng International Music Festival in Chongqing, China, his solo recital and concerto debuts in Beijing, and all-Chopin concerts in Poland.

Upcoming season highlights include return engagements in Austria (Barocksaal in Vienna), and his solo recital debut in Paris featuring music by Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy in October of 2022. Mr. Teissonnière’s recording of the monumental last three Beethoven sonatas for the Steinway & Sons record label is released March 4, 2022.