CLEVELAND – Today, The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst have announced updates to musician personnel with the appointment of five new members and one member in an assistant principal position. At the beginning of the 2021-22 Severance season this October, Derek Zadinsky, a bass section member since 2012, won the position of assistant principal bass and the Orchestra welcomed two new members: Michael Ferraguto as head librarian and Amy Zoloto as bass clarinet and clarinet. During the 2021-22 season, the viola section was joined by William Bender the week of November 8 and Gareth Zehngut (a Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra alumnus) joins the week of January 3. In the bass section, Charles Paul joins the Orchestra the week of January 3. Bios of each of these musicians are included below and high resolution headshots are available upon request.

Now in his 20th year, Music Director Franz Welser-Möst has appointed close to half of the current members of The Cleveland Orchestra. About this process, he said “Selecting Cleveland Orchestra musicians is the biggest artistic investment we make. In close consultation with a musician panel, I always look for absolutely the best fit, which includes an extremely high standard of musicality for a world-class ensemble. When we pick the best players for a top team, we are not allowed to make a compromise. I’ve heard hundreds of people audition in 19 years and I am extremely proud of the collaboration with musicians who have advised me so well. When that special person shows up, we all know they are the right person.”

Michael Ferraguto, head librarian (Joe and Marlene Toot Chair)
Michael Ferraguto joined The Cleveland Orchestra as head librarian in 2021. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, where he studied music and French, and served as concertmaster of the Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra. Following college, he worked and held fellowships with the Tanglewood Music Festival and the New World Symphony. Prior to joining The Cleveland Orchestra, Mr. Ferraguto was the principal librarian of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, where he worked for six seasons. He has also held positions with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Britt Classical Festival. He currently serves on the board of directors for MOLA: An Association of Music Performance Librarians and has presented several times at its professional conferences. Outside of the library, he enjoys biking, tabletop gaming, and volunteering with greyhound rescue groups.

“As Head Librarian, I’m responsible for every note that the orchestra plays,” said Michael. “It is a tremendous honor being part of this amazing orchestra, and I am so excited to contribute to music-making for our audiences at home in Cleveland and around the world.”

Amy Zoloto, bass clarinet (Myrna and James Spira chair) / clarinet
Bass clarinetist Amy Zoloto started in The Cleveland Orchestra during the 2019-20 season and as of the 2021-22 season she is in Cleveland full time. Previously, she was bass clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic since 2016, and was the bass clarinet/utility clarinet of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (2014–16), played as a substitute with the New York Philharmonic (2009–14), and was a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Zoloto has performed and toured with The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, and American Symphony Orchestra. She has participated in the Bard Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, and Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. As a chamber musician, Ms. Zoloto has appeared in New York Philharmonic Ensembles chamber series, was a member of the Sylvan Winds, and toured Europe with the Jeunesse Musicale Wind Quintet and has played at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. As a teacher, she has conducted master classes at the Manhattan School of Music, coached the New York Youth Symphony, and was an adjunct professor at University of Florida. A Chicago native, Ms. Zoloto is a graduate of DePaul University, where she studied with Larry Combs, retired principal clarinet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and performed for two years with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She completed further studies with Frank Kowalsky. She is a Buffet Crampon USA performing artist.

Derek Zadinsky, assistant principal bass
Derek Zadinsky joined the bass section of The Cleveland Orchestra in February 2012. He had served as a substitute in the section since the beginning of the 2011-12 season. Mr. Zadinsky previously served as principal bass with Symphony in C (formerly the Haddonfield Symphony) in Camden, New Jersey, 2008-11. He has also performed as a substitute musician with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony, and as a soloist with the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. In 2011, Mr. Zadinsky won first place in the International Society of Bassists Orchestral Competition in San Francisco. A native of Issaquah, Washington, Derek Zadinsky holds a bachelor of music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Edgar Meyer and with Harold Robinson, principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also studied with Edgar Meyer at the Aspen Music Festival and School each summer 2007-09. Prior to his studies at Curtis, Mr. Zadinsky’s teacher was Jordan Anderson, principal bass of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Zadinsky has performed in many masterclasses, for artists including bassists Gary Karr and Paul Ellison, and Maximilian Dimoff (principal bass of The Cleveland Orchestra). In addition, Mr. Zadinsky has been coached in chamber music by Carter Brey, Pamela Frank, Gary Graffman, Ida Kavafian, and Joseph Silverstein, among others.

“This audition occurred 10 years to the day from the very first time I ever played with The Cleveland Orchestra!” said Zadinsky on the assistant principal position. “I have some very big shoes to fill in this new role — Kevin Switalski was always such a dedicated player and great colleague. It has been very exciting to have this opportunity to share a stand with the legendary Max Dimoff; we also share the same hometown of Seattle!”

William Bender, viola
William Bender grew up near Nashville, Tennessee. He started playing the viola at Vanderbilt University’s Blair Academy at age thirteen. After studies at The Juilliard School and Cleveland Institute of Music, Mr. Bender joined The Philharmonia Orchestra in London as Assistant Principal Viola under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen. With the Philharmonia, Mr. Bender performed in many of the great concert halls of Germany, Spain, Japan, China, and South Korea. Concurrently, he regularly performed chamber music concerts as part of the Philharmonia Chamber Players and worked on new compositions through the orchestra’s “Music Of Today” series. As a teacher, Mr. Bender has coached the students of Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, Trinity-Laban Conservatoire, the Australian Youth Orchestra, and the Columbian Youth Philharmonic.

About joining The Cleveland Orchestra, Bender said “The Cleveland Orchestra has been a singular influence in my musical life—the sound of this orchestra is the envy of any serious musician. I remember when my grandpa gifted me a box set of the Beethoven Symphonies with Christoph von Dohnányi — I couldn’t get enough! To become a part of this extraordinary sound is a tremendous honor.”

Gareth Zehngut, viola
Violist Gareth Zehngut joins The Cleveland Orchestra after previously serving as a member of the Minnesota Orchestra and San Diego Symphony viola sections. In the Twin Cities, Mr. Zehngut was principal violist of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble, with whom he also appeared as soloist. He was a member of The Musical Offering, performed regularly on the Minnesota Orchestra chamber music series as well as with The Isles Ensemble and Music on the Hill.  Mr. Zehngut has served as guest principal violist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and during summers, acts as principal viola for the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra. Other festival appearances include the Sun Valley Music Festival, Mainly Mozart, Festival Mozaic, La Jolla SummerFest and the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival. He has also performed and taught at the Campanile Music Festival and Luzerne Music Center. A native of Pennsylvania, Mr. Zehngut earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. His teachers include Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yun Huang, Misha Amory, Steven Tenenbom, Jeffrey Irvine and Melinda Daetsch.

“Having spent all four years of high school as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, joining The Cleveland Orchestra is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream,” said Zehngut about joining the ensemble.

Charles Paul, bass
Double bassist Charles Paul will join The Cleveland Orchestra in January of 2022, having previously served as a member of the double bass section of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Houston Chronicle, and American Public Media’s “Performance Today” as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborator. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Paul holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Double Bass Performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University under the instruction of professors Paul Ellison and Timothy Pitts. Mr. Paul has received numerous accolades including 1st Prize of the 2016 TCU International Double Bass Competition, semi-finalist of the 2017 International Society of Basses Solo Competition, Tanglewood Music Center Fellowships in 2016 and 2017, Aspen Music Festival and School Fellowship in 2015, and Spoleto Festival USA fellowships in 2018 and 2019. Mr. Paul performs a wide variety of repertoire, performing as a member of the Teatro Nuovo Bel Canto Orchestra, a founding member of the Kinetic Ensemble, and with Complexions Contemporary Ballet. He has premiered works of new music for solo double bass and chamber music by Doug Balliet, Erin Gee, Theo Chandler, and Jon Anderson. In 2018, Mr. Paul worked with his mother Meg Paul and the Gerald Arpino Foundation in a recreation of the 1971 work for dance and solo double Bass “Valentine” by Gerald Arpino and Jacob Druckman. Additionally, in 2018, Mr. Paul performed as a solo act on the main stage of the Detroit Music Weekend, opening for the Jackson Five.

“The Cleveland Orchestra has touched the lives of countless musicians and audiences around the world, I have looked up to them as an orchestral force of nature ever since I began playing,” said Paul. “It is incredible, humbling, and an honor to join this amazing organization.”