Meet the Bloggers

Calvin Dotsey
Calvin Dotsey is a native Houstonian and is the Houston Symphony’s Communications Specialist. As an undergraduate he studied composition at Columbia University. He currently plays violin and serves on the Repertoire Selection Committee for the Houston Civic Symphony.

steven_brown_150x150Steven Brown
Steven Brown is a Houston writer specializing in classical music and the arts. He has been the classical music critic of the Houston Chronicle, Charlotte Observer (N.C.) and Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).


Robert Franz
Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic, Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, and Music Director of the Mansfield Symphony, Robert Franz is emerging as one of the most talented conductors of his generation. Eminent composer Bright Sheng has praised Franz for his “extremely musical and passionate approach towards music making” and critics have hailed his “masterly pace, emphasis and technical control” calling his conducting “viscerally thrilling.”

Eric Larson
Double Bassist Eric Larson has been a member of the Houston Symphony since 1999. Eric pursued undergraduate studies at Boston University, where he received a Bachelors Degree in Music Performance. Mr. Larson received his training from Edwin Barker and Hal Robinson. To read more about Eric, please click here.

Brinton Smith
Brinton has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Houston Symphony since joining the orchestra as principal cellist in 2005. Prior to this, he was a member of the New York Philharmonic and the principal cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Smith is currently a member of the faculty at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and regularly gives master classes throughout the United States. Mr. Smith is also a co-founder and artistic director of Restoration Chamber Music, a festival that pairs historic Galveston buildings with relevant classical concerts to benefit the island’s preservation efforts. To read more about Brinton, please click here.

Past Bloggers

Kiju Joh
Kiju Joh, originally from Chicago, Illinois, has been member of the Houston Symphony since 2007. She earned her Master of Music degree in chamber music performance under a fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. There she was a member of the Arreaux String Quartet in the Leonard Sorkin Institute of Chamber Music. Ms. Joh also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University in violin performance, where she was a student of Myron Kartman and Blair Milton.

Brett Mitchell
Now the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, Brett Mitchell served as Assistant Conductor of the Houston Symphony for from September 2007 to May 2011, and is one of America’s most exciting and promising young conductors. He has led the Houston Symphony in nearly one hundred performances on all subscription series, several of which have been broadcast nationwide on SymphonyCast and Performance Today. Since 2010, Mr. Mitchell has served as Music Director of the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, which has shattered 75-year-old attendance records and achieved its first two sellouts during his tenure.

Anthony Prisk
Anthony is now the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Second Trumpet, after serving as the Houston Symphony’s Second Trumpet for 11 seasons. He has performed internationally with several orchestras and music festivals such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Grant Park Festival Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Moscow Philharmonic and many others. He attended the Tanglewood Music Center, Pacific Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Spoleto Festival, Cabrillo Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival. Anthony won two international trumpet competitions through the International Trumpet Guild and was a soloist with the New World Symphony.

Julie Thayer
Julie Thayer is currently the Fourth Horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and previously served as the Houston Symphony’s Fourth Horn from 2009 to 2012. A native of Atlanta, GA, Julie attended The Eastman School of Music as an undergraduate where she studied with W. Peter Kurau. It was in Rochester that Julie began playing the horn professionally, first as a substitute with the Syracuse Symphony and then as acting fourth horn of the Rochester Philharmonic. Julie continued her studies at Rice Universityʼs Shepherd School of Music as a student of William VerMeulen. While at Rice, she further honed her orchestral skills while subbing with orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, San Diego Symphony and the Houston Grand Opera.