every single one of us carries a unique gift that the world needs. As musicians and creators, teachers and performers, you have found a path to your calling and purpose.

Now, it’s time to tap into your potential and discover the infinite possibilities that reside in you. Let’s transform hesitation and doubt in order to think big and show up bold. You have something special to do on this planet!




Ixi Chen is the Second Clarinetist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and enjoys a versatile and active career as an orchestral player, chamber musician, artistic director, educator and coach. 

Following her studies at the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Southern California, Ms. Chen was appointed by Maestro Paavo Järvi to the position of Second Clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2002.  In 2004, she joined the woodwind faculty of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and in 2006, founded the chamber ensemble concert:nova whose fusion of traditional and contemporary elements seeks to cultivate a new audience for music and deeper understanding .

Ms. Chen's commitment to diverse experiences has taken her around the globe. She has performed in music festivals such as the Munich ARD, Aspen, Tanglewood, Evian, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Jerusalem, Thessoloniki, Saint Petersburg, Mexico City UNAM and the Beijing International Clarinet Festival.

Ms.Chen has trained with  Rosario Mazzeo, Gary Gray, David Krakauer, Ricardo Morales, Wolfgang Meyer and Yehuda Gilad. An active presenter and clinician, she presents masterclasses and workshops at universities across the US and abroad. As a Buffet Group and Vandoren Artist, Ms. Chen performs exclusively on Buffet Crampon clarinets and D'Addario reeds. 


Theodore Nelson is a member of the cello section in the Cincinnati  Symphony Orchestra. Prior to this engagement, Mr. Nelson served as Associate Principal cellist of the Kansas City Symphony for five  seasons, and he has also been a member of the Akron Symphony and Toledo Symphony Orchestras in Ohio. 

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Nelson has been a member and artistic director of concert:nova for the past 10 seasons. He has performed at the Kneisel Hall Festival in Blue Hill Maine, the Utah Music Festival, and the Johannesen International School of the Arts and Scotia Festival in Canada. While in Kansas City, he performed for the Ruel Joyce  Recital Series, the Summerfest Chamber Music series, and was a regular participant with the New Ear Contemporary Music Ensemble. He is a regular participant in the Cincinnati Symphony Chamber Players series, and has appeared as guest artist at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

A native of Vermont, he received his Bachelor of Music degree at the  Eastman School of Music and his Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he performed Strauss’ Don Quixote  as soloist with the CIM Symphony Orchestra. In 1995, he was invited to participate in the Gregor Piatigorsky Seminar for Cellists at the  University of Southern California. His teachers include Alan Harris, Pamela Frame and Elsa Hilger.



A vibrant performer and teacher, Tiffany Valvo is currently the Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Virginia Commonwealth University. Tiffany has been a lecturer of music at both Nazareth College and Syracuse University, and has performed at the Sante Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Kennedy Center, with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and as a soloist with the Richmond Symphony.

Fueled by teaching and learning, Tiffany has presented on pedagogy at many international conferences with organizations including the International College Music Society, International Clarinet Association, and American Single Reed Summit. 

Her article Refining Fundamentals through Extended Techniques” was published in The Clarinet in March of 2020, and represents her philosophy that much of our creative potential is unleashed through exploration. In Spring 2019, Tiffany began teaching her proposed course "The Creative Habit" that teaches college students the "soft" skills they need to succeed as an artist and in life - how to act holistically, set goals, have a growth mindset, and develop mindfulness.

Tiffany holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Masters degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelors Degree from Florida State University, with additional studies at the Trossingen Hochschule für Musik with Israeli clarinetist Chen Halevi. She is a D'Addario artist and performs on Buffet clarinets. 

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