Susan Pitard Acree

Music Director

Susan Pitard Acree is Music Director of Daytona Solisti Chamber Orchestra and a professional violinist. She is also the Music Director/Artist in Residence at First Presbyterian Church of Daytona Beach and has been a member of the music ministry staff since 2007.

Ms. Acree was a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for 22 years and taught violin and viola at Georgia Perimeter College for 11 years. From 1994 to 2000 she served as concertmaster of the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra, performing concertos with the orchestra by Mendelssohn, Bruch, and Mozart. She is founder and Music Director Emeritus of DaSalo Solisti Chamber Orchestra in Atlanta, and served as Music Director from 2001 to 2005.

Ms. Acree holds a degree in violin performance from Indiana University School of Music. Her teachers have included Josef Gingold and Mischa Mischakoff, and she studied chamber music performance with Janos Starker at Indiana University and with the Hungarian String Quartet at Colby College in Maine.

Dr. Michael Rickman

Artist in Residence

Steinway Artist Michael Rickman has been portrayed as “a resourceful and sensitive pianist, technically in control and emotionally rewarding.” New York Times critic, Bernard Holland, hailed him as “a sure and steady pianist.” Drew Murphy of the Daytona Beach News Journal wrote, “Michael Rickman communicated a sense of musicality, masterful technique, and unswerving control that stayed with him for the entire program…a happy combination of the head, hand and heart, he is an intelligent, even intellectual performer…” Having achieved critical acclaim on three continents, he was described by a South American critic as “a discriminating pianist, whose masterful touch equaled the challenges of each passage” (El Mercurio-Santiago). European critics valued his “technical precision and great tonal beauty, a performer with stylistic and nuance-rich acumen” (Saarbrücker Zeitung). “Michael Rickman, brilliant at the keyboard, played not as a technician, but as a musician, who lived the performance with both body and soul” (Badische Zeitung-Freiburg). His performances have taken him to many significant cultural centers around the world – Wagnersaal in Riga, Latvia; Alice Tully, Bruno Walter and Carnegie Halls in New York; Frutillar International Music Festival, Chile; as well as performances in Miami, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Louisville, Kansas City, Sacramento, Toronto, London, Paris, and Frankfurt.

Additional international exposure includes appointment as visiting Professor at Stetson University’s sister institution, the Paedogogische Hochschule in Freiburg, Germany, in 1997. From 1999 through 2006, Dr. Rickman taught in the Stetson University summer program at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. In summer 2007, he joined the faculty of the prestigious Orfeo International Music Festival (formerly Schlern International Music Festival), Vipiteno, Italy. This summer 2018 he will return to Orfeo for the 12th season as an artist in residence. In October of 2007, he was invited to appear in a series of performances and master classes in Bolivia, assisting in the Centennial Celebration of the Bolivian National Conservatory in La Paz. In November 2014 Dr. Rickman performed in Chile as well as served on the international jury representing the United States for the XLI International Musical Competition “Dr. Luis Sigel” (Mencion Piano) in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Michael Rickman, now holding the title Professor Emeritus, joined the faculty at the acclaimed School of Music of Stetson University in 1983. A highly sought-after performer and teacher, he maintained a studio of prize-winning students, preparing them for musical studies in the noted graduate programs of Yale University, Bard Conservatory, Boston University, Indiana University, University of Missouri/Kansas City, The Eastman School of Music, California State University, and Florida State University, among others, and many now hold prominent positions in the professional music world. Rickman is also founding Artistic Director of the Annual Festival of Stetson University Piano Scholars, now in its 22nd year, which brings world renowned artists to the Stetson University campus.

In 1990, Dr. Rickman was the first recipient of Stetson University’s Homer and Dolly Hand Award for Creative Activity and Research, the Award again received in 2013. In 1995, he received the highest honor given by Stetson University, the William Hugh McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching. He received additional grants from Stetson University allowing him to study the late works of Beethoven and Schubert with the pianist Edward Kilenyi, the works of Twentieth Century Dutch composers with Dutch pianist-composer Piet Stalmeier, and a third grant enabling his continued research in the area of Robert Schumann and E.T.A. Hoffmann. Dr. Rickman has also served on the faculties of William Woods and Westminster Colleges in Fulton, Missouri, and at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

A native of Asheville, North Carolina, Michael Rickman was privileged to have been a pupil of the late Grace Potter Carroll, herself a pupil of both Ferruccio Busoni and Theodore Leschetitzky. He holds degrees and the performer’s certificate from Mars Hill College and the University of North Texas where he was a pupil of Richard Cass and Jack Roberts. He studied further with Karen Shaw of Indiana University. In 1978, Michael Rickman received top honors in the Theodore Leschetitzky International Competition, Carnegie Hall, New York. For two seasons, he was resident pianist with the Petit Jean Music Festival, working with pianist Dalton Baldwin. He has appeared in concert with both the Audubon and Mendelssohn String Quartets, in conjunction with the Florida International Festival.

In the most recent seasons, Dr. Rickman has performed Mozart’s Piano Concerti, K. 271, K. 449, K. 595, and the cycle of Beethoven’s Piano Concerti with the Daytona Solisti Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Susan Pitard Acree. In 2017 Michael Rickman was appointed Artist in Residence with the Daytona Solisti Chamber Orchestra. Other concerto appearances with Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Florida Young Artists Orchestra, and the Stetson University Orchestra include Mozart’s Concerti, K. 482, K. 488 and K. 491; Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and the Second Piano Concerto; Concerti of both Schumann and Grieg; and Wedding Cake and Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Dr. Rickman is a frequent adjudicator at various state, national and international competitions, having recently adjudicated the auditions of the Music Teachers Association of California in San Pablo, February 2014. His performances include national conferences of both the American Musicological Society and College Music Society, and the Alabama Music Teachers Association state conference, as guest artist and clinician. Michael Rickman’s recordings are available on the Lakeside Records and Clear Note labels, Romantic Realms, with works of Schubert and Brahms, and Romantic Realms II, with works of Robert Schumann. Also on the clear Note label are his recordings of Brahms and Carreno with the mezzo soprano, Jane Christeson. His performances can also be heard frequently on Florida Public Radio.

In 2010 Michael Rickman was honored by being placed on the international roster of Steinway Artists.

Daytona Solisti Chamber Orchestra

Core Musicians

Daytona Solisti is comprised of professional musicians from Central and North Florida. Its aim is to provide a forum in which both players and listeners have the opportunity to experience the vast repertoire of chamber orchestra music by the master composers of the 18th and 19th centuries performed in the lively, expressive manner characteristic of that musical period.

Daytona Solisti invites you to be a part of this exciting musical adventure, and offers a very special Thank You to its enthusiastic, dedicated musicians, audiences, volunteers, and host churches and their staff members, especially First Presbyterian Church of Daytona Beach for rehearsal and concert facilities. Together everyone makes Daytona Solisti possible!

Daytona Solisti Chamber Orchestra is comprised of a core of strings and harpsichord, specializing in music of the Baroque and Classical periods. As programmed repertoire requires, other instrumentalists are added to augment the core group, at times doubling it in size with added strings, woodwinds, brass, and timpani.

Susan Pitard Acree, violin

Bonnie Biedermann, violin

Colette Bradley, violin

Kendra Cochenour, violin

Abigail Collins, violoncello

Joseph Corporon, violoncello

Penny Crouch, viola

Sue Cryan, violin

Kathy Finn, violin

El Gervasio, violin

Rita Gilley, viola

Angelo Goderre, violin and viola

Michele Guravich, violin

Heather Gullstrand, violin

George Head, violoncello

Joseph Kalisman, violoncello

Paige Dashner Long, harpsichord and flute

Julie Preston, violin

Chris Romaine, violin

Maggie Snively, violin

Betty Spaulding, violin

Gilbert Stemm, violin

Paul Strasshofer, bass

Linda Waid, viola

Deborah Dansby Wells, violin and viola

Zoriy Zinger, violin