Annapolis flutist gets position with St. Louis Symphony

Valerio plans to leave at end of current season

March 28, 2002|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Kimberly Valerio, the gifted flutist in her fourth year in the Annapolis Symphony's principal chair, will leave the orchestra after this season to begin a one-year appointment as second flute in the St. Louis Symphony.

Chosen from among six applicants for the post, the graduate of Baltimore's Peabody Institute will spend the 2002-2003 season playing alongside her Peabody mentor, Mark Sparks, who holds the principal chair in St. Louis.

"This is overwhelming, just huge," Valerio says. "I'm excited, but I have my work cut out for me. It will be a learning experience, that's for sure."

Valerio, 32, whose clear, songful tone has played a major role in heightening the artistic profile of the Annapolis Symphony during conductor Leslie Dunner's four years with the orchestra, has become one of the region's busiest instructors and players.

While teaching at St. Mary's College, Peabody's Preparatory Division and in her private studio of 15 students, she has been solo flute with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony in Easton and the Chesapeake Chamber Orchestra at St. Mary's College. Valerio substitutes regularly with the Baltimore Symphony and heads to Florida several times a year as principal flute of the Key West Symphony.

"One of the biggest thrills about St. Louis is the opportunity to work one job, to be able to really focus on my playing," she says. "That's a big thing for me."

The St. Louis Symphony, in its 122nd season, rose to international prominence during the 25-year tenure of Leonard Slatkin, the orchestra's laureate conductor.

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