Roman Mekinulov, (cello) is a native of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Russia, and is the principal cellist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. After emigrating to the United States in 1989, Mr. Mekinulov studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, where he completed his bachelor and master degrees. While at Juilliard, he performed as a principal cellist with the Juilliard Symphony and Orchestra under the direction of Kurt Masur, Hugh Wolf, and Leonard Slatkin. Since 1995 Mr. Mekinulov has been repeatedly invited to substitute in the New York Philharmonic in concert, as well as in recordings for Teldec. He has been principal cellist of the North Carolina University Orchestra on their European tour, with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany, and with Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de São Paulo. As an active recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist, Roman Mekinulov has performed extensively throughout the United States, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Germany, France, Greece, Denmark, and Switzerland, as well as his native Russia. He lives in Buffalo with his wife, Sebnem, a lyric soprano, and their two children, Talia and Benjamin.

Mary Handley, (piano) is a respected pedagogue and pianist, and has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, St. Catharines Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, Vallejo Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco State Orchestra, and in numerous solo and chamber music recitals in United States and Canada.  Ms. Handley holds the ARCT degree from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, and a BM and MA in piano performance.  She was on the Piano Faculty of San Francisco State University for 20 years and while there developed a Graduate Piano Pedagogy Training Program and Piano Preparatory Department.  She also was producer of many concerts and music workshops in California. Ms. Handley is Executive Director of BRAVO WORKSHOP, an Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, and produces several annual figure skating events for Chautauqua Ice of Jamestown, and U.S. Figure Skating. 

Ansgarius Aylward, (violin) ON LEAVE 

Jacqueline Galluzzo, (violin)  is on leave

​Andrea Cone (BPO, violin) A member of the violin section of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Andrea Blanchard Cone frequently performs chamber music with her friends and colleagues from the BPO in series including Roycroft Festival, Buffalo Chamber Players and at Canisius College in their Informally Formal Chamber Music series. Andrea was an adjunct faculty member at University of Buffalo for many years where she was the second violinist with the Westwood String Quartet. She has been a soloist with the BPO, performing works of Sarasate, Mozart, Svendson and Saint-Saens. A member and frequent soloist with Ars Nova, Andrea had many opportunities to to perform with the group in their well known Viva Vivaldi Festival. Andrea is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Sylvia Rosenberg. While she was still a student there, she was offered a part-time contract with the Rochester Philharmonic, then under the direction of David Zinman. Shortly after graduating, Andrea joined the BPO, where she met her husband, Doug Cone, also a violinist in the BPO. They live in Williamsville with their two children, Drew and Matt.

Xiaofan Liu (BPO, violin) “Full of variety” Artsjournal
“Tonally gorgeous, rhythmically alive” Boston Musical Intelligencer 
“Vivid and moving” Boston Concert Reviews
27 year old violinist Xiaofan Liu is establishing himself as one of young generation’s most sought-after and musicians. Praised by the Berlin Philharmonic String Quartet as a “very tasteful young musician”, Xiaofan is the recipient of the Jules C. Reiner Violin prize from the Tanglewood Music Center and Boston Symphony Orchestra, and he had performed under the baton of world-renowned conductors, including Maestro Andris Nelsons, Christoph Von Dohnanyi, and Hugh Wolff. As an avid chamber musician and soloist, Xiaofan has
appeared at numerous venues, such as Seiji Ozawa Hall and Koussevitzky Music
Shed in Lenox, Carnegie Hall Stern auditorium in New York, National Concert
Hall and Opera House in Taiwan, Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Jordan Hall
in Boston, and Kennedy Center in Washington DC where Xiaofan was invited by the
White House in 2015 to perform with cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, in celebration of Maestro
Seiji Ozawa’s lifetime achievements. At the Tanglewood Music Center, Xiaofan received the
Seiji Ozawa Fellowship in 2016 and was appointed as the concertmaster in The
Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert. In the following year, He was appointed by
the Boston Symphony orchestra members and the Fromm Foundation as the leading
violinist of the New Fromm players, an ensemble dedicated to New Music. Other
music festivals Xiaofan had participated include Bowdoin International Music
Festival, Heifetz International Music Festival, and New York String Orchestra
Seminar. He had also performed before great mentors, including Maxim Vengerov,
Midori Goto, Martha Katz, Mihaela Martin, Nobuko Imai, Pamela Frank and Norman

Recently, Xiaofan was invited by choreographer Mark Morris to join the Silk Road Ensemble and Mark Morris Dance Company in their national tour of the production, Layla and Majnun. Performances took places at Lincoln Stage in New York City, Harris Theater in Chicago, and Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Chicago Tribune praised the performance as “beautiful and illuminates the rich cultural traditions of a place largely unknown to the West”. 
National Violin Competition. He began his violin studies at the Central
Conservatory in Beijing before moving to California to attend Idyllwild Arts
Academy when he was 14. He then received his Bachelor's degree at New England
Conservatory, where he was the last student of late Japanese pedagogue, Masuko
Ushioda. Xiaofan was often appointed to lead the New England Conservatory’s
Philharmonia and Chamber orchestra throughout his time at school.
Xiaofan is currently pursuing the Master of Musical Arts degree at the Yale School of Music under the guidance of Hyo Kang, and he will be joining the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019-2020 season, appointed by Maestro JoAnn Falletta. 

Lynne Ruda (cello, adjunct faculty)

Derek Chazen (viola, adjunct faculty)

Sandy Paddock (violin, adjunct faculty)

Visiting Faculty

Barry Shiffman (violin, Associate Dean at Glen Gould School of Music at Royal Conservatory, Toronto)

Jacqueline Galluzzo (violin, Buffalo Philharmonic)


Nikki Chooi (Buffalo Philharmonic concertmaster)

Maestra JoAnn Falletta (Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)

* faculty is subject to change