Alicia DiDonato gives a "drop-dead performance," according to The Boston Globe and The New York Times calls her rendering of Boulez "beautiful." Known for her versatility, vibrancy, and exuberantly fluent playing, Ms. DiDonato enjoys a varied career as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. She is consistently praised for her distinctive takes on modern classics and her command of extended technique.
Originally from Stoneham, Massachusetts, Ms. Paulsen is the Assistant Principal Flutist of the Oregon Symphony. Prior to moving to Portland, Ms. Paulsen had a long and varied freelancing career in Boston, where she was the flutist for Boston Musica Viva, Radius Ensemble, NotaRiotous (Boston Microtonal Society's chamber ensemble), and Prana (a soprano/flute duo with acclaimed singer Jennifer Ashe). She was a member of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Opera Boston orchestra, and Firebird Ensemble, and frequently appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops.
A former member of the New World Symphony, Ms. Paulsen has twice been a Tanglewood Music Center fellow and has also participated in the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, Musical Spring in St. Petersburg (Russia), Costa Rica Music, and the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. She is the former flutist for both the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and the Remix Ensemble (Porto, Portugal), and was a 2005 New Fromm Player at Tanglewood. Ms. Paulsen's chamber music collaborations include appearances with the Emerson String Quartet and the Borromeo String Quartet. Additionally, she has appeared as concerto soloist with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Santa Fe Symphony, the New World Symphony, and New England Conservatory's Wind Ensemble and Sinfonietta.
Ms. Paulsen was the first prize winner of the 2005 Mid-South Young Artist Competition, the 2003 Pappoutsakis Competition, and the 1999 Frank Bowen Competition. In 2006, she won third prize in the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition, was a semifinalist in the NFA Piccolo Artist and Myrna Brown competitions, and placed second in the Mid-Atlantic Flute Society Piccolo Competition. In 2007, she was again a semifinalist for the NFA's Young Artist Competition. Ms. Paulsen was awarded a 2002 St. Botolph Club Grant-in-Aid for the commission of a new piece for flute and electronics. She studied with Fenwick Smith at New England Conservatory and John Wion at the Hartt School.