Since her solo orchestral debut at age 15 with the Amarillo Symphony, Ilana Setapen has been flourishing as a violinist with a powerful and original voice. She is currently the associate concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the assistant concertmaster of the Grant Park Festival Orchestra in Chicago.
Ms. Setapen has solo performances this season with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Sheboygan Symphony, the Boca Raton Symphonia, and the Gateway Chamber Orchestra. In past seasons, she has performed with the Pasadena Pops, the Riverside Philharmonic, National Repertory Orchestra, the Glacier Symphony, and the Idaho Falls Symphony, among others. She is also a frequent performer on the Dame Myra Hess Recital Series in Chicago. She has participated in numerous festivals such as the Olympic Music Festival, the New York String Seminar, Aspen Music Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra.
Ms. Setapen has won top prizes in many competitions, including the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, the Pasadena Showcase Competition, and the Kingsville International Competition. At the age of 21, she became concertmaster of the Riverside Philharmonic in Los Angeles. She has also held concertmaster positions with the Juilliard Orchestra, the Colburn Orchestra, the American Youth Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the USC Thornton Symphony.
Also a passionate chamber musician, Ms. Setapen was for two years the first violinist of the award-winning Calla Quartet in New York. Her talent has also led her to collaborations with such distinguished artists as Ron Leonard, Lynn Harrell, Toby Appel, Peter Stumpf, Paul Coletti, Cynthia Phelps, the Fine Arts Quartet, Frank Almond, Joe Johnson, Todd Levy, and David Geber. Solo and chamber music performances have brought her abroad to France, Brazil, Holland, England, Monaco, and Italy. She is now the first violinist of the Milwaukee-based Arcas Quartet and a frequent guest on the Frankly Music Series as well as Chamber Music Milwaukee.
Ms. Setapen grew up in Amarillo, Texas. She studied with Robert Lipsett both at the University of Southern California and at the Colburn Conservatory. She received her Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School as a student of Donald Weilerstein and Ronald Copes.