Principal Musicians

Susan Sikuta, Concert Mistress

Susan Sikuta photo

Following studies at the San Francisco Conservatory Preparatory Department and appearances as soloist with the California Youth Symphony, Susan left her native California for Cambridge, Massachusetts to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in German Literature at Harvard University. While an undergraduate, she studied violin with Roman Totenberg and chamber music with Leon Kirchner and Luise Vosgerchian and performed with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra.

After a fellowship summer at the Aspen Music Festival and a year as a Graduate Fellow at Indiana University, which included chamber music studies with James Buswell and violin studies with Paul Biss, Susan received a DAAD scholarship for further graduate work in Freiburg, Germany. While in Freiburg, Susan performed with the Freiburg Philharmonic and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie under Donald Runnicles, at the same time studying with Joerg Hoffman at the Freiburg Conservatory of Music where she received a violin performance degree with highest honors. She also enjoyed chamber music as first violinist of the Fandango Quintet, which won first prize in the Schweinfurt International Chamber Music Competition in 1990. She performed as soloist with the Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra in concert tours throughout Europe before winning a permanent position as first violinist with the Staatstheater Orchestra in Darmstadt, Germany. During the near-decade that followed she also performed regularly with the Wiesbaden Johann-Strauss Orchestra, the Salon Ensemble Soiree, and the German Chamber Orchestra in concert tours throughout Europe and Japan.

After a 1999 millennium-move back to the U.S., Susan has continued to perform locally with Anton’s Ensemble Soiree, Opera Naples, the Southwest Florida Symphony, and Classical Chamber Concerts, among others. She also received her law degree summa cum laude from the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University in 2004 and is a practicing trusts and estates attorney with Cohen & Grigsby, P.C. in Naples, Florida.

Marco Ferri,Principal, Violin II

Marco FerriMarco Ferri Born and raised in Brazil, Marco Ferri started to play the violin at the age of 7 years old. He received his training in his home town until the age of 19, when he moved to Sao Paulo city to seek higher training. Among his teachers are included his life mentor Claudio Micheletti (Brazil/Hungary), Winston Ramalho (Brazil/Austria), and Rucker Bezerra (Brazil). Mr. Ferri participated in many masterclasses working with world famous violinists, among them are, Max Rabinovijt (USA), Nicolas Koeckert (Germany), Eva Szekely (USA/Hungary) and Ferenc Szecod (Hungary). He studied chamber music under the direction of members of the Atrium Quartet (Russia) and Trio Brasileiro (Brazilian Piano Trio). On stage, Marco has been seen on the most important theaters and concert halls of Brasil, performing with the Experimental Repertoire Orchestra of Sao Paulo, Academic Orchestra of Sao Paulo, and the Brazilian Young Trio, which he is a founder member. Since 2013, Marco Ferri is a performance major at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he studies violin under the direction of Patrick Neal (Naples Philharmonic), and chamber music under the direction of Si-Chang Liu (Naples Philharmonic). He serves as principal second violin at the Naples Orchestra and Chorus and first violinist at the Bower String Quartet.

Barbara Lounsbury, Principal Viola

Barbara LounsburyAs a native Californian, Barbara graduated from UCLA with a Bachelors’ Degree in Music. She then studied privately with David Schwartz (principal violist for the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanni) at the California Institute of the Arts. Shortly thereafter, she relocated to New York City to pursue a professional career as a violist. She studied in NYC with Emanuel Vardi. She was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Tanglewood Center for Performing Arts, performed for two seasons at the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy and played the first world tour of the Bolshoi Ballet which debuted at the Metropolitan Opera Hall in New York City. Her musical experience spans a wide variety of styles. She has been principal violist at Radio City Music Hall in NYC for 30 years. In addition to performing the perennial Christmas, Easter and Summer Shows, she has worked with many artists including Tony Bennett, Elton John, Diana Ross, Liberace, Johnny Mathis and George Benson. Her experience also includes playing a number of Broadway shows such as “Secret Garden”, “Miss Saigon”, “Les Miserables” and “Phantom of the Opera”. Her symphonic experience has included performing with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Symphony in Carnegie Hall, Little Orchestra Society in Lincoln Center, Music for Westchester, New York Choral Society, and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and, most recently, The Fifth Ave Chamber Orchestra, Opera Naples, Gulfshore Opera in Naples, FL. She also has performed operas with the NYC Opera in Lincoln Center, NY Grand Opera, NJ State Opera, NY Light Opera and the Canadian Opera. She currently divides her time between Naples, Florida and San Francisco, California.

Diane Coffman, Principal Cello

Diane CoffmanDIANE COFFMAN is a cellist well-versed in many genres of music. For several years she worked with the major arts entities in the San Francisco Bay area. She was a member of the Aspen Festival Orchestra in Aspen, Colorado. She was also invited to participate in the recording for a film sound track at the Industrial Light and Magic Production Studios at Skywalker Ranch in Novato, California. Diane served as Principal Cellist for the Artea Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco and as a soloist.

She has a Master’s Degree in Music Performance where she studied with Laszlo Varga at San Francisco State University. Her undergraduate studies gave her the opportunity to study with Peter Howard at Bowling Green State University and Joseph Gingold at Indiana University. Diane enjoys playing chamber music. She is a founding member of the Bella Musica Ensemble whose mission is to teach music history and present musical performances of Baroque to Modern music.

Daniel Sweeny, Principal Double Bass

Dan SweenyPrincipal Double Bass & Orchestra Manager. NOC Member since 2006. Education & Professional Experience: B.S. Mechanical Engineering & 45 years experience as consulting engineer to major industrial clients designing and building large manufacturing plants for food, chemicals, consumer products and automotive manufacturing. Retired for 5 years. Musical Experience: self-taught bass player in university band, community orchestras, church orchestras and musical groups since about 1965. Began private lessons with Laurence Glazener here in Naples about 7 years ago. Currently accompanist to Voices of Naples Chorus. Was bassist for Gulf Coast Big Band until 2 years ago. Vision for NOC: I have been a member of several choral groups and community orchestras. The NOC has a great opportunity to be a very good musical organization if we can tap the local talent pools and please the audiences. This will require focus and determination on the part of all persons involved in playing or singing in the group and also those in the various leadership roles. I am willing to do my part because I believe in the group and in doing what it takes to make us better.