The Utah Symphony has hired four new string players, including a principal cellist, Rainer Eudeikis. Here's a brief introduction.
Age • 24
Hometown • Born in Amarillo, Texas; lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area until high school, then moved to Denver
Education and professional experience • Studied at the University of Michigan, Indiana University and Curtis Institute; appointed to replace longtime principal cellist Ryan Selberg, who died last year, while still a student at the Curtis. Eudeikis is also principal cellist at Colorado's Central City Opera and has performed at festivals in Germany, Turkey, Spain, England, New York City and Aspen, Colo.
Eudeikis spent part of his childhood on a cattle ranch in Texas. "Anyone who meets me today might be surprised to know that I've bottle-fed newborn calves, run to escape from charging livestock, and that I used to have my own horse, named Babe," he said.
He began his cello studies when he was 6. "My mother, a professional clarinetist, had always wanted to play a string instrument but didn't have the opportunity to do so," he said. "She particularly loved the cello -- and here I am."
Assistant principal second violin
Age • 27
Hometown • Libertyville, Ill.
Education and professional experience • Juilliard School of Music (concertmaster of The Juilliard Orchestra and Juilliard Chamber Orchestra); San Diego Symphony, Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra and YouTube Symphony Orchestra (concertmaster).
Stuart's interest in the violin was sparked at age 5 when she saw a Boston Pops concert on television. "I got up and pointed to the violinists and said, 'That's what I want to do,' " she remembered. She made her solo debut at age 10 with suburban Chicago's Southwest Symphony.
Stuart also plays viola -- she said she "got more gigs doing that than the violin in school" -- and holds a rare distinction among Utah Symphony players: She has appeared Off Broadway, portraying a violinist who loses her Stradivarius in "The Morini Strad."