Chatter engages more than 120 local, regional, and national professional musicians during a single year.
David Felberg, praised by the Santa Fe New Mexican for his “fluid phrases, rich focused tone, rhythmic precision, and spot-on intonation,” is an Albuquerque native and the co-founder and Artistic Director of Chatter. He is also concertmaster of the Santa Fe Symphony and performs with Santa Fe Pro Musica. He has been a featured soloist with the Santa Fe Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony, Albuquerque Philharmonic, Los Alamos Symphony, Palo Alto Philharmonic, Balcones Orchestra (Austin), and the Chatter Orchestra. He has performed recitals and chamber music all over New Mexico and the Southwest, and most recently performed a solo violin recital for Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium. David also specializes in contemporary solo violin music, having performed works of Berio, Boulez, Sciarrino, John Zorn, and Luigi Nono. As a conductor, he has directed Santa Fe Pro Musica, New Mexico Philharmonic, the Santa Fe Symphony and Chatter, and has collaborated with such soloists as Anne-Marie McDermott, Rachel Barton Pine, Conor Hanick, and Benjamin Hochman. David made his New York violin recital debut in Merkin Concert Hall in the spring of 2005. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Arizona and a Master of Music degree in Conducting from the University of New Mexico, and has taken advanced string quartet studies at the University of Colorado with the Takacs Quartet. David has also attended the prestigious American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival. He plays a Christian Pedersen violin made in 2020 and a bow by Eugene Sartory.
James T Shields, Associate Artistic Director of Chatter, joined the Oregon Symphony as Principal Clarinet in the autumn of 2016. Before relocating to Portland, he served as principal clarinet of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, as well as the New Mexico Philharmonic in Albuquerque. A graduate of The Juilliard School, James studied with Ricardo Morales, principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. James has appeared as a soloist with the Oregon Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Interlochen’s World Youth Symphony Orchestra (MI), and the Albuquerque Philharmonic (NM), and as guest principal clarinet with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival (CO), and Santa Fe Pro Musica (NM). In addition to his orchestral and solo activities, James is increasingly becoming known to North American audiences as a dynamic and passionate performer of chamber music, making over 30 appearances annually in intimate settings throughout the United States and Canada. In over a decade of involvement with Chatter, James has programmed and performed in hundreds of concerts, and presented a diverse range of repertoire, from classical favorites to world premieres. In Portland he is a member of cutting edge chamber music groups Fear No Music and 45th Parallel Universe, as well as a frequent guest performer with Third Angle New Music. In addition to his performing activities, James holds an M.M. in composition from the University of New Mexico, and continues to compose regularly.