BCO Principals

Annamária Karácson


Hungarian-born Annamária Karácson (Concertmaster) has resided in Boulder with her family since 1986. After completing her studies at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, she became assistant concertmaster of the Hungarian Opera and Philharmonic Orchestras and of the Festival Orchestra, which she also helped establish. She won first prize in the Hungarian Opera's violin competition and was a recipient of the Bartók-Pásztory award. Ms. Karacson continues her orchestral playing in Colorado as assistant concertmaster of the Boulder Philharmonic, the Boulder Bach Festival and concertmaster of the Mahler Festival orchestras. She is also an active chamber musician and has appeared with University of Colorado music faculty members on numerous occasions and is first violinist of the Columbine String Quartet.


Joseph Howe

Principal Cello

Joseph Howe, a native of Oregon, recently recieved a Master of Music degree in cello performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where studied with Judith Glyde and served as a teaching assistant and principal cellist of the University Symphony, Chamber, and Opera orchestras. He also received a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Oregon, where he was a student of Steven Pologe. In Eugene, OR, he was a member of the Oregon Mozart Players. He is currently principal cellist of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, section cellist in the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, and cellist and co-director of Ensemble Pearl, a baroque chamber ensemble, which has been heard on Colorado Public Radio. He is also a lecturer in the music theory department at CU Boulder, and he maintains an active cello studio in Boulder. He has performed in masterclasses for cellists such as Steven Doane, Johannes Moser, Alban Gerhardt, and Alisa Weilerstein, and members of the Takács, Ying, and Emerson quartets.

Aniel Cabán


Aniel Cabán began his viola studies at the age of 8 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has attended world-renowned summer music festivals including Interlochen Arts Camp, Meadowmount School of Music, National Repertory Orchestra (NRO), Festival Casals de Puerto Rico, The Yehudi Menuhim Chamber Music Festival and The Sarasota Music Festival. His primary instructors have included Stanley Konopka, Erika Eckert, Eugene Becker and Guillermo Figueroa. He has studied Chamber Music with Peter Salaff, James Dunham, the Takács String Quartet, the Cavani String Quartet, Anne Epperson and Robert Levin.

Mr. Cabán received a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music (2002) and a Master of Music degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder (2006), where he was the recipient of The Gabor Ormai Viola Award. He has held the position of Principal Viola of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra since 2005 and is also a section member of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and is as well, one of the original members of the Boulder/Denver-based Sphere Ensemble. He has also been a regular player with various Rocky Mountain area established ensembles, which include the Fort Collins and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestras, Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Bach Ensemble, Opera Colorado and the Colorado Music Festival.

Mr. Cabán is a also an active chamber musician in the Boulder area collaborating with local and guest artists such as Opus Two, David Korevaar and Andy Stein. He currently holds the position of Violin and Viola Instructor at the Flatirons String Academy and Viola/Chamber Music faculty of A Mid-Summer Day's Dream String Camp in Boulder, CO. He is experienced in teaching students within various age groups, including adults. Mr. Cabán utilizes the Suzuki method for beginners, in combination with other methods of study in order to give the student a full and well-balanced musical education.

Kevin Sylves

Principal Bass

Kevin Sylves (Principal Bass) grew up in Buffalo, NY and earned bachelor degrees in double bass performance and aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. His double bass teachers included Stuart Sankey, Diana Gannett, Stephen Molina, Paul Bresciani, and Derek Weller. He has performed with several groups in the Boulder area including the Boulder Philharmonic and the Longmont Symphony, and served as Principal Bass with the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific in Powell River, British Columbia. His chamber music experience includes the performance of a bass quartet on the internationally broadcast radio program "Art of the States."

Cobus Du Toit

Principal Flute 

South African native Cobus du Toit is praised for technical facility that makes everything look easy (Opus Colorado) and rich tone that is especially impressive (Herald Tribune). Pretoria News declared: "du Toit makes you believe the impossible. With du Toit in flight one is never aware of technique alone. He is driven by purely musical inspiration." As a concerto soloist Mr. du Toit has performed with orchestras around the globe.  Prominent appearances include the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic, International Symphony Orchestra “Taurida” (St. Petersburg, Russia), Boulder Philharmonic, Johannesburg Festival Orchestra and Boulder Chamber Orchestra. Du Toit is also the principal flute for Boulder Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Du Toit has been a prize winner at the 1st UNISA Southern African National Competition for Woodwinds and Brass, the Byron Hester Competition, the Myrna Brown Competition and SAMRO International Scholarship Competition just to name a few. As an international soloist, Cobus has performed in Taiwan, Russia, Japan, South Africa, Germany, France and the USA. 

Mr. Du Toit is currently the flute player of the Antero Winds, a Colorado based professional woodwind quintet that has been prizewinners at both the Plowman and Fischoff Chamber Music Competitions. Dr. du Toit can be heard on Gypsy Violin, recorded under the Salon Music label with Gina Beukes, violist of the London Symphony Orchestra, and also on Tríptico with classical guitarist Patrick Sutton featuring the music of Piazzola, Takemitsu, Iznaola and Beaser. 

Mr. Du Toit holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pretoria where he studied flute under Professor John Hinch and graduated with a Doctoral Degree in Flute Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado where he studied under Christina Jennings. He also received his Masters Degree from the same institution.

Kent Hurd

Co-Principal Bassoon

Kent Hurd has enjoyed a variety of experiences as a bassoonist, performing in the metro area of Phoenix, Arizona, and more recently in the Front Range of Colorado. He is currently Co-Principal Bassoon of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, and a member of the Boulder Bassoon Quartet.  Other appearances in the Front Range of Colorado include the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, the MahlerFest Orchestra, the Denver Philharmonic and the Longmont Symphony. 

He held the position of Co-Principal Bassoon with the West Valley Symphony in Phoenix until moving to Colorado in 2003. He also participated in a variety of freelance opportunities in Phoenix, including appearances with such orchestras as the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Opera.He has composed a number of works for the bassoon, including a bassoon trio, solo works for bassoon with piano accompaniment, and most recently, works specifically for the Boulder Bassoon Quartet.  A number of his works are now available for purchase at TrevCo Music.  As a member of the Boulder Bassoon Quartet, Kent has had recorded two of his works for the quartet’s debut album, “From the Opposite Shore”.  The quartet traveled to Japan in 2015 to give the album its international premiere.

Kent received his bachelor’s degree in music performance from Arizona State University in 1997, where he studied with Dr. Jeffrey Lyman, and Jack Rausch. He is currently a master’s candidate, having studied at the University of Colorado with Dr. Yoshiyuki Ishikawa. He attended Eastern Music Festival in the summer of 1992, where he studied with Marlene Mazzuca. He has also studied privately with Eric Ludwig.

Kent resides in Lafayette, Colorado with his wife, Mindy.

Kellan Toohey

Principal CLARINET 


Kellan Toohey is an avid performer whose varied career includes recitals and solo appearances, chamber music, teaching, and orchestral playing. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in clarinet performance and pedagogy at the University of Colorado in Boulder, studying with Daniel Silver. In 2011 he earned his master's degree in clarinet performance at the University of Northern Colorado, studying with Bil Jackson. His other teachers have included Jon Manasse, Burt Hara, Steve Cohen, Karen Dusek, Shannon Scott, and Bradford Behn.

An active orchestral player, Mr. Toohey currently holds the positions of Principal clarinetist in the Boulder Chamber Orchestra and Assistant Principal Clarinetist in the Wyoming and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestras. His festival credits include the Colorado College Summer Music Festival in 2012 and 2013, the Aspen Music Festival in 2010 and 2011, the Brevard Music Center summer festival in 2008, and the Eastern Music Festival in 2006 and 2007. He has performed across the US, Europe, and in Asia, has been featured on local radio broadcasts including KVOD’s Colorado Spotlight, and was on the roster of the Young Musicians Foundation of Colorado in 2007 and 2008. In 2005 he was awarded the position of principal clarinetist in the American String Teachers' Association National High School Honor Orchestra.

Kellan has received numerous awards, including winning 2nd Prize in the International Clarinet Association's Young Artist Competition (2013 Assisi, Italy), 1st Prize in the University of Northern Colorado Concerto competition and Angie Southard Performance Competition, and was also the winner of the Colorado College Summer Festival, Boulder High School, Boulder Youth Symphony, and Greeley Chamber Orchestra concerto competitions. He has also been a prize winner of the Bruce Ekstrand Performance competition and Boulder Philharmonic Young Artist Competition. 

In addition to his musical activities, Kellan enjoys photography, the outdoors, spending time with friends and family, working on his family's organic farm, and being active in his church

Max Soto

Principal Oboe

Max Soto began his musical education with the Orquesta Sinfonica Juvenil de Costa Rica which allowed him to study with Principal Oboist Jorge Rodriguez and helped to cultivate a passion for Classical Music and the Oboe.

Max arrived in the USA in 1996 at the Loyola University of New Orleans where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. His professional career began when he performed an entire season with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra as second Oboist. He then moved to Denver in 2002 to attend the Lamont School of Music and pursue his Master’s in Music Degree which he attained in 2004. Shortly thereafter, Max went on a whirlwind tour of the United States and Canada performing The Pirates of Penzance with the London based Carl Rosa Opera Company in 2007.

As he enters into his 15th year as a professional musician, Max cites playing with Andrea Bocelli, Peter Gabriel, Il Divo, Pinchas Zukerman, and the band Chicago as some of his most memorable experiences. He also truly enjoys performing in the orchestra pit when popular musicals such as Mary Poppins and Wicked come to town.

Currently, Max performs with Opera Colorado, the Boulder Philharmonic, the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, the Boulder Bach Festival and the Greeley Philharmonic.  Max has also performed recently with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Colorado Ballet, and the Fort Collins Symphony. Max has had the great fortune to appear as a soloist with the Boulder Chamber Orchestra as well as the Powder River Symphony and the Aurora Symphony Orchestra