A 2011 graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Anicka Skálová (BM) was victorious over 163 other candidates to win a coveted position as violinist with the San Diego Symphony. Skálová, 22, was SMTD’s 2011 Albert A. Stanley Medal winner, an award given each year to a graduating senior, and she also won first prize in the school’s annual concerto competition. Since September she has been studying for her performer diploma at Indiana University with Jaime Laredo , a one year program that she will complete in April, following which she will take up her post with the SDS.
A native of the Czech Republic, Skálová flourished at SMTD under the tutelage of violin professor Stephen Shipps and studied chamber music with faculty members Andrew Jennings, Martin Katz and Edward Parmentier. She was concertmaster of the University Symphony Orchestra for three years.
“The training I experienced from this position was substantial,” said Skálová. “Not only was I able to develop leadership, communication and ensemble skills, but I was provided with the opportunity of playing some of the best music written for the genre.”
In addition to her role as concertmaster and her training under Shipps, Skálová credits her SMTD master classes with such esteemed artists as concertmasters William Preucil (Cleveland Orchestra) and David Halen (St. Louis Symphony) as having a profound influence on her playing. “These mentors helped me develop the essential skills necessary to win a position in a major symphony orchestra,” she said.
"In today's world it is extremely uncommon for students to achieve a highly paid orchestral position directly after finishing undergraduate studies,” said Stephen Shipps. “The orchestral world is one in which orchestra members retain their positions as long as possible because of the challenging American economic situation. The significance of a secure orchestral position, such as one with the San Diego Symphony, cannot be overestimated. I find it all the more remarkable that our young Anicka has won success at such an early age and I congratulate her!"