Danielle Katz ’19 | President
Danielle is a junior in Currier House concentrating in Human Evolutionary Biology. She has absolutely loved performing with the Mozart Society Orchestra since her freshman year. Danielle started playing the cello in elementary school and hasn’t put down her bow since! She also has a background in voice performance and was honored to be accepted into the Washington National Opera Institute in high school, and to get the chance to perform as a soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. When she is not playing the cello or studying for the MCAT, you might find her training for marathons and triathlons or eating icing (her favorite food of all time).
Will Yao ’21 | Publicity Chair
William Yao is a sophomore violinist studying Applied Mathematics and Computer Science and is the Publicity Chair for the Mozart Society Orchestra, as well as a proud member of Kirkland House. He also performs regularly with the Brattle Street Chamber Players and the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra. Besides violin, William is an engineer for the Harvard Crimson Technology Board. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School Precollege Division and toured with the National Youth Orchestra of the USA for three seasons. Talk to him about boba, long distance running, and why Rhode Island is the smallest state with the biggest heart.
Benjamin Wenzelberg ’21 | Co-Music Director
Benjamin P. Wenzelberg is honored to be co-Music Director of Harvard’s Mozart Society Orchestra. Benjy is a 2017 US Presidential Scholar in the Arts and National Merit Scholarship Winner, countertenor, composer, conductor and pianist. Currently a freshman at Harvard, Benjy is also proud to be Chorus Master as part of the Music Staff for Lowell House Opera’s production of Le Comte Ory this Spring. He made his European conducting and composition debut with his orchestral composition at the Grafenegg Festival in Austria last year; the piece won first prize and was just reprised by the Tonkünstler Orchestra at Vienna Musikverein’s Golden Hall. He performed in as well as conducted a public performance of “La Traviata,” and has guest conducted at the Crested Butte Music Festival as well as with the Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He has been a conducting apprentice with the New York Youth Symphony, a Fellow at the Bard College-Conservatory of Music Conductors Institute, and has studied with Martyn Brabbins of the English National Opera and David Syrus of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. This winter, he was very excited to sing the role of Prince Orlofsky in Harvard College Opera’s Die Fledermaus, and was a soloist in Harvard’s Dunster House Messiah, L’Orfeo at Harvard Memorial Church’s Monteverdi 450th Anniversary Celebration, and in “Chichester Psalms” at Sanders Theater with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and Choruses in Harvard’s Leonard Bernstein Centenary Concert. This Spring, Benjy is thrilled to have just sung the role of Raphael in Dove’s Tobias and the Angel. He is a proud member of the Harvard University Choir. An eight-season soloist and chorister with the Metropolitan Opera, he has been a soloist with companies/venues including The New World Center, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, NY City Opera, NY Philharmonic, Atlanta Opera, and David Geffen Hall. Benjy attended Juilliard Pre-College for eight years as a composition major and also studied piano, voice in a chamber group, and conducting there. His composition for solo flute premiered in the Harvard Composer’s Association Fall Concert, where he also played piano in one of his chamber piece compositions. He is proud to have Music Directed, Directed, and conducted/accompanied from the piano professional performances in NYC and NJ of his ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award-winning opera for family audiences, “The Sleeping Beauty.”
Ryan Zhang ’21 | Co-Music Director
Ryan is a freshman in Pennypacker Hall. He is undecided in what he wants to study, but has sprawling interests in music, politics, and history. Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, Zhang’s conducting debut was at Westminster Choir College, when he conducted a choral program of Pablo Casals and Paul Mealor. Since then, he has performed with the West Windsor-Plainsboro North Philharmonic and during the summer of 2016, was selected to be one of two apprentice conductors to the National Youth Orchestra of the USA. At the program, Zhang collaborated closely with James Ross, Professor of Conducting at Juilliard, and guest artists Christoph Eschenbach and Emanuel Ax. He studies with Jonathan Coopersmith, Professor of Conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music.
Outside of the Mozart Society Orchestra, Ryan loves opera, hockey, and all-things the West Wing. He also staffs Harvard’s Model United Nations conferences, teaches civic lessons to fifth graders through the Institute of Politics, and conducts classical music groups on campus.