Board of Directors
We are honored to have the support of four incredible individuals who have volunteered to be our advisors and leaders. Their support of our dreams, plans and realities is encouraging and inspiring. They may operate behind the scenes, but they an integral part of Team Spektral.
Joseph Bein is the Senior Sales Executive and Archivist of the world-renowned fine instrument dealer Bein & Fushi, Inc. He is a frequent guest lecturer speaking for the Stradivari Society, Bein & Fushi, Casino Club and recently in Poland for a commemorative concert featuring the “Wieniawski” Guarneri del Gesù violin, Cremona, c. 1742, one of the instruments in the Society’s collection. Joe lives with his wife and three children in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. He is an accomplished cook and an avid Cubs fan. When not at Bein & Fushi, Joe can often be found at Wrigley Field during the baseball season.
Natalie Bontumasi (Chair) has been involved in the arts for most of her life. Growing up in Chicago, as the daughter of a poet/English professor father and a photographer mother, she spent most of her time after school in ballet classes or at play rehearsals. She graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Theater, concentrating on acting and costume design. After some time as a professional actress (and waitress!), Natalie went back to school, and earned a BFA in graphic design from University of Illinois at Chicago. Her company, Good Thomas Design, focuses especially on non-profit organizations and small businesses. Her work is included in the Chicago Design Archive. She has served on the Park Ridge Public Art Commission, and is an amateur cellist.
Barbara Brotman was a reporter and columnist for The Chicago Tribune for 38 years, during which time she she was a general assignment reporter, feature writer and multiple versions of columnist. Currently she is a writer with the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Development. She was a Knight Fellow in journalism at Stanford University in 2003-2004, during which she resumed her love of piano, taking classes and trying to improve her music reading. When not working, she sings second soprano in the Oak Park Concert Chorale, a community chorus, and served on its board for 4 years. She and her husband, retired Chicago Tribune photographer Chuck Berman, live in Oak Park.
Nina Kim grew up in Seoul, Korea and studied classical piano throughout her childhood, attending college in Japan before moving to Chicago twenty years ago to start a family. Her belief in classical music education has only strengthened; both of her adolescent children study music, and she has supported the musical education of other young musicians. With her husband, she operates 3T Imaging, an outpatient diagnostic medical imagining business.
Sarah Forbes Orwig (Board Secretary) has lived in Chicago since 1999 with her husband, Clark Costen. After working as an editor for publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, W Magazine, and Reader’s Digest, she took a career break to earn a Ph.D. from Boston University, where she studied sociology with Peter L. Berger and was a fellow of the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture. She then returned to the publishing world, serving as the social sciences editor for Encyclopaedia Britannica for eight years before joining the American Bar Association as an executive editor for book publishing. In 2014, she joined the board of Rush Hour Concerts and continues as a board member for the new International Music Foundation
Russell Rolen (Executive Director) graduated with a doctorate degree in cello performance from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, where he was the teaching assistant to the renowned pedagogue Hans Jørgen Jensen. He is the founding cellist of the Spektral Quartet and a former member of the internationally acclaimed new-music group Ensemble Dal Niente. He is the creator of moderncellotechniques.com, an internet resource for contemporary cello music.
James Donald Smith (Board Treasurer) is an attorney by training, but first and foremost he is a “wannabe” musician. He took up the violin at an early age and later in life switched to the viola, with its range being more like the one he wishes he could have as a singer. James holds degrees in electrical engineering (University of Maryland) and law (Duke University). Through the years his professional pursuits have included clerking for a federal appellate court judge, working as a patent trial lawyer, managing an office of a Wall Street law firm, and serving as chief judge of the U.S. government’s administrative patent court. James now lives in Minnesota, where he is the Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for Law and Regulatory Affairs at Ecolab.
Andreas Waldburg-Wolfegg is an international investor. He has a long-established a well-documented obsession with the music of our time, having served ten years on the board of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), six of them as its president. Starting in 2002, Andreas hosted a chamber music series in his home presenting Chicago-based musicians, with a bias toward the newly commissioned and experimental. Since 2006, Andreas has regularly partnered with musicians to commission new works, among them the first movement of Sam Adams' Quartet, which was premiered by Spektral in October 2016. His latest commission, a Cello Concerto by Dai Fujikura received its world premiere in its ensemble version by ICE and Katinka Kleijn under the baton of Karina Canellakis in the summer of 2016. In its version for full orchestra the Concerto was premiered by the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester under the baton of Manfred Honeck in January 2018.