Farkhad Khudyev, Music Director & Conductor




Described by the critics as “the man of exceptional talent and charisma” (Performing Arts Monterey Bay) with “the ability to connect with invisible worlds and to bring them alive in the music” (The Herald), Farkhad Khudyev, has been recognized by the State Senate of California for innovative concert programming, and the government of the United States as an Artist of Extraordinary Ability.


Farkhad was born in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, where he first studied violin, piano and composition at the State Music School for gifted musicians. At the age of 10, he distinguished himself as the youngest performer selected to play with the National Violin Ensemble of Turkmenistan, and toured around Central Asia and Eastern Europe. As a soloist and a member of the Ensemble, Farkhad performed for the Presidents of France, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. At the age of 12, he was chosen to represent the country at the International New Names Festival, sponsored by the Moscow Conservatory, and was named as one of the most promising young musicians at the festival.


In 2001, Farkhad came to the United States to study at Interlochen Arts Academy and then completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the Oberlin Conservatory. He received his Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Yale University.

Mr. Khudyev is the winner of the Grand Prize and Gold Medal of the 2007 National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, as well as First Prize at the Yale Chamber Music Society Competition, Glenn Miller Competition, Neil Rabaut Prize, and the “Best Interpretation Prize” at the 2015 International Taipei Conducting Competition. Farkhad was invited to participate in the First International Chicago Symphony Orchestra Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition and Apprenticeship with Riccardo Muti, and toured around the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festpiele in Germany and Emilia Romagna Festival in Italy. Mr. Khudyev has closely collaborated with Kurt Masur, Peter Oundjian, Krzysztof Penderecki, Christopher Theofanidis and David Shifrin.


Farkhad’s performances are described as “true, powerful, ecstatic and utterly riveting” (The Herald). Celebrated for “meticulous guidance, superb musicianship and extraordinarily imaginative interpretation” (Performing Arts Monterey Bay), and admired for “his skill in finding increasing support in the community” (Peninsula Reviews), he has served as the Music Director of New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra and New Haven Chamber Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Hidden Valley Opera and Assistant Conductor of Yale Philharmonia. As an active Guest Conductor, Farkhad has worked with the Monterey Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia, Greenwich Village Orchestra of New York City, New Jersey Youth Symphony, Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, National Orchestra of Ashgabat, and the Taipei Chinese Orchestra.


Currently, Mr. Khudyev serves as the Music Director and Conductor of the Youth Music Monterey Orchestras in California.


For more information, please visit www.farkhadkhudyev.com.

Erica Horn, Chamber Players Music Director 


Erica Horn has been performing and teaching clarinet for over 35 years. Erica received a Bachelors of Music Degree in Clarinet Performance from California State University at Fullerton. As a student of Kalman Bloch, then principal clarinet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Erica had the honor of playing next to her teacher on several occasions. Ms. Horn later studied with Yehuda Gilad in Los Angeles, Bil Jackson at the Aspen Music Festival and Anthony Gigliotti in the Philadelphia Orchestra Summer Woodwind Chamber Music Festival. While in Southern California Ms. Horn performed with the Pacific Symphony, San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, San Diego Civic Light Opera, Long Beach Ballet and the Long Beach Municipal Band among many others. Currently Ms Horn is principal clarinet for Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra and the Monterey County Pops. She is Chamber Players Music Director for Youth Music Monterey and maintains a private studio.

Aleksey Klyushnik, Orchestra Coach


Aleksey Klyushnik enjoys a versatile career as solo, chamber and orchestral musician on the double bass.  As a soloist, Aleksey has given many recital performances around the US.   In 2008, Aleksey won The Parness Concerto Competition and performed the Hoffmeister Double Bass Concerto with the Culver City Symphony. Aleksey was granted twice the Award of Merit from Leni FeBland Foundation in Santa Barbara, and won the third prize at Boston's Bay State Concerto Competition in 2010. 

As an active chamber musician Aleksey has collaborated with many artists such as
 André Watts, David Shifrin, Philip Setzer, Ransom Wilson, Paul Neubauer, Altenberg Trio Vienna, Peabody Trio, Robert Van Sice and many others.   Aleksey was invited to Chamber Music Northwest for two consecutive summers as Protégé Project fellow.  Also, Aleksey has been a member of the Maestro Chamber Music Academy in Santa Monica, and has participated in the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival. 

As an orchestral musician Aleksey has been a participant of the Pacific, Verbier and Lucerne music festivals performing in venues throughout Europe, US and Japan.  Aleksey has collaborated with many great conductors, some of which include Pierre Boulez, Valeriy Gergiev, Charles Dutoit, Andrew Davis, Mikhail Pletnev, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Zubin Mehta.  In 2008, Aleksey was appointed the principal bass of the Opera Pacific Orchestra in Santa Ana, Orange County, a post he held until November 2008. In addition, Aleksey has performed regularly with several orchestras in Southern California, including the San Diego and Long Beach symphonies.

Aleksey completed all of his studies on full scholarship.  He holds both the Bachelor of Music degree and the Artist Diploma from the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, and the Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. 

Aleksey states "music education is a great passion of mine.  I strongly believe that the future of Classical music is in the hands of the younger generations.  My mission is to provide YMM with every kind of assistance to help raise the next generation of performers and music lovers."|

Suzanne Mudge, Brass Coach


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Suzanne Mudge joined the Carmel Bach Festival as Director of Community Engagement in September 2015.  Sue has been a performer at the CBF for many years. In addition to playing trombone and sackbut in the festival orchestra and directing Tower Music and community outreach concerts, Sue created and scripted the The Epic Adventures of Leonard and Rasmus, a family series of interactive and educational concerts premiered at the Carmel Bach Festival.  Prior to joining the CBF administrative staff, Sue taught at Central Oregon Community College and was the Band Director at The Seven Peaks School in Bend, Oregon.  In addition, she had a private teaching studio and performed with the Central Oregon Symphony, the Eugene Symphony, and the Bend Brass Quintet. Sue also taught all of the Brass instruments at the Cascade School of Music, was the conductor of the High Noon Brass and the Awesome After School Band, and was guest conductor of the COMEA Honor Band. Her trombone students placed consistently in the top 5 at the Oregon State Solo and Ensemble Festivals.


Prior to her move to Bend, Sue was an active freelance musician and music educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. She performed with the Women’s Philharmonic in San Francisco, and the symphonies in Modesto, Fremont, Marin, Berkeley, and San Jose. She recorded numerous CD’s at Skywalker Ranch Sue was also the Band Director at Lowell HS in San Francisco.


Sue grew up in Laguna Beach. She has a B.M from The University of The Pacific Conservatory of Music, a M.M. from the University of Arizona, and a teaching credential from Notre Dame de Namur University. Sue has a passion for film music, California native trees and plants, the beach, bicycling, dogs and cats, cooking, and wine. 

Erin Irvine, Woodwind Coach



Erin Irvine is an avid performer and teacher in the Santa Cruz/Monterey area. She has had the opportunity to study and perform with many of the most prestigious bassoonists in the nation. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA, and a Master's of Music from Rice University. While living in San Francisco for 10 years she performed with almost every orchestra in the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Ballet.

In 2015 she moved to Santa Cruz where she is now the Principal Bassoonist of the Santa Cruz Symphony, an Instructor at UCSC, and director of the Woodwind Chamber Ensemble for Youth Music Monterey. Erin Irvine appreciates and enjoys her life as a community member in the Monterey Bay Area and looks forward to focusing her energy on creating a rich and rewarding musical career in her new home. 

Administrative Staff

Eldar Hudiyev, Program Manager


Kim Kistler, Program Assistant


Meg Kaminski, Program Assistant