Juilliard Family Trees Revisited

In the February issue, we profiled a number of Juilliard families and couples—and asked others to write in. And you have!


A Juilliard Dynasty

Annluise Williams Wyrick (’58, dance), who studied with Martha Graham, met her husband, Warren Wyrick (B.S. ’56, voice), who studied with Mack Harrell, in the cafeteria in the old Claremont Avenue building. Their subsequent Juilliard dynasty started with three sons, Eric, Peter, and Jed. Eric Wyrick (Pre-College ’77; Diploma ’81, violin) is now the concertmaster of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and a member of Orpheus. His daughters, flutist Fanny Wyrick-Flax and clarinetist Molly Wyrick-Flax, both were in Pre-College (class of 2009). Their mother, Laura Flax (Pre-College ’70; B.M. ’74, M.M. ’75, clarinet), is on the Pre-College faculty. Peter Wyrick (Pre-College ’80; ’84, cello), the associate principal cellist of the San Francisco Symphony, also met his wife, S.F.S. violinist Amy Hiraga (B.M. ’84, violin) at Juilliard; their daughter, Mariko Hiraga Wyrick, is a first-year cellist. And Jed Wyrick (Pre-College ’80, piano) is currently a professor of religious studies at California State University at Chico. 

Romantic School

Seann Alderking (B.M. ’84, M.M. ’85, piano) wrote to say that he and David Charles Abell (M.M. ’85, orchestral conducting) met at Juilliard in 1983 and have been together ever since. They currently work in music “together and separately” and live in London. 

Jack Behrens (B.S. ’58, M.S. ’59, composition) of Lancaster, Pa., wrote that he and his “dear late wife,” Sonja Louise Peterson Behrens (M.S. ’62, piano), met at Juilliard in October 1960 and were married two years later.

Retired Case Western Reserve professor Donald I. Payne (B.S. ’54, M.S. ’56, piano) wrote that he married fellow piano major Rhoda Wasserman Bruggeman (B.S. ’54, piano), and their daughter, Ellen Payne (Pre-College ’83; B.M. ’87, M.M. ’88, violin), is also an alum. 

Joyce Thompson Bottje (B.S. ’47, flute) passed on the following reminiscence about how she met her husband, Will Bottje (Diploma ’44, B.S. ’47, flute; M.S. ’48, composition); it appeared in the February newsletter of their retirement village, in Grand Rapids, Mich. In it, Joyce talked about arriving at Juilliard at age 17 from Ashtabula, Ohio, and competing for the four flute chairs in the orchestra. “The person who arrived earliest grabbed first chair etc., until this fellow [Will Bottje] appeared in midyear. He calmly stated that all four parts were important and that we must be familiar with them all. He started a rotation system that really worked,” she wrote. Joyce left Juilliard for six months to tour with an ensemble accompanying the U.S. Third Army while it started occupying postwar Germany, returning in 1946. They were married in 1948, with William Hebert (Diploma ’48, flute) performing at the wedding. Will taught composition and music analysis at Southern Illinois State for 24 years and also started the school’s electronic music studio, composing all the while. He and Joyce played many chamber recitals over the years—and also raised three musically inclined children.


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