MYLES LEE, MD (President), a graduate of Tufts Medical School, practiced cardiothoracic surgery in Los Angeles for 40 years and is currently a senior member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has authored numerous scientific papers, a textbook on complications in cardiac surgery (Near Misses in Cardiac Surgery, which has been updated by the Massachusetts General Hospital and will be published this year by Springer) and a novel (The Donation), a story of redemption that dramatizes the shortage of organ donors.
Dr. Lee is an historical hobbyist with an extensive library on American history and the presidency. He has written librettos for works on George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and both Roosevelts, orchestrated by noted New York composer-conductor, Victoria Bond, now on a CD by Albany Records entitled “Soul of a Nation” that features the Chicago College of Performing Arts Orchestra and soloists from the Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras.
Dr. Lee has a degree cum laude in Art History from Harvard University. Now a fine art photographer (@mylesleephotography on Instagram), he subordinates the reality of natural scenes to abstract expressionistic images dominated by form, composition, balance, color, texture, and light. As Lee says, “Art is what we abstract from the reality that confronts our senses. Everyone’s perception of reality is different; indeed, Picasso once said he could paint a hundred versions of the same scene and come up with a hundred different versions of the truth. Each of my images, then, becomes its own truth, a truth I have chosen. But it is up to both the viewer and the artist to decide wherein lies the truth. Truth, then, is what the artist and the observer choose it to be.”
Dr. Lee is a member of the Carmel Foundation Photographers and the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California. His work resides in private collections in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Carmel, Durham, and East Hampton and has recently become part of the art collection of the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
JOSEPH BRAUN, PhD (Vice President) Joe plays timpani and percussion in the symphony. He is the “other kind of doctor” having earned a PhD from the University of Chicago. He has spent most of his working life preparing teachers for inner-city schools, first in his native Chicago and later in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pasadena and Compton. His 35 years in higher education were about evenly divided between teaching and administrative or grants management assignments. Joe studied piano and violin in elementary school and switched to percussion in junior high, taking private lessons and playing in school groups through high school. As an undergrad at UC Berkeley he played in the marching and concert bands, a Dixieland band that played in pizza joints and an opera company in Oakland. In Chicago he continued his “pit” work with community musical theater doing just about everything Gilbert and Sullivan wrote as well as other operettas and musical shows.
During his 24 year tenure at Cal State Dominguez Hills he was a regular member of the Carson/Dominguez Hills Symphony and also played occasionally with community orchestras in Pacific Palisades, Pasadena, Glendale and LA City College. He currently plays with two community opera companies in southern California. Dr. Braun is also a member of the board of directors of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, which provides low cost and free music instruction for families in the Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silverlake communities.
Joe’s teacher in high school told him that if he wanted to continue to love music he should play as much as he could but not try to make a living at it. “It’s the best advice I ever received”, Joe relates. “The LADSO continues to provide me with the opportunity to play classical music, and some pops at a high level that challenges me to continue to improve.”
BARRY YUCHT (Treasurer) has Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University. A certified public accountant since1969, he served with Botwick and Levine until 1980 and with Levine and Yucht until 2008. Concentrating in taxation with expertise also in Government Auditing Standards, Barry was for many years the auditor of the largest processor of turkey products for the government school lunch program. His practice included taxation issues relating to estates and trusts, employee benefit plans, and non-profits. Barry retired in 2008 from the active practice of accounting but maintains the position of treasurer at two non-profit organizations in Los Angeles.
Andrew Hasel (Orchestra Member-at-Large) has been a cellist in LADSO since 2016. His mother, a music teacher, introduced him to music before he could speak. Originally from Long Island, New York, Andrew studied cello under Susan Rubner. He was a member of The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York throughout high school, and also participated in many music festivals throughout New York, including the New York State All-State Symphony. Andrew earned his MBA from UCLA Anderson. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, where he was a cellist in USC Thornton’s Community Orchestra.
KEN ALEXANDER (Secretary) has been a flutist in LADSO since 1991, and is Professor of Mathematics at USC. He began the flute at age 9, and music has been embedded in his life ever since. He participated in performing groups through his school years in Shoreline, Washington, his college years at the University of Washington, and his Ph.D. studies in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After a gap he again felt the pull of the orchestra, first joining the USC Community Orchestra, then LADSO in 1991. He studied with Myung-So Kim, Felix Skowronek, Jeffrey Cohan, Richard Breitstein, Patti Cloud, and Gary Woodward, from his school years on through adulthood. He served on LADSO’s internal Council and joined its current Board at its inception in 2012.
Ken earned his Ph.D. in 1982, followed by postdoctoral positions at Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the University of Washington. He came to USC in 1986, and is now Vice Chair of the Department of Mathematics. His research area is the interface of probability theory and mathematical physics, including the mathematical description of phase transitions.
His avocations extend beyond flute to photography and world travel, combining the two whenever possible. He has sold travel photography to Lonely Planet and others. Ken resides in Culver City with his wife and son.
Rebecca Rodman, violinist and violist, earned her BA in violin performance at UCLA. Ms. Rodman was active in recording for motion pictures, TV and CD recordings in the Los Angeles commercial industry. Her performing positions included Concertmaster of Palisades Symphony Orchestra (1975 to 2000) and violinist and violist in orchestras, including the Santa Barbara Symphony, Pasadena Symphony and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Ms. Rodman was the violist in the Beverly Hills Piano Quartet and continues to play with numerous chamber music groups in the US and around the world.
Ms. Rodman’s non-performing career includes:
- West Coast Manager and member of the Board of Directors of Concert Artists Guild (1989 to 1995)
- Founder and Director of the San Juan Islands Chamber Music Festival in Washington State (1990 to 2001)
- Director of Music Development at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica, CA (1992 to 2000)
Ms. Rodman moved to Cremona, Italy in 2001 and stayed for 14 years learning violin-making in the historic city. She started a Foundation, (Fondazione Maestro Cremona) that loans instruments she has made, free of charge, to emerging artists. She has moved back to Los Angeles to be near her grandchildren and to continue to play music and make instruments here in Los Angeles.
KAREN SCHARRE, MD received her medical degree from the University of California, Davis. She completed a residency in pathology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and a surgical pathology fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Now retired, Dr. Scharre enjoyed a more than 30 year career in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she served as Director of Breast Pathology for many years. She was also Assistant Clinical Professor of Pathology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Beginning her musical training in violin at the age of 10, Dr. Scharre has enjoyed performing in orchestras ever since. She joined the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra in 1984 and currently holds the position of Ethel McClatchey Principal 2nd Violin Chair. She has previously been a member of the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of California, Davis Symphony Orchestra. Her musical interests have recently expanded to include chamber music performance. Dr. Scharre joined the LADSO Board in 2017.
IVAN SHULMAN, MD is an award-winning conductor, teacher, clinician and virtuoso performer, who has appeared with many orchestras in the Southern California area and celebrates his 32nd season as Music Director of the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra.
Originally from New York, he studied oboe with his father, the noted oboist Harry Shulman who played in the NBC Symphony under the direction of Arturo Toscanini. In his youth, he attended the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico on numerous occasions, and spent summers in Marlboro and Aspen, where he studied composition with Darius Milhaud and Charles Jones, theory and orchestration with Gordon Hardy, and conducting with Walter Susskind and Wolfgang Vacano.
After deciding to follow his scientific interests, he went to medical school at the University of Pittsburgh, did a peripatetic surgical residency in New York, Seattle and San Francisco, and spent two years in the US Public Health Service on the Navajo Reservation. Despite the intensity of a surgical training program, music was never far from his daily activities and when he moved to begin a practice in Los Angeles, he sought out many opportunities to play oboe in both community and professional groups. He has done studio work for several television programs, at least one of which has come out on DVD. He has played oboe with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and at the Hollywood Bowl, which included appearances under conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Christopher Hogwood and Leonard Slatkin among others. For several years, he served as tour physician and extra oboist with the Philharmonic, going to Mexico with Erich Leinsdorf, to Japan and Korea with Carlo Maria Giulini, and to Europe with Zubin Mehta. Several seasons ago, he again combined his medical and musical talents, accompanying the Debut Orchestra of the Young Musicians Foundation on a tour of China.
He became Music Director of the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra in 1990, and took master classes under the auspices of both the American League of Symphony Orchestras and the Conductor’s Guild. As Music Director he has conducted the orchestra in Los Angeles, as well as Santa Barbara and Santa Fe. In 1994, he led the combined forces of the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony and the University of California at San Francisco Orchestra in a highly acclaimed performance of the Mahler Sixth Symphony in San Francisco. He has also appeared as guest conductor in California with the Santa Monica Symphony, the Beach Cities Symphony in Torrance, the West Coast Symphony in Santa Barbara, the Brentwood-Westwood Symphony, the Topanga Philharmonic, the West Hollywood Orchestra, the Dalhousie University Chorus in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra in Alaska, the CAIS Honors String Orchestra and the FACS and Friends Symphony in Boston and San Francisco. He was also the conductor of the South Coast Reading Orchestra in Santa Barbara for four seasons. With the Nevada State Opera, he has conducted performances of Don Giovanni and Carmen. In 2001, he made his European conducting debut with the Pleven Philharmonic, in Bulgaria. He was music director of the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra in New Mexico from 2011 to 2013. In 2020, under his leadership, the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra was selected as First Place winner in the community orchestra division of the American Prize (http://theamericanprize.org), chosen from many orchestras across the country.
In Los Angeles, Dr. Shulman had a very busy surgical practice in a large medical group, where he his interests included breast cancer, laparoscopic surgery, pacemakers, thyroid and parathyroid disease and the gamut of general surgery. He was also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Southern California, where he taught surgical residents. In 2006, he took leave of surgery on a full-time basis, and participated in a number of surgical missions to Africa, Latin America, Oceania, the Philippines, Mongolia and Nepal. During this time, he also returned to academia to pursue his musical interests once again, and received a Master’s degree in Music from the California State University at Long Beach in 2008, where he conducted and wrote a thesis on the Second Symphony of Charles Ives. He also performed other works of Ives and others while conducting the New Music Group. For his efforts, he received the Outstanding Graduate Thesis award from the University. Dr. Shulman has been on the music faculty at CSULB where he taught music history. Although his musical tastes are broad, he has a special interest in the music from the Holocaust, having performed the American premiere of the Third Symphony of Erwin Schulhoff in 2001. He has been Chair of the Music Advisory Board of the Young Musicians Foundation, and regularly serves as a judge for scholarship and musical competitions of the Westside Music Foundation, Azusa Pacific University and the Music Teachers Association of California. He also recently was a juror for the 4th and 5th Hong Kong International Music Festival.
In addition to his musical activities, he currently is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California-Los Angeles, where he delights in teaching the next generation of physicians at the David Geffen School of Medicine.