Our volunteer Board of Directors works hard to provide classical music to the public. Any of the Directors can be contacted by emailing .
Fred Sautter, President
Lifelong professional musician, Fred Sautter is retired from service in the Oregon Symphony and continues to travel as a soloist to wonderful places like Costa Rica and Portugal. His teaching is well known from his long list of successful trumpeters in many places. Author, Master Teacher, Gardener, a commitment to the Environment, 5 children with 7 grandchildren, Fred keeps busy.
His commitment to the Portland Festival Symphony came about because of friendships but even more because he is experienced in negotiations, organizational techniques, visionary planning and healthy transition approaches. It is the last area that prompted Fred to serve, knowing that the PFS has benefitted by 34 years of excellent leadership by Lajos Balogh; and carrying on this tradition would require advanced understanding of these continuing needs along with a passion and vision for the future.
Al Niknabard, Secretary
Account Management Director, City Center Parking
Al Niknabard immigrated to United State in 1984 from Iran. He lived in Eugene, Oregon for approximately 5 years and has been in Portland since 1988. He has been with City Center Parking since his arrival in Portland. He is directly involved in all operational components of CCP. Al enjoys several different hobbies including playing music, sculpting, biking, motorcycles and occasional one-off artistic endeavors. Al works closely with CCP clients to achieve objectives outlined for each of the properties we operate. Having been involved in the business community through his work at CCP, Al has established many strong relationships in the community and is very familiar with Portland’s business and community objectives.
Gregory Vajda, Music Director
Portland Festival Symphony
Hailed as a “young titan” by the Montreal Gazette after conducting the Montreal Symphony in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Schoenberg’s Erwartun, Gregory Vajda has fast become one of the most sought-after conductors on the international scene. In 2011, he was appointed the sixth music director of the Huntsville Symphony.After a three-year tenure as Principal Conductor, he was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Hungarian Radio symphony in 2014. Mr. Vajda is also the Artistic Director of the International Armel Opera Festival. Former Resident Conductor with the Oregon Symphony, Vajda maintains a busy schedule of guest conducting engagements around the world.
Mr. Vajda is also a gifted clarinetist and composer and was honored with the Zoltán Kodály State Scholarship for composers (2000). Born in Budapest, Mr. Vajda studied conducting at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music.
Lajos Balogh, Founder & Music Director Emeritus
Portland Festival Symphony
Lajos is the Founder and past Music Director of Portland Festival Symphony. He was born in Hungary and studied at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, as well as in Munich and Hamburg. Maestro Balogh has been an active member in Oregon’s classical orchestra community. He spent many years as Principal Second Violin with the Oregon Symphony and is a former member of both the Portland Opera Orchestra and the North Coast Chamber Orchestra. He was the founding Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and is a past faculty member at Marylhurst University.
A native Oregonian, Dolores D’Aigle started violin lessons at Portland’s Hayhurst Elementary School and later lived in Chicago where she studied with Edgar Muenzer of the Chicago Symphony and was co-concertmaster of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She attended Northwestern University on academic and music scholarships. After earning her B.M. from Northwestern University, Dolores spent two seasons with the Florida Symphony and four years with the San Antonio Symphony. She studied with Stephen Clapp at University of Texas in Austin and was a Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. In 1978, Dolores returned to Portland to become assistant principal second violin of the Oregon Symphony, a position she held for 33 years. In addition to the violin, Dolores teaches and performs on organ, viola, and piano.
Dolores had a long association with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, organizing rehearsals, international tours, revamping organizational structure and serving on its executive board. She is Vice President of the local musicians union and has served on several Oregon Symphony negotiating teams and as a player representative. Dolores is a state-certified mediator, speaks German and Hungarian, and relaxes by swimming, hiking, and camping in the beautiful Oregon countryside.
Attorney, Neese Law Office, LLC
Paul Neese is a lawyer in Clackamas County, whose primary work is representing parents and children in juvenile dependency cases, and youth in juvenile delinquency cases. For five years, he was an Assistant General Counsel at the Oregon State Bar, where his work focused on legal ethics and professionalism. Prior to this, Paul was at MDI representing parents and children in Multnomah County. He also handled cases in the Grand Ronde Tribal Court.
Paul received his B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco, School of Law. He is a member of the Clackamas County Bar Association, and has held various positions in the American Bar Association, the Oregon State Bar House of Delegates, and the Oregon New Lawyers Division. He also serves as a mentor for the Oregon State Bar’s New Lawyer Mentoring Program.
He speaks Cambodian (Khmer) and Lao, and a bit of French. He has played the piano since a young age, has informally studied organ, and has sung as a tenor with Oregon Repertory Singers for a number of years. Paul and his family have lived in the Portland area since 2002, and he is the lucky father of two amazing sons.
Amber Gudaitis Composer and choreographer
Amber began her artistic training in violin and Classical ballet and later shifted her focus to music composition and contemporary dance. As a composer, Gudaitis works in contemporary classical music, writing for live performers. Gudaitis’ musical compositions have been premiered by the Portland Columbia
Symphony Orchestra, the Olympia Symphony Orchestra and by professional chamber ensembles and soloists. As a dance professional, Gudaitis is known for customizing performances to the unique stage designs of music venues. She has performed with many professional musicians, including trumpeter Fred Sautter, clarinetist Dr. Robert Spring, and tubist Dr. Deanna Svoboda. Gudaitis studied at the University of North Texas, Arizona State University, and the University of Leeds in England. Her works have been performed in Massachusetts, California, Arizona, Nebraska, Texas, the Pacific Northwest, England, Costa Rica, and Portugal.