Blair Francis Paponiu
Associate Principal, Catherine and Russell Clark Chair
Blair Francis Paponiu joined the San Francisco Symphony as Associate Principal Flute, holding the Catherine & Russell Clark Chair, at the beginning of the 2023–24 season. She previously held the Susan and Tom Brown Chair as assistant principal and second flute with the Naples Philharmonic in Florida, and performed with the New York Philharmonic as acting section flute for two seasons. She has also been a member of the Austin Symphony and has performed with the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and Oregon Symphony.
The recipient of numerous awards, Mrs. Francis Paponiu won second prize in the 2020 National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition. She has been an instrumental fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, Sarasota Music Festival, and Brevard Music Center.
She received a professional studies certificate in orchestral performance from the Manhattan School of Music, a master of music from the University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor of music from the University of South Carolina, where she graduated summa cum laude and received the Presser Scholar Award. Her teachers include Robert Langevin, Marianne Gedigian, Jennifer Parker-Harley, and Cynthia Hopkins.