Affordable, high-quality, cultural and music programs in San Francisco; classical music, chamber music, opera, broadway, piano, jazz, theater

2021—2022 Season and Calendar

All concerts are held at Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122 (unless otherwise stated). Map

Ticket Prices: $25 General, $20 Seniors/Students (unless noted otherwise)

September

Opening Weekend! Klezmer-Jazz Project: Alon Nechushtan Jazz Quartet

Date: Saturday September 18, 7:30 p.m.

Alon Nechushtan’s music adventures has brought him to various far corners of the globe such as the Yokohama ‘Rejoicing Sounds’ Festival in Japan with his contemporary orchestral compositions, The Manila Cultural Center of the Arts, with his Clarinet Concerto for the Philippines Philharmonic Orchestra, The Sao-Paolo Brazil Jewish Music Festival with his groove based Quintet Talat, Toronto and Montreal with his words beyond Jazz Trio and Tel Aviv New Music Biannale with his Compositions for Large Ensemble.

Resident of New York City, Alon has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, Central Park Summer Stage, The Blue Note Jazz Club and the Kennedy Center with his projects as a band leader of various groups or as an in demand sideman. in October 2015 the Kennedy Center has commissioned from Alon Nechushtan a new piece for Billy Strayhorn Centennial Celebration, following by a Far East tour in China and Philippines, along with Jazz Festivals in Belo Horizonte-Brazil, Israel. In 2017 the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C has commissioned from Alon Nechushtan a new program of Thelonious Monk’s less known compositions.

All About Jazz magazine called him “A fantastic pianist-composer with abundant chemistry and boundless eclecticism,” while DownBeat Magazine recognizes “A talent to watch, with a surfeit of ideas, an unbridled spirit and bold, two-fisted sense of Architecture.”

Quantum Quintet

Date: September 25 2021, 7:30 p.m.

Cellist Joel Cohen grew up in Oakland, studying cello with Irene Sharp and Margaret Rowell. He finished his formal studies at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. He did further work with Anner Bylsma in Holland. He then became a member of the Oakland Symphony, as co-principal cello for his final six years there. He left California in 1985 to go live in Vienna, Austria. While there, he played and toured Europe and the world with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony, Wiener Kammeroper, Johann Strauss Festival Orchestra, and many other groups. Ten years in Boston had him playing with Boston Symphony, Portland Symphony, and PORT Summer opera. Joel was a founding member of Quartet San Francisco, which was twice nominated for Grammy™ awards. Now he back in California, playing chamber music, with orchestras, and as soloist in recitals and concertos.

Meg Eldridge, a Marin Native, has studied music performance at the University of Michigan, the Manhattan School of Music, and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She performs regularly with the Marin Symphony, the Santa Rosa Symphony, Oak-land Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, the California Symphony, the Echo Chamber Orchestra, the Sound Collective, and other Bay Area groups. She plays Baroque violin and viola with the Carmel Bach Festival, Archangeli Baroque Strings, Marin Baroque, the California Bach Society, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Jubilate, and Philharmonia Baroque. Meg performs regularly with the Tamalpais String Quartet, the Marin String Quartet, and Lawrence Strings. She also regularly plays in recording sessions at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. In the summers, Ms. Eldridge has played at Interlochen, the Vancouver Mozart Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Midsummer Mozart Festival, and at the Sunriver Music Festival. In addition to music, Ms. Eldridge enjoys cooking, running, tennis, mountain climbing, and is a black belt in Aikido.

Soprano and violinist Wendy Loderhas delighted San Francisco Bay Area opera audiences with her vivid portrayals of Adele, Adina, Blonde, Cunegonde, the Dew Fairy, Fanny, Frasquita, Fiorilla, Fiordilidgi, Gilda, Gretel, Lauretta, Nanetta, Olympia, Queen of the Night, Miss Sweetsong, Violetta, The Vixen, and Zerbinetta. In February Wendy served as concertmistress with the Marin’s ECHO Chamber Orchestra and she also appears regularly with the Quantum Quartet. She is also featured as both violinist and singer on a recently released CD “Serenata”, a collection of unique music from Italy, France and Spain, also available on CDBaby.com. In addition to her performance activities, Wendy directs music for the Trinity Lutheran Church, and teaches voice, violin, and piano. She is on the faculty at San Domenico School in San Anselmo, and her students have performed with San Francisco Opera, Lamplighters, San Francisco Girls Chorus, Young Women’s Choral Project, Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra, and have been featured as soloists on video games. She is happily married and the proud mother of two beautiful daughters.

Odin Mitaineis a native of France and holds double degrees in Piano and Violin. As a young violinist, he was accepted to the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, England. Later, he studied at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Lyon and earned a Masters in Violin, Chamber Music, and Musical Theory while earning the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree in Piano. He has studied the violin with Gerard Poulet, Peter Csaba, and Roland Daugareil and taken masterclasses with Fine Arts Quartet. Odin has performed throughout Europe. He worked as Associate Concertmaster at Opera de Rouen with notable conductors Oswald Salaberger, Laurence Equilbey, and David Stern. He has performed series with Opera de Paris and Radio France.Since arriving in California, he has played with different chamber groups including Echo Chamber Orchestra and worked as a piano accompanist with notable musicians. For the past several years, Odin has worked in music education teaching in several schools in the Bay Area.

Pianist Jeanette Tietze holds degrees in piano and violin pedagogy from the Hochschule für Musik, Vienna, and an MM degree in Piano Performance from SF State University, where she studied with Carlo Bussoti. Her teachers include Marcele Gallez, John McCarthy, Klara Harrer, Oleg Maisenberg and Leonid Brumberg, former assistant to Heinrich Neuhaus.Jeanette also holds a Kodaly Certificate from Holy Names University and has taught at several schools in the Bay Area.She is Organist/Music Direc-tor at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Corte Madera and accompanist for the Dominican Chorale and the Young Women’s Choral Project. She teaches piano at San Domenico, Marin Country Day School, and Notre Dame des Victoires, Jeanette has per-formed as soloist with several Bay Area orchestras.

October

Liana Paniyeva, piano

Liana Paniyeva

Date: Saturday October 16 2021, 7:30 p.m.

Award winning pianist Liana Paniyeva has performed at international festivals in Norway, Hungary, Canada, Italy, South Africa and Israel. Liana performed three times at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Her solo recital in 2016 at the Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago was broadcast live on WFMT Radio. Ms. Paniyeva is the winner of the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music; Grand Prize at the Metropolitan International Piano Competition; and the winner of the AFAF Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition. Liana Paniyeva was also awarded the Cargill Foundation Prize in the 2014 Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow, and became a prizewinner at the Iowa International Piano Competition in 2015. In 2013-2015, Ms. Paniyeva was awarded the E.B. Storrs Piano Scholarship from the Musical Club of Hartford. Liana earned Third Prize at the International Competitions in Memory of E. Gilels, First Prize at the International Competition in Memory of Prokofiev, and Second Prize at the International Competition in Memory of A. Karamanov.

In 2008, Liana won First Prize in the “Music World” International Competition in Italy. In Israel Ms. Paniyeva won a prize in memory of Bracha Eden for a most impressive performance during the competition ”The Voice of Music Jerusalem.” Most recently, Liana played in concert halls of Scotland, South Africa, and in multiple states of the USA including Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Chicago Cultural Center , Epiphany Church in Downtown of Washington DC, Chicago Public Library, Grand Country Concert Series in Colorado, Jamestown Piano association, and many more.

Liana graduated from the Donetsk Music Academy in Ukraine, and went on to earn her Professional Studies Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music in 2011. Ms. Paniyeva finished her Artist Diploma at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. Her career continues with recitals in Hungary, Israel, Ukraine, USA, England, Syria, Canada, South Africa, and Norway.

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Lyle Sheffler, guitar

Date: Saturday October 23 2021, 5 p.m.

International guitar soloist Lyle Sheffler began playing classical guitar at the age of seven and made his first public appearance at the age of eight. Acclaimed for his artistry, warm tone, and captivating programs, he has played at such esteemed venues as Carnegie Hall, Freight & Salvage Stadium, the Tilles Center, and the Hanoi Opera House, as well as numerous other concert halls around the globe. In addition to solo recitals, Lyle has performed as a concerto soloist with orchestras with Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre” and Antonio Vivaldi’s Guitar Concerto in D Major.

In the fall of 2012, Lyle was invited to tour the Middle East and Asia with Celebrity Cruises as a solo classical guitarist. He was also selected to participate in the prestigious Ile de Ré International Guitar Festival in France, led by guitar virtuoso Philippe Villa in 2010. While in France, Lyle was hand picked to perform in a solo concert held open to the public, as well as to play first guitar in several different chamber ensembles. During the summer of 2009, Lyle was awarded the opportunity to participate in both the Iserlohn Classical Guitar Festival in Germany and the Polish Guitar Academy in Poznan, Poland. There, he performed both in ensembles and as a soloist. He has participated in master classes with many world-renowned artists including Manuel Barrueco, David Russell, and many others.

Lyle earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the prestigious Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied under the tutelage of acclaimed guitar pedagogue Ray Chester. Lyle received his Masters of Music degree in classical guitar from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the instruction of Guitar Foundation of America competition winner and Naxos recording artist Marc Teicholz and department chair David Tanenbaum. As a performer, Lyle has become an integral part of the San Francisco music community, both as a soloist and chamber musician. He also maintains a thriving teaching studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. Besides classical guitar, Lyle is proficient on double bass, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, and lute. He looks forward to a future of sharing his love for the guitar with his audiences and students, alike.

Lyle Sheffler currently plays on a spruce double-top super concert guitar hand built by Jeroen Hilhorst.

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Frank Huang, piano

Date: Saturday October 30 2021, 7:30 p.m.

Frank Huang is a Steinway Artist and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Piano at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Previously, he was a faculty member at The College of Wooster and The Cleveland Institute of Music.

Described by New York Concert Review as a “thoughtful and accomplished performer” and that his playing was “impressive for its maturity and refinement,” Mr. Huang has gained international recognition for his artistry and technical command. Others have also acknowledged his talents, as the Chopin Foundation of the United States, Northwest Chapter has commented that “Huang plays with authority and panache” while El Comerico of Lima, Peru praised his interpretation of Mozart’s Piano Concerto, K.482 “with the utmost sensitivity.” Mr. Huang’s performances have led him throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Such notable venues include Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Hall (Seattle), US Embassy in Warsaw, Zelazowa Wola (Warsaw), Gijon International Piano Festival (Spain), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Holland Music Sessions, Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Dame Myra Recital Series at Chicago’s Cultural Center, Lincoln Center in New York, and St. Martin in the Fields, London, UK. Mr. Huang’s concerts have also been featured on radio and television broadcasts in various cities across the United States and abroad. Most recently, his performances were aired on “Primo Movimento,” a popular classical music program on RaiRadio 3 in Rome, Italy. An avid chamber musician, he also enjoys performing with others as he has collaborated with members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in recitals. Equally active as a soloist with orchestra, he has performed with the Sammamish Symphony, Northwest Philharmonia, Peru National Symphony, Wooster Symphony Orchestra, Central Ohio Symphony, and Sichuan Symphony Orchestra. 

​Huang’s recordings can be found on the Centaur Records and Nimbus Alliance labels. His latest album, Celebrating Women Composers, is a chamber disc that he collaborated with violinist, Shannon Thomas. Other recordings include Jack Gallagher: Piano Music and Johannes Brahms: Selected Piano Music, in spring 2017. Both of which have received rave reviews as critics have described Huang’s performances as “thrilling” (The Classical Reviewer) and that “Huang deserves kudos for his sparkling and sensitive playing, and that better performances of these works would be well-nigh impossible to come by.” (Fanfare) Soon-to-be-released albums include volume one of the complete solo piano music of Nikolai Medtner.

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November

Anton Smirnov, piano

Date: Saturday November 6, 7:30 p.m.

Anton Smirnov began his piano studies at age of seven in Novosibirsk, Russia. After graduating from Novosibirsk State Conservatory with a Bachelor’s Degree, Anton came to the United States in 2006 to further his education. Anton has received his Artist Diploma from the Oberlin Conservatory with Sedmara Z. Rutstein and Peter Takacs as his piano teachers; Professional Studies Certificate at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA with John Perry. Mr. Smirnov received his Master’s Degree from Yale University in 2015 with help of Boris Berman and Hung Kuan Chen as his primary piano professors.

As a student, he was honored by the Russian government with several special talent scholarships. He has made more than 1000 public performances worldwide at venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fischer Hall, Walt Disney Hall, and Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Anton is a prizewinner at many international piano competitions including the Moscow International Competition for Young Musicians, International Russian Music Piano Competition in San-Jose, CA, Oberlin Concerto Competition, Corpus Christi International Concerto Competition, Louisiana International Piano Competition, the NTD International Piano Competition in New York, and many others. He has performed as a soloist with various orchestras including the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Tomsk Philharmonic Orchestra, San Jose Symphony and The Oberlin Orchestra.
Anton is a prominent chamber musician: he performed with members of Quatuor Ebene; Edgar Meyer, Alexander Buzlov, Evgeny Tonkha, Antonio Lysy, Boris Allakhverdyan, Simone Porter, and many others.

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Brazzissimo!

Date: Saturday November 13, 7:30 p.m.

BRAZZISSIMO is a ten-piece brass chamber music ensemble.  You may well ask, “What exactly is a brass chamber ensemble?”  Well, it’s a fascinating combination of four trumpets (including piccolo trumpet, various pitched trumpets and flugelhorn), four trombones (including euphonium), French horn and a tuba which comprise this captivating and exciting music ensemble. 

We perform a variety of music especially arranged or composed for this brass ensemble medium, all of which include arrangements of classical, jazz, Latin and contemporary works. 

​Our musicians, past and present, represent some of the finest brass players in the San Francisco Bay Area region.  In addition to our ensemble’s responsibilities, individually we perform in orchestras, bands, smaller chamber groups, and often freelance.  Our continuing goal is to present the most enjoyable and memorable concert experiences possible.

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Circadian String Quartet

Date: Saturday November 20, 2021 7:30 p.m.

Bay Area based Circadian String Quartet was founded in 2013 to promote the classical and contemporary string quartet repertoire, in particular music of cultural and folkloric significance. Since then, the group has been featured through Mt. Shasta’s Music By the Mountain, Sunset Music | Arts Chamber Music Series in San Francisco, and the Merced Symphony Association. In 2014, the CSQ were invited to collaborate with the St. Petersburg-based Rimsky Korsakov String Quartet during their North American tour. They have also given U.S. premieres of pieces by world-renowned British composer Ian Venables in collaboration with mezzo-soprano Sally Munro of the San Francisco Opera and Natalie Parker, Principal Clarinetist of the San Francisco Ballet.

December

An Evening with Pablo Estigarribia

Date: Friday December 3, 7:30 p.m.

An evening with Argentinian virtuoso tango pianist, arranger, and composer Pablo Estigarribia.

Program: Horacio Salgán Piano Transcriptions

Horacio Salgán is without a doubt the most inventive, virtuosic and elegant pianist in Tango History. Recently an unofficial live recording that makes the only solo piano concert he played that we know of was discovered. Horacio Salgán Piano Transcriptions is the result of almost 2 years decoding this rare recording into a studio album and a music book with all the scores and research notes of the project. In this concert the full content of the book will be performed. The repertoire will feature traditional tango and some of original work by the Maestro.

Like many artists of this genre, Pablo Estigarribia began his training as a classical musician and soon branched out into the world of tango. He studied at the National Conservatory in Buenos Aires, where he won the Bienal Juvenil National Competition for Young Artists. After graduating, he spent several years on the frenzied performance circuit in Argentina, collaborating with the Congress Chamber Orchestra, the National Radio Orchestra, and the Chaco Symphony, among many others. Seeking to broaden his musical horizons beyond the classical realm, Estigarribia took a brief detour through jazz and then discovered tango in 2005. He quickly won the Orquesta Escuela de Tango scholarship and performed with this superb ensemble under the direction of Maestro Emilio Balcarce. Estigarribia continued working with Balcarce shortly thereafter when he first toured Europe.

He is considered among the best tango musicians of his generation.

Jason Chiu, piano

Date: Saturday December 4, 7:30 p.m.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason Chiu was a recent prize winner of the American Protege Piano and Strings Competition and was invited to perform in the winners’ concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. He has received a number of other top prizes including first place in the 2019 inaugural Bay Area Piano Competition, and a third-place award in the 2014 American Prize Competition for his recording of Chopin’s four Ballades. In his rendition of these major works for the piano, he displayed “many original interpretative ideas and a very individualistic way of listening,” according to the judges. While attending U.C. Berkeley, where he attained his B.A. in Music, Jason performed as a soloist with the University Symphony Orchestra, and was a recipient of the Eisner Award for achievement in the creative arts. He later earned his Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music studying with Sharon Mann. Recent appearances include solo performances in Seattle at Benaroya Hall and in San Francisco with Old First Concerts, as well as performances with the Kensington Symphony Orchestra and the Saratoga Symphony. Jason maintains an active teaching studio from his home near Berkeley where he resides with his wife along with his two children. 

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Laura Klein TrioWomen Compose Jazz

Date: Saturday December 11, 7:30 p.m.

Laura Klein Trio: Laura Klein-piano, Carla Kaufmann-bass, Kelly Fasman-drums

Program: A special evening of seldom heard jazz gems composed by women, from classics by Lil Hardin Armstrong and Bernice Petkere, swinging tunes by Mary Lou Williams, Melba Liston, and Marian McPartland, to music by contemporary masters Eliane Elias, Joanne Brackeen and Renee Rosnes, and some originals by Laura Klein. 

Laura Klein (piano, composer)  classically trained but deeply steeped in the jazz tradition, has been influenced by the writing of Thelonius Monk, Wayne Shorter, Fred Hersch and Joanne Brackeen. She has recorded her own compositions with FivePlay Jazz Quintet, Triceratops, and vibraphonist Ted Wolff. Laura has appeared with her trio at numerous venues including SF Jazz and Piedmont Piano Company, and was featured on KCSM’s “In the Moment” and “Desert Island Jazz”.  She maintains a busy schedule performing with her trio, FivePlay Jazz Quintet, TonaLaura Jazz Duo, as well as with numerous Bay Area jazz luminaries.

Carla Kaufman (bass) is equally at home in the classical and jazz music worlds.  She has played in many orchestras including the Berkeley Symphony , Vallejo Symphony,  The Women’s Philharmonic , California Symphony, and the Russian Chamber Orchestra. She has shared the stage with many notable musicians including Clark Terry, Michael Greensill and Wesla Whitfield, Calvin Keys,  Ed Reed, Maria Muldaur, Frank Morgan, Noel Jewkes, and Donald Bailey, and is a first call bassist for Bay Area vocalists.

Kelly Fasman (drums) is a dynamic performer whose propulsive playing adds excitement and dynamic range in any musical setting. She has performed with Kenny Loggins, The Moody Blues, Joan Baez, and Joan Rivers. She was the house drummer for The American Musical Theatre of San Jose, and has worked with Teatro Zinzanni, Broadway By the Bay, and Theatreworks. Kelly is the powerhouse of the 17 piece jazz orchestra, the Morchestra. She is a highly in-demand performer and educator on the Bay Area scene.

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Christmas Lessons and Carols with San Francisco Renaissance Voices

NativityShepherdsField

Date: Saturday December 18, 4 p.m.
Free Admission. Donations gratefully accepted.

Come join us in celebrating the joy and the mystery of Advent with the San Francisco Renaissance Voices in a candlelight service of Advent and Christmas carols. You will have lots of opportunity to sing and enjoy both familiar and not so familiar carols. This is a fun event for the entire family. A free reception follows the service.

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January 2022

Jack Cimo, guitar

Date: Saturday January 15, 7:30 p.m.

Jack Cimo is a classically-trained Spanish guitarist known for his powerful presence, beautiful tone, and exciting renditions. Having played the guitar since he was a toddler, his devotion to the instrument has directed the course of his life. He has over 20 years of performing experience, and now calls San Luis Obispo, California home.

He has worked with Grammy-award winning musicians such as Steve Suvada, William Kanengiser, and Pepe Romero; and has captivated audiences in Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston, Costa Rica, and Ireland to name a few. He has been a finalist or prizewinner in various competitions, including winning USC’s Presser Award and taking 3rd in the Sierra Nevada Guitar Festival. He was recently one of two Americans to be invited to the prestigious Joann Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition in Buffalo, NY.

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Shtrykov-Tanaka (Clarinet-Piano) Duo

Date: Friday January 21, 7:30 p.m.

Comprised of two sensationally gifted and acclaimed virtuosi, clarinetist Maksim Shtrykov and pianist Misuzu Tanaka, the Shtrykov–Tanaka Duo has been heard throughout the U.S., garnering an impressive record of instant re-engagements. Clarinet and piano duos are still rare gems on the modern concert stage despite the immense repertoire. With its innovative programming, master classes, and recitals, the Duo makes it their mission to transform the superb instrumental combination fr om a rare occurrence to a welcomed guest in concert series across the globe.

The 2017 – 2018 season highlights include the Duo’s debut album release on Concertant Classics label as well as numerous concerts and master classes with appearances on the Fairmont Chamber Music Society (WV), Highlands Chapel Concert Series in Seattle (WA), and Cedarhurst Chamber Music (IL) among others.  During past seasons, the Duo gave numerous concerts on many eminent concert series across the country including Chamber Music Society of Maryland, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts (IL), Summer Stars Classical Series in Ocean Grove (NJ), Tuesday’s Music Live Series in Augusta (GA), Frederick Collection Historical Piano Concerts in Ashburnham, (MA), and Endless Mountain Festival in Elmira (NY) to name a few.

The Duo’s upcoming debut album “Epilogues” will focus on the last works of three leading composers – Johannes Brahms, Camille Saint-Saëns and Francis Poulenc. Each of these composers chose the clarinet as the last medium of their genius, referring to its rich sound and soulful expression in the late stage of their lives, entrusting in it a lifetime of wisdom and experience. Though the story behind the creation of each composition differs, all of them hold a deep philosophical meaning as the pinnacles of the composers’ mastery.

Maksim and Misuzu first met in December 2012 and, as avid chamber music collaborators, instantly felt a unique artistic connection resulting in an inspiring and creative friendship. Both artists are graduates of The Juilliard School and enjoy extensive international solo careers that have heard them in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Germany’s Leipzig Gewandhaus and Japan’s Izumi Hall.

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Ramana Vieira – A Journey to the World of Portuguese Fado

ramanavieira

Date: Saturday January 22, 7:30 p.m.

Journey to the world of Portuguese Fado as interpreted by Ramana Vieira, a northern California native of Portuguese descent. Vieira’s parents immigrated to the United States from Portugal, where her grandfather was a well-known musician and composer from Madeira Island.

Vieira’s work captures traditional Fado and influences from the Portuguese diaspora in a musical tapestry that ranges from the whispering, haunting ballads of Fado, to American classics and jazzy blues.  She also is a proficient pianist and a gifted songwriter having penned and composed her own original Fados, of which several have been nominated at the International Portuguese Music Awards.

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Kevin Navarro, piano

Date: Saturday January 29, 7:30 p.m.

Kevin Navarro, classical pianist and vocal accompanist is a native of Seattle, Washington and has resided in San Francisco for the past nine years. Kevin earned his Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance from Pacific Lutheran University School of Music, where he studied under Dr. Calvin Knapp of the Julliard School, Dr. Richard Nance, Director of Choral Activities and Mira Frohnmayer, Chair of Vocal Studies at PLU School of Music. During his tenure at PLU, Kevin served as the choral accompanist for both University Chorale, and internationally renowned Choir of the West. Kevin was very active in musical theatre and opera productions in the Seattle/Tacoma region, and has served as a principle/stage accompanist for PLU Opera Workshop, Tacoma Opera, Seattle Opera and the Tacoma Musical Playhouse including productions such as Madame Butterfly, Marriage of Figaro, Magic Flute, and West Side Story. In addition to maintaining an active solo performance schedule, Kevin serves as accompanist on Piano & Organ at St. Ignatius Parish in San Francisco, CA.

In December 2020, Kevin qualified for the semi-finals of the “Music International Grand Prix” adult piano competition. At his San Francisco audition, Kevin placed 2nd among all candidates in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Asia regions.

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February 2022

Dorisiya Yosifova, violin

Date: Saturday February 5, 7:30 p.m.

Born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, Dorisiya Yosifova is a San Francisco based violinist and instructor. Her musical training began very early on at the age of 5, and her first solo debut came at the age of 7 with the Gabrovian Chamber Orchestra in Bulgaria. At 15, Dorisiya won a full scholarship to the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California and left her home country to study in the US. During her years at Idyllwild, Dorisiya won the Idyllwild Arts Academy Concerto Competition and the Eastern Music Festival award for Orchestral excellence, as well as Idyllwild Arts Academy’s “Most Outstanding Freshman” award. She gained invaluable training in ensemble playing as concertmaster of the Idyllwild Arts Academy orchestra, and in solo playing in master classes with Midori Goto, Sergiu Schwartz, Ian Swensen, and others. Additionally at 18, Dorisiya collaborated with folk legend Richard Thompson and Harry Shearer in recording and premiering Thompson’s album, “Cabaret of Souls.”

In 2015, Dorisiya completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from Oberlin Conservatory. There, she studied with Gregory Fulkerson and Marilyn McDonald. During her time at Oberlin, she played in orchestra and chamber music ensembles under the direction of Raphael Jimenez and Timothy Weiss. She also performed alongside the Jupiter Quartet in Oberlin’s Winter Term Intensive chamber music festival, performed at Carnegie Hall with the conservatory’s orchestra during their New York tour, and New York’s Le Poisson Rouge as part of the Next Festival. During her time at the conservatory, Dorisiya has played as Concertmaster and Principal Second with the Round Top Festival Orchestra, as well as with the Next Fest Orchestra, and in 2015 she won Marrowstone’s string fellowship award. A passionate instructor, Dorisiya was also a part of Oberlin Conservatory’s Secondary Student program and taught violin lessons to college students and other community members.

Dorisiya completed her Master of Music degree in Violin Performance at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2017. During her time at the Conservatory, she took part in a string leadership masterclass for principal players with Boston Symphony Orchestra member Haldan Martinson and performed as Principal Second Violinist with multiple orchestras at the conservatory. Dorisiya currently enjoys an active career in music as a teacher and performer. As an orchestra musician, Dorisiya has performed with the Apollo ensemble of Boston as Principal Second Violinist, the Cape Ann Symphony as Section Player and the Lowell House Opera as Concertmaster. Dorisiya is also a member of the Boston New Music Initiative, where she most recently performed in a remote performance in January 2021. Before her recent move to the Bay Area, Dorisiya had a strong concertizing presence in the music community in Boston as a solo and chamber musician and performed at venues such as the Art Complex Museum, King’s Chapel, Wellesley Library and others. Enthusiastic about teaching, Dorisiya is currently on the String Faculty of the Maud Powell String Institute, Myriad Music School, MidPeninsula Music Academy and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Previously, she has also taught at the Boston School of Music Arts and the El-Sistema inspired Youth and Family Enrichment Services. Additionally, Dorisiya is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Maud Powell String Institute – a string program specifically designed for immigrant children in MA.

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Samantha Cho, piano

Saturday February 12, 2022 4 p.m.

Born in Los Angeles, pianist Samantha Cho is active professionally as a performer and educator. Her recent appearances include Noontime Concert Series (San Francisco), Classical King FM (Seattle), Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert (Chicago), Harbor College (Los Angeles), and more. Her 2020 engagements include solo recitals in San Francisco and Los Angeles, a radio appearance on Chicago’s “Live from WFMT” with CSO cellist Brant Taylor and violinist Florin Parvulescu, and her debut in Korea’s prestigious chamber music venue, Sejong Cultural Center. Passionate about chamber music, Samantha has collaborated with members of the San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and San Francisco Ballet Orchestra; and she has also performed as soloist with Kenwood Symphony as winner of the 19th Annual Master’s Concerto & Aria Competition. Her performances have been broadcast on WFMT (Chicago), Classical KingFM (Seattle), and Arte TV (Seoul).

Also passionate in music education, Samantha joined the piano faculty at Los Angeles Pierce College in 2019, and she has coached pre-college chamber music groups at San Francisco Conservatory of Music since 2016.

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Patrick Galvin, violin

Date: Saturday February 19, 7:30 p.m.

Patrick Galvin is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Camilla Wicks and Wei He.  Patrick also spent two years studying violin with Barbara Gorzynska at the Prayner Konservatorium in Vienna, Austria. Patrick made his solo debut at age 11 with the Oakland East Bay Symphony playing the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1. He was winner of the East Bay Young Artist Competition in 2000, the Yehudi Menuhin/Helen Dowling award in 2002 and the Kensington Young Artist Competition in 2003. In April 2004 he was the soloist with the Kensington Symphony playing the Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No 5. He has also performed at the Junior Bach Festival. In 2013 and 2015, Patrick competed in the Johannes Brahms International Competition in Pörtschach, Austria.

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ZĒLOS QUARTET

Date: Friday February 25, 7:30 p.m.

Julian Salazar, Soprano
Johnny Selmer, Alto
Robin Lacey, Tenor
David Cortez, Baritone

The Zēlos Quartet is dedicated to performing a wide array of repertoire ranging from underrepresented contemporary works to transcriptions from the baroque, classical, and romantic eras. Committed to performing on saxophones that fit the acoustical specifications of its inventor Adolphe Sax, the Zelos Quartet looks to connect with a variety of audiences to show the wide range of sounds and colors of the saxophone.

Zēlos has participated in summer music festivals such as Festival South (Hattiesburg, MS) and the National Music Festival (Chestertown, MD), where they connected with local audiences through public performances in retirement homes, farmers markets, and house concerts. They have also been extensively coached by Dr. Michael Hernandez of the critically acclaimed Mana Quartet and participated in masterclasses by the award winning Verona String Quartet and Amethyst Quartet.

Angela Kraft Cross, organist

Date: Saturday February 26, 7:30 p.m.

Angela Kraft Cross, San Francisco Bay Area organist, pianist and composer, graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in 1980 with bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Organ Performance. She then earned her Doctor of Medicine degree at Loma Linda University, where she subsequently completed her residency in ophthalmology. In 1993, she completed her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the College of Notre Dame with Thomas LaRatta. Her organ teachers have included Louis Robilliard, Marie-Louise Langlais, Sandra Soderlund, S. Leslie Grow, William Porter and Garth Peacock. In 2001, she was awarded the Associateship credential of the American Guild of Organists (AAGO) after passing rigorous playing and written examinations. She has studied composition with Pamela Decker.  Dr. Kraft Cross has performed extensively on both organ and piano, having given over five hundred concerts across the United States, in Canada, England, Holland, France, Hungary, Korea, Lesotho and Guam, including such venues as Notre Dame Cathedral, St. Sulpice and the Madeleine in Paris, Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Thomas Church in New York City, Methuen Memorial Music Hall and Trinity Church in Boston, E. Power Biggs’ organ at Harvard, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral in London, and the Mormon Tabernacle. She has been featured soloist with local Bay Area ensembles; Master Sinfonia Orchestra, Soli Deo Gloria, Sine Nomine, Masterworks Chorale, Viva la Musica, The Choral Project, and the San Jose Symphonic Choir as well as Seattle’s Philharmonia Northwest Chamber Orchestra and the Skagit Symphony in northern Washington.

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March 2022

Stars Aligned Siblings – String Quartet

Saturday March 5 2022, 7:30 p.m.

Stars Aligned Siblings is an all-sibling string quartet ages 8, 11, 13, and 14 years-old. They have toured internationally at festivals and events in the United Kingdom, Argentina, Mexico, and in the United States. Formerly Little Stars Trio, the siblings have appeared on NBC TV’s Little Big Shots with host Steve Harvey and on ITV’s Little Big Shots in the U.K. They have performed as soloists and as a quartet at Iguazú en Concierto Festival in Argentina and at Festival Alfonso Ortiz Tirado in Mexico. In the United States they have performed on Michael Cerbelli’s The Hot List, San Francisco Conservatory of Music Gala, Festival Napa Valley, Bear Valley Music Festival, MTAC State Convention banquet, Presidio concert series in San Francisco, National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference, and for Steinway Society sponsored outreach to local schools in their community.

​Stars Aligned Siblings have won numerous awards in chamber music, including 1st Place Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, including the Haydn Prize and BIPOC/Female Composer Prize, Winner “Ensembles” Cadenza Contest 2.0, 1st Place Chicago International Music Competition – Amateur Division, 1st Place & Outstanding Gold Medalist Award of U.S. Open Music Competition, 1st Place U.S. International Music Competition, 1st Place MTAC VOCE State Finals, 1st Place DVC-HNU Strings Competition, and 1st Place Sacramento Chamber Music Society Competition, 3rd Place Piero Farulli International Competition for Young String Quartets where they also received the youngest ensemble award.

Olson/De Cari Duo

Saturday March 12 2022, 7:30 p.m.

The Olson/De Cari Duo, a husband-and-wife ensemble, is dedicated to expanding the repertoire for classical guitar and voice, deriving inspiration from their eclectic backgrounds in both science and the arts.

The Duo’s unique approach to song performance draws on Gioia’s expertise as both a classical singer and a theatre artist, and John’s diverse musical background and affinity for ensemble performance. Their innovative repertoire includes many pieces written for them, including compositions from their Science/Music Commissioning Project, which seeks to celebrate the science-informed worldview and illuminate the human side of science through song.

NYlon Review described their performance as “superb . . . served up with style and elegance,” and the Science Friday Initiative noted that “the Olson/De Cari Duo straddle science and art gloriously.”

Their new CD, Eve’s Diary, released in Fall 2018, features new compositions and arrangements commissioned by the Duo, including song cycles by David Leisner and Frank Wallace, arrangements of Jobim songs by João Luiz, and arrangements of theatre songs by Clarice Assad.

Janis Mercer, piano and Daniel Lewin, violin

Date: Sunday March 13, 7 p.m.

Janis Mercer is an American pianist/composer living in San Francisco.  As a solo pianist and accompanist, Janis Mercer’s interest in the music of the Second Viennese School has continued unabated since the early 1980’s. With her ensemble, schwungvoll!, she received funding from the Zellerbach Family Fund for a concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of Webern’s death in 1995. In 2005 she commemorated the 60th anniversary of his death with the commissioning of student and professional composers to write music “completing” Webern’s unfinished children’s piano cycle. These pieces were performed as part of concerts commissioning Webern’s death, in San Francisco and Spokane, Washington. She was invited to compose a chamber work and to attend the 2005 kofomi (KompositionForumMittersill) commemorative concerts staged throughout the town of Mittersill, Austria, where Webern was killed. 

Daniel Lewin has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.  He has an unusually diverse career as a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster and teacher. He was Concertmaster with the Symphony of the United Nations, Solisti New York, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Charleston Symphony, Nevada Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, and Cedar Rapids Symphony. He made his Carnegie Hall concerto debut with the New York Youth Symphony. He has played with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, the Spoleto Festival, in both Charleston, S.C. and Spoleto Italy, and toured Greece as a member of the American Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Lewin was Professor of Violin and Viola at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he taught both undergraduates and graduate music students. He served as the Concertmaster of the Nevada Symphony and was a founding member of the Nevada Fine Arts Trio.  He spent a season as Visiting Artist in Residence of Violin at the University of Memphis where he was a member of the Pyramid String Trio. Mr. Lewin was also the Concertmaster of the West Virgina Symphony and first violinist of the Montclaire String Quartet.  His teaching credentials include the College of Charleston, S.C., and the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, N.C. Mr. Lewin currently resides in the East Bay, where he teaches privately, performs in various chamber ensembles, and is the Director of the Trinity Chamber Concert Series.

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Munich Duo Cello-Bassoon

Date: Friday March 18, 7:30 p.m.

Our MUSIC FILM “MUSICALE of JEWISH COMPOSERS” was acknowledged in Germany as the official contribution of the Festival Year 2021: 1700 YEARS JEWISH LIFE IN GERMANY #2021JLID – under the patronage of Germany’s President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

JLID2021 Logo                        321–2021: 1700 Jahre Jüdisches Leben in Deutschland   

American cellist REBECCA RUST and German bassoonist FRIEDRICH EDELMANN, a husband-wife team of over 40 years, were awarded a financial support from the government of the Palatinate (Germany) to make a 65-minute film “MUSICALE of JEWISH COMPOSERS”, which was acknowledged in Germany as an official contribution of the festival year 2021, “1700 Years Jewish Life in Germany”.

Their performance, including compelling music by Jewish composers (Mendelssohn, Ernest Bloch, Max Stern, Hans Gál, Laurence Sherr) was filmed in 2021 in the Synagogue in Altenkunstadt and the Town Museum of Kaiserslautern in Germany. Some of these compositions will be played at the concert on March 18th, 2022.

Max Stern composed several pieces for the performers, using traditional Jewish melodies. Laurence Sherr also arranged and composed works for this duo, using songs and melodies of Holocaust victims. “Elegy & Vision” was written as part of a process of dealing with losses in his family’s history.

Performances in Europe, North Africa, America, China, Israel, and Japan were partly supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Germany as well as by Volkswagen and Mercedes of Japan. Some of the most memorable Japanese experiences were private invitations to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo where they visited the then Emperor and Empress of Japan and played together with the Empress on the piano. In Italy they frequently performed the children’s theater production of Wolf Erlbruch’s, “Duck, Death and Tulip” for two dancers, cello & bassoon, a production which received First prize in 2015 in Italy for “Best theater production for Children and Young People”. They have 15 CDs to their credit. (Some of them are now sold out, but are also still available from us).

Rebecca Rust, native of California, studied with Cello Professor Margaret Rowell before going to New York to study with Bernard Greenhouse and then on to Cologne, Germany where she received her Soloist’s Diploma, studying with Paul Szabo. She finished her studies at master classes with Mstislav Rostropovich.

Friedrich Edelmann, who grew up in Germany, studied with Alfred Rinderspacher, Klaus Thunemann and Milan Turkovic. After receiving his diploma in mathematics in Heidelberg, he joined the theater orchestra of his home town Kaiserslautern. His next activity was to become principal bassoonist of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under the principal conductors Maestro Sergiu Celibidache for 17 years (who was the patron of Rebecca’s and Friedrich’s Tokyo Suntory Hall debut) and James Levine. At that time there were many famous guest conductors, Karl Böhm, Günther Wand, Kurt Masur, Carlo Maria Giulini, Carlos Kleiber, among others, whom he played under.
His book “Memories of Sergiu Celibidache” was published in Japan in 2009 (only in Japanese) and is now sold out. Upon request an English version of the manuscript is available from us.

In 2019 and 2020 Rebecca Rust and Friedrich Edelmann were invited by the German General Consul of Los Angeles Stefan Schneider to perform in the Holocaust Museum (LAMOTH), where they performed works composed for them by Jewish composers Max Stern and Laurence Sherr.

Watch the trailer of “MUSICALE of JEWISH COMPOSERS

Adam Flowers, tenor and Paul McWilliams, piano

Date: Saturday March 19, 7:30 p.m.

Adam Flowers has performed principal tenor roles in opera houses throughout North America, Hawaii, and Japan. In July 2006 he completed a five-year artist-in-residency for Opera San Jose, performing over 32 roles. He is currently a member of the San Francisco Opera Chorus and the tenor section leader at San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Church Choir. Adam is a certified Music Together™ teacher, teaching music to infants and toddlers in Marin County and San Francisco. He is a teaching artist for Pacific Actors & Singers Workshop, the San Francisco Opera Guild’s Book To Bravo and Opera A La Carte educational programs with students in the 5th-12th grades. He is a voice student of Sheri Greenawald and Deborah Benedict.

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Gayatri Venkatesan (soprano) in concert

Gayatri

Date: Saturday March 26, 7:30 p.m.

Gayatri Venkatesan, soprano, is a recent first place winner of the American Protege International Vocal Competition, and has been invited to perform in Carnegie Hall in 2022 as part of their winners concert.  Some of her notable performances include Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, and Leila in Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles.  She has also been in the chorus of Opera San Jose’s production of Mozart & Salieri, and Lamplighters Musical theater in their production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers.  In addition to her operatic performances, Gayatri has found solid ground as the soprano soloist at Union Church of Cupertino, under the direction of Dr. Ross Hoksbergen.  She has been featured in the chorus of Andrea Bocelli’s 2012 and 2018 concerts at the SAP center in San Jose.  Her upcoming engagements include promotional concerts at the Equator Festival in London to advertise an upcoming asian-western cross-cultural opera based on the life of Noor, directed by Priti Paintal. 

In addition to working as a Financial Analyst at Google, Gayatri runs a busy voice studio in the SF Bay Area.  Her students have enjoyed lead roles in several community theater productions, and in addition, have received gold medals at the state and national level in the Royal Conservatory of Music annual examinations.  Ms. Venkatesan is also active in the Royal Conservatory of Music and NATS communities.

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April 2022

Susan Merdinger, piano

Date: Saturday April 2, 7:30 p.m.

American Pianist Susan Merdinger has been internationally acclaimed in prestigious newspapers and journals for her stunning performances. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described her recital as a “daring, enormously joyous presentation which captured and transfixed the audience”. Fanfare Magazine ( March/April 2014) declared that her “Carnival” CD was “exquisitely detailed and full of life”, likening her playing to that of legendary pianists Leonard Bernstein, Annie Fischer and Nadia Reisenberg. Among her many honors, was selected as an Honored Artist of The American Prize in 2019, and is a First Prize Winner of the 2012 (Professional Solo) and 2017 (Professional Piano Duo) Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, First Prize Winner of the 2013 International Music Competition of France, a Winner of the Dewar’s Young Artists Award in Music (presented by the late Marvin Hamlisch), the Artists International Young Musicians Competition, the Artists International Distinguished Winners Prize, the IBLA Grand Prize Competition “Special Liszt Award”, and the Master Players International Music Competition. She is also a laureate of the prestigious Harveys Leeds International Piano Competition, Montreal International Concours de Musique, William Kappell International Piano Competition and Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition. Ms. Merdinger is the recipient of  Gold Medals in the Global Music Awards for her CD recordings “American Melting Pot” and “French Fantasy”. In Fall 2019 she was awarded Best Classical Album in the Clouzine international Music Awards. All of her recordings have received glowing reviews in publications such as American Record Guide, Classical Sentinel, Audiophile Audition, Fanfare Magazine, The Whole Note, The Hyde Park Herald, Classical Candor, and the Audio-Video Club of Atlanta.

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Trio 180

Date: Sunday April 3, 7:30 p.m.

Trio 180, the faculty piano trio-in-residence at the University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music, is dedicated to its roles as performer, proponent of new music, and educator. In addition to giving concerts and master classes throughout the United States, the trio has been featured on concert series in Mexico and Canada. This talented ensemble includes celebrated concert violinist Ann Miller, renowned cellist Vicky Wang, and award-winning pianist Sonia Leong.

Trio 180 performs a wide range of music from the Classical era to the present and is an active advocate of new music. The trio was awarded a Barlow Grant in 2006 to commission eminent composer Chen Yi’s first piano trio, Tibetan Tunes (Theodore Presser).  The trio also premiered Robert Coburn’s a depth of silence (2018); Robert Greenberg’s 180 Shift (2013); Reinaldo Moya’s Gothic Sea (2011, in honor of Trio 180’s tenth anniversary); Francois Rose’s Gently, Wild Rose Petals (2008)Derek Jacoby’s Trio No. 2 (2008); and Allan Crossman’s Icarus (2005). The trio has also recorded works by Jorge Liderman (Suite del Sur; Sidewalk recorded on Albany Records), and Cindy Cox (Wave).  

The trio’s current season features appearances throughout California, (San Francisco, Stockton, Livermore, Berkeley) and a showcase performance at Chamber Music America’s National Conference in New York in January. In past seasons, the trio has toured to Vancouver, Canada and Ajijic, Mexico; presented numerous performances for Composers Inc., in San Francisco and Berkeley; and given concerts at the Crocker Museum (Sacramento);  the Mondavi Center (Davis); the Sundays Live series (Los Angeles County Museum);  Sundays at 3 (Columbia , MD), and Old First Concerts (San Francisco). Recently, the trio was featured on Music for a Great Space‘s Women in Music Series in Greensboro, NC. The trio completed its first CD of works by Dvorak, Suk, and Schumann in 2015.

Joseph Kingma, piano

Saturday April 23, 7:30 p.m.

American pianist Joseph Kingma, praised by the New York Concert Review as, “[coaxing] the listener into the music’s poetry from the very first notes of his Liszt, showing the command of a master and a composer’s insight…held the audience spellbound,” enjoys a prolific national and international career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. He won first prize in the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition, sponsored by the American Liszt Society, and has won awards in the Cincinnati World Competition and Sorantin Young Artist International Competition. As a recitalist, he has performed on the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, the Yamaha Artist Services Performance Series in New York City, the Dorothy MacKenzie Price Piano Series in Toledo, the Music Institute of Chicago, the Timucua Arts Foundation in Orlando, the Good Shepherd International Concert Series in Minneapolis, L’Oasis Musicale in Montreal, and many others. He performs with many orchestras, including the Monroe Symphony, Manassas Symphony, Palm Beach Atlantic Symphony, Spring Hill Orchestra, and Brazos Chamber Orchestra. He performs regularly as a chamber musician with faculty colleagues and appears as a guest artist with the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival. Additionally, several of his performances have been featured on Chicago’s classical music radio station, 98.7 WFMT.

Joseph, an MTNA Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, is the Coordinator of the Keyboard Division and Assistant Professor of Piano at Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he teaches piano and related courses. He also runs a private piano studio. He regularly receives invitations from music schools, universities, and music teacher associations across the country to present masterclasses, adjudicate competitions, and perform recitals.

Joseph graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with his DMA, where he studied with Anton Nel. He earned his BM and MM at Rice University under the tutelage of Robert Roux. He has participated in masterclasses and coachings with Norman Krieger, Tali Morgulis, Sandra Wright Shen, Alan Chow, Craig Nies, and Jon Kimura Parker. His earlier teachers include Aviram Reichert, Philip Pletcher, and Elena Arseniev. 

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San Francisco Girls Chorus

Date: Friday April 29, 7:30 p.m.

Established in 1978, the mission of the San Francisco Girls Chorus is to create outstanding performances featuring the unique and compelling sound of young women’s voices through an exemplary program committed to education and visionary leadership in the development of this art form.

Under the direction of Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe, the San Francisco Girls Chorus has achieved an incomparable sound that underscores the unique clarity and force of impeccably trained treble voices fused with expressiveness and drama. As a result, the Chorus vibrantly performs 1,000 years of choral masterworks from plainchant to the most challenging and nuanced contemporary works created expressly for them in programs that are as intelligently designed as they are enjoyable and revelatory to experience.

The Chorus School offers a program of unparalleled excellence, designed to take young girls from their first introduction to the art of choral singing through advanced choral/vocal instruction. This comprehensive music education includes the study and development of choral artistry, vocal technique, music theory, music history, and performing style. The discipline, teamwork, and concentration young girls learn in the Chorus School rehearsals and performances instill in them the values necessary for high achievement in music and in life.

The Chorus School Level III is an ensemble of approximately 40 girls ages 9-13, which performs music for holiday events, festivals, dinners, luncheons, auctions, and other events. Level III will be joined by the SFGC Soloist Intensive program, a cohort of high school soloists that are a part of the GRAMMY Award Winning Premier Ensemble at SFGC., and other events.

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Basma Edrees, violin

Date: Saturday April 30, 7:30 p.m.

Basma Edrees is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she received her Masters in Violin Performance and Mannes School of Music where she received her Bachelors degree. She studied with Joseph Lin, Laurie Smukler, Sally Thomas, and Catherine Van Hoesen. Basma has performed under the batons of many great conductors including Alan Gilbert and Daniel Barenboim. Basma has served as Associate Concert Master of the Oakland Symphony during their 2015-2016 season. She also worked with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra as well as the Santa Rosa Symphony.

Basma has performed as a soloist in various countries including the USA, Montenegro, Ethiopia and her native country, Egypt. 

Equally at home with Arabic music, Basma performed with renowned musicians from the Arab world and has been invited to give Arabic Music workshops at UC Berkeley and Stanford. She currently teaches Arabic music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has held the position of Music Director of the Aswat Women Ensemble for four years; an all female Bay Area community ensemble specializing in Arab music. She also served as the co-manager and instructor of the Aswat Women Empowerment Program during their 2019 Fall season; a program designed to empower women of Arab descent through the study of their own rich musical tradition.

Basma’s proficiency in Music Theory earned her assistant teaching positions as well as teaching fellowships at The Juilliard School while she was a student there. She studied Counterpoint with Robert Cuckson and Philippe Lasser. She has passed this knowledge onto her students as a member of the Music Theory faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she taught the art of Counterpoint herself.

May 2022

Monica Chew, piano

Date: Saturday May 7, 4 p.m.

Monica Chew is an Oakland pianist. In 2017 she released her first solo album, Tender and Strange, featuring works by Bartók, Janácek, Messiaen, Takemitsu, and Scriabin. A “gifted player with an affinity for deeply sensitive expression” (Whole Note, June/July/August 2018), her playing is “wonderfully delicate, like tissue” (International Pianist, July/August 2018). She started composing in 2017 and couldn’t be happier about it. She premiered her first songs for soprano and piano in 2018 and completed her first commission for Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s Intersection 2019 workshop. She loves playing chamber music and received a Zellerbach Family Foundation award for her work with Minsky Duo, which she co-founded in 2016. Prior to 2015, she neglected piano for nearly a decade to work as a principal software engineer on security and privacy at Mozilla and Google after receiving her Master of Music from SF Conservatory of Music and a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley. She lives in Oakland with her husband, an 1899 Steinway B, a clavichord, and a disused violin.

José López and William Wellborn, piano 4-hands

Date: Saturday May 14, 7:30 p.m.

All Beethoven program, featuring works for solo piano and piano 4-hands!

William Wellborn enjoys an active career as a pianist, teacher and lecturer, and has performed and lectured widely over four continents. He received a MM (New England Conservatory) and DMA (University of Texas) in Performance, and a BM in Piano Pedagogy (University of Texas), where his teachers included Gregory Allen, Patricia Zander, and Nancy Garrett, and two leaders in the field of piano pedagogy- Amanda Vick Lethco and Martha Hilley. He has also received coaching from John Perry, Leon Fleisher, Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Adam Wibrowski, Andrzej Jasinski, and Jerome Lowenthal. Guest artist appearances include the New Orleans Institute for the Performing Arts, the Paderewski Festival, the American Liszt Society, the Great Romantics Festival in Hamilton, Canada, the Chopin chez George Sand festival de piano in La Châtre, France, the Três Séculos de Piano series in Rio de Janeiro, and the Festival du Chablisien in Chablis, France. In 2004 he had the honor of presenting an all-Liszt program on Liszt’s piano at Hofgärtnerei Museum in Weimar, and in 2009 he presented a Haydn program at the composer’s birthplace in Rohrau, Austria. Orchestral appearances include the Austin Symphony, the Austin Chamber Ensemble, the Laredo Philharmonic, the San Antonio Symphony, the Redwoods Symphony, the Monterey Symphony, and the Sudeten Philharmonie in Walbrzych, Poland.

José López is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Keyboard Studies Program at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, President of the South Florida Chapter of the American Liszt Society, and Honorary Secretary of the United Kingdom’s Alkan Society. He has performed throughout the United States, Italy and Central and South America with orchestras, solo recitals, and chamber groups in concert halls, summer festivals such as the Music Festival of the Hamptons in New York and the Killington Music Festival in Vermont. Active throughout South Florida, he has been a featured performer in the Florida International University’s Music Festival; ISCM New Music Miami Festival, the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, Coral Gables’ Mainly Mozart Series, University of Miami’s Miami Festival, and as founder and co-director of the Deering Estate at Cutler’s “Chamber Music Series.”

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José López, piano: “The Judaic Muse”

JoseLopez

Date: Sunday May 15, 7 p.m.

Program: Mr. López presents “The Judaic Muse,” featuring the music of Judith Shatin, Fanny Mendelssohn, Ferdinand Hiller, and Charles Alkan.

José López is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Keyboard Studies Program at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, President of the South Florida Chapter of the American Liszt Society, and Honorary Secretary of the United Kingdom’s Alkan Society. He has performed throughout the United States, Italy and Central and South America with orchestras, solo recitals, and chamber groups in concert halls, summer festivals such as the Music Festival of the Hamptons in New York and the Killington Music Festival in Vermont. Active throughout South Florida, he has been a featured performer in the Florida International University’s Music Festival; ISCM New Music Miami Festival, the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, Coral Gables’ Mainly Mozart Series, University of Miami’s Miami Festival, and as founder and co-director of the Deering Estate at Cutler’s “Chamber Music Series.”

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Eric Tran, pianist and composer

Date: Saturday May 21, 4 p.m.

Pianist-composer Eric Tran has performed in Italy, Korea, China, Canada, and in over 20 states in the United States. He has appeared in music festivals such as PianoTexas, Aspen, Art of the Piano, Gilmore, and Chautauqua, both as participant and as guest artist. His principal studies were with pianists Sharon Mann, Thomas Schultz, and Christopher Taylor; and with composers Jaroslaw Kapuscinski and Laura Schwendinger.

​​Eric is a graduate of Stanford University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Mead Witter School of Music. During his studies, he was the winner of the concerto competitions of all three institutions, and he was awarded the prestigious Robert M. Golden Medal for outstanding contributions to the arts. As a composer, he won the Pacific Musical Society Composition Prize, and his sets of children’s music have been programmed for over seven years on the syllabus of the US Open Music Competition. His music has been performed by the St. Lawrence String Quartet and the Friction Quartet, and his debut album, Water, was supported by Stanford University’s Young Alumni Arts Grant.

He comprises one half of the notorious “Happy Dog” piano duo with his longtime friend and piano partner, Nathan Cheung. They won the 1st prize and Abild American Music Award at the Ellis Duo-Piano Competition, hosted by the National Federation of Music Clubs; 1st prize at the inaugural MTNA-Stecher and Horowitz Two Piano Competition; and 1st prize at the Ohio International Duet and Duo Piano Competition. For over a decade, they have performed four-hands originals, transcriptions, and classics alike with a focus on bringing humor and joy to the classical music world.

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June 2022

Trio Teneramente

Preview(opens in a new tab)

Date: Saturday June 18, 7:30 p.m.

KISHAN CHOUHAN
Multi-instrumentalist, conductor, music director and music educator Kishan Chouhan received his B.Mus. in Clarinet Performance from the University of Toronto, and his MA in Music with research in multiple woodwind performance from York University. Notable and accomplished teachers he has studied with include: clarinet with Miles Jaques, David Bourque, Steve Pierre and Peter Stoll, flute with Peg Albrecht, Nina Martini-Dorey and Sara Hahn, oboe with Wendy Bornstein, Monica Fosnaugh and David Sussman.

JELENA CINGARA
Jelena Cingara is an active performer and artist in US, Canada, and European countries such as Italy, and Czhech Republic. She has performed in concert venues such as: Libby Gardner, Dumke, Abravanel hall, and Kenley amphitheatre in Utah, as well as Arts and Letters Club, Walter Hall, and Ettore Mazzoleni Halls in Toronto. She has played in masterclasses for Nicholas Angelich (Virginia Classics), Rebecca Penneys (Eastman School of Music), Dr. Joel Hastings (Florida State University), and Steven Doane (Eastman School of Music) just to name a few. As a collaborative and chamber musician she has played recitals in Italy, Serbia, US and Canada, and for masterclasses for famous quartets such as: The Bennewitz, Faure, Doric as well as Philip Seltzer from the Emerson Quartet.

STUART MUTCH
Stuart Mutch began cello studies in Calgary at the age of 13 with John Kadz. He received additional training in the Calgary Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the AFM Congress of Strings at the University of Washington. He has been a member of the Calgary Philharmonic, the Windsor Symphony, the Toronto Philharmonia and the North York Concert Orchestra and continued his studies in Toronto with David Miller and Winona Zelenka. He was a member of the Sunrise String Quartet for 14 years and has had extensive chamber music experience in a variety of ensembles. Mr. Mutch is a lawyer and mediator and is presently is an adjudicator with the Immigration and Refugee Board.

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Violin-Piano Duo (Ensemble Ari): Heeguen Song and Sharon Lee Kim

Date: Friday June 24, 7:30 p.m.

Native of South Korea, Heeguen Song is the assistant concert master of the SF Ballet. She has held positions at Santa Rosa Symphony, Oakland Symphony and Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Song performs regularly in South Korea and throughout the Bay Area in venues such as Seoul Arts Center, Sejong Arts Center, Old First Concerts, Herbst Theater, Bing Concert Hall, and many more. She is an active chamber musician and is a member of Beaubliss Quartet and Ensemble Ari. She has performed at Yale Chamber Music Society, Yellowbarn Music Festival, Taos Music Festival, and Banff Chamber Music Residency. Heeguen was invited to play at Osaka City Hall, Daejeon Chamber Music Festival, Beethoven institute at New School and City University of NY. Additionally Heeguen gave a solo debut recital at Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and had solo appearances with many orchestras such as SF Ballet Orchestra, Oberlin Orchestra, Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble 212, and Camerata Academica de Merida. She was a prize winner at the Henryk Szeryng International Competition, Irving M Klein Competition, and Kingsville International Competition among others. Heeguen studied at Oberlin Conservatory, the Juilliard School, Yale School of music and Rutgers University under the direction of Almita Vamos, Masao Kawasaki, Peter Oundjian, and Arnold Steinhardt.

Native to the Bay Area, pianist Sharon Lee Kim actively performs as solo and chamber pianist, vocal coach, music director, choral and vocal accompanist, and is a highly demanded piano instructor. She is a frequent recitalist, collaborating with the top instrumentalists and opera singers in the world. Ms. Kim joined the Saint Mary’s College Music Faculty in 2008. As Adjunct Associate Professor her roles include: Asst. Director/Accompanist of the choral program, Lecturer in piano, chamber music, and music history, and Director of the Faculty Concert Series. Aside from her roles at the college, Sharon is the pianist of Ensemble Ari, the co-founding member of Duo Camaraderie together with flutist Laura Scarlata, a collegiate staff pianist at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, freelances as a solo, vocal, and chamber pianist, and maintains a thriving private studio teaching piano and vocal coaching singers. Sharon is a member of the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) and adjudicator for local competitions. Sharon holds degrees from UC Berkeley (BA) and New England Conservatory (MM and GD). Her primary teachers were Irma Vallecillo, Kayo Iwama, John Greer, Barbara Shearer, and Margret Elson. (www.sharonleekim.com)

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“American Mavericks” – John Wilson, piano

Date: Saturday June 25, 7:30 p.m.

American pianist John Wilson has established himself as an artist who is both refined in style, and also a “marvelous musical mad scientist” (Music Critics Association of North America).

With a repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the Contemporary, John has performed extensively in North America, in recital halls such as Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall (New York), New World Symphony Center (Miami). John played piano on the San Francisco Symphony’s 2021 Grammy-winning recording of Michael Tilson Thomas “Meditations on Rilke,” winning “Best Classical Compendium.”

As soloist he has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, the New Amsterdam Symphony and Orchestra Camerata Notturna in New York City. He most recently won 1st prize in the 2019 International Respighi Competition, which resulted in an invitation to perform as soloist with The Chamber Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall; other prizes include 1st place in the American Prize Foundation 2019 Competition, and “Best Performance of an American Work” at the 2017 Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition.

A sought-after collaborator for the world’s most prolific composers, Wilson has had the pleasure of being a part of numerous world premieres, performing on the U.S and World premieres of solo piano works by Michael Tilson Thomas, duo works by Timo Andres and Judith Lang Zaimont, and ensemble works by John Adams, Steve Reich, Reinbert de Leeuw, HK Gruber, and Bernd Deutsch.

A devoted chamber musician and collaborator, he has appeared in chamber ensembles with musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and San Diego Symphony. Wilson has performed recitals with violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Johannes Moser, violinist Anthony Marwood and soprano Audra McDonald. Wilson was trained at the Peabody Conservatory, where he received his B.M., M.M., and Performance Diploma.

John has recorded for Naxos USA, MSR Classics, SFS Media Label, and performances can be heard on Medici.tv and WQXR. Wilson’s debut solo CD will be released this year on the Avie Label, which features new piano works by Michael Tilson Thomas.

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July 2022

Kai Krakenberg, organist

Date: Saturday July 23, 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Kai Krakenberg grew up in Essen, Germany, where he also attended school and music college. At the Folkwang-College of Music in Essen, Mr. Krakenberg studied the organ with professor Heiner Graßt (1982-1992) and studied sacred music (organ, piano and conducting) with Professors Gisbert Schneider and Gerd Zacher.

Mr. Krakenberg has held the position of music director at the Lutheran Garnison Church (1998-2000) and Bergstedt Church, Hamburg (2000-2005). Since April of 2005, Kai Krakenburg currently serves as the music director, cantor and organist at the citychurch of St. Mary in Husum, where Nicolaus Bruhns is also the co-director. In addition, he is the church district music director for the church district North Frisia and the director of the West Coast C-Seminar.

Kai has played Bach’s complete organ works in 28 concerts at St. Mary’s, Husum. In addition, his personal interest focuses on the works of the northern German school as well as the great organ works of German, French and Anglo-Saxon/American composers. As an organist, he has concertized in almost every European country, Russia, Asia, as well as the United States and Canada.

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August 2022

September 2022

Benji and Rita: Original Brazilian Music and Jazz Duo

Date: Saturday September 10, 2021 7:30 p.m.

The son of a native Cuban percussionist father and a prominent American visual-artist mother, Benji Kaplan has followed his arts-filled upbringing with a particular focus upon the classical forms of Brazilian music. Fully informed not only in Brazilian Classical and popular music, but also by Western Classical music and Jazz, the emerging composer crafts his own brand of Contemporary Classical Brazilian music ingeniously spiced with the full gamut of his rich musical understanding. He beautifully expresses his unique vision with ensembles ranging from string quartets to wind ensembles of varying shapes and sizes. His most recent album – Chorando Sete Chores – features 13 pieces for acoustic guitar and wind quintet. Although they are through-composed, they are fully informed by his deep Brazilian and Jazz influences and provides a clear display of the brilliant fusion of elements that is at the core of his sweeping artistic vision. His previous album Uai Sô vividly demonstrates his enormous scope, combining strings, brass and woodwinds in various combinations ranging from seven to twelve instruments.

The musical vein of multi-artist Rita Figueiredo began it’s pulse early on. At age 14, the São Paulo native began to study voice. Graduating in 1995 from University Livre de Música (ULM) where she studied classical technique. (Linked to the Sao Paulo State Music School of Tom Jobim) (EMESP). To further hone in her skills as a musician, she moved from classical to popular style vocal training. The first opportunity to launch her original work came in 2011, when she won the Cultural Action Program (ProAC) Award from the Secretary of Culture in Brazil, which fully funded the creation of her first record.

Refining the stories she lived throughout her career, Rita Figueiredo released her debut album, Brasilis, in February of 2013. Through this release, Figueiredo developed a theatrical approach to performing, that portrays stories of typical everyday people of rural as well as greater metropolitan areas in Brazil.

Rita’s album was soon featured on some very important lists as one of the best records released in Brazil in 2013. Before revealing her gift as a great storyteller through music, Rita Figueiredo had long imagined, created and reworked several other artistic projects as director of animation films. From small play chronicles to publicity ad campaigns.

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Allison Lee, piano

Date: Saturday September 17, 7:30 p.m.

A native of Fremont, California, Alison Lee is a pianist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the first prize winner of several competitions including Thursday Musical’s Scholarship Competition and the Dorothy Van Waynen Piano Competition. She also received second prize at the Midwest International Piano Competition, where she performed Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with conductor Jason Weinberger and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. Most recently, Alison was featured as a soloist with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra after winning their 2019 National Young Artists Competition.

In addition to performing as a soloist, Alison enjoys playing chamber music and is the pianist of Ensemble 1828, a touring piano trio that presents several programs each year. She frequently performs with her sister, pianist Katherine Lee, as well as with cellist Isaac Pastor-Chermak, with whom she has presented recitals featuring the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Cello and Piano. Other collaborative performances include appearances with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and violinist Charles Castleman.

Offstage, Alison is active in the community as an advocate for making classical music more approachable to the public. She regularly presents at local elementary schools through The Steinway Society of the Bay Area’s outreach program, and currently serves on the board of East Bay Music Foundation as director of the East Bay Chamber Music Festival.

Alison holds a doctoral degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, and her previous teachers include Lydia Artymiw, Jon Kimura Parker and Angela Cheng.

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October 2022

Amy Stephens, piano

Date: Saturday October 1, 7:30 p.m.

Pianist/composer Amy Stephens has performed extensively since 1998.  She enjoys writing in Third Stream style, a genre of jazz that fuses classical form with jazz language, such as can be heard in Amy’s Scenes of San Francisco, A Day at the Beach, and Becoming: Suite for Solo Piano in Seven Movements

Amy has fronted her quartet, the Amy Stephens Group (ASG), since 1998.  The quartet albums of Amy’s many jazz compositions—My Many Moods, Gold Through Fire, & Amy Stephens Group-–have earned acclaim and steady airplay on jazz radio around the world.  ASG enjoys performing at jazz festivals and concert series. 

Amy’s mentors include jazz educator/composer David N. Baker & pianists Lynne Arriale, Luke Gillespie & Evelyne Brancart.  Amy earned two Bachelors, a Masters, and Performer’s Certificate in classical & jazz piano from Indiana University School of music.  Teaching privately since 1993, Amy is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music.  Visit www.amystephens.com.

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Frank Huang, piano and Lin He, violin in concert

Saturday October 22 2022, 7:30 p.m.

Frank Huang is a Steinway Artist and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Piano at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Previously, he was a faculty member at The College of Wooster and The Cleveland Institute of Music.

Described by New York Concert Review as a “thoughtful and accomplished performer” and that his playing was “impressive for its maturity and refinement,” Mr. Huang has gained international recognition for his artistry and technical command. Others have also acknowledged his talents, as the Chopin Foundation of the United States, Northwest Chapter has commented that “Huang plays with authority and panache” while El Comerico of Lima, Peru praised his interpretation of Mozart’s Piano Concerto, K.482 “with the utmost sensitivity.” Mr. Huang’s performances have led him throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Such notable venues include Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Hall (Seattle), US Embassy in Warsaw, Zelazowa Wola (Warsaw), Gijon International Piano Festival (Spain), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Holland Music Sessions, Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Dame Myra Recital Series at Chicago’s Cultural Center, Lincoln Center in New York, and St. Martin in the Fields, London, UK. Mr. Huang’s concerts have also been featured on radio and television broadcasts in various cities across the United States and abroad. Most recently, his performances were aired on “Primo Movimento,” a popular classical music program on RaiRadio 3 in Rome, Italy. An avid chamber musician, he also enjoys performing with others as he has collaborated with members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in recitals. Equally active as a soloist with orchestra, he has performed with the Sammamish Symphony, Northwest Philharmonia, Peru National Symphony, Wooster Symphony Orchestra, Central Ohio Symphony, and Sichuan Symphony Orchestra.

Violinist Lin He made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in November 2014, after a performance there earlier that year with principal players from the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra in orchestral setting. Over the past seasons, he performed the Korngold Concerto with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Shippensburg Symphony and the Sibelius Concerto with the Lake Charles Symphony. Inspired by the complete Beethoven Sonatas and complete Mozart Sonatas for Violin and Piano in the past two season, 2018-2019 season of concerts will include Schubert Complete Music for Violin and Piano and complete Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano in multiple venues including the PianoForte Foundation Concert Series in Chicago; chamber recitals as the violinist of Caladium Piano Trio; violin soloist of the Bruch Scottish Fantasy with the Sonoma Philharmonic Orchestra; solo recital and masterclass at University of Oklahoma and Northern Illinois University; series of concerts and masterclasses in mainland China and Taiwan. He has presented recitals at universities across the United States and China. Most recently, he shared stage with Shanghai String Quartet and violinist Charles Castleman; performed solo recitals and gave master classes at Arizona State University, Florida State University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of Houston, University of Las Vegas, University of North Texas and University Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

November 2022

December 2022

Christmas Lessons and Carols

Date: Saturday December 17, 4 p.m.

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