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Minsky Duo with special Guest Jamie Lee


Violinist Nato and pianist Monica Chew formed Minsky Duo in spring of 2016. Minsky Duo’s mission is to present extraordinary music from both popular and obscure composers. While audiences will hear the chamber music they know and love, Minsky Duo also presents listeners with provoking works they will soon not forget. Minsky Duo is a fiscally-sponsored affiliate of San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the service of chamber music in California.

Date & Time: Saturday November 11,  2017 at 7:30  p.m.
Venue: 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco
Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors/Students
Buy tickets online


Minsky Duo plays Aaron Copland’s sonata for piano and violin as well as the 4th sonata for violin and piano by Charles Ives, “Children’s day at a camp meeting”, as well as solo works by Ysaÿe and Debussy. Special guest soprano Jamie Lee joins to premiere Monica Chew’s songs with text by Gwendolyn Brooks.

Aaron Copland: Sonata for Piano and Violin

  1. Andante semplice
  2. Lento
  3. Allegretto giusto

Charles Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano, No. 4, “Children’s Day At the Camp Meeting”, S. 63 (K. 2C3)

  1. Allegro
  2. Largo
  3. Allegro

Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931) Sonata for Solo Violin, Op.27, no. 5 in G Major (“Mathieu Crickboom”)

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)  Préludes, Book 2, L. 123 (1910-1913)

  1. Bruyères (Heather)
  2. Général Lavine – eccentric
  3. Feux d’artifice (Fireworks)

Monica Chew’s songs with text by Gwendolyn Brooks (premiere)
Special Guest Jamie Lee, soprano
Selected songs for soprano and piano (2017)

  1. Crazy Woman (text by Gwendolyn Brooks)
  2. The Beauty in the Forest (text by Gwendolyn Brooks)
  3. Noblesse Oblige (text by Celeste Turner Wright)
  4. There is a girl inside (text by Lucille Clifton)

About the Artists

Nato (violin) and Monica Chew (piano) formed Minsky Duo in March 2016 and received their first Zellerbach award in June 2017. This is their third concert series. They are proud to be fiscal affiliates of Intermusic SF, formerly known as the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. You can reach them at or on their website,

Nato is a concert artist who describes himself as having `an unquenchable thirst for new music.’ He has performed for distinguished audiences, including former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, and has received standing ovations from audiences around the world. At age three, he began his musical journey, at five, made his solo orchestral debut, and at nine, was awarded a career scholarship and the loan of a Nicolo Amati violin. He went on to win prizes at the International Menuhin Competition for young violinists, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Standard Life Competition (1990, 1992, 1994), the International Beethoven Competition and the International J.S. Bach Competition. Recently, he was a laureate of the 2012

Canada Council of the Arts Musical Instrument Bank Competition and was awarded the loan of a fine instrument. As a recording artist, Nato is undertaking the challenging repertoire for the violin alone. He has been featured on CBC television in Canada and on CBS Sunday Morning with Eugenia Zukerman.

Monica Chew is a San Francisco Bay Area pianist. Born in Florida, she spent her first 20 years in North Carolina. She made her solo debut with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra at age 13. After receiving her Master of Music from SF Conservatory of Music and a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley, she neglected piano for nearly a decade to work as a principal software engineer on security and privacy at Mozilla and Google until 2015. She loves playing chamber music and founded ensembles Duo Moderna and Minsky Duo in 2016. She lives in Oakland with her husband, an 1899 Steinway B, a clavichord, an otamatone, and a disused violin. She recently released her first solo album, Tender and Strange, featuring works by Bartok, Janacek, Messiaen, Takemitsu, and Scriabin.

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