Guest Artists

Jon Nakamatsu, Epic Victory, October 14, 2017

Jon Nakamatsu, pianist

Pianist Jon Nakamatsu, a Stanford graduate, was named Gold Medalist at the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the only American to achieve this honor since 1981. He has performed worldwide, including appearances at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and the White House, as well as appearances in Paris, London and Milan. He has worked with several chamber ensembles and has toured with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quartet. With clarinetist Jon Manasse, he tours as the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo. The Duo also serves as artistic directors of the esteemed Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts. Mr. Nakamatsu has released 13 acclaimed CDs. His all-Gershwin recording with Jeff Tyzik and the Rochester Philharmonic rose to #3 on Billboard’s classical music charts, and his 2008 recording of Brahms’ Clarinet Sonatas with Jon Manasse was chosen by the New York Times as one of its top releases of the year. Since 1997, Mr. Nakamatsu has served on many international piano competition juries and has been invited as guest speaker at the Van Cliburn Foundation, Stanford University and the Juilliard School. He has studied with Marina Derryberry and worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel.


Dennis McNeil, Deck the Hall, December 2 and 3, 2017

Dennis McNeil

Tenor Dennis McNeil was a 1993 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and holds first-place awards from the Southern California Opera Guild and the Victor Fuchs Memorial Competition. In 2000, he performed for President George W. Bush’s inauguration. Well known for his versatility as a performer, he is a recipient of a Rex Foundation Grant from the Grateful Dead and equally at home singing Broadway musicals, operas or Irish folk tunes. Mr. McNeil has performed with many major opera companies including the Met and the New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans and Los Angeles operas. He has sung the role of Don Jose in Carmen more than 70 times and Mr. Snow in Carousel more than 140 times. He’s also promoted rock concerts such as the Grateful Dead, Santana and the Beach Boys. A California native, Mr. McNeil found his musical voice at UC Davis when he joined the University Chorus on a dare. He also sang and played guitar and harmonica in a rock band. As well as UC Davis, Mr. McNeil studied at the Institute for the American Musical at the Los Angeles Music Center and attended the Merola Opera Program of the San Francisco Opera.


John Kendall Bailey, Deck the Hall, December 2 and 3, 2017

John Kendall BaileyGuest conductor John Kendall Bailey is the music director of the Mozart to Mendelssohn Orchestra and the Mesopotamia Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra as well as principal conductor of the Oakland Youth Orchestra. He also serves as music director and choral director of Voices of Musica Sacra and artistic director of the San Francisco Song Festival. He founded the Berkeley Lyric Opera in 1994 and was its music director and conductor for seven years. In addition, he has been guest conductor for symphonies and productions throughout California and taught conducting at UC Davis and Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. Maestro Bailey also is a baritone, oboist and pianist who has performed with several area and national orchestras and festivals. As well, he is a composer, writer, critic and lecturer, notably serving as pre-performance lecturer for the Oakland East Bay Symphony, San Francisco Opera and Festival Opera of Walnut Creek, among others. He has recorded for the Harmonia Mundi, Koch International, Pro Musica, Wildboar, Centaur and Angelus Music labels. Maestro Bailey holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.


Anita Felix, Passion and Drama, February 10, 2018

Anita Felix

Violinist and concertmaster Anita Felix began her violin studies under the tutelage of her mother, Nicholette Fetsch, who is a fellow symphony member. She joined her first symphony at age 16. Currently in her ninth season as the Folsom Lake Symphony’s concertmaster, Anita also is a member of the Sacramento Philharmonic and performs regularly with the orchestras of the Sacramento Opera, Sacramento Choral Society and Sacramento Ballet. She was formerly assistant concertmaster of the Stockton Symphony and concertmaster of the Gold Country Chamber Orchestra. Anita’s desire to perform the virtuosic violin and piano chamber music literature resulted in the formation of Duo Concertante with her pianist father, Wolfgang Fetsch. In 2008, Anita joined the Sierra Ensemble, a trio consisting of violin, piano and French horn, with San Francisco Bay area musicians. Sierra Ensemble was invited to perform in Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey, in 2013. Recently Anita has joined with Folsom Symphony oboist Curtis Kidwell and Sacramento State faculty member John Cozza in the ensemble Tres Musicos. Anita coaches the Sacramento Youth Symphony and the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra. She recently completed a master’s degree in music and plans to increase her involvement with chamber music and teach.


Alexandra Roedder Passion and Drama, February 10, 2018

Dr. Alexandra Roedder received her bachelor’s degree in Music from UC Berkeley, her early music degree from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, and both her master’s in Cello and PhD in musicology (on Japanese film music and globalization) from UCLA. She began studying cello at age 7 with Nina Flyer and later studied with Irene Sharp, Leighton Fong and Antonio Lysy on modern cello and Elisabeth Reed, Elisabeth LeGuin and Lucia Swarts on baroque cello. Dr. Roedder also learned to play the carillon at UC Berkeley’s campanile. She has taken master classes from Balasz Maté, Susan Lamb Cook, Anner Bylsma, Lynn Harrell and Elizabeth Wallfisch, among others. She is principal cellist of the Auburn and Folsom Lake symphonies and currently plays with Sacramento Baroque, the American River Chamber Players, InConcert Sierra, the Tonic/Dominant duo with pianist Nancy Lee Harper and many others. In her free time, Dr. Roeddercares for three aging cats and one Roborovski hamster. She plays Minecraft, enjoys historic swordplay with pixelated video-game enemies, and still geeks out over philosophical anime. Yes, she does speak Japanese.


Curtis Kidwell, Passion and Drama, February 10, 2018

Curtis Kidwell

Curtis Kidwell is well known for his oboe performances. The Auburn Journal hailed a performance as played “with fluid skill and emotion. Brilliant! and The Sacramento Bee wrote Mr. Kidwell performed all three movements beautifully, with quick brilliance.” A native of Santa Cruz, Mr. Kidwell began playing at age 16, after previously studying clarinet. His professional training began under Pam Hakl (former principal oboist of the San Jose Symphony and Opera). He earned his bachelor of music at the New World School of the Arts in Miami and his master’s of music performance at the prestigious San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In San Francisco, Mr. Kidwell studied under the master direction of John deLancie. He has received scholarships to many prestigious festivals throughout America and Europe including Aspen, Tanglewood, Marrowstone, Pacific and Bowdoin, where he often taught as well as performed. Mr. Kidwell was a winner of the Fischoff Chamber Music, Carmel Chamber Society and Coleman Chamber competitions. Mr. Kidwell is the principal oboe for Folsom Lake Symphony, Vallejo Symphony, Auburn Symphony and Camellia Symphony and formerly served as co-principal oboe/English horn of Napa Valley Symphony. He is a member of the “Tres Musicos” trio, Capitol Chamber Players and “Wolfgang” (Sacramento Philharmonic Wind Quintet) and performed with and arranges works for chamber ensembles.


Jill Dowlat, Passion and Drama, February 10, 2018

Jill Dowlat

Ms. Dowlat has been a member of Folsom Lake Symphony since 2009 and has performed as principal bassoonist since 2010.  She began playing the bassoon at age 16, after previously playing the tenor saxophone. She attended Oral Roberts University for her bachelor’s of music, studying bassoon with Heather Graham of the Tulsa Symphony. She earned her master’s degree in performance at North Texas State University, studying with professor Sue Schrier of the Dallas Symphony.  While in Texas, she played with various orchestras, including Nacogdoches Orchestra and Wichita Falls Symphony, as well as in many chamber groups such as woodwind quintets and bassoon quartets.  When she moved to California, she played with the Berkeley Opera Orchestra for a time, then moved to Sutter Creek where she also plays with the Motherlode Friends of Music Orchestra. Ms. Dowlat works as a medical transcriptionist/editor at the hospital in her area, and when she is not working or practicing bassoon, she is either running, gardening, playing with her four grandchildren or chillin’ with her husband.


Adele Anthony, Glorius Adventure, March 24, 2018

Adele AnthonyAdele Anthony began playing the violin at age 2 1/2, and at age 13 became the youngest winner of the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition, performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Queensland (Australia) Symphony Orchestra. As a result of her prize, she played the Tchaikovsky Concerto on live television. She performed the concerto again in 1992 after winning the Aspen Music Festival Walton Competition. A native Tasmanian now living in the U.S., Ms. Anthony has been the recipient of awards from the Australia Council, the South Australian Government and the Queen’s Trust. Early in her career, she triumphed at Denmark’s Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition and has since won prizes at the Jacques Thibaud International Violin Competition in Paris and the 1994 Hannover International Violin Competition. Ms. Anthony also is an avid chamber musician, regularly performing at the La Jolla and Aspen music festivals, and an active recording artist with several important releases. She studied at the University of Adelaide and the Juilliard School in New York City. Ms. Anthony performs on a 1728 Stradivarius, often touring with her husband, Israeli-American violinist Gil Shaham.


Lisa Vroman, Broadway Romance, June 2 and 3, 2018

Lisa VromanFrom Broadway to classics, on stage and in concert, Lisa Vroman has established herself as one of America’s most versatile voices. She has been regarded as a “musical and theatrical marvel” by The San Francisco Chronicle, as well as “one of American Musical Theater’s most beautiful voices” by acclaimed Broadway producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh. Among her extensive repertoire, Ms. Vroman starred on Broadway, in San Francisco and in Los Angeles as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. Her many include: Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus; both Fantine and Cosette in Les Miserables; Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella (New York City Opera); Marion Paroo in The Music Man (with Shirley Jones and Patrick Cassidy); Lili Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate (Glimmerglass Opera /St. Louis MUNY); and Anna Leonowens in The King and I (Lyric Opera of Virginia). For PBS she played Johanna in Sweeney Todd in Concert (Patti Lupone, George Hearn) and was Christine (Phantom of the Opera) in Hey, Mr. Producer! (London Royal Gala). Ms. Vroman is a regular guest artist with symphonies including San Francisco, Cleveland, Hong Kong, Philadelphia, Seattle, Atlanta and Detroit, as well as the Boston Pops (Keith Lockhart), Philly Pops (Peter Nero) and New York Pops (Carnegie Hall).


Festa Italiana, June 3 and June 4, 2017

Eric Margiore

Eric Margiore

Lyric tenor Eric Margiore has reaped high praise for his “brilliance and style” since his professional debut with the Tulsa Opera in 2007. He has sung opera’s most coveted roles, including Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Germany (his European debut), Rodolfo in La Boheme with the Central City Opera in Colorado and Edgar Linton in Wuthering Heights with the Minnesota Opera. Of his performance as Rodolfo, critics wrote: “One could understand why emerging tenor Eric Margiore was cast as Rodolfo. … he achieved some stirring moments as he swept upward in Puccini’s soaring passages.” Margiore also opened the new Lyric Opera Baltimore as Alfredo in La Traviata.

In addition to his acclaimed performances, Margiore has been recognized in many important vocal competitions. He twice won the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition and was a semifinalist at the Metropolitan Opera National and the Lyric Opera of Chicago Young Artist auditions.

Margiore holds degrees from New York University and the Mannes College of Music. He finished his professional training at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Glimmerglass Opera, and Chautauqua Opera. A New York resident, he is a proud Italian American with Sicilian and Neapolitan roots. For more information about Eric, visit his website.


 

Bradley Wisk

Bradley Wisk

Though now primarily singing as a tenor, Bradley Wisk has such an unusually flexible voice range he has mastered roles from low baritone to high tenor tessitura. As a baritone, he sang St. Brioche in The Merry Widow and the bouncer/politician in The Ballad of Baby Doe with the Indiana University Opera Theater. After performing as the doctor in Vanessa, he transitioned to tenor, taking on such roles as Goro in Madama Butterfly, Tinca in Il Tabarro and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi. Critics have described his voice as having “an alluring rich color and exceptional spinning stratospheric top notes.”

Wisk won the Nicholas Loren Competition in Michigan, was a finalist in the Santa Barbara Performing Arts Foundation Competition and earned a scholarship from the L.A. Opera Buffs. In 2014, he made his debut at Carnegie Hall.

Wisk’s current repertoire includes Frank Sinatra, Broadway, classical-crossover, Latin pop, Neapolitan songs and adult contemporary. His operatic repertoire includes Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Rodolfo in La Boheme, Romeo in Romeo et Juilette, Il Duca di Manotova in Rigoletto and Macduff in Macbeth.

Wisk holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a master’s from the Manhattan School of Music. He lives in New York and Los Angeles. If he looks familiar, he once was a contestant on the TV show “The Bachelorette.” For more information about Bradley Wisk, visit his website.


Yelena Dyachek

Yelena Dyachek

Yelena Dyachek, a graduate of El Dorado Hills’ Oak Ridge High School, has been called “a young singer to watch.” She was one of five winners in the 2016 pre-eminent Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, besting 1,500 young singers from the United States and Canada. For the event, she performed two arias, “Come scoglio” from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and the letter scene from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

She has also won awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the National Mondavi Young Artists and the Pacific Music Society competition.

A graduate of the University of the Pacific and holder of a master’s degree in music from the University of Southern California as well as a graduate certificate from the school’s Vocal Arts & Opera program, Dyachek initially planned to study medicine. A trip to the Sacramento Opera as a teenager with her music teacher changed her mind.

A native of Ukraine, Dyachek came with her family to the United States in 2000, after her father died. In Ukraine she had studied violin and piano and had no plans for voice training. Like many young singers, her talent was first noticed in her church.

She performed last summer in a leading role for the San Francisco Merola Opera’s production of Cosi fan tutte and is now a studio artist for the Houston Grand Opera 2016-2017 season.


Elizabeth Forsyth, Organ Symphony, April 22, 2017

Elizabeth Forsyth, Organ

A native of San Francisco, Elizabeth Forsyth first studied organ with Esther Johnson of Berkeley, CA.  She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in organ performance from Brigham Young University where she studied with Robert Cundick and J.J. Keeler.  She is a past winner of the American Guild of Organists, San Francisco Chapter, student competition.  Currently serving as Sub-Dean of the San Francisco Chapter of the AGO, she has served on the Executive Committees of both the San Francisco and the Philadelphia chapters and has chaired committees on Long Range Planning and The Young Organist.  Serving in church music for over 40 years, she is currently the organist at First Congregational Church of Berkeley.  A past guest organist at the Salt Lake Tabernacle, she has given recitals throughout the Bay Area and the greater Philadelphia area. Elizabeth teaches both piano and organ students and delights in getting her teenage piano students over to the organ bench.  Each August she can be found presenting classes and workshops at the BYU Organ Workshop.  She is the proud mother of four sons and grandmother of eight.


Jessica Linnebach, Russian Romance, February 18, 2017

Jessica Linnebach, violinViolinist Jessica Linnebach has distinguished herself among the next generation of Canadian classical artists being lauded on concert stages nationally and around the world. Since her soloist debut at the age of seven, Jessica has appeared with major orchestras throughout North America, Europe and Asia.   A highlight of her career to date was a tour of the Middle East and Europe as guest soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra under Pinchas Zukerman. Jessica has been a member of the first violin section of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 2003 and was named their Associate Concertmaster in April 2010.

Acknowledging the importance of versatility in today’s world, Jessica is fast developing a reputation as one of those rare artists who is successfully building a multi-faceted career that encompasses solo, chamber and orchestral performances. A passionate chamber musician, Jessica is a founding member of the Zukerman Chamber Players, a string quintet led by Pinchas Zukerman. Since the ensemble’s inception in 2003, it has toured extensively to international acclaim appearing throughout North America, South America the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.  Its recording of the Mozart Viola Quintet in G minor was nominated for a Juno Award in 2004 and its fifth and latest release, quintets by Mozart and Dvorak, was released in early 2008 on the Altara Label.

Jessica has also collaborated with some of the most illustrious artists of our day, including Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Leon Fleisher, Joseph Kalichstein, Gary Graffman, Gary Hoffman, Lynn Harrell, Jaime Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, and Michael Tree.

Accepted to the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia at the age of ten, Jessica remains one of the youngest ever Bachelor of Music graduates in the history of the school. While there, Jessica’s primary teachers were Aaron Rosand, Jaime Laredo and Ida Kavafian. At eighteen, she received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City where she studied with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec.

Jessica Linnebach plays a circa 1840 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (Guarnerius del Gésu 1737) violin.


Alexandra Schenck, Holiday Cheer – December 3 and 4, 2016

Alexandra Schenck

Mezzo soprano Alexandra Schenck is from Southern California and is a recent graduate of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Recent engagements include her debut with the Macau Music Festival as Siebel in Gounod’s Faust, Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with the Aspen Music Festival, Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with Oberlin in Italy, and the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors for Intimate Opera of Pasadena.

This season she made her role debuts as Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther and Ciesca in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi for AVA. Additional roles at AVA have included Siebel in Gounod’s Faust, Zulma in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, Lorina in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Dulcinée in Massenet’s Don Quichotte, and Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

This summer Alexandra will reprise the role of Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the world renowned Merola Opera Program in San Fransisco.

Prior to entering AVA, she attended California State University, Long Beach where she sang Le Prince Charmant in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Komponist in Ariadne aud Naxos, Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito, Giuletta in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann,Prosperina in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro.

Concert performances include Mozart’s Requiem with the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra and Hänsel in Humperkinck’s Hänsel und Gretel with the Philadelphia Sinfonia.

Alexandra has received grants from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, was a semi-finalist in the Loren Zachary Competition, and the Grand Prize Winner in the Pasadena Opera Guild’s Young Artist Award.


Natsuki Fukasawa, Rhythmic Heat – October 22, 2016

natsuki1

Steinway Artist Natsuki Fukasawa’s music career has taken her throughout U.S. cities as well as to Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, Australia, Brazil, Japan and China, performing at such venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and Copenhagen’s Tivoli Concert Hall. Fukasawa has won many accolades and international prizes, including rave reviews in Strad and Fanfare magazines and the Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year from the Danish Music Awards. In 2012, Ms. Fukasawa was added to the distinguished roster of International Steinway Artists.

Ms. Fukasawa’s performance highlights include a tour of Italy performing Gershwin’s Concerto in F as well as performances of Beethoven’s Third and Fourth Piano Concerti, Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto, Dohnanyi’s Variations on a Nursery Song, Mozart’s A Major Concerto, K. 488, and Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with orchestras in California. She is the pianist for the soundtrack of the recently released film We Had To Go – Remembering Internment, and three compact discs released in 2013: a live solo CD, Year in Prague; Voices from Eastern Europe with violinist Igor Veligan; and Vocalise with bassoonist Scott Pool. During this current season, she will be appearing in concerts and master classes in Switzerland, the U.S., Japan and Hong Kong and in performances of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in Northern California.

Ms. Fukasawa serves on the artist faculty of the Talis Festival & Academy in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and the Orfeo Music Festival in the Italian Alps. She is currently on the faculty at American River College and has taught at California State University Sacramento, Saint Mary’s College of Moraga and the University of the Pacific. She also enjoys nurturing young talent in her own private studio. Her students are winners of state, national and international competitions, including the invitation to appear in the NPR show From the Top, and they pursue their music education at such places as the Manhattan School of Music and the Brigham Young University.

Ms. Fukasawa began studying piano early with her mother Takako Fukasawa. Her main teachers were Fumiko Ishikawa, Mark Richman, Martin Canin, Jan Panenka, Anne Koscielny. She studied chamber music intensively as the member of Jalina Trio with Ferenc Rados in Budapest and with violist Tim Frederiksen in Copenhangen. As a Fulbright Scholar, she studied at the Czech Republic’s Prague Academy of Music and received a performer’s certificate degree. She also earned bachelor and master’s degrees from New York’s Juilliard School and a doctorate from the University of Maryland.

Ms. Fukasawa has recorded for the Classico and Da Capo labels and her career is noted in the World of Women in Classical Music and Who’s Who in America.  For more information, visit Natsuki Fukasawa’s website.


Ralph Cato, Hollywood Hits – June 4 and 5, 2016

GA_RalphCato

Baritone Ralph Cato, esteemed for his warm, rich voice, travels the world telling stories in song. Whether performing oratorio masterpieces, opera characters or show tunes, his appearances are consistently reviewed as compelling and memorable.

Early in his career, Cato traveled extensively as a featured soloist with Albert McNeil’s Jubilee Singers. In Cologne, Germany, he sang his first Mozart C minor Mass and recently performed the avant-garde Aye in Philip Glass’ Aknaten for the Long Beach Opera. He has sung Carmina Burana numerous times to critical acclaim.

He also has performed roles in Gianni Schicchi, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, Fanciulla del West, LaTraviata, Carmen, Porgy and Bess and I Pagliacci, among others. He has sung with symphonies throughout California, including Long Beach, San Bernardino, Stockton and Silicon Valley, and has appeared with the LA Opera, LA Master Chorale, the Pacific Chorale and the Santa Barbara Choral Society. As an oratorio singer, his performances have included bass solo in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and works by Bruckner, Handel, Vaughan Williams and Michael Tippett.

Cato holds a bachelor’s degree from Northridge State University, a master’s in music from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in musical arts from UCLA. He teaches vocal arts and diction at the University of California, Riverside, and Los Angeles Valley College.

His performance in the Hollywood Hits concert is his Folsom Lake Symphony debut. For more information, visit Ralph Cato’s website.


Kerson Leong, The Spirit of Freedom – April 2, 2016

GA_KersonLeong

Nineteen-year-old Canadian violinist Kerson Leong, acclaimed for his stunning musical virtuosity, makes his professional debut in the United States with his performance with the Folsom Lake Symphony on April 2. Though still in his teens, Kerson has already achieved international recognition for his artistry. At 13, he won junior first prize at the prestigious Menuhin Competition in Oslo, often called the “Olympics of the violin.” His awards since have included the grand prize for five straight years at the Canadian Music Competition as well as the top prizes at the 2014 Canadian Stepping Stone Competition, the 2015 Radios Francophones Publiques and the Canadian National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary Competition.

 

He performs all over the world, with recent appearances in Vienna, Beijing, Rome, Oslo, London and Paris. A native of Ottawa, he also performs locally with his cellist brother, Stanley, and pianist mother, Tu Mach. With his physicist father, he has studied and perfected the concept of resonance, which helped him to optimize his own string tone and intonation. Reviews have characterized Kerson’s musicianship as “thrilling” with “an astonishing range of sounds” and “refined tones which directly touched our core.”

 

Kerson is a strong advocate of mentoring young musicians. He volunteers with the OrKidstra program in Ottawa and recently received the mentorship award from the Lin Yao Ji Music Foundation of China. With his mother and brother, he shares his gift of music with the elderly and through meaningful fundraising events. Kerson performs on a 1691 “Auer” Stradivarius violin. For more information, visit Kerson Leong’s website.


Livia Sohn, Romance & Destiny – February 13, 2016

GA_LiviaSohn

Hailed by Opus Magazine as “a stunning musician”, violinist Livia Sohn performs widely on the international stage as concerto soloist, recitalist, and festival guest artist in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Strad Magazine says, “Livia Sohn possesses a remarkably lithe and transparent tone of exceptional purity. [Her] virtually blemishless accounts are nothing short of remarkable. Even when under the most fearsome technical pressure at high velocity, every note rings true with pinpoint accuracy.”

Following an active summer that started with a performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto at the Mendocino Music Festival in CA, Livia went on to perform at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC; Maverick Concerts in Woodstock, NY; Chamberfest in Ottawa, ON; and Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine. The 2015-16 season includes performances of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Veracruz, Mexico, with conductor Jorge Mester, followed by appearances with the Quad City Symphony in IA, and the Folsom Lake Symphony in CA, as well as recitals in South Windsor, CT, and Deerfield, MA. Highlights of this season include a performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with pianist Stephen Prutsman and cellist Suren Bagratuni, and the CD release of “Opera Fantasies, Volume 2” on the Naxos label, a compilation of opera transcriptions for violin and piano (including three world premieres), set for release in January 2016. For more information, visit Livia Sohn’s website.


Pasquale Esposito, Bianco Natalie – December 5 & 6, 2015

GA_PasqualeEsposito

For the first time, our December holiday concert will feature nearly a full night of song – and we promise you have never heard the season’s music performed with such magnificence. Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito, who recently performed the music of Enrico Caruso in a PBS special, will sing most of the repertoire’s popular and classical pieces for both “Bianco Natale” performances.

Pasquale, born in Naples, began singing as a child in the same church choir that discovered Caruso, and his clear, operatic voice has been compared to that of the man considered the 20th century’s greatest tenor.

Now a U.S. citizen who lives and teaches in San Jose, Pasquale thrills audiences worldwide with his rich, resonant voice and the versatility to perform in both classical and contemporary styles. With his unique ability to connect with audiences, his mission is to make music part of everyone’s life.

Critics have praised him as a “charismatic and dulcet-toned singer” with “draw-the-eye” quality. He has toured both abroad and in the U.S. in several musical productions and concerts, including the Italian Musical revue “Naples … That’s Amore!” from 2005 to 2007, for which he collaborated to write, direct and produce. In his 2007 concert tour “Simply Pasquale!” he introduced his own compositions. This year, he performed Caruso’s music in the PBS special, “Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Enrico Caruso.”

As a strong proponent of peace, humanity, respect and good will, Pasquale supports nonprofits through his annual December “Pasquale in Canto” concert. The 2015 concert, his seventh, will be in Menlo Park and benefit Hope Services.

Pasquale holds a bachelor’s degree in music from San Jose State and owns Notable.inc, which offers music lessons, productions and CDs. His seven CDs encompass a broad range of Italian and world music and some of his own works.   www.pasqualeesposito.com


Alon Goldstein, Masterpieces – October 24, 2015

GA_AlanGolstein

Alon Goldstein is one of the most original and sensitive pianists of his generation, admired for his musical intelligence, dynamic personality, artistic vision and innovative programming. He has played with the Israel, London, Radio France, and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras as well as the Philadelphia, San Francisco, Baltimore, St. Louis, Dallas, Houston, and Vancouver symphonies under such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Herbert Blomstedt, Vladimir Jurowski, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Leon Fleisher, Peter Oundjian, Yoel Levi and others.

His 2015-2016 season begins with performances at the Ravinia Festival and New York’s International Keyboard Festival, followed by a tour of China with the Amber String Quartet. He will be performing with the Alabama, Knoxville, Fairfax, Spokane and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestras among others. He will also be heard in solo recitals and with the Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio and the Tempest Trio in chamber music concerts throughout the world including appearances in Israel, Romania, England, Germany, Ecuador, China and across the United States. In the fall of 2015, Naxos will release his recording of Mozart Piano Concertos No. 20 and No. 21 with the Fine Arts Quartet.  A passionate advocate for music education, his recent teaching engagements have included posts at The Steans Institute of the Ravinia Festival and The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, in addition to extended educational residencies across the country.

All programming subject to change