Guest Artists

Kerson Leong, Brilliant Masterworks, October 20, 2018

Kerson Leong

Acclaimed by fellow musicians and audiences alike for his commanding stage presence, magnificent tone, and musical integrity, Kerson Leong has been called “Canada’s next great violinist” and is quickly establishing himself as one of the foremost musicians of his generation since gaining international recognition by winning Junior First Prize at the Menuhin Competition 2010.

In the 2018/2019 season, he is Artist-in-Residence with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal under Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Other highlights this season include debuts with the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal, Liège Royal Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, London Symphonia, and Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. He regularly appears as soloist around the world and has performed with such ensembles as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Gulbenkian, I Solisti Veneti, the Toronto, Montreal and Quebec Symphony Orchestras, Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, as well as numerous other orchestras in his home country.

An avid chamber musician, he has also performed at many international music festivals, including the Rheingau Musik Festival, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the Fraenkische Musiktage in Germany, the Verbier Festival and Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, the Flâneries musicales de Reims in France, the Bergen International Festival in Norway, the Trasimeno Music Festival and the LacMus Music Festival in Italy, the International Chamber Music Festival Schiermonnikoog and the Scaldis Chamber Music Festival in the Netherlands, and the Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Ottawa International Chamberfest, Music and Beyond, the OSM Virée classique, the Orford Music Festival, and the Domaine Forget International Music Festival in Canada.

Kerson released Bis, his first album for Analekta showcasing a collection of encore pieces, to critical acclaim in 2015. He recorded John Rutter’s Visions with the composer himself and the Aurora Chamber Orchestra for Collegium Records, after giving its world premiere in London, UK.

He is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, mentored by Augustin Dumay. He was named Revelation Radio-Canada 2014-2015 for classical music. Kerson performs on a 1741 Guarneri del Gesu courtesy of Canimex Inc, Drummondville (Quebec), Canada.

Doug LaBrecque, Holiday Spirit, December 1 and 2, 2018

Doug LaBrecque

Doug LaBrecque thrilled theatre audiences as The Phantom and Raoul in the Harold Prince production of The Phantom of the Opera. Mr. LaBrecque starred as Steve Baker in the original cast of the Broadway revival of Showboat also directed by Mr. Prince. He later starred as Gaylord Ravenal in that same show on Broadway and in the Chicago Company. He was featured in Oscar Hammerstein’s 100th Birthday Celebration on Broadway at The Gershwin Theatre, and toured nationally with Les Miserables. Regionally, Mr. LaBrecque has performed leading roles in Candide, A Chorus Line and Man of LaMancha among many others. A graduate of University of Michigan he was also featured in the world premiere of A Wonderful Life, written by Harnick and Raposo, and starred in the premiere revival of Weill and Lerner’s Love Life.

One of the most prolific concert performers of his generation, Doug LaBrecque has been a soloist with some of the world’s finest symphony orchestras including The National Symphony, The Israel Philharmonic (Tel Aviv), The Chicago Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony and The San Francisco Symphony among many others. In the last few years, Mr. LaBrecque’s U.S. appearances have included The Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Houston Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, The Utah Symphony and The Pittsburgh Symphony.

In a tribute to Richard Rodgers, Mr. LaBrecque made his Carnegie Hall debut alongside frequent collaborator Marvin Hamlisch and appeared with Mr. Hamlisch with the Boston Pops and symphonies across America. With conductor Jeff Tyzik he appeared with both the St. Louis and Seattle Symphony for their Holiday Celebrations, numerous performances with The Naples Philharmonic, and with Peter Nero he was featured on the “Broadway Showstoppers” live recording with Mr. Nero’s Philly Pops. Other special engagements have included singing with Carole Bayer-Sager at Feinstein’s in Manhattan and the Cinegrill in Los Angeles, performing alongside broadway legend Jerry Herman with the Naples Philharmonic, singing with piano legend Lang Lang and appearing onstage with Senators Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch (singing together!) at Hickory Hill, the legendary home of Ethel Kennedy.

International engagements have included The Korean National Symphony, The Shanghai Radio Orchestra, The Hong Kong Philharmonic, The Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary Symphonies, The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra in Rio De Janeiro, The Jerusalem Symphony, and numerous return engagements with the Israel Philharmonic. Mr. LaBrecque appeared in Alba, Italy as guest soloist in an all Bernstein concert and with the International Music Festival in The Czech Republic. 2017 European appearances included a tribute to Gershwin broadcast live on the BBC and concertizing with the orchestra in Reutlingen German and with The Toulon Opera in France.

Tien Hsieh, Romantic Tales, February 9, 2019

Tien HsiehBorn in Taiwan, Tien Hsieh began early musical training with her mother, Sylvia Hsieh, who maintains an active piano studio in Sacramento.  Currently residing in Folsom, California Tien has enjoyed a far-ranging career as recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician, with recital appearances in Hungary, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, China and throughout the U.S.

Her various accolades include the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, Li-Ching Cultural & Educational Foundation Grant, Distinguished Artist Award from Artists International Presentations, cover feature on the Sacramento Talent Magazine and recital selected by The San Francisco Examiner’s Memorable Concerts of 2013.  She has been heard on radio stations across the U.S. and Canada, and her television appearances include PBS for the International Piano Festival in Houston, Texas, and a nationwide TV commercial for Van de Kamp fish sticks!

Tien’s 2014 Liszt recital tour included a return to both the Liszt Museum in Budapest and Lane Series at University of Vermont, Boston University (presented by ALS – New England Chapter), recital debut in Pécs, Hungary (presented by Hungarian Liszt Society) and the opening concert at Albano Liszt Festival in Italy.  Recent performance highlights include solo recitals in California, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon and Utah.  As soloist, she has performed with Roswell Symphony in New Mexico, Spokane Symphony at The Festival at Sandpoint in Idaho, Redlands Symphony at Redlands Bowl, Oregon Mozart Players, Manhattan Philharmonia and Houston Civic Orchestra.

Tien received her Bachelor of Music degree as a full scholarship student at University of Houston, studying with Abbey Simon and Ruth Tomfohrde.  As a scholarship student at Manhattan School of Music, she received her Master of Music and Professional Studies under the tutelage of Marc Silverman, and was the recipient of the Roy M. Rubinstein Award and Bettingen Corporation Grant.  As a dedicated proponent of music education, Tien works with ten aspiring students at her private studio in California.  Her students have appeared on various performance platforms including NPR’s From the Top and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.  Her active involvement in the field of performing arts includes current vice-president of Arts Northwest.

Tien’s recent recording of Bach & Beethoven: Mostly Transcriptions 2 on the MSR label received high praise from the press, reaching #1 twice on Amazon’s Best Sellers list and remained a best seller for two consecutive months in 2015.

Nigel Armstrong, James Jaffe and Elizabeth Dorman, Fantastical, April 13, 2019

Nigel ArmstrongNigel Armstrong is emerging as a dynamic and creative artist both within and beyond the realm of classical music. From his musical beginnings as a member of “The Little Fiddlers” in Sonoma, CA to collaborations with tango musicians in Argentina, he’s enjoyed using the violin in a versatile manner throughout his life.

As soloist, Nigel has performed with orchestras such as the Dusseldorf Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, YOA Orchestra of the Americas, the Pacific Symphony, and the Boston Pops, and with conductors including Sir Neville Marriner, Carlos Miguel Prieto, and Carl St. Clair. He received the 2nd Prize, the Ole Bull Prize, and the Nordheim Award at the 2010 Menuhin Competition Senior Division in Oslo, Norway, and got the 4th Prize plus the Commissioned Work Prize at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition. As a chamber musician his concerts have taken him across the US and abroad – highlights have included opportunities to share the stage with the Tokyo String Quartet and pianist Jonathan Biss.

A graduate of the Colburn School and the Curtis Institute of Music, Nigel’s teachers have included Arnold Steinhardt, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Robert Lipsett, Zaven Melikian, Li Lin, and Donald Weilerstein, among others

James JaffeCellist James Jaffe connects through music with composers, colleagues, and audiences. He has performed solos with CityMusic Cleveland, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Stockton Symphony. Recent chamber music appearances have taken him to the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival, through Switzerland and France on concert tours, to the Robert Mann String Quartet Seminar in Manhattan, to Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music, and frequently to Groupmuses in San Francisco, including a sold-out performance of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden at San Francisco’s first Massivemuse. He also serves as Director of Festival Rolland, a new summer chamber music festival in Burgundy, France.

An enthusiastic interpreter of new music, James has collaborated with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, given a series of performances of Khse Buon by Cambodian-American composer Chinary Ung, and presented the premiere of Peregrinations for Solo Cello by San Francisco composer Kyle Randall. He is also a member and frequent section leader of One Found Sound, San Francisco’s unconducted chamber orchestra. His performances have been broadcast by Cleveland’s WCLV 104.9, Virginia’s WVTF 89.1, San Francisco’s KDFC 90.3, and streamed live from the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.

James has studied the cello with Milly Rosner, Richard Aaron, Stephen Geber, and Jennifer Culp, earning performance degrees from the University of Michigan, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Music@Menlo, and the Banff Centre in Canada. His chamber music mentors include members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Takács, Tokyo, Vermeer, Emerson, Brentano, Kronos, Cavani, and Concord Quartets.

Passionate about sharing music with the next generation, James has served as director of high school chamber ensembles at Baldwin Wallace University and mentored students through the Detroit Symphony’s Civic Youth Ensembles program. He currently conducts the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra’s Preparatory Orchestra and coaches chamber ensembles at the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley.

Elizabeth Dorman

Praised by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle for her “crisp, brightly finished” playing and her “elegance and verve,” pianist Elizabeth Dorman has soloed with orchestra in Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall, Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, Davies Symphony Hall, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

A recent winner of the 2017 Father Merlet Award from Pro Musicis, Elizabeth performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician, and is a member of New York’s Bridge Arts Ensemble. Her live performances have been broadcast on national public radio, and she has appeared at summer festivals including Toronto, Sarasota, Aspen, Tanglewood, Icicle Creek, and was an Artist in Residence for two seasons at the Banff Centre.

Currently based in New York City, Elizabeth is a doctoral candidate of Gilbert Kalish at Stony Brook University, where she also serves as Adjunt Professor of Piano Pedagogy. For three years, Mr. Kalish’s Head Teaching Assistant by managing and teaching the undergraduate piano program as well as coaching chamber music.  A passionate educator, she has previously held teaching positions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division and has been piano faculty at summer festivals including the Icicle Creek Music Center and San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Summer Music West.

In addition to the 2016 Father Merlet Award, Elizabeth has also received Stony Brook University’s Gilbert Kalish Scholarship, San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Presidential Scholarship, the Marsha Pannone Award for Artistic Excellence, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Ross McKee competition, and the California Young Artist’s Beethoven Competition.

A native of San Francisco, Elizabeth began her training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she received her Bachelors of Music and was the school’s first double instrument major, studying piano with Paul Hersh, and double bass with Stephen Tramontozzi.   For more information, please visit her website at www.elizabethdorman.com

Glory Parsons, Heroes and Villains, June 1 and 2, 2019

Glory ParsonsGlory Parsons is delighted to be making her debut as a guest soloist with the Folsom Lake Symphony.  Growing up in Orange County, she has an extensive background in musical theater.  Some of her more prominent rolls include Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” at Meridian Little Theater, Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” with Broadway On Tour and Annie Sullivan in “The Miracle Worker” with Broadway On Tour.  She also co-starred in dancing roles in the musicals “42nd Street” and “Will Rogers Follies”, both at La Mirada Theatre.  She has performed in numerous shows and concerts with the group “Broadway On Tour”.  Her vocal education comes from a private tutor, Jill Goodsell, in Orange County where she studied under her guidance as a soprano for several years with operatic technique and language.  Glory’s most recent concert appearance was with Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet Theater performing “Classical Ballet in the Park” at the Folsom Historic District Amphitheater where she sang several arias.  She happily lives with her husband, now almost retired after 20 years as a Navy pilot and their four children in Placerville.  It was always Glory’s childhood dream to sing with an orchestra – it is a dream come true each and every time she receives the opportunity.  Glory always strongly encourages folks to keep working hard and never give up on their dreams…

All programming subject to change