Judges

Judges Bio-Photo

Chinese Instruments

GLORIA CHIEN

GLORIA CHIEN

A renowned pipa player born in Shanghai, Gloria Chien entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at the age of nine, where she learned the pipa under the tutelage of famous virtuosi in the genre as Wei Zhongle, Ye Xuran and Lin Shicheng, and gave her solo performances in the Shanghai Spring Festival when she was eleven.

This is what a music critic says about her playing, “exquisite and full of feminine grace ... there is spiritedness under the virtuosity, sincerity, warmth and elelgant charm under the well-honed techniques. ... She deserves to be classed as an artist of the top rung whether by the external criterion of style as a musician, or by the profuntidy of her academic accomplishments that comes from within.”

On leaving school, Gloria joined the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra as a pipa player before resettling in Hong Kong, where she has worked in the Music Office of Hong Kong Government, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and the Music Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Gloria Chien was invited to give recital performances in Hong Kong and overseas, and to play in pipa concertos with Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Hong Kong Phiharmonic Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and Taiwan Provincial Symphony Orchestra.

顧蕙曼

著名琵琶演奏家。九歲進入上海音樂學院,由附小开始先後師從衛仲樂,葉緒然和林石城等琵琶名家,十一歲时在上海之春音樂節首次表演琵琶独奏。

樂評界稱她的演奏"細緻而婉雅,精嫻之中透出靈動,熟練中不失溫純。...不論就其表現之樂風,或是內涵的學養而言,均為一流之大家。"

顧蕙曼曾在上海民族樂團及上海交響樂團擔任琵琶演奏。移居香港后,履任职于香港政府音樂事務統籌處,香港演藝學院及香港中文大學音樂系,曾多次在香港及海外舉行個人獨奏會,并应邀与香港中樂團,香港管絃樂團,日本读卖交响乐团以及台湾国立交响乐团等合作演出。

TZU-WEN WANG

TZU-WEN WANG

Erhu performer

Wang was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where she began Erhu studies at age ten.

She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the Tainan National University of Arts. Wang have received the “Hsing-Tian Kong (long term) scholarship for Talented students” from the Hsing-Tian Kong cultural and education foundation throughout her college and graduate studies.

Wang has won many awards in many competitions, including the first prize at the Taiwan National Music Competition, etc.

Wang is a versatile and charismatic player. Apart from the Erhu, she can also play 高胡, 中胡, 板胡, 椰胡, 京胡,even 馬頭琴.

She is also an avid erhu Educator. Many of her students have won several prizes at several Chinese Music Competitions.

Wang joined TCTO as Zhonghu musician in 2013.

Guitar

LAWRENCE FERRARA

LAWRENCE FERRARA

Equally talented on the stage or in the classroom, Lawrence has dedicated his life to the performance and teaching of the guitar.  He has the distinction of being the first guitarists to receive a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has taught many years at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, currently teaches at San Francisco State University, and City College of San Francisco.

Mr. Ferrara has performed major recitals in San Francisco, Los Angeles and at the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York.  Additionally, he has performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the Bay Chamber Symphony, the Classical Philharmonic and the San Francisco Conservatory’s Chamber Orchestra, and New Music Ensemble. Internationally he has performed in Barcelona, Spain; Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia.

His playing was described by The New York Times as “subtle, intimate and inherently musical.”  The San Francisco Chronicle commented, “Ferrara has an exceptional style, pure and sweet, rhythmically precise yet supple … playing everything with elegant grace and a notably serious feeling for introspection.”

He has a released a solo CD under the VGo Recordings label titled American Guitar Music.  The compilation includes works by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Dusan Bogdanovic, Ned Rorem, Andrew York and Aaron Copland.

Lawrence has been a two-time prize winner at the Carmel Classical Guitar Competition and has served on the Music Advisory Panel to the National Endowment of the Arts.  Recently, his course on Music Appreciation was awarded “Best Online Teaching Website” by the California Virtual Campus (CVC). Lawrence is the author of The Student Repertoire Series for Guitar, Volume 1 and 2, and performs on the accompanying CDs.  The Series is published by Guitar Solo of San Francisco.

CHRISTOPHER NICKLIN

CHRISTOPHER NICKLIN

Christopher Nicklin has been playing the guitar since the age of 14. Although he started with the electric guitar, after entering college, he realized that the classical guitar was his true passion. Since then he has dedicated all of his time to classical music.

In his pursuit of a career as a professional musician, he studied at California State University Northridge under Dr. Steve Thachuk and John Dearman of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. Christopher performed in many master classes with renowned guitarists Zoran Dukic, Marcin Dylla, Alvaro Pierri, Denis Azabagic, and many more. While playing for these great musicians he also won several awards and competitions including Junior of the Year, Guitarist of the Year, and the winner of the first Andy Summers Guitar Competition in 2014. After completing his masters degree in classical guitar performance at Northridge he moved back to the Bay Area where he teachers classical guitar and music theory at West Valley College. Currently he enjoys his time teaching guitar, performing and learning new music technologies.

Harp

KERSTIN ALLVIN

KERSTIN ALLVIN

Kerstin Allvin has won numerous awards and competitions throughout her career as a concert harpist and has performed across the U.S. from Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie to the historic Carmel Mission in California.  She has frequented Japan, performing solo concerts at the prestigious Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Nogi City Hall, and for Detroit/Toyota City’s Sister City Association.  She holds degrees, honors and performance certificates from Indiana University, the University of Michigan, and post-graduate studies with Jaqueline Borot, Honorary Professor of the Paris Superior Conservatory of Music.

Ms. Allvin has created and administered several groups in her career, including the Larson/Allvin Duo (flute and harp) the Arianna Harp Duo (two harps) and the Woodland Trio (flute, harp and viola), touring the US, Europe, Japan, China, Scandinavia, Canada and North Africa. She was a guest artist of the city of Préfaille, France, teaching master classes in harp performance, breathing techniques and yoga to music students from around the world, and performing concerts for the World Music Festival in Préfaille.  She is an extra with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and has been a guest Principal Harpist on tour and at home. Kerstin was voted “Best Classical Instrumentalist” by the Detroit Music Awards and is President of High Heel Records, Inc., producing and recording digital music for Internet and CD release nationally.  Her acclaimed release, “An Affair of the Harp,” contains the solo and chamber music of composer James Hartway receiving Detroit Music Award’s “Outstanding Classical Recording.” In both 2009 and 2012 her recording of “La Jardin Mouille” for the POLYMNIE label was voted the top #1 piece broadcast by Radio Classique France for 4 consecutive weeks. She has recorded on the NAXOS label.

Kerstin is currently working with Detroit’s award winning tenor saxophonist and Detroit International Jazz Festival President, Christopher Collins. In the spring of 2015 they released a recording of original music for their “New Directions Quartet” with harp, woodwinds, bass and percussion titled “Detours” She has recorded with Stevie Wonder, Oleta Adams and R. Kelly and performed with Josh Groben, Natalie Cole, The Three Tenors and many others.

Kerstin Allvin has received her Registered Yoga Teacher certification from National Yoga Alliance and has given lectures in breathing techniques, body awareness and yoga to creative arts majors in universities and high schools throughout Metro Detroit. She has recently moved to the Sacramento area and maintains a busy teaching studio for harp at the Pease Conservatory, Sacramento, and the Music Institute, Roseville. She is Adjunct Faculty at California State University, Sacramento, and is Lecturer in Harp at the University of California, Davis.

CHI-MEI HUNG

CHI-MEI HUNG

洪綺鎂

法國U.F.A.M.國際豎琴大賽第一名。

以幾近滿分畢業於巴黎師範音樂院、第一獎畢業於法國國立巴黎音樂院。

豎琴家 Marielle Nordmann 讚賞為「具有潛力的優秀豎琴家」。多次在法國、瑞士、日本等地演出,深獲好評。日本媒體對其演奏評價為「演奏風格獨特,充滿深層內涵,令人動容」。受奇美基金會之邀,赴俄錄製豎琴CD。2012創立蒙納米豎琴樂團(Monamis Harps),近年來並以獨奏、協奏、室內樂等形式,將豎琴多樣化的風貌呈現給臺灣的愛樂者,並任教於多所大學音樂系。

Chi-Mei Hung

First Prize winner of the U.F.A.M.

International Harp Competition, France.

Graduated with an almost perfect score from École Normale de Musique de Paris, and awarded the First Prize at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Paris.

She has been invited to perform in France, Switzerland and Japan with international acclaim.

Appreciated by the renowned harpist Marielle Nordmann as “An excellent harpist with great potential”.  “With a unique style of playing; full of profound connotations, heartfelt and touching” , commented by Japanese media.

Hung was invited by Chimei Foundation for a harp album recording in Russia.

In 2012, Hung founded Monamis Harps and constantly introduces and presents diverse performing styles to the audience in the forms of solo, concerto, and chamber music.

Hung has been engaging in harp education and is the Assistant Professor at several universities across Taiwan.

Marimba

BRIAN CALHOON

BRIAN CALHOON

Brian Calhoon combines his experience as a percussionist and vocalist to perform a unique collection of music for marimba and his voice. Brian has presented his dynamic repertoire in concert and masterclass around the US and Asia, including appearances in Taipei, Beijing, Interlochen, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Boston. In 2016, Brian created the Marimba Cabaret with Greg Jukes, combining a love of musical theater, singing and story-telling. Winner of the 2017 PortFringe Theater Festival Critic’s Choice Award, Marimba Cabaret is an evening of show tunes and pop covers re-imagined  for marimba, vibraphone and voice, now entering its third season. A San Francisco bay area native, Brian resides in Boston and is active as Director of Admissions Recruitment at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Executive Director of Boston Percussion Group. Brian has premiered and recorded works by composers Curtis K. Hughes, Thomas Oboe Lee, John Murphree, Nathaniel Stookey, Mark Warhol and more. Additionally, Brian has worked with significant musicians of our time from Steve Reich and Lyle Mays (of Pat Metheny Group) to the Borromeo String Quartet and his former teachers, Jack Van Geem and Nancy Zeltsman, among others. Brian is a former Bang On A Can Summer Institute fellow, Zeltsman Marimba Festival associate faculty, Blue Devils Drum & Bugle A-Corps member, and graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory and The Boston Conservatory. Brian plays on a Marimba One and is a Marimba One Discovery Artist.

PIUS CHEUNG

PIUS CHEUNG

“… [Pius Cheung] surmounts the contrapuntal hurdles and offers a stylish, deeply expressive interpretation [of the Goldberg Variations] notable for its clear voicing, eloquent phrasing and wide range of color and dynamics.” - The New York Times

“Tuneful, neo-Romantic yet technically difficult, [Pius Cheung’s Études] not only showcased Mr. Cheung’s mastery of his instrument but also demonstrated his considerable skill and promise as a composer in his own right – one who writes the kind of music people will want to hear.”

- The Washington Times

Hailed by the New York Times as “deeply expressive” for his groundbreaking recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on solo marimba, Pius Cheung is widely known as one of the most important percussionists of his generation. He has presented solo recitals at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, National Concert Hall in Taipei, Kyoto Arts Center (Japan), as well as music festivals around the globe such as the Usedom Music Festival (Germany), Hong Kong Arts Festival, Taiwan International Percussion Convention, Chiapas International Marimba Festival (Mexico), Drum Fest (Poland), Percussion Plus Festival (Denmark), Italy PAS International Percussion Festival, Osaka Percussion Festival and Shenyang International Percussion Festival (China).

He is one of the most sought-after composers for percussion today. His latest works include Allegro Brutale for solo marimba, commissioned by Dame Evelyn Glennie; Heaven and Earth, a 20 minute tone poem for the Ju Percussion Group; and two percussion concerti for the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra.

Furthermore, Mr. Cheung frequently serves as a judge at national and international competitions, as well as presents masterclasses at renowned institutions such as the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Amsterdam Conservatory, Paris Conservatory, Toho Gakuen (Japan) and Beijing Central Conservatory.

Mr. Cheung endorses Yamaha, Zildjian, Remo, and Innovative Percussion, which produces his signature mallet series. Mr. Cheung is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Percussion Area at the University of Oregon.

LEIGH HOWARD STEVENS

LEIGH HOWARD STEVENS

About Leigh Howard Stevens
“The world's greatest classical marimbist... Stevens has revolutionized the playing of the instrument.” —Time Magazine (617-word full-length bio)
Leigh Howard Stevens’ repertoire ranges from Renaissance music and the Preludes and Fugues of J. S. Bach, to original marimba works written by  ontemporary composers expressly for him. Many of these original compositions were considered too challenging, both technically and musically, to be  erformed by solo marimbists until the development of Mr. Stevens’ new system of four-mallet technique. Percussionists and marimbists, the world over, have  dopted his revolutionary approach to 4-mallet technique, as set forth in his ground-breaking book, Method of Movement, which has been published in six  anguages. There isn’t a single aspect of marimba technique, repertoire or design that has not been profoundly influenced by the work of Leigh Howard  tevens. From “Stevens Grip” to the types of motions used to play the instrument; from the length and material of the mallet handles to the wrapping and  titching of the heads; from the first height-adjustable all wooden marimba frame in the 1980s to the first fully-tunable resonators in the 1990s; from one- anded rolls and baroque ornaments to the use of expressive contrasting roll types; from the early polyphonic Helble Preludes to the works of John Serry,  avid Maslanka and Joseph Schwantner, to his own original compositions and transcriptions. Considered “revolutionary” at the time, many of his ideas are now considered to be basic technique, and in fact, have become routine in contemporary marimba compositions and performance. It is no exaggeration to say that Leigh Howard Stevens has been at the very heart of the growth of marimba repertoire, development of its pedagogy, and improvement of the instrument’s design over the last 45 years. This fresh approach to music making on the marimba has greatly expanded the instrument’s compositional possibilities, stimulated composer enthusiasm for the marimba’s use in solo and chamber music and ultimately led to a series of more than 30 world premiere performances by Mr. Stevens. The first performance of Raymond Helble’s Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra by Leigh Howard Stevens and the Denver Symphony in 1980 was a milestone in the development of marimba literature. His digitally recorded all-Bach album has been greeted with rave reviews for its artistry by magazines as diverse as Stereophile and Billboard.
Devoted marimba lovers have sprung up all over the world – both players and the general public –
converted by Leigh Howard Stevens’ solo recitals, hundreds of college campus appearances, concertos with symphony orchestra, European concert tours, masterclasses and radio and television appearances both here and abroad. He has been featured in Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and appeared on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and Voice of America’s internationally broadcast, New York, New York. His celebrated musicianship, imaginative programming and exciting performances have inspired critical acclaim and standing ovations in 48 states in the USA and in 18 foreign countries. Mr. Stevens  introduced the marimba to The People’s Republic of China in a televised performance in 1994 that reportedly reached an audience of 80 million viewers. Mr. Stevens is the founder and chief creative force behind Malletech, the world leader in design and manufacturing of keyboard percussion instruments used by professional percussionists. He has been awarded nine U.S. Patents for musical instrument design. In addition to performing on a 5-octave Malletech Marimba of his own design, he also led the creative team that developed the company’s gamechanging OmegaVibe and LoveVibe. Mr. Stevens taught for many years at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, where he was Professor of Marimba. He was elected to the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2006.
Mr. Stevens can be heard on past releases of the Delos, Musical Heritage Society, Musicmasters and CRI record labels, as well as current releases on Resonator Records.
2
Leigh Howard Stevens
132-word bio
It is difficult to find any aspect of marimba technique, repertoire or instrument design that has not been profoundly changed by the work of Leigh Howard Stevens. According to Time Magazine, “Stevens has revolutionized the playing of the instrument.” His one-handed ro lls, mallet independence, contrasting roll
types and birch-handle mallets are now commonplace in modern marimba playing. His original concepts are outlined in his book, Method of Movement, which has been published in six languages. In addition to performing, composing and teaching, he designs instruments and mallets for Malletech, a company he
founded. He has been awarded nine U.S. Patents, featured in numerous periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and among many other honors, has been elected into the Percussive Arts  Society Hall of Fame.
Leigh Howard Stevens
105-word bio
According to Time Magazine, “Stevens has revolutionized the playing of the instrument.” His one-handed rolls, mallet independence, contrasting roll types and birch-handle mallets are now commonplace in modern marimba playing. His original concepts are outlined in his book, Method of Movement, which has been
published in six languages. In addition to performing, composing and teaching, he designs instruments and mallets for Malletech, a company he founded. He has been awarded nine U.S. Patents, featured in numerous periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and among many other honors, has been

Piano

CHIA-YIN LIN

CHIA-YIN LIN

Chia-Yin Lin is a faculty member at Foothill College. She received her degrees in piano performance from University of Washington, University of Texas at Austin and University of Oregon. Dr. Lin has adjudicated various piano competitions, she is an active performer, lecturer and chamber musician.

DMITRY RACHMANOV

DMITRY RACHMANOV

Pianist Dmitry Rachmanov has garnered much acclaim for his passionate performances, refined musicianship and brilliant pianism. Hailed as an "indisputable musician" by the Brussels' Le Soir and "suave and gifted pianist' by the New York Times, Rachmanov has been heard at venues such as New York's Carnegie Hall, Washington DC's Kennedy Center, London's Barbican and South Bank Centres, and Beijing Concert Hall, and his tours brought him to Canada, Mexico, Europe, Russia, Turkey and the Far East. He has recorded for Naxos, Navona, Omniclassic, Master Musicians and Vista Vera labels, and collaborated as a soloist with Manhattan Philharmonia, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Ukraine National Symphony, National Orchestra of Porto, Portugal and Vidin Sinfonietta, Bulgaria, among others. A strong proponent of the Russian repertoire, he gave the US premiere of Boris Pasternak's Piano Sonata, broadcast nationwide by the NPR, and his recital "The Art of the 19th Century Russian Character Piece" was noted by the New York Times for "considerable color and focus" he brought to each work. A founding member of the Scriabin Society of America, Rachmanov has given recital tours featuring the music of Scriabin in commemoration of the composer’s memorial centennial (1915-2015), including appearances in Moscow, Paris, Budapest, Beijing & Shanghai and in the US. His recital at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall was called “indeed a ‘poem of ecstasy’ in every sense: giant in conception, quantity, quality, execution, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity” by the New York Concert Review.  In the past three years he has worked on the project of creating a video anthology of Scriabin’s major piano works.  In the fall of 2018 Dmitry Rachmanov participated in the 100th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Scriabin Memorial Museum in Moscow by presenting at the centennial conference and performing a recital at the museum’s Grand Hall.

Dr. Rachmanov's interest in historical performance practice brought him to the Massachusetts' Frederick Historic Piano Collection, where he has made regular appearances performing recital series on period instruments. His album “Beethoven and His Teachers,” recorded in collaboration with the pianist Cullan Bryant on the collection’s period instruments and released by Naxos in 2011, has received critical accolades.

An active member of the American Liszt Society, Dmitry Rachmanov has served as the Artistic Director of the American Liszt Society Festival “Liszt and Russia” hosted by California State University Northridge in June of 2016 (http://www.als2016.org). He is a founding member and President of the ALS’s Southern California Chapter.

Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov is Professor of Piano at CSU Northridge, where he serves as Chair of Keyboard Studies.  A sought-after master class clinician and lecturer, Dr. Rachmanov has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and has appeared as a guest artist/teacher at The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, University of Michigan, Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Beijing Central, Shanghai and Harbin Conservatories as well as East China Normal and Shanghai Normal Universities, among others. Dr. Rachmanov has been a frequent competition adjudicator in the US and abroad, including Gina Bachauer International Artists, Brahms Poertschach, Austria, and Los Angeles International Piano Competition, among others.

Rachmanov is a graduate of The Juilliard School (BM & MM) and he holds DMA from Manhattan School of Music. His teachers include Nadia Reisenberg, Arkady Aronov, and he coached with Yvonne Lefebure, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Menahem Pressler, Vitaly Margulis and John Browning. A prizewinner of international competitions, he was awarded a fellowship from the American Pianists Association and received the George Schick Award for Outstanding Musicianship at Manhattan School of Music. In 2008 Dr. Rachmanov was named the Jerome Richfield Memorial Scholar of the Year at California State University, Northridge.  In 2015 he became an honoree of the Outstanding Faculty Award presented by the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars for his dedicated service to the International Community at CSUN, and he was a recipient of the Outstanding CAPMT (California Music Teachers National Association) Member, State Recognition Award. In 2018 he was named the Academic Affairs Research Fellow in the Mike Curb College at CSUN.  In January of 2019 he served as artistic co-director of the ChamberFest @ CSUN 2019 Chamber Music Festival.  In the summer of 2019 he was a resident at the Brahmshouse in Baden-Baden, Germany.

Dmitry Rachmanov is a Steinway Artist.

NAMIL SULTANOV

NAMIL SULTANOV

Namik Sultanov is well-known as a distinguished pianist and pedagogue with exceptional lyrical gifts and a distinctive performance style. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan,he showed extraordinary musical talent from a very early age. Playing violin and flute, he was a serious student of composition in his youth, composing more than 150 pieces that were featured at music school concerts. Although at that time a string student, he won first prize in the music school’s piano competition. At 12, deeply impressed by Van Cliburn’s stunning performance at the First Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, he began to self-study Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. Practicing day and night, he soon played all three movements for Ahad Israfilzade, chief conductor of the Azerbaijan Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Israfilzade immediately asked him to play with the Philharmonic, and the triumphant concert was a big sensation in the musical life of this capital city.

After this success, the Azerbaijan government sponsored Namik at Russia’s most prestigious conservatory, Moscow’s Central Special Music School. He studied underProfessor Lev Naumov, a follower of the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus. Continuing his education under Professor Naumov’s supervision at the Moscow State Conservatory, he received his doctorate in performance in 1973. After eduation, he was invited to join the faculty of the Azerbaijan State Conservatory, soon appointed an associate professor with the added title “Honor Artist of the Azerbaijan Republic”.
Participating in numerous national festivals throughout Eastern Europe, Dr. Sultanov represented his country at International Music Festival in Moscow ,International Piano Festival in Istanbul , the International Music Festival in Mexico City and the International Music Festival in Germany.

He has performed in various concert venues including Great Hall of the Moscow Conseravatory, in San Francisco Bay Area, in New York City ( Carnegie Hall), Vancouver, Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul , Izmir, Ankara, Mexico City, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Tallinn, and Baku.

In 1991, Dr. Sultanov was invited to join the piano faculty of Turkey’s Bilkent University, where he chaired the Piano Department and was Vice Dean of the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts. During his teaching years in Azerbaijan, Turkey, and the United States, he nurtured many students who have become winners and laureates in regional, national, and international piano competitions. In 1999, the Turkish Ministry of Culture formally recognized his distinguished teaching. Dr. Sultanov has been invited to erve on juries for national and international competitions and is sought for master classes in Europe, Canada, Mexico and USA . He recorded several CDs. Currently, he holds a faculty position in San Jose State University, California, USA .

ELLEN WASSERMANN

ELLEN WASSERMANN

Ellen Wassermann began studying piano with her father, Irving Wassermann. She studied at Juilliard with Eduard Steuermann and with John Perry at Oberlin College where she received her Bachelor of Music degree.  Ms. Wassermann received a Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory where she was a student of Leon Fleisher, and served as staff accompanist and vocal coach.  She has won numerous competitions including first prize in the Mason-Hamlin Competition and first prize in the William Kapell International Piano Competition.

She is very active in the Bay Area in both solo and chamber recitals, and is currently principal pianist with the Oakland East Bay Symphony.  Professor Wassermann was a member of the Music Department faculty at California State University, East Bay from 1972  until her retirement in 2014.  She currently has a large studio of private piano students.

ROGER WOODWARD

ROGER WOODWARD

Roger Woodward is widely regarded as belonging to the highest echelon of pianists and performs at venues such as: the Sydney and La Scala Opera Houses, Hollywood Bowl, Tiananmen Square, Odéon of the Herodes Atticus, Gulbenkian Gardens Lisbon, Royal Albert Hall London and at major international concert halls at the invitation of Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Witold Rowicki et al; with the New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, Israel and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestras, Cleveland Orchestra, five London Orchestras, London Mozart Players, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris among others.

He performed at over one hundred festivals on five continents including the BBC Promenade Concerts London, Festival d'automne à Paris, La Biennale di Venezia, Wien Modern, Edinburgh Festival, Warszawska Jesień, Music Today Festival Tokyo, Festival de la Roque d'Anthéron, and at the invitation of Sviatoslav Richter, at the Festival de la Grange de Meslay, Touraine.

The artist was awarded many distinguished honors and prizes, notably: Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres, Knight of the Order of Brefni. He is recipient of the Polish Order of Merit, Polish Solidarity award by the citizens of Gdańsk, Polish Gloria Artis (gold class) and of the Order of the British Empire. He is a Companion of the Order of Australia and designated National Living Treasure by Australia’s National Trust.

His recordings won wide critical acclaim, most recently, for his recording of the Bach 48 Preludes and Fugues, award of the Goethe prize, Preis der Deutschen Scallplattenkritik, Diapason d’or, France and Ritmo prize, Spain. Legendary recordings of repertoire by JS Bach, Debussy, Barraqué, Xenakis, Feldman, Takemitsu, Otte, Shostakovich and Sitsky are widely regarded as the most outstanding in their field.

Roger Woodward first studied piano with Winifred Pope in Sydney, organ, harpsichord and church music with Kenneth Long, Master of Music at the St Andrew’s Cathedral and piano with Alexander Sverjensky (a pupil of Sergei Rakhmaninov and Alexander Glazunov( at the Sydney Conservatorium then at the National Chopin Academy of Music Warsaw, with Zbigniew Drzewiecki. He was Chair of Music at the University of New England and Founding Chair of the School of Music and Dance, San Francisco State University where he is currently, keyboard professor. He is published by HarperCollins and the Pendragon and Greenway Press, gives master classes worldwide and participates on the juries of international piano competitions.

GRACE YU

GRACE YU

After graduating and receiving her BA in Music from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Grace Yu joined the Shanghai Conservatory's faculty as an assistant professor. She then went on and receive her MA at the Winthrop University School of Music in South Carolina. Grace continued her studies at Boston's Longy School of Music, where she focused on chamber music. In 1993, she joined the San Francisco Community Music Center's Piano Department faculty and has been teaching there ever since. Grace has also held positions as the MTAC Certificate of Merit Chair for Alameda Branch and State VOCE Chair North. She is currently on the MTAC CM Council as the Piano Panel Regional North Coordinator. Besides teaching and overseeing various programs, Grace also enjoys her time as a pianist for CCUMC, a local church.

String

RANDOLPH FROMME

RANDOLPH FROMME

Randolph Fromme has performed concerts with his wife, pianist Shu Li, since 1999 throughout the U.S., Taiwan and in China. As a chamber musician, his collaborations have included performances with renowned artists such as Frederica von Stade, Donald and Vivian Weilerstein, Joel Krosnick, guitarist
Paul Galbrait, violinist Netanel Draiblate and harpsichordist Hedi Salanki. As cellist of the Oberon String Quartet, he studied under the wing of Naumburg Award-winning violinist, Mark Sokol. Fromme was also cellist of the Del Sol String Quartet, which champions working with living composers, commissioning
new compositions and performing educational outreach in the schools.
Randolph started his college studies with a mathematics degree in mind, but in his second year, he realized that music beckoned to him even more strongly. After completing undergraduate studies at UW-Eau Claire, Fromme pursued further instruction at UM-Minneapolis and the San Francisco Conservatory,
with respective instructors Paul Kosower, Tanya Remenikova, Clive Greensmith and Jean Michel Fonteneau. He has studied with great musical mentors including Martin Lovett, Janos Starker, Joel Krosnick, Gunther Schuller, Mark Sokol and Bonnie Hampton. He has explored other musical worlds
with wonderful musicians including jazz pedagogue David Baker, world-class pianist Kenny Werner, saxophonist George Garzone, trumpeter Dmitri Matheny, and alternative rock bands such as Overseas.
For nearly thirty years, sharing his love of music and the art of practicing with students of all ages has been at the heart of his approach to teaching. In addition to being the Strings Chamber Ensemble Coordinator, Mr. Fromme is an ensemble coach and cello instructor at the San Francisco Conservatory of
Music Pre-College and San Domenico School of Marin, and has coached and performed at the Lancaster (PA) International Piano Festival, San Domenico Music Festival, and Bravo Festival at the University of Minnesota. He has instructed cello at UC Santa Cruz and given master classes in the Universities of
Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China. His Youtube channel includes instructional videos, distributed audio recordings, and explorations of solo cello repertoire.

Randolph and his wife currently reside in San Francisco with their three children, who also study piano
and cello with them.

HENRY GRONNIER

HENRY GRONNIER

Henry Gronnier, is a founding member and the First violinist of the Rossetti String Quartet. Early musical studies took place at the Conservatoire in his native town of Saint Quentin, France, where he was awarded the Premier Prix in both piano and violin. He attended the Conservatoire National de Region de Versailles, receiving the Gold  Medal in the class of Madeleine Thuillier Deverge and continued with Michèle Auclair of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. He concluded his studies with Nell Gotkovsky, Sally Thomas & Zino Francescatti.

Mr. Gronnier has appeared throughout the world in recitals, including his New York debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and his London debut at Wigmore Hall. As a soloist with orchestra and in chamber music ensembles, he has appeared at a number of the world’s most prestigious festivals including the “Festival of Two Worlds”, Spoleto (both in Italy and Charleston, South Carolina), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Mostlty Mozart at Lincoln Center (NY), Caramoor (NY), Casals Festival (Puerto Rico), and the Festival de San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), with such artists as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Rina Dokshitsky, Gautier Capucon, Lukas Foss, Pepe Romero, Paula Robison, Eugenia Zukerman, Patrice Fontanarosa, Chantal Juillet, Carter Brey, among others.

Henry Gronnier was an Associate Professor of Violin and Director of Chamber Music at University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music (USC) until the Spring 2014. He is the chair of the string department and on the faculty at the Academy and Colburn School for the performing arts in Los Angeles, Bob Cole Conservatory at Calstate Long Beach and on the Advisory Board of the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theater.

ANNA KRUGER

ANNA KRUGER

Anna Kruger, a native of Columbus, GA, is Associate Principal Viola for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Principal Viola for the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and viola professor at CSUS Sacramento. As founding violist of the Lark Quartet from 1985 through 1998, she toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, to Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, and Russia.  Among many competition prizes awarded the Lark were the Gold Medal in the 1991 Shostakovitch International String Quartet Competition and the 1990 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 1998, the Quartet's commission and premiere of a work by Aaron Jay Kernis won the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Highlights of Ms. Kruger's seasons with the Lark include performances at the Lockenhaus Festival in Austria at the invitation of Gidon Kremer, the Beethoven Festival at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, (under the direction of Sviatoslav Richter), Lyon's Musicades Festival in France, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Northern Germany, and Mexico's Festival de Musica de Camera.  Major centers where she has performed include NY's Lincoln Center, the National Gallery and Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, St. Paul's Ordway Theater, San Francisco's Herbst Theater, and in the cities of Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Houston, Honolulu, Chicago, Atlanta, and Indianapolis.  She has concertized abroad in the major cities of London, Paris, Basel, Stockholm, Munich, Hamburg, Vienna, Shanghai, St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Teaching residencies with the Lark Quartet include positions as Quartet-in-residence at Ohio University, Dartmouth College, Florida State University, Florida Atlantic University, and San Diego State University.

Previous to the Lark Quartet, Anna played for two years as principal violist of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Kruger received her Bachelor's Degree with High Distinction from Indiana University and her Master's Degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

WEIPIN KUO

WEIPIN KUO

Mr. Kuo entered the Curtis Institute of Music at age 17 and studied with Jaime Laredo. He was the concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra during his years of studies and worked with conductors such as Simon Rattle, Andre Previn, and Leonard Slatkin. Later, at the invitation of Jaime Laredo , he served as the concertmaster of The New York String Orchestra, and performed as a soloist with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

Upon graduation graduating at the age of 22, he joined The world renowned Muir String Quartet, performing over 80 concert per year in the United States and Europe while serving as assistant professor of violin and chamber music at Boston University SchooFor The Arts. He has lectured at Boston University's Tanglewood Institute, Taos School of Music, and Snowbird Chamber Music, and performed chamber music often with Condoleeza Rice (the former US Secretary of State and an excellent pianist herself).

Weipin has extensive performing experience. He has performed as a soloist with the ClevelandOrchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as concertmaster with The Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and The Metamorphosen Chamber. He has performed chamber music with Jaime Laredo, Michael Tree, Gary Hoffman, Arnold Steinhardt, Andre Previn and Paul Neubaurer.

Mr. Kuo has won the second prize of the Julius Stulberg International String Competition.

1972年出生於台北,由陳宗成老師啟蒙開始學習小提琴,曾師事林佳容、陳秋盛教授;於12歲時赴美國參與克里夫蘭音樂院「青少年藝術家計畫」,跟隨 David Cerone 學習,在13歲及17歲時,就曾以獨奏家的身份與美國五大樂團之一的克里夫蘭交響樂團在 Severance Hall合作演出協奏曲。

郭維斌大學時進入 Curtis 音樂學院跟隨 Jaime Laredo 學習,並在求學期間擔任樂團首席,曾與 Simon Rattle、Andre Previn 與 Leonard Slatkin 等名指揮家合作。之後接受 Jaime Laredo 的邀請,擔任 The New York String Orchestra 的樂團首席,並在其指揮下以獨奏家的身份與樂團在 Carnegie Hall 合作演出。

21歲畢業後,加入慕爾弦樂四重奏(Muir String Quartet)擔任第二小提琴手,至美國、歐洲巡迴演出,每年的固定演出超過80場,並擔任波士頓大學小提琴與室內樂的助理教授;亦曾任教於波士頓大學Tanglewood 學會、Taos 音樂學校及 Snowbird 室內樂講座,經常與 Condoleeza Rice(現任美國國務卿,本身也是一位優秀的鋼琴家)一同演出室內樂。

郭維斌擁有豐富的樂團演出經驗,曾以獨奏家的身份與美國克里夫蘭交響樂團、波士頓愛樂、Curtis 交響樂團與 Metamorphosen 室內樂團合作演出,並曾任 Curtis 交響樂團、Orpheus 室內樂團及 Metamorphosen 室內樂團之樂團首席,也曾與 Jaime Laredo、Michael Tree、Gary Hoffman、Arnold Steinhardt、Andre Previn 等人合作演出重奏。

郭維斌曾獲得 Julius Stulberg 國際弦樂大賽第二獎,並自2005年8月起,擔任台灣「長榮交響樂團」樂團首席12年

ELISHA LARISA

ELISHA LARISA

Russian-American violinist, Larisa Elisha, is an internationally acclaimed soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue, having performed and taught extensively throughout Russia, Poland, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland, Norway, Taiwan, Lithuania, Israel and the United States. Dr. Elisha was the Concertmaster of the Witold Lutoslawski State Philharmonic, Principal Violinist of the Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director and First Violinist of the Wratislavia String Quartet. She was Professor of Violin, Chamber Music and Pedagogy at the K. Lipinski Academy of Music in Wroclaw, Poland. Dr. Elisha has performed recitals at prestigious European chamber music festivals that include International Festival Wratislavia Cantans and Contemporary Music Festival Musica Polonica Nova in Wroclaw, Poland, Draeseke’s Festival in Germany, Gioventi Musicale d’Italia in Bergamo, Wieniawski Festival in Poland and the Mozart Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. She has performed at the Concertgebouw, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Karajan Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie, and has made numerous CD, radio and television recordings. Her solo performances of the Shostakovich Violin concerto with the Wroclaw Philharmonic and Koszalin Symphony Orchestras, solo recitals in Krakow and at the Wieniawski Festival in Szczawno Zdroj (Poland) drew critical acclaim. Dr. Elisha was Violin Artist-in-Residence at Washburn University and Concertmaster of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra. As Concertmaster of the Wichita Grand Opera, she performed featured solos with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Joyce DiDonato. Dr. Elisha is heard regularly in solo and chamber music performances, including Summit, Sunflower and other national and international music festivals. Larisa Elisha is the Violinist and Co-founder of the Elaris Duo with Cellist, Steven Elisha. The Duo performs extensively nationally and internationally. As winners of the prestigious Global Music Award for MSR- Classics Releases DUO VIRTUOSO II (2018) and  DUO VIRTUOSO (2020), the Elaris Duo has received critical acclaim and was featured in Fanfare, Gramophone, American Record Guide, Atlanta Audio Society, Malcolm Tattersall’s “Music & Vision,” Turok’s Choice and BBC Music. As a master teacher, performer and clinician, Dr Elisha frequently presents lectures and Master Classes at national and international festivals, conferences, universities, including the Jerusalem Academy of Music, University of Haifa, Summit Music Festival, Charleston International Music School Summer Festival, Lithuania Music and Theatre Academy, National Taiwan University of the Arts, American String Teachers Association, Georgia Music Teachers Association and College Music Society. Continuing the tradition of Russian violinist David Oistrakh and Yuri Yankelevich, she holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Belarus State Academy of Music in Minsk, where she was a student and Teaching Assistant of Professor Olga Parkhomienko, one of Oistrakh’s noted protégés. Larisa Elisha earned her Doctorate degree at the K. Lipinski Academy of Music in Wroclaw. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Upper String Studies at Georgia Southern University

JOANNA LEE

JOANNA LEE

Violinist Joanna Lee has performed throughout Korea, Japan, China, Europe, and the United States in significant venues such as the KKL in Luzern, the JT Art Hall in Tokyo, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. She was a soloist with the Suwon Symphony and has been invited to prestigious festivals such as the Verbier Festival, La Jolla Music Society, Kuhmo Festival, and the Mozarteum Summer Academy. A prizewinner from a number of competitions, Ms. Lee holds first prizes from the Padova International Competition, Korea Times Competition, Utah Chamber Music Competition, and the Beverly Hills Consortium. She was a recipient of multiple scholarships such as the Colburn Foundation Scholarship and the Fritz-Gerber Scholarship.
As a chamber and orchestral musician, Ms. Lee is active in the greater Los Angeles area and abroad. She was awarded the first prize in the International Music Competition Grand Prize Virtuoso in London and fourth prize at the Schoenfeld International String Competition this past summer in Harbin, China. She is a founding member of the piano quartet Los Angeles Ensemble, which performs primarily in the Los Angeles area, and also coordinated the Korea-
Japan Chamber Music Tour, which took place in three cities in Korea and Japan. In addition to her recent position as Principal Second Violinist of the Redland Symphony, she is a member of the Pacific Symphony. Also a devoted educator, Ms. Lee was Visiting Lecturer at Scripps College and is currently on the faculty at the Colburn Community School of Music of Performing Arts.
Born into a musical family, Joanna Lee began playing the violin at the age of six. She attended the University of Music in Basel, Switzerland and the University of Vienna, where she completed her studies with distinction under the guidance of Adelina Oprean and Dora Schwarzberg. During this time, she also received close musical guidance from Mikyung Lee and Ikhwan Bae. Joanna holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (Phi Kappa Lambda), where she studied under the tutelage of Margaret Batjer on a full scholarship. Her areas of concentration were Sacred Music, Jazz, and Baroque Violin.

BATJER MARGARET

BATJER MARGARET

Margaret Batjer has served as concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 1998. She is also renowned as a violin soloist, chamber musician and teacher, and has established herself as a versatile and respected artist worldwide.

Batjer has appeared as soloist with America’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Batjer has also performed with leading European ensembles such as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (of Ireland), Berlin Symphony Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra. She has performed at many of the great halls across the continents such as La Scala, Carnegie Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Suntory Hall.

An esteemed chamber musician, Batjer was a longtime participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, and has often performed on tours with Musicians From Marlboro. Summers have found her performing in the La Jolla Summerfest, the Sarasota Music Festival, Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival and abroad at the Naples, Cremona and the Salzburg Festival.

Ms. Batjer has served as the curator of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra chamber music series, Westside Connections and In Focus since 2007. Among Batjer’s most noteworthy performances have been traversals of the complete Beethoven and Brahms Violin Sonata cycles in partnership with pianist Jeffrey Kahane, at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles. Batjer has collaborated with such notables as Chris Thile, Salvatore Accardo, Maurizio Pollini, Radu Lupu, Peter Serkin, Wu Han, David Finckel. She was recently appointed Director of Chamber Music and Training Programs at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Batjer has had an extensive recording career over the last several decades. She recorded the Bach Concerto for Two Violins with Salvatore Accardo and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for the Philips label, and later a 2003 Deutsche Grammophon recording pairing Batjer and Hilary Hahn as soloists with Jeffrey Kahane conducting the LA Chamber Orchestra. Her most recent recording with the LA Chamber Orchestra includes the live premiere of the Pierre Jalbert Violin Concerto, and works by Bach, Part and Vasks released on the BIS label. She has also made numerous chamber music recordings on the EMI, Nuova Era and BMG labels.

Batjer is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Ivan Galamian and David Cerone. She joined the faculty of the USC, Thornton School of Music in 2005, and the Colburn Academy in 2014, where she teaches violin and directs the Academy Virtuosi Ensemble.

GELFAND PETER

GELFAND PETER

Peter Gelfand Biography

Between the years 1985 and 2017, Peter Gelfand served as Principal Cellist with the San Jose Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, the San Jose Ballet Orchestra and the Monterey County Symphony Orchestra.

During that time, he performed often as the Guest Principal Cellist with the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Modesto Symphony, and as a member of the St. Louis Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony.

Mr. Gelfand received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied with legendary cellist Janos Starker.

In 2008, Mr. Gelfand was honored with the City of San Jose’s first ever “Champions of Arts Education” Award.  He is the founder and director of a project called pARTners in Arts and Health, an organization that strives to integrate all manner of the Arts into all facets of healthcare.

Mr. Gelfand has served on the music faculties at Stanford University and the San Francisco Conservatory. He has been a member of the music faculty at Santa Clara University since 1993, and at San Jose State University since 2013.

Mr. Gelfand currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors with the California Music Center, the host organization and presenter of the highly regarded Irving M. Klein International String Competition, as a Trustee with the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, and as a County Commissioner with the Santa Clara County-Province of Florence, Italy, Sister County Commission.

ELISHA STEVEN

ELISHA STEVEN

“in the front ranks of his generation’s musicians” - Janos Starker
“above all else, Elisha’s playing is the voice of candor. It is honest and enthusiastic. He courageously takes chances, decidedly unwilling to hide behind conventional musical gestures” - The New Haven Register
“a flexibly nuanced, burnished tone… Lightning-swift left hand and deft bow arm”
- New York Concert Review
Internationally acclaimed cellist, Steven Elisha, has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, Norway, China, Taiwan, Brazil, Israel and the United States. He first attracted attention at the age of fifteen when he gave solo performances with the Albany and Schenectady (New York) Symphonies. Elisha’s New York debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and premiere performance of Cry of the Dove (a cello concerto written by his sister, Adrienne Elisha) received critical acclaim. As an honorary member and returned guest of the Beijing Cello Society, he has extensively toured mainland China, performing recitals and teaching master classes at the Shanghai, Canton, Xian, Jinan and Beijing conservatories. Featured solo appearances have included the Beijing Central Philharmonic and Symphonies of Beijing, Xian, Jinan, and Canton, Toledo Symphony, Connecticut Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Topeka Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony and Highland Park Strings. Formerly, Director of String Studies at Washburn University, Principal Cellist of the Topeka Symphony, and Conductor of the Topeka Symphony Youth Orchestra, Elisha was also the Artistic Director/ Conductor of the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Elisha regularly gives master classes, workshops and residencies throughout the United States, including his fun-loving and innovative “Mr. Cello Stories” program for audiences of all ages. Elisha frequently presents worksh ps, teaches and performs at national and
international festivals, conferences and summer music programs, including the Summit Music Festival, Sunflower Music Festival, Washington Square Music Festival,
Charleston International Music School, Omaha Conservatory Summer Institute, College Music Society and American String Teachers National Conference. Elisha is the Regional Representative of the American String Teachers Association Georgia Chapter. Elisha is co-founder and cellist of the Elaris Duo, with violinist Larisa Elisha. As a recording artist, Elisha is heard on a Grammy-nominated Musical Heritage Society recording of New England piano trios, Yale Cellos of Aldo Parisot on Delos and Duo Virtuoso on MSR-Classics. Just released at MSR-Classics, DUO VIRTUOSO II – Works for Violin and Cello by Honegger, Ravel and Schulhoff, has received high praise in reviews appearing in Fanfare Magazine, Gramophone American Record Guide and other leading
music publications. Elisha was featured in Fanfare Magazine, and winner of the Global Music Awards for DUO VIRTUOSO and DUO VIRTUOSO II. Currently, Dr. Elisha is Professor of Music, Director of Strings and Director of Orchestras at Georgia Southern University.

Vocal

MILENA GEORGIEVA BACH

MILENA GEORGIEVA BACH

Milena Georgieva Bach is founder and artistic director of Bach-Millennium Music. Miss Georgieva made her operatic debut in Europe and performed roles in Aida, La Boheme, Tosca, Il Trovatore, Tannhäuser and others in France, Italy, Germany and Bulgaria. Miss Georgieva is a regular soloist in the San Francisco Bay Area, performing opera and oratorio repertoire. Performances include roles in Der Freischutz, Der Rosenkavalier, Il Trovatore, Suor Angelica, Il Tabarro and others. Concert work includes Messa da Requiem by Verdi, Te Deum by Dvořák, 9th Symphony by Beethoven, War Requiem by Britten, Lobgesang by Mendelssohn and solo recitals. Milena Georgieva Bach holds Master’s and Professional Studies diplomas from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Bachelor’s diploma from the National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. Miss Georgieva is founder of Association Opera Sofia, a performing non-profit organization in Bulgaria and has previously worked as program director for BASOTI, a San Francisco based non-profit. Milena Georgieva Bach is an active teacher and adjudicator.

GARABEDIAN EDNA

GARABEDIAN EDNA

Dramatic Mezzo Soprano Stage Director CEO California Opera Association

Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano Edna Garabedian has performed to critical and popular acclaim in the United States, and throughout South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. She is best known for her numerous performances of the roles of Amneris, Carmen, Eboli, Santuzza, Azucena and Kostelnicha and Suzuki. Gian Carlo Menotti , hailed Ms. Garabedian for her presentations of Mother, Agatha, and Baba in his productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mari Golovin,The Medium

Ms. Garabedian made her professional debut in the role Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with the New York City Opera where she was also featured in Julius Caesar and Tales of Hoffman. Soon thereafter, she performed leading roles with the San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, Baltimore Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Buffalo Opera, Spoletto Festival, Edmonton Opera, Virginia Opera, Florentine Opera, and Portland Opera. Abroad, Ms. Garabdeian was a frequent leading artist at Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Karlsruhe Opera, Nurnburg Opera, Kassel Opera , Staatsoper Bonn, and Munich Opera.

Ms. Garabedian won the first place title of several prestigious awards including Weyerhauser Awards, Sullivan Awards, Rockefeller Awards, and awards from the Metropolitan Opera and Baltimore Opera Auditions. In 1970, Ms. Garabedian was the Gold Medalist in the 4th Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Russia. Most recent awards include the 2012 Fresno County Women’s Lawyers Hall of Fame, 2011 Spirit of Compassion, 2010 Horizon for Outstanding Performing Artists, Top 10 Professional Women in Business, the Roosevelt Achievement Award, among many others.

As a vocal pedagogue, Ms. Garabedian traveled extensively throughout South America concertizing and training artists at the International Music Institute of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She held the distinction of Chair of Voice and Opera for University of Connecticut, University of the Pacific, and Bowling Green State University. She has served as Professor of Voice on the Faculty of Northern Illinois University, California State University of Fresno, American University, and San Francisco State University. Her private voice students have gone on to claim top prizes in opera and perform at Teatro alla Scala and the Metropolitan Opera of New York, Broadway Touring Companies , among others. Recently, Ms. Garabedian is hailed with great success in China, training Artists for the Hangzhou Music Association. She participated in the development of Western opera for Hangzhou Opera and the opera program of Taiwan.

Ms. Garabedian was Deputy Stage Director for Raffa Productions “cast-of-a-thousand” European touring production of Aida that featured noted opera stars; Leontyne Price, Grace Bumbry, and Raina Kabaivanska. Ms. Garabedian has directed over 100 productions throughout the United States and Asia, and supports the furtherance of contemporary composers and compositions. In 1999, Ms. Garabedian founded the Fresno International Grand Opera and in 2000, the California Opera Association, a full-production, Summer Arts and Education Program for aspiring and emerging young artists based in Fresno, California. Currently, Ms. Garabedian is training artists worldwide in career development, voice lessons and therapy, stage directing, and is CEO / Artistic Director of California Opera Association. With distinction and honor, Ms. Garabedian served as an adjudicator in Montalto Uffogo, Italy for the Ruggero Leoncavallo Voice Competition, Aug, 2018, and will joined the Opera San Luis Obispo as stage director for The Magic Flute following successful productions of Madame Butterfly and Oklahoma . Forth coming productions scheduled in 2020/21 will include Norma, Madame Butterfly, Pagliacci, Gianni Schicchi, and Suor Angelica.

Edna.garabedian@comcast.net 7101 North Monte Avenue Fresno , California 93711 559-213-7622

SCHARLACH JACQUE WILSON

SCHARLACH JACQUE WILSON

Vocal/ Jacque Wilson Scharlach
is hailed as a “passionate singer with beautiful warm tones”. She has more than fifteen years of teaching experience including three years spent as voice faculty at the University of Southern Maine. She is currently on the voice faculty of West Valley College and San Jose State University, as well as maintaining an active private vocal studio. She is an active member of NATS and is currently the Vice President for Singing Festivals-San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.

Jacque holds a Master’s degree in opera performance from The Boston Conservatory and a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge. She has appeared with numerous orchestras and choruses across the country including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Opera and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. She has performed to great renowned on both coasts in opera and musical theatre. Some of her favorite roles include: Meg Page(Falstaff), Meg(Little Women), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Julie Jordan (Carousel), Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), and Pitti Sing(The Mikado). She believes in teaching a bel canto technique to all her students whether they are singing classical, musical theatre, or jazz.