Meet the SummerFest musicians

Did you know that music director Cho-Liang Lin played Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” on the “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army” soundtrack? What about cellist Yves Dharamraj – did you know he graduated from Yale University with degrees in history and music?

These artists – each with their own distinctive story – will be performing during La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, which begins Aug. 1 at Sherwood Auditorium in the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Meet Lin, Dharamraj and the rest of the musicians performing at the month-long chamber music festival here:

Cho-Liang Lin, SummerFest Music Director

Taiwanese-American violinist Cho-Liang Lin is lauded the world over for the eloquence of his playing and for the superb musicianship that mark his performances. Named by Musical America as its Instrumentalist of the Year in 2000, Mr. Lin has appeared with virtually every major orchestra in the world, and is equally at home in recital and chamber music.

Mr. Lin’s recent and upcoming concerts include solo appearances with the Stockholm Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony. Apart from conventional repertoire, Mr. Lin continues his advocacy for contemporary music by presenting the world première of Hollywood icon Lalo Schifrin’s Tangos Concertantes with the Bergen Philharmonic and Andrew Litton.

His wide-ranging musical interests are also reflected in his discography. His recordings have received multiple awards such as Grammy nominations and Gramophone Record of the Year citations.

His recent recording of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is heard in the soundtrack of “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.” An upcoming release will be violin music of Bright Sheng. As Music Director of La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, he has commissioned works by Chen Yi, Chick Corea, Philip Glass, John Harbison, Magnus Lindberg, Mark O’Connor, Esa-Pekka Salonen and George Tsontakis, among others.

Born in Taiwan in 1960, Cho-Liang Lin began his violin lessons when he was five years old. At the age of twelve, he went to Sydney to continue his musical studies. Inspired by an encounter with Itzhak Perlman while in Sydney, he arrived in New York in 1975 to audition for Mr. Perlman’s teacher, the late Dorothy DeLay, at the Juilliard School. Within two years of his enrollment, Mr. Lin won the first Queen Sofia Violin Competition in Madrid and his concert career was soon launched. He has been a member of the Juilliard faculty since 1991 and recently joined the faculty of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

Franck Avril, oboe

A winner of the Concert Artists Guild award and bronze medalist at the 1977 Geneva International Competition, Franck Avril has appeared in solo recital at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y and the Guggenheim Museum. Mr. Avril has appeared with the Vermeer and Colorado string quartets and held the post of Principal Oboe with the Long Island Philharmonic.

Margaret Batjer, cello

Margaret Batjer made her solo debut with the Chicago Symphony at age fifteen. Since then, she has been re-engaged by the Chicago Symphony, and has performed with the New York String and Philadelphia orchestras as well as the St. Louis, Seattle, San Jose and Dallas symphonies. She has served as Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998, and in 2005, she joined the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

Carter Brey, cello

Carter Brey rose to international attention in 1981 as a prizewinner in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition. The winner of the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Prize and the Avery Fisher Career Grant, he also was the first musician to win the Arts Council of America’s Performing Arts Prize and has performed as soloist with many of America’s major symphony orchestras. Mr. Brey was appointed Principal Cellist of the New York Philharmonic in 1996 and made his debut as soloist with the orchestra shortly thereafter. He has made regular appearances with the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets as well as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Eric Bromberger, lecturer and program note annotator

Eric Bromberger became program annotator for what was then the La Jolla Chamber Music Society in 1983. He also writes program notes for the Minnesota Orchestra, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, San Francisco Performances, and the Washington Performing Arts Society, and often lectures for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Upbeat Live series. Mr. Bromberger received his Ph.D. in American Literature from University of California, Los Angeles, and has been a violinist in the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra since 1980.

David Chan, violin

Violinist David Chan is the Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and an active soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He made his Carnegie Hall debut during the 2002-03 season, performing the Brahms’ Double Concerto with cellist Rafael Figueroa and the Met Orchestra under the baton of James Levine. A native of San Diego, Mr. Chan’s principal teachers were Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang and Michael Tseitlin. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his master’s degree from the Juilliard School.

Steven Copes, violin

Steven Copes joined the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as Concertmaster in 1998, and he frequently appears as a soloist with the orchestra. Mr. Copes co-founded the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado and has performed at festivals and series including Aspen, Chamber Music Northwest and Marlboro. He has served as guest concertmaster with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and London Philharmonic. Mr. Copes holds degrees from the Curtis Institute and the Julliard School. He performs on a violin made by Giuseppe Guarnerius del Gesú in 1742, on generous loan to him from Michael and Jean Antonello.

Yves Dharamraj, cello (Sonora String Quartet)

Regarded as “a strikingly mature and gifted musician” by the Edmonton Sun, the young Franco-American cellist Yves Dharamraj enjoys a career as concert soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Recent highlights include concerto appearances with the Houston Symphony and the Juilliard Orchestra. He graduated from Yale University with degrees in history and music while studying under Aldo Parisot. He now serves as Joel Krosnick’s teaching assistant while continuing his doctoral studies at the Juilliard School.

Mark Dresser, bass

Grammy-nominated bassist Mark Dresser is an internationally recognized performer, improviser, composer and interdisciplinary collaborator. He has appeared in over one hundred recordings including nearly thirty CDs and has performed with groups led by Osvaldo Golijov, John Zorn and Dawn Upshaw. He is a Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego and has been a lecturer at Princeton University. He is on the board of directors of the International Society of Bassists.

Vladimir Feltsman, piano

An artist of immense range and insight, Vladimir Feltsman is recognized as one of the most imaginative and interesting musicians of our time. Mr. Feltsman debuted with the Moscow Philharmonic at age eleven and in 1971 won the Grand Prix at the Marguerite Long International Piano Competition in Paris. Since then Mr. Feltsman has soloed worldwide with orchestras including the San Francisco and Pittsburgh symphonies, the National Radio Orchestra of France and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.

One of his recent projects, presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, explored Russian contemporary music through an unprecedented survey of piano and chamber works of fourteen composers from Shostakovich to the present day. Mr. Feltsman currently holds the Distinguished Chair of Professor of Piano at the State University of New York, New Paltz and teaches at the Mannes College of Music in New York City.

Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, piano

Katherine Jacobson Fleisher’s recent Carnegie Hall debut with pianist Leon Fleisher was praised by the New York Times for its “abundant musicality and refined technique.” She has performed as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Chicago and Baltimore symphony orchestras. After her graduation from St. Olaf College, Ms. Jacobson Fleisher studied with Vitya Vronsky at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her major musical influence was Leon Fleisher with whom she worked at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she currently directs the Piano Ensemble program.

Leon Fleisher, piano

A recipient of the 30th annual Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime achievement, renowned pianist, conductor and teacher Leon Fleisher is now in his sixth decade before the public. A student of the great German pianist Artur Schnabel, by 16 Fleisher had made his debut with the New York Philharmonic. In 1952, he was the first American to win the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition.

Fleisher’s performing career was suddenly curtailed in 1965 when two fingers of his right hand became immobile. For the next four decades, he followed parallel careers – as conductor and teacher – while learning to play the interesting but limited repertoire of compositions for piano left-hand. Recently he has been playing – infrequently – with both hands again, and has just made his first two-hand recording.

Formosa Quartet

Winners of the First prize and the Amadeus Prize at the Tenth London

International String Quartet Competition in 2006, the Formosa Quartet was formed in 2003 when the four founding members came together for a concert tour of Taiwan, the land of their shared heritage. Reviewing their critically acclaimed debut recording, released by EMI, Gramophone describes their playing as “remarkably fine both in meticulous response to the letter and in a desire to look beyond the notes.” The quartet has performed recently at the Ravinia Festival, Wigmore Hall, the Royal Academy of Music and the Library of Congress in Washington.

Jasmine Lin, violin

Described by the New York Times as an “unusually individualistic player” with “electrifying assertiveness” and “virtuosic abandon,” violinist Jasmine Lin was a prizewinner in the International Paganini Competition and took second prize in the International Naumburg Competition. As a chamber musician, Ms. Lin has been a participant of the Marlboro Music Festival and the Steans Institute at Ravinia. Ms. Lin is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet and a former member of the Chicago String Quartet. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.

Ayano Ninomiya, violin

Violinist with the Formosa Quartet, Ayano Ninomiya was a second-prize winner of the Walter W. Naumburg Competition and winner of Astral Artistic Services’ National Auditions. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Ninomiya performs regularly at the Marlboro, Caramoor and Strings in the Mountains chamber music festivals. Ms. Ninomiya received a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Mann, and holds joint degrees in music and French from Harvard College.

Che-Yen Chen, viola

Taiwanese violist Che-Yen Chen has established himself as a prominent recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician. Principal Violist of the San Diego Symphony, he captured the first prize of the 2003 William Primrose Viola Competition and the Yuri Bashmet prize of the 2003 Lionel Tertis Viola Competition. Mr. Chen is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet, was a member of Chamber Music Society Two at Lincoln Center and has taken part in the Musicians from Marlboro tour. Mr. Chen studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School under the guidance of Michael Tree, Joseph de Pasquale and Paul Neubauer.

Jacob Braun, cello

Jacob Braun joined the Formosa Quartet in January 2007. From 1998 to 2006, Mr. Braun was a member of the Biava Quartet, winners of the 2003 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. He has collaborated with Atar Arad, Paul Katz, and members of the Brentano, Miami and Tokyo string quartets. Mr. Braun holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, New England Conservatory and Yale University; he has studied with Richard Aaron, Paul Katz, Aldo Parisot and Clive Greensmith. He plays on a “Royal” Forster cello, circa 1795.

Warren Gref, horn

Warren Gref is a long-time member of the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera, and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Antonio Symphony. In recent years, Mr. Gref has toured Japan with the Sierra Brass Quintet and participated in both the Mainly Mozart Festival and La Jolla Music Society SummerFest. Mr. Gref teaches French horn at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University.

Chris Hanulik, bass

Chris Hanulik joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1984, was appointed Principal Bass in 1987 and has also served as Principal Bass of the Cleveland Orchestra. During his tenure in Cleveland, he made numerous recordings including Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat, conducted by Pierre Boulez for Deutsche Grammophon. Mr. Hanulik has won prizes from the International Society of Bassists and has also received numerous awards from the Aspen and Tanglewood music festivals.

Hsin-Yun Huang, viola

Violist Hsin-Yun Huang was the youngest-ever gold medalist of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in 1988. She came to international prominence in 1993 when she won the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, and has since collaborated with many distinguished artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Jaime Laredo, Joshua Bell and Michael Tree. She was a member of the Borromeo String Quartet from 1994-2000. She currently serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School and the Mannes College of Music.

Peter Jablonski, piano

Since his American debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington in 1992 and his London debut at the Royal Festival Hall in 1993, Peter Jablonski has played with many of the world’s finest orchestras such as the Deutsches Symphonie Orchestra Berlin, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He recorded the Shostakovich and Prokofiev cello sonatas with Ralph Kirshbaum, which they performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2007 as part of the International Chamber Music Series. In 2005, Mr. Jablonski was awarded the Royal Medal “Litteris et Artibus” by the King of Sweden.

Leila Josefowicz, violin

Violinist Leila Josefowicz has won the hearts of audiences around the world with her honest, fresh approach to the repertoire and her dynamic virtuosity. Ms. Josefowicz came to national attention in 1994 when she made her Carnegie Hall debut with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Recent engagements include the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Royal Concertgebouw and Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras and recitals in San Francisco, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Josefowicz has appeared on numerous national broadcasts such as “The Tonight Show” and “Live from Lincoln Center.” A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1994, Leila Josefowicz is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Jaime Laredo and Jascha Brodsky. Ms. Josefowicz currently performs on a Del Gesú made in 1724.

Jacques Loussier Trio

Jacques Loussier, piano; Marc Buronfosse, bass; Andre Arpino, drums

Over the course of a remarkable career now spanning more than 40 years, Jacques Loussier has pursued a musical path that is completely unique. He formed his legendary “Play Bach Trio”, dissolved it in 1978, and then revived it in 1985 to celebrate the tercentenary of Bach’s birth. Since then, the Trio has soared from one success to another, turning out best-selling CDs along the way.

Drummer Andre Arpino, a native of Lyon, has also recorded and toured with Yves Montand, Charles Aznavour , Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, as well as rock and pop groups. Born in Soissons, bassist Marc Buronfosse teaches jazz at the the Conservatoire National de Region of Paris and has performed with symphonic and chamber music orchestras. At present, he leads his own quartet.

Mr. Loussier continues to follow his own path, staying active as a composer of classical scores, exploring other genres, including live television broadcasts with such colleagues as Bobby McFerrin and Dave Brubeck, and creating the most exciting fusions in the world today of jazz traditions and classical music.

Ani Kalayjian, cello

Cellist Ani Kalayjian was winner of the Anglo-Czechoslovak Trust competition in England and one of two cellists accepted into the inaugural season of David Finckel and Wu Han’s Music@Menlo festival. Upcoming engagements include solo recitals at Harvard and Dartmouth universities and chamber music recitals with Mark Peskanov and Doris Stevenson at Bargemusic. Ms. Kalayjian studied with Ralph Kirshbaum and Timothy Eddy.

Catherine Ransom Karoly, flute

Catherine Ransom Karoly joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as second flutist in May 1996. In October of 2000, she made her solo debut with Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Ibert’s Flute Concerto. She has participated in numerous music festivals including Marlboro, Tanglewood and the La Jolla Music Society SummerFest. Ms. Karoly received a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant.

Eric Kim, cello

Principal Cellist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Eric Kim made his solo debut at age fifteen with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. An accomplished chamber musician, Mr. Kim has performed with Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell and Cho-Liang Lin. At Pinchas Zukerman’s invitation he performed with Mr. Zukerman at the Mostly Mozart, Schleswig-Holstein and Verbier festivals. Mr. Kim is a faculty member of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School and plays on a cello made by Matteo Goffriller, circa 1707.

Michelle Kim, violin

Michelle Mi-Kyung Kim joined the New York Philharmonic as Assistant Concertmaster in 2001. Prior to that appointment, she had often appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and had been first violinist of the Rossetti String Quartet since 1999. A student of Robert Lipsett, Ms. Kim attended the University of Southern California; in 1991, she was named a Presidential Scholar and performed in recital at the Kennedy Center. Since 1996, Ms. Kim has served on the faculties of the University of Southern California and the Colburn School of Performing Arts.

SoJin Kim, violin (Sonora String Quartet)

SoJin Kim made her Lincoln Center debut as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra in 2006. She has won top prizes at the Montreal Classical Music Festival Competition and the Stradivarius International Violin Competition. As a chamber musician, Ms. Kim has coached intensively with the Juilliard and Emerson string quartets and collaborated with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Ms. Kim earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School of Music, where she studied with Hyo Kang, Naoko Tanaka and Cho-Liang Lin.

Ralph Kirshbaum, cello

The New York Times described Ralph Kirshbaum as “one of the outstanding cellists of his generation”. Catapulted to international attention in 1969 when he won top prize in the First International Cassado Competition in Florence, he has since appeared as a guest soloist with the symphonies of Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco and at international festivals including Edinburgh, Bath, Verbier, Aspen, Ravinia, and Mostly Mozart. A graduate of Yale University, he now serves on the faculty of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and in the fall of 2008, he assumes the Gregor Piatigorsky Endowed Chair in Violoncello at the Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles.

Jennifer Koh, violin

A winner of the 1994 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition, Jennifer Koh dazzles audiences with playing that combines intensity of temperament with a patrician poise and elegance. Her 2007-08 season included performances with the Detroit Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra; and she appears frequently at major music centers and festivals including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Marlboro, Ravinia and Schleswig-Holstein. A graduate of Oberlin College and The Curtis Institute, Ms. Koh plays a 1727 Ex-Grumiaux Ex-General DuPont Stradivari, made available to her through the generosity of a private sponsor.

La Jolla Symphony

Steven Schick, music director and conductor

The La Jolla Symphony is the orchestral component of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C), an ensemble affiliated with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Comprised of volunteer musicians including UCSD students, staff and faculty as well as professional musicians, the LJS&C presents a six-weekend subscription season of affordable concerts at UCSD’s Mandeville Hall of ground-breaking, traditional and contemporary classical music. In 2007 the ensemble named Steven Schick as music director and conductor. A renowned contemporary percussionist and UCSD Distinguished Professor of Music, Mr. Schick shares the LJS&C concert season with Choral Director David Chase, who has led the chorus for over thirty years.

Jeewon Lee, piano

Jeewon Lee is a prizewinner of the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition and Young Musicians Foundation Competition. Her playing has been heard on WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago and Leipzig Radio. She has soloed with the New West Symphony in California and has performed at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and at Alice Tully Hall in New York. Ms. Lee holds degrees in Economics and Piano Performance from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from the Juilliard School; she is currently a doctoral student at Rice University.

Shih-Kai Lin, violin (Sonora String Quartet)

Violinist Shih-Kai Lin won first prize at the 2006 Ima Hogg Competition, leading to his debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. He has performed Bach’s Double Concerto with Cho-Liang Lin in Taiwan and toured with the International Sejong Soloists. A native of Taiwan, Mr. Lin came to the United States in 1999 and is currently a graduate student at the Juilliard School studying with Naoko Tanaka and Cho-Liang Lin.

Steven Mackey, composer and conductor

Steven Mackey has been honored with numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and two awards from the Kennedy Center. Mr. Mackey has been the composer-in-residence at numerous music festivals including Tanglewood and Aspen. Among his commissions are works for the Chicago and San Francisco symphonies, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and many other ensembles. Mr. Mackey is currently Professor of Music at Princeton University where he has been a member of the faculty since 1985. In 1991, he was awarded the first-ever Distinguished Teaching Award from Princeton University.

Valentin Martchev, bassoon

A native of Bulgaria, bassoonist Valentin Martchev joined the San Diego Symphony in 2001 as Acting Principal Bassoonist and was appointed Principal Bassoon in 2004. He was formerly Principal Bassoon of the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the performance faculty at the University of Virginia from 1998 to 2001. Mr. Martchev has performed around the United States at festivals including Tanglewood, Mainly Mozart and Marlboro. He holds an Artist Diploma in Performance from Duquesne University School of Music in Pittsburgh.

Demarre McGill, flute

Winner of a 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant, flutist Demarre McGill is quickly becoming one of the most accomplished flutists in the United States. Mr. McGill has performed concerti with the Chicago Symphony and the Philadelphia orchestras, and is currently Principal Flutist of the San Diego Symphony; he has also served as Acting Principal Flutist of the Pittsburgh Symphony. An active chamber musician, he has participated in the Tanglewood, Santa Fe and Marlboro music festivals. Mr. McGill received his bachelor’s degree in flute performance from the Curtis Institute of Music and his Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where he studied with Julius Baker.

Tamara Mumford, voice

A recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford’s debut at the Met as Laura in Luisa Miller was met with critical praise. Recently she appeared with James Levine and the Met Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Harbison’s Mottetti di Montale. Other recent appearances include her Carnegie Hall debut in 2005 as part of the “Richard Goode and Friends” concert series. Among her many achievements, Ms. Mumford was a Mathias Winner and PBS Concert Soloist for the 2001 MacAllister Awards. Ms. Mumford holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Utah State University and is a Master of Music candidate at Yale University.

Hai-Ye Ni, cello

A prizewinner of the Tchaikovsky, Naumburg and Rostropovich international competitions, and the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career grant, Hai-Ye Ni is one of the most accomplished cellists of our time. Currently Principal Cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, she has also held the Associate Principal Cello Position for the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Ni’s performances have been broadcast throughout the United States on National Public Radio. She was featured on the ABC television show “20/20" and on a PBS documentary of the Tchaikovsky International Cello Competition in Moscow. Ms. Ni studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Juilliard School and with William Pleeth in London.

Ken Noda, piano

Greatly accomplished as both an instrumentalist and an arts administrator, Ken Noda has studied with Daniel Barenboim and performed as a piano soloist with major orchestras including the Berlin, Vienna, New York and Los Angeles philharmonics. He has also collaborated as chamber musician with Itzhak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, and James Levine, to whom he serves as Musical Assistant, of the Metropolitan Opera. At the Met, he devotes much of his time to the training of young singers and also gives master classes at Juilliard, Yale and at the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute.

John Novacek, piano

A sought-after collaborative artist, pianist John Novacek has performed with such talents as Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell and Emmanuel Pahud and regularly tours the Americas, Europe and Asia as a solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist. Mr. Novacek is a frequent guest artist at festivals including the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, BBC Proms in England and La Jolla Music Society SummerFest. His own compositions and arrangements have been performed by such illustrious ensembles as the Three Tenors and the Pacific Symphony. Mr. Novacek studied piano with Peter Serkin and chamber music with Felix Galimir and Jamie Laredo.

Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although he won first prizes at the Busoni Competition in Italy and the Montreal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 gold medal win at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw that brought him worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation. A native of White Plains, New York, Mr. Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of eight. He attended the Westchester Conservatory of Music and at thirteen entered the Juilliard School. His musical development has been influenced by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Tom Lishman and Rosina Lhevinne. Mr. Ohlsson makes his home in San Francisco and frequently performs in San Diego.

Heiichiro Ohyama, viola

Heiichiro Ohyama has a long-established reputation as a remarkable conductor and one of the most renowned violists in the United States. He is the Music Director and Conductor of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and also the Music Advisor and Principal Conductor of the Osaka Symphoniker, Japan. A winner of the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition and Young Concert Artist Award, in 1979 he was named Principal Violist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Carlo Maria Giulini, a position he held for thirteen years. Mr. Ohyama is the former Artistic Director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and La Jolla Music Society SummerFest. He holds degrees from London’s Guildhall School of Music and Indiana University.

Marcus Overton, lecturer

Marcus Overton is a past Artistic Administrator for La Jolla Music Society. His 34-year career in arts management includes senior management positions at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Ravinia Festival, nearly nine years as Senior Manager of Performing Arts at the Smithsonian Institution, and - at the invitation of Gian Carlo Menotti - the general manager’s post at Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina.

Cynthia Phelps, viola

Cynthia Phelps is Principal Violist of the New York Philharmonic, with which she has appeared as soloist in major international concert halls. Ms. Phelps has collaborated with such artists as Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma., and has been featured in several nationwide “Live from Lincoln Center” telecasts with the Philharmonic and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Ms. Phelps is a frequent visitor to La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. She was the first prize winner at both the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and the Washington International String Competition.

Keith Popejoy, horn

Keith Popejoy is Principal Horn of the Pacific Symphony and Opera Pacific and Assistant Principal Horn of the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera. Mr. Popejoy is a native of San Diego, where both parents and two grandparents played with the San Diego Symphony. He has played frequently with La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, and was recently featured in their nationally- broadcast performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1.

Real Quiet

Felix Fan, cello; Andrew Russo, piano; David Cossin, percussion

Called "...a major presence on the new music scene” by, Real Quiet is a three-man band dedicated to nurturing a repertoire of hard-edged acoustic and electro-acoustic music by today’s leading composers. The group formed in 2004 and debuted at New York’s Merkin Hall in the world première of Annie Gosfield’s Wild Pitch. They have worked closely with composers David Lang and Marc Mellits, recording several of their works, and have performed at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, New Haven’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas and San Diego’s Muzik 3.

red fish blue fish

Justin Dehart, Ross Karre, Fabio Oliveira,

Steven Schick, Greg Stuart, percussion

The resident percussion ensemble of the University of California, San Diego, red fish blue fish functions as a laboratory for the development of new percussion techniques, sounds and music. The group has toured widely, including performances at Lincoln Center, the Agora Festival in Paris and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series. red fish blue fish was the ensemble in residence at the 2007 June in Buffalo Festival and will be the featured ensemble at the Tapei International Percussion Conference in 2008. In the fall of 2007, red fish blue fish premiered Roger Reynolds’evening length Sanctuary at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Frank Renk, clarinet

Frank Renk is a clarinetist with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and Principal Clarinetist of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Renk performs occasionally with the Symphony, Opera Orchestra and Ballet Orchestra of San Francisco. He has performed at the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and La Jolla Music Society SummerFest. Mr. Renk studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University.

Sheryl Renk, clarinet

Sheryl Renk is the Principal Clarinetist of the San Diego Symphony. She has held the position of Principal Clarinetist with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and has been an acting member of the San Francisco Symphony. Ms. Renk has performed at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Mainly Mozart Festival and La Jolla Music Society SummerFest. Ms. Renk studied at San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.


RIOULT (rē-you) builds on tradition, expanding the definition of contemporary dance. In 1992, the New York Times dance critic Jennifer Dunning wrote “If Pascal Rioult keeps on creating the kinds of dances he has been choreographing with such authority for a mere three years, he may have to leave his job as a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company and become a full-time choreographer.” He founded Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre later that same year with his wife and fellow Graham dancer Joyce Herring. With a repertoire of over twenty dances, the company presents an annual season at the Joyce Theater in Manhattan and tours internationally. Rioult’s signature piece, Bolero, has been seen at the New York City Center Fall for Dance Festival and on a twelve-city European tour.

Pascal Rioult, artistic director and choreographer

Pascal Rioult came to the United States on a fellowship from the French Ministry of Culture to study modern dance. Mr. Rioult was a principal dancer of Martha Graham’s Dance Company and began choreographing in 1989 while still a member of the troupe. Since 1994 he has dedicated his energies to perfecting a choreographic style of his own and building RIOULT. He has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Harkness Foundation for Dance.

Huang Ruo, composer and conductor

Composer Huang Ruo was born in China where he attended the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at age twelve before moving to the United States in 1995. Mr. Ruo received numerous awards from organizations including the Aaron Copland Foundation and the ASCAP Foundation. His work has been performed by groups including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Ruo holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, where he is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in studies with Samuel Adler.

Claudia Russell, lecturer

Claudia Russell is the Program Director at KSDS Jazz 88.3 in San Diego and also manages the promotions department. Ms. Russell has been in radio professionally since 1988, working for both commercial and public stations and at KSDS since 2001. She brings to Jazz 88.3 a love for jazz and blues music, as well as an appreciation of all performing arts. Her musical tastes run the gamut from acoustic folk, jam bands, and Afro-Cuban music to classical and Broadway tunes. She has served on development panels for National Public Radio, as well as the International Association for Jazz Education.

Steven Schick, conductor

For the past thirty years, Steven Schick has championed contemporary percussion music as a performer and teacher by commissioning and premiering more than one hundred new works. He is distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego and Consulting Artist in percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. He was the percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars from 1992-2002, and from 2000 to 2004 served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Schick is also Founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, red fish blue fish, and in 2007 assumed the post of Music Director and Conductor of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus.

Gil Shaham, violin

Among Gil Shaham’s more than two dozen concerto and solo recordings are a number of best-sellers that have earned prestigious awards including multiple Grammy® Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque and Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice. Gil Shaham has made appearances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and Munich orchestras, the San Francisco and New World symphonies and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Among his many other honors, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990. Mr. Shaham plays the 1699 ‘Countess Polignac’ Stradivarius.

Dr. Ronald Shaheen, lecturer

Dr. Ronald Shaheen is professor at the University of San Diego, where he also serves as Concert Manager. He received his Doctorate in historical musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles and as a Fulbright Scholar, he pursued his doctoral research in the musical archives of Northern Italy. Dr. Shaheen has been a guest lecturer in Italy and Germany, as well as in New York City and Los Angeles, and makes frequent lecture presentations for musical organizations throughout the San Diego region.

Ryan Simmons, bassoon

Ryan Simmons is a member of the San Diego Symphony and Principal Bassoonist of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Simmons has played in the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has performed at the Marlboro, Tanglewood, Grand Tetons and Verbier music festivals.

Russell Steinberg, lecturer

Composer and lecturer, Russell Steinberg is active in music education as a conductor, teacher, and author. He is the Music Director for the Stephen Wise Music Academy and he regularly lectures on music composition and music listening at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a composer, he is former recipient of an ASCAP Young Composers Grant, Composers Inc. and NACUSA prizes and MacDowell and Aspen Fellowships and first prize in the New World String Quartet competition.

Kyoko Takezawa, violin

Emotional power, musical sensitivity, flawless technique and a tone remarkable for its singular beauty are qualities that have established Kyoko Takezawa as one of today’s foremost violinists. A highly accomplished chamber musician, Ms. Takezawa has collaborated with many distinguished artists, including the late Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma and Joseph Suk. A former winner of the Indianapolis Violin Competition, she was recently invited to serve as a juror at the competition. Ms.Takezawa came to the United States at age seventeen to study with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School. She performs on the “Camposelice” Stradivarius, circa 1710, on generous loan by the Nippon Music Foundation.

Christopher Taylor, piano

With a repertoire that spans four centuries, pianist Christopher Taylor is best known for his passionate advocacy of music written in the past 100 years. Mr. Taylor has appeared with the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics and as a recitalist in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and at Ravinia. Mr. Taylor’s numerous accolades include the bronze medal in the Van Cliburn Competition and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Mr. Taylor currently serves on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in mathematics.

Richard Todd, horn

Internationally renowned concert, jazz and recording artist Richard Todd has earned acclaim as one of the finest horn soloists in the country. He won a gold medal at the 1980 Concours Internationale Toulon and is a recipient of a Pro Musicis International Foundation Award. Mr. Todd performs recitals across North America, holds the position of Principal Horn with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and has performed on the soundtracks of over 1,000 films. Mr. Todd is currently on faculty at the University of Southern California.

Tokyo String Quartet

Martin Beaver, Kikuei Ikeda, violins;

Kazuhide Isomura, viola; Clive Greensmith, cello

Formed in 1969 at the Juilliard School of Music, the Tokyo String Quartet performs over a hundred concerts worldwide each season and is regarded as one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world. Deeply committed to coaching young string quartets, the Tokyo String Quartet teaches and performs at the prestigious Norfolk Chamber Music Festival each summer, conducts master classes around the world, and since 1976, has served on the faculty of the Yale University School of Music as quartet-in-residence. The ensemble performs on Stradivarius’ “Paganini Quartet”, a group of instruments named for legendary virtuoso Niccolò Paganini, on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Michael Tree, viola

A founding member of the famed Guarneri String Quartet, Michael Tree has appeared as a soloist on both the violin and viola with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Los Angeles, and participated in the Marlboro, Aspen and Santa Fe music festivals. As a chamber musician, Mr. Tree has appeared all over the world and recorded more than eighty chamber music masterpieces; prominent among them are ten piano quintets and quartets with pianist Arthur Rubinstein. Mr. Tree studied violin with Efrem Zimbalist at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he now serves as a faculty member, in addition to teaching positions at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, the University of Maryland and Rutgers. He plays a Domenicus Busan viola from Venice, 1750.

Elena Urioste, violin

Since making her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age thirteen, Elena Urioste has appeared as soloist with major orchestras throughout the United States including the Cleveland Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Urioste is a student at the Curtis Institute of Music where she studies with Joseph Silverstein and Pamela Frank. She plays on a Bergonzi violin, circa 1750, on generous loan from the private collection of Dr. Charles E. King.

Allan Vogel, oboe

One of America’s leading wind soloists and chamber musicians, Allan Vogel has appeared as soloist with orchestras throughout the country and has been featured at the Marlboro and Santa Fe festivals and La Jolla Music Society SummerFest. The Principal Oboist of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Vogel has also been Guest Principal Oboist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin and Los Angeles philharmonics. Renowned for his performances of the Baroque literature, Mr. Vogel serves on the advisory board of the American Bach Society. He is on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts, the University of Southern California and the Colburn Conservatory of Music.

Alisa Weilerstein, cello

Internationally renowned as a natural virtuoso whose performances display impassioned musicianship and expressive range Alisa Weilerstein appeared in her first public concert at the age of four. Today her touring schedule includes the most prestigious ensembles including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra. An alumna of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two, she has performed as recitalist and chamber musician in many of the world’s top concert halls and festivals and was a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Ms. Weilerstein holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in Russian History.

Orion Weiss, piano

Pianist Orion Weiss is one of the most sought-after soloists and collaborators of his generation. Highlights from recent seasons include performances with the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, the Baltimore Symphony and a 2005 tour with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Itzhak Perlman. Mr. Weiss’ list of awards includes the Gilmore Young Artist Award, the 2005 Juilliard William Petschek Award and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Mr. Weiss was a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two from 2002-04 and graduated from the Juilliard School in 2004, where he studied with Emanuel Ax.

Elzbieta Weyman, viola (Sonora String Quartet)

Elzbieta Weyman began studying violin at age four and switched to viola at thirteen, studying with Boston Symphony member Michael Zaretsky. In 2006 she was invited to participate in the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. In 2007 she won the low strings concerto competition at the Aspen Music Festival and performed Walton’s Viola Concerto with Leonard Slatkin conducting. Ms. Weyman is a third year undergraduate student at the Juilliard School studying with Masao Kawasaki.

Shai Wosner, piano

Born in Israel in 1976, pianist Shai Wosner has performed with the Vienna and Israel philharmonics, as well as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony. In 2005, Mr. Wosner won both an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. He regularly performs at many chamber music festivals, including Ravina, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and La Jolla Music Society SummerFest. He was a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two and was recently named a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist. Mr. Wosner studied with Emanuel Ax at the Juilliard School.

Joyce Yang, piano

At age nineteen, Joyce Yang was awarded the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The youngest of the Cliburn Competition’s participants, she received awards for both Best Performance of Chamber Music and Best Performance of a New Work. Ms. Yang has appeared with many orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony and has performed numerous times with the New York Philharmonic. Born in Seoul, Korea, Ms. Yang moved to the United States in 1997 to begin studies in the pre-college division of the Julliard School of Music. Currently Ms. Yang is at Juilliard as a student of Dr. Yohaved Kaplinsky.

John Bruce Yeh, clarinet

John Bruce Yeh joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1977 and two years later was named Assistant Principal and solo E-flat clarinetist, a position in which he continues to serve. A prize winner of both the Munich International Music Competition and the Naumburg Clarinet Competition, Mr. Yeh continues to solo with orchestras around the globe. Mr. Yeh is Director of Chicago Pro Musica, which won a Grammy® Award in 1986 for Best New Classical Artist. Currently, Mr. Yeh serves on the faculties of Roosevelt University’s Chicago College for the Performing Arts and the Midwest Young Artists in Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

Dr. Angela Yeung, lecturer

Dr. Angela Yeung is the Director of the Music Program at the University of San Diego (USD) and their Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Ensembles. She is a former director of the Collegium Musicum at Columbia University, where she received her Ph.D. in Music Theory, before joining the department at USD in 1994. An accomplished cellist with special interests in early music and chamber music, Dr. Yeung maintains an active career in performing and directing outside her university duties each year.

Leyla Zamora, contrabassoon

Bassoonist and contrabassoonist Leyla Zamora is a member of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. She has performed all over the world with orchestras and festivals including the Seattle Symphony, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Pacific Music Festival of Japan and the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. Ms. Zamora has performed solo concerti and recitals in Costa Rica, Colombia, Japan and the Czech Republic. She studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Baylor University and De Paul University.