Our musicians are among the world's most celebrated, making each event a unique chamber music experience.
Our events feature gourmet offerings from acclaimed chefs specializing in world-class cuisine.
We dedicate a portion of our proceeds to benefit young musicians through our scholarship programs.
“Music is like a kiss. You can’t experience it across
the room, you have to feel it immediately in the heart and soul.”
— Michael Colbruno, Partnered with Musica Marin (Jan 2016)
The Musica Marin Experience
The finest in international chamber music, gourmet food and dedicated philanthropy.
Musica Marin is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting classical music and culinary culture through unique programs and concert events. Our one-of-a-kind events are held at world-class venues in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world.
When you attend a Musica Marin event, you will experience sophisticated chamber music, gourmet food, and the knowledge that you are contributing to philanthropic programs focused on young people in the arts.
Musica Marin's mission is to preserve musical culture for all ages through our unique music programs and concert events. We are dedicated to presenting, supporting and inspiring classical music in the San Francisco Bay Area.
To achieve our mission we:
Offer unique, world-class concert events with internationally renowned musicians and celebrated chefs in intimate settings that cultivate and grow audiences’ awareness and participation in musical arts.
Nurture young artists through our Young Artists Programs. These programs give young artists the opportunity to continue to pursue and advance their musical aspirations.
Collaborate with internationally renowned organizations, including the The Juilliard School, San Francisco Boys Chorus, Mill Valley Film Festival, Merola Opera Program, Adler Fellowship Program, Golden Gate Opera, and James Toland Vocal Arts (JTVA); organizations that also celebrate young artists.
Musica Marin held its inaugural Concert Event in the Spring of 2014, and since then has held a series of four concert events per year, founded the International Chamber Music and Culinary Festival, and developed several programs that help nurture young artists and promote musical education and culture.
Our programs include Concert Events, our International Chamber Music and Culinary Festival, the Young Artists Performance and Scholarship Programs, and the Young Composer New Work Competition.
Cynthia Phelps - Principal Violist, New York Philharmonic -
Principal Violist of the New York Philharmonic, Ms. Phelps has distinguished herselfboth here and abroad as one of the leadinginstrumentalists of our time. The recipient ofnumerous honors and awards, including the1988 Pro Musicis International Award and firstprize at both the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and the Washington InternationalString Competition, she has captivatedaudiences with her compelling solo and chambermusic performances. She is “a performer of toprank...the sounds she drew were not only completelyunproblematical — technically faultless, generously nuanced-- but sensuously breathtaking” (The Boston Globe).
Ms. Phelps performs throughout the world assoloist with orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra, New York Philharmonic,San Diego Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Bilbao, and Hong KongPhilharmonic. She has appeared in recital in Paris, Rome, Los Angeles, Bostonand Washington, and at New York’s Alice Tully Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall,and St. David’s Hall in Cardiff, Wales. She has also been heard on National Public Radio’s St. Paul Sunday Morning, Radio France, and RAI in Italy, and hasbeen featured on The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, and CBS Sunday Morning.
Ms. Phelps has performed internationally as a collaborator with such artists asIsaac Stern, Itzak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, andYefim Bronfman, among many others. A much sought-after chamber musician,she performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, NewYork’s Bargemusic, the Boston Chamber Music Society, and Music FromCopland House. Ms. Phelps has performed with the Guarneri, American,Brentano, and Prague String Quartets, the Kalichstein-Robinson-Laredo Trio,and at the Mostly Mozart, Marlboro, Seattle, Bridgehampton, Ravinia, La Jolla,Santa Fe, Bravo!Colorado, Naples, Cremona, Schleswig-Holstein, and ChamberMusic Northwest Festivals.
Ms. Phelps regularly receives enthusiastic reviews for her performances as soloistwith the New York Philharmonic; works she has performed include Berlioz’sHarold in Italy, the Bartok Viola Concerto and Strauss’s Don Quixote, theBenjamin Lees Concerto for String Quartet, and the recent premiere of a concertowritten for her by Sofia Gubaidulina. Recent performances have included aNew York Philharmonic International tour featuring the Gubaidulina, a newPhoto by Richard Bowditchwork written for her by composer Steven Paulus (commissioned by the Tucson WinterChamber Music Festival), and return solo engagements with the Hong KongPhilharmonic, the San Diego Symphony and numerous other orchestras.
This season, Ms. Phelps appears in virtually every major concert hall in New YorkCity, including performances with the American String Quartet, the Klichstein-Robinson-Laredo trio, and mezzo-soprano Suzanne Mentzer. She also performs inrecital in La Jolla, as well as on tour with violinist Ida Kavafian and cellist RonaldThomas. She looks forward to a new viola concerto written for her by Richard Danielpour. Her solo debut recording is on Cala Records, and can also be heard onthe Marlboro Recording Society, Polyvideo, Nuova Era, Virgin Classics, and Covenant labels. Ms. Phelps and her husband, cellist Ronald Thomas, reside in New Jersey and have three children, Lili, Christinia, and Caitlin.
Kurt Nikkanen - Concertmaster, New York City Ballet Orchestra -
American violinist Kurt Nikkanen is an international soloist of the highest order. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he began his violin studies at the age of three, later studying with Roman Totenberg and Jens Ellerman. At twelve he gave his Carnegie Hall debut, performing with the New York Symphony; two years later he was invited by Zubin Mehta to perform the Paganini Concerto No.1 with the New York Philharmonic for a Young People’s Concert. He studied with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School.
Mr. Nikkanen regularly receives invitations from the leading orchestras and presenters in the USA and Europe, and has toured Japan and the Far East. He has worked with many of the world’s leading conductors, including Hirokami, Jarvi, Kreizberg, Fischer, Litton, and Nelsons. In North America he has appeared with the Dallas Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestra, and in Europe with the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Dresden Staatskapelle. He has also appeared with the Belgian National Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony and the orchestra of RAI Turin, Orchestra of Galicia, the Bilbao Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Nikkanen has given acclaimed performances of the Dvorak concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and Vladimir Ashkenazy, both in Prague and on tour in the USA, with concerts in New York and Chicago.
An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music, Kurt Nikkanen has given numerous performances of the John Adams Violin Concerto, with orchestras such as the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Oregon Symphony, Hallé Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony (all under the composer’s direction).
With the National Chamber Orchestra of Washington, Kurt Nikkanen recorded Steven R. Gerber’s violin concerto, which was written for him, for Koch International. Mr Nikkanen performed the world premiere of Mikko Heinio’s Concerto Alla Madre, subsequently recording it for Sony Classical with the Turku Philharmonic under Petri Sakari and released to great acclaim in 2010. His live recording of William Walton’s Violin Concerto with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra was released on the Nimbus Alliance label, and was a Gramophone Magazine “Critic’s Choice” selection in 2010.
The German baritone, Marco Vassalli was born of Italian roots. He grew up on Lake Constance and began his singing studies in 1997 at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. Since 1999, he studied there with Kammersängerin Professor Edda Moser. In October 2002, he ﬁnished his graduate studies there with honours. For some time he worked with Maria Baldauf in Zürich. He received Master-classes with Nico Castel (New York), Peter Schreier (Dresden), Christa Ludwig (Villecroze) and Hans Sotin (Munich).
Even before the start of his singing studies in Cologne, Marco Vassalli stood on the concert podium. Meanwhile he was acquired a wide repertoire of oratorios, cantatas, Passions and masses, such as “Matthäus-Passion BWV 244”, “Magniﬁcat BWV 243”, “Weihnachtsoratorium BWV 248” by J.S. Bach. “Die Schöpfung” by J.Haydn, “Messiah” by G.F. Handel, “Requiem” by G. Fauré, G. Verdi and Maurice Duruﬂé. A concert tour with J.S. Bach’s “Johannes-Passion BWV 245” led him from the Morgenlandfestivals Osnabrück to Tehran in Iran and with Lindbergs “Requiem” to Syria and Jordania.
His other stations were: Hoher Dom zu Osnabrück, Philharmonie Köln, Berliner Dom and the Beethovenhalle Bonn. His lieder recitals have been with received excellent resonance and artistic recognition by both the public and the press. Above all, Marco Vassalli is at home on the opera stage; guest engagements have led him, among others venues, to the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Dresdner Festspiele, the Opernhaus Köln, the Teatro Poliziano in Montequlciano, the Mecklenburgische Staatstheater Schwerin, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, Staatsoper Hannover and the Istanbul State Opera. His main roles include: Papageno (Zauberﬂöte), Conte Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Marcello (La Bohème), Dottor Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Wolfram von Eschenbach (Tannhäuser), Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Marchese di Posa (Don Carlo), Pelleas (Pelleas et Melisande), Count Danilo (Lustige Witwe), Edwin (Csardasfürstin), Graf Réné (Graf von Luxemburg) and Gabriel von Eisenstein (Fledermaus).
In May 2004 he sang under the baton of Thomas Hengelbrock in Verdi’s “Rigoletto” in the staging of Philippe Arlaud the Count of Ceprano (production of ZDF/3sat under the “Herbert von Karajan-Festspiele” at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden). Also at the Festspielhaus BadenBaden he sang 4.Knappe in Richard Wagner’s Parsifal (DVD-production of RM-Productions), the musical director was Kent Nagano, the work was staged by Nikolaus Lehnhoff. In September 2005 he appeared at the Internationale Beethovenfest in bonn in an aria concert with the WDR-Rundfunkorchester under the baton of Helmuth Froschauer on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the death of Thomas Mann.
From October 2003 to August 2005 Marco Vassalli was a member of the Opernstudio der Deutschen Oper am Rhein Düssledorf. Here he sang, among other things, Schlemihl/Hermann in “Hoffmanns Erzählungen“ and Papageno form Mozart’s “Zauberﬂöte“ both in production by Christof Loy. From September 2006 to August 2012 he was an ensemble member of the Städtischen Bühnen Osnabrück. Here he sang next to various huge/large Fachpartien a lot of Uraufführungen such as: “Neda, der Ruf” von Nader Mashayekhi, “Operette” von Mario Wiegand. “Rotkäppchen, lauf” und “Schön, schöner Schneewittchen” in cooporation with the Adevantgarde Festival in Munich. In the season 2015/2016 Marco Vassalli will sing at the Staatsoper Hannover in Leonard Bernsteins “Candide” as well as “Roman Cycowski” in “Comedian Harmonists” at the Theater Osnabrück and gives his US debut in a recital with the world premiere of songs by Clint Borzoni.
Amos Yang - Associate Principal Cellist, San Francisco Symphony -
Amos Yang holds bachelor's and master's degrees from The Juilliard School of Music. He is the Assistant Principal cellist for the San Francisco Symphony. He has performed as a soloist andchamber musician throughout the U.S., the FarEast and Europe, induding performances at theAspen Music Festival, the American Academy in Rome, Wigmore Hall and Alice Tully Hall. He has also collaborated in chamber music with the YingQuartet, the Turtle Island String Quartet, pianists Ann Schein and Melvin Chen, violinist Earl Carlyss and composer Bright Sheng. Yang's awards include the performer's Certificate at EastmanSchool of Music and first prizes in the American String Teacher's Association and Grace Vamoscompetitions. He was finalist in the Pierre FoumierInternational Cello Competition and was awardedthe CD Jackson Prize at the Tanglewood Music Festival for outstanding musical contribution. Ascellist of the Maia String Quartet from 1996-2002,Yang was involved in many educational programs, performing throughout the country for schools under the auspices of such organizationsas Arts Excel, Young Audieoces Inc and the Midori Foundation. During this time he alsoserved on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Iowa, Grinnell College and the lnterlochen Advanced String Quartet Institute.