The Concertmaster’s Concert was in the beautiful former home of Ansel Adams, in Sea Cliff, San Francisco. The concert included New York City Ballet Concertmaster Kurt Nikkanen and pianist Maria Asteriadou presenting the West Coast Premiere of Mitropoulos’s “Ostinata”. In addition, Juilliard Alumni Sarn Oliver, Angela Lee, and violist Ruth Kahn performed Schumann Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major and Zoltan Kodaly Serenade for two violins and viola.
- Viola -
A graduate of The Juilliard School and native of the San Francisco Bay Area, violist Ruth Ellen Kahn, has performed extensively on both coasts. Her chamber music experience includes performing with such eminent artists as, Cynthia Phelps, Shmuel Ashkenazi, Maurice Bourgue, the Miro String Quartet, and the Colorado String Quartet among others. She has received numerous awards, prizes and critical acclaim, as well as invitations to perform for such organizations as the New York Viola Society and at Hertz Hall in Berkeley, California. She has also performed as soloist with the Mexico City Philharmonic and the New England Symphonic Ensemble.
Ruth has been artistic director of two chamber music series in both New York and New Jersey, one of which resulted in a recital in Carnegie Recital Hall. Ms Kahn performed with the New York City Ballet Orchestra for nearly 20 years, before relocating back to the Bay Area. Among the many other orchestras with which she has played are the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New York City Opera Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, the Carmel Bach Festival, and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Ruth is also an accomplished violinist, and the co-concertmaster of The Russian Chamber Orchestra of the Bay Area.
Internationally, Ruth has toured with the New England Symphonic and New York Chamber Ensembles to Morocco, Israel and Jordan, where they performed for the Royal Families. In addition, she has been invited numerous times to attend the Spoleto Festival in Italy and Charleston, N.C.
Ms. Kahn is very active in the area of viola and violin pedagogy and has been the assistant to Paul Doktor at the Juilliard School, taught master classes and has maintains a private studio in Marin County CA.. She has been on the faculty at U.C. Berkeley, The Marin Waldorf School and San Domenico. She is currently on the viola faculty at Interharmony Music Festival in Italy.
Her teachers have included Karen Tuttle, Paul Doktor, Heiichiro Ohyama, Louis Kievman, and the world-renowned violist, William Primrose.
“The viola recital by Ruth Kahn showed off the naturally rich sound of her instrument..Kahn let loose with a welter of secure technical passages and produced double-stops that were vibrantly in tune, Kahn sunk into the dark sound of her viola and pulled the harmonies out with full color.”
-Paul Somers, Classical New Jersey
- Violin -
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.
- Violin -
Violinist and Composer, Sarn Oliver has performed as Soloist, Chamber Musician, and Recitalist throughout the United States, Hawaii, Russia, Europe and Japan. He has recorded violin Concertos with Montpellier Chamber Orchestra in France as well as numerous CD’s in the States. His performances have been broadcast in NY, Sacramento, Hawaii and Japan. He is presently a member of the San Francisco Symphony and his previous positions included Concertmaster of Santa Cruz Symphony and Principle Second of Sacramento Symphony.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Oliver founded Tilden Trio with Cellist Peter Wyrick and Pianist June Oh as well as creating Tangled Duo with San Francisco Symphony Violinist Mariko Smiley. He has performed with the Craftsbury Chamber Players, Elko Chamber players, Ebb and Flow music in Maui and has been active in supporting arts organizations by donating performances to organizations like, The Open String and Música Marin.
Mr. Oliver created the record Label, SarnWorks to promote contemporary Classical music as well as chamber music and has produced, engineered and performed on numerous CD’s produced by SarnWorks. In the Bay area, Sarn Oliver often performs with his symphony colleagues on the SFS Chamber series, Chamber Music Sundaes, and at UCSF’s Cole Hall.
A very active composer, Mr. Oliver’s works have been performed in the United States, Japan, Russia and now a new commission for a solo piano work that will be performed in Seoul, Korean in November 2018.
Mr. Oliver began his violin studies with Elmar Olivera and Ron Neal. He went on to receive his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School where his teachers included Sally Thomas, Ivan Galamian, Felix Galimir and others. He taught at the Juilliard Pre-College and at MeadowMount as an assistant to Sally Thomas as well as instructing violin at U.C.Berkeley, U.C.Davis, U.O.P.Stockton and privately.
Mr. Oliver is also an very active Painter as well as a Violin and Bow maker.
- Cello -
Angela Lee has performed recitals in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Victor Borge Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, Chicago’s Cultural Center, The Phillip’s Collection and KennedyCenter in Washington, D.C., Copenhagen’sNationalmuseet, and the Purcell Room at South Bank Centre in London. A graduate of The Juilliard School and Yale School of Music, she is a recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to study in London with William Pleeth, a grant from the Foundation for American Musicians in Europe, the Jury Prize in the Naumburg International Cello Competition, and a cello performance fellowship from the American-Scandinavian Foundation. She is frequently invited to festivals including St. Petersburg’s Revelations, IMS at Prussia Cove, Taipei Summer Festival, Pontino Festival, La Musica, Banff, Marlboro Music Festival, Anneberg Festival, Chelsea Music Festival, Music Mountain, Mahler-Jihlava Festival, and Mainly Mozart collaborating with Nobuko Imai, Bruno Giuranna, Frans Helmerson, Isabelle Faust, Lydia Artymiw, Andras Schiff, Alexander Lonquich, Anthony Newman, Franco Petracchi, and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and Guarneri Quartet.
- Piano -
A native of Greece, Maria Asteriadou is an acclaimed soloist and chamber musician highly praised by the New York Times as an artist with intense personality, virtuosic flair and beautiful tone.
Maria Asteriadou has performed in major halls throughout the United States and Canada as well as Austria, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Germany. Her orchestral engagements include appearances with the Moscow Radio Symphony, Academy of St. Martin of the Fields, OrpheusChamber Orchestra, National SymphonyOrchestra of Costa Rica, Stuttgart Kamerata,Luxembourg Philharmonia, Bucharest ChamberOrchestra, Iasi Philharmonic Romania, Manhattan School Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Chamber Academy, Athens StateOrchestra, as well as the Thessaloniki State and City Orchestras.Her love for her native Greece and her enthusiasm for new music have resultedin prestigious premieres of works by many of Greece’s most important composers,including Manos Hadzidakis, Perikles Koukos, Dimitri Mitropoulos,Emilios Riadis, Christos Samaras, Yiorgos Sicilianos, Nikos Skalkottas, as well as American-born Greek composer George Tsontakis.
The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, Maria Asteriadou won first prizein performance from the State Conservatory in Greece, and the top prize inthe Maria Callas International Piano Competition. Maria Asteriadou enjoysthe distinction of being the only pianist selected from the Musik Hochschulein Freiburg to perform in honor of the composer-conductor Pierre Boulez in Baden-Baden, Germany. Both her Geneva debut recital and her debut at WeillHall in New York’s Carnegie Hall were greeted with rave reviews. In 1992 shewon the Dora Zaslovsky piano competition at the Manhattan School of Musicin New York, and was subsequently chosen to collaborate with renowned conductor Christopher Keene in a critically acclaimed performance of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto.
Ruth Kahn, Artistic Director | Mark Furr, Culinary Director
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