Our J.S. Bach and Johannes Brahms in Belvedere ‘ordinaryextraordinary’ event in a beautiful home in Belvedere, California. North Dakota cellist Erik Anderson and pianist Dianna Anderson performed with violist Ruth Kahn and violinist René Mandel.
- Piano -
Pianist, Dr. Dianna Anderson demonstrates a rare combination of scholarship and virtuosity, performing frequently as a solo recitalist and collaborator, her repertoire ranging from classical standards to new music. As a founding member of the piano trio, Luminus, with violinist Dr. Jon Rumney, and cellist Dr. Erik Anderson, she has performed hundreds of concerts bringing the intimate art of chamber music to stages throughout the Midwest. Also with cellist, Erik Anderson, she has a more than 20-year relationship as a duo, performing recitals across the US and in Canada.
Much sought-after as a collaborator, she performs regularly with various musical groups, including the Minot Symphony Orchestra, Western Plains Opera Company, her colleagues at Minot State University as well as guest artists. Recent highlights include collaborative performances with the Ying Quartet and a series of concerts given in Minot, ND of the complete works for cello and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven with cellists Yehuda Hanani and Erik Anderson. She has recently been a featured soloist with the North State Symphony, Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, Minot Symphony Orchestra, and the Bismarck-Mandan Youth Symphony.
A passionate educator, she teaches piano, piano pedagogy, and collaborative piano at Minot State University, as well as maintaining a studio of young pianists. She frequently adjudicates regional festivals and competitions and is on faculty at Dakota Chamber Music and International Music Camp. Her degrees are from the University of Idaho, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where her principle instructors were Jay Mauchley and Frank Weinstock.
An avid runner, Dr. Anderson has run numerous marathons. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, back-packing, and gardening. She lives in a home designed based on Brahms’ Intermezzo Op. 118, No. 2, with her husband, four sons, two yellow labs and cat.
- Violin -
René was born in Los Angeles, where he began his violin studies with Manuel Compinsky. At the age of 14, he performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Calvin Simmons. He attended Indiana University, studying with Josef Gingold, after which he studied with Stuart Canin at UC Santa Barbara, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in music. At the age of 20, René became a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Gerard Schwartz, later becoming the ensemble’s principal second violin under conductor Iona Brown.
René was a founding member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra and was its principal second violin from 1993 to 2000. He later served on NCCO’s board and was co-chair of the music director search, which brought Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg to the organization. In addition to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, René has been a soloist with the LA Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and the Knoxville Symphony. As an orchestral violinist, he has performed and toured with the San Francisco Symphony and the LA Philharmonic. An active chamber musician, René has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe. In addition to his performing career, René was involved in the Motion Picture and Television recording industry for over 25 years.
From 2009 to 2011, René held the position of Director of Artistic Operations and Executive Producer at Montréal Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Kent Nagano. In 2008, Mandel was music production consultant and orchestra manager for the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage inaugural performance in Santa Monica with co-directors Kent Nagano and Dustin Ho man, where he implemented the music director’s artistic concept for this world-premiere theatrical event involving multimedia, actors, and soloists.
- 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
- Cello -
As a cellist, bassist, conductor and teacher, Erik Anderson’s charismatic personality and thoughtful approach to music engages audiences of all ages and musical tastes. Whether in pre-concert lectures for the Minot Symphony Orchestra, presentations in public school classrooms, or on stages from the Great Plains to Europe, he communicates not only an infectious curiosity and deep respect for the music he performs—from AC/DC to Zeppelin, Baroque to Contemporary—but also a passion for education and exploration.
A native of Washington State, he began his cello studies at the age of three, earned his BM and MM from the University of Idaho, and completed his DMA at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His principal teachers have been Wayne C. Smith, William Wharton, and Yehuda Hanani. In 2003, after seven years as a free-lance cellist, assistant conductor, and business owner in Cincinnati, OH, he joined the faculty at Minot State University (Minot, ND) where he currently resides with his wife and four sons as a Full Professor of Music and Chair of the Division. He plays on a modern Italian instrument, made by Riccardo Bergonzi in Cremona in 2006. Apart from music, Dr. Anderson loves to cook, golf, cross-country ski, play games with the family, and chase any type of ball as though his life depended on it.
Anderson is particularly active with the music of JS Bach, highlighted by the Unaccompanied Suites BWV 1007-12, central to his graduate study with renowned performer and pedagogue Yehuda Hanani. Over the past two years he was featured as a performer, clinician, or lecturer on the music of Bach in San Francisco and Chico, CA, Grand Forks, ND, Las Vegas, NV, Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany, Drake University in Iowa, and twice with the Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas in Cincinnati, OH. Recent lecture-performances include Six Preludes, Six Stories and OrdinaryExtraOrdinary, the latter an exploration of Bach’s life and music as a bridge connecting disparate worlds, using Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher Bach as a point of departure. Characterized by spontaneity as a player and speaker, his favorite performing situation involves programs of music where both topic and musical selections evolve in conversation with the audience, seated just a few feet away. In the Spring of 2016, he was granted a one-semester sabbatical to study and record the Bach suites; many of these are currently available on his Soundcloud profile: fourstringcntrpnt.
Ruth Kahn, Artistic Director | Mark Furr, Culinary Director
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