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.”Close
-Paul Somers, Classical New Jersey
Mr. Borzoni is the current Composer-in-Residence for Musica Marin, a nonprofit organization that presents, supports and inspires classical music throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
He studied with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici at the City University of New York where he received an MA in Music Composition. He lives and works as a composer and teacher in New York City. is an award winning composer whose “highly original yet lyrical music…[and] natural gift for melody and harmonic structure” (The Huffington Post) has resulted in international performances and premieres.
He has collaborated with librettist John de los Santos on the opera When Adonis Calls, which will premiere at Ashville Lyric Opera this May. It will also receive a production by the Thompson Street Opera (Chicago) this November, and was previously presented at Fort Worth Opera’s 2015 Frontiers Festival and Opera America’s New Works Forum in 2017. Their second opera,The Copper Queen, won the top prize for Arizona Opera’s commission program, Arizona SPARK, and is currently being developed by Arizona Opera. Excerpts were recently performed at the American Lyric Theater’s Alumni Concert at the Morgan Library & Museum, and a third workshop is slated for April of 2018 at Opera America. Other operatic works include Margot Alone in the Light, an adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s story All Summer in a Day (premiered by operamission (2009) and subsequently produced by Opera On Tap); and Antinous and Hadrian, originally conceived of in the American Opera Projects Composer and the Voice Series and later commissioned by operamission.
Mr. Borzoni has composed songs and song cycles for many leading vocalists. He won BARIHUNKS Best New Song (2015), Best New Solo Work for Baritone (2017), and was a winner of Sparks & Wiry Cries Second annual NYC songSLAM, and operamission’s cabaret song competition. Borzoni’s additional honors include the Morton Feldman Award, the Boston Metro Opera Festival Award, an artist residency with the American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program (2009), the Queer Urban Orchestra’s 2018 composition contest winner, and an associate producer credit for Patricia Racette’s CD Diva on Detour.
In addition to composing opera, art song, and concert music, he wrote the music for the musical My Life as a Bald Soprano which received an Off-Broadway run at the Midtown International Theater Festival. Borzoni has also scored two films for the production company JR VISION, which were featured at the Take Two Film Festival, the Miami Short Film Festival, and Anthology Film Archives. His music has been presented by the Merola Opera Program, the Glimmerglass Festival, the Bay View Music Festival, the Wintergreen Festival, the Summer Street Festival, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the U.S. embassy in Switzerland, La MaMA, Symphony Space, the Laurie Beechman Theatre, Opera Grows in Brooklyn, the New York Youth Symphony, Expositions :: SLC concert series, the Walt Whitman Project, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music, the Mannes School of Music, and many more venues and universities. He has recently been commissioned by Arizona Opera, the Delaware Art Museum, the Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band, the Gavin Dillard Poetry Library & Archive, and the Foundation for the Advancement of Baritones.Close
Born in Turin, Hans Liviabella hails from a family of musicians. His great-great-grandfather was a student of Rossini, his great-grandfather a capellmeister, his grandfather a composer and his father a violist with whom he commenced his violin studies at the age of four.
He completed a degree in violin performance at the G. Verdi Conservatory in Milan under the guidance of Christine Anderson. He continued his studies with Salvatore Accardo at the Accademia W. Stauffer in Cremona and with Dora Schwarzberg at the Musikhochschule in Vienna. During his studies with the latter, he was chosen among the best students of his generation to perform at a direct radio-broadcast concert in Moscow dedicated to the memory of the famous Russian pedagogue Yankelevich.
Having been heard perform by Gidon Kremer, Hans was recommended to further his education with Maya Glesarova in Moscow. His formation also included studies with Stefan Gheorghiu, Franco Gulli and the Trio di Trieste on a DeSono Association (Turin, Italy) scholarship.
Hans Liviabella is a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and has been playing with them since 1992. He was invited by Claudio Abbado to play with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and the Orchestra Mozart of Bologna. He also collaborated as principal with the Filarmonica della Scala and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
He is the first violin of the Quartetto Energie Nove, an ensemble which regularly collaborates with, among others, A. Lonquich, I. Pogorelich, V. Mendelssohn and J. Rachlin. The quartet has appeared on numerous radio and TV broadcasts on RTSI (Swiss National TV) and has a regular discographical output with the record label Dynamic.
Hans is the Principal 2nd Violin with the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana with whom he also performes regularly as soloist. Latest performances include the Prokofiev Violin Concerto with Alain Lombard and recordings of the concertos by Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de St. Georges (Op. 7 no. 2, world premiere), A. Casella, Lino Liviabella and G. F. Malipiero for the Forlane record label.
Hans Liviabella plays violins by A. Stradivari (1708) and G. Cappa (1702).Close
Cellist Jeffrey Solow’s impassioned and compelling playing has enthralled audiences throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia as a recitalist, soloist, chamber musician and teacher. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he studied with the distinguished cellist Gabor Rejto and earned a degree in Philosophy magna cum laude from UCLA while studying with and then assisting the legendary Gregor Piatigorsky.
Mr. Solow’s repertoire encompasses performances of more than 40 solo works with orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic (also at the Hollywood Bowl), Japan Philharmonic, Prime Symphony (Korea), VNOB (Hanoi), Seattle Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the American Symphony (with whom he also recorded) and he has been guest artist at many national and international chamber music festivals. He has recorded on the Columbia, New World, ABC, Centaur, Delos, Kleos, Laurel, Everest, and Telefunken labels and received two Grammy Award nominations.
In addition to performing, Mr. Solow’s editions are published by Breitkopf, IMC, Peters, Latham, Ovation, and Henle Urtext and his articles and reviews can be found in The Strad, Strings, and American String Teacher magazines. He is editor of the Newsletter of the Violoncello Society, Inc. of NY, the nation’s second oldest cello society, and serves as VCS president. Recognized as an authority on healthy and efficient cello playing, Jeffrey Solow is professor of cello at Temple University in Philadelphia. He is past president of the American String Teachers Association, chair of ASTA’s National Solo Competition, and has served on their Executive Board.
Cellist Jeffrey Solow’s impassioned and compelling playing has enthralled audiences throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia as a recitalist, soloist, chamber musician and teacher. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he studied with the distinguished cellist Gabor Rejto and earned a degree in Philosophy magna cum laude from UCLA while studying with and then assisting the legendary Gregor Piatigorsky.Close
Classically trained from age four, Krista Strader holds a Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance from Biola University, where she graduated Cum Laude and was awarded the Outstanding String Musician Honor for two consecutive years. Krista has performed for international royalty and heads of state, Hollywood celebrities, government dignitaries Arnold Schwarzenegger, Colin Powell, and the family of President Nixon. In 2017, Krista was invited to perform for the VIP opening reception of Museum Barberini located in Potsdam, Germany. Special guests included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
An orchestral and solo harpist, Krista has performed with many professional music groups and organizations around the Bay Area, including the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, Sacramento Metropolitan Orchestra, All-American Boys Chorus, Cambrian Symphony, Napa Valley Symphony, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, and Lamplighters Theatre Company. Krista has been the featured harpist with the Mark Thallander Foundation, with guest conductor John Rutter. She has also enjoyed roles as Principal Harpist and concerto soloist with the William Lock Singers and Orchestra.Close
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.Close
Ivan Vukčević is the Solo Viola of the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland), a position he has held since 2002. He is also a founder and violist of the internationally renowned Quartetto Energie Nove, with whom he has recorded critically acclaimed Janáček and Prokofiev quartets for Dynamic. Since 2012, he is a Professor of Viola at the International Menuhin Music Academy, Gstaad, Switzerland.
As a soloist, he has performed the most important works from the viola repertoire and his performances have been broadcast throughout the world. Ivan has appeared as a soloist with ensembles in Australia and Europe, such as the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (Norway), Camerata Menuhin, Camerata Lysy Gstaad (Switzerland), Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Montenegrin Symphony Orchestra, Chernivtsi Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine) and the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland). With the latter, he has recorded the Harold in Italy by H. Berlioz, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (with the violinist Klaidi Sahatci) and B. Bartók’s Viola Concerto under the batton of Alain Lombard.
Ivan’s particular interest in contemporary music saw him premiere numerous compositions and receive dedications from notable composers. Ivan’s orchestral engagements included a tenure as Co-Principal Violist of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (Norway) from 2001 to 2002, and the Solo Viola position with the Sinfonieorchester Basel in 2008. While a student, he was also regularly a guest violist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Ivan Vukčević is a former student of the Victorian College of the Arts, a First Class Honours graduate of the University of Western Australia and a graduate of the International Menuhin Music Academy, Gstaad. While at university, Vukčević was the winner of the 1998 Vose Concerto Prize, having performed Béla Bartók’s Viola Concerto with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. He also won first prizes in several chamber music competitions, including the 1996 Margaret Bello Prize and the 1995 West Australian Chamber Music Competition. During this time, Ivan Vukčević was the Principal Violist of the Australian Youth Orchestra and Camerata Australia, touring throughout the world with these groups from 1996 to 1998.
In 1997 he was awarded several scholarships including the Youth Music Australia Opportunity Grant and the University of Western Australia Travelling Scholarship. After his undergraduate studies, Ivan Vukčević completed a performance course at the International Menuhin Music Academy in 2001, having studied with Prof. Alberto Lysy and Prof. Johannes Eskaer. During his studies at this school he was also the principal violist of the Camerata Lysy Gstaad.
He regularly appears as a soloist and in chamber formations in some of the most important festivals in Europe, such as the Gstaad Music Festival and the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. In 2001, he was the winner of the Köckert Viola Competition (Zurich, Switzerland). Ivan Vukčević plays on a rare 1753 C. F. Landolfi viola and a 1991 F. Bissolotti instrument.Close
Stephanie Chase is internationally recognized as “one of the violin greats of our era” (Newhouse Newspapers) through solo appearances with over 170 orchestras that include the New York and Hong Kong Philharmonics and the Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and London Symphony Orchestras. Her interpretations are acclaimed for their "elegance, dexterity, rhythmic vitality and great imagination" (Boston Globe), "stunning power" (Louisville Courier-Journal), "matchless technique" (BBC Music Magazine), and “virtuosity galore” (Gramophone).
A top medalist of the prestigious VII International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Ms. Chase has performed concerts in twenty-five countries throughout the world and is a recipient of the esteemed Avery Fisher Career Grant. In recent seasons her performances have been selected as a “Classical Act of the Decade” (Courier-Journal, Louisville), one of "20 Concerts to Hear this Fall" (WQXR) and “Critics' Choice” (Musical America).
Equally at home in the virtuoso's repertoire, historically informed performance practice and contemporary music, Ms. Chase offers a diverse repertoire of over 60 concertos and large works for violin and orchestra. Her recordings include Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, which is “one of the twenty most outstanding performances in the work's recorded history” (“Beethoven: Violin Concerto;” Cambridge University Press) and honored with the highest possible ratings by BBC Music Magazine and Classic CD, including “Record of the Month.”
Born in Illinois, Stephanie Chase’s early violin teachers were her mother and Sally Thomas, and she was renowned as a child prodigy through concert performances starting at age two. She made her debut with the Chicago Symphony at eight and began extensive national concert touring while in her early teens. Following her Carnegie Hall debut at eighteen, she studied violin privately with Arthur Grumiaux and chamber music at the Marlboro Festival.
Ms. Chase often performs in the dual roles of violin soloist and conductor, and she is a favorite guest of chamber music festivals such as Bravo! Vail, Bargemusic, Newport (RI), and Caramoor. Highlights of the last season include performing at Lincoln Center as soloist on Baroque violin with the America Classical Orchestra, and her 2018 summer festival appearances included numerous performances for Newport Music, the Mt. Desert Festival of Chamber Music, the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music, and the Vietnam Connection Music Festival, with concerts as soloist in Saigon and Hanoi.Close
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.Close
Flutist Deborah Harris has served as Principal Flute with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony for the past 29 years. This season, she was featured as a soloist with harpist, Yolanda Kondonassis, performing Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto. Past orchestral positions include Breckenridge Music Institute (CO), and Peoria Symphony.
Harris joined the faculty of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, as Associate Professor of Flute in 2001, where she currently teaches studio flute, and coaches chamber music.
An active chamber musician, she is a member of the flute, sax, piano trio, Excelsior! Trio. The Trio has performed at the World Saxophone Congress in Scotland, the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, in Faenza, Italy, and at the National Flute Association Convention in Anaheim, CA. The Trio was named “Class Notes Artists” by Minnesota Public Radio, and presented concerts throughout Minnesota to 2,500 elementary students.
As a member of the flute-guitar duo, Harris-Coates Duo, she released three CDs under the Barking Dog Records label. About their CD “Dances in the Madhouse,” New Millenium Guitar writes, “This music is simply ravishing, exquisitely arranged and played with all the tenderness and exuberance the music requires.” Flute Talk Magazine writes, “Harris plays beautifully, has a facile technique, and a smoothly-singing legato. Her intonation is impeccable.”
Recent guest artist engagements include the VI, VII, and VIII, Festival de Flauta Traversa in Honduras, the Syrinx Flute Festival in Winnipeg, the Big Flute Festival in Dublin, InterHarmony Music Festival in Italy, Soiva Music Camp in the US and Finland, and the International Music Camp.Close
Carla Kaufman is a bassist with vast experience in classical and jazz genres.
As a jazz player she has performed as a sideman for such luminaries as Michael Greensill, Wesla Whitfield, Denise Perrier, Ed Reed, Calvin Keys, Benny Watson, David Udolf, Clark Terry, Maria Muldaur, Noel Jewkes, George Cole, Donald Duck Bailey ,Jules Broussard, John Capobianco Big Band, the Downbeat award winning vocal group "Jazzology" and many more.
She also has played in many of the "Freeway Philharmonic" orchestras including the Berkeley Symphony, The Women's Philharmonic, California Symphony, Russian Chamber Orchestra, Vallejo Symphony, and Musica Marin.Close
American Mezzo-Soprano Diana Tash appears in both operatic roles onstage, and as a featured soloist, gain- ing popularity in recital with renowned pianist Armen Guzelimian. Recent performances include a recital with NY Philharmonic principal violist Cynthia Phelps in Los Angeles and a performance at the Boston Court with the California String Quartet in May 2016. March 4th, 2016 Ms Tash performed as the mezzo soloist with the Los Angeles Dream orchestra in Rossini’s Stabat Mater. September 30, 2014, Tash along with famed countertenor Brian Asawa released their new baroque recording, “Spirits of the air.” Her varied career has spanned both the soprano and mezzo repertoire. Performances in 2014 include the role of Annina in La Traviata with the Pacific Symphony and as well as a tour to Guadalajara to perform The Baroque Project pro- gram in concert with countertenor Brian Asawa at the Festival de Mayo. Preceding this, includes performing two new songs by Composer Ian Krouse with the Debussy Trio and performing the World premiere “Sacred Transitions” with LA Philharmonic violinist Mitchell Newman by composer Russell Steinberg . Past perfor- mances include a 2013 Collegiate Tour in Tennessee and Mississippi with award winning composer Maria Newman; singing the alto solos with The Santa Barbara Chorale Society in Handel’s Messiah in December 2012; with Long Beach Opera In Medea in 2011 and at Sacramento Opera as Medoro in Orlando in No- vember 2010.
Solo performances (with Guzelimian at the piano) include her Carnegie Hall Recital in 2008, and her Los Angeles recital at Zipper Hall in 2006, a live recording of which was released as the full-length CD “Diana Tash In Recital” in March 2009 with LML Records. In 2012 Tash performed along with Guzelimian and NY Philharmonic principal violist Cynthia Phelps at MAHMA in Malibu, CA and in a recital with Guzelimian for Santa Barbara Opera in December 2011. In September 2011, Ms Tash was joined by countertenor Brian Asawa and pianist Armen Guzelimian in a Duo Recital at the Colburn School , and in October 2011, a mini tour of The Baroque Project was performed in San Francisco and Los Angeles with countertenor Brian Asawa.
Her mezzo stage work has been hailed as “radiant” by the LA Times, “stylish” by the San Diego Union and “skillful” by the NY times. She is a Southern California radio favorite, having recurred for many years (as both mezzo and soprano) on “Sundays Live at LACMA” on KCSN 88.5FM. The Japanese Website, Opera Japonica, calls Diana’s singing “honeyed” and “colorful.”Solo work in ‘09 has included Mendelssohn’s Elijah with LA Master Chorale at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and a rare performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Jeremiah (for mezzo- soprano and orchestra) with The Akron Symphony in Ohio. She has performed the Mozart Requiem in ’09 and ’08, and the Bach Magnificat in ’07, all with the Santa Barbara Chorale Society, and covered the mezzo role in John Adam's El Niño for the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2005. Mezzo roles include Mercedes in Carmen at LA Opera, conducted by Placido Domingo in’04. With Long Beach Opera ‘03, she sang Ariadne in Milhaud’s L'Abandon d'Ariadne, and Mastrilla in Offenbach’s La Peri- chole. Other credits include The Magic Flute, at both San Diego Opera and Opera Pacific. In a pair of trousers, audiences have seen her as Hansel, in Hansel und Gretel at San Luis Obispo Opera ‘06, and as Os- car in Un Ballo in Maschera with LA Opera ‘93.Diana’s past soprano work includes roles in: Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Entfürung aus dem Serial, L'Italiana in Algeria and Cosí fan Tutte—all performed during her years as a resident artist with LA Opera. At the Alderburgh Festival in Suffolk, England, she sang soprano roles in Elegy for Young Lovers (English Libretto) and in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. Work at the Aspen Music Festival included Mozart's Idomeneo, with Lawrence Foster conducting, and Coronation Mass, with Joel Revzen conducting. Her soprano work in Lukas Foss' Song of Songs with the LA Jewish Sym- phony won critical reviews from the LA Times, who remarked that she sang “with point.”
Diana is a graduate of USC's Thornton School of Music, was a winner at the Metropolitan Opera's Western Regional Auditions, and has a Masters Degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York.Close
Jack Dorsey, drummer, is a native New Yorker who arrived on the San Francisco music scene in 1968.
He has performed and recorded internationally with such diverse artists as; Little Anthony, Macy Blackman, The Coasters, The Crests, Jose Feliciano, Bobby Freeman, Etta Jones, Ed Kelly, Buddy Miles, The Oakland Jazz Choir, Denise Perrier, Khalil Shaheed, Lavay Smith, and Jimmy Witherspoon.
Jack has recorded numerous television theme scores, commercials and motion picture soundtracks for 20th Century Fox, Zoetrope, and Skywalker Ranch. He has performed drums & percussion for SF theatre productions including Gary Trudeau’s Rap Master Ronnie. He's taught the basics of drums and rhythm throughout the SF School Dist. with the SF Symphony’s Adventures in Music Program, in East Bay schools with Michael Morgan, Conductor of the Oakland East Bay Symphony, and continues to teach and perform with the Oaktown Jazz Workshop.
Jack has been the Mighty Fines' drummer since the band's inception in 2003.Close
Mads Tolling, internationally renowned violinist and composer, is a two-time Grammy Award-Winner and the 2016 DownBeat Critics Poll Rising Star winning violinist. As a former nine year member of both Turtle Island Quartet and bassist Stanley Clarke’s band, Mads has spent most his professional life touring internationally. Since 2007 Mads has lead his own group, Mads Tolling Quartet. “The Playmaker” released in the fall of 2009, features Stanley Clarke and jazz greats Russell Ferrante & Stefon Harris. A MTQ album: “Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty – Live at Yoshi’s” was released in May, 2012. Mads’ latest album is called “Mads Tolling & The Mads Men – Playing the 60s,” which features classic songs from TV, film and radio in fresh jazzy versions with guest vocalists Kenny Washington and Spencer Day. Mads has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, and his recordings have received rave reviews in Downbeat Magazine, Strings Magazine, Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. He has performed with Chick Corea, Ramsey Lewis, Kenny Barron & Paquito D’Rivera.
For nine years in Turtle Island Quartet, Mads spent most of his professional life on the road or in the recording studio. In ‘06 and ‘08 as part of Turtle Island Quartet Mads won two Grammy Awards for Best Classical Crossover album with the recordings “4+Four” and “A Love Supreme – The Legacy of John Coltrane.” In 2015 with Turtle Island, he received a Grammy nomination collaborating with Mike Marshall. Mads is the winner of the 2016 DownBeat Critics Poll Rising Star Violin Award. Mads has received Denmark’s Sankt Annae’s Award for Musical Excellence as well as grants from Queen Margaret, Sonning Foundation and the Berklee Elvin Jones Award.
In 2007 Mads Tolling started his own trio and immediately recorded the album “Speed of Light.” The following year the trio expanded to a quartet. Today, 10 years later the quartet is still going strong, and in it are some of the top Bay Area musicians, including Colin Hogan on piano, Sam Bevan on bass and Eric Garland on drums.
Mads Tolling Quartet has performed all over the U.S including Yoshi’s San Francisco & Oakland, Herbst Theatre, Russian River Jazz Festival, Yerba Buena Gardens, Grass Valley Performance Arts, Blues Alley in Washington DC, Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, Monterey Jazz Festival and many venues large and small across the US.
Mads grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark and moved to the U.S. at the age of 20 to pursue jazz studies. He studied under violinist Matt Glaser, and he graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2003. While still attending Berklee, the renowned jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty recommended Mads to join Stanley Clarke’s band. Since then, Mads performed more than one hundred concerts with Clarke worldwide, including the Newport Jazz Festival and the Hollywood Bowl and appears on Clarke’s album: “Toys of Men.”
Besides his activities as a performer, Mads Tolling is an accomplished composer. In addition to his original writing on his albums, Mads arranged one of his compositions for saxophonist Joe Lovano and string orchestra. Of his three prior recordings of original material, one features the legendary pianist JoAnne Brackeen. Mads has recorded with vibraphonist Dave Samuels, appears on RMB singer Teena Marie’s recording “La Dona” and on jazz vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway’s “At Last.” He has additionally contributed numerous arrangements and compositions to Turtle Island Quartet’s repertoire. In 2014 Mads was commissioned by Music Director, Michael Morgan and the James Irvine Foundation to write a Violin Concerto (“Begejstring”) for Oakland Symphony Orchestra. The highly anticipated performance took place at the sold out 3000 seat Paramount Theatre in 2015. The piece and the performance turned out to be an overwhelming success, and Mads received high praise from the orchestra, critics and audience alike.
Mads has been a thriving force in the educational aspects of jazz and improvisation. He has been active as a Yamaha clinician and has been involved in workshops, coachings and master classes throughout Canada and the U.S. In 2017 Mads presented at the Jazz Education Network in New Orleans. Since 2010 Mads has been on faculty at Berkeley’s Jazzschool Institute mainly focusing on spreading the knowledge of jazz and groove oriented styles to string players of all ages. In 2017 Mads presented at Jazz Education Network in New Orleans.Close
After graduating in 1972 from Leeds College of Music in England, Mike toured Europe and the Far East and lived in Hong Kong for 4 years before finally settling into his adopted home, San Francisco, in 1977.
Well known in his role as musical director to acclaimed vocalist Wesla Whitfield with whom he has recorded twenty albums, Mike is also resident piano player on Sedge Thomson's weekly Public Radio show to the world, "West Coast Live" - more info at wcl.org. Mike can also be caught playing jazz with his trio in many a Bay Area saloon and jazz club.
As an arranger Mike, in addition to his work with Wesla, has had the opportunity to write for big bands and symphony orchestras including the Boston Pops and the San Francisco Symphony. Mike has also had the pleasure of accompaning such diverse talents as Rita Moreno,Margaret Whiting, Broadway stars Lillias White and Franc D'Ambrosio and jazz singers Madeline Eastman, Ann Hampton Callaway and Opie Bellas.
Mike's latest CD, The Mike Greensill Trio "Live at the Plush Room", is available on-line at CD Baby and Amazon.com. His writing and arranging for the Kronos Quartet can be found on Wesla Whitfield's CD "September Songs" on HighNote Records. Wesla's CD "Livin' On Love" which is also on HighNote records, features Mike's arrangements for The Klingel Horns, Gary Foster's reeds and rhythm section. The Klingel Horns are a french horn quartet lead by SF Opera's principle Horn Bill Klingelhoffer.
Wesla's and Mike's CD "A Message From The Man In The Moon" on their own label Pismo Productions - features Mike playing solo piano in a collection of duets with his wife Wesla on vocals.
Their latest CD, recorded in May of 2011 during their annual run at the Razz Room in San Francisco, is titled "Best Thing For You - Live From The Rrazz Room" , and was released in November 2011.
In January 2014 Mike published his magnum opus "Playing for Singers" (more details here). In it, Mike brings his many years of accompanying experience to bear in exploring, in detail, the in's and out's of the accompanist's art as it applies to the performance of the "Great American Songbook”.
His skill and talent as a solo artist is demonstrated weekly at Silo's nightclub in Napa where his knowledge and history of American songbook as well as delightful singing skills are performed with both wit and grace - to the delight of his loyal and ever growing audience. Mike and Wesla are teaching more and more, and are conducting workshops throughout the country. And in between gigs are happily exploring the delights of their new adopted home, St Helena in Napa Valley's wine country.Close