2011-12 Musicians

Spanish Strings- June 3, 2012

Yuri Liberzon, Guitar, is an extraordinary talent gaining recognition by professionals, critics and audiences around the world. Mr. Liberzon’s performance career has taken him to stages of many prestigious venues in the Middle East, Europe and America. Some of his recent concerts took place in New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Jerusalem, Köln, New Haven, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Novosibirsk and Tel Aviv. In 2010-2011 season Yuri performed with the Diablo Symphony Orchestra and Capriccio Chamber Orchestra, solo concerts at: Marlow Guitar Series, Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio, Wofford College in South Carolina, Old First Church in San Francisco, Trinity Chamber Concerts in Berkeley, CA, Murov Music College in Novosibirsk, Russia and others.

Mr. Liberzon has won numerous prizes at international competitions.  In 1996 and 1997 he has twice been a top prizewinner at the Ariane Yerushalmi Eldor Classical Guitar Competition of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and remains the youngest prizewinner in its history.  Other awards include top prizes at the Appalachian Guitar Competition in North Carolina and at the ‘Classical Minds’ competition in Texas. Since 1996, Mr. Liberzon has been continuously awarded scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation in addition to a grant for the purchase of a new instrument.He has appeared on radio, television, and in the written press.  Some of these appearances include: Voice of America International Radio Station, WBJC Classical Music Radio Station of Baltimore, Kol HaMusica National Classical Music Radio Station of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Israeli Newspaper Vesti, KUHF (NPR Houston), KUSF San Francisco and WDR German Television Network.Yuri was born in the city of Novosibirsk, Russia where he started studying classical guitar at the age of 6.  In 1993 he moved to Israel where he continued his studies with guitarist and composer Yaron Hasson.  In 2000 at the age of 17, Yuri was invited to the United States to continue his professional studies with world famous guitarist Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University on a full scholarship.  After receiving both Bachelor of Music degree and Graduate Performance Diploma he received Masters of Music degree from Yale University where he studied with renowned guitarist and composer Benjamin Verdery on a full scholarship.  In 2008 Yuri was granted Alien of Extraordinary Ability United States Permanent Residency based on his achievements in the music field.

Robin Sharp, Violin, a native of California, is a solo performer, chamber musician, concertmaster, and teacher. In addition to maintaining private teaching studios in San Francisco and Palo Alto, Ms. Sharp performs as concertmaster of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra with conductor Benjamin Simon, and is on the music faculty at Stanford University as full-time Lecturer in Violin. Ms. Sharp also served as concertmaster for the Berkeley Symphony with conductor Kent Nagano for six seasons, and was a guest concertmaster for a concert in Germany under conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy. She is currently on the Artistic Advisory Board of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and is also on the faculty of California Summer Music.Ms. Sharp has appeared in recital at many prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the National Music Hall in Taipei, and the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco where she performed on Jascha Heifetz’s Del Gesu violin. In 2010, a violin concerto was written for Ms. Sharp by composer Gabriela Lena Frank, in remembrance of her father, Terry Sharp.  In January 1998 Ms. Sharp represented Carnegie Hall in their Rising Stars Series, when she and her duo partner Jeremy Denk played a recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall following a European tour. The duo also performed on Carnegie Hall’s main stage under the guidance of Isaac Stern.Ms. Sharp has participated in music festivals worldwide, including the Musikalischer Sommer Festival in Germany, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Sandor Vegh masterclasses at Prussia Cove, and the Isaac Stern Seminar in New York. She has formerly served as first violinist of the Ives String Quartet, which toured nationally, and has played several seasons with the San Francisco Symphony. Ms. Sharp has been a professor of violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in both the Preparatory and Collegiate divisions, at Santa Clara University, and at Sacramento State University of California. Among her collaborators in performance have been such artists as Dimitri Ashkenazy (clarinet), Jon Nakamatsu (piano), Lori Lack (piano), and conductors such as Raymond Leppard, Peter Oundjian, and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Ms. Sharp is a Laureate prize winner of the 1994 Indianapolis Violin Competition and is featured in a documentary about the competition.

Julie Kim, Violin, began playing the violin at the age of 6 and studied with Yong Yun Kim and Jae Hyun Lee in South Korea.  At the age of 11, she attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory Department and studied with Isadore Tinkleman.  She received her Bachelor of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and studied with David Abel.    She began her string quartet career with the acclaimed Franciscan String Quartet in 1982.  The quartet was awarded the Wardwell Fellowship at Yale University to study with the Tokyo String Quartet in 1985.  The quartet won First Prize at the prestigious Banff International String Quartet competition in 1986.  They were also awarded the Press Prize and the City of Evian Prize at the Evian International String Quartet Competition in 1986.  The quartet went on to become the Resident String Quartet at Dartmouth College in 1987 and was managed by the Hillyer Management Company.  The quartet toured throughout Europe, Canada and the United States.  Ms. Kim participated in the Aspen, Norfolk and Banff Music Festivals and pursued chamber music studies with the Tokyo, Julliard, Cleveland, Emerson and Vermeer String Quartets. She attended the New York String Seminar under Alexander Schneider and performed with Isaac Stern and Yo-Yo Ma in Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.  Ms. Kim performs extensively with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and the Midsummer Mozart Orchestra.  She has also performed with the San Jose (as an assistant concertmaster), New Haven, Santa Rosa, Marin, Stockton and Modesto Symphonies.  With Skywalker Sound Orchestra, she has recorded for many motion pictures and video games.  Ms. Kim has also taught several summers at Cazadero Summer Music Camp.    As a member of a string quartet to represent the San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music (AIM) program and Music at Kohl’s school program, Ms. Kim began a collaboration with colleagues to form the Chorda String Quartet.  The quartet focuses on bringing music education and performances to underprivileged schools in the Bay Area.

Julie Nishimura, Piano, celebrates 23 years as faculty accompanist for the Department of Music at the University of Delaware, having performed more than 380 collaborative recitals and 45 opera and scene-study performances with the Opera Workshop and Opera Theatre. As secondary faculty, she teaches Sight-Reading at the Keyboard and Accompanying/Chamber Music.

A much sought-after collaborative artist, Ms. Nishimura has performed in the chamber music series of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra in the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theatre and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra at the Hotel DuPont, and she has been a guest artist at more than 35 college campuses. Ms. Nishimura is a perennial favorite at the Delaware Chamber Music Festival and California Summer Music. At Strings International Music Festival, she has given recitals with cellists Hai-Ye Ni and John Koen, violinist Carrie Dennis, contrabassist Harold Robinson and violists Choong-Jin Chang and Rachel Ku.  Most recently, she collaborated with retired University of Delaware soprano Marie Robinson on a CD of vocal music of African-American women composers.  In the 2011-2012 season, Ms. Nishimura will be a guest artist with the Gold Coast Chamber Players in an all-Spanish program.

Ms. Nishimura and her husband, writer, director and acting teacher Danny Peak, serve as co-artistic directors of Wilmington-based Distant Voices Touring Theatre. They are currently touring two documentary theatrical pieces with piano: Distant Voices, based on Ms. Nishimura’s father’s diary of his time in a Japanese-American concentration camp during World War II, and September Echoes, chronicling the events of and following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

A native of San Francisco, Ms. Nishimura began her piano studies at the age of seven with Alla Sviridoff. Subsequent studies were at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Paul Hersh, the New England Conservatory with Leonard Shure and the Longy School of Music with Victor Rosenbaum.

Robert Howard, Cello, is a native of Atlanta, GA. He began studying cello at age 12. Graduate of Rice University and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he has studied and performed at festivals such as Tanglewood, Spoleto, Verbier, the Accademia Chigiana, and the Sandor Vegh Academy in Prague. Robert won first prize in the Rome Festival Competition and has received grants from the Maggini and Virtu Foundations. He has been a guest in chamber music festivals in Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Festivál de Musica in Escorial and Guadarrama, Spain. Locally, he has performed with American Bach Soloists, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, and the San Francisco Symphony. Robert is principal cellist of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Faculty member of the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop and Golden Gate Chamber Players Workshop, he has coached at San Francisco Conservatory, Stanford, and San Jose State Universities.

Pamela Freund-Striplen, viola, is the Artistic Director of the Gold Coast Chamber Players and a frequent performer with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera Orchestras as well as the Skywalker Symphony, recording for many movies and video games. Pamela has concertized throughout the US and Europe as soloist, chamber musician and with the New European Strings Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Dimitry Sitkovetsky. Last March, Pamela joined the Amati Ensemble in Holland for a chamber music performance and will this Ensemble on May 1st in a collaborative effort titled: Amati Gold. As part of the development of Lafayette’s Black History Celebration with her project, HARMONY & MELODY, Pamela performed on KQED, at the deYoung Museum and in San Francisco at the African American Arts and Cultural Center. She is featured this month in Scene Magazine. She studied at the Oberlin Conservatory and with the Curtis String Quartet in Philadelphia where she was awarded the coveted Young Musicians Award for Chamber Music for two consecutive years. Pamela has performed with the San Diego Symphony and as Principal Violist with the San Diego Opera before relocating to the Bay Area. She became Principal Violist of San Francisco Opera’s touring company, Western Opera Theater, touring nationally for three years. An active educator, she and her husband, clarinetist Tony Striplen, have developed a unique education program, Topics in Tempo, which uses classical music as a tool to teach academic subjects (www.topicsintempo.org). She is currently the violin and viola teacher at St. Mary’s College in Moraga and has a private teaching studio in Lafayette.


Bach & Beaujolais- November 12, 2011


Corina Stoian, violin, was born in Bucharest, Romania. She began her musical career at an early age, performing whilst still a student at the prestigious “Conservatory of Music” in Bucharest, with prominent symphony orchestras throughout Romania. During this period she also won numerous prizes in national violin and chamber music competitions. Stoian furthered her studies at the famous “Folkwang Musikhochschule” (“Conservatory of Music”) in Essen, Germany, where she completed her Soloist Diploma with honours. After being appointed as concertmaster of the “Folkwang Chamber Orchestra Essen”, Germany, she was featured as a soloist in Italy, Israel, Germany, France, Bulgaria and Switzerland.

Since August 2006 she has a residency in USA, where she had solo appearances at the “Bear Valley Music Festival”, at the “Lesher Center for the Arts” – Walnut Creek (CA), with the “Merced Symphony” – Merced (CA), “Auburn Symphony” – Auburn (CA), “Academy at All Hallows Orchestra” – Sacramento (CA), “Folsom Lake Symphony” – Folsom (CA), at the “Sonora Bach Festival”  and in numerous recitals and concerts in Amador and Calaveras County.

Robert Howard, cello Robert Howard, Cello, is a native of Atlanta, GA. He began studying cello at age 12. Graduate of Rice University and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he has studied and performed at festivals such as Tanglewood, Spoleto, Verbier, the Accademia Chigiana, and the Sandor Vegh Academy in Prague. Robert won first prize in the Rome Festival Competition and has received grants from the Maggini and Virtu Foundations. He has been a guest in chamber music festivals in Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Festivál de Musica in Escorial and Guadarrama, Spain. Locally, he has performed with American Bach Soloists, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, and the San Francisco Symphony. Robert is principal cellist of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Faculty member of the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop and Golden Gate Chamber Players Workshop, he has coached at San Francisco Conservatory, Stanford, and San Jose State Universities.

Yuri Liberzon, Guitar, is an extraordinary talent gaining recognition by professionals, critics and audiences around the world. Mr. Liberzon’s performance career has taken him to stages of many prestigious venues in the Middle East, Europe and America. Some of his recent concerts took place in New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Jerusalem, Köln, New Haven, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Novosibirsk and Tel Aviv. In 2010-2011 season Yuri performed with the Diablo Symphony Orchestra and Capriccio Chamber Orchestra, solo concerts at: Marlow Guitar Series, Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio, Wofford College in South Carolina, Old First Church in San Francisco, Trinity Chamber Concerts in Berkeley, CA, Murov Music College in Novosibirsk, Russia and others.

Mr. Liberzon has won numerous prizes at international competitions.  In 1996 and 1997 he has twice been a top prizewinner at the Ariane Yerushalmi Eldor Classical Guitar Competition of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and remains the youngest prizewinner in its history.  Other awards include top prizes at the Appalachian Guitar Competition in North Carolina and at the ‘Classical Minds’ competition in Texas. Since 1996, Mr. Liberzon has been continuously awarded scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation in addition to a grant for the purchase of a new instrument.He has appeared on radio, television, and in the written press.  Some of these appearances include: Voice of America International Radio Station, WBJC Classical Music Radio Station of Baltimore, Kol HaMusica National Classical Music Radio Station of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Israeli Newspaper Vesti, KUHF (NPR Houston), KUSF San Francisco and WDR German Television Network.Yuri was born in the city of Novosibirsk, Russia where he started studying classical guitar at the age of 6.  In 1993 he moved to Israel where he continued his studies with guitarist and composer Yaron Hasson.  In 2000 at the age of 17, Yuri was invited to the United States to continue his professional studies with world famous guitarist Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University on a full scholarship.  After receiving both Bachelor of Music degree and Graduate Performance Diploma he received Masters of Music degree from Yale University where he studied with renowned guitarist and composer Benjamin Verdery on a full scholarship.  In 2008 Yuri was granted Alien of Extraordinary Ability United States Permanent Residency based on his achievements in the music field.

Pamela Freund-Striplen, viola, is the Artistic Director of the Gold Coast Chamber Players and a frequent performer with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera Orchestras as well as the Skywalker Symphony, recording for many movies and video games. Pamela has concertized throughout the US and Europe as soloist, chamber musician and with the New European Strings Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Dimitry Sitkovetsky. Last March, Pamela joined the Amati Ensemble in Holland for a chamber music performance and will this Ensemble on May 1st in a collaborative effort titled: Amati Gold. As part of the development of Lafayette’s Black History Celebration with her project, HARMONY & MELODY, Pamela performed on KQED, at the deYoung Museum and in San Francisco at the African American Arts and Cultural Center. She is featured this month in Scene Magazine. She studied at the Oberlin Conservatory and with the Curtis String Quartet in Philadelphia where she was awarded the coveted Young Musicians Award for Chamber Music for two consecutive years. Pamela has performed with the San Diego Symphony and as Principal Violist with the San Diego Opera before relocating to the Bay Area. She became Principal Violist of San Francisco Opera’s touring company, Western Opera Theater, touring nationally for three years. An active educator, she and her husband, clarinetist Tony Striplen, have developed a unique education program, Topics in Tempo, which uses classical music as a tool to teach academic subjects (www.topicsintempo.org). She is currently the violin and viola teacher at St. Mary’s College in Moraga and has a private teaching studio in Lafayette.

Mozart Melodies- January 21, 2012

Dr. William Corbett-Jones, Piano, has studied at the University of Southern California, the Juilliard School in New York, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, and privately. His teachers have included Adolph Baller, Alexander Lieberman, Egon Petri, Lili Kraus, and Dario de Rosa, pianist of the Trio di Trieste.

He has audited master classes given by Olga Samarof, Ernest Bloch, Pablo Casals, Lotte Lehmann, Rosina Lhevinne, Ilona Kabos, Janos Starker, Christoph Eschenbach, Malcolm Frager, Jean Phillipe Collard, Adele Marcus, and Guido Agosti.

A distinguished artist/professor at San Francisco State University, William Corbett-Jones has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia as soloist with orchestra, recitalist, and in collaboration with internationally renowned colleagues. His performances in Asia have included numerous tours, recitals, and master classes in China, Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines.

He has made seven trips to China and has taught and performed in several cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, where he gave master classes and a recital at the Central Conservatory in 2004, and at the China Conservatory and the Changsha School of Music in 2007.

His performances in Europe have included recitals in most of the major capitals with orchestras such as the Lausanne and Winterthur. He is widely known as a masterclass teacher. Dr. Corbett-Jones has performed for the BBC, Hilversum, Basel, Cologne, Paris, Brussels, and Istanbul radios, and has appeared many times in festivals such as the Salzburg Chamber Music Festival and the Meiringen Festival in Switzerland. He has been soloist three times with the Orchestra of Maggio Musicale of Florence under the direction of Kurt Masur, conductor of the New York Philharmonic.

William Corbett-Jones has been a member of three distinguished touring chamber music ensembles: the California Trio (with violinist Jacob Krachmalnick and cellist Robert Sayre, both principals of the San Francisco Symphony), The Crown Chamber Players at UC Santa Cruz, where he was a member of the group for ten years and Music Director for five, and the Alma Trio, with violinist Andor Toth and cellist Gabor Rejto. With this trio he toured extensively in the USA, Canada, and Africa for eight years.

In addition, Dr. Corbett-Jones served as artist-in-residence at the University of Southern California with his colleagues of the Alma Trio.

Anthony Striplen, Clarinet, is a native of Bakersfield, CA and has been a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 2000. He has been associated with San Francisco Opera for many years, initially as Principal Clarinet with the company’s touring arm, Western Opera Theater.

In addition to performing his duties with the Orchestra, Mr. Striplen has been active at various studios (including Skywalker Studios) recording soundtracks for numerous motion pictures, television programs, and video games, among them Jurassic Park III, a video/CD with rock band Metallica, and commercials for Dove Soap featuring cartoon characters Wilma Flintstone and Jane Jetson. As chamber musician, Tony appears with the Gold Coast Chamber Players, of which he is a co-founder.

Outside the Bay Area, Mr. Striplen has performed at Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at the Jerash Festival in Amman, Jordan.

Tony attended San Francisco State University, studying clarinet with Donald Carroll of the San Francisco Symphony. Other mentors include Boston Symphony clarinetists Rosario Mazzeo and Harold Wright, as well as his first teacher, Mary Moore. Tony has been a participant at the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood, a clinician at Bay Area music camps, and a guest speaker at the 1997 California Music Educators Conference for Northern California. Tony is on the faculty of St. Mary’s College.

Robert Howard, cello Robert Howard, Cello, is a native of Atlanta, GA. He began studying cello at age 12. Graduate of Rice University and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he has studied and performed at festivals such as Tanglewood, Spoleto, Verbier, the Accademia Chigiana, and the Sandor Vegh Academy in Prague. Robert won first prize in the Rome Festival Competition and has received grants from the Maggini and Virtu Foundations. He has been a guest in chamber music festivals in Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Festivál de Musica in Escorial and Guadarrama, Spain. Locally, he has performed with American Bach Soloists, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, and the San Francisco Symphony. Robert is principal cellist of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Faculty member of the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop and Golden Gate Chamber Players Workshop, he has coached at San Francisco Conservatory, Stanford, and San Jose State Universities.

Rebecca Jackson, violin Hailed as “riveting” by The San Francisco Examiner, Korean-American Rebecca Jackson (violin), is a native of California.   Ms. Jackson received her B.M. from The Juilliard School and received a graduate degree from UC Santa Cruz.  Ms. Jackson is founder and artistic director of Music in May (aka, Mim).  Don’t miss next years’ 5th Anniversary concerts!  Visit www.musicinmay.org for details.  She is member of the Cabrillo Festival and Sarasota Opera Orchestra and regularly performs with the San Francisco Opera.  This season Rebecca will perform at the Turkish Ambassador’s Residence and at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  Ms. Jackson performed South Pacific at the Golden Gate Theater, San Francisco and also at the Latin Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden.  Recently teamed up with Emmy Award Winning composer John Wineglass, they have produced a meditative instrumental album, “Love Songs” which can be found on Itunes and at CdBaby.  They travel to Haiti in January to bring music and help in the relief efforts.  Ms. Jackson’s acting and original composition was featured April 2010 at Exit Theater in the production, “The Wind and Rain.“  In addition to being an age group triathlete, she served as Miss Santa Cruz County 2005.

Corina Stoian, violin, was born in Bucharest, Romania. She began her musical career at an early age, performing whilst still a student at the prestigious “Conservatory of Music” in Bucharest, with prominent symphony orchestras throughout Romania. During this period she also won numerous prizes in national violin and chamber music competitions. Stoian furthered her studies at the famous “Folkwang Musikhochschule” (“Conservatory of Music”) in Essen, Germany, where she completed her Soloist Diploma with honours. After being appointed as concertmaster of the “Folkwang Chamber Orchestra Essen”, Germany, she was featured as a soloist in Italy, Israel, Germany, France, Bulgaria and Switzerland.

Since August 2006 she has a residency in USA, where she had solo appearances at the “Bear Valley Music Festival”, at the “Lesher Center for the Arts” – Walnut Creek (CA), with the “Merced Symphony” – Merced (CA), “Auburn Symphony” – Auburn (CA), “Academy at All Hallows Orchestra” – Sacramento (CA), “Folsom Lake Symphony” – Folsom (CA), at the “Sonora Bach Festival”  and in numerous recitals and concerts in Amador and Calaveras County.

Pamela Freund-Striplen, viola, is the Artistic Director of the Gold Coast Chamber Players and a frequent performer with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera Orchestras as well as the Skywalker Symphony, recording for many movies and video games. Pamela has concertized throughout the US and Europe as soloist, chamber musician and with the New European Strings Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Dimitry Sitkovetsky. Last March, Pamela joined the Amati Ensemble in Holland for a chamber music performance and will this Ensemble on May 1st in a collaborative effort titled: Amati Gold. As part of the development of Lafayette’s Black History Celebration with her project, HARMONY & MELODY, Pamela performed on KQED, at the deYoung Museum and in San Francisco at the African American Arts and Cultural Center. She is featured this month in Scene Magazine. She studied at the Oberlin Conservatory and with the Curtis String Quartet in Philadelphia where she was awarded the coveted Young Musicians Award for Chamber Music for two consecutive years. Pamela has performed with the San Diego Symphony and as Principal Violist with the San Diego Opera before relocating to the Bay Area. She became Principal Violist of San Francisco Opera’s touring company, Western Opera Theater, touring nationally for three years. An active educator, she and her husband, clarinetist Tony Striplen, have developed a unique education program, Topics in Tempo, which uses classical music as a tool to teach academic subjects (www.topicsintempo.org). She is currently the violin and viola teacher at St. Mary’s College in Moraga and has a private teaching studio in Lafayette.

Rhapsody Musicians

Rhapsody!- March 24, 2012 

Lori Lack, Piano, has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and the United States. Most recently, she had a piano trio with Christina Mok and Joanne Lin, was a member of the Laurel Ensemble, and has performed with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and Gold Coast Chamber Players.  As a collaborative pianist, she has performed in recital with many artists including the Alexander String Quartet, the Stamic Quartet, Robin Sharp, Jassen Todorov, Gary Gray, Stephen Paulson, and Matt Haimovitz. She has also accompanied SF Symphony auditions.  She received her degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, and San Francisco State University. In addition to serving on the faculty of CSU Summer Arts and California Summer Music, she has worked as an instrumental accompanist at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University.

Anthony Striplen, Clarinet, is a native of Bakersfield, CA andhas been a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 2000. He has been associated with San Francisco Opera for many years, initially as Principal Clarinet with the company’s touring arm, Western Opera Theater.

In addition to performing his duties with the Orchestra, Mr. Striplen has been active at various studios (including Skywalker Studios) recording soundtracks for numerous motion pictures, television programs, and video games, among them Jurassic Park III, a video/CD with rock band Metallica, and commercials for Dove Soap featuring cartoon characters Wilma Flintstone and Jane Jetson. As chamber musician, Tony appears with the Gold Coast Chamber Players, of which he is a co-founder.

Outside the Bay Area, Mr. Striplen has performed at Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at the Jerash Festival in Amman, Jordan.

Tony attended San Francisco State University, studying clarinet with Donald Carroll of the San Francisco Symphony. Other mentors include Boston Symphony clarinetists Rosario Mazzeo and Harold Wright, as well as his first teacher, Mary Moore. Tony has been a participant at the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood, a clinician at Bay Area music camps, and a guest speaker at the 1997 California Music Educators Conference for Northern California. Tony is on the faculty of St. Mary’s College.

Victoria Ehrlich, Cello, was born in Texas and received her musical education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and summer programs at Interlochen, Aspen, and Tanglewood. Her teachers include Robert Marsh, Bernard Greenhouse, and Robert Gardner.

Before joining the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in 1984, she performed with the Santa Fe Opera, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and served as principal cellist with the Symphonies of Omaha, Richmond, VA, and Phoenix. Ms. Ehrlich has performed with the San Francisco Ballet and Symphony, New Century Chamber Orchestra, California and Berkeley Symphonies, Lamplighters, and Pocket Opera, and is an active chamber musician, appearing regularly with the percussion group Adesso, the Gold Coast Chamber Players, the Fath Chamber Players, the Eos Ensemble, the Bridge Players, and the Ariel String Quartet. Recent work also includes collaboration with poets and composers under the auspices of the AmericanComposers’ Forum.

Corina Stoian, violin, was born in Bucharest, Romania. She began her musical career at an early age, performing whilst still a student at the prestigious “Conservatory of Music” in Bucharest, with prominent symphony orchestras throughout Romania. During this period she also won numerous prizes in national violin and chamber music competitions. Stoian furthered her studies at the famous “Folkwang Musikhochschule” (“Conservatory of Music”) in Essen, Germany, where she completed her Soloist Diploma with honours. After being appointed as concertmaster of the “Folkwang Chamber Orchestra Essen”, Germany, she was featured as a soloist in Italy, Israel, Germany, France, Bulgaria and Switzerland.

Since August 2006 she has a residency in USA, where she had solo appearances at the “Bear Valley Music Festival”, at the “Lesher Center for the Arts” – Walnut Creek (CA), with the “Merced Symphony” – Merced (CA), “Auburn Symphony” – Auburn (CA), “Academy at All Hallows Orchestra” – Sacramento (CA), “Folsom Lake Symphony” – Folsom (CA), at the “Sonora Bach Festival”  and in numerous recitals and concerts in Amador and Calaveras County.

Stephanie McNab, Flute, joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in 2002. Born into a musical household in Los Angeles, her parents met while touring with the San Francisco Ballet as members of the orchestra. Her father, Malcolm, plays trumpet and continues to maintain an active freelance career recording music for motion pictures, and her mother, JoAnn, a former bassoonist, retired from music after several years of performing and is now a school teacher.

Stephanie’s early interest in music led to violin lessons at the age of three, and a few years later she began piano studies with Dorothy Bishop. In elementary school she took up the flute and began a lifelong love of ensemble playing in her school’s orchestra.

Ms McNab received a degree in music from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she studied flute with Sheridon Stokes. While working toward her degree, Stephanie trained in the Young Musicians’ Foundation Debut Orchestra and the American Youth Symphony under Mehli Mehta. She received several honors and awards, including fellowships from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Leni Fe Bland Foundation and Rotary International. After leaving UCLA, she continued studies with Anne Diener Zentner, David Shostac and Kazuo Tokito.

Ms. McNab is a former member of the Buffalo Philharmonic, the New Mexico Symphony and Long Beach Symphony. As a result of her freelance days in Los Angeles, her piccolo playing can be heard on the soundtracks of Monsters, Inc., The Mummy Returns and Stuart Little, among others. Her many solo appearances include a performance of the Carmen Fantasy with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a recital at Cal Tech’s Dabney Hall. She served on the faculty of California Institute of Technology.

Steven D’Amico- Double Bass
While growing up in San Mateo, Steven D’Amico started his musical studies (like many boys from an Italian background) by playing the accordion. Although that was fun for a few years—because rock’n’roll ruled in the 1960’s—the accordion was soon tossed aside for the electric bass. After entering high school, Steve was still unsure of what instrument to seriously study. His music teacher at Serra High School, John Catalano, suggested he pick a “legitimate instrument.” In response, Steve chose the double bass. During his senior year of high school, Mr. D’Amico began his classical training with Lynn DeRamus and later continued with his principal teacher, S. Charles Siani.In 1975, Steve received a Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. During his last year at SFCM, Mr. D’Amico won the position of Assistant Principal Double Bass with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and is currently that orchestra’s Principal Double Bassist. In 1976 and 1977, he was awarded a fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Festival as a member of the Tanglewood Fellowship Orchestra. In 1979, he became a member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players under the leadership of Jean-Louis LeRoux; he continued to perform with that ensemble until 2004.Mr. D’Amico joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra as Assistant Principal Double Bass in 1980. He also performs with many chamber music ensembles in the Bay Area.Mr. D’Amico is married to Yolonda D’Amico, a former dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, who is currently completing a Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of California in San Francisco. Steve is known for showing many members of the Orchestra the joys (and occasional sorrows) of fishing for salmon on the Pacific Ocean.

Pamela Freund-Striplen, viola, is the Artistic Director of the Gold Coast Chamber Players and a frequent performer with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera Orchestras as well as the Skywalker Symphony, recording for many movies and video games. Pamela has concertized throughout the US and Europe as soloist, chamber musician and with the New European Strings Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Dimitry Sitkovetsky. Last March, Pamela joined the Amati Ensemble in Holland for a chamber music performance and will this Ensemble on May 1st in a collaborative effort titled: Amati Gold. As part of the development of Lafayette’s Black History Celebration with her project, HARMONY & MELODY, Pamela performed on KQED, at the deYoung Museum and in San Francisco at the African American Arts and Cultural Center. She is featured this month in Scene Magazine. She studied at the Oberlin Conservatory and with the Curtis String Quartet in Philadelphia where she was awarded the coveted Young Musicians Award for Chamber Music for two consecutive years. Pamela has performed with the San Diego Symphony and as Principal Violist with the San Diego Opera before relocating to the Bay Area. She became Principal Violist of San Francisco Opera’s touring company, Western Opera Theater, touring nationally for three years. An active educator, she and her husband, clarinetist Tony Striplen, have developed a unique education program, Topics in Tempo, which uses classical music as a tool to teach academic subjects (www.topicsintempo.org). She is currently the violin and viola teacher at St. Mary’s College in Moraga and has a private teaching studio in Lafayette.

Annie Asuka Yano, violin, first began violin lessons with Kenneth Goldsmith in Houston, Texas. After seven years she returned to her native Japan where she continued her studies with Tsugio Tokunaga, the former concertmaster of the NHK Symphony. While still in Tokyo she enrolled in the Toho Gakuen School of Music. In 1998 she entered the Juillliard Pre-College in New York and shortly thereafter she began studies at The Juilliard School, where she majored in violin performance under the tutelage of Naoko Tanaka. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in 2004, and her Master’s Degree in 2007 studying with both Naoko Tanaka and Joel Smirnoff.  She has participated in music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and School, New York String Seminar, Tanglewood Music Center, Saito Kinen Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, The Verbier Festival Orchestra and the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra. She recently moved to San Francisco to join the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

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