NOON CONCERT SERIES
We are delighted to be bringing back our beloved Noon Concerts Series to the Throckmorton stage this season November 2021 to May 2022, filling our theatre with the warmth and beauty of classical music! Our concerts are for everyone, so please share this gift with your family, friends and neighbors and join us once again as we celebrate the transcendent power and uplifting of a community through live music.
Reserve Your Seat in Advance.
LIVE STREAMING AVAILABLE!
Click the link on the program you are attending to reserve your seat(s) or to watch the Live Stream.
All shows start @ 12pm
Programs are approximately 50-60 minutes
Curator: Beni Shinohara
We have had the good fortune to have Beni Shinohara as our Noon Concerts Curator over the last 5 years. She is a highly respected Bay Area musician who is in demand for her talent and dedication. She has made our Noon Concerts one of the areas sought after engagements for many performers and we are thrilled to have her curating our 2021-2022 Winter/Spring Season.
MAY 18, 2022: JAZZ MAFIA STRINGS
The concert is Meditation Music. Beautiful slow music both new and old, featuring music by Bach, Beethoven, Ellignton, Hensel, Scarlatti, and more. Members of Jazz Mafia Strings are also contributing original compositions and arrangements to the program.
Michele Walther - Violin
Shaina Evoniuk - Violin
Byron Hogan - Cello
Lewis Patzner - Cello
NOVEMBER 17, 2021: HEEGUEN SONG & PETER MYERS
A beautiful collaboration of violin and Cello in our premiere Noon Concert event of 2021! Heeguen Song, Associate Concertmaster of the SF Ballet and Peter Myers, Assistant Principle Cello of SF Opera Orchestra, bring their mastery to our stage in a performance that will include Beethoven, Esmail, Bach, Gliere and Kodaly.
Native of South Korea, Heeguen Song is the Associate Concertmaster of the SF Ballet Orchestra. Ms.Song performs regularly in South Korea and throughout the Bay Area in venues such as Seoul Arts Center, Sejong Arts Center, Old First Concerts, Herbst Theater, Bing Concert Hall, and many more. She is an active chamber musician and is a member of Beaubliss Quartet and Ensemble Ari. She has performed at Yale Chamber Music Society, Yellowbarn Music Festival, Taos Music Festival, and Banff Chamber Music Residency. Additionally Heeguen gave a solo debut recital at Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and had solo appearances with many orchestras such as SF Ballet Orchestra, Oberlin Orchestra, Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble 212, and Camerata Academica de Merida. She was a prize winner at the Henryk Szeryng International Competition, Irving M Klein Competition, and Kingsville International Competition among others. Heeguen studied at Oberlin Conservatory, the Juilliard School, Yale School of music and Rutgers University under the direction of Almita Vamos, Masao Kawasaki, Peter Oundjian, and Arnold Steinhardt.
Peter Myers (b. 1985), praised for the warmth of his sound and range of tonal color, joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra as Assistant Principal Cello in 2017, and is internationally known as a chamber musician. He is a founding member of SAKURA, a unique and innovative cello quintet, as well as the Saguaro Piano Trio, which won first prize in the 2009 International Chamber Music Competition Hamburg. Peter has appeared at the Marlboro, La Jolla and Mozaic Music Festivals and toured with Musicians from Marlboro. Additionally, he has toured abroad with chamber ensembles in Germany, Italy, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia, Laos and Pakistan. He has also performed as guest Principal Cellist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. His mentors include Ronald Leonard at the Colburn Conservatory and Ralph Kirshbaum at the University of Southern California. He lives in San Francisco and performs on a cello made by Claude-Augustin Miremont in 1876. The COVID-19 lockdown afforded Peter extended time to focus on composing and arranging. Among several other projects, he filmed an elaborate video of his arrangement of the cheerful and breezy Nintendo Wii Shop Music, as well as his Sarabande for five cellos. Apart from music, Peter enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts, and watching science videos on YouTube. He besottedly follows the Instagram accounts of a number of pet parrots, and as his landlord doesn’t allow pets, he often finds himself talking to his robotic vacuum cleaner, who is an extremely good boy.
DECEMBER 15, 2021: STROBE QUARTET
Comprised of Laura Griffiths (Oboe), Stephanie Bibbo (Violin), Caroline Lee (Viola), and Krisanthy Desby (Cello), Strobe is the only ensemble dedicated to music for oboe and strings in the U.S. Their mission is to expand the repertoire beyond the well-known quartets of Mozart and Britten, adding five new pieces to the repertoire since 2018. The Zellerbach Family Foundation awarded them a grant for Vincent Russo’s Visions and Visitations, and in 2020, Strobe received a grant from InterMusicSF to record their commissioned works. Strobe has performed for audiences throughout the Bay Area, including the inmates at San Quentin Prison.
Laura Griffiths is Principal Oboe of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and Professor of Oboe at San Jose State University. She was principal of The Cleveland Orchestra and the Rochester Philharmonic, and Acting Principal Oboe of the San Francisco Opera for three years. She has been Guest Principal Oboe with several orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony. Laura received her Bachelor of Music degree and was awarded the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Richard Killmer.
A native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, violinist Stephanie Bibbo has performed as a chamber and orchestral musician throughout Europe and the United States. A recent member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Stephanie also performs with the Santa Rosa Symphony, Oakland and Berkeley Symphonies, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from New England Conservatory, and earned her Master of Music and Professional Studies Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Ian Swensen. She maintains an active teaching studio and believes in the importance of sharing her knowledge and experience with younger generations.
Caroline Lee has performed throughout the US and Canada as a recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. She is a member of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and plays with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera. She was a member of the Kansas City Symphony for eight years, as well as performing regularly with the Chicago Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has performed at the Domaine Forget and International Musical Arts Festivals, and collaborated with members of the Tokyo and Cleveland Quartets. She is a member of the Eos Ensemble and the founder and Artistic Advisor of Community Concerts at Epworth in Berkeley. Caroline received her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Michigan and her Master’s Degree and Artist’s Diploma from the Yale School of Music, studying with Heiichiro Ohyama, Donald McInnes, Yishak Schotten, and Jesse Levine.
Cellist Krisanthy Desby has been active in chamber ensembles and orchestras in North America, Europe and South Africa. She founded the Laurel Ensemble, which concertized from 2005 to 2011. She performed with the Houston Symphony under Christoph Eschenbach, as well as the Houston Ballet Orchestra and the Houston Grand Opera. She was Assistant Principal of both the Napa Valley Symphony and the Santa Cruz Symphony, and coached young chamber and orchestral musicians as a String Specialist at University High School. During the summers, she is a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival, and has taken part in the Mendocino, Midsummer Mozart, Neuberg Kulturtage and Scotia music festivals. Krisanthy holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Peabody Institute and a Master of Music degree from the Shepherd School at Rice University. Her teachers included Nathaniel Rosen, Stephen Kates, Shirley Trepel and Aldo Parisot. She formed Strobe to spotlight music old and new for oboe and strings.
JANUARY 19, 2022 : THE PORCH QUARTET
The Porch Quartet was formed in the early days of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic when
musician friends gathered to play on a porch in the Richmond District of San Francisco. Four of these musicians continue to perform together with a unique approach combining historically informed performance and visual audience engagement.
Violins: Heidi Wilcox & Monika Gruber Viola: Daria D’Andrea Cello: Farley Pearce
Heidi Wilcox joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra as Assistant Concertmaster in 1992, and joined the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra in 1993. Heidi comes from a musical family of five children, all of whom became professional musicians. She studied with her father, Edward Wilcox, who now teaches in San Francisco. Her mother accompanied her many recitals and competitions at the piano. The Congress of Strings program, directed by Paul Roland in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, was important for Heidi's early development. Heidi attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Miami, and participated in masterclasses with many artists, including Sydney Harth, David Nadien, and David Taylor of the Chicago Symphony. She was the Associate Concertmaster of the Omaha and Charleston, South Carolina Symphonies, and Concertmaster of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. These positions included performing string quartets, teaching, solo appearances with the orchestras, and frequent recitals. She was also a member of the Knoxville and Seattle Symphonies. Heidi enjoys playing a variety of music from all periods and styles. She has played with the San Francisco Contemporary Players and numerous Bay Area ensembles. She was a member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and for 2 seasons was acting Principal Viola with the S.F. Opera. Heidi lives in San Francisco with her musician husband, cellist Farley Pearce, three adult sons, a cat named Ruffles and their dog named Coda. They enjoy daily walks, playing music and making good food.
Praised by critics for her "irresistibly melting tone, which she can also imbue with gripping fire", Monika Gruber is a versatile violinist, appearing in concerts throughout the United States and Europe. As violinist of the Eusebius Duo she was invited to perform in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, following the duo's success as first prize winners of the CMFONE International Chamber Music Competition. Throughout her years of study she was the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, notably the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, which enabled her to continue her studies in the US. Monika received her training at 'Hochschule für Musik' in Weimar, Germany, 'Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique ́ in Lyon, France, and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Ian Swensen. She is equally active as chamber and orchestra musician, performing lots of modern music in addition to the classical and romantic repertoire, as well as some branching out into baroque music. She has worked in public master classes with musicians such as Norbert Brainin (Amadeusquartett), Samuel Rhodes (Juilliard Quartet), Menahem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio), and Petra Müllejans (Freiburger Barockorchester). Always eager to share her passion for music in many ways, Monika was a teaching assistant in Weimar while receiving her Teaching Degree, and she continued to teach, instill and foster the love of music in people of all ages ever since. Upon completion of her Masters Degree in San Francisco she was offered a position as violin instructor at SFCM's Pre-College Division, where she is now also coaching chamber music. Her students are doing well in competitions, and they got accepted into the SF Youth Orchestra as well as into colleges, such as Rice University Shepherd School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music, and UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
Daria D'Andrea performs with both ‘period’ and modern ensembles, cutting across stylistic borders from medieval chanson to 21st century experimental. Daria is professor of violin, viola and chamber music at the University of San Francisco and teaches privately at the San Francisco Waldorf Schools. She is a member of the California Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera and plays with the San Francisco Opera Center Orchestra. As a baroque specialist on violin and viola, Daria performs with period instrument ensembles including Philharmonia Baroque and the American Bach Soloists. Daria was a
member of the Women's Philharmonic and retains an interest in advocating for women composers of all eras. As a composer, Daria created music for the USF production of Twelfth Night and premiered her work for viola and soundscape, Oceans 2, at the inaugural Barbados International Film Festival. While living overseas, Daria studied viola in Oxford, England with noted pedagogue Kató Havas. She is President of the Northern California Viola Society and co-created their "Pandemonium Sessions" over the months of the pandemic. Also during lockdown, Daria performed a live stream solo recital on the "Virtual Virtuoso" series at St Ignatius, and with pianist Kevin Navarro in performing Mozart Violin Sonatas. She has lately been obsessed with the violin studies of Dounis, Tartini and Geminiani. Daria is an alumna of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Reed College.
Farley Pearce is a performer on both the various sizes of viola da gamba and the baroque cello. As a cellist he has performed widely in the Southeastern region of the US, most notably with the Spoleto Festival, with whom he has also played in Italy. For five years he was a member of the Charleston Pro Musica, and he has performed as a recitalist in Brazil and Uruguay. Since moving to San Francisco Farley has been an active free-lance performer with many of California’s orchestras and chamber ensembles. In the Bay Area he has performed on viola da gamba, violone, and baroque cello with Voices of Music, Magnificat, the Jubilate Baroque Orchestra, the Sex Chordæ Consort of Viols, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Airs and Graces, and many other period instrument groups.
FEBRUARY 16, 2022: SOR ENSEMBLE
The husband/wife team of Eugene Sor and Karen Shinozaki Sor is joined by Lisa Maresch, in a captivating piano trio program. Two fascinating pieces by women composers of different eras - Amy Beach's atmospheric Trio Op. 150 and Lera Auerbach's gripping and brooding Trio No. 2 - are followed by a masterpiece of the piano trio literature, Dvorak's "Dumky" Trio.
Eugene Sor received his early musical training from renowned cello teacher Milly Rosner, earning degrees from San Francisco State University and University of California, Los Angeles. A passionate chamber musician, he furthered his studies as co-founder of the Chamberlain String Quartet, which served as Assistant Quartet-in-Residence to the Alexander String Quartet at SFSU. Mr. Sor has held posts with the Volta Quartet and the Adorno Ensemble, and he has also served as principal cellist of the Stockton Symphony and San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and directed the Preparatory Orchestra at the San Francisco Conservatory. He currently serves as Music Director of The Crowden School in Berkeley and Resident Conductor of Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, while continuing frequent chamber music collaborations with the internationally acclaimed faculty at Crowden’s Summer Chamber Music Workshop, the Alexander Quartet, and with his own group, the Sor Ensemble.
A familiar face in the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, Karen Shinozaki Sor performs with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Rosa and Marin Symphonies, and as an extra musician in the San Francisco Ballet and Opera Orchestras. She is also a frequent chamber music collaborator, appearing with diverse groups including the Santa Rosa Chamber Players, Music at the Mission, the Sor Ensemble, and the Worn Ensemble. A Bay Area native, she received her BA from UC Berkeley as a longtime student of Serban Rusu of Tiburon, then continued her studies as a recipient of a Hertz Traveling Fellowship at the Konservatorium für Musik Bern, Switzerland as a student of Professor Igor Ozim. In her free time, Karen likes to relax with her cellist husband Eugene Sor, son Kenji, dog Jerry, and indulge in her addiction to the NYTimes puzzles.
Lisa Maresch- From performing at the Sydney Opera House, to playing shows on the Las Vegas Strip, designing and presenting outreach programs internationally, she has established herself as a collaborative artist, a visionary, and as a highly effective teacher. Lisa has taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Chapman Conservatory of Music and Orange County School of the Arts in Southern California, and the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley, CA. She was recently featured in The Spotlight Concerts for the Las Vegas Philharmonic performing with their principal flutist, Christina Castellanos. With The SoMa Trio, she performs with violinist, Kate Stenberg, and cellist, Mary Artmann, in bringing awareness about the environment through benefit concerts for various organizations. Lisa is a 2021 graduate of the Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy through National Arts Strategies and University of Pennsylvania. As a strong advocate for music education, Lisa founded the Scholarship Showcase Concerts for the Warne Foundation in Orange County, CA, served as guest artist in American Samoa, and assisted the Arquetopia (Mexico) Foundation performing in Puebla and Oaxaca. Since moving to San Francisco in 2013, Lisa founded Opus38 Studio located in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco, California. Her primary teachers are Mykola Suk and James Giles.
MARCH 16, 2022: THE BRODERICK ENSEMBLE
The Broderick Ensemble was founded by Elizabeth Prior with a primary focus on quintet repertoire. The current group have been performing together since 2020 and will perform the Dvorak bass quintet no. 2 op. 77. This piece is a rare combination with bass and expresses the lush sounds and romanticism of Dvorak. Jenny Cho (Violin), Michael Grossman (Violin), Mark Wallace (Bass), Liz Prior (Viola) and Miriam Perkoff (Cello).
An active Bay Area violist, Elizabeth Prior is the principal violist with the Santa Rosa symphony and a member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra. Elizabeth is also the associate principal violist with the Marin Symphony season substitute with the San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Opera. She performs regularly with the San Francisco Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony PA. Other orchestral credits include Freiburg Philharmonic (Associate principal) and the Cape Town Symphony. She has recently worked with the Las Vegas philharmonic and the Reno Phil. Südwestfunk (Southwest Radio, Germany, ) Stuttgart Radio, Basel Symphony, and the Mannheim Opera Orchestras
A native of South Africa, she was a prizewinner in the International String Competition in Pretoria and gave her debut at Carnegie Hall with the Russian Chamber Orchestra
She toured regularly as a soloist with the Chamber Ensemble of Cologne in France and was recently featured with the Santa Rosa Symphony.
Other solo and chamber music engagements include: founder of the Broderick Ensemble, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival; Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Midsummer Mozart and “Chamber Music San Francisco” She is a member of the Farallon Quintet. She performs regularly on solo recitals in the San Francisco Bay Area and performed internationally for more than a decade with Maestro Donald Runnicles on the piano. She recently launched her new album, “Viola Romance” with Miles Graber, piano which can be found on Spotify and Apple music.
As a very active cellist, Miriam Perkoff performs frequently with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet orchestras. She co-founded New Century Chamber
Orchestra in 1992 and later Stratos — a conductorless chamber orchestra integrating multiple art forms into live performance. Stratos’ acclaimed CD is on Warner Bros.
Records. Miriam’s other orchestra and festival appearances include the Grand Teton Music Festival, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Midsummer Mozart Festival, and Principal
Cellist of the San Francisco Opera Center, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and Lake Tahoe Music Festival. Miriam studied at Indiana University with Fritz Magg, and received her Masters of Music degree in cello performance with Aldo Parisot from Yale University. She recorded two CD’s with the Yale Cellos, both of which were nominated for a Grammy Award. Miriam also frequently records film and video game scores at Skywalker Ranch. Miriam enjoys a full private teaching studio. As a sought-after chamber and orchestra ensemble coach, Miriam has worked with the cello sections of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, San Francisco Conservatory, Marin Symphony Youth
Orchestra, Oakland Youth Symphony and Symphony Parnassus.
Double bassist Mark Wallace began studying the double bass in his public school’s orchestra program, led by former San Antonio Symphony violinist Joan Blesser. Mark later enrolled at The Juilliard School where he was admitted with Presidential Distinction, having received the highest audition rating among double bass applicants that year. At Juilliard his teacher was Eugene Levinson, principal bass of the New York Philharmonic. After earning Bachelors and Masters degrees, Mark further studied with Donald Palma at Yale University. Before moving to the Bay Area, Mark worked as Assistant Principal Bass of the Filarmonica de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte Brazil, and previously performed with the New Jersey Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Sarasota Opera Orchestra. Now residing in Petaluma, California, Mark is currently performing as Acting Assistant Principal Bass of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and the Reno Philharmonic, and is a regular guest performer with many ensembles in the Bay Area.
Jennifer Cho began playing the violin at the age of 7 after promising her mother she would commit to practicing 30 minutes every day. At the age of 16 she decided to pursue a career in music while studying with Alexander Treger. She attended the Crossroads School in Los Angeles before venturing east to the Julliard School. At Julliard, Jennifer earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees while studying with Stephen Clapp and Robert Mann. For her graduate studies, she was chosen by the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to be a Graduate Scholar and was financially supported in her studies until 2008. Jennifer joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in 2011 and has also been Concertmaster of the California Symphony since 2016. Jennifer, her husband double bass player Mark Wallace and son live in Petaluma California. They are avid gardeners who have. created a "food forest" on their suburban front yard with the help of their chickens.
Michael Grossman has enjoyed a performance career as an orchestral player, chamber player, and soloist. He has held the position of concertmaster of several orchestras, including the Cape Cod Symphony, the Oregon Mozart Players, the Portland Chamber Orchestra, and the Portland Columbia Symphony. As a member and leader of the Bay Area string orchestra Stratos, he has recorded the first classical CD to be produced on the Warner Brothers label. Michael was a founding member of the string Quartet Metolius, the resident string quartet at Oregon State University. In addition to years of performing throughout the Northwest, Michael has performed at the concert halls of New York, Boston, and at the White House. A New Jersey native, Michael has studied violin performance in New York, Boston, and Portland. His teachers have included Erick Friedman, Burton Kaplan, Roger Shermont, and Pierre d'Archambeau. A passionate teacher, he now lives in San Rafael, California, where he freelances and maintains a private teaching studio.
APRIL 20, 2022: VITAMIN EM
Formed in 2015 by Grammy®-nominated and award-winning musicians from around the Bay Area, Vitamin Em celebrates jazz, funk, R&B, soul and fiddle music with verve and enthusiasm. The band is serious about having fun, and its members, steeped in an abundance of musical traditions – jazz, funk, blues, Klezmer, indie, rock, Balkan, fiddle, classical – bring a wealth of experience, creativity and fearless improvisation to each performance. If you like to have fun, be exhilarated and love to groove, this band is for you. Matthew Szemela (violin), Evan Price (Violin), Emily Onderdonk (viola), Michael Graham (Cello).
Praised by the New York Times for his “outrageous fiddling,” Matthew Szemela is a violinist who crosses musical genres with ease. He has performed as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in several renowned concert halls both domestically (Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully, Merkin Recital Hall, Library of Congress, Kennedy Center), and abroad (Japan, China, Korea, Belgium, Luxembourg, Australia, Italy). Matthew has collaborated, recorded, and performed with a myriad of artists including Jay-Z, Questlove of The Roots, Beyonce, Rihanna, Savion Glover, Sting, Lana Del Rey, Josh Groban, Garth Brooks, Placido Domingo, Warren Haynes, Bob Weir, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, Billy Childs, Lisa Fischer, Laurence Hobgood, Marcus Lovett, Mark O’Connor, Brian Blade, Cassandra Wilson, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Vernon Reid of Living Colour, Susan Sarandon, Johnny Mathis, Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo, and Olivia Newton John. In the fall of 2007 Matthew portrayed an Irish rock violinist in the Warner Brothers film August Rush, working with famed music producer Phil Ramone. TV appearances include Good Morning America (with Josh Groban), The View (with Rihanna), and American Idol (with Lana Del Rey). Upon moving to Berkeley, CA in the summer of 2011, Matthew began performing with the Berkeley Symphony. As of 2017, he is the assistant concertmaster of the Opera San Jose Orchestra. Matthew maintains a busy domestic and international touring schedule with Rupa & The April Fishes, as well as with Tango Del Cielo. An active member of the Bay Area music scene, he can be often be seen collaborating with such groups as Vadalma (Hungarian Folk), Incognito Express (Balkan), Musical Art Quintet (Nuevo Chamber), and Classical Revolution.
Evan Price is steadily gaining recognition as one of the world's most confident voices in extra-classical string playing. A native of Detroit, MI, his musical background includes some earnest dues-paying in a variety of genres. From square dance bands to string quartets, from jamming with blues bands to busking in Greektown, Evan's youthful pursuits all informed his violin-playing and left him with a deep love of chamber music in all forms. As a young competitive fiddler he won his share of awards, having been named the U.S. Scottish Fiddling Champion, the Kentucky State Fiddle Champion, Canadian Junior Fiddle Champion, and Canadian Novelty Fiddling Champion. He also performed with some of the masters of fiddle lore—Stephane Grappelli, Johnny Frigo, Claude "Fiddler" Williams, Johnny Gimble, Buddy Spicher, and Vassar Clements—as well as a diverse array of pop icons from Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to comedian, Steven Wright. Evan's college career included stints at both The Cleveland Institute of Music and at Berklee College of Music, and has himself served as a member of the music faculty at Wellesley College, The California Jazz Conservatory, and The University of California, Berkeley. Evan is a ten-year veteran of the world-renowned, paradigm-shifting jazz ensemble, the Turtle Island Quartet. During his tenure in Turtle Island, Evan gave over five hundred performances in concert venues from Latvia to Australia and had the opportunity to collaborate with many musical luminaries, such as Cuban clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera, The Ying Quartet, pianists Dr. Billy Taylor and Kenny Barron, and classical guitarists, Sergio and Odair Assad. He recorded five CD's with Turtle Island, two of which—"Four + 4" and “A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane”—received GRAMMY® awards in 2006 and 2008 in the Classical Crossover category. Since 1998, Evan has been proud to call himself a member of The Hot Club of San Francisco, perhaps the most venerable gypsy jazz band in the US. During his tenure, the group has thrilled audiences from Iceland to Mexico and across the United States, and has released seven CD's which feature Evan on violin. An accomplished composer, Evan has contributed compositions and arrangements to the repertoires of HCSF, Turtle Island Quartet, Quartet San Francisco, Irish fiddler Liz Carroll, San Francisco Girls' Chorus, River Oaks String Quartet, the New Century Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Chanticleer, and theInternational Space Orchestra, for which he also serves as musical director. He lives in Mill Valley, CA, with his wife and daughter.
Emily Onderdonk grew up in a family of professional musicians, listening to her mother teach piano students in the living room, her father compose contemporary music in his basement studio, and her older brother write and play rock, jazz and soul music in the room next door. Years later those foundational influences can be heard in the music she writes for and performs in Vitamin Em. A Baroque snippet, an intricate funk rhythm, a taste of big band, 70’s soul and the dissonant harmoniesof contemporary music can mix together in any one piece she writes,creating a distinctly unique composition, yet with familiar elements. Andalways at the heart of each are the rhythm and groove.Emily’s career as a violist began while earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Manhattan School of Music, during which time she was hired for her first of eight tours with the New York City Opera. Subsequent orchestral highlights include stints with the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Opéra National de Lyon, New Century Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Opera and Ballet orchestras. Especially memorable was a trip to Brazil with the Women’s Philharmonic, performing on the Copacabana Beach to a crowd of 80,000 people. Emily has also enjoyed playing several Broadway shows including Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, Les Miserables,Wicked, and most recently, Hamilton. A founding member of Quartet San Francisco, Emily was nominated for classical- crossover GRAMMY® awards in 2007 and 2008 for the quartet’s jazz and Latin CD’s, “Latigo” and “Whirled Chamber Music”. The quartet also performed at the famous Café Tortoni in Buenos Aires after winning the Grand Prize at the 1st International Tango Competition in NYC. Since then, Emily has led jazz and tango workshops at the Manhattan School of Music and at fiddle and jazz camps led by Alasdair Fraser and Christian Howes. Such a diverse career has given Emily the extraordinary opportunity to perform, and often record, with artists across several genres including Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg, Leon Fleisher, Santana, Tower of Power, Billy Childs, Hubert Laws, McCoy Tyner, Diana Krall, Peter Gabriel, Smokey Robinson, and Rupa and the Fishes. In addition to writing for and performing with Vitamin Em, Emily is principal violist with the Sacramento Philharmonic and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, performs often with the San Francisco Ballet and New Century Chamber Orchestra, is on the faculty at California State University East Bay and records pop, movie, and video game soundtracks at Skywalker Ranch.
Michael Graham (Cello) studied at the Eastman School of Music and Yale University, where he was a founding member of that institution’s first secret chamber music society, Skull and Bows. His instructors included Stephen Doane and members of the Amadeus, Cleveland, Tokyo, Emerson, and Kolisch string quartets.
Mr. Graham has toured and recorded with artists from Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg to John Densmore of the Doors, including performances with Yo-Yo Ma, Joan Baez, John Williams, Rita Moreno, Isaac Hayes, and Weird Al Yankovic. His playing has been hailed by the San Francisco Classical Voice for its “almost painfully pretty…expressive richness”, and by the San Jose Mercury News as “super-good”. In the 1990’s he created a rural residency in the Appalachian Mountains of western Pennsylvania as part of the Chagall String Quartet, through a grant from the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts. He has appeared on national television including ABC’s Regis and Kelley and NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and can be heard on Van Morrison’s album “Astral Weeks Live from Hollywood Bowl.” Mr. Graham performs actively as a member of the Oakland Symphony, Taiwan’s acclaimed Ben Feng Music Studio, and San Francisco Broadway productions. He teaches cello privately and at Mills College.