Strings • Woodwinds • Brass • Percussion
Robin Sharp, concertmaster
Robin Sharp, 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, Robin performs as concertmaster of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra with conductor Ben Simon, and is on the music faculty at Stanford University as full-time Lecturer in Violin. Robin 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.
Hrabba Atladottir, violin
Icelandic violinist Hrabba Atladottir studied in Berlin, Germany and worked as a freelance violinist in Berlin for five years, regularly playing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsche Oper, and Deutsche Symphonieorchester. Hrabba also participated in a world tour with the Icelandic pop artist Björk, and a Germany tour with violinist Nigel Kennedy. Hrabba has been based in Berkeley, California, since August of 2008, where she has been performing as a soloist and with various ensembles such as the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Empyrean Ensemble, and the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players, to name a few. She teaches violin at UC Berkeley.
Elizabeth Choi, violin
Elizabeth Choi graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a chamber music performance major in the studio of Ian Swensen. She received her undergraduate studies at DePaul University as a violin performance major in the studio of Mark Zinger. As a chamber musicians, Elizabeth has played with the Avedis chamber musicians, Ensemble Parallele, Concertante di Chicago, New Millenium Chamber Players, Fifth-House Ensemble, and Camerata Chicago. She is currently a faculty member at the San Francisco Community Music School's Mission and Richmond branches. Her main focus goes towards expanding Navitas Ensemble and sharing the duo's artistry with audience member's worldwide. Elizabeth hopes to develop a better sense of direction while traveling and will try to be more cautious of parking violations in the city.
Eugene Chukhlov, violin
Eugene Chukhlov has over 24 years of performance and teaching experience as a member of the Arlekin String Quartet. In addition to his quartet duties, Eugene is applauded regularly as a soloist and orchestral player throughout the Bay Area. He counts Milly Rosner, Joan Balter, and the late Colin Hampton as his great mentors. Eugene lives in El Sobrante with his Alexandra Marie and wife Edith. He is an avid gardener, mainly roses and grapes (no wine this year, though). He shares with his wife a passion for fishing California lakes and the South Pacific seas. They plan to retire in Kona, grow orchids, fish, paint with watercolors, and perhaps give a few violin lessons to the local kids.
Gillian Clements, violin
A native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Gillian moved to San Francisco in 2008 from Nyeri, Kenya, where she lived and worked for 18 months to found a string program for 80 students at the Mount Kenya Academy. When not teaching or squeezing in weekend safaris in Kenya, Gillian conducted research for her dissertation on Western & Kenyan music education which she completed in May 2008 at Boston University. Gillian is currently the director of instrumental music at St. Ignatius College Preparatory where she is known to students as "Dr. C."
Debra Fong, violin
Debra Fong, principal second violin, moved to the Bay Area in 2004 by way of Texas, Boston, Virginia, and Chicago. Debra is a lecturer at Stanford University, teaching both violin and chamber music, and she also maintains a private violin studio in Palo Alto. She holds two performance degrees with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. During the summers, Debra performs as a first violinist of the Santa Fe Opera, and this past summer she was a guest artist of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. An avid proponent of contemporary music, Debra has worked directly with composers such as Olivier Messiaen, Joan Tower, John Cage, Kaija Saariaho, and Bright Sheng. In her leisure time, she enjoys photography, reading modern fiction, practicing yoga, and seeking out excellent coffee. Debra is married to cellist Christopher Costanza, and they have an ebullient daughter, Isabella.
Noah Strick, violin
Violinist Noah Strick has appeared in performances throughout the United States, Europe, China, and South America, and can be seen regularly in solo, chamber music, and orchestral performances throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Equally active on both modern and baroque violin, Mr. Strick is currently Associate Concertmaster of Berkeley Symphony, and appears with such ensembles as the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco Bach Choir Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra. Mr. Strick holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His principal teachers include Kyung Sun Lee, Marilyn McDonald, and Bettina Mussumeli.
Rachel Walker, violin
Rachel Walker was born into a family of musicians in Portland, Maine and began Suzuki violin lessons at the age of 3 with her mother. She first came to the Bay Area as a teenager, studying with Zaven Melikian at San Francisco Conservatory of Music Prep. Rachel later studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music (B.M.) and at the University of Maryland (M.M.) Now she is happily playing in many area groups, including the SFCO, Modesto Symphony and Marin Symphony. Rachel enjoys playing with the exceptional musicians and people that make up the SFCO and finds their music making truly personal and enlivening. When she is not practicing, rehearsing, performing or teaching, Rachel enjoys taking long hikes and walks near her home in Marin and having coffee dates with her husband.
Ming-Shiu Yo, violin
Known to his American friends as “Yo”, violinist Ming-Shiu Yo is a native of Taiwan, relocated to beautiful Northern California for its diverse culture and splendid climate. Before migrating to the Bay area, he received his Masters degree from New England Conservatory, then worked with the Virginia Symphony for more than 10 seasons as a section violinist and eventually as principal second violin. With his newfound passion for instruction, Yo teaches privately in Fremont and Palo Alto. He lives in Fremont with his beautiful harpsichordist wife Ching-Ching Sun and their ever so curious son Clement.
Jory Fankuchen, violin & viola
Jory Fankuchen is quickly building a reputation as both a performer and teacher in the Bay Area. Jory’s musical studies include a bachelor’s of music from the San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied with Ian Swensen, and a master’s of music from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Lucy Chapman. An avid chamber musician, Jory has performed in concert with artists such as Robert Mann, Joseph Silverstein, Joel Krosnick, Bonnie Hampton, Mark Sokol, Ian Swensen, and Paul Hersh. As first violinist of the Kailas String Quartet, Jory performed throughout North America, winning first prize in the Chamber Music International Competition, and silver at the National Fischoff Competition.
Garrett McLean, violin & viola
Garrett began studying the violin when he was nine-years old as part of an investigation into how a stick with horsehair drawn over a wooden box with some metallic strings could make such a wide variety of fascinating sounds. Early in the course of his investigation, he discovered that he loved to play… and he has been playing ever since. Garrett has studied with Richard Schwabe, Mariko Smiley, David Updegraff, and Robin Sharp at the Colburn School for Performing Arts, UC Berkeley, and the Encore School for Strings. He also enjoys running, basketball, and Dance Dance Revolution.
Pamela Freund-Striplen, viola
Pamela Freund-Striplen is the artistic director of the Gold Coast Chamber Players and a frequent performer with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera orchestras. She has concertized throughout Europe as a solo chamber musician and with the New European Strings Chamber Orchestra. In spring of 2011, Pamela will perform with the European Amati Ensemble on their North American tour including concerts in New York City, Washington, and Los Angeles. She studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and with the Curtis Quartet in Philadelphia, where she was awarded the coveted Young Musician’s Award in chamber music in two consecutive years.
Alexandra Leem, viola
Alexandra is a graduate of Yale and Eastman School of Music and a recent arrival from Philadelphia, where she had been principal violist of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and a substitute for the Philadelphia Orchestra for the past several years. She spends her summers playing for the Santa Fe Opera, where her family of five get to do a lot of rattlesnake walks, commune with nature, and find a whole lot of creatures with hundreds of legs. As a newbie in the West Coast, she thoroughly enjoys being able to spend time with her three boys. Though time is spent mostly catering to the boys' royal needs, she can often be found volunteering, teaching, and playing at her sons' schools.
Sharon Wei, viola
Sharon is a newcomer to the Bay area after having completed her studies at Yale and Curtis. Since her arrival she has been exploring the diverse hiking trails of Northern California and enjoying new recipes that include eclectic finds at the Milk Pail! Sharon is a member of the Verbier Chamber Orchestra, which has taken her to Israel, Padua, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, London, Paris, and Sao Paolo. She also performs with her ensemble "Made in Canada". Before her life as a violist, Sharon played on her varsity basketball, volleyball, archery, track, and swim teams. After days of staring at her computer, Sharon recently launched her new website, www.sharonwei.net.
Hannah Addario-Berry, cello
Hannah Addario-Berry grew up in British Columbia and fell in love with the cello at age nine. She studied music in Montreal and San Francisco and has been living in the Bay Area since 2004. Hannah performs in lots of great concert halls, but also in much less likely places for music: she has performed an opera on a city bus, has played cello while riding on dancers’ backs across a stage, and hosts a popular cello series at her neighborhood café. When she’s not playing the cello, Hannah can often be found choosing fresh produce at the local farmers market, cooking something yummy in the kitchen, getting lost in the woods, or sitting on her meditation cushion, trying to remember to breathe.
Robert Howard, cello
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Robert joined his middle school orchestra at age twelve. Although he played piano from age five, he really took to the interactive aspect of string playing. Later he attended Rice University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Summers were a highlight of his musical education. He played and studied at Tanglewood, Spoleto, Verbier, Switzerland, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, 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. Locally, he has performed with American Bach Soloists, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, and the San Francisco Symphony. Robert is grateful for the travel opportunities his cello affords him. It has accompanied him everywhere from Costa Rican swamps, to the Paris metro, to Venetian gondolas.
Eugene Sor, cello
Eugene Sor has enjoyed a variety of musical endeavors since earning his master of music degree in cello performance from UCLA in 1996. He has played in several orchestras in the San Francisco Bay Area, including six seasons as principal cellist in the Stockton Symphony and nine seasons as a cellist in the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. His wide range of chamber music experience includes extensive work with the Chamberlain and Volta String Quartets and the Adorno Ensemble. He is currently director of the Crowden Center for Music in the community of Berkeley, resident conductor of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and conductor of the Preparatory Chamber Orchestra at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Michel Taddei, double bass
Michel Taddei studied double bass at the Juilliard School’s pre-college division, while pursuing a degree in history at Columbia University. Michel was invited by Kent Nagano to be principal bass with the Opéra National de Lyon in France while still in graduate school at UC Berkeley. Since his return to the United States, Michel’s career has included tours as principal bassist with the New York City Opera National Company and Western Opera Theater, as well as performances with the Empyrean Ensemble, Russian National Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Earplay, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.
Tod Brody, flute
When not playing the flute in contemporary (San Francisco Contemporary Players, Ear Play, Empyrean Ensemble), Opera, orchestral (SFCO, Sacramento Choral Society), musical theater, and traditional chamber settings, teaching at UC Davis, or working as executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Composers Forum, Tod enjoys reading escapist fiction, riding his bike, and preparing delicious vegetarian meals. He is devoted to his wife (violinist Susan Walker), his son Christopher, 25 (graduate student in music theory and piano at the University of Minnesota), his daughter Amanda, 23 (Ph.D candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Arizona), and his son Gabriel, 1, who just wants to have fun all day.
Stacey Pelinka, flute
A native of the Bay Area, Stacey performs mostly contemporary chamber music with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Worn Chamber Ensemble, and the Blueprint Festival’s Ensemble Parallèle. She is principal flutist with San Francisco Opera's Merola Program productions, and she plays second flute with the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Midsummer Mozart Festival. As a freelance performer, she has played with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Earplay, and many other Bay Area ensembles. She earned a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory, where she studied with Timothy Day. Stacey is also a certified Feldenkrais Method practitioner, and she enjoys integrating Feldenkrais with her playing and teaching.
Kathy Conner, oboe
Kathy Conner, a native San Franciscan, discovered the oboe at age 12 and happily switched over from the clarinet. She received her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Marc Lifschey. She performs regularly with the SF Opera Center, Sacramento Choral Society, the Lamplighters, and other Bay Area musical organizations. A Teaching Artist with the San Francisco Symphony's Instrument Training and Support Program, Kathy travels to 10 San Francisco public schools each week to work with student musicians. Kathy loves a good novel, corny movies, watching shore birds and traveling. She has played her oboe in Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and France.
Peter Lemberg, oboe
The SFCO's principal oboist since 2006, Peter Lemberg also plays principal with the West Bay Opera, the San Francisco Opera Center, and the Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra. He plays regularly with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and many other area orchestras from Marin to Monterey, most recently in the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra. He has been the featured soloist on several occasions with the SFCO and the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and he teaches oboe privately. Peter grew up in the Bay Area, and his early influences were recordings of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony concerts of the late 1960s to early 1970s.
Karla Ekholm, bassoon
Bassoonist Karla Ekholm happily plays in a multitude of local orchestras, including the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Pacific Chamber Symphony, the Marin Symphony, the Vallejo Symphony, the Santa Rosa Symphony, the San Francisco Lyric Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Center. Born and raised in Texas, Karla moved to San Francisco in high school, and she holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and from Temple University. Each summer, Karla drives cross-country to teach and play at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is one of seven musicians featured in the documentary, Freeway Philharmonic.
Carolyn Lockhart, bassoon
Carolyn Lockhart, bassoonist, is a native of Toronto, Canada. She came to California in the fall of 1992 to study with Stephen Maxym at the University of Southern California where she earned a master's degree in music performance. Since moving to Northern California, Carolyn has established herself as one of the Bay Area's most sought after bassoonists. In addition to contracted posts with Symphony Silicon Valley, Opera San Jose and Ballet San Jose, Carolyn performs on a regular basis with major orchestras all over the Bay area. When Carolyn is not playing bassoon, she can be found making jewelry, hiking, running, gardening, decorating her home and enjoying the company of her 2 dogs and 2 cats.
Kevin Rivard, French horn
Known for his “delicious quality of tone," Kevin Rivard is currently Co-Principal Horn of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Principal Horn of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. He has performed with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A Juilliard graduate, Mr. Rivard has served as guest principal horn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra & the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and was a featured soloist with the Houston Symphony. As horn professor with California State University East Bay, Mr. Rivard loves teaching and inspiring young students. Every year he volunteers at local schools performing for youth, hoping to give to as many children as possible the opportunity to enjoy live music.
Alicia Telford, French horn
Alicia Telford, a native Californian, is an alumna and former faculty member of San Francisco State University, where she studied horn with David Krehbiel and William Klingelhoffer. She is a well-known freelance artist and teacher in the Bay Area, a tenured member of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and of the Fremont Symphony, a regular extra with the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Symphony, and the San Francisco Ballet orchestra, and a faculty member at Los Medanos College and at UC Berkeley. Alicia performs with her brass quintet, the Golden Gate Brass, and woodwind quintet, Bellavente, throughout the state. Among her many credits as a musician is a full fellowship to the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival.
John Freeman, trumpet
John Freeman is a busy freelance trumpet player who has been playing with the SFCO for several years. John is originally from Charlotte, NC and attended the Cleveland Institute of Music for his bachelor's and master's degrees. After college, John was awarded the Principal Trumpet position with the Charleston (SC) Symphony, which he held for two years before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. John now regularly performs with most of the Bay Area symphony orchestras while teaching both privately and at California State University, Stanislaus. John lives with his wife in San Francisco and enjoys spending free time competing in local bicycle races and managing his recently-launched coffee roasting business, Three Valve Coffee.
Scott Macomber, trumpet
Born in Evanston, IL, Scott began studying the trumpet at age nine. When Scott was fifteen his pianist mom introduced him to some Chicago Symphony recordings and he was hooked. After receiving his Bachelor of Music degree at Northwestern University in 1995, Scott moved to the Bay Area to earn his master's degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Performing with the SFCO is especially rewarding for Scott because not only are his colleagues in the orchestra inspiring, incredibly talented, hardworking musicians, but they are also fun loving friends. When he is not playing the trumpet, Scott loves to run, cook and read. Scott lives in Walnut Creek with his kids, Anya and Nick and his wife, Karen.
Craig McAmis, trombone
Craig received his bachelor’s degree in music from the University of the Pacific and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston. He is an active performer and teacher in the greater Bay Area with two teaching studios and a full schedule of performances with groups as diverse as the Marin Symphony, the San Francisco Opera, and the Oakland Municipal Band. Craig has toured the United States with the Western Opera Theater, and he has played in several music festivals in Europe, including the Festival de due Mondi and the Stagione Lyrica Opera Festival.
Chris Froh began his study of percussion at the age of 11 in an attempt to appear attractive to girls. By the time he turned 12, his parents had foiled his plans by purchasing him a marimba, an instrument even lamer than his previous instrument, the recorder. After failing to find anything redeeming about music conservatories, he moved to Japan to study marimba and improvisation with the Japanese composer and pedagogue, Keiko Abe. Finishing at the University of Michigan, he moved with his girlfriend to San Francisco, where he married next to the Golden Gate Bridge and began working with a whole bunch of incredible musicians and composers.
Loren is passionate about our interconnectedness with the natural world. His education includes a hike of the Appalachian Trail, a large section-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, and a cycling tour of the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route from Canada to Mexico. Lately he has focused more on bouldering and climbing. Loren is also passionate about the arts as they relate to our 21st-century world and all who inhabit it. Oberlin, CCM, Presser Award, New Mexico Symphony, ADORNO, SFS, SFCMP, Cabrillo, Ojai—blah, blah, yada, yada… Since moving to the Bay in fall 2005, he has really enjoyed performing with the area’s diverse array of talented artists.