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Fall Concert

live music

VIVIAN CHOI is internationally regarded as one of the most gifted pianists of her generation, lauded for her extraordinary artistry, musical intelligence and expressive intensity. Hailed by Fanfare as "an exemplar of the modern global pianist," she is in demand for the depth of her musical insight of a wide-ranging repertoire, from classical to contemporary works.

Since her debut performance at the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Sydney Opera House at the age of 12, Vivian Choi has toured extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North America and Asia. She is the recipient of several prestigious honors, among them the New South Wales Premier's Award for Excellence in Music and the Australian Guild of Music and Speech for Outstanding Achievement. For her contributions to the arts, Ms. Choi was awarded the title of 2003 Achiever of the Year by the Australian-Korean Cultural Council, and, most recently, was honored with the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund grant from the American Australian Association.

In 1992, Vivian Choi performed for the first time with orchestra as the winner of the New South Wales Secondary Schools Concerto Competition, launching her career as a concerto soloist that has taken her around the globe. Her recital debut occurred in 1997 at the Sydney Opera House, a performance that was broadcast nationally. Highlights of Ms. Choi's recent seasons include tours of The People's Republic of China and, as part of the Imago Sloveniae Festival, Slovenia and Croatia, a series of five all-Chopin recitals in ChopinFest Australia, the International Celebration of Music at the Sydney Town Hall, the Hopes, Talents and Masters Festival in Bulgaria, the Portland International Music Festival and the Piano Future Festival in the USA.

Born in Seoul, Korea, Vivian Choi grew up in Sydney, Australia, where she received her earliest musical education. She continued her training at Russia's Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, graduating summa cum laude, and holds graduate degrees from the New England Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University. Her principal teachers include Kyunghee Lee, Mira Yevtich, Alexander Sandler, Wha Kyung Byun, and Sergey Schepkin. Ms. Choi's studies have been generously assisted by the Australian Government through the Australian Council's Arts Funding and Advisory Body.

Vivian Choi received her initial international recognition at the age of thirteen when she won, as the youngest contestant, Second Prize (Due Pianoforti) from the IX Concorso Pianistico Internazionale "Città di Marsala." Since then, she has been awarded First prizes from the Marina Yudina International Piano Competition (Russia), Peter de Grote International Music Competition (The Netherlands) and Dobrich-Albena International Music Competition (Bulgaria). She was also awarded the Guido Alberto Fano Prize from the Guido Alberto Fano International Piano Competition (Italy) for the "Best Performance of Fano's piano music."

Vivian Choi's 2010 debut recording, comprising works of Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Godowsky, was released on the St. Petersburg Northern Flowers label.

In addition to performance activities, Vivian Choi has served as a juror for numerous piano competitions, including, most recently, the 2015 Louisiana International Piano Competition. She has also conducted masterclasses worldwide for institutions that include Boston University, Italy's Academia Filarmonica di Camposampiero and Australian International Conservatorium in Sydney.

Vivian Choi makes her home in New York City. (www.vivian-choi.com)


Winter Concert

JAY ZHONG's violin prowess was evidenced at age 14, when legendary violinist Nathan Milstein heard his playing and exclaimed: "Why spend millions of dollars on a Stradivarius when one can make an ordinary violin sound so good?" Two years later, through arrangement by Milstein's manager Harold Shaw, Jay began his career as a professional violinist by performing a solo recital on the main stage of New York's Carnegie Hall.

A seasoned violinist now, Jay Zhong has performed on four continents of the globe and earned accolades for his solo recitals in capital cities of the world. The Washington Post described "Zhong's Virtuosity" as "nimble and unassuming… restrained but incisive, and without the bombast that some performers find so irresistible." Brussels' Le Soir hailed him as "chinois solar"; California's Pacifica Tribune called his rendition of Brahms' sonatas "a golden exploration", while his performance of Beethoven won such praise from El Colombiano of Medellin: "Jay Zhong, super-violinist, with interpretation worthy of an analogy…".

Jay's musical sensitivity has made him a desirable partner for fellow musicians. He has collaborated with reputable musicians from his generation, including pianists Yuan Sheng, Audrey Axinn, Robert Koenig, violist Hong Mei Xiao and Hui Liu, and violinists Xiang Gao and Keng Yuen Tseng. While serving as first violinist of the Julstrom String Quartet, he has toured with that ensemble extensively and recorded rarely heard chamber works by Rebecca Clarke (Centaur label).

Born in Beijing, China, Jay Zhong began studying violin at age 4 with his parents. He won a national audition at age 11 with the fiendish Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 to enter the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. At age 12, he left China alone for the United States. In New York City, he was a pupil of Raphael Bronstein, pedagogical descendant of Leopold Auer, who offered him shelter along with lessons. After the passing of Bronstein, Jay was tutored by Arianna Bronne until his completion of college. He continued his artistic training with renowned violinist Elmar Oliveira. Jay Zhong holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Master of Fine Arts degree from State University of New York at Purchase.

By invitation, Jay has performed on some of the most valuable violins in the world, including the 1717 "Antonius" Stradivarius from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Arts and the 1692 "Oliveira" Stradivarius. Jay Zhong currently serves as Associate Concertmaster at the Santa Rosa Symphony, Concertmaster of Mendocino Music Festival Orchestra, and teaches Applied Violin at Sonoma State University Department of Music.


Winter Concert

live music

STEPHEN HARRISON, cellist, has been on the faculty at Stanford University since 1983 when he returned to his native Bay Area to become cellist of the newly formed Stanford String Quartet. His performing life has combined chamber, solo and contemporary music. During his fourteen years with the Stanford String Quartet, he recorded and toured internationally with a number of works commissioned for the ensemble, including those by Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Bolcom, Ben Johnston, and Donald Crockett.

In 1998, he co-founded the Ives Quartet and continues performing, recording (on the Naxos, New World and AIX Entertainment labels) and teaching with that ensemble in the Bay Area and around the US. In 2014, the IQ transformed into the Ives Collective. Stephen and his wife, Susan Freier, are co-artistic directors of the multi-faceted ensemble.

A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and Boston University's School for the Arts (where he won the award for Distinction in Graduate Performance), he has been solo cellist of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players since 1985. With the Contemporary Players, he has given over 50 world premieres and made commercial recordings for the CRI, Albany, Music and Arts, New Albion, Newport Classics, New World and YBM labels.

Former principal cellist of the Chamber Symphony of San Francisco and the New England Chamber Orchestra, he is currently principal cellist of the Mendocino Music Festival Orchestra, cellist at the Telluride Chamber Music Festival and on the faculty at the SoCal Chamber Music Workshop. Mr. Harrison has served as artist/faculty at the Rocky Ridge Music Center, and at Italy's Schlern and Orfeo International Music Festivals.



Spring Concert

live music

Award-winning violinist ANNELLE KAZUMI GREGORY is a laureate of international competitions, virtuoso violinist, and recording artist. She is 1st Prize & Audience Choice Award winner of the 2017 National Sphinx Competition and a Laureate of the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition. Her most recent project was the release of the first-ever CD of Sergei Rachmaninoff's complete violin/piano works, recorded with Russian pianist Alexander Sinchuk (Bridge Records 2017). The CD has received international acclaim and aired on radio stations across the US and Europe. She also recorded two pieces that were dedicated to her with concert organist Carol Williams on Williams' CD, Just Carol – Compositions.

Gregory was awarded the 2014 Glenn Dicterow Music Scholarship, has received scholarships from the League of Allied Arts and the Musical Merit Foundation, and has been supported in part by a Sphinx MPower Artist Grant. Other awards include 1st Prizes in the 2017 Grand Prize Virtuoso International Competition, the 2016 American Protégé International Concerto Competition, and the 2015 Beverly Hills National Auditions.

As a soloist Gregory has performed with the symphonies of Detroit, La Jolla, San Diego, Chicago Sinfonietta, Nashville, Santa Monica, California Chamber Orchestra, and Torrance, working alongside such conductors as Mei-Ann Chen, Andrew Grams, Guido Lamell, Anthony Parnther, Chelsea Tipton, Michelle Merrill, and Thomas Wilkins. She has made appearances at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, and the Kennedy Center, as well as abroad in Russia, the UK (Royal Albert Hall), Germany, and Portugal. Gregory was a featured soloist in the 2016 iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates and in 2013 opened for the Moscow Ballet, performing a solo with the principal ballerina. She has been featured on BBC, American Public Media, KUSC, and WQXR radios, and others as well as on German Television and Detroit Public TV.

Gregory graduated summa cum laude from USC's Thornton School of Music, where she studied under former New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow. She has studied under Michael & Irina Tseitlin since 2008. In addition to violin, she also performs on viola. She has played piano, drumset, guitar, and bass guitar and performed tap, jazz, flamenco, and Japanese classical dance. In her spare time, she enjoys reading Russian classics and cooking.





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North Coast Brewing

Opal Sloane
Fall Concert
Concert Sponsors
Charles & Olivia Hasty
Soloist Sponsor
The Friends of
Samuel Allen Snook (1948-2017)
in Loving Memory
Conductor Sponsor
Anonymous
Concertmaster Sponsor
John & Judith Garratt
Winter Concert
Concert Sponsors
John & Kathryn Hughes
Soloist Sponsor
Zoé Berna MD
Conductor Sponsor
Out of This World
Concertmaster Sponsor
Waiting for YOU!
Principal Cello Sponsor
Donna and Liam Burke – GE Foundation
Spring Concert
Concert Sponsor
Westport Hotel
Soloist Sponsor
Waiting for YOU!
Conductor Sponsor
Paul Sweigart — Edward Jones
Concertmaster Sponsor
Waiting for YOU!
Principal Viola Sponsor
Patricia O'Reilly
in memory of
Cordelia Shampanier
Opus #1
Deborah & Steven Farmar
Opus #2
Jason Kirkman & Carol Kawase
Opus #3
Savings Bank of Mendocino County
Opus #4
Westport Hotel
BRONZE BATON
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