Morrison News 2014

In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Laszlo Varga, Cellist, Inspiring Tearcher, and Former Artistic Director

December 16, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- The eminent cellist Laszlo Varga died in Sarasota, Florida, after a lengthy illness on December 11, two days shy of his 90th birthday. He had had a great multiple career, first as the principal cellist with the New York Philharmonic from 1951 to 1962, then as a soloist and chamber performing and recording artist and finally as a teacher at San Francisco State University (where he also taught conducting and oversaw the chamber music program), the University of California at Santa Cruz, University of Toronto and University of Houston, from which he retired in 2000. “Looking back, Mr. Varga was one of the exceptional influences who, through his impatience, joy, intolerance of mediocrity, discipline and love of art, taught me those things which last a lifetime — that music is a metaphor for life and as such must be cherished, respected, shared, and actively lived to its fullest every day,” said conductor Kent Nagano, one of Mr. Varga’s SF State students.

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Morrison Artistic Director Richard Festinger Wins Koussevitzky Foundation Commission

December 15, 2014

MUSIC INDUSTRY NEWS NETWORK -- The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress has awarded commissions for new musical works to four composers. Richard Festinger is one of four award winners, with the Afiara Quartet of Canada co-sponsoring the commission. Festinger’s award-winning music has been performed and commissioned by leading contemporary music ensembles throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Active as a composer, performer and arts administrator, Festinger founded the acclaimed group Earplay, an innovator in the creation and performance of contemporary music in the San Francisco area. A professor of Music at San Francisco State University since 1990, Festinger also serves as artistic director of the Morrison Artists Series. His music is published by C.F. Peters and Wildcat Canyon Press and is recorded on the Bridge, CRI, Centaur and Naxos labels. This is Festinger’s second Koussevitzky Foundation commission.

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ZOFO Duet Introduces Bolcom Premiere in 'Dazzling' SFSU Recital

December 10, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- In five years of existence the dynamic piano duo ZOFO (“20-finger orchestra”) has racked up two Grammy nominations and a competition win. Perhaps more impressively, they’ve given 11 world premieres of commissioned works. They brought the latest of these, by William Bolcom, to Morrison Artists Series at SFSU on Sunday afternoon, while dazzling the audience in a program of contemporary works. All told, ZOFO has chemistry that makes musical and dramatic sparks ferociously fly. The mission of the Morrison series is to bring world-class artists from both around the globe and around the block to audiences, free of cost. Given the duo’s international roots, local stomping grounds and captivating musicianship, ZOFO incarnated this mission beautifully.

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ZOFO Coming to Morrison Artists Series at SF State

November 17, 2014

EXAMINER.COM -- Next month will see the third concert in the Morrison Artists Series of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts at San Francisco State University. This will mark the SFSU debut of the ZOFO Duet of pianists Keisuke Nakagoshi and Eva-Maria Zimmermann. They have prepared a something-old-something-new program that will include music they were performing when the duo was first formed as well as a world premiere. The program will begin with George Gershwin’s four-hand arrangement of his “Cuban” overture, which provided the opening track from ZOFO’s second recording, “Mosh Pit.” This will be followed by Claude Debussy’s six Épigraphes Antiques, included on ZOFO’s debut CD, “Mind Meld: Works for One Piano, Four Hands.” This music was originally composed for the recitation of six poems by Pierre Louÿs with accompaniment provided by two flutes, two harps and celesta. The first half of the program will then conclude with “Etude from the Old Country,” composed by Terry Riley.

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Windscape to Perform at Morrison Artists Series

October 29, 2014

EXAMINER.COM -- On the other side of town the Morrison Artists Series of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts at San Francisco State University will present the second concert in its 2014 – 2015 season. The performers will be the members of the Windscape wind quintet, artist-in-residence at the Manhattan School of Music. They will present a program of original compositions and arrangements featuring French and American composers. It will begin with three transcriptions, prepared by horn player David Jolley, of solo piano compositions by Claude Debussy. These will be followed by arrangements by Adam Lesnick and Frank Morelli of Maurice Ravel’s orchestral song “La flute enchantée” (from his Shéhérazade cycle) and the four-hand piano suite Ma mère l’oye. The second half of the program will feature “Windsongs,” three short virtuosic movements for wind quintet by Richard Festinger, SFSU professor and artistic director of the Morrison Artists Series.

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Lysander Piano Trio to Perform at SF State

October 20, 2014

CLASSICALITE -- In fact, we will be performing at the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign only a few days after my Carnegie Debut, on November 9, and later at San Francisco State University, St. Olaf College and more.

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Former SF State Ensemble, Afiara Quartet, to Perform at University of Delaware

October 14, 2014

U DAILY (UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE) -- In 2011, the Afiara Quartet completed a two-year tenure as graduate resident string quartet at the Juilliard School in New York, where they served as teaching assistants to the Juilliard String Quartet. Prior to that, they were the Morrison Fellowship Quartet-in-Residence at San Francisco State University’s International Center for the Arts (2007 – 09), where the members were teaching assistants to their mentor ensemble, the Alexander String Quartet.

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Alexander String Quartet Shares Wonders of Chamber Music with All

October 1, 2014

GOLDEN GATE XPRESS -- A world-renowned string quartet has been quietly living in the Creative Arts Building, teaching music to students for more than 25 years. The Alexander String Quartet kicked off the opening day of the Morrison Artists Series’ admission-free concerts at SF State. Established in 1955, the founder of the series, Edward Hohfeld, believed that chamber music could be made accessible to everyone and that the love of music could be instilled in new generations, according to the quartet’s website. The quartet is composed of four members: Zakarias Grafilo, Frederick Lifsitz, Paul Yarbrough and Sandy Wilson. Serving as an ensemble in-residence for San Francisco performances, they hope to teach students by expanding their music into other disciplines according to Lifsitz, the group’s second violinist.

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College of Liberal & Creative Arts Open Its Doors for Student Showcase

October 1, 2014

GOLDEN GATE XPRESS -- The second annual College of Liberal & Creative Arts Opening Day gave students a reason to brag about their work Sunday afternoon in a festival full of talent and creativity. Activities throughout the day included live theatre, art, dance, the Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble, poetry and award-winning short films. “We are opening all the doors to show what we have to offer,” said Oscar Villagrana, a Music major. Villagrana said it was a day to showcase the University’s creative arts students’ work. Recent graduate student Josh Ornelas danced alongside Tiffany Yee and Briana Anthony to a dance choreographed by Assistant Professor Ray Tadio. Ornelas said he appreciates the quality of teachers in the department. “They prepare you for a professional career and give you life advice,” Ornelas said. Yee agreed that the department has been successful in its teachings. “There is great training for dancers who want to perform professionally,” Yee said.

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Alexander String Quartet's Morrison Artists Series Concert is a Chroinicle Performance Pick

September 25, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- Alexander String Quartet: San Francisco State University’s quartet-in-residence opens the Morrison Artists Series’ season of free chamber concerts with a program of music by Mozart, Kodály, Beethoven and Shostakovich. 3pm Sunday; preconcert talk at 2pm. Free.

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Morrison Artists Series announces 2014–2015 season of free concerts - San Francisco classical music | Examiner.com

September 23, 2014

EXAMINER.COM -- At the end of this month, the May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Center will begin is 59th season with the first free concert in its Morrison Artists Series. These recitals all take place in the McKenna Theatre in the Creative Arts Building on the San Francisco State University campus. Each performance is preceded by an informative pre-concert talk, arranged by Artistic Director Richard Festinger. The performers also lead a master class in Knuth Hall (also in the Creative Arts Building) with SF State students in conjunction with their visit to the campus. The Morrison Chamber Music Center has a Web page summarizing all of these concerts. Admission is free, and further information may be obtained from 415-338-2467. Because tickets are in high demand, advance reservation is recommended. The Web page currently has a hyperlink for reserving tickets for the first concert in the series, the recital by the Alexander String Quartet at 3 pm on Sunday, September 28.

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Alum/Lecturer Zakarias Grafilo: Song in His Heart, Twinkle in His Eye

September 18, 2014

STOCKTON RECORD -- First-violinist Grafilo is the youngest member — by 14 years — of a “significantly older” group: Frederick Lifsitz (second violin), Paul Yarbrough (viola) and Sandy Wilson (cello). They’re artists-in-residence at San Francisco State University. Grafilo’s musical outfitting started early and occurred naturally. Mom Nelia, who worked at San Francisco State for 25 years, enrolled him in Suzuki violin lessons at 4. She was his piano accompanist — during practice and performance — through his teen years. He attended UCLA briefly before resettling at San Francisco State, where he was tutored by the Alexander String Quartet. His Chamberlain String Quartet became “kind of their assistants” — though Grafilo majored in Liberal Studies. Trained in a symphony setting, Grafilo negotiated “kind of a left turn” into chamber music, where individual expression is more pronounced. “Once bitten by the chamber-music bug, you never forget,” he said. “I crave chamber music.”

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Morrison Artists Series Offers Chamber Music for All

September 16, 2014

SF STATE NEWS -- The Morrison Artists Series, San Francisco’s longest-running chamber music series, will launch its 59th season this month at SF State and run through May 2015, featuring free performances by six innovative music ensembles. This season’s diverse lineup includes a cappella singers from Norway, a quintet of woodwind instruments and a San Francisco-based, Grammy-nominated piano duo. “A lot of people have never experienced chamber music or been to a concert,” said Richard Festinger, professor of Music and artistic director of the series. “In this area, like other metropolitan areas, it’s the symphony and opera that are well known to the general public. For a lot of people, chamber music may slip under their radar. But almost all major composers have written significant works of chamber music." In many cases, Festinger added, chamber music is considered the “crown jewel” of a composer’s repertoire.

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Youth Ensembles from Menuhin Festival Perform in Burlingame

August 4, 2014

SAN MATEO COUNTY TIMES -- Chiaroscuro String Quartet played String Quartet in F Major (1902) by Maurice Ravel and the AYE Trio performed Piano Trio, No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90 “Dumky” (1891) by Antonín Dvorák. The ensembles are students of violist Susan Bates (San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Music) in her Young Chamber Musicians program. “The Chiaroscuro won the inaugural Galante Prize at the Yehudi Menuhin Festival at San Francisco State University this year, and the AYE Trio was the runner-up finalist,” Patricia Kristof Moy, Music at Kohl Mansion executive director, wrote in an email. At the event, Burlingame Vice Mayor Terry Nagel presented Anneke Gaenslen, Music at Kohl Mansion board member, a City proclamation for her 22 years of extraordinary volunteer service, which includes creating the Kohl for Kids program that reaches 5,000 Peninsula students each year.

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Morrison Artists Series Concert an 'Essential Bay Area Arts Event'

May 1, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- The up-and-coming young ensemble performs quartets by Mendelssohn, Barber and Shostakovich. 8pm Friday; pre-concert talk at 7pm. Free.

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San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music Founded to Support Quartet-in-Residence

April 30, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- The Friends, founded in 1999 to support the residency of the Alexander String Quartet at San Francisco State University, celebrated their 15th anniversary with a gala on April 7. Performances for the 150 celebrants assembled at Yoshi’s in San Francisco were offered by the Cypress and Alexander quartets, preceded by the Friction Quartet, which board President Katherine Bukstein, a trained and sometimes practicing violist, views as a harbinger of new directions in chamber music, also worthy of support.

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San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music Has Supported SF State's Alexander String Quartet

April 2, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music began in 1999 as a nonprofit organization for supporting the art of chamber music in the San Francisco Bay Area. The founders were Jane Roos Le Roux (president) Jane Galante (vice president) and Barbara Barclay (secretary). Participating in the first meeting were Judith Anderson, Ruth Felt, Patricia Taylor Lee, Sue Meyer, Larissa Roesch and Frances Varnhagen. The organization has raised fund for 86 ensembles, of 336 musicians, through the years, beginning with the Alexander String Quartet, which became the endowed resident quartet at San Francisco State University.

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Palo Alto Youth Win SF State Chamber Music Prize

March 24, 2014

PALO ALTO WEEKLY -- Four teenage string musicians, three of whom attend Gunn High School, only started playing together last fall, but in February they won a $1,000, first-of-its-kind prize for youth chamber music from San Francisco State University. The quartet’s teacher, Susan Bates, expressed excitement about the new SFSU competition, explaining that there is a dearth of opportunities for young chamber musicians to compete. “Any kind of competition brings a group farther along than if they hadn’t competed, I think,” Bates said. “It means they have to learn a certain amount of repertoire in a short amount of time.” The Chiaroscuro Quartet is part of Young Chamber Musicians, a pre-college chamber music program in the South Bay run by Bates.

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Palo Alto Youth Win SF State Chamber Music Prize

March 24, 2014

PALO ALTO WEEKLY -- Four teenage string musicians, three of whom attend Gunn High School, only started playing together last fall, but in February they won a $1,000, first-of-its-kind prize for youth chamber music from San Francisco State University. The quartet’s teacher, Susan Bates, expressed excitement about the new SFSU competition, explaining that there is a dearth of opportunities for young chamber musicians to compete. “Any kind of competition brings a group farther along than if they hadn’t competed, I think,” Bates said. “It means they have to learn a certain amount of repertoire in a short amount of time.” The Chiaroscuro Quartet is part of Young Chamber Musicians, a pre-college chamber music program in the South Bay run by Bates.

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Choices for Beginning of April Include Morrison Chamber Music Center Concert

March 17, 2014

EXAMINER.COM -- The weekend will begin with the next free concert in the Morrison Artists Series of San Francisco State University. The featured artists will be the members of the Brentano String Quartet, who will be joined by violist Hsin-Yun Huang as a special guest. Together they will perform the world premiere of Felipe Lara’s viola quintet, completed last year, as well as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 516 quintet in G minor. The quartet performances will be Dmitri Shostakovich’s Opus 122 quartet in F minor (his eleventh) and two movements from the string quartet version of Joseph Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. This concert will take place in McKenna Theatre of the SFSU Creative Arts Building at 8pm Friday, April 4. A pre-concert talk will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and further information may be obtained from 415-338-2467 or through the event page on the Creative State website.

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Choices for Beginning of April Include Morrison Chamber Music Center Concert

March 17, 2014

EXAMINER.COM -- The weekend will begin with the next free concert in the Morrison Artists Series of San Francisco State University. The featured artists will be the members of the Brentano String Quartet, who will be joined by violist Hsin-Yun Huang as a special guest. Together they will perform the world premiere of Felipe Lara’s viola quintet, completed last year, as well as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 516 quintet in G minor. The quartet performances will be Dmitri Shostakovich’s Opus 122 quartet in F minor (his eleventh) and two movements from the string quartet version of Joseph Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. This concert will take place in McKenna Theatre of the SFSU Creative Arts Building at 8pm Friday, April 4. A pre-concert talk will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and further information may be obtained from 415-338-2467 or through the event page on the Creative State website.

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Chamber Music Class Puts on Quintet Performance, Offers Master Class

March 6, 2014

GOLDEN GATE XPRESS -- In a city blooming with creativity and culture, SF State offers a chamber music series that is diverse in scope, appeals to students and is free of charge. The May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Center is located on the SF State campus and at nearly 60 years old, it is the longest running chamber music series in the history of the city. Started in 1955 by Edward Hohfeld, the center aims to present an affordable and accessible way for the San Francisco community to enjoy chamber music. Artistic Director Richard Festinger describes it as a presentation of “fantastic opportunities and great musicians that anyone can afford.” Live music incorporates communication between musicians, dynamism and active listener participation, all of which are fundamental in chamber music, according to Marion Reinhard, the bassoonist of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. The quintet is this month’s featured ensemble.

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Chamber Music Class Puts on Quintet Performance, Offers Master Class

March 6, 2014

GOLDEN GATE XPRESS -- In a city blooming with creativity and culture, SF State offers a chamber music series that is diverse in scope, appeals to students and is free of charge. The May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Center is located on the SF State campus and at nearly 60 years old, it is the longest running chamber music series in the history of the city. Started in 1955 by Edward Hohfeld, the center aims to present an affordable and accessible way for the San Francisco community to enjoy chamber music. Artistic Director Richard Festinger describes it as a presentation of “fantastic opportunities and great musicians that anyone can afford.” Live music incorporates communication between musicians, dynamism and active listener participation, all of which are fundamental in chamber music, according to Marion Reinhard, the bassoonist of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. The quintet is this month’s featured ensemble.

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Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet: As Good As It Gets at SF State

March 5, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- A huge imbalance in the Musical Universe was corrected on Friday, when the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, one of the foremost wind quintets in the world, came to San Francisco State University for a workshop and a concert at the McKenna Theatre. The illustrious ensemble, founded in 1988 when maestro Herbert von Karajan was still in charge at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, has toured the United States many times during the quarter century of its existence, but for some reason never made it to San Francisco. The Mozart arrangement was a nice introduction to the sound quality of the Berliners, which is just about as good as it gets and the obvious result of many years of musical cooperation and companionship.

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Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet: As Good As It Gets at SF State

March 5, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- A huge imbalance in the Musical Universe was corrected on Friday, when the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, one of the foremost wind quintets in the world, came to San Francisco State University for a workshop and a concert at the McKenna Theatre. The illustrious ensemble, founded in 1988 when maestro Herbert von Karajan was still in charge at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, has toured the United States many times during the quarter century of its existence, but for some reason never made it to San Francisco. The Mozart arrangement was a nice introduction to the sound quality of the Berliners, which is just about as good as it gets and the obvious result of many years of musical cooperation and companionship.

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Miró Quartet on Triple Duty, Including SF State

March 4, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- Both before and after its March 9 concert at Music at Kohl Mansion, the Miró Quartet offers free public master classes. In addition to the preconcert tutorial at Kohl Mansion, the Miró travels to San Francisco State University to give a master class there on Monday, March 10, from 11am to 1pm in the Creative Arts Building. Just as during last month's Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival, participating student ensembles include the Friction Quartet, Echappe String Quartet (SF Conservatory of Music Pre-College Division), Holloway String Trio (SF State), SF Conservatory String Trio, and Ruth Asawa S.F. School of the Arts Quartet. The event is sponsored by Music at Kohl Mansion, the Alexander String Quartet, Carlstrom Productions, and SF State’s May T. Morrison Chamber Music Center.

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Miró Quartet on Triple Duty, Including SF State

March 4, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- Both before and after its March 9 concert at Music at Kohl Mansion, the Miró Quartet offers free public master classes. In addition to the preconcert tutorial at Kohl Mansion, the Miró travels to San Francisco State University to give a master class there on Monday, March 10, from 11am to 1pm in the Creative Arts Building. Just as during last month's Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival, participating student ensembles include the Friction Quartet, Echappe String Quartet (SF Conservatory of Music Pre-College Division), Holloway String Trio (SF State), SF Conservatory String Trio, and Ruth Asawa S.F. School of the Arts Quartet. The event is sponsored by Music at Kohl Mansion, the Alexander String Quartet, Carlstrom Productions, and SF State’s May T. Morrison Chamber Music Center.

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After SF State, Menuhin Activity Moves to Austin

February 26, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- A couple of weeks ago, Music News featured SF State’s Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival; now let's turn to the Menuhin International Violin Competition, held this week in Austin, Texas — and still finding a local angle. San Francisco's Alex Zhou, 12, whose young career has been chronicled in SFCV, is a finalist in the Menuhin Junior Division.

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After SF State, Menuhin Activity Moves to Austin

February 26, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- A couple of weeks ago, Music News featured SF State’s Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival; now let's turn to the Menuhin International Violin Competition, held this week in Austin, Texas — and still finding a local angle. San Francisco's Alex Zhou, 12, whose young career has been chronicled in SFCV, is a finalist in the Menuhin Junior Division.

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Chamber Music Festival Honors World-renowned Violinist Yehudi Menuhin

February 19, 2014

GOLDEN GATE XPRESS -- As the lights dimmed in Knuth Hall on Sunday, the last night of the Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival began. Incorporating concerts and a seminar filled with workshops, lessons, intense coaching and public master classes for all ages, the festival ran from February 13 to February 16. The Galante prize, an annual Bay Area chamber music prize for high school ensembles, was awarded to Chiaroscuro Quartet, winning the $1,000 cash prize. The winner and all competing duos, trios, quartets and quintets have been working toward the prize since December, when the selection process for participants began. Artistic Director Paul Yarbrough said he was inspired to have the festival because the Alexander String Quartet became close to Yehudi in his last years of his life. The quartet was formed 33 years ago, but has been at SF State for 25 years.

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Chamber Music Festival Honors World-renowned Violinist Yehudi Menuhin

February 19, 2014

GOLDEN GATE XPRESS -- As the lights dimmed in Knuth Hall on Sunday, the last night of the Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival began. Incorporating concerts and a seminar filled with workshops, lessons, intense coaching and public master classes for all ages, the festival ran from February 13 to February 16. The Galante prize, an annual Bay Area chamber music prize for high school ensembles, was awarded to Chiaroscuro Quartet, winning the $1,000 cash prize. The winner and all competing duos, trios, quartets and quintets have been working toward the prize since December, when the selection process for participants began. Artistic Director Paul Yarbrough said he was inspired to have the festival because the Alexander String Quartet became close to Yehudi in his last years of his life. The quartet was formed 33 years ago, but has been at SF State for 25 years.

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Morrison Artists Series Concert Among Options for February-to-March Weekend

February 18, 2014

EXAMINER.COM -- On the other side of town San Francisco State University will be presenting the next free concert in its Morrison Artists Series. The performers will be the members of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. They will present Michael Hasel’s arrangement of a fantasia that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed for a mechanical organ, as well as original compositions by Carl Nielsen, Darius Milhaud and Kalevi Aho. This concert will also begin at 8pm on Friday, February 28. However, the artistic director of this concert series, Richard Festinger, will give a pre-concert talk beginning at 7pm. The performance will take place in the McKenna Theatre in the SFSU Creative Arts Building, and Festinger’s talk will be given in the same building. Both events are free and open to the general public.

Read the full story about Morrison Artists Series Concert Among Options for February-to-March Weekend

Morrison Artists Series Concert Among Options for February-to-March Weekend

February 18, 2014

EXAMINER.COM -- On the other side of town San Francisco State University will be presenting the next free concert in its Morrison Artists Series. The performers will be the members of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. They will present Michael Hasel’s arrangement of a fantasia that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed for a mechanical organ, as well as original compositions by Carl Nielsen, Darius Milhaud and Kalevi Aho. This concert will also begin at 8pm on Friday, February 28. However, the artistic director of this concert series, Richard Festinger, will give a pre-concert talk beginning at 7pm. The performance will take place in the McKenna Theatre in the SFSU Creative Arts Building, and Festinger’s talk will be given in the same building. Both events are free and open to the general public.

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Menuhin Festival at SF State

February 13, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- Franz Schubert’s music gets the spotlight at this year’s Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival at San Francisco State, which features the university's esteemed Alexander String Quartet and noted guests like pianist Sarah Cahill and violist Toby Appel playing the composer's classic chamber works, as well as pieces by Beethoven and Bartok, this weekend. Cellist David Requiro joins the Alexanders Friday night to perform Schubert’s String Quartet in C Major, and on Saturday hooks up with Appel, Cahill, violinist Jackie Ross and bassist Shinji Eshima to play the Piano Quintet in A major.

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Menuhin Festival at SF State

February 13, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- Franz Schubert’s music gets the spotlight at this year’s Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival at San Francisco State, which features the university's esteemed Alexander String Quartet and noted guests like pianist Sarah Cahill and violist Toby Appel playing the composer's classic chamber works, as well as pieces by Beethoven and Bartok, this weekend. Cellist David Requiro joins the Alexanders Friday night to perform Schubert’s String Quartet in C Major, and on Saturday hooks up with Appel, Cahill, violinist Jackie Ross and bassist Shinji Eshima to play the Piano Quintet in A major.

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Menuhin Lives On at SF State

February 11, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- Fervent yoga practitioner Yehudi Menuhin — long before the number of Americans practicing yoga reached 20 million, investing $27 billion a year in it — loved to stand on his head. Still, I was startled way back then when I interviewed him in Dallas, and suddenly I was addressing his feet where his head was before. He continued the stance for the next half hour. One reason for recollecting that memory is the splendid Yoga: the Art of Transformation exhibit, coming from the Smithsonian to the Asian Art Museum on February 21. The other is the arrival of the 11th annual Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival at San Francisco State University, February 14-15. It's a free event, but reservations are required. The Alexander String Quartet is the founder and director of the festival, and violist Paul Yarbrough is the artistic director this year. Besides the quartet, the festival has a starry cast.

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