2017-Current




             Victor Romasevich       Michael Jones                                                   Stephen Levintow          Paul Rhodes

The Jupiter Chamber Ensemble
Russian Chamber Music Masterpieces

Sunday 11 June 2017 at 7:00pm


The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to welcome our friends, the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble, back  to our stage with a wonderful program of Russian chamber music including works Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Catoire,
and Andriasov (pere et fils).  Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Jupiter Chamber Ensemble are:
    Victor Romasevich
- violin
    Michael Jones - violin
    Stephen Levintow - viola
    Paul Rhodes - cello


About the Concert:
San Francisco Symphony violinist Victor Romasevich and his colleagues in the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble have a special affinity for the Russian repertoire, and this concert showcases some superb examples of the genre from both the 19th and the 20th Centuries.


The Program:

    String Quartet in f# minor, Op. 23 – Georgy Catoire
    Piece for String Quartet, Op. 7 – Arshak Andriasov
    'Spring' for String Quartet, Op. 32 – Iosif Andriasov
    String Quartet in D, Op.1  – Iosif Andriasov
    Finale from the String Quartet on the Theme 'B-la-F– Aleksandr Glazunov
    Elegy in memory of M.P. Belaieff in D minor, Op. 105– Aleksandr Glazunov
    String Quartet #2 in F, Op. 22– Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


The Ensemble:

In 1997, two veteran freelancers, violinist Michael Jones and Juilliard-trained violist Steve Levintow, recruited BBC Orchestra violinist Andrew Davies and cellist Paul Hale of the Oakland Symphony to found the Jupiter Chamber Players. The group had the good fortune to connect with Marvin Sanders, director of Live Oak Concerts at the Berkeley Art Center, just as the Center's previous ensemble-in-residence, the Cypress Quartet, left to launch their international career. The Art Center remained the Jupiter's "home" venue for 10 years. Paul Rhodes replaced Hale in 2000, bringing his years of experience in numerous orchestras and as soloist with the Carmel Bach Festival. Two years later, Davies left to pursue other projects, and San Francisco Symphony member Victor Romasevich took over as first violinist. Romasevich brought deep fascination with Russian chamber music, including masterworks by such composers as Sergei Taneyev, Georgy Catoire, and Iosif Andriasov (with whom Romasevich studied violin and viola) - all links in a tradition going back to Tchaikovsky through the Moscow Conservatory. The Jupiter Chamber Players take pleasure in introducing wider audiences to the work of these composers, while continuing also to present more familiar Russian and European repertoire





                       Omid Assadi                               David Wishnia                    Sarah Wood                            David Ryther

        Lily Storm

The Circadian String Quartet
Rhythm, Revolution, and Ritual:
Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" Re-imagined

Saturday 27 May 2017 at 8:00pm


The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present the Circadian String Quartet's  return to our stage with the David Ryther's remarkable transcription of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" for string quartet and percussion. The CSQ previewed Part I of the piece at the Club last October to great acclaim and they are now returning with the complete work. Also on the program is a suite of Russian folksongs, performed by the brilliant vocalist Lily Storm, and the premiere of a new work "Rites" written especially for the CSQ by
Benjamin Leeds Carson. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Circadian String Quartet are:
     Sarah Wood & David Ryther
- violins
     Omid Assadi
-  viola
     David Wishnia
- cello

with special guest:
    Lily Storm
- vocals


About the Concert:

The Circadian String Quartet presents "Rhythm, Revolution and Ritual: The Rite of Spring Re-imagined.” the first concert in a series of three programs developed to explore the revolutionary sound world from Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring and its links to the explosive events of the decades from which it sprung. This iconic 20th century masterpiece, which infamously caused a riot at its 1913 premiere, struck a powerful nerve in a Europe wracked by political and social tension. Since then, the music has provoked unending fascination with its mix of French harmonies & deep, primal Russian roots. This concert features the Circadian's own version of Stravinsky's masterpiece transcribed for string quartet and percussion.

For Stravinsky, revolutionary meant making use of ancient Russian folk music. In that spirit CSQ also presents Russian folksongs in collaboration with the brilliant singer, Lily Storm. We are also proud to present the premiere of composer Benjamin Leeds Carson's "Rites," written especially for CSQ as a companion piece for the Rite of Spring. "Rites" takes Stravinsky's primal rhythms as a jumping off point for a sometimes humorous and sometimes poignant adventure in rhythmic ritual.


The Program:


    Russian Folk Songs sung by Lily Storm

    'Rites" for String Quartet (3 movements) - Benjamin Leeds Carson


    The Rite of Spring: Scenes of Pagan Rus’ in Two Parts  -  Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
        Part I - L'Adoration de la Terre (Adoration of the Earth)
        Part II - Le Sacrifice (The Sacrifice)

    (Transcribed for String Quartet and Percussion by David Ryther)


The Ensemble:

Bay Area based Circadian String Quartet was founded in 2013 to promote the classical and contemporary string quartet repertoire, in particular music of cultural and folkloric significance. Since then, the group has been featured by Mt. Shasta's Music by the Mountain Chamber Music Festival, SunsetArts Chamber Music Series in San Francisco, and the Merced Symphony Association. CSQ has collaborated with many fine musicians, including the St. Petersburg-based Rimsky Korsakov String Quartet during their 2014 North American tour, and with local musicians of the San Francisco Opera and Ballet. CSQ is proud to have given world- and U.S. premieres of exciting new pieces of chamber music, a result of working closely with several living composers, including Sahba Aminikia, Toronto-based composer and pianist Noam Lemish, and British composer Ian Venables. The Circadian String Quartet has recently been accepted as an ensemble with the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.

Members of CSQ serve as resident teaching artists for the Villa Sinfonia Foundation's Zephyr Point Chamber Music Workshop in South Lake Tahoe, NV. Dedicated to music education, the quartet works intensely with musician of all ages in developing their musical abilities in chamber music. The quartet has also developed and presented interactive school programs for grades 4-12.


What people are saying:

"...the ensemble’s(Circadian String Quartet's) approach to interpreting Ryther’s transcription [of The Rite of Spring] was consistently impressive. The performance was clearly the result of passionate commitment, and the contagions of those passions had no trouble spilling off the stage into the audience area."

-Stephen Smoliar.
therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com


The Artists:

David Ryther (violin) has brought his interpretive powers as a soloist to such festivals as the Darmstadt Summer Festival of New Music, the Banff Center, and the Green Umbrella Series at the Bing theater in Los Angeles. He has been featured playing new music with adventurous ensembles sfSoundGroup, Earplay, San Francisco Contemporary Players, the Berkeley New Music Ensemble, Sonor, and Octagon. An active violinist, he can be found playing in many of the orchestras and ensembles in the Bay Area including the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. David graduated with highest honors in music from UC Santa Cruz and recently received his doctorate in contemporary violin performance from UC San Diego. A dedicated teacher and conductor, David is a teacher and assistant conductor with Villa Sinfonia in San Francisco, teaches violin at the Crowden School, and has served as coach and interim conductor with the Berkeley Youth Orchestra. As a composer, David has had world premieres played by the Villa Sinfonia, an orchestra piece called "Friend" commissioned by the Croi Glan dance troupe in Cork Ireland, and has worked in residency with Kate Weare company in New York and Dandelion Dance Theater in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sarah Wood (violin) leads a versatile career as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. She has soloed with the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival Orchestra and the Panache, Villa Sinfonia, and Icicle Creek Chamber Orchestras. In addition to her membership with the Circadian String Quartet, Sarah has performed chamber music concerts across the Northwestern and Western United States, and is a frequent recitalist. Sarah is currently acting assistant concertmaster of the California Symphony, acting Principal Second Violin of the Berkeley Symphony, and a member of the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival Orchestra. As an educator, she is on faculty at the Crowden School of Music and teaches privately. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in violin performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she studied with the Takacs String Quartet and Lina Bahn, and also holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Paul Kantor and William Preucil.

Native of Iran, Omid Assadi (viola) holds a B.M. and M.M. from San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Jodie Levitz and Bettina Mussumeli. Mr. Assadi is an active ensemble player and soloist; he has concertized with many of the Bay Area’s orchestras and has appeared numerous times as soloist with Golden Gate Philharmonic, City College of San Francisco String Orchestra, Kensington Symphony Orchestra, and Villa Sinfonia. Omid’s love for chamber music has led him to study chamber music with the members of the Kronos String Quartet as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music faculty members. In addition, he has collaborated with Jennifer Culp, Jodi Levitz, Jorja Fleezanis, and with the Shams Ensemble.

An active chamber musician, David Wishnia (cello) routinely concertizes with both the Circadian String Quartet and the Villa Piano Trio, and has taught at the Zephyr Point Chamber Music Camp and Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop. David has also appeared as a soloist with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra and Villa Sinfonia. He is currently a member of the Marin Symphony, and has performed in numerous Bay Area ensembles, including the Berkeley Symphony, Modesto Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, Russian Chamber Orchestra, and Marin Oratorio, among others. David received his Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Aldo Parisot. He also studied with Jerome Carrington and Maurice Gendron, and received coaching from Paul Tortelier, Janos Starker, and Pierre Pasquier.


Lily Storm is a singer specializing in traditional music, with particular experience in Eastern European styles. She has studied with many traditional singers (Donka Koleva, Kremena Stancheva, Merita Halili, Mariana Sadovska, Christos Govetas, Carl Linich, Tsvetanka Varimezova, Radostina Kaneva, Tatiana Sarbinska), and has traveled extensively, living for some months in Hungary and Greece and visiting Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia and India. She also makes use of archival recordings to study ancient styles preserved into the early 20th century.  Previously she sang with the Bay Area vocal ensemble Kitka for 5 years. As part of Kitka, she recorded as a soloist (The Vine, Wintersongs), collaborated in concert with ensembles including Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Ziyia, Ensemble Alcatraz, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Davka, and Mariana Sadovska, and appeared on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion and NPR's Performance Today.  Lily holds a Masters in Music (with emphasis on Kodály pedagogy) from Holy Names University, and a B.A. in Mathematics from Bryn Mawr College.




              Jeremy Constant                                      Polina Sedukh                                    Adam Smyla                                                  Amos Yang

Sun Valley Players
Beethoven, Dvořák & Eshima

Sunday 21 May 2017 at 7:00pm


The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to host the return of the Sun Valley Players, an ensemble of virtuoso musicians, to our Concert Series. They will be performing one of Beethoven's Late Quartets, along with some music by Dvořák and Eshima. And there's a secret ... this super-group are all mild-mannered members of the San Francisco Symphony, including Assistant Concertmaster Jeremy Constant, and Assistant Principal cellist Amos Yang, as well as violinist Polina Sedukh and violist Adam Smyla.  Joining them for this concert will be pianist Peter Grunberg and bassist Charles Chandler. Don't miss these world-class artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Sun Valley Players are:

Jeremy Constant - violin
Polina Sedukh - violin
Adam Smyla - viola
Amos Yang - cello

with special guests:
Charles Chandler - bass
Peter Grunberg - piano

The Concert:

In the last several years of his life, Ludwig van Beethoven created a series of six string quartets of surpassing beauty, subtlety, and sophistication. These pieces have become known as the "Late Quartets." At the time of their composition, however, Beethoven's contemporaries didn't know what to make of them; one commented that "we know there is something there, but we do not know what it is." Composer and conductor Louis Spohr called them "indecipherable, uncorrected horrors." Since that time, however, these works have become revered by generations musicians, scholars, and listeners alike, and indeed sound modern even in the 21st Century. For this concert the Sun Valley Players will be performing one of these venerated works, "String Quartet No.12 in Eb Major, Op. 127."

The young Dvorak composed his String Quartet No. 5 in F minor early in his career but abandoned it. Seven years later, as his fame spread, he took the lovely, lyrical cantabile from the Quartet and turned into the exquisite miniature that is his "Romance in F minor, Op.11."

The beautiful cello-bass duo "Bariolage" by Shinji Eshima has a multitude of local connections. The piece was commissioned for S.F Symphony players Amos Yang and Charles Chandler in 2015, and Eshima himself was born in Berkeley and is currently a member of the S.F Opera and S.F. Ballet orchestras.

The Program:

"Bariolage" (duet for bass & cello) - Shinji Eshima
Romance in F minor, Op. 11 - Antonin
Dvořák (arranged for violin & piano)
String Quartet No. 12 in Eb Major, Op. 127 - Ludwig van Beethoven


About the Artists:


After winning the Grand Prize in the 1979 Du Maurier competition in Canada, violinist Jeremy Constant studied in New York with Ivan Galamian and then with the great violinist Itzhak Perlman before making the San Francisco Bay Area his home. He became a member of the San Francisco Symphony in 1984, with whom he continues to perform as Assistant Concertmaster. He has been Concertmaster of the Marin Symphony since 1994 and in 2000 was named Concertmaster of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. He is a frequent soloist with the orchestra and participant in the Edgar M. Bronfman Chamber Series. As an active soloist and chamber musician both here and abroad, Jeremy has performed on radio and television around the world. He was violinist in the San Francisco Piano Trio, and a founding member of the Navarro Trio and Navarro Quartet. He can be heard as Assistant Concertmaster on Grammy Award winning releases such as the continuing Mahler cycle by the San Francisco Symphony and can been seen on their ongoing television project Keeping Score. Jeremy plays the ex-Heberlein Stradivarius from the year 1700, which was donated to the San Francisco Symphony for his exclusive use. Residing in Oakland with his wife Sharon, Jeremy is a pilot who took over 7 years to build a plane which he currently enjoys flying.

Born to a family of musicians in St. Petersburg, Russia, Polina Sedukh began studying violin at the age of four, her first teachers being her father Grigory Sedukh and Savely Shalman. She is a graduate of Special Music School of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory, where she studied under the guidance of Lev Ivaschenko and Vladimir Ovtcharek. She also holds Artist Diploma from Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA, where she studied with Laura Bossert and Malcolm Lowe. Prizewinner of the International Spohr Competition in Weimar, Germany, Ms. Sedukh made her solo orchestral debut at the age of seven with the Chamber Orchestra of Liepaya, Latvia and has since appeared as soloist with St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Boston Virtuosi Orchestra, St.Petersburg Capella Symphony Orchestra, Newton Symphony Orchestra and Weimer State Capella Orchestra. Following her passion for symphonic music, Ms. Sedukh pursued career in major American orchestras, presently being a member of 2nd violin section of San Francisco Symphony since 2009, and having previously served as a member of Boston Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2007.

At age 17, violist Adam Smyla won the first prize at the National Viola Competition in his native Poland. Within six months, he became the youngest member of the Polish National Radio and Television Orchestra and was invited to join the Penderecki String Quartet with whom he toured throughout the world for nearly a decade. Adam was Assistant Principal Violist of the Chicago Lyric Opera and Principal Violist of the Concertanti di Chicago before becoming a member of the San Francisco Symphony in 2000. Adam appears frequently in chamber music concerts throughout the Bay Area, often in collaboration with his wife, pianist Edna Koren.

Amos Yang is the Assistant Principal cellist for the San Francisco Symphony. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S., the Far East and Europe. He has also collaborated in chamber music with the Ying Quartet, the Turtle Island String Quartet, pianists Ann Schein and Melvin Chen, violinist Earl Carlyss and composer Bright Sheng. Yang’s awards include the Performer’s Certificate at Eastman School of Music and first prizes in the American String Teacher’s Association and Grace Vamos competitions. He was finalist in the Pierre Fournier International Cello Competition and was awarded the CD Jackson Prize at the Tanglewood Music Festival for outstanding musical contribution. As cellist of the Maia String Quartet from 1996-2002, Yang was involved in many educational programs, performing throughout the country for schools under the auspices of such organizations as Arts Excel, Young Audiences Inc. and the Midori Foundation. During this time he also served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Iowa, Grinnell College and the Interlochen Advanced String Quartet Institute. Yang holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School of Music. Before joining the San Francisco Symphony, Yang was a member of the Seattle Symphony, maintaining a private teaching studio as well as cultivating an active solo and chamber music life. Born and raised in San Francisco, he was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and San Francisco Boys Choir.





Matt Renzi's
"In Breath"

Friday 12 May 2017 at 8:00pm


The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to welcome an old friend with a new project back
to our stage. Matt Renzi has performed both as a leader and a side-man a number of times in our series; for this concert he will bring a wonderful woodwind-based quartet. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

(Please note that, due to unavoidable circumstances, the previously-announced "Arm-Sized Legging" program has been replaced with "In Breath")

'In Breath' are:

Mat Renzi
- woodwinds
Ben Goldberg - clarinet
John Wiitala - bass
Hamir Atwal- drums


About the Program:

'In Breath' is an expandable ensemble featuring woodwinds, bass and drums playing a repertoire of all original music.The music is rooted in the jazz tradition but also explores contemporary classical harmony as well as the Carnatic rhythmic system of South India. This version of 'In Breath' will feature the creative interplay of clarinet master Ben Goldberg and woodwind virtuoso  Matt Renzi, along with the great rhythm section of bassist John Wiitala and drummer Hamir Atwal. .


About the Artists:

Multi-reedist and composer Matt Renzi has been performing professionally for the past 20 years at international jazz festivals and music venues worldwide. He holds a Bachelor’s in Music (Performance) from the Berklee College of Music and Master’s in Arts (Classical Composition) from San Francisco State University. Matt can be heard on a variety of recordings including the award winning “Lines and Ballads” (Fresh Sound Records) as well as his latest release entitled “Rise and Shine” (Three P’s Records) which features his New York trio. Matt has performed and recorded with Marc Johnson, Michael Formanek, Eddie Marshall, Herbie Lewis, Ben Monder, Eberhard Weber, Bob Moses, Ralph Alessi, Bobo Stenson, and the Berlin Philharmanic Quintet.

Beginning in 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio "kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music" (SF Chronicle), clarinetist Ben Goldberg has established himself as “one of the most vibrant, flexible, and inventive clarinetists in jazz and improvised music” (Downbeat), “an artist who seems to find beautiful melodies at the end of every path." (NPR). Through his many bands and compositional projects The New York Times has noted Ben’s music for “a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising,” and he was named #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in the Downbeat Critics Poll in both 2011 and 2013. Ben leads or co-leads The Out Louds, Invisible Guy, Unfold Ordinary Mind; Go Home, “a searching ensemble that welcomes lyrical improvisation while embracing the groove” (The New Yorker); Ben Goldberg School; and Ben Goldberg Trio with Greg Cohen and Kenny Wollesen. He is a member of the avant-chamber jazz ensemble Tin Hat; and performs in a duo with pianist Myra Melford called DIALOGUE.

Bassist John Wiitala is a native of Oakland, CA. He started playing on the San Francisco Jazz scene in 1980 with Hal Stein, Jessica Williams as well as short stints with the Joe Henderson Big Band, the Joe Henderson/Warren Gale Quintet, and John Handy. John also backed countless visiting artists, among them Charles McPherson, Benny Golson, Roger Kellaway, Lou Levy, Enestine Anderson, Mark Murphy, Junior Cook, James Moody, Red Holloway, Jack Walrath, Joe Locke, Arthur Blythe, Delfayo Marsalis, Kenny Barron. John Has also toured Europe in Japan with artists such as Jessica Williams, Bruce Forman, Richie Cole and Arturo Sandoval.

Drummer Hamir Atwal is a Berklee College of Music graduate who has taught at Oberlin College, Peabody Conservatory, Stanford University, CalArts, and the California Jazz Conservatory. Hamir has performed with Bill Laswell, Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, Patrick Wolff, Patrick Cress, Joshua Smith, Ben Goldberg, Darren Johnston, Myra Melford, Joshua White, Grant Levin, Larry Vuckovich, Michael Coleman, Shelley Berg, Dave Santoro, Ruben Rogers, Mike Sopko, Michael Formanek, Donny McCaslin, Kenny Wollesen, Drew Gress, and Stomu Takeshi.




     Olga Ortenberg-Rakitchenkov                                   Arcadi Serper                                       Sergey Rakitchenkov

The Melodiya Chamber Ensemble
"Solos & Duets"


Friday 5 May 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is excited
to host the return of the Melodiya Chamber Ensemble, bringing a unique combination of instruments and repertoire to our stage. The program will feature works by Marais, Debussy, Ravel, Salzedo, Beethoven, Schumann, and Enesco. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Melodiya Chamber Ensemble are:

Olga Ortenberg-Rakitchenkov
- harp
Arcadi Serper - piano
Sergey Rakitchenkov - viola


The Program:   

Suite No.1 in D minor (selections) - Marin Marais
Arabesque #1 - Claude Debussy
Pavane pour une infante défunte - Maurice Ravel
Variations on a Theme in Ancient Style, for solo harp, Op.30 - Carlos Salzedo
Romance in G Major, Op. 40 - Ludwig van Beethoven
Märchenbilder; Fairy Tale Pictures for Viola and Piano, Op.113 - Robert Schumann
Konzertstück for Viola and Piano - George Enesco


About the Artists:

The San Francisco Opera Orchestra’s Principal Harp Olga Ortenberg-Rakitchenkov was born in Russia into a family rich in musical tradition. Her mother was an editor of Musica, a major Russian publishing company, and her granduncle was a member of the Budapest Quartet. The former Associate Concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera, Adolf Bruk, is her uncle. Olga started piano lessons at seven at Moscow’s Gnesin School for Musically Gifted Children. At eleven, she began to study harp in the class of Mark Rubin, making it her primary instrument. She graduated with Highest Honors from Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory, studying with Professor Vera Dulova. Olga won the position of Associate Principal Harp in the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra in 1973 and was promoted to Principal. In 1989, after immigration to the United States, she won the position of Principal Harp for the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

Arkadi Serper is a prominent pianist and composer. He had an outstanding career as Musical Director of the Musical Theater Department at the Gnesin Conservatory prior to his move to the Bay Area in 1992. Mr. Serper has performed in Europe, the United States, and Asia. His compositions have been performed by the Stockton Symphony, Vallejo Symphony, Kairos Youth Choir, The Crowden School, and the San Francisco Boys’ Chorus. He has been a member of the Crowden faculty since 1992, coaching chamber music and teaching music theory and composition. Mr. Serper teaches piano at CCMC.

Associate Principal Viola in the San Francisco Opera, Sergey Rakitchenkov was born in Moscow and attended the Central School for Musically Gifted Children. He graduated with honors from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music in Moscow, where he studied with Fyodor Druzhinin. For fifteen years he performed with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, rising to become Principal of the viola section. In 1980 he won the prestigious All-Union Musical Competition. His playing was broadcast on a major Soviet Union radio station. In 1987, soon after arriving in the United States with his wife Olga and daughter Liza, he won a position in the viola section of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, where he currently serves in the Associate Principal chair. He also performs at special events around the San Francisco Bay Area and in Europe.






The Oakland Jazz Choir

Friday 21 April 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is
pleased to present the the Oakland Jazz Choir celebrating their 25 years of outstanding performances with a program of jazz originals and standards in unique choral arrangements. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

About the Oakland Jazz Choir:


The Oakland Jazz Choir, (OJC) a non-profit, has been an East Bay institution for 25 years. During this span the group has taken many shapes, sizes and forms but the common denominator has always been the same: Joy of expression, using the voice to communicate the triumphs, as well as the turbulence, of the human spirit. We are committed to bringing vocal jazz to underserved audiences in the Bay Area and beyond. Choir membership includes 16 singers, as diverse in age, religion, and race as our hometown. Artistic director Ben Flint, a native of Memphis TN, is steeped in gospel, jazz and R&B, but applies his diverse musical experience to finding a uniquely Oakland sound. This multicultural, multi-talented group of people volunteer their time, energy and skill to produce some of the sweetest harmonies around. OJC delivers exquisite 5 and 6 harmonies performing original and contemporary arrangements that include pieces by hit makers such as Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Pat Metheny, as well as Bobby McFerrin, Michael Jackson, Thelonius Monk, Tower of Power & Tears for Fears.

Over the past 25 years, OJC has performed with such notables as: singers Madeline Eastman. Marlena Shaw, Faye Carol, and most recently, Kenny Washington and The Bobs, and collaborated with rhythm dancer Keith Terry and percussionist, composer John Santos. They’ve gigged at such venues as: Yoshi’s and Piedmont Piano in Oakland, both the San Francisco and San Jose Jazz Festivals, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, the Valhalla Boathouse Theatre at Lake Tahoe, the Grass Valley Center for the Arts, Piedmont Piano, First Fridays Oakland, and auditioned and won a coveted spot to perform in the prestigious International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE). OJC is supported entirely by individual donations and small grants.






Michael Zilber's
Originals for the ORIGINALS

Friday 7 April 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is
delighted to present our friend, saxophonist and composer Michael Zilber with a program of his original compositions written in honor of seven shining lights of the jazz saxophone. Joining Mike for this gig will be Matt Clark, Peter Barshay, and Hamir Atwal. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.


The Artists:

Michael Zilber
- saxophones
Matt Clark - piano
Peter Barshay - bass
Hamir Atwal - drums

special guest:
Zachary Shubert - piano


The Program:   

In a tribute to saxophone giants, one of the Bay Area's top saxophonists Michael Zilber performs all original music from his new ORIGIN CD, Originals for the ORIGINALS, written in homage to John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Dave Liebman, Michael Brecker, Sonny Rollins, Paul Desmond and Joe Henderson. Hailed by leading jazz critics such as Andrew Gilbert and Bill Milkowski, Zilber's 11th release as a leader is being widely described as his best and most personal recording.  Zilber will be joined at The Hillside Club by the outstanding rhythm section of pianist Matt Clark, bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Hamir Atwal.

Opening for the group will be jazz piano prodigy Zachary Shubert, the pianist with the SFJAZZ ALL STARS and the Downbeat-award-winning Jazzschool Advanced Jazz Workshop.

About the Artists:


Michael Zilber
is a San Francisco-based saxophonist and composer. Jazz legend Dave Liebman calls him “one of the best players and composers around anywhere. Period!” He has released 10 albums as a leader to numerous rave reviews, the latest being Originals for the Originals, his homage to saxophone giants. Featuring jazz greats Dave Kikoski, James Genus and Clarence Penn, the album was released in January 2017. In late 2016, he and guitar virtuoso John Stowell released Basement Blues, their 3rd recording together on Origin Records.  Zilber is currently a sideman in trumpeter/composer Erik Jekabson’s Stringtet, as well as playing and composing for the highly regarded Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, whose recent release Cheap Rent received 4.5 stars in DownBeat. Zilber also teaches at the California Jazz Conservatory where his student groups have won more than a dozen national DownBeat awards.


Pianist Matt Clark is a masterful artist who evolved from a child prodigy into a pillar of the San Francisco jazz scene. After his formal education at Ohio’s prestigious Oberlin Conservatory, Clark planted roots in the Bay Area and quickly became a first-call rhythm section player, working steadily with an impressive list of jazz heavyweights including Bobby Hutcherson, Marcus Shelby and Joshua Redman. In addition to his sparkling résumé as a sideman, he’s led a pair of sessions for the Elixir label that focus on the work of composer/arranger Ron Ermini, both featuring esteemed bassist John Shifflet and veteran drummer David Rokeach.

Peter Barshay is a veteran bassist who has established a strong reputation over the years from his sideman work on both the New York City and Bay Area jazz scenes. He has performed with such jazz luminaries as Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Woody Shaw, Pharoah Sanders, Blue Mitchell, Tony Williams, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Johnny Griffin, Bobby McFerrin, Jimmy Rowles, Tommy Flanagan, the Mingus Big Band, Victor Lewis, Lou Donaldson, Lew Tabackin and Joe Chambers. Barshay began cello lessons at age nine. During his year at the San Francisco Conservatory Peter was able to add one particularly impressive name to his resume. "I actually got to play under Igor Stravinksy," he explains. "It was for the official opening of Zellerbach Auditorium in 1968 and they commissioned Stravinsky to come here and conduct four concerts.” Peter has appeared at Chez Hanny with Larry Schneider, Michael O'Neill, and Dave Scott.

Hamir Atwal is one of Bay Area's finest musicians and is known for his versatile style of drumming. He has worked with acts ranging from pop to the avant-garde. Some of these artists include tUnEyArDs, Michael Formanek, Ben Goldberg to Joe Lovano, and Greg Osby.  Hamir is also a guest clinician/teacher at schools which include: Oberlin College, Peabody Conservatory, Stanford University, CalArts, and the California Jazz Conservatory.






New Esterházy Quartet
Grand Concert Symphonique II

Friday 24 Mar 2017 at 8:00pm


The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present the New Esterházy Quartet with an exciting new version of their Grand Concert Symphonique series. This program will feature symphonic music of Haydn arranged for string quart and featuring guest soloists. The artists of this celebrated San Francisco Bay Area string ensemble are internationally-known period instrument and chamber music specialists, and have gained a well-deserved reputation for virtuoso playing and interesting programs. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:

Lisa Weiss & Kati Kyme
- violins
Anthony Martin
- viola
William Skeen
- 'cello

The Program:

   Joseph Haydn:
   Concerto in G for Piano, with Karen Rosenak, fortepiano
   Concerto in E♭ for Trumpet,
with Jonathan Impett, keyed-trumpet
   Symphony No. 100 in G "Military"



The Ensemble:


Founded in 2006 and currently in its eighth year of subscription concerts in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto, the New Esterházy Quartet continues to present masterworks of the classical period alongside intriguing works from less-familiar composers. With Haydn's 68 quartets as its core repertoire, NEQ is increasingly recognized as one of the world's top period-instrument string quartets. The ensemble has been presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society, Arizona Early Music Society, Carmel Chamber Music Society, has performed in New York and Los Angeles, and appeared as a Main Stage event for the 2012 Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. NEQ was also selected for Early Music America's Touring Artists Roster and has received two grants from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. Recent seasons have featured works by pupils and admirers of Haydn, late quartets of Schubert and Beethoven, and novel explorations of early Bartók and Schoenberg. January 2014 saw the world premiere of Esterházy, book II, written for the ensemble by noted New York composer Paul Brantley. NEQ's 2014 summer project was the complete Mozart "Haydn" Quartets, performed at Berkeley's historic Hillside Club in a three-concert Amadè-Athon. The coming season will include an appearance on Pittsburgh's prestigious "Renaissance and Baroque" series in January and a summer cycle of the late Beethoven quartets. Four Haydn recordings are currently available, and a world premiere recording of a mid-19th century string quartet by Hungarian composer Imre Székely is near release.

The members of NEQ are internationally-known period-instrument and chamber music specialists: Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violins, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen. As individuals, the players have performed and recorded in the top echelon of early music ensembles worldwide. In addition to many years of musical collaboration in Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and a long list of renowned chamber ensembles, these four Bay Area musicians have enjoyed decades of friendship and shared experience. Their history as both colleagues and friends endows the quartet with an unusual commonality of musical language and gesture, and provides a strong foundation for a unique and original ensemble voice. In addition to concert appearances, NEQ enjoys performing in private homes and other intimate settings where the traditional experience of true chamber music is renewed and shared by players and listeners together.


For more information on the New Esterházy Quartet and this program, please
check their website:

   http://newesterhazy.org/








Erik Jekabson's Vista Nonet
Art Songs & Chamber Jazz

Saturday 18 Mar 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is excited to present an old friend with a new ensemble. Composer and trumpet player Erik Jekabson has performed numerous times in our concert series over the years and we've become great fans of his compositions and his playing. For this performance he is bringing his Vista Nonet, a nine piece ensemble including vocalists, violin, trumpet, reeds, vibraphone, and a jazz rhythm section. They will be performing Erik's original compositions, including musical settings of poems by Frank O'Hara and Elizabeth Bishop. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall

The Ensemble:

Erik Jekabson - trumpet
Becca Burrington & Alexis Jenson - vocals
Alisa Rose- violin
Matt Renzi - woodwinds
Dillon Vado - vibes
Jeffrey Burr- guitar
Jeff Denson - bass
Alan Hall - drums.



About the artists:

Erik Jekabson is a freelance trumpet player, composer, arranger and educator who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He is equally busy playing and composing for different bands, leading his own groups and teaching a wide variety of students.  Erik has five CDs out under his own name: his most recent album is “A Brand New Take” on the OA2 record label.  His other CDs are “Erik Jekabson Quartet & John Santos: Live at the Hillside Club”, (released in 2014) which like “Anti-Mass”(2012) , and “Crescent Boulevard” (2010) are on his own Jekab’s Music record label.  His debut CD,  “Intersection”, was recorded in New York in 2002 and released on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label.  Erik also co-produced and played on two other recordings which are widely available: “Vista: the Arrival” and “New World Funk Ensemble”. He’s recorded as a sideman on numerous other jazz recordings, as well as doing session work in many other genres of music and on movie and video game soundtracks. He’s spent time on the road with Illinois Jacquet, John Mayer, Galactic, and the Howard Fishman Quartet, and has performed at such notable venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Algonquin Room, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Madison Square Garden, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.  As an arranger and composer, he’s written for both vocalists (Madeleine Peyroux, Ani DiFranco, Jane Krakowski, Jackie Ryan, Kenny Washington, Madeline Eastman, Kellye Gray, Sandy Cressman, Raz Kennedy, Shanna Carlson) and instrumental ensembles. (San Francisco Symphony, the Stanford Jazz Orchestra, the Realistic Orchestra, the California State University East Bay Jazz Ensemble, the SF Composers Orchestra and his own Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, which plays every Sunday at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco.)

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Multi-reedist Matt Renzi has been performing professionally for the past 20 years at international jazz festivals and music venues worldwide. For the past decade, he has been recognized multiple times by jazz organizations in Italy, Spain, Belgium, India and Israel as well as in the United States for his advanced concepts in spontaneous group composition and collective improvisation with The Matt Renzi Trio. He holds a Bachelor’s in Music (Performance) from the Berklee College of Music and Master’s in Arts (Classical Composition) from San Francisco State University. Some of his teachers include Joe Henderson and South Indian Vocalist R.A. Ramamani.

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Fiddler and violinist, composer and improviser, Alisa Rose is a modern musician who easily navigates between many musical styles. With roots in classical music as well as the rich American musical tradition, she attracts attention for her expressive lyrical voice on the violin.  Alisa Rose has performed with a wide range of artists including the Real Vocal String Quartet, 2008 Rockygrass winners 49 Special, and Grammy-nominated Quartet San Francisco. Alisa performed and taught throughout Eastern Europe as an Ambassador of the State Department, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, NPR's Weekend Edition, the historic Carter Family Fold festival, TEDx Alcatraz with Bob Weir, Song of the Mountains on PBS, as well as numerous international tours.

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Dillon Vado grew up in San Jose, California and began playing music at the age of 7. Learning at first informally from a close family friend, he immediately showed an interest in music. He played music in middle school, and high school focusing on primarily tenor saxophone, and percussion. At Del Mar High School, Dillon spent a lot of time playing in the various music programs offered, from concert percussion in the concert band, to snare drum and tenor drums in the marching band and winter drumline. By the age of sixteen Dillon was gigging and playing regularly. His experiences in high school really helped launch his professional career, because he had many opportunities to play musicals, play in the jazz band, and lead/compose for the drumline. These experiences led him to play snare drum after high school in the first ever Santa Clara Vanguard Winter Drumline, while also studying music at West Valley College in Saratoga, California. It was at West Valley that he started playing vibes more often, and eventually formed his own band, Grooveyard Shift. After West Valley, Dillon transferred to The California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, California and is currently there pursuing a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies.

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Jeff Denson is currently focused on four projects as a leader, Jeff Denson Quartet ( featuring Jeff on bass and vocals and has included such extraordinary trumpeters as Ralph Alessi and Cuong Vu), Electreo (an experimental ensemble of electric bass, electric bassoon and percussion), The San Francisco String Trio, and the Jeff Denson Trio +1 – a project featuring a special guest artist each season, beginning appropriately with Lee Konitz in 2014/15, that has toured in the U.S and Europe. In addition, Jeff performs solo and in some special duets. In 2013 he released two duo recordings on pfMENTUM Records: I’ll Fly Away, a re-imagination of hymns and spirituals with Joshua White; and Two, with the remarkable European clarinetist Claudio Puntin.

From his position as Outreach Director for the CJC, Jeff is nurturing young musicians into the world of professional performance, promoting partnerships and relationships among various elements of the Bay Area scene. A key part of his mission is to provide that special growth experience of allowing young musicians to share the bandstand side by side with the professionals with whom they will become colleagues in the future. His ultimate goal is to not only foster this emerging talent, but also to create an atmosphere of activity and productivity that is intended to make the local scene a viable professional option for young musicians. It’s his hope that this will keep this young talent in the area rather than departing for other cities in search of career success.

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Alan Hall has performed and/or recorded with many jazz greats including Paul McCandless, Russell Ferrante, Taylor Eigsti, Art Lande, Geoff Keezer, Jimmy Haslip, Kai Eckhardt, and vocalists Kenny Washington and Rebecca Parris. He’s worked with Cirque Du Soleil in NYC and Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco. Alan taught drum set and ensembles at Berklee College of Music for seven years and he currently teaches drum set and ensembles at California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and Cal State University East Bay in Hayward. He is the author of several articles and a drum book entitled: “Internalization”- A non-reading intensive approach to mastery of the jazz drumming language. He is a proud endorser of Brooks Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Aquarian Accessories and Vic Firth Sticks.

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Becca Burrington graduated in trombone performance with honors at Oberlin Conservatory, where she received the Conservatory Dean’s Talent Award. She also studied at Interlochen Arts Center and received the Governor’s Scholar and Outstanding Brass Performance award. An active freelancer on trombone and voice, performances have included trombone with the Silk Road Project with Yo-Yo Ma, San Francisco Sinfonietta, California Chamber Symphony, Women’s Philharmonic, Aspen Festival Orchestra, and the Montclair Women’s Big Band. She is a founding member of Solstice, an award winning female vocal septet. Ms. Burrington is also a member and frequent soprano soloist with the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, and the ground breaking vocal jazz group the Mirabai Ensemble. She has sung with an a wide array of artists including Bobby McFerrin, Sufjan Stevens, Meredith Monk, Andy Williams, and John Zorn. Becca’s students have played in the Oakland Youth Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and have attended major conservatories including Oberlin.

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Bay Area native Alexis Jensen is an active local singer and actor.  She has performed on a wide variety of stages with companies such as Berkeley West Edge Opera, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, Lamplighters Music Theater, Exit Theater, Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, Ray of Light Theater, Altarena Playhouse, Cinnabar Theater and Contra Costa Civic Theater.




   Victor Romasevich            Michael Jones                 Stephen Levintow               Paul Rhodes                 Olga Rakitchenkov

Two, Three, Four & Five:
Members of the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble
with Olga Rakitchenkov (harp)
play Andriasov, Beethoven & Golubev

Sunday 12 Mar 2017 at 7:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present all the members of the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble, along with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra’s Principal Harpist Olga Ortenberg-Rakitchenkov, performing a wonderful, diverse program featuring a string trio by Beethoven, and several works by 20th Century Russian composers Iosif Andriasov and Evgeny Golubev, including Golubev's famous Quintet for Harp and String Quartet. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:
Victor Romasevich - violin, piano
Michael Jones - violin
Stephen Levintow - viola
Paul Rhodes - cello
Olga Rakitchenkov - harp


The Program:

String Quartet in D Major, Op.1
(1954) -
Iosif Andriasov (1933-2000)
        Jupiter Chamber Ensemble

3 Sketches for Cello and Piano
- Iosif Andriasov
 
   Op. 4B (1955)
    Op. 24C
(1970)
    Op. 30B "Meditation"
(1981)
        Paul Rhodes, cello
        Victor Romasevich, piano

String Trio in C minor, Op. 9 No 3
(1797-98) - Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
        Victor Romasevich, violin
        Stephen Levintow, viola
        Paul Rhodes, cello

Quintet for Harp and String Quartet in C minor, Op. 39 (1953) - Evgeny Golubev
(1910-1988)
        Olga Rakitchenkov, harp
        Jupiter Chamber Ensemble


About the Artists:

Victor Romasevich was born in Minsk, Belarus. His mother, Lena Lubotsky, began teaching him piano at the age of four. When five, he started violin studies with Anna Silberstein. At six, he enrolled in the violin class of Mikhail Garlitsky and Lev Sharinov at The Gnesin Music School in Moscow. As a youth he studied violin with Rostislav Dubinsky of the Borodin Quartet. He continued his training at the Moscow Conservatory with Boris Belenky and Nadia Beshkina.

Following Romasevich’s emigration to the United States in 1977, he studied at Juilliard with Ivan Galamian. In 1979 he became a violin and viola pupil of the composer and philosopher Iosif Andriasov. Winner of the Gina Bachauer Prize at the 1985 J.S. Bach International Competition, Romasevich joined the San Francisco Sympohony as Associate Principal Violist in 1990, and in 1992 moved to the First Violin section. He appears frequently in recitals and chamber concerts as a violinist, violist and keyboard player.

Micheal Jones studied with Jorja Fleezanis and Andor Toth. With John Burke and cellist Gwyneth Davis, he was a longtime member of the piano trio I Gatti Freschi. He is second violinist of the Jupiter String Quartet, of which he was a founder.

Stephen Levintow studied viola at Juilliard with the late Paul Doktor and chamber music with Samuel Rhodes of the Juilliard Quartet. For many years he has been a free lance musician in the Bay area, with an emphasis on chamber music. He and Michael Jones co-founded the Jupiter Chamber Players in 1997.

Cellist Paul Rhodes received the Bachelor of Arts in Music from Dominican College, where he studied with Margaret Rowell, and the Master of Music from the University of Texas at Austin after studies with Paul Olefsky. Paul is a member of the Oakland-East Bay Symphony and,in the summer, the Carmel Bach Festival. Locally, he has worked with the symphonies of Berkeley, Marin, California, Sacramento and San Jose as well as with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, and Earplay.  Outside the area he has appeared with the San Antonio Symphony,  Brandywine Baroque, Orchestra of Santa Fe, Reinische Philharmonie, and the Jugend im Musik festival in Vienna.


San Francisco Opera Orchestra’s Principal Harpist Olga Ortenberg-Rakitchenkov was born in Russia into a family rich in musical tradition. Her mother was an editor of Musica, a major Russian publishing company, and her granduncle was a member of the Budapest Quartet. The former Associate Concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera, Adolf Bruk, is her uncle. Olga started piano lessons at seven at Moscow’s Gnesin School for Musically Gifted Children. At eleven, she began to study harp in the class of Mark Rubin, making it her primary instrument. She graduated with Highest Honors from Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory, studying with Professor Vera Dulova.

Olga won the position of Associate Principal Harp in the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra in 1973 and was promoted to Principal. In 1989, after immigration to the United States, she won the position of Principal Harp for the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

Olga performs much contemporary chamber music, and she has premiered works by Schnittke, Denisov, and Smirnov.

Ms. Rakitchenkov has participated in international festivals and congresses and was the first prize winner of the 1974 International Competition of Harpists in Geneva. She toured as a soloist with the Orchestra de la Suisse Romaine and with orchestras in Melhause, Basel, and Schauffhausen. Her performances were broadcast on radio and television in Russia, France and Switzerland.






Timothy Fox in Recital:
The Complete Works for Solo Guitar of
Heitor Villa-Lobos
performed in honor of the composer's 130th birthday

Friday 3 Mar 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present guitarist Timothy Fox performing the complete works for solo guitar by famed Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Don't miss this remarkable artist performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:

Timothy Fox - guitar


The Program:

The Complete Works for Solo Guitar of Heitor Villa-Lobos
performed in honor of the composer's 130th birthday

    Valsa Concerto No. 2, Opus 8
    Five Preludes
    Valse-Chôro Chôrinho
    Suite Populaire Brésilienne
    Twelve Etudes



About The Composer:

Heitor Villa-Lobos  (March 5, 1887 – November 17, 1959) was a Brazilian composer, described as "the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music" Largely self-taught, he gained a love of music through the influence of his father, an amateur musician who hosted weekly musical gatherings. At the age of six Villa-Lobos learned to play cello, and became enamored of the music of J.S. Bach. He traveled extensively with his family throughout Brazil and continued his explorations of that vast land as a young man. During an expedition along the Amazon to the interior of Brazil, he pursued an interest in native chant and rites.

He learned to play guitar at age 18 and he began playing with street musicians in Rio de Janeiro, absorbing the melodic and rhythmic elements of Brazil's indigenous musical forms. And while he blended these forms with Baroque harmonic and contrapuntal techniques, the richness and beauty of Brazil's native culture and natural environment remained his dominant muse. "I learned music from a bird in the jungles of Brazil, not from academies," he insisted.

He became a prolific composer, creating over 2000 individual pieces during his lifetime. Perhaps his best known works are his Bachianas Brasileiras (Brazilian Bachian-pieces), a series of nine suites written between 1930 and 1945 and scored for different combinations of instruments, voices, and orchestra. His preludes for guitar, written in 1940, are important works in the guitar repertory, and were inspired by Andrés Segovia

Later in life, established as an educator and composer, he traveled widely and lived in both New York and Paris, though he remained immersed in the spirit and culture of Brazil, and his love of Bach and of Brazilian folk music.



About the Artist:

Classical guitar. Not for sissies. Bette Davis said that, although she amended the remark later in life. Someone else called it a "postage stamp orchestra". It may have been Ben Franklin who also supported the wild turkey as America's national bird. Six strings, a score of frets and a trillion ways to play them, it is an infinitely subtle, and supremely intimate instrument,demanding and exquisite.

Timothy Fox has pursed this muse of wood and wire for longer than he cares to remember. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in guitar performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has received guidance in this pursuit from Leo Brouwer, Abel Carlevaro, Bill Connors, Michael Lorimer, Pepe Romero, Philip Rosheger, and George Sakellariou. He learned from every single man jack of them, though, ultimately, are we not all self-taught?

The music to be presented at this recital has at least one thing in common: it is all music written for the guitar. There are no arrangements, no transcriptions. Villa-Lobos intended these musical thoughts for this particular instrument. Purity, complexity, simplicity. Mr. Fox promises his very best effort.






New Esterházy Quartet
At the Opera III


Friday 17 Feb 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present the New Esterházy Quartet with the third installment of their popular "At the Opera" programs, featuring selections from operas by Philidor and Mozart. The artists of this celebrated San Francisco Bay Area string ensemble are internationally-known period instrument and chamber music specialists, and have gained a well-deserved reputation for virtuoso playing and interesting programs. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:

Lisa Weiss & Kati Kyme - violins
Anthony Martin - viola
William Skeen - 'cello


The Program:

Philidor: Le Femmes Vengées
Mozart: Cosi fan tutte



The Ensemble:

Founded in 2006 and currently in its eighth year of subscription concerts in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto, the New Esterházy Quartet continues to present masterworks of the classical period alongside intriguing works from less-familiar composers. With Haydn's 68 quartets as its core repertoire, NEQ is increasingly recognized as one of the world's top period-instrument string quartets. The ensemble has been presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society, Arizona Early Music Society, Carmel Chamber Music Society, has performed in New York and Los Angeles, and appeared as a Main Stage event for the 2012 Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. NEQ was also selected for Early Music America's Touring Artists Roster and has received two grants from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. Recent seasons have featured works by pupils and admirers of Haydn, late quartets of Schubert and Beethoven, and novel explorations of early Bartók and Schoenberg. January 2014 saw the world premiere of Esterházy, book II, written for the ensemble by noted New York composer Paul Brantley. NEQ's 2014 summer project was the complete Mozart "Haydn" Quartets, performed at Berkeley's historic Hillside Club in a three-concert Amadè-Athon. The coming season will include an appearance on Pittsburgh's prestigious "Renaissance and Baroque" series in January and a summer cycle of the late Beethoven quartets. Four Haydn recordings are currently available, and a world premiere recording of a mid-19th century string quartet by Hungarian composer Imre Székely is near release.

The members of NEQ are internationally-known period-instrument and chamber music specialists: Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violins, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen. As individuals, the players have performed and recorded in the top echelon of early music ensembles worldwide. In addition to many years of musical collaboration in Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and a long list of renowned chamber ensembles, these four Bay Area musicians have enjoyed decades of friendship and shared experience. Their history as both colleagues and friends endows the quartet with an unusual commonality of musical language and gesture, and provides a strong foundation for a unique and original ensemble voice. In addition to concert appearances, NEQ enjoys performing in private homes and other intimate settings where the traditional experience of true chamber music is renewed and shared by players and listeners together.




   Victor Romasevich           Michael Jones             Stephen Levintow                   Paul Rhodes                 Philip Santos

Three Over Five:
Members of the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble
with Philip Santos
play Kodaly, Mozart & Andriasov

Sunday 12 Feb 2017 at 7:00pm


The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to have all the members of the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble, along with guest violinist Philip Santos mixing it up with two wonderful string trios and a string quintet. The program will feature a trio by the Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly, a string quintet by Mozart, and the world premier of a string trio by the modern Russian composer, Arshak Andriasov, and dedicated by the composer to our guest violinist, Philip Santos.
Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:
    Victor Romasevich - violin
    Michael Jones - violin
    Stephen Levintow - viola
    Paul Rhodes - cello
    Philip Santos - violin




The Program:

Serenade, Op.12 - Zoltan Kodaly
    Victor Romasevich & Michael Jones, violins
    Stephen Levintow, viola


Suite for String Trio, Op.14 (premiere) - Arshak Andriasov
    Philip Santos, violin
    Victor Romasevich, viola
    Paul Rhodes, cello


String Quintet No. 3 in C Major, K.515 - W. A. Mozart
    Philip Santos & Michael Jones, violins
    Stephen Levintow & Victor Romasevich, violas
    Paul Rhodes, cello

                     
About the Artists:

Victor Romasevich was born in Minsk, Belarus. His mother, Lena Lubotsky, began teaching him piano at the age of four. When five, he started violin studies with Anna Silberstein. At six, he enrolled in the violin class of Mikhail Garlitsky and Lev Sharinov at The Gnesin Music School in Moscow. As a youth he studied violin with Rostislav Dubinsky of the Borodin Quartet. He continued his training at the Moscow Conservatory with Boris Belenky and Nadia Beshkina.

Following Romasevich’s emigration to the United States in 1977, he studied at Juilliard with Ivan Galamian. In 1979 he became a violin and viola pupil of the composer and philosopher Iosif Andriasov. Winner of the Gina Bachauer Prize at the 1985 J.S. Bach International Competition, Romasevich joined the San Francisco Sympohony as Associate Principal Violist in 1990, and in 1992 moved to the First Violin section. He appears frequently in recitals and chamber concerts as a violinist, violist and keyboard player.

Micheal Jones studied with Jorja Fleezanis and Andor Toth. With John Burke and cellist Gwyneth Davis, he was a longtime member of the piano trio I Gatti Freschi. He is second violinist of the Jupiter String Quartet, of which he was a founder.

Stephen Levintow studied viola at Juilliard with the late Paul Doktor and chamber music with Samuel Rhodes of the Juilliard Quartet. For many years he has been a free lance musician in the Bay area, with an emphasis on chamber music. He and Michael Jones co-founded the Jupiter Chamber Players in 1997.

Cellist Paul Rhodes received the Bachelor of Arts in Music from Dominican College, where he studied with Margaret Rowell, and the Master of Music from the University of Texas at Austin after studies with Paul Olefsky. Paul is a member of the Oakland-East Bay Symphony and,in the summer, the Carmel Bach Festival. Locally, he has worked with the symphonies of Berkeley, Marin, California, Sacramento and San Jose as well as with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, and Earplay.  Outside the area he has appeared with the San Antonio Symphony,  Brandywine Baroque, Orchestra of Santa Fe, Reinische Philharmonie, and the Jugend im Musik festival in Vienna.

Philip Santos discovered the violin in the Oakland public schools. He has performed extensively in many capacities throughout the Bay Area and across the country, and is a frequent performer on numerous chamber series, including the San Francisco Symphony's chamber music series, Chamber Music Sundaes, Old First Church Concerts, Composers Inc, Music on the Hill, as well as Carnegie Recital Hall in new York with the California Chamber Players. He has been a member of the Berkeley Symphony, Oakland Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony. He has also played with the Chicago Symphony. As a member of the Skywalker Symphony, he has recorded soundtracks for numerous major motion pictures and video games.

Currently, Mr. Santos is concertmaster of Philharmonia Healdsburg, assistant concertmaster of Marin Symphony, and principal second violin of California Symphony. Mr. Santos served as concertmaster of the Fremont Symphony from 2002 to 2012. In addition to his performance schedule, Mr. Santos teaches violin and viola and conducts the string ensemble at California State University East Bay. He also teaches at Patten Academy and University, as well as many private students.





Exploring the Cello/Piano Repertoire:
Peter Wyrick & Britton Day

Cello Sonatas by Beethoven & Brahms,
& some Dvořák for good measure!

Sunday 29 Jan 2017 at 7:00pm



The Berkeley Hillside Club is beyond excited to have our old friend, the S.F Symphony's Associate Principal cellist Peter Wyrick, perform for us again. Joining Peter will be the talented young pianist Britton Day (son of the SFS's Principal Flute, Tim Day). Together they will play two brilliant cello sonatas by Beethoven and Brahms, along with some wonderful cello/piano pieces by Dvořák.

Our excitement is engendered not simply at the prospect of this wonderful concert, but by the fact that it promises to be the first in an ambitious long-term project, proposed to us by Peter and Britton, of performing all the major sonatas in the cello-piano repertoire at the Hillside Club over the space of the next decade plus.

Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall, and the start of a wonderful journey.

The Artists:
   Peter Wyrick - cello
   Britton Day - piano


The Program:
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Cello Sonata No.3, Op.69
    Antonin Dvořák -
        Rondo in G major, Op. 94
        Klid (Waldesruhe) , Op. 68, No.5
        Polonaise in A Major, Op. post.
    Johannes Brahms - Cello Sonata No.2, Op.99

About this Concert
(a note from Peter Wyrick):

Today, Britton Day and I are announcing our intention to perform all the major works for cello and piano at the beautiful Hillside Club over the course of the next 15 or so years.  What better way to begin this project than with two of the great pillars of the repertoire.  Beethoven's Sonata in A Major, op.69 and the Brahms sonata in F Major op.99.

The glorious Beethoven Sonata is undoubtedly my favorite of the five sonatas that he wrote. Its generous and lyrical opening sets the stage for a wonderful night of music making.  The Brahms Sonata is like a symphony for two players.  One can imagine a French Horn making its hunting call...a lonely oboe or the pizzicatti of the double bass.  There is a story that Brahms became very jealous after hearing a performance of the great Dvorak cello concerto.  He admitted that he didn't know the cello was capable of such an enormous emotional range and subsequently set out to write the double concerto for cello and violin. Too bad for us cellists that he had to throw a violin into the mix.

In the set of unrelated pieces by Dvorak we can get a sense of his unmatched talent in writing for the cello.  The center piece for me is  Waldesrue or forest quietude, depicting the once great forest of eastern Europe where perhaps the very wood for my cello may have come from, maybe by way of the Danube.  The idea for combining these three pieces comes from my long time friend and stand partner Michael Grebanier who has always been so encouraging to me.

Now Britt and I must start thinking about our next program....requests will be honored.

--Peter

(NB: send requests to "concerts@hillsideclub.org")
                     
About the Artists:

Peter Wyrick has served as Associate Principal Cello of the San Francisco Symphony, occupying the Peter & Jacqueline Hoefer Chair, since 1999. Born in New York to a musical family, he began his studies in Poughkeepsie, New York, and proceeded to the Juilliard School at the age of eight, where he was one of the last students of Leonard Rose. Mr. Wyrick made his solo debut at age twelve with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Since then he has performed as soloist with the Aspen Chamber Orchestra, the Queens Philharmonic, the American Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma Chamber Orchestra, the Kozponti Sinfonicus in Budapest, Hungary, and Symphony Silicon Valley. He has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony in works including Leonard Bernstein's Meditation No. 1 from Mass, Haydn’s Sinfonia concertante in B-flat major, and music from Tan Dun's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Concerto.

Mr. Wyrick was the principal cello of the Mostly Mozart Orchestra and associate principal cello of the New York City Opera Orchestra. His recordings include the cello sonatas of Gabriel Fauré with pianist Earl Wild for dell'Arte Records, and performances for the Stereophile and Arabesque labels. In chamber music, Mr. Wyrick has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Yefim Bronfman, Lynn Harrell, Jeremy Denk, Julia Fischer, and Edgar Meyer, among others. He was a member of the Ridge String Quartet, whose recording of the Dvořák piano quintets with pianist Rudolf Firkusny on the RCA label won the French Diapason d'Or and was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Chamber Music Performance. Mr. Wyrick has participated in the Helsinki, Spoleto, Bard, Vancouver Chamber Music West, La Jolla, Santa Fe, Ruby Mountain, and Lake Tahoe music festivals.

Mr. Wyrick plays a David Tecchler cello, on generous loan from Jacques and Barbara Schlumberger, made in Rome, circa 1724.

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Britton Day is a member of the accompanying staff at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory Preparatory Division. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of music. Upon graduation from Oberlin, he continued his studies at the San Francisco Conservatory, receiving both a Master of Music and a Professional Studies Diploma in Piano Performance.





                  Victor Romasevich    Michael Jones                                       Stephen Levintow     Paul Rhodes

The Jupiter Chamber Ensemble
play Prokofiev, Mozart & Tchaikovsky

Sunday 15 Jan 2017 at 7:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to welcome our old friends, the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble, back to our Concert Series They will be performing string quartets by Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, and a piano quartet by Mozart  Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.


The Jupiter Chamber Ensemble are:
            Victor Romasevich - violin, piano
            Michael Jones -
violin
            Stephen Levintow - viola
            Paul Rhodes - cello

The Program:

String Quartet No.2 in F Major, Op.92 - Sergei Prokofiev
Piano Quartet No.2 in E-flat Major, K.493 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet No.3 in E-flat Major, Op.30 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Artists:

In 1997, two veteran freelancers, violinist Michael Jones and Juilliard-trained violist Steve Levintow, recruited BBC Orchestra violinist Andrew Davies and cellist Paul Hale of the Oakland Symphony to found the Jupiter Chamber Players. The group had the good fortune to connect with Marvin Sanders, director of Live Oak Concerts at the Berkeley Art Center, just as the Center's previous ensemble-in-residence, the Cypress Quartet, left to launch their international career. The Art Center remained the Jupiter's "home" venue for 10 years. Paul Rhodes replaced Hale in 2000, bringing his years of experience in numerous orchestras and as soloist with the Carmel Bach Festival. Two years later, Davies left to pursue other projects, and San Francisco Symphony member Victor Romasevich took over as first violinist. Romasevich brought deep fascination with Russian chamber music, including masterworks by such composers as Sergei Taneyev, Georgy Catoire, and Iosif Andriasov (with whom Romasevich studied violin and viola) - all links in a tradition going back to Tchaikovsky through the Moscow Conservatory. The Jupiter Chamber Players take pleasure in introducing wider audiences to the work of these composers,  while continuing also to present more familiar Russian and European repertoire




New Esterházy Quartet
Haydn and His Students IX


Friday 6 Jan 2017 at 8:00pm


The Berkeley Hillside Club is
pleased to present the New Esterházy Quartet ringing in the the new year for our Concert Series with a wonderful program featuring works by Haydn and Beethoven.. The artists of this celebrated San Francisco Bay Area string ensemble are internationally-known period instrument and chamber music specialists, and have gained a well-deserved reputation for virtuoso playing and interesting programs. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:

Lisa Weiss & Kati Kyme - violins
Anthony Martin - viola
William Skeen - 'cello



The Program:

Quartet No. 3 in C - William Shield
Quartet in A, Op. 55, No. 1 - Joseph Haydn
Quartet in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2 - Ludwig van Beethoven

The Ensemble:

Founded in 2006 and currently in its eighth year of subscription concerts in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto, the New Esterházy Quartet continues to present masterworks of the classical period alongside intriguing works from less-familiar composers. With Haydn's 68 quartets as its core repertoire, NEQ is increasingly recognized as one of the world's top period-instrument string quartets. The ensemble has been presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society, Arizona Early Music Society, Carmel Chamber Music Society, has performed in New York and Los Angeles, and appeared as a Main Stage event for the 2012 Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. NEQ was also selected for Early Music America's Touring Artists Roster and has received two grants from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. Recent seasons have featured works by pupils and admirers of Haydn, late quartets of Schubert and Beethoven, and novel explorations of early Bartók and Schoenberg. January 2014 saw the world premiere of Esterházy, book II, written for the ensemble by noted New York composer Paul Brantley. NEQ's 2014 summer project was the complete Mozart "Haydn" Quartets, performed at Berkeley's historic Hillside Club in a three-concert Amadè-Athon. The coming season will include an appearance on Pittsburgh's prestigious "Renaissance and Baroque" series in January and a summer cycle of the late Beethoven quartets. Four Haydn recordings are currently available, and a world premiere recording of a mid-19th century string quartet by Hungarian composer Imre Székely is near release.

The members of NEQ are internationally-known period-instrument and chamber music specialists: Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violins, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen. As individuals, the players have performed and recorded in the top echelon of early music ensembles worldwide. In addition to many years of musical collaboration in Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and a long list of renowned chamber ensembles, these four Bay Area musicians have enjoyed decades of friendship and shared experience. Their history as both colleagues and friends endows the quartet with an unusual commonality of musical language and gesture, and provides a strong foundation for a unique and
original ensemble voice. In addition to concert appearances, NEQ enjoys performing in private homes and other intimate settings where the traditional experience of true chamber music is renewed and shared by players and listeners together.




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