Past Concerts

Friday, May 3, 2019 - 7:30pm

Soo Yeon Lyuh + Ensemble Ari for the benefit of Sea of Solidarity

Soo Yeon Lyuh is a master of the haegeum, a classical two-stringed Korean bowed instrument. Lyuh possesses not only flawless technique and a full command of the haegeum’s traditional repertoire, but also has promoted creation of new pieces for the instrument. For twelve years, Lyuh was a member of South Korea’s National Gugak Center, the foremost institution for the preservation of Korean traditional music. Since relocating to the Bay Area, she has woven authentic styles into new music domains and has created a new repertoire for the haegeum. She has premiered dozens of new works and recently made her debut as a composer with San Francisco-based Kronos Quartet.

Soo Yeon Lyuh will perform with Ensemble Ari. Ari is a Korean word that can mean big river, wisdom, or beauty. Ensemble Ari is a group of Korean American musicians in the Bay Area with the mission to bridge Korean with other communities while honoring Korean history, music, and culture. Visit

One Happy Family, a community center in Lesvos, stands out as a joint effort run by international volunteers and the refugees who use it. Refugees from over 22 countries work hand in hand to build and run the center’s various programs. While the volunteers help with fundraising and provide structure to the programs, most activities are refugee directed. For example, refugees and volunteers jointly built most of the structures at the community center, including the workout area, the furniture, the women's center (for which Sea of Solidarity funded all building materials), the kitchen/cooking, and the community garden. Once a day, six days a week, One Happy Family prepares and serves a warm meal at which everyone who comes to the community center is welcome. For the past two years, Sea of Solidarity has donated 1,000 euros every month to fund meal ingredients. SoS sends the money directly to the island’s food warehouse, allowing the kitchen team to buy whatever they need. The meal is the most nutritious--and often the only warm food--that most refugees have access to on any given day.

Sea of Solidarity is an all-volunteer organization. Fully 100% of your donations provide direct assistance to refugees. For more information:

For more information about Interfaith Refugee Welcome

Friday, Feb 8, 7:30pm

Kate Stenberg and Sarah Cahill

for the benefit of Dirty Girls of Lesvos

Acclaimed pianist Sarah Cahill and virtuoso violinist Kate Stenberg performed in concert together for the benefit of Dirty Girls of Lesvos

Fully 100% of all donations went directly to Dirty Girls of Lesvos, an on-the-ground NGO that has pioneered the cleaning and redistribution of used and discarded clothing, bedding, and other materials for humanitarian relief. Foreign Policy magazine named founder, Alison Terry-Evans, one of its Global Thinkers in 2016. Ms. Terry-Evans shared the powerful story of Dirty Girls’ work in the refugee camps of Lesvos and on mainland Greece.

The duo presented 20 th - and 21 st -cenutry works including Gabriela Lena Frank’s Suenos de Chambi (Snapshots for an Andean Album), Kaija Saariaho’s Tocar, Linda Catlin Smith’s With Their Shadows Long, Henry Cowell’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, and Grażyna Bacewicz’ Stained Glass Window and Melodia.

Watch Kate Stenberg perform with Sarah Cahill: video of Kate Stenberg and Sarah Cahill performing at Old First Concerts

For more information about Dirty Girls of Lesvos

For more information about Interfaith Refugee Welcome

Nov 9, 2018 - Winnie Nieh + Paul Dab for the Benefit of "The Vision Project"

An evening with acclaimed soprano Winnie Nieh, sponsored by Interfaith Welcome and Zion Lutheran Church San Francisco. With an “impeccably pure and heart-breaking voice,” Winne Nieh has performed for dignitaries and concert venues around the world, including her European solo debut with legendary maestro Helmuth Rilling in Bach’s Cantata BWV 147. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Trinity College, London.

YouTube Playlist - Nov 9, 2018 Winnie Nieh + Paul Dab

Sep 22, 2018 - LeRoi Nickel Organ Duo for the Benefit of "Sea of Solidarity"

The LeRoi Nickel Duo from Portland, Oregon specializes in the research and performance of ensemble keyboard music from the Renaissance to the present day. After postgraduate study at London’s Guildhall School of Music, they gave their New York debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1987 and their London debut at the Purcell Room in 1990. They have made three organ duet recordings, one on the Arsis label which includes Chant des Etoiles, one featuring the Geroge Bozeman organ at Marylhurst University on the Palatine label that includes the music of Mozart, Liszt, and Stravinsky, and a new release of music for the two Richard Bond organs at St. James Lutheran Church in Portland. As a piano duet team, the Nickels have recorded three CDs on the Arsis label from E. C. Schirmer in Boston.

Sea of Solidarity

Sea of Solidarity was founded in November 2015 by volunteers who experienced the humanitarian crisis unfolding: multitudes of refugees arriving in rubber dinghies in Lesvos, Greece. A 501c3 nonprofit, SoS is committed to addressing the needs at landing sites and now, at refugee camps. We need your help to continue this vital work.

June 8, 2018 - Elevate Ensemble for the benefit of Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay

Elevate Ensemble’s mission is to bring people together using powerful musical experiences that highlight the incredible talents of the Bay Area classical music scene. We exist to introduce the Bay Area to the musical side of our creative culture, from rising classical composers to virtuoso young performers. We seek to foster a decidedly Bay Area culture of concert-going, to share the passions and visions that inspire us, and to propel our local musical talents onto the international stage.

Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay

JFCS helps resettle about 120 refugees a year locally. Their refugee welcome fund assists with housing costs that the government does not cover, such as housing (the biggest need) and medical and translation services.

Feb 9, 2018 - Friction String Quartet for the benefit of Sea of Solidarity

Friction Quartet, whose performances have been called “terribly beautiful” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “stunningly passionate” (Calgary Herald) and “chillingly effective” (San Francisco Examiner), exists to modernize the chamber music experience and expand the string quartet repertoire. Friction achieves this mission by commissioning new works, curating imaginative programs, collaborating with artists, and presenting interactive educational outreach. Joshua Kosman (San Francisco Chronicle) declared that Friction Quartet is “an artist who should be discovered” and described their performance as “high-octane music making...a fine blend of rhythmic ferocity and tonal flair.” Since forming in 2011, Friction has given 70 world premiere performances and commissioned 32 works for string quartet. Friction received a Chamber Music America grant to commission a piano quintet from Andy Akiho which they debuted in November 2016 with Jenny Q Chai. They have also been awarded grants from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music and Zellerbach Family Foundation.

Sea of Solidarity

Sea of Solidarity was founded in November 2015 by volunteers who experienced the humanitarian crisis unfolding: multitudes of refugees arriving in rubber dinghies in Lesvos, Greece. A 501c3 nonprofit, SoS is committed to addressing the needs at landing sites and now, at refugee camps. We need your help to continue this vital work.

Nov 10, 2017 - Sarah Cahill for the Benefit of "The Vision Project"

Sarah Cahill, recently called “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde” by the New York Times and“a brilliant and charismatic advocate for modern and contemporary composers” by Time Out New York,has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous compositions for solo piano. Composers who have dedicated works to her include John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, and Ingram Marshall, and she has also premiered pieces by Lou Harrison, Julia Wolfe, Toshi Ichiyanagi, George Lewis, Leo Ornstein, and many others. Recent appearances include Terry Riley’s Sri Moonshine series, the Cleveland Museum of Art, a concert at San Quentin of the music Henry Cowell wrote while incarcerated there, four performances at the San Francisco Symphony’s Soundbox, and a residency at the Noguchi Museum. Her radio show, Revolutions Per Minute, can be heard every Sunday evening from 8 to 10 pm on KALW, 91.7 FM in San Francisco. She is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory and curates a monthly series of new music concerts at the Berkeley Art Museum.