Chamber Music, DIRECTOR
Cellist Jonathan Koh has established himself as one of the most exciting musical entrepreneurs and teachers of his generation. An active soloist, ensemble musician, clinician, and administrator, Jonathan has already laid claim to several ground breaking musical endeavors. A passionate and dedicated teacher who is in extreme high demand, Jonathan's students have won numerous major national and international competitions and have performed all across the globe. His students have also been featured in several radio and television shows throughout the United States and abroad.
Prior to relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area, Jonathan served as the primary teaching assistant to Hans Jorgen Jensen at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, with whom he has studied with for over a decade. Immediately following his undergraduate studies, Jonathan joined the San Francisco Conservatory of Music faculty as its youngest faculty hire in school history. Soon after, Jonathan was appointed as a faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley. Jonathan's teaching is continuously sought out by students, not only from all across the Bay Area, but from Southern California, neighboring West Coast states, the Midwest, and Asia. Jonathan is also a full time cello faculty member at the Meadowmount School of Music in New York.
Jonathan's extensive solo and chamber experience encompasses several tours throughout the Far East, Europe, and across his native United States. At age 20, Jonathan took a position as substitute member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra cello section. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra. Jonathan has been led by and has collaborated with esteemed artists – Daniel Barenboim, Lorin Maazel, Christoph Eschenbach, Leonard Slatkin, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Leon Fleischer, Carter Brey, and Michael Tree to name a few. Jonathan has recorded under the NAXOS label as the principal cellist of the New Prospect Chamber Players.
ViolIN, Viola, Director of Chamber Music
Jessica Chang is dedicated to sharing her love for music through presenting chamber music in accessible ways. As the Founder and Executive Director of Chamber Music by the Bay, Ms. Chang brings interactive concerts to schools, libraries, and hospitals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and has performed in educational residencies throughout the United States and Canada, most recently with Project 440 and the Savannah Music Festival. Jessica has served as violist with the Afiara Quartet, the Glenn Gould School Fellowship Quartet in Residence at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, with whom she toured the United States, Mexico, and Canada, including a visiting faculty residency at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. Since her chamber music debut at Carnegie Hall in 2008, Ms. Chang’s performances have been broadcast on American Public Media’s “Performance Today,” WYNC, WHYY, and WQXR Public Radio. Performance highlights include a European concert tour alongside Roberto Díaz, Pamela Frank, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic; and collaborations with artists including Christoph Richter, William Bennett, Itzhak Perlman, Joseph Silverstein, Anthony McGill, Peter Wiley, Daniel Philips, Toby Appel, James Campbell, and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
An avid chamber and orchestral musician, Jessica has served as principal viola of the Juilliard Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and the Yale Collegium Musicum. Her festival appearances include Music from Angel Fire, the International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove, Open Chamber Music Prussia Cove, the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, Tanglewood Music Center, the Taos School of Music, the Verbier Festival, the National Arts Centre of Canada, and the Aspen Music Festival. She has also performed as violist and a founding member of the Philadelphia-based chamber group ensemble39.
Aside from her musical endeavors, Jessica has maintained commitments in Philadelphia toward improving youth access to quality arts education through the School District of Philadelphia’s ArtsRising initiative. Her passion for education has led to teaching engagements in literature and creative writing at K-8 public schools in New Haven, CT; Palo Alto, CA; San Jose, CA, and San Francisco. As a writer and a visual artist, she has been published by literary magazines at the North Central Review, CRED Magazine, and by the American Literacy Council.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Jessica is a graduate of Yale University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors and distinction. She also holds an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she was the recipient of the William A. Loeb Fellowship. Her teachers have included Roberto Díaz, Misha Amory, Michael Tree, Daniel Panner, Jodi Levitz, Jesse Levine, and Jenny Rudin, and she has studied chamber music with members of the Guarneri, Borromeo, Brentano, Tokyo, St. Lawrence, and Orion String Quartets. Jessica recently completed her graduate studies at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Heidi Castleman and Steven Tenenbom, and as a recipient of the Juilliard Gluck Community Service Fellowship.
Described as "brilliant" by the San Francisco Classical Voice, pianist Allegra Chapman is dedicated to engaging with new audiences as performer and presenter. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed at Alice Tully Hall, in the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, and at festivals including New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival and Bard Music Festival. Her performances have been broadcast on WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago, and KALW San Francisco. Allegra performs regularly with local San Francisco ensembles and has collaborated with musicians Blair McMillan, Ian Swensen, and members of International Contemporary Ensemble and the Orion String Quartet. In addition to her performing career, Allegra enjoys a thriving teaching studio and has coached chamber music ensembles at many institutions, including San Francisco State University. She recently joined the faculty of the Xi’an International Music Festival in Xi’an, China.
Passionate about performing and promoting the music of today, Allegra has worked with composers Joan Tower and Charles Wuorinen and premiered the works of many young composers, including Dylan Mattingly, Benjamin Pesetsky, and Shen Yiwen. Highlights have included soloing with the New Juilliard Ensemble at Alice Tully Hall, performing in a groundbreaking collaboration between Yamaha RemoteLive Technology and the Juilliard Technology Center, and performing new and twentieth-century works alongside San Francisco Conservatory of Music faculty members at the 2013 San Francisco-Shanghai International Chamber Music Festival. From 2013 to 2014, Allegra co-founded and played with Phonochrome chamber music ensemble. After their commissioning project at the San Francisco Center for New Music, San Francisco Classical Voice’s Jeff Dunn wrote, “…new-music lovers crammed into the concert space. Almost everyone…was apparently under 30. I can now die in peace knowing art music will continue to prosper.”
Allegra is a graduate of the Bard Conservatory of Music’s inaugural class, receiving both a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts. She also holds a Masters of Music from The Juilliard School, where she was the recipient of the L. & G. Goldberg, Betty Larson, and Ruth D. Rosenman scholarships. Her teachers have included Jeremy Denk, Seymour Lipkin, Julian Martin, Sharon Mann, John McCarthy, Robert McDonald and Peter Serkin. Allegra has studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, and Orion String Quartets, and performed in master classes with Richard Goode, Claude Frank, and Leon Fleisher.
Outside of music, Allegra enjoys writing and learning languages. Allegra is also co-founder and Artistic Director of Bard Music Festival West, an innovative new branch of Bard Music Festival that will explore the life and influences of a single twentieth-century or contemporary composer each year. BMF West will open in San Francisco in 2017.
Laura Gaynon is an active performer of both modern and baroque cello based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Laura has performed with the American Bach Soloists, with the unconducted orchestra One Found Sound, and as a founding member of the baroque chamber ensemble MUSA. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with Vera Beths, Tanya Tomkins, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Kim Kashkashian, Krista Bennion-Feeney, Geoff Nuttall, Bonnie Hampton, Paul Hersh, and Ian Swensen. She is also Artistic Director of Bay Area Concerts at Home, a chamber music series that takes place entirely in the living rooms around the Bay Area. Recent festival appearances include the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, American Bach Soloists Academy, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Taos School of Music, the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and the 2012 International Piatigorsky Cello Masterclasses at USC.
Laura has degrees from Yale University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with an M.M. in cello performance and an Artist Certificate in chamber music as a student of Jennifer Culp. She earned an added emphasis in Historical Performance through her studies with baroque cellist and viola da gambist Elisabeth Reed and harpsichordist Corey Jamason, and in 2013 won the Baroque Concerto Competition. Other important mentors include George Neikrug, Ole Akahoshi, Carolina Singer, Mikhail Gelfandbein, Irene Sharp, and members of the Brentano, Cleveland, St. Lawrence, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, and Borromeo String Quartets.
A devoted teacher herself, Laura has an active studio in San Francisco and enjoys bringing her love of music to developing musicians. As faculty with California Music Preperatory Academy, the Pacific Crest Music Festival, Chamber Music by the Bay, and Music Beyond the Chamber, she has performed and coached chamber music for students in and around Portland, OR, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Dunsmuir, CA. She also adores coaching at her orchestra alma mater, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO).
Outside of music, Laura's most prized accomplishment is completing a cross-continent bicycle trip, from New Haven, CT to Portland, OR, because, in her words, "I don't know how I'm still alive." She would love to bike the perpendicular path from Canada to Mexico if someone would be willing to carry her luggage.