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.
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.
Cellist, educator, and speaker Michael Dahlberg has built a career exploring music as a vehicle for learning and community-building.
A chamber musician noted for his “sensitivity and coloristic playing” (The New York Times), Michael studied with Yeesun Kim of the Borromeo Quartet at the New England Conservatory (NEC.) He has held core positions with ensembles including Discovery Ensemble and Phoenix Orchestra, groups aimed at revitalizing the way classical music is developed, presented, and taught around New England. Michael’s own projects earned entrepreneurial grants and awards from NEC, the St. Botolph Club, and Tanglewood Music Center.
During the 2011-2013 seasons, Michael performed across New England as cellist of the Boston Public Quartet. The BPQ performed and presented as Celebrity Series’ first “Artist in Community,” and they were featured as the fellowship ensemble at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in 2013. As teaching artists, the BPQ founded the non-profit musiConnects, providing Boston-area communities access to music instruction, forums for creative collaboration, and free performances. Michael served as Managing Director of musiConnects in 2012/2013, helping to double private donations that year.
As Director of National Outreach Programs at NPR’s “From the Top”, Michael designed and facilitated over 80 interactive music events nationwide, for over 13,000 audience members of all ages.
He has performed solos with CityMusic Cleveland, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Stockton Symphony. Recent chamber music appearances have taken him to the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival, through Switzerland and France on concert tours, to the Robert Mann String Quartet Seminar in Manhattan, to Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music, and frequently to Groupmuses in San Francisco, including a sold-out performance of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden at San Francisco’s first Massivemuse. He serves as Director of Festival Rolland, a summer chamber music festival in Burgundy, France.
An enthusiastic interpreter of new music, James has collaborated with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, given a series of performances of Khse Buon by Cambodian-American composer Chinary Ung, and presented the premiere of Peregrinations for Solo Cello by San Francisco composer Kyle Randall. He is also a member and frequent section leader of One Found Sound, San Francisco’s unconducted chamber orchestra. His performances have been broadcast by Cleveland’s WCLV 104.9, Virginia’s WVTF 89.1, San Francisco’s KDFC 90.3, and streamed live from the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.
James studied cello performance with Milly Rosner, Richard Aaron, Stephen Geber, and Jennifer Culp, earning performance degrees from the University of Michigan, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Music@Menlo, and the Banff Centre in Canada. His chamber music mentors include members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Takács, Tokyo, Vermeer, Emerson, Brentano, Kronos, Cavani, and Concord Quartets.
Passionate about sharing music with the next generation, James coaches chamber music ensembles at the Crowden School and the California Music Preparatory Academy. He has also served as director of high school chamber ensembles at Baldwin Wallace University and mentored students through the Detroit Symphony's Civic Youth Ensembles program.