2018 Faculty

Telegraph Quartet, quartet in residence

The Telegraph Quartet, consisting of violinists Eric Chin and Joseph Maile, violist Pei-Ling Lin, and cellist Jeremiah Shaw, was formed in 2013 with an equal passion for the standard chamber music repertoire as well as contemporary and non-standard repertoire, alike. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2017 as “…an incredibly valuable addition to the cultural landscape” and “powerfully adept… with a combination of brilliance and subtlety,” the Telegraph Quartet was most recently awarded the prestigious 2016 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Past prizes include the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. The Quartet has since gone on to perform in concert halls, music festivals, and academic institutions from Los Angeles and New York to Italy and Taiwan, including Carnegie Hall, San Francisco’s Herbst Recital Hall and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Chamber Masters Series and at festivals including the Chautauqua Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Emilia Romagna Festival. In 2016, the Quartet was invited as one of a handful of emerging professional string quartets from around the world to perform in Paris, France at the Biennale de quatuors à cordes, a showcase for major concert presenters of Europe and Asia taking place at the Philharmonie de Paris.

Ambroise Aubrun, violin

Since his recital debut at age 14, Dr. Aubrun has been invited to numerous festivals such as “Le Cercle musical” (Cannes, France), the “Festival de Loudun”, the “Dilijan Chamber Music Series” (Los Angeles and Yerevan, Armenia), the “Incontri in terra di Sienna” (Italy), Sonnet and Sonatas, “Le Salon de Musiques”, and Pacific Serenades (Los Angeles).
Highlights of Dr. Aubrun’s 2017-18 season include debuts at the Cambrai Festival as the “revelation of the year”, concerts in Los Angeles and Paris and the release of his first album with the Hortus Label. Dr. Aubrun teaches Violin and Chamber music at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music as well as at UC Santa Barbara.
He has performed alongside such artists as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, David Bismuth, Guillaume Sutre, Scott St. John, Martin Chalifour, Fred Sherry, Clive Greensmith, Rohan de Saram, Carrie Dennis as well as the Borroméo and Ebène string quartets. An advocate for contemporary music, Mr. Aubrun has premiered over 20 works and has closely worked with composers such as Eric Tanguy, Alyssa Weinberg and Roger Bourland. The recipient of numerous awards, (1st Prize at Vatelot Competition, laureate of the Langart Foundation and winner of the Charles Oulmont Prize of the Fondation de France…), Dr. Aubrun has appeared as a soloist in the Sibelius, Joachim, Weinberg and Bruch Concertos, and the Bartok Rhapsody No.1.
Dr. Aubrun graduated at age 19 from the Paris National Superior Conservatory (CNSMDP) where he studied with Roland Daugareil and Serge Pataud. He then obtained his Master’s and Doctorate degrees from UCLA under Professor Guillaume Sutre, as well as his Artist Diploma from the Colburn Conservatory of Music with Martin Beaver. Dr. Aubrun plays a Matteo Goffriller violin, on a generous loan by the Langart Foundation.

A photo of Susan Bates by Isabella Ramos

Susan Bates, viola

Faculty, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Pre-College, founding member New Age Quartet, previous founder/director, California Summer Music, Lake Tahoe Music Festival Academy, currently founding director, Young Chamber Musicians. Ms. Bates is the recipient of the Gruber Award for Excellence in Chamber Music Teaching from Chamber Music America.

A photo of David Balakrishnan

David Balakrishnan, violin

David Balakrishnan, composer/violinist and founder of the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet born in Los Angeles, California in 1954. After graduating from UCLA in 1976, he quickly established his reputation as a young and talented improvising violinist, appearing on many recordings and making guest appearances with the David Grisman Quartet and jazz violin legend Stephane Grappelli. Under his direction, Turtle Island has won two Grammy awards and David himself has been nominated six times, the most recent being a 2015 nomination in the instrumental composition category for his piece, “Confetti Man”. Several distinguished musicians have played with the TIQ, including clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, guitar legends Leo Kottke and the Assad brothers, pianists Billy Taylor, Kenny Barron, Cyrus Chestnut and Ramsey Lewis, singers Tierney Sutton and Nellie McKay and the Ying Quartet. A distinguished musician/composer,David won Chamber Music America’s prestigious Classical Commissioning Program grant in 2015, supporting a full-length work commemorating the quartet’s 30th anniversary season.

Photo of Randy Fisher

Randy Fisher, viola/violin

Committed to chamber music since 1973 (before CMA!), Randy Fisher’s ensembles bore chamber music traditions from coachings with members of the Juilliard, Cleveland and Budapest quartets as well as Lillian Fuchs and Joseph Gingold. Since moving to California, Fisher has coached regularly at Humboldt, CalCap, SoCal, CMNC, Santa Barbara, Golden Gate and Grand Pacific workshops. Previously, he played in symphonies and string quartets based in seven states and five countries, taught chamber music at colleges in Colorado, Virginia and Hong Kong, and served as Director of Education and Community Outreach for five symphonies.

Photo of Anne Harley

Anne Harley, soprano

Canadian soprano Anne Harley tours regularly in North America, Europe and Asia and has appeared as soloist with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Opera Boston, BAM Next Wave Festival, American Repertory Theatre, Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Camerata, at the Banff Centre for the Arts and at the Tanglewood Festival. Her solo performances of new music and modern-day premieres of early music are available on Hänssler Profil, Naxos, Sony Classics, Canteloupe, Musica Omnia, einKlang and BMOP/sound, among others. In 2011, she founded the new music commissioning project Voices Of The Pearl. A prize-winning performer-scholar, director and educator, and chair of the Scripps College music department, she has been invited to give master classes and teaching residencies at Shanghai Conservatory, Beijing University, Brown College, among others.

Emma Rubinstein, violin

Emma has appeared in concerts both nationally and internationally as a guest soloist and chamber musician. She became concertmaster of the Idaho Falls Symphony in July 2009. Prior to arriving in Idaho Falls, she was Assistant Professor of Music and first violin of the Oxford String Quartet at Miami University of Ohio (“Quartet art at the highest level” – Salzburg, Austria). She is also the former first violinist and founding member of the Anacapa String Quartet (“Consummate interpreters” – San Jose, Costa Rica).

Susan Freier, violin

Susan is a former violinist with the Chester, Stanford and Ives Quartets. She served on the faculty of her alma mater, Stanford University, after returning to her native Bay Area in 1989 from her appointment at Indiana University. With the Chester she won the Evian, Munich, Portsmouth (England) and Chicago Discovery competitions, and recorded for the AIX, New World and Naxos companies with the Stanford and Ives. Co-Artistic Director of the Ives Collective, she has performed at the Aspen, Schlern, Orfeo, Telluride Chamber and Mendocino Music Festivals. Susan has been performing with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players since her return to the Bay Area.

Stephen Harrison, cello

Cellist Stephen Harrison has been a member of the Stanford University faculty since 1983, when he returned to his native Bay Area to co-found the Stanford String Quartet. In 1998 he became the founding cellist of the Ives Quartet and is now co-Artistic Director of the Ives Collective. These ensembles have commissioned works from composers such as William Bolcom, Ben Johnston, Elinor Armer, and Dan Becker. Cellist of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players since 1986, he has performed internationally and recorded for the Naxos, Music and Arts, CRI, New Albion, Newport Classics, AIX, New World and Bridge recording labels.

Peter Henderson, piano

A versatile pianist, Peter Henderson is active as a performer in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. Henderson is Associate Professor of Music and Artist in Residence at Maryville University, where he has been a faculty member since 2005. He performs frequently as an ensemble keyboardist with the St. Louis Symphony, and made his debut as a subscription concert soloist with the Symphony in January 2008. During January and February 2016, Henderson was the piano soloist in the St. Louis Symphony’s subscription concert and California tour performances of Oliver Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles…. Critics described him as a “powerhouse soloist” (San Francisco Chronicle) and an “excellent pianist” (Los Angeles Times), and praised his Messiaen playing for its “intense focus and thrilling vibrancy” (San Jose Mercury News). In addition to his work as a keyboard performer with the St. Louis Symphony, he occasionally gives pre-concert lectures from the Symphony’s Powell Hall stage, introducing subscription concert programs. Henderson has also served as Principal Keyboardist of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since 2015.

Henderson is an advocate of new music, having given several premieres of solo piano and chamber works. In recent years, he has programmed solo recitals exploring focused repertoire: during the 2011-12 season, he performed the 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven; in November and December 2012, he presented the complete piano works of Debussy; and in November 2013, he played Chopin’s 27 Études in a single concert. Henderson’s discography includes collaborations with violinist David Halen, flutist Mark Sparks, violist Jonathan Vinocour, bass trombonist Gerry Pagano, soprano Marlissa Hudson, and The 442s, a Saint-Louis based crossover group. He appears on CDs published by AAM Recordings, AMP Records, and other labels, and is the piano soloist on a disc released during 2015 that features Fred Onovwerosuoke’s 24 Studies in African Rhythms. His second solo CD, “A Celebration of African Composers for Piano,” was issued in 2017.

Henderson is a member of the Ilex Piano Trio, along with violinist Kristin Ahlstrom (his wife), and cellist Anne Fagerburg. Both Kristin and Anne are St. Louis Symphony members.

Henderson holds the degree Doctor of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington, where his piano instructor was Dr. Karen Shaw. Prior to attending Indiana University, he studied piano with Dr. Jay Mauchley at the University of Idaho, Moscow. In addition to his performing activities, Henderson also works as a recording producer and composes music. He and Kristin live in St. Louis with their lively, sweet beagle/terrier-mix Zinni.

Mary Beth Woodruff, violin

Ms. Woodruff grew up in Southern California and began studying the violin at the age of 7. At the age of 15 she was accepted at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan. While at Interlochen, she served as co-concertmaster of the IAA Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Honors Quartet with whom she was a prize winner in both the Downbeat Magazine Chamber Music Competition and the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition. Following graduation, Ms. Woodruff matriculated at the New England Conservatory of Music and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At M.I.T. she majored in both chemistry and music and was awarded an Advanced Music Performance Scholarship. She was honored with membership in the Burchard Scholars in the Arts at M.I.T. and received the Von Ness Scholarship for Best Performer in the Arts. While studying in Boston, she was member of the Boston Philharmonic, Emmanuel Music, the MIT Chamber Music Society, and the New England Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Woodruff attended Carnegie Mellon University for graduate school with a full scholarship to study with Andres Cardenes, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony. During this time period, she participated in the Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra Winter Festival in Israel and was co-concertmaster. Upon receiving her Masters she began teaching at Biola University Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles where she taught violin, viola, music history, strings literature/repertoire, strings pedagogy, and was Head of Chamber Music Studies. During her 7 years at Biola, she led a group of students on a chamber music concert tour of mainland China and soloed with the Biola Symphony Orchestra on a concert tour of Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

Upon the birth of her first child Ms. Woodruff left Biola to focus on performing and opened a Violin/Viola teaching studio in Santa Barbara county. She and her husband now have three children and reside in Solvang. In 2009, Ms. Woodruff expanded her work in training young musicians and created SANTA BARBARA STRINGS which not only trains young musicians in orchestral and chamber music ensembles, but also in the composition of works written and performed by the players and Artistic Director.

Ms. Woodruff has collaborated/performed with Menachem Pressler, Andres Cardenes, and Julia Bushkova. In Santa Barbara, she has performed with the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, was assistant concertmaster for the Opera Santa Barbara and for the past 5 years with the Radian String Quartet. Her principal teachers have included Ronald Copes, James Buswell, Julia Bushkova, Andres Cardenes, and John Harbison.

Pascal Salomon, piano

Pascal Salomon has been widely acclaimed in Europe, China, Israel, and California more recently, both as a soloist and a refined collaborative pianist. “Real presence…the wonderful Lisztian sonority is long, smooth and without superfluous effects” (from Bien-Public, France), ‘excellent and talented” (from 24-Heures, Switzerland), “Beautiful Sound” (by Murray Perahia). Some of the major concert venues he has performed in include the Ernest Ansermet Studio at the National Swiss Radio (Geneva, Switzerland), Stravinski Auditorium (Montreux, Switzerland), Toulouse Capitole (France), Chisinau Organ Hall (Republic of Moldova), Iasi Philharmonic Hall (Romania), Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing, China), the Hungarian Embassy in Washington DC, Lotte Lehman concert hall in Santa Barbara. He has recorded two CDs: “Pascal Salomon plays Schumann” (with ArtRecords) and “Czech Portraits” for viola and piano (Centaur Label).

Pascal Salomon studied at the “Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris” with Gabriel Tacchino and has taken numerous master classes with the world-renowned pianists Vera Gornostaeva (Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow), György Sebök, Andras Schiff, Paul Badura-Skoda, Murray Perahia and Jeremy Denk. He was granted the virtuosity degree at the “Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève” where he studied with Edson Elias and Nelson Goerner. He then taught at the same Geneva Conservatory for 10 years before moving to California. Winner of the scholarship for young performers from the Société de Musique d’Yverdon-les-Bains (Switzerland), he also received the prize for best French pianist in the Senigallia International Competition Italy), as well as the Honor Diploma in the Maria Canals International Competition (Barcelona, Spain). Pascal Salomon obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts at UC Santa Barbara with Paul Berkowitz. He dedicated his research and dissertation to the fascinating topic of Music Phenomenology. He currently lives in Santa Barbara, California, with his family.

Rachel Huang, violin

Rachel Huang, violinist on the Scripps College faculty, performs locally and abroad with The Gold Coast Trio, The Mei Duo and Duo 209; recent engagements have ranged from Quito, Ecuador to Xiamen, China. She also performs with Trio Lykos and Quartet Euphoria, ensembles in residence at Scripps College. Holding degrees from Harvard University and SUNY at Stony Brook, she has received grants for performance and scholarship from the NEA and the NEH. Her scholarly interest in music analysis extends to Jazz: with Hao Huang, she has co-authored published articles on the performance practice of Billie Holiday. For the past 30 years, she has had the privilege of sharing with her violin students the legacies of three great teachers, with whom she studied: Ivan Galamian, Dorothy DeLay and Robert Koff, all of them both late and lamented.

Gayle Blankenburg, piano

Gayle Blankenburg has performed extensively to great critical acclaim as a solo pianist, chamber musician, and vocal accompanist. She was a roster artist with Southwest Chamber Music from 1996 to 2003, with whom she regularly performed and recorded. Among nearly a dozen award-winning CDs recorded for Southwest Chamber Music on Cambria Records are her performances of Elliot Carter’s song cycle Of Challenge and of Love (with soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson) and the Carlos Chavez Invencion for solo piano. She has also performed with Phyllis Bryn-Julson at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, in New York City at Cooper Union, and in Vienna, Austria in a residency at the Schoenberg Institute. Her recording of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the LA-based ensemble “inauthentica” has received the highest critical acclaim from Gramophone Magazine, Opera News, and The American Record Guide. Released recently was a CD of solo piano and chamber music works of composer Richard Cameron-Wolfe.
The Los Angeles Times has reviewed her playing on numerous occasions, saying, “Blankenburg played with elegant power and poise… Her crisp touch and light pedaling produced crystalline, pensive, haunting sequences… This is a gratefully idiomatic piece for a pianist with both power and a palette, requirements Blankenburg met easily.”
Recent performances include a concert at the National Opera Center in New York City last October, four concerts of modern music in New Zealand in mid-March, and all-Beethoven concerts in the Sacramento area in April and May.
Ms. Blankenburg was a student of the distinguished pianists Menahem Pressler (of the Beaux Arts Trio) and Abbey Simon at Indiana University, where she received the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance, and where she was also awarded the coveted Performer’s Certificate. She is currently on the piano faculties of the Claremont Colleges, teaching at Pomona College and at Scripps College.

Angela Lee, cello

Since giving her Carnegie Hall debut in 1994, Angela Lee’s “amazing finesse, control and coloration” [San Francisco Chronicle] and “astonishingly rich tone” [San Francisco Examiner] has been celebrated with recitals in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and Victor Borge Hall at Scandinavia House in New York, Chicago’s Cultural Center, The Phillip’s Collection and Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Copenhagen’s Nationalmuseet and the Purcell Room at South Bank Centre in London. She has soloed with orchestras including the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Francisco Concert Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony, the CAMS Orchestra, the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, the Paraiba Symphony, São Paulo State Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony, and the Hertfordshire Chamber Orchestra (UK), performing works of Boccherini to Barber to Kernis. Her solo and chamber performances have taken her throughout North and South America, Australasia, Europe and Asia. She is frequently invited to festivals including St. Petersburg’s Revelations, IMS at Prussia Cove, Cagayan Valley International Music Festival, Taipei Summer Festival, Pontino Festival, La Musica, Banff, Marlboro Music Festival, Anneberg Festival, Chelsea Music Festival, Music Mountain, and Mahler-Jihlava Festival, collaborating with Nobuko Imai, Bruno Giuranna, Frans Helmerson, Isabelle Faust, Cho-Liang Lin, Alexander Lonquich, Franco Petracchi, Stephen Prutsman, Andras Schiff and members of the Beaux Arts Trio, Guarneri Quartet and Canadian Brass.

Ms. Lee is dedicated to working with and performing the music of leading composers, among them Lukas Foss, Aaron Jay Kernis, Philip Lasser, Tania León, Jane Cornish, and Yehudi Wyner. As an opera, theater and ballet enthusiast, Angela Lee was the solo cellist in Harris Yulin’s production of Don Juan in Hell starring Ed Asner, Cherry Jones and René Auberjonois. She has worked as 2nd Solo-Cellist with Det Kongelige Kapel in Denmark, as Principal Cellist with Opera North Leeds in England, and with Eliot Feld at Ballet Tech, premiering Feld’s The Last Sonata, set to Claude Debussy’s Cello Sonata. She has also collaborated with writer Mark Salzman in Music & Story, performing J.S. Bach Suite No. 3 for Solo Cello.

Using music to foster peace and goodwill, Angela Lee has made numerous humanitarian trips to the Republic of the Philippines and the former Yugoslavia. While on a U.N.-sanctioned tour of six war-torn cities throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, she performed for American and NATO troops and displaced civilians. As part of The Lee Trio with her sisters–Lisa, violinist, and Melinda, pianist–Angela Lee traveled to Ukraine in 2010 and to Romania in 2017 to work with and perform for underprivileged children. Last season the three sisters taught master classes and performed at University of Utah as well as the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj, Romania. The Trio serves as the 2018 Distinguished Visiting Scholars in the Performing Arts at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. Known for their “primal force on the stage” [Piedmont Post], the Trio won top awards at the 2004 Gaetano Zinetti and Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competitions in Italy and Finland and continues to teach and perform throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

Angela Lee began her cello studies at age four at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Irene Sharp. At age twelve she was accepted to study with William Pleeth, commuting between San Francisco and London for several years. She graduated from The Juilliard School and Yale School of Music as a scholarship student of Aldo Parisot. In addition to her formal studies, she has been mentored by Cordelia Wikarski-Miedel and Morten Zeuthen. She is the recipient of the Ruth T. Brooks Achievement Award for Continued Excellence in the Arts, a grant from the Foundation for American Musicians in Europe, a Fulbright scholarship to study in London with William Pleeth, the Jury Prize in the Naumburg International Cello Competition, and a cello performance fellowship from The American-Scandinavian Foundation. Her cello is a 1762 Nicolo Gagliano from Naples.