Margaret Tait, cellist
Margaret Tait joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1974 and helped to create the Aurora String Quartet in 1979. The Quartet’s twenty-two years of performances and their recordings have received great acclaim internationally as well as here in the Bay Area. Ms. Tait studied with Irving Klein at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and with Gabor Rejto at the University of Southern California , where she received her Bachelor of Music degree. Her Master of Music degree is from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and enjoys performing a wide range of solo and chamber music repertoire. Margaret Tait, cellist, joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1974 and helped to create the Aurora String Quartet in 1979. The Quartet’s twenty-two years of performances and their recordings have received great acclaim internationally as well as here in the Bay Area. Ms. Tait studied with Irving Klein at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and with Gabor Rejto at the University of Southern California , where she received her Bachelor of Music degree. Her Master of Music degree is from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and enjoys performing a wide range of solo and chamber music repertoire.
Arthur Austin, clarinet
Arthur Austin studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Fred Ormand and Anthony Gigliotti. He has performed in numerous orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and Honolulu Symphony; and has served as principal clarinetist in the Kansas City Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera Center ,Western Opera Theatre, Donald Pippin - Pocket Opera, Lyric Opera of San Francisco, and West Bay Opera among others. He has performed at music festivals across the country including Marlboro, Carmel Bach Festival, Cabrillo Festival, and Tanglewood. Mr. Austin'ÃÂs diverse musical interests have led to performances of New Age music in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, recordings with Tantra Productions, contemporary music world premieres including Hotel Casablanca with the San Francisco Opera Center, and performances with Kenny G.
Janet Ketchum, flutist
Janet Ketchum, flutist, has enjoyed a varied career in music. As a performer, she was principal flutist with SF Ballet and SF Contemporary Music Players for over 12 years and solo recitalist with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and California Council on the Arts for 14 years. Currently, she has been principal flutist with Pacific Chamber Symphony for the past 18 years. She was the flute instructor at Santa Barbara's famed Music Academy of the West for five years, taught chamber music and flute at Dominican College, Pomona College, San Francisco Conservatory and San Domenican School. She is music contractor for orchestral recording projects at Skywalker Ranch having contracted for many notable motion pictures and video games including "Seventeen Again", "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past", "Zodiac", "Hellboy", "Spykids", "Inspector Gadget", to name but a few. This past season she appeared as soloist Nadja Salerno-Sonenberg and The New Century Chamber Orchestra. Janet is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.
James Matheson, oboe
James Matheson grew up in Los Angeles where he began his oboe studies with Robert Frost of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He also studied with Glen Johnston of Los Angeles, Merrill Remington, former principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, and Henri Debussier of the Queens Hall Orchestra, London, the New York Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. After high school, Mr. Matheson joined the Army and was stationed with the Sixth Army Band at the Presidio in San Francisco. Shortly afterwards, he received a B.A. in music from S.F. State University then toured the U.S. with Arthur Fiedler's Boston Pops Tour Orchestra. Mr. Matheson joined the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera Orchestra in 1962 and served as the principal oboist of the Opera for 44 years upon his retirement in 2006. He has taught at San Francisco State University and currently teaches oboe at Stanford University where he was also a founding member of the Stanford Woodwind Quintet.
Rufus Olivier, bassoon
Rufus Olivier currently serves as principal bassoonist with the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet. At age 21, he joined the San Francisco Symphony before moving to his current positions with the Opera and Ballet. Mr. Olivier has soloed with numerous orchestras throughout the United States, Japan, and France. He has premiered new works for the bassoon and was featured in live radio recitals in Los Angeles. He is a founding member of the Anchor Chamber Players, the Midsummer Mozart Orchestra, and the Stanford Wind Quintet. Mr. Olivier has also recorded many movie, video, CD, and TV soundtracks including Disney''s "Never Cry Wolf"; San Francisco Opera'ÃÂs Grammy-nominated, Orphee et Eurydice; and Elmo in Grouchland, for which he received a Grammy Award. Prior to arriving to the Bay Area, Mr. Olivier performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Neville Marriner, and the Goldofsky Opera Tours. He studied with David Briedenthal of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is on the music faculties of Stanford University, Azusa Pacific University, and Mills College. In 1993, Mayor Frank M. Jordon Awarded Mr. Olivier The Seal of The City and County of San Francisco, in recognition of his "ÂExemplary Accomplishment" on the occasion of Black History Month. In 2005, Rufus was featured as the February cover story of International Musician and received the Award of Merit from the United States Postal Service.
Sergei Riabtchenko, cello
Sergei Riabtchenko received a Bachelor degree from Pushkin Music College in Russia, where he was the Grand Prix winner of the Moscow Young Musicians Festival. He received his Masters from the Moscow Conservatory of Music, and performed with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra until 1990. Upon moving to the United States, Mr. Riabtchenko taught for three years at San Francisco State University and currently performs with the California Symphony Orchestra and the Arlekin String Quartet. He began teaching at San Domenico in summer .
Yiorgos Vassilandonakis, musicianship, composition
Currently a Lecturer in Composition & Music Theory at the University of California, Berkeley, Mr. Vassilandonakis holds MA and Ph.D. degrees in Composition from Berkeley, as well as a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude from UCLA, and a degree in music theory from the Hellenic Conservatory in Athens. He has also studied in Paris with Philippe Leroux, at the Âcole Nationale de Musique et de Danse, Erik Satie, as the recipient of the George Ladd Prix de Paris . An active composer in both the United States and Europe, Mr. Vassilandonakis has a diverse portfolio of music for all genres, including vocal, instrumental, choral, orchestral, and electronic, as well as opera, and several film, TV and theatre scores. Yiorgos' music has been commissioned among others by the National Opera of Greece, the Athens Camerata, the Alexander S.