David Jacobson, violin
Violinist, writer and lecturer, David Jacobson is the founder of the San Francisco Institute of Music where he created a unique system of teaching, employing what he terms the theory of “bel canto instrumental technique,” now known as the SFIM (San Francisco Institute of Music) Method. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Ivan Galamian, and has a Master of Music Performance degree from Boston University. Mr. Jacobson has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and many other orchestras throughout the United States and has appeared in recital in the major capitals of Europe.
He is the author of Lost Secrets of Master Musicians--A Window Into Genius. In 2015 he founded a publishing company--SFIM Books. SFIM Books evolved as a response to the need for publications that speak about art in a way that presents rational arguments about the value of the aesthetic view of life. He launched Melonaissance.com on September 1, 2016. He serves on the board of the Pacific Musical Society.
Audinga Jacobson, violin and piano
Co-founder of SFIM, Audinga Jacobson brings to the Bay Area extensive performance and teaching experience in both Europe and the United States. She is a distinguished representative of the Russian school of violin playing. She continues the tradition of David Oistrakh as taught by her teachers Alexander Livontas (a student of Pyotr Stolyarsky, who taught Nathan Milstein and David Oistrakh), Victor Radovich, and Dana and Yuri Mazurkevich. Her method of teaching, with modification from her association with American pedagogical methods, combines the best aspects of both traditions. Ms. Jacobson is also an accomplished pianist studying for 15 years with the renowned Lithuanian pianist M. Rubackiene She was a first prize winner of the National Lithuanian Violin Competition. She has toured Europe extensively as a member of the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Jacobson received two Masters Degrees from the Lithuanian Academy of Music, one in violin performance and one in chamber music performance. She has appeared as soloist in television and radio broadcasts for both Lithuanian national television and radio. She was host for several years of a musical education program for children on Lithuanian national television. She has appeared in solo recitals and chamber music performances throughout New England. Ms. Jacobson is a judge of the U.S. Open Music Competition.
Margaret Tait, cello
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's 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.
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 .
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's 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 "Exemplary 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.
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.