Music in May, 2014 Season
Friday, May 16, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
- Rebecca Jackson, violin
- Christine McLeavey Payne, piano
- Liang-Ping How, violin
- Jonah Kim, cello
- Alexandra Leem, viola
Musicologist in Residence
Hailed as “riveting” by The San Francisco Examiner, Korean-American violinist Rebecca Jackson, is a native of California. She is founder and artistic director of chamber music festival Music in May based in Santa Cruz, California. Concertmaster of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, she is also a member of the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and has performed with the San Francisco Opera and Ballet. An avid chamber musician, she is member of Ensemble San Francisco, Sound Impact, and ARC Piano Trio. Ms. Jackson has performed in numerous benefit concerts that have raised a total exceeding $100,000. In addition to classical she has performed with Barbra Streisand and at the Latin Grammy Awards. Ms. Jackson’s acting and original composition were featured April 2010 at Exit Theater (San Francisco) in the production, “The Wind and Rain.” Ms. Jackson received her B.M. from The Juilliard School and a graduate degree from UC Santa Cruz.
Christine McLeavey Payne
A prizewinner at the Lyon International Chamber Music Competition, Christine McLeavey Payne was featured on Radio France and France TV. Ms. Payne has performed in such venues as Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival with Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim, the Banff International Keyboard Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Festival. She has also worked as a rehearsal pianist for the New York Philharmonic. An avid chamber musician and audience favorite, she resides now in Portola Valley, CA with her husband and son. Ms. Payne completed her masters in the spring of 2004 at the Juilliard School of Music. Prior to that, she graduated as valedictorian of Princeton University, with a degree in Physics.
Mr. How has often appeared as soloist and has recorded with Orpheus for Deutsche Grammophon. Mr. How made his solo debut with the National Youth Orchestra of Taiwan at the age of seven and has appeared with numerous orchestras throughout the United States, Europe and Asia since then. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1974 with the New York String Orchestra and Alexander Schneider.
Mr. How’s chamber music activities have included performances at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Spoleto, the Met Museum of New York, Caramoor Music Festiva and the Lockenhaus Festival. He also appeared with the New York Philomusica at the International Music Festival of Sofia in Bulgaria and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and as the Concerto soloist in Philadelphia. Mr.How began studying violin at the age of four and later studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Curtis Institute of Music with Jamie Laredo. He currently resides in Santa Fe New Mexico and is a member of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra.
Jonah Kim made his solo debut with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2002 as the top prize winner of Philadelphia Orchestra’s Albert M. Greenfield Competition. He also appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra as a “Star of Tomorrow” in 2003. Joseph McLellan of the Washington Post called him simply, “the next Yo-Yo Ma.” Jonah graduated from the prestigious Curtis Institute in spring of 2006 while still only 17 years old, and has soloed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra, Symphony of the Americas, Palm Beach Symphony and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra among others. Jonah has performed recitals at the Kimmel Center, Kravis Center, and the Kennedy Center. His live performances from venues like the Phillips Collections and the Arsht Center have aired on podcasts, radio and TV programs for WETA, WHYY, WITF, MPBN, WXEL, NPR, NBC and CBS. During summers, Jonah has performed at the Atlantic, Lancaster, Killington, Sarasota and Kneisel Hall music festivals and has taught students from all over the world at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s “Stringendo” summer music program. He is also the youngest faculty member for CelloSpeak at Bryn Mawr College.
Jonah served as Principal cellist for Miami City Ballet under celebrated dancer/choreographer Edward Vallella. He also records and plays live in concert with pop figures such as the Beach Boys, Andrea Bocelli, Cristian Castro, Vic Damone, Regis Philban, Kenny Rogers, and the Tran-Siberian Orchestra. In addition to his solo engagements and collaborations with other leading artists across an array of genres, Jonah is an associate Principal cellist for San Francisco Ballet, of which he is the youngest member.
Violist Alexandra Leem is a graduate of the Eastman School and Yale University. A recipient of the Yale University scholarship, she worked closely with the Tokyo quartet during her Yale residency graduate program. Alexandra was the Principal violist for the Concerto Soloists and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in performances across the US with many influential conductors and soloists. She was a member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia and a substitute for the Philadelphia Orchestra for many years. Alexandra played for orchestras and festivals in the US and in Europe, including the Heidelberg Festival, International Orchesterinstitute Attergau, the Holland Music Session, the Royal Ballet, the Pennsylvania ballet, Orchestra 2001, and Network for New Music and recently for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Santa Fe Concert Association. She has recorded for Philadelphia’s Larry Gold Studios appearing on countless projects of all genre ranging from Kirk Franklin and Elvis Costello to Jay Z on MTV Unplugged.
She is currently a member of the Santa Fe Opera and San Fracisco Chamber Orchestra and resides in California.
Kai Christiansen is a musicologist specializing in classical chamber music. Based in San Francisco, Mr. Christiansen writes and lectures throughout the Bay areas working regularly with such organizations as Music at Kohl Mansion, Monterey Bay Chamber Music, Music in May and the San Francisco Community Music Center as well as a number of international chamber music presenters. Leveraging a multi-decade career in software engineering and technical training, Mr. Christiansen is also the founder of earsense.org, an extensive online chamber music exploratorium featuring one of the world’s most comprehensive databases of chamber music literature spanning 500 years of history. While living in Santa Cruz for over a decade, Mr. Christiansen hosted a weekly radio show on KAZU in Pacific Grove, an educational exploration of Blues and Jazz. For relaxation, Kai plays cello and guitar for his cat.