Music in May, 2018 Season


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Program announcement coming soon …

Time TBD Pre-concert lecture
Time TBD Concert
Samper Recital Hall 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Program announcement coming soon …

Time TBD Pre-concert lecture
Time TBD Concert
Samper Recital Hall










2017 Artists

Musicologist in Residence

Rebecca Jackson

Acting assistant principal 2nd of the San Francisco Ballet, violinist Rebecca Jackson’s performances are characterized by a “fierce spirit and… reckless abandon.” Ms. Jackson is founder and artistic director of “Music in May,” an annual chamber music festival in Santa Cruz, California. The series has featured such noted musicians as Michael Tree, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Ron Leonard, and Martin Beaver.  She is founding member of Ensemble San Francisco and also performs with the Santa Fe Opera. Believing strongly in the power of music to heal and unite, a large part of her career has been to seek opportunities to serve others through her violin. These activities take her into communities across the US and also into the countries of Ukraine, Romania, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, and most recently at Said Gawash and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. Combining her passion for music and service, she is co-founder of Sound Impact, a collective of musicians devoted to bringing music to marginalized communities such as homeless centers, hospitals, and correction facilities. The latest undertaking, in collaboration with her father, is writing the authorized biography of her mentor David Arben, imprisoned in 7 Nazi death camps & former associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Jackson received her B.M. from The Juilliard School and a graduate degree from UC Santa Cruz.

Matthew Young

Matthew Young joined the San Francisco Symphony viola section in 2012. A former member of the  Minnesota and Cleveland Opera Orchestras, he has also has performed with the Boston Symphony, London Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and was recently guest principal violist with the Vancouver Symphony. Winner of the Grand Prize in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition as a member of the Verklarte Quartet, he was also awarded the Robert Vernon Prize in viola performance and the 2007 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians. His festival appearances include Aspen, Banff, Festival Mozaic, The New York String Orchestra Seminar, Sarasota, Sommerfest, Sun Valley, Tanglewood, and Yellow Barn, among others.

Young is also active as an educator, having taught and coached at the National Orchestral Institute, San Francisco Academy Orchestra, Stanford University Symphony, Stanford Youth Orchestra, and other music schools. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Kentucky, and Yale School of Music and was a student of Robert Vernon, principal violist of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Sayaka Tanikawa

Pianist Sayaka Tanikawa has received more than 20 first prizes and top honors in national and international piano competitions, including Joanna Hodges Piano Competition, Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin International Competition, and Samick UCLA Piano Competition. She was also a Silver Medalist of the second Hilton Head International Piano Competition. She has appeared as a soloist with the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, Richardson Symphony, and the Philharmonia Virtuosi, among others. She has given numerous recitals, including performances at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Caramoor Performer’s Showcase Series, and Davies Hall in San Francisco.

Tanikawa holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Columbia University, a master’s degree and an artist diploma from Yale School of Music, and a doctorate from Manhattan School of Music. A devoted educator, she has served as an Artist-in-residence at South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, South Carolina and has taught at the college division of Manhattan School of Music. She currently teaches at Hunter College (CUNY) in NY.


Daniel Stewart

Daniel Stewart, Conductor, Composer, and Violist, is the Music Director of the Santa Cruz Symphony, and former Assistant Conductor with The Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Stewart’s first three seasons in Santa Cruz have led to great critical acclaim, including the Peninsula Reviews’ assertion that “the Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Stewart has now developed into the finest musical ensemble South of San Francisco and North of Los Angeles.”

Since 2012, when Mr. Stewart was invited by James Levine to become the first conductor of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, he has conducted the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and soloists in a comprehensive range of repertoire. In 2013, he made his acclaimed Lincoln Center debut in a Metropolitan Opera produced concert of comic operas by Stravinsky, Mozart, Donizetti and Berlioz.

The recipient of the 2010 Aspen Music Festival’s James Conlon Conducting Prize, Mr. Stewart has conducted orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Hessischer Rundfunk Orchester, the Frankfurt Opern Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Saint-Louis Symphony. He has previously served as Cover Conductor with the Atlanta Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the Saint-Louis Symphony, assisting conductors including Thomas Adès, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Kurt Masur, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Mr. Stewart has worked closely with contemporary composers such as the late Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Adams, and particularly Thomas Adès, whom he assisted in preparing the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Aspects of Adès” festival in 2011. An avid composer himself, Daniel Stewart’s compositions have been performed at venues including the Aspen Music Festival, Tribeca New Music Festival, and Verbier Festival. A selection of his music can be found at

Mr. Stewart is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller, with additional studies with Sir Simon Rattle, Christoph Eschenbach, and Alan Gilbert. As a violist, Mr. Stewart has has concertized frequently as soloist, and served as principal violist of numerous ensembles, including the New World Symphony, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, and for six years with the Verbier Festival and Chamber Orchestras. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, recorded for EMI with Maxim Vengerov, and toured extensively in over 40 countries.

Jonah Kim

Grammy winning artist Jonah Kim made his solo debut with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2003. The same year, he also appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra where the Washington Post music critic Joseph McLellan called him simply, “the next Yo-Yo Ma.” Mr. Kim has soloed with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonia, Orquestra Sinfônica Nacional, Orchestra Filarmonica, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Symphony of the Americas and many others. He has played in prestigious venues such as New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, California’s Montalvo Arts Center, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Kravis Center in Palm Beach, the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, the Phillips Collection and the John F. Kennedy Center in DC where Anne Midgette of the Washington Post praised, “Kim flirted with the line, shaped it, wrapped it around his fingers, pulled it out in a new dimension, all with practiced ease.”

Highly sought after internationally as a chamber musician, Mr. Kim is a founding member of the “hip, unstuffy, and malleable group” Ensemble San Francisco. He frequents festivals like the Atlantic Music Festival, Bari International Music Festival, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Chamber Music Silicon Valley, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Music in May Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo’s Festival Mozaic. As a fellow at the Curtis Institute, he studied the piano trio literature extensively with his trio with prize winning violinist Chen Xi and piano sensation Yuja Wang. Since then, he has collaborated with world class artists on four continents, sharing the stage with Elmar Oliveira, Jon Nakamatsu, Martin Beaver, Bella Hristova, Ian Swensen, Scott Yoo and Chee-Yun Kim in recent seasons. In a review of his Debussy cello sonata with Ensemble San Francisco at Alliance Français’ French Festival 2015, San Francisco Classical Voice critic David Bratman exclaimed “this was an excellent performance, the best I’ve heard of this piece.”

A fixture at top studios such as Skywalker Sound and the Hit Factory, Mr. Kim has won two Grammy Awards. He records across a spectrum of genres and collaborates live in concert with artists like ‪Andrea Bocelli, ‪Mariah Carey, ‪Cristian Castro, ‪Vic Damone, ‪Kenny Rogers and ‪Kip Winger to name a few. Dedicated to sharing music in ways that positively impact and heal people in need, Mr. Kim is very active in community outreach. He volunteers at schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, religious institutions and even juvenile detention centers, connecting not only through performance, but also in a more personable capacity in musical therapy sessions and spiritual gatherings. His teaching in masterclass settings have been described as “captivating and hilarious… relevant to not only musicians, resonating with all walks of life.” Mr. Kim is the youngest instructor at CelloSpeak, a cello retreat at Bryn Mawr College, where he has lectured and experimented with teaching methods for the last six years. He plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume cello made in 1845 generously on loan, as well as a 2016 Haide Lin, a gold medal winning instrument at the Indianapolis Violin Society of America Competition. His bow was made in 1904 by Jules Fetique à Paris.

Alexandra Leem

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 Francisco Chamber Orchestra and resides in California.

L.P. How

Liang-Ping How has been a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra since 1980. He has toured extensively throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia with Orpheus and many other ensembles.

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.

Daniel Jordan

Daniel Jordan is the concertmaster of the Sarasota Orchestra and the Assistant Principal 2nd violinist of the Santa Fe Opera orchestra.  He was formerly the Assistant Principal 1st violinist of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, and a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach.

He has played as concertmaster of the Waterbury (Connecticut) Symphony, Spoleto (Charleston) Festival, and Erie Philharmonic, and served in the sections of the St. Louis Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, and Florida Orchestra. Previous to his tenure in Santa Fe, summers have been spent as a member of the Sun Valley (Idaho) Summer Symphony, Assistant Concertmaster of the Colorado Music Festival, and Concertmaster of the National Repertory Orchestra.  He has also twice returned to lead the New World Symphony as concertmaster in alumni concerts.  Recent summer credits include performances with the Sarasota Music Festival and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Daniel received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Donald Weilerstein and David Updegraff.  Prior to that he was a student at the Harid Conservatory and Interlochen Arts Academy.

The violin he plays on is the ex Humphreys 1695 Peter Guarneri of Mantua and the bow he uses is a Dominique Peccatte, both generously on loan to the Sarasota Orchestra from the Steinwachs Family Foundation. He is married to another violinist in the Sarasota Orchestra, Chung-Yon Hong, and is the proud father of a three year old son, Spencer.

Danielle Cho

Cellist Danielle Cho enjoys an exciting and versatile musical career as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Danielle performs regularly with the Washington National Opera, the National Symphony Orchestra, the American Pops Orchestra and Grammy nominated chamber orchestras, Inscape and A Far Cry. As chamber musician, she has performed at the National Gallery of Art, the Atlas Theater, the Freer and Corcoran Galleries, and the Embassies of Costa Rica, Pakistan, and Luxembourg.

After studying in Barcelona, Spain as a Fulbright Scholar, she was invited to perform with the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valencia where she toured internationally under Lorin Maazel and returned to perform at the Festival del Mediterrani under Zubin Mehta. In 2014, she was a featured soloist at the TedxFulbright Conference held at the US Chamber of Commerce. This year, she was selected as the first Fulbright alumni to serve on two missions with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (YOA) Global Leaders program in Argentina and Haiti, and was presented as soloist with the Festival Filharmonic Juvenil in El Chaco, Argentina.

Danielle has participated in many festivals in Europe and the US including IMS Prussia Cove, Spoleto, Music in May, the Holland Music Sessions, Taos, Sarasota, Schleswig-Holstein and the New York String Seminar.  A dedicated contemporary music advocate, she has performed at the Cabrillo Festival, Spoleto USA “Music in Time” series, and the Lucerne Festival Academy under the direction of Pierre Boulez. Danielle is on faculty at the Washington Conservatory and adjunct faculty at Northern Virginia Community College. She is a graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music and the New England Conservatory.

Kimberly Marie Olivier

Kimberly Marie Olivier has danced featured or principal roles in Tomasson’s Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, and Swan Lake; Wheeldon’s Cinderella; Balanchine’s Coppélia and The Four Temperaments; and Caniparoli’s Ibsen’s House and Lambarena. She created a corps de ballet role in Possokhov’s Swimmer.

Her repertory includes Ashton’s Symphonic Variations; Balanchine’s Agon, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Coppélia, Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperaments, Scotch Symphony, Serenade, Stars and Stripes (finale), Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Symphony in C, and Theme and Variations; Cranko’s Onegin; Fokine’s Petrouchka; Forsythe’s Artifact Suite; Liang’s Symphonic Dances; Lifar’s Suite en Blanc; Makarova’s (after Petipa) “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère, Act II; Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet; Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid; Page’s Guide to Strange Places; Possokhov’s Firebird, Francesca da Rimini, Magrittomania, and The Rite of Spring; Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy; Robbins’ Glass Pieces; Scarlett’s Fearful Symmetries; Tomasson’s Giselle, Swan Lake, Criss-Cross, and Prism; Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote; Wheeldon’s Ghosts and Within the Golden Hour; and Zanella’s Underskin.

Kimberly danced the lead role in Black Iris for Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris Project at New York City’s Summerstage in 2016. She performed in the 2015 film of Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet as part of the inaugural season of Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance; in two videos by Calvin Walker, Free Time and A Stroll in Paris (which won Dance Magazine’s Video of the Month); and her own choreography in Pas de Deux, a short film by Melanie Shang. She choreographed and performed a solo with Ensemble San Francisco in 2014.

TJ Cole

TJ Cole (b. 1993) is an American composer originally from the suburbs of Atlanta, currently based in Philadelphia.  Her musical studies began at a young age when she started taking piano lessons. Soon after, when she was six, she wrote her first composition, a piano lullaby for her new baby brother. In her early teens, she studied cello for fun by playing with local youth orchestras. When she was 16, she realized that she did not want to pursue a life of performance, but a life dedicated to creation. So she began to focus her pursuits on her passion for composing.

TJ has been commissioned by the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, Time for Three and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, One Book One Philadelphia, among others. Her work has been performed by the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Georgia Governor’s Honors String Orchestra, ensemble39, the Dover Quartet, violinist Robert Simonds, the Singing City Children’s Choir, among others. Her work has been conducted under artists such as Octavio Mas-Arocas, Marin Alsop, Louis Langrée Michael Giel, Kensho Watanabe, and Vinay Parameswaran. TJ served as a composer-in-residence at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music during their 2014 season.

She has also collaborated with bassist Ranaan Meyer as an orchestrator on his project, The World We All Deserve Through Music, as well as a collaboration with First Person Arts by co-curating and performing in a musical story slam.

TJ won first prize in the Atlanta Music Club Composition Competition in 2011, as well as a 2015 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer award. She has been awarded the Neil Rabaut Memorial Scholarship through Interlochen Arts Academy in 2011, a has been named a Presser Undergraduate Scholar through the Curtis Institute of Music for the 2015-16 academic year.

TJ  received her Bachelor’s degree in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied under Jennifer Higdon, David Ludwig, and Richard Danielpour. She is currently an Artist Year Fellow at the Curtis Institute, where she is committed various music related community service projects in the Philadelphia community.

Other than music, TJ also enjoys drawing, baking, and taking care of the various cats in her life: Xena, Zelda, and Batman.

Kai Christiansen

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, 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.

Program Notes coming soon