Music in May, 2019 Season

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Program details coming soon

7:00pm Pre-concert lecture
8:00pm Concert
Peace Church, 900 High Street, Santa Cruz 
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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Program details coming soon 

2:00pm Pre-concert lecture
3:00pm Concert
Peace Church, 900 High Street, Santa Cruz 
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2018 Artists

Musicologist in Residence

Rebecca Jackson

Violinist Rebecca 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 acting member of San Francisco Ballet and Santa Fe Opera Orchestras. Believing strongly in the power of music to heal and unite, Ms. Jackson has taken her violin into many communities outside the concert hall 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.

Cho-liang Lin

Cho-Liang Lin was born in Taiwan. A neighbor’s violin studies convinced this 5-year old boy to do the same. At the age twelve, he moved to Sydney to further his studies with Robert Pikler, a student of Jenő Hubay. After playing for Itzhak Perlman in a master class, the 13-year old boy decided that he must study with Mr. Perlman’s teacher, Dorothy DeLay. At the age fifteen, Lin traveled alone to New York and auditioned for the Juilliard School and spent the next six years working with Ms DeLay.

A concert career was launched in 1980 with Lin’s debut playing the Mendelssohn Concerto with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta . He has since performed as soloist with virtually every major orchestra in the world. His busy schedule on stage around the world continues to this day. However, his wide ranging interests have led him to diverse endeavors. At the age of 31, his alma mater, Juilliard School, invited Lin to become faculty. In 2006, he was appointed professor at Rice University. He is currently music director of La Jolla SummerFest and the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival. Ever so keen about education, he was music director of the Taiwan National Symphony music camp and youth orchestra for four years.

In his various professional capacities, Cho-Liang Lin has championed composers of our time. His efforts to commission new works have led a diverse field of composers to write for him. The list includes John Harbison, Christopher Rouse, Tan Dun, John Williams, Steven Stucky, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bright Sheng, Paul Schoenfield, Lalo Schifrin, Joan Tower and many more. Recently, he was soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Nashville Symphony and Royal Philharmonic.

Lin performs on the 1715 Stradivari named “Titian” or a 2000 Samuel Zygmuntowicz. His many concerto, recital and chamber music recordings on Sony Classical, Decca, BIS, Delos and Ondine can be heard on Spotify or His albums have won Gramophone Record Of The Year, Grammy nominations and Penguin Guide Rosettes.

Anna Polonsky

Anna Polonsky is widely in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Ms. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus, and Shanghai Quartets, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She has performed chamber music at festivals such as Marlboro, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle, Music@Menlo, Cartagena, Bard, and Caramoor, as well as at Bargemusic in New York City. Ms. Polonsky has given concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall’s Stern, Weill, and Zankel Halls, and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A frequent guest at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two during 2002-2004. In 2006 she took a part in the European Broadcasting Union’s project to record and broadcast all of Mozart’s keyboard sonatas, and in the spring of 2007 she performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium to inaugurate the Emerson Quartet’s Perspectives Series. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.

Anna Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage of the renowned pianist Peter Serkin, and continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her Master’s Degree from the Juilliard School. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College, and in the summer at the Marlboro and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals. With her husband Orion Weiss, she is a member of the Polonsky-Weiss Piano Duo.

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.

Jaime Amador

Known for his unique and vibrant sound, violist Jaime Amador has distinguished himself among the latest generation of musicians to emerge from Puerto Rico.

Before joining the Harlem Quartet in 2012, Mr. Amador has had a successful career as a member of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, he won first prize at the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra Solo Competition for his interpretation of Béla Bártok’s concerto for viola and orchestra. The newspaper El Nuevo Día praised his performance as “outstanding, having displayed sound technical mastery and a sobriety most appropriate to the nature of the piece.  From the moment the viola alone is introduced, this young musician exuded confidence and aplomb, which was mirrored in the precision of his execution throughout the entire performance.”

Born in San Juan, Jaime Amador began his career at the Children String Program of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. He continued his studies at the Juilliard School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and the New England Conservatory. As a chamber musician, Mr. Amador has played in prestigious venues in the United States and Europe, such as Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and the Kurhaus in Baden-Baden. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with Chick Corea, Ida Kavafian, Fred Sherry, Emanuel Borok, Mikhail Kopelman, David Geber, Michael Lewin, Misha Dichter, Emilio Colón, Vanessa Pérez, Mykola Suk, and Eric Himy, among others.

Mr. Amador’s interest in educating the new generation of musicians has led him to direct the String Department at the 2011 FOSJA Youth Festival in San Juan. In addition to master classes in Puerto Rico and throughout the United States, Mr. Amador has made outreach programs a priority, bringing music to those with limited opportunities and to a society in need of healing through the arts.

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.

Tiffany Richardson

Violist Tiffany Richardson made her solo debut in St. Petersburg, Russia, at age seventeen. As a Co-Founder of Sound Impact, Tiffany enjoys a multi-faceted career as a performer and as an arts educator. Ms. Richardson performs regularly with the Richmond Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra, Wolf Trap Opera, Washington Concert Opera and the Washington National Opera. Ms. Richardson has performed and toured with the St. Louis Symphony under Maestro David Robertson, and attended prestigious festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, IMS Prussia Cove, Spoleto Festival USA, Festival Mozaic and Music in May. As a chamber musician, Ms. Richardson collaborated with members of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, Mendelssohn Quartet, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery of Art, Corcoran Gallery, and the Embassies of Costa Rica, Luxembourg and Pakistan.

An avid performer of contemporary music, Ms. Richardson performs with Urban Arias and the Grammy nominated ensemble Inscape. She can be heard on several world premiere recordings as a member of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

Deeply committed to community outreach and arts education, Ms. Richardson is a teaching artist at the El Sistema Program Bridges: Harmony Through Music, and founded Virginia String Studio. Ms. Richardson attended the Arts and Passion Driven Learning Institute at Harvard University and performs in the National Symphony Orchestra’s Education Ensemble, the King Street Quartet. Ms. Richardson holds degrees from University of Maryland and the New England Conservatory of Music.

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.

Polina Nazaykinskaya, Composer in Residence

Born in Togliatti, Russia, Polina has been studying music since the age of four, and composed her first large-scale work at 14. She went on to create music for both chamber and full orchestras, as well as art songs, film music, a musical theater works, an opera, and, most recently, her first symphony, April Song. Polina has received many national and international awards, including the Charles Ives Scholarship from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, while her music received laudatory reviews from the press, including the New York Times. Polina’s music has been performed by the Russian National Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Olaf Philharmonia, the US Army Orchestra, the Hermitage Orchestra and chorus. Polina has collaborated with top conductors, including Osmo Vänskä, Teodor Currentzis, Fabio Mastrangelo, and Hannu Lintu.

Polina has received a music education both in Russia and the United States. She graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory College in Moscow, with concentrations in both composition, under Konstantin Batashov, and violin. Polina then continued her studies of composition at the Yale School of Music with Christopher Theofanidis and Ezra Laderman, graduated with honors, and is now completing her Doctorate in Composition at the CUNY Graduate Center with Tania León. Polina is also a Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic Composers Bridge Program and an Adjunct Lecturer of Composition at Brooklyn College Conservatory.

Sound Impact, 2018 Resident Community Engagement Ensemble

Thanks to the generous funding of David Kaun, Sound Impact will take Music in May’s outreach to the next level. Co-founders Rebecca Jackson, Tiffany Richardson, and Danielle Cho will launch two juvenile hall residencies and additional school performances.

Founded in 2012, Sound Impact is a collective of musicians dedicated to serving communities and igniting positive change through live performance, educational programs, and creative collaboration. Sound Impact’s passion for community engagement brings music into diverse communities including schools, hospitals, homeless centers, juvenile detention centers and orphanages throughout the US and Costa Rica.

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