WORLD PREMIERE; In Honor of David Arben


For our 5th anniversary, Mim is commissioning Composer Polina Nazaykinskaya to write a piece for string quartet, clarinet and two pianos, inspired by the miraculous life of David Arben – former associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra and holocaust survivor.

“I was extremely blessed to meet Mr. Arben in 1997.  Since then he has been a profound influence in my life, both musically and beyond.  He finally met my family members attending the inaugural season of Mim and has since become a most treasured part of our family!  This May I want him to be honored. I am so excited for our audiences to be touched by his miraculous story.” -Rebecca Jackson

Please join us for the world premiere Saturday May 12th, 2012.


David Arben by Amy Yang

Sketch Artist: In addition to being a gifted pianist returning to Mim, Amy Yang is an exceptional artist. Her drawings of Arben will be featured in Mim’s program book.

Also in the works:
Compiling old photographs and videos has also led me to try and take on a multimedia project for inclusion on the same program as the commission. A visual diary of his life will be projected on a screen as musicians perform Golijov’s gorgeous Tenebrae String Quartet. 

The documentary, “Legacy,” chronicles how music has impacted 11 different people, including David Arben. Director Andres Faucher has given Mim permission to have a screening at a historic theater in Santa Cruz in conjunction with the premiere of the commission and he plans to be in attendance.

Music in May, 2012 Season

Friday, May 11, 2012

First Congregational Church,
900 High Street Santa Cruz Ca 95060

6:30pm Pre-concert lecture
7:30pm Concert
$20 advance/$25 door
Tickets go on sale in March: Call (800) 838 – 3006  or visit
Cesar Franck A Major Violin & Piano Sonata (1886)
Alberto Ginastera Pampeana No. 2, Rhapsody for Cello & Piano (1950)
Enrique Granados Piano Quintet G Minor, Op. 49 (1895)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

First Congregational Church
900 High Street Santa Cruz Ca 95060

6:30pm Pre-concert lecture
7:30pm Concert
$20 advance/$25 door
Ticket on sale in March: Call (800) 838 – 3006  or visit
Claude Debussy Cello & Piano Sonata (1915)
Samuel Barber String Quartet, Op. 11 (1936)
Edward Elgar Piano Quintet A Minor, Op. 84 (1918) 

2012 Musicians

Musicologist in Residence

Rebecca Jackson

Hailed as “riveting” by The San Francisco Examiner, founder and artistic director of Music in May, Korean-American Rebecca Jackson (violin), is a native of California. Ms. Jackson received her B.M. from The Juilliard School and received a graduate degree from UC Santa Cruz where she studied with Roy Malan. She is a member of the Cabrillo Festival and Sarasota Opera Orchestra and regularly performs with the San Francisco Opera. Always looking for a good cause, Ms. Jackson has performed in numerous benefit concerts that have raised a total exceeding $100,000. She was part of the broadway musical South Pacific during its run at the Golden Gate Theater in San Francisco. Ms. Jackson’s acting and original composition was featured April 2010 at Exit Theater (San Francisco) in the production, “The Wind and Rain.” In addition to being an age group triathlete, she served as Miss Santa Cruz County 2005.

Amy Yang

Hailed by Harris Goldsmith of The New York Concert Review as “a magnificent artist and poet: everything she touches turns to gold–a Midas touch for tone and music”, twenty-six-year-old pianist Amy Jiaqi Yang is already a seasoned performer and collaborator. A rising star who, “artistically, has fully arrived” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Yang’s performances “elevate joy to the edge of rapture” and “convey the exuberance and enthusiasm of youth” (Star-Telegram).

Most recently, she performed at Marlboro, Caramoor and OKMozart Festivals, Steinway Hall, Perelman Theatre, Marlboro College, on the Dame Myra Hess Series, and in the Van Cliburn Competition. Upcoming performances include a chamber recital at Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall with violinist Hye-Jin Kim, recitals in New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Marlboro, San Francisco, and Spain. In the summer, she’ll appear at the festivals of Music In May, OK Mozart, Chamber Music Northwest, and Olympic Music Festival.

Three recordings also expect imminent release: a CD with violinist Chen Xi (Chinese National Record Label) and a live CD and DVD (Itinerant Records) from a tour of Spain with clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester. Ms. Yang is currently planning her solo debut CD featuring works composed by and influenced by Robert Schumann as well as initiating The Schumann Project, a special series of concerts to present Schumann’s complete solo piano and chamber works. Commanding an immense repertory, in the recent season she performed works ranging from Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, to Beethoven’s Sonata in Bb, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier”, and to Ezra Laderman’s Third Piano Sonata.

An experienced performer, Ms. Yang has concertized at Weill Hall a Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Gardner Museum, The White House, Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, Perelman Theatre, Jones Hall, Bennett-Gordon Hall, The Beinecke Library, Columbia, Miami, and Rockefeller Universities, The New School, Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall (Istanbul), and at The Ravinia Festival and Lubus International Festival of Poland

An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with extraordinary artists as Richard Goode, David Soyer, Peter Wiley, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, Ida and Ani Kavafian, Miriam Fried, Ida Levin, Philip Setzer, Judith Serkin, Fred Sherry, Tara Helen O’Conor, Paul Neubauer, Anne-Marie and Kerry McDermott, Marina Piccinini, Cynthia Raim, Joseph Lin, and Kim Kashkashian. In 2007, she toured with Musicians from Ravinia.

Ms. Yang has garnered exclusively first prizes at the International Corpus Christi Young Artists’ Competition, the National Chopin Piano Competition of the Kosciuszko Foundation, and the Lennox National Young Artists Competition. She has been a soloist with the Houston Symphony, Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Corpus Christi Symphony, and Richardson Symphony. Festival credits include Prussia Cove, Music Academy of the West, Verbier Academy, Music from Angel Fire, Ravinia Festival, Canandaigua Lake Festival, OK Mozart, and Marlboro Music Festival.

Ms. Yang is graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and The Yale School of Music, where she received the Parisot Prize for an Outstanding Piano Student as well as the Alumni Association Prize. Her principal teachers are Timothy Hester, Claude Frank, Robert McDonald, and Peter Frankl. She loves drawing and painting and often contributes artwork to benefit concert series. She also loves literature, poetry, art history, psychology, and the classical guitar.

Konstantin Soukhovetski

Konstantin Soukhovetski is rapidly earning a reputation as a “young pianist who captivates” with his “distinctive lyricism,” “immaculate technique,” and “vigor … refinement … and drama.”

Following his 2006 William Petschek Debut Recital Award performance at Alice Tully Hall, in New York’s Lincoln Center, The New York Times headlined its review: “Romanticism so intense it warms up Philip Glass.”

This season marks Mr. Soukhovetski’s debut with the Westmoreland Symphony (Pennsylvania) and the Long Island Chamber Players (New York). He’ll also return to perform with the Auburn Symphony (California). This season’s recitals include debuts at Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the Piano en Valois Festival in Angouleme, France, the Swiss Chopin Society in Bern, Switzerland, London’s Wigmore Hall, Symphony Space, (New York City), the Southampton Cultural Center (New York), and Music for Montauk (Montauk, New York), among others.

Recent highlights include performances with the Houston Symphony (Texas), the Manchester Music Festival Orchestra (Vermont), the Asheville Symphony (North Carolina), Louisiana Philharmonic, the Johannesburg Philharmonic, the Cape Town Philharmonic, the Kwa-Zulu Natal Symphony Orchestra (South Africa), the Kennett Symphony (Pennsylvania), the Baton Rouge Symphony, and the Acadiana Symphony.

Mr. Soukhovetski has worked with an array of distinguished conductors, among them: Daniel Meyer, Gérard Korsten, Rebecca Miller, James DePreist, Emmanuel Siffert, Jahja Ling, François-Xavier Roth, Doron Salomon, Timothy Muffitt, Conrad von Alphen, Michael Goodwin, Stephen Ramsey, Mary Woodmansee Green, Enrique Bátiz Campbell, Allan Stephenson, David Scarr, Omri Hadari, Andrew Grams, and Emil Tabakov.

Mr. Soukhovetski is an alumnus of The Juilliard School where he has earned his BM, MM, and AD degrees under the tutelage of Jerome Lowenthal. Born in Moscow to a family of artists, Mr. Soukhovetski studied at the Moscow Central Special Music School, under the auspices of the Moscow State Conservatory, with Anatoly Ryabov.

Dmitri Pogorelov

Critically acclaimed violinist Dmitri Pogorelov has won prestigious solo and chamber music competitions in his native Russia at an early age, which led to numerous performances with orchestras in the USA, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, and Russia. Dmitri has appeared in chamber music concerts with principal players of Chicago, Houston, Baltimore, Saint Louis, San Antonio, Colorado, Hartford, Charlotte and Seattle Symphonies, Cleveland and Concertgebouw Orchestras, Rochester and Florida Philharmonic Orchestras, San Francisco, Chicago Lyric, Darmstadt, and Frankfurt State Opera orchestras. As part of Dmitri’s interest in contemporary chamber music, he has recently recorded works by Eric Ewazen, Gunther Schuller, and Yehudi Wyner for Albany Records. A seasoned orchestral performer, Dmitri has worked under Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Sir Mark Elder, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Larry Rachleff, and Esa-Pekka Salonen as Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony’s Civic Orchestra.

Currently Dmitri is the 1st violinist of the Kontras String Quartet, the Quartet in Residence with the Western Piedmont Symphony, and the Orchestra’s Concertmaster; he is a violin faculty member at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC.

Dmitri holds degrees in music performance from DePaul and Lynn Universities, having worked with world renowned violinists Ilya Kaler, Elmar Oliveira and Sergiu Schwartz.

Jose Gonzalez Granero

Born in Iznatoraf, a small village in the south of Spain, José González joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in 2010 and holds the position of Principal Clarinet. He began studying the clarinet at the age of eight. Both his father and grandfather are band directors. Mr. Gonzalez received his Bachelor Degree from Granada Superior Conservatory (Spain) and G. Verdi Conservatory (Italy). In 2007, he moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California and The Colburn School of Music to study with renowned clarinet teacher Yehuda Gilad.

Mr. Gonzalez has won numerous competitions and awards, including Grand Prize for exceptional talent and musicianship in the Pasadena Instrumental Competition (2009), First Prize in the Burbank Philharmonic Concerto Competition (2009), Second Place in the Downey Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition (2009) and Second Prize in the Pasadena Instrumental Competition (2008).

Mr. Gonzelez was Principal Clarinet of the Andalucia Philharmonic Orchestra (Spain) from 2005-2007. He has also performed as Principal Clarinet with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (Norway), Odense Symfoniorkester (Denmark), Young Musician Foundation Debut Orchestra, Galicia Symphony Orchestra (Spain), City of Granada Orchestra (Spain), Orchestre des Jeunes de la Mediterranee (France), and the European Union Youth Wind Orchestra (Luxemburg).

Mr. Gonzalez enjoys composing music for concert band and wind ensemble. He won Second Prize in the Ville de Comines-Warneton composition competition in Belgium, and some of his works have been published in Spain and Italy.

Ani Kalayjian

Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “representing the young, up-and-coming generation,” cellist Ani Kalayjian has appeared in concert both as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Recent competition success includes winning the Anglo-Czechoslovak Trust competition in England where she was also granted the Bohuslav Martinu Foundation Prize. Ani completed her masters degree at the Royal Northern College of Music as a student of Ralph Kirshbaum. Undergraduate studies were at Mannes College of Music as a student of Timothy Eddy.

Ani was one of two cellists accepted into the inaugural season of David Finckel and Wu Han’s Music@Menlo festival. She has taken part in the International Musician’s Seminar at Prussia Cove , Michael Tilson Thomas’ Carnegie Hall workshop, Pablo Casals Prades festival, Mendelsohn on Mull, Banff, Sarasota, Apeldoorn, London Masterclasses, New York String Seminar, Holland Music Sessions and the RNCM International Cello Festival. At Prussia Cove, she was featured in a BBC documentary playing in a masterclass with Steven Isserlis.

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 Tokyo quartet during her Yale quartet in residency graduate program. From 1997 until 2010 she was Principal viola of the Concerto Soloists and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, performing with many influential conductors and soloists and herself as soloist on many occasions. She was also a member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia and substitute for the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has performed with numerous orchestras and festivals in US and in Europe, more recently with PA Ballet, Orchestra 2001 and Network for New Music and is an active chamber and contemporary musician. She has recorded for Philadelphia’s Larry Gold Studios as their principal violist, appearing on countless projects of all genre ranging from Gospel’s Kirk Franklin to Rap’s Jay Z on MTV Unplugged.

She is currently a member of the Santa Fe Opera and San Fracisco Chamber Orchestra and resides in California with her husband and their three very active boys.

Polina Nazaykinskaya

Polina Nazaykinskaya was born in Togliatti, Russia on January 20, 1987 and has been studying music since the age of 4. After graduating with honors from the Music Academic Gymnasium (with concentration in violin and flute), she pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory Music College in Russia with concentrations in violin and composition. In 2010 Polina earned her Masters of Music Degree in Theory and Composition with honors from the Yale School of Music. Her teachers at Yale were Christopher Theofanidis and Ezra Laderman. Currently Polina is pursuing a Doctorate degree in Composition at the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music where she is studying with Yevgeniy Sharlat and Russell Pinkston.

A rising young composer, Ms. Nazaykinskaya has won numerous awards including the first Place at the Dimitriy Kabalevskiy Competition in 2006 and the first place at the Vyacheslav Zolotarev International Composers Competition in 2008; She also received an honorary mention at the ASCAP in 2010; and was awarded a grand prize at the “Future songs of the city” in 2010. She is one of the winners in the opera category at the Contemporary Americana Festival in 2010. Also she is one of the winners of the first Russian YouTube composers competition. Polina Nazaykinkaya was nominated to the “Orpheus Project 440” in New York. Her orchestra piece “Winter Bells” was selected for the Minnesota Composers Institute 2010.

Polina has collaborated with such conductors as Osmo Vanska, Theodor Kurentzis, Anatoly Levin, Farkhad Khudiev, Julian Pellicano, Richard Henebry, Andrei Rubtsov, Artur Mikitka and Vladislav Ivanovsky.

Her music has been performed at various festivals such as the Music Academy of the West (USA, 2007), the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (USA, 2009), the New Music New Haven (USA, 2008-2010), the Classic Music Festival (Russia, 2005-2008), the Cadiza Festival (Spain, 2006), the Highpoint Festival in Woodstock (USA, 2010), STAM (Russia, 2011), Klassika Open Fest (Russia, 2011) as well as others throughout Europe and the United States.

Carolyn Corbett

Carolyn Corbett is a motion picture artist, poet, and wild dreamer. In 1996 she received an MFA in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She spent the next couple of years in NYC working as an actor and performance artist. Corbett went on to work for the Metropolitan Opera Guild teaching Creating Original Opera in NYC’s public schools.

In 2002 Corbett conceived and implemented an award-winning imaginative writing program for individuals with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries at Northeast Center for Special Care. During this time she made The Edge of Things, a feature documentary about one of the poets in her program. In 2009 the documentary was an official selection at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival in Arkansas.

Corbett is currently enrolled in the graduate film program at USC in Los Angeles, where she is majoring in editing and developing new approaches to cinematic expression. In 2011 she co-edited Where We Live, a USC documentary about an Iraqi refugee family living in San Diego. The film screened at LACMA in Los Angeles as well as myriad festivals worldwide.

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.