CMB is thrilled to welcome returning artists Zenas Hsu, Alex Shiozaki, Jessica Chang, Laura Gaynon, and Nana Shi for its 6th season in 2017.
ZENAS HSU >> violin
ZENAS HSU is a Taiwanese-American violinist with a passion for chamber music, performing, teaching, and personal and entrepreneurial outreach. He is a founding member of the Zaffre String Quartet. Currently based in Boston, Zenas is also the concertmaster and a founding member of Phoenix, an ensemble dedicated to bringing uncompromised performances to the modern audience. He was a prizewinner of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association in 2013 as the violinist of Trio Concorde. Zenas’s festival appearances include the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, Banff Chamber Music Residency, Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, Yellow Barn, Lake George Music Festival, Taos Academy of Music, Music Academy of the West, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Institute, and Valdres Solo Academy. He has also performed as a guest member of A Far Cry, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Zenas has studied chamber music with members of the Borromeo, Brentano, Cleveland, Guarneri, Juilliard, Leipzig, Miami, Shanghai, and St. Lawrence String Quartets, and with renowned musicians including Lucy Chapman, Hsinyun Huang, Gil Kalish, Meng-Chieh Li, Robert McDonald, Ian Swensen, Steven Tenenbom, Susan Bates, Lawrence Lesser, and Vivian Weilerstein.
A native of California, Zenas received his early training with Wei He in the preparatory division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music while spending musical summers at Music@Menlo Chamber Music Institute, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, and the Hotchkiss Summer Portals. He was accepted at age sixteen to the Curtis Institute of Music to study with Ida Kavafian. Upon receiving his Bachelor of Music degree four years later, Zenas moved to Boston and received his Master of Music and Graduate Diploma degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Nicholas Kitchen and Donald Weilerstein. He plays on a Gaspare Lorenzini violin on generous loan from the Chi Mei Museum Violin Collection.
Zenas’s artistic endeavors include photography, recording engineering, and reading. He maintains a strong interest in the productive use of technology in the music world.
ALEX SHIOZAKI >> violin
Praised by The New York Times as “spellbinding,” violinist ALEX SHIOZAKI is emerging as a strong advocate for the music of today. At home with music new and old, he has appeared as a soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra and Harvard Bach Society Orchestra. Recent and upcoming highlights include appearances with the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and Axiom Ensemble.
In New York City, Alex frequently performs with the Argento Ensemble, American Contemporary Music Ensemble, and Le Train Bleu Ensemble. He recently took part in the Arvo Pärt at Eighty concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a performance which was livestreamed globally. He appears regularly at the Chelsea Music Festival, and has also performed in the music festivals Bravo! Vail and the Tanglewood Music Center. Alongside his wife and pianist Nana Shi, he made his Carnegie Hall debut with Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto for Violin, Piano, and Orchestra. The couple have presented recitals across the country, performing repertoire from Beethoven to Schnittke. Alex has led as concertmaster the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Juilliard Chamber Orchestra, New Juilliard Ensemble, Harvard Bach Society Orchestra, and more. In the summer of 2011, he joined the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on their tour to Japan.
Alex’s diverse interests in music have led him to an international tour with the ambient drone-music duo Stars of the Lid. An avid collaborator, he has performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and with dancers from the New York City Ballet. Complementing his performing experience, Alex is a teaching artist with Chamber Music by the Bay, and a teaching fellow for Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program.
Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College, where he was awarded the Timothy Faron Memorial Arts Prize and the John Knowles Paine Traveling Fellowship, and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, as a recipient of the C.V. Starr Scholarship and the J.C.C. Scholarship. He has previously studied with Ronald Copes and Joseph Lin of the Juilliard String Quartet, Lynn Chang, and Robin Sharp. As a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at the Juilliard School, Alex is currently writing about the music of composer Somei Satoh. www.alexshiozaki.com
JESSICA CHANG >> viola
Violist JESSICA CHANG is passionate about building communities through technology and music for all. Since her chamber music debut at Carnegie Hall in 2008, Jessica’s performances have been broadcast on American Public Media’s “Performance Today,” WYNC, WHYY, and WQXR Public Radio. She has served as principal viola of the Juilliard Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and the Yale Collegium Musicum, and performed at festivals including Music from Angel Fire, Prussia Cove, the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, Tanglewood, Taos, Verbier, and Aspen. Jessica has also served as violist of the Afiara Quartet, the Quartet in Residence at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and visiting faculty at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Jessica is a graduate of Yale University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors and distinction. She completed her Artist Diploma at the Curtis Institute of Music and her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School, and in 2012 founded Chamber Music by the Bay, a series that brings interactive concerts to over 1,600 youth throughout the San Francisco Bay Area annually. Her teachers have included Jenny Rudin, Jesse Levine, Jodi Levitz, Daniel Panner, Misha Amory, Michael Tree, Roberto Díaz, Steven Tenenbom, and Heidi Castleman.
Aside from music, Jessica’s passion for education has led to teaching engagements for after-school and enrichment programs in literature and creative writing in New Haven, CT; Palo Alto, San Jose, and San Francisco. After a decade of surviving solid East Coast winters Jessica recently relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area where she maintains a private studio, serves as the Director of Chamber Music at California Music Preparatory Academy, and performs frequently as a guest artist with Ensemble San Francisco. www.jessicatchang.com
LAURA GAYNON >> cello
LAURA GAYNON is a passionate performer of both modern and baroque cello based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Laura has performed with the American Bach Soloists, with the conductorless orchestra One Found Sound, and as a member of the baroque ensemble MUSA. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with Vera Beths, Tanya Tomkins, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Kim Kashkashian, Krista Bennion-Feeney, Geoff Nuttall, Bonnie Hampton, Paul Hersh, and Ian Swensen. She is also Artistic Director of Bay Area Concerts at Home, a chamber music series that takes place entirely in the living rooms around the Bay Area. Festival appearances include the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, American Bach Soloists Academy, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Taos School of Music, the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and the 2012 International Piatigorsky Cello Masterclasses at USC.
Laura has degrees from Yale University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with an M.M. in cello performance and an Artist Certificate in chamber music as a student of Jennifer Culp. She earned an added emphasis in Historical Performance through her studies with baroque cellist and viola da gambist Elisabeth Reed and harpsichordist Corey Jamason, and in 2013 won the Baroque Concerto Competition. Other important mentors include George Neikrug, Ole Akahoshi, Carolina Singer, Mikhail Gelfandbein, Irene Sharp, and members of the Brentano, Cleveland, St. Lawrence, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, and Borromeo String Quartets.
A devoted teacher, Laura has an active studio in San Francisco and enjoys bringing her love of music to developing musicians. As faculty with California Music Preparatory Academy, the Pacific Crest Music Festival, Chamber Music by the Bay, and Music Beyond the Chamber, she has performed for and taught students in and around Portland, OR, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Dunsmuir, CA. She also adores coaching at her orchestra alma mater, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO).
NANA SHI >> piano
A native of China, pianist NANA SHI enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, collaborative artist, educator, producer, and music director. Described as “spellbinding” by the New York Times for a performance with her husband and violinist, Alex Shiozaki, Nana has enjoyed performing in both highly prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and Symphony Space, and less conventional venues such as Vivaldi Cafe and Dillon Gallery in NYC. As a soloist, she has won several competitions including the Lima Young Artists Competition, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Van Cliburn Scholarship Competition, and CCM Concerto Competition, and performed with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and CCM concert orchestra. As a collaborative pianist, she served as staff pianist at the Banff Center in Canada, and has performed in festivals such as Chelsea Music Festival in NYC and Tanglewood Music Center. In 2015, she was the assistant producer for Chelsea Music Festival and Toy Piano Festival in NYC, where she worked closely with festival directors Ken-David Masur and Phyllis Chen. In addition to performing standard solo and chamber works, she has developed a special interest in new music that crosses over different genres and art forms. Her research in Asian and American music has led her to several premieres by living composers such as Doug Balliett, Jesse Jones, Robert Cohen, and Somei Satoh. An avid educator, her 2016 highlights includes performing and teaching with Chamber Music by the Bay in California, as well as the Summer Music & Drama Camp in Brooklyn, which she founded in 2015.
Nana holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from SUNY Stony Brook under the tutelage of Gil Kalish, and a Master of Music Degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her previous mentors include Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff and William Black. Currently living in NYC with her husband and often performing together as the Shiozaki Duo, she teaches as an adjunct professor at SUNY New Paltz.