Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival

SFSU School of Music and Dance

SFSU School of Music and Dance Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival

The seventh Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival at San Francisco State University celebrates the legacy of the great violinist with concerts and master classes led by established musicians including the Alexander String Quartet and Juilliard Professor Toby Appel.

The seminar portion of the Menuhin Festival includes master classes and workshops on repertoire, career guidance and outreach program development. About eight to 10 ensembles at high school, collegiate and pre-professional levels are expected to participate.

The Menuhin Chamber Music Festival, launched in 2003 to honor the late American violinist’s association with San Francisco and SF State, was founded on the deep belief that music has the power to create understanding and transcend differences between people. In addition to festive concerts, it incorporates a seminar for ensembles of all ages, intensive coaching, public master classes, workshops and lessons led by the festival’s distinguished artist-faculty.

Menuhin had one of the longest and most distinguished careers of any 20th century violinist. He gained international fame by age 7 for his technical mastery and emotionally charged playing, beginning with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Legend has it that at age 13, Menuhin inspired Albert Einstein to declare at a Berlin concert, “Now I know there is a God in heaven!” Over decades, he performed thousands of concerts, made classical recordings and collaborated with Béla Bartók on the Sonata for Solo Violin, considered one of the greatest compositions of the 20th century. He died in 1999 at age 82.

The Alexander String Quartet first met Menuhin at the 1982 London International String Quartet Competition, a key, inspiring moment for the then-emerging ensemble. “For Lord Menuhin, music was more than beautiful art—It was a powerful, humanizing force,” says Paul Yarbrough, Menuhin Festival artistic director and Alexander String Quartet violist. “My mission is to keep his infectious spirit alive, while sharing the wealth of the chamber music repertoire with young musicians and new audiences.”

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Quintet No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 87


Piano Quintet in E-flat, Op. 44


Octet for Strings, Op. 20