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Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley

Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley NOON CONCERT SERIES: Hanabi Quartet

Maya Cohon and Jennifer Hsieh, violins
Dian Zhang, viola
Peter Myers, cello

Comprised of the four youngest tenured string players of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, the Hanabi String Quartet formed to share its love of the living, breathing thrill of that most intimate and immediate listening experience: chamber music. Choosing to focus mainly on repertoire that lies somewhat outside of a string quartet’s traditional bread and butter, the ensemble was conceived over sessions of the card game Hanabi, in which all players must take part in a cooperative ebb and flow in order to succeed symbiotically: an apt metaphor for quartet playing.


William Bolcom (b. 1938):

Three Rags (1989)
I. Poltergeist
II. Graceful Ghost
III. Incineratorag

Leoš Janáček (1854–1928):

String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata”
I. Adagio — Con moto
II. Con moto
III. Con moto
IV. Con moto

Benjamin Britten (1913–1976):

Alla Marcia (1933)

Benjamin Britten:
String Quartet No. 1, op. 25 (1941)
I. Andante sostenuto — Allegro vivo
II. Allegro con slancio
III. Andante calmo
IV. Molto vivace

Jennifer Hsieh, violin

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Jennifer Hsieh was raised in a family of music lovers. She began piano at age 3 and at age 10, she picked up the violin as a secondary instrument and was immediately taken with it. Jennifer moved to New York City at the age of 13 for her violin studies at the Juilliard Pre-College division. She received her Bachelor's degree and Graduate diploma at the New England Conservatory and earned her Masters degree at the Juilliard School. Her teachers include Naoko Tanaka, Musuko Ushioda and Malcolm Lowe. Jennifer joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in 2017. Prior to joining the San Francisco Opera, Jennifer was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. As a soloist and chamber musician, she performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall and Taiwan's National Concert Hall. Her string quartet, Oceanus received the Entrepreneurship Grant from the New England Conservatory and led a series of masterclasses and performances in Taiwan. She has participated in many music festivals including the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Verbier Festival, the Music Academy of the West, the New York String Seminar, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival.

Maya Cohon, violin

Born and raised in Seattle, Maya Cohon grew up in a family of musicians. Reading string trios, quartets, and quintets with her family sparked her love of chamber music. Maya earned her Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University, during which time she was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She played with the New World Symphony in Miami for two years before joining the San Francisco Opera in 2017, and also performs with Seattle Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Cabrillo Music Festival. Music has allowed Maya to explore cultures and cities around the world, and she has performed in venues such as Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and regional churches in Northern Italy. When she is not playing music, she loves being outdoors, running, and swing dancing.

Dian Zhang, violin/viola

Born in China, violinist/violist Dian Zhang moved to Los Angeles, CA and spent his formative years there. He received his Bachelors and Master's degrees at the Peabody Institute where he studied with Victor Danchenko and is currently working toward completing a DMA at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he studied with Cho-Liang Lin. Prior to his appointment with the San Francisco Opera in 2017, Dian served as concertmaster of the Shepherd School Symphony, Chamber and Opera orchestras. As a chamber musician, Dian has appeared with both the Context and Syzygy music series in Houston and has also performed in Baltimore, New York as well as in Canada, Brazil, Spain, Austria and the UK. Dian attended various music festivals both in the US and internationally, including the Four Seasons Music Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, the Britten-Pears Music Festival, the Chamber Music Residency at the Banff Centre and the Norfolk Music Festival. He has performed and collaborated with some of the great musicians of our time, including Cho-Liang Lin, Ani Kavafian, Donald Weilerstein, Michael Kannen and Colin Carr. Dian has also taken part in many community engagement events in various venues, including lunchtime concerts at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore and the Methodist Hospital in Houston. For two years, Dian was a Mary Hobson Teaching Fellow at Rice University where he taught courses in music fundamentals and music theory for non-music majors.

Peter Myers, cello

Peter Myers joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra as Assistant Principal Cello in 2017. Praised for the warmth of his sound and range of color, Mr. Myers (b. 1985) is internationally known as a chamber musician. He is a founding member of the Saguaro Piano Trio, which won first prize in the 2009 International Chamber Music Hamburg, as well as SAKURA, a unique and innovative cello quintet. Both are currently Young-Ensembles-in-Residence with the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles. Mr. Myers has appeared at the Marlboro, La Jolla and Mozaic Music Festivals and toured with Musicians from Marlboro. Additionally, he has toured abroad with chamber ensembles in Germany, Italy, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia, Laos and Pakistan. He has also performed as guest Principal Cellist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. His mentors include Ron Leonard at the Colburn Conservatory and Ralph Kirshbaum at the University of Southern California. He performs on a cello made by Claude-Augustin Miremont in 1876.