Artist Spotlight

These lively Q&A's aim to shed light on the personalities behind the music. Get to know your favorite artists...or discover someone new!


Artist Spotlight
January 24, 2011

The young violinist Ray Chen has made a global footprint that’s only getting larger, and he has the skills of a truly musical interpreter. In advance of his performance with S.F. Symphony for its Chinese New Year concert, he talks with SFCV.

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Artist Spotlight
January 17, 2011

Just as Pianist Simone Dinnerstein’s second all-Bach recording, Bach: A Strange Beauty, becomes available worldwide, Dinnerstein is setting out to explore new territory. She and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt will appear at Yoshi’s S.F. in an unusual musical collaboration titled "Night." SFCV caught up with Dinnerstein by phone.

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Artist Spotlight
January 11, 2011

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, one of the world’s foremost concert pianists, is celebrated for his sensitive and dazzling interpretations of his native French music, and other extensive repertoire. But his stage pizzazz sets him apart: He often dresses in couture outfits by Vivian Westwood, has model good-looks, plus a youthful spirit and enthusiasm that is contagious. He'll perform an an all-Liszt program with Cal Performances on Jan. 26.

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Artist Spotlight
January 4, 2011

Change has proven to be good for David Daniels, who switched to the highly unlikely vocal category of countertenor as a graduate student. Since, the award-winning singer has performed with opera companies around the world, and was the first countertenor to give a solo recital in the main auditorium of Carnegie Hall. He spoke to SFCV about his career and hobbies.

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Artist Spotlight
January 3, 2011

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin recently won a 2010 Grammy Award for for her CD Journey to the New World and became the first guitarist in 43 years to receive two classical Grammies. Here, the director of the guitar departments at the Juilliard School and the Aspen Music Festival, hailed by Boston Magazine as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time,” talks with SFCV.

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Artist Spotlight
December 27, 2010

Emanuel Ax is not just one of the finest classical music pianists of our (or any) time, he’s also a mensch — as gracious to talk to as he is inspiring to hear. The Polish-born, Canadian-raised virtuoso comes to the Bay Area Jan. 12 for a solo all-Schubert performance at Stanford’s Dinkelspiel Hall.

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Artist Spotlight
December 14, 2010

Matt Haimovitz, the Montreal-based cellist, celebrated for his spirited approach to genre-bending and performance, is a mere 40. A week after a Grammy nod, Haimovitz spoke with SFCV about his visit, the Grammy-worthy album, and his wide-ranging musical mission.

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Artist Spotlight
December 7, 2010

Terrance Kelly and his Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir showcase their infectious spirit at the Oakland East Bay Symphony's holiday celebration, “Let Us Break Bread Together.”

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Artist Spotlight
November 23, 2010

SFCV catches up with pianist Yefim Bronfman, loved by audiences as one of the more virtuosic and commanding soloists on the concert hall stage. Emanuel Ax calls him a “complete pianist,” and Esa-Pekka Salonen says, he “can play better than most other people on the planet.”

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Artist Spotlight
November 22, 2010

SFCV catches up with Turtle Island String Quartet violinist David Balakrishnan who is looking forward to an upcoming gig in San Francisco gig, featuring tributes to Jimi Hendrix.

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