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
April 12, 2010

Jon Nakamatsu is the epitome of “local boy makes good.” He burst on the international music scene in 1997 when he was named the Gold Medalist at the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He was certainly an unexpected winner; he had studied with one teacher since he was 6 years old, he had neither attended a music conservatory nor studied music in college, and he had a full-time job teaching German at a Mountain View high school. Although he now spends much of his time performing around the U.S., Europe, and Japan, he still lives in San José. More »

Artist Spotlight
April 9, 2010

Last June, soprano Leah Crocetto won the first prize, Spanish Prize, and People’s Choice at the José Iturbi International Music Competition in Los Angeles. On March 14, she was one of five winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York City.

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Artist Spotlight
April 3, 2010

Known as a phenomenon both in his native country of Macedonia and increasingly around the globe, pianist Simon Trpčeski makes his third appearance with the San Francisco Symphony on April 1-3, performing the Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16. On the podium will be his favorite collaborator, conductor Vasily Petrenko, with whom he has just released his latest CD in a series of Rachmaninov complete piano concerts.

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Artist Spotlight
March 23, 2010
Cellist David Requiro lives in New York City, where he plays with the critically acclaimed Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. The Oakland native has performed with numerous local orchestras, as well as the Tokyo Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Pro Musica in Boston. He has debuted at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. This week, he joins his long-time collaborator, pianist Miles Graber, for a concert as part of the Noe Valley Chamber Music Series. More »
Artist Spotlight
March 15, 2010

Ian Bostridge, who made his U.S. debut at Cal Performances in 1998, returns on March 21 for an afternoon recital. He’s known in musical worlds as one of the finer lieder tenors performing today. What may be less well-known is that he started out to have an academic career, earned a Ph.D. in history from Oxford University, and has become a published author and columnist. From his home in England, he told us a bit about the upcoming program and also answered some questions about witchcraft.

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Artist Spotlight
March 9, 2010

Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman dates his professional career from his first performance as a student in San Francisco’s Douglass Elementary School. Six decades, over 50 recordings, and two Grammys later, he performs at Herbst Theatre on March 13 in the august company of pianist Robert Levin and cellist Lynn Harrell.

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Artist Spotlight
March 6, 2010

Jordi Savall, always a welcome guest in the Bay Area, returns this month for an extended stay.

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Artist Spotlight
February 23, 2010

American pianist Malcolm Bilson is a rare gem in the world of music. For nearly four decades he has been equal parts performer, scholar, educator, and a beacon in the period instrument movement. Emeritus Professor of Music at Cornell University, he is a key contributor to the restoration of the fortepiano to the concert stage and to seminal recordings of mainstream repertory as a soloist and chamber player.

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Artist Spotlight
February 9, 2010

Soprano Jessica Rivera first made her mark internationally when she created the character Kumudha in Peter Sellars’ production of John Adams’ opera A Flowering Tree. After repeating the role in the San Francisco Symphony’s Bay Area premiere, her success helped land her the role of Kitty Oppenheimer in the European debut of Sellars’ production of Adams’ Doctor Atomic. She has since sung the part with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera.

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Artist Spotlight
February 8, 2010

Cellist Joshua Roman has been making a name for himself since he won the position of principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony in 2006 at age 22. After two years there, he left for a solo career, which has included debuts as concerto soloist with numerous symphonies and other solo work, as well as chamber music performances and collaborations with other musicians from the New York contemporary music scene. He was also the only guest artist invited to play an unaccompanied solo during the YouTube Symphony Orchestra’s debut concert.

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