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
September 28, 2010

Whether it's girdling the globe or picking up an Avery Fisher Career Grant at Lincoln Center, both of which she's accomplished this year, 24-year-old Joyce Yang is particular about choosing both her piano repertoire and her wardrobe. She discusses her choices with SFCV, and reveals how she applies all six of her senses to the keyboard.

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Artist Spotlight
September 27, 2010

Alex Ross, music critic at The New Yorker since 1996, returns to the Bay Area for Cal Performances’ Strictly Speaking series on Oct. 14 to address and sample from his new book. Here, he talks with SFCV about his last tour and the enthusiastic response accorded to his last book, The Rest Is Noise, as well as about what he’ll talk about in October — plus this and that which came up along the way.

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Artist Spotlight
September 20, 2010

She drew global attention to her win in Moscow in the International Tchaikovsky Competition 15 years ago, but violinist Jennifer Koh has since developed a reputation as a standard bearer for the nonstandard repertoire. A closer look at her performance programming reveals her conviction that there’s a vital link between past and present. Here she talks with SFCV about her choices.

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Artist Spotlight
September 20, 2010

In her 33-year career as a professional violinist, Anne Akiko Meyers, 40, has amassed a unique resumé that includes a debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 12 and recent tours with Il Divo and Chris Botti. Shortly before she launches her new CD with an Oct. 4 concert, she discusses her childhood debut on The Tonight Show, bowing problems associated with pregnancy, and her love of the old and embrace of the new.

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Artist Spotlight
September 13, 2010

Soprano Danielle de Niese — eye-buggingly beautiful, extremely intelligent, and madly in love with everything she does — is a joy to interview. Here she talks about her steamy iPod encounters, S.F. Opera debut in Figaro, work with Nicola Luisotti, and recent vocal developments. 

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Artist Spotlight
September 13, 2010

Robert Levin is a leading keyboard artist, active in early music and historically informed performance, most notably for his expertise in the works of Mozart. His improvisational skills in this idiom are legendary — an approach not many dare to take, yet one he considers essential to the interpretation of this music. Here he talks with SFCV about finding Mozart fragments, the art of improvisation, and the importance of playing on the original instrument. 

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Artist Spotlight
September 6, 2010

San José’s Le Petit Trianon Theatre is the venue for pianist Joel Fan’s concert on Saturday, Sept. 11. If you don’t know Fan’s work, he’s an award-winning performer who effortlessly plays compositions ranging from the traditional to the modern. Here he talks with SFCV about everything from Harvard and the Silk Road Ensemble to jazz and race-cars.

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Artist Spotlight
August 30, 2010

Michael Kaiser, artistic head of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is one of the more respected artistic administrators in America, as well as an inspiring speaker who is bullish on the arts. Here he talks with SFCV about the arts in crisis and the future of classical music.

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Artist Spotlight
August 24, 2010

Soprano Ellen Hargis will give three recitals with lutenist Paul O’Dette across the Bay Area in a program, titled “Wait! I’m Singing Now…,” featuring the music of Strozzi, Kapsberger, Scarlatti, Cesti, and Piccinini. SFCV asked Hargis about her love of early music, the challenges of balancing singing and teaching, and what it’s like to work as an early-music star in a modern world.

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Artist Spotlight
August 9, 2010

Acclaimed cellist Zuill Bailey talks with SFCV about his love-at-first crush with the cello, doing what he loves for a living in El Paso and Alaska, his passion for musical outreach programs, and working on the television series Oz.

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