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Faculty

Academy Teachers

 

PIANO

PIANO / Rose Chen

Rose Chen earned her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Soo-Chow University in Taipei, Taiwan. Her teacher was Mr. Sung-Jen Hsu. Ms. Chen received both her Master's of Music (2002) and Graduate Performance Diploma (2004) in piano performance from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University where she studied with Mr. Boris Slutsky. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2004, Ms. Chen’s enthusiasm for performance has led her to appear in numerous solo and chamber recitals; and her passion for piano teaching is deeply appreciated by her students.

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PIANO / Ariel Wei

Ariel Wei, a native of Taichung, Taiwan, began studying the piano and zheng at an early age. Ms. Wei has won top music competitions in both instruments and been recognized for her outstanding achievements.  Ms. Wei received her B.F.A. from the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei and an M.A. from Eastern Washington University.  After moving to the Bay Area in 2006, she continues her passion for music as a private piano teacher and zheng instructor, and as a piano accompanist. 

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PIANO / Konstantinos Valianatos

Pianist Konstantinos Valianatos has performed extensively in Europe, Asia, and the United States as a soloist and chamber musician. A prize-winner of multiple national and international piano competitions, Mr. Valianatos has recorded with Naxos and LP Classics labels. He has been heard in such prestigious venues as Carnegie’s Zankel hall and Weill hall, White House, Salle Cortot in Paris, Kosciuszko Foundation in NYC, Merkin Hall, Thessaloniki Megaron, and Athens Megaron, and has performed with the Athens State Orchestra, Thessaloniki State Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, “Sinfonietta” Orchestra, and the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra. In 2004, Valianatos’ artistic integrity and work ethos were officially acknowledged when the President of the Hellenic Republic, Kostis Stefanopoulos, presented him with the highest accolade from the Athens Academy, the most prestigious academic institution in Greece. Mr. Valianatos has been featured on WQXR’s McGraw-Hill Young Artist’s Showcase along with pianist Edward Neeman, performing Grigory Smirnov’s Stained Glasses. A native of Greece, Mr. Valianatos holds degrees from Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and the Juilliard School and has recently joined the piano faculty at West Virginia University as a Lecturer in the School of Music.

VIOLIN / VIOLA

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VIOLIN / Po-Wei Lai

Po-Wei Lai, a native of Taiwan, began his violin study at the age of six. His teachers include Kek-Tjiang Lim, Isaac Malkin, Keng Yuan Tseng, and Victor Danchenko. At age
of 11, he made his debut with Gwung-Fu Orchestra. At age of 14, he was a soloist with Double-Ten Orchestra, and performed at Lincoln Center in New York. Mr. Lai has won first prize in various competitions, including the Taiwan National Music Competition and the String Competition of Niagara International Chamber Music Festival. In 1998, Mr. Lai moved to United States and was honored with scholarship participating the Precollege of Manhattan School of Music. He completed undergraduate and graduate violin performance degrees under Victor Danchenko at the Peabody Conservatory of
Johns Hopkins University. He was honored with Merit Scholarship for his undergraduate and full Dean Scholarship for his graduate studies. Mr. Lai also studied conducting with Harlan D. Parker during school years at Peabody Conservatory. As an active solo and chamber musician, Mr. Lai performed throughout the major cities in Taiwan, Australia, Canada, and United States, and is a founding member of C'est Bon Chamber Music Academy. For the past few years, he was frequently invited to perform in major events from various organizations such as Tzu Chi Foundation, Fortnightly Music Club, Chinese Music Teachers Association of Northern America, North America Taiwanese Women's Association, and Taiwanese American Federation of Northern California. In 2015, Mr. Lai conducted BAYMS youth orchestra in Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, New York, and received high praise. Now Mr. Lai maintains a teaching studio at San Jose, CA, and serves as the conductor and chamber music coach at Bay Area Youth Music Society.

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VIOLIN / Netanel Draiblate

Hailed as “an extremely gifted violinist,” Netanel Draiblate’s performances as a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist serve to emphasize his versatility. Draiblate has collaborated with such luminaries as Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, ltzhak Perlman, Jaime Laredo and Cho Liang Lin. Last season’s highlights include a tour with duo partner pianist Lura Johnson as Times Two, with a program that included selections from their Azica Perspectives recording. Last fall he led a string quartet in a special program titled Tehorah celebrating the 50th anniversary of German-Israeli diplomatic relations at Carnegie Hall, with an encore performance in Washington, DC for the Embassy Series. Draiblate is an active member of the Washington DC-based PostClassical Ensemble, whose mission is to deliver thematic and cross-disciplinary programs with music created after 1900. Recognized for artistry that “combines confidence and eloquence,” Draiblate made his Canadian debut this season and recently appeared as soloist with the Brasilia Concert Society Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony, and Lake Forest Symphony. A sought-after teacher, Draiblate serves as the Director of Chamber Music at Georgetown University. www.netaneldraiblate.com

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VIOLIN / Craig Bate

A graduate of the Juilliard School and Indiana University, violist Craig Bate has appeared as soloist throughout the United States, including a concerto performance in Bloomington, IN, as the winner of Indiana University’s concerto competition. He was also the Grand Prize Winner at the Gee Viola Competition in Aspen, Colorado. While a student at Juilliard, he was invited to tour Europe and the United States with the Juilliard Orchestra. He was also selected to perform on a nation-wide PBS broadcast for Juilliard’s centennial anniversary. Before moving to California, Mr. Bate was a member of the Eykamp String Quartet in residence at the University of Evansville. He has served as Principal Violist of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Kentucky and Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. At age 17, he became the youngest member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, where he was offered tenure two years later.

CELLO

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CELLO / Amy Hsieh

Cellist Amy Hsieh made her New York debut recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 2002 as a winner of the Artists International New York Debut Award. As an active chamber musician, Ms. Hsieh has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Taiwan and is a founding member of Nuance Chamber Ensemble. Ms. Hsieh received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University, her mMaster of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School. She is currently active in solo, chamber music performances and maintains a private studio in Cupertino, CA. Ms. Hsieh is also a faculty member at the Community School of Music and Arts, Jou Music Institute, and Encore Music and Arts.

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CELLO / Ben Capps

Cellist Ben Capps enjoys a versatile performing career as a soloist and chamber musician. His artistry has been praised as “most appealing” by the New York Times, “virtuosic and impassioned” by the Barre Montpelier Times. Recent highlights include unaccompanied recital tours in the Midwest (USA) & throughout Vermont, solo recitals in NYC and surrounding areas, Chicago, Athens, Fujian in China and throughout South Africa. Most recently Capps has appeared in recital at the National Gallery of Art, the Washington National Cathedral, Rockport Music and has had chamber music appearances at the American University, Manchester Music Festival, and throughout Greece, Spain and Italy. Capps was featured on Vermont Public Radio and in concert performing the complete cello sonatas of Beethoven, Mendelssohn & Brahms. He is a frequent collaborator with pianist Vassily Primakov - Capps and Primakov can be heard on LP Classics, an innovative record label. He can also be heard as soloist on Innova Records and Tzadik Records. A native of NYC, Capps holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and Juilliard - where he served as teaching assistant to David Soyer and Bonnie Hampton. Capps is an adjunct professor of cello at Hunter College in NYC, where he makes his home with his wife and dog. www.BenCapps.com

 

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CELLO / Vicky Wang

Winner of the Young Artist International Competition, cellist Vicky Wang made her New York debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 2001. As an avid chamber musician, Ms. Wang was a member of the award-winning ensemble Aristos String Quartet. The ensemble performed in the Hampden-Sydney Chamber Music Festival in Virginia as well as frequent collaborations with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in its lecture-concert series.  Ms. Wang’s concert highlights include collaborations with legendary performers Ray Charles at the Belleayer Music Festival and Liza Minelli at Avery Fisher Hall. Ms. Wang is currently on the faculty of University of Pacific’s Conservatory of Music and serves as the cellist of its faculty ensemble - Trio 180. Prior to relocating to California, Ms. Wang served on the faculty of Mannes College of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. She currently maintains an active teaching studio in Palo Alto. Her students have been featured as concerto soloists with El Camino Youth Symphony, California Youth Symphony, and Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra. Apart from her teaching commitments,  she is a founding member of C’est Bon Chamber Music Academy in Los Altos California and the San Francisco Cello Quartet. Her recent performances include appearances in  pianoSonoma Music Festival, Music for a Great Space concert series in North Carolina, recitals and master classes at MTAC’s 2017 convention. Ms. Wang began studying the piano and cello at age four and ten respectively. She came to the United States in 1992 and became a scholarship student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. She continued her Bachelor and Masters Degree in Performance at the Juilliard School with Zara Nelsova, Darrett Adkins, and Joel Krosnick and has studied orchestral and chamber music performance with Alan Stepansky, Jonathan Feldman, Andre Emelianoff and members of Cleveland, Guaneri, Shanghai, and Juilliard String Quartets. She has participated in music festivals such as the Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Verbier Music Festival (Switzerland), and Spoleto Music Festival (Italy) and Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara). In 2011, Ms. Wang received her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from City University of New York under the guidance of Marcy Rosen. Her dissertation focused on comparative analysis of cello teaching and performing techniques of cellists Julius Klengel and Hugo Becker.

WOOD WINDS

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FLUTE / Chin-Fei Chan

An active and versatile artisit, Chin-Fei performs internationally as a solo flutist, chamber musician and collabrative pianist. She received both the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in flute performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She has performed in live broadcasts on WILL 90.1 and WTTW (one of the PBS member stations in Chicago). Her teachers include Jonathan Keeble and Alexander Murray. She has also performed in master classes of Peter-Lukas Graf, Michel Debost, Robert Aitken, Alain Marion and Barthold Kuijken (on the Baroque flute). In August 2016, she was invited to perform at the National Flute Association’s annual convention, where she premiered a flute trio titled ‘no defiency.’ In addition to music, Dr. Chan is an AmSAT-certified Alexander Technique instructor. Throughout her training to become an AT instructor, she worked extensively with dancers and musicians, and has gained a deep understanding and appreciation for how it helps prevent injuries and enhance performance. 

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CLARINET / Bruce Foster

Bruce Foster is an active performer of Chamber Music. He formerly was the clarinetist with the CityWinds Quintet in San Francisco and was an artist at Music in the Vineyards (Napa, CA) and Music in the Mountains (Nevada City, CA). Bruce was a guest artist with the Oakland Trio at Old First Concerts and made guest appearances frequently with the Left Coast Ensemble in San Francisco. Mr. Foster was an active coach/instructor of Chamber Music in the San Francisco Bay Area for fifteen years. He served on the faculty of Summer Music West and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division and coached chamber ensembles for both Marin Academy, San Francisco University High School and the San Francisco High School for the Performing Arts where he was an Artist in Residence. Recently, Bruce has re-located back to the Bay Area with his family after living in Beijing, China for seven years. There, he was engaged as principal clarinet with the China National Centre for the Performing Arts.

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HORN / Daniel Wood

Daniel Wood is a member of the Quadre horn quartet, Avenue Winds and the Teal Crane Trio. He freelances throughout the Bay Area and has worked with the Oakland East Bay, Napa, California, Monterey, Vallejo, Santa Cruz, and Fremont symphonies as well as West Bay Opera and Symphony Silicon Valley. His compositions favor small groups such as brass, wind and string chamber music, steel drum ensembles and jazz combos with commissions from Ceora Winds, Presidio String Trio, and Avenue Winds. He has written and performed solo shows as an improvisational musician including "Life on an Island" and "Brother, Can you spare a Dime." Mr. Wood has lectured on the Business of Music for the Eastman School of Music, University of Oregon, and international horn conferences. He runs Solid Wood Publishing and is the chair of Musicianship and Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Pre-College Division.

Trio in Residence

The Olympus Piano Trio

“Astounding...unique in every sense” (Athens Estia), praised for their “passionate commitment to every note...incredibly velvety tone” (NY Concert Review), the award-winning Olympus Piano Trio performs a repertoire of classical, romantic, and modern masterpieces. The Olympus Piano Trio has been heard in concert throughout Greece and the USA. In 2015, the trio had its Merkin Concert Hall debut, sponsored by the Onassis and Hellenic­American Cultural Foundations, to critical acclaim. Recent notable performances include trio recitals in NYC, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Michigan. The trio has also performed at the Athens Megaro Concert Hall, the National Conservatory in Thessalonica, and the Kefalonia Music Festival. The Olympus Piano Trio’s debut album, featuring works by Ravel, Hatzis, and Mendelssohn, was released in 2017 on the LP Classics label.

Each member of the trio is a critically acclaimed international chamber musician and soloist. Guest violinist Netanel Draiblate is hailed as “an extremely gifted violinist” and is recognized for his artistry that “combines confidence and eloquence.” Cellist Ben Capps is hailed as having “dazzling technique and a tone that is rich, warm and full-bodied” and can be heard on numerous solo recordings and radio broadcasts. Pianist Konstantinos Valianatos is recipient of numerous awards, he has won eleven first prizes, and has performed internationally as an artist and educator.

In 2017, the Olympus Piano Trio held a week-long educational and performing residency at Northern Michigan University. Draiblate is a sought-after teacher and serves as the Director of Chamber Music at Georgetown University. Capps is a cello professor at Hunter College in NYC and is on the faculty of numerous music festivals. Valianatos is a Lecturer in the School of Music at West Virginia University.

The Olympus Piano Trio won the Gold Medal at the Chamber Music Foundation of New England’s international competition in 2016. In the same year, the trio was also awarded the Silver Medal at the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition and the Silver Medal and Audience prizes at the Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition. The group supports new works by living composers and particularly enjoys promoting Greek classical music.