Violist Marcel Gemperli is currently an acting member of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra for his second season. Primarily based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he has performed regularly with the San Francisco Symphony, including on several recordings and on tours to Asia and the East Coast. He serves as Principal Violist of the California Symphony and performs frequently with the orchestras of the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet. Marcel records film and other scores at the Skywalker Sound studios in Marin, and is an active performer in touring Broadway productions and with pop and jazz artists, having shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux, and Harry Connick, Jr., among others. He also enjoys performing in a wide variety of small ensembles including the New Century Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and San Jose Chamber Orchestra.
Marcel began playing the viola at the age of eight in the public school system of his native New York State and continued his musical education while earning his B.A. at Harvard University. He was a founding member of the Linnaean String Quartet under the tutelage of Robert Levin and Daniel Stepner. Marcel performed for a summer with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado, and subsequently pursued further study of the viola in England, Germany, and Switzerland on a Henry Russell Shaw Fellowship. Since moving to the West Coast, he has participated in numerous music festivals including the Mendocino Music Festival, Telluride Chamber Music Festival, Midsummer Mozart Festival, the Eastern Sierra Summer Music Festival, and Festival Napa Valley.
Stephen Prutsman has been described as one of the most innovative musicians of his time. Moving easily from classical to jazz to world music styles as a pianist, composer and conductor, Prutsman continues to explore and seek common ground and relationships in the music of all cultures and languages.
From 2004-2007 Stephen was Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he conducted concertos from the keyboard, performed in chamber ensembles, conducted works of living composers, developed and arranged collaborations for their Engine 408 series of contemporary and world music, and wrote several new works for the orchestra. From 2009 – 2012 he was the Artistic Director of the Cartagena International Festival of Music, South America’s largest festival of its kind, programming and curating concerts with themes ranging from Mozart celebrations, to eclectic evenings of folk and popular music of the Americas, to hybrid programs fusing art and dance music of multiple musical dimensions.
In the early 90’s he was a medal winner at the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elisabeth Piano Competitions, and received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since then Stephen has performed the classical concerto repertoire as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and his classical discography includes acclaimed recordings of the Barber and McDowell concerti with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.
Born in Los Angeles, Stephen first began playing the piano by ear at age 3, before moving on to more formal music studies. In his teens and early 20s he was the keyboard player for several art rock groups including Cerberus and Vysion. He was also during those years a solo jazz pianist playing in many southern California clubs and lounges and was the music arranger for a nationally syndicated televangelist program. A former student of Aube Tzerko, Leon Fleisher, and Jack Wilson Stephen studied at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Peabody Conservatory of Music.
As a composer, Stephen’s long collaboration with Grammy Award winning Kronos Quartet has resulted in over 40 arrangements and compositions for them. Other leading artists and ensembles who have performed Stephen’s compositions and arrangements include Leon Fleisher, Dawn Upshaw, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Yo-Yo Ma, Spoleto USA, and the Silk Road Project. In 2010, his song cycle “Piano Lessons” was premiered by Ms. Upshaw and Emanuel Ax at Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, Disney Hall and the Barbican Centre. As a pianist or arranger outside of the classical music world he has collaborated with such diverse personalities as Tom Waits, Rokia Traore, Joshua Redman, Jon Anderson of “YES”, Sigur Rós and Asha Bhosle.
In the past, his dedication to the creation of new musical environments led him to create music festivals in such far-flung places as the island of Guam and the border town of El Paso, Texas. Passionate about the value of music for all, Stephen is actively promoting music and arts education wherever he visits. He is involved in several projects whose missions are to create enjoyable artistic or recreational environments for children on the autistic spectrum and their families.
Canadian cellist Hannah Addario-Berry has been delighting music lovers around the world for over a decade. Specializing in chamber music and solo repertoire, Hannah is passionately committed to performing music by living composers. Along with her exquisite cello playing, Hannah’s warmth and unique presentation style enable listeners to forge a deeper connection with music.
In 2015, Hannah created Scordatura, an innovative project combining Zoltán Kodály’s monumental Sonata for Solo Cello with a series of newly commissioned works, all of which share a unique altered tuning of the cello. Scordatura celebrated the centenary of Kodály’s Sonata and explored a new sound space for solo cello. Hannah performed the program in 25 cities around the US and Canada and recorded Scordatura in early 2016. Her previous album, Lady in the East, features music for solo cello by the Canadian composer Stephen Brown and was reviewed by Gramophone Magazine in October 2014.
An avid and versatile chamber musician, Hannah performs regularly with many ensembles, including the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. She has been invited to play at festivals such as Other Minds and Switchboard Music in San Francisco, Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival in northern California, and Music By The Sea in British Columbia. From 2006-2010 Hannah was cellist with the renowned Del Sol String Quartet, during which time the quartet performed more than 50 world premieres and recorded two highly acclaimed albums, Ring of Fire: Music from the Pacific Rim and First Life: String Quartets of Marc Blitzstein.
Hannah’s love of chamber music began early and acquired momentum when she was invited to join McGill University’s prestigious Lloyd Carr-Harris String Quartet, with whom she performed in France and Italy, including at Casalmaggiore Music Festival. For her graduate work, she chose San Francisco Conservatory’s Masters in Chamber Music, where she collaborated with artists such as Menahem Pressler, Jean-Michel Fonteneau, Ian Swensen, and Jodi Levitz.
Hannah lives with her husband in San Francisco, where she enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and teaching private lessons to her wonderful cello students.