Violinist and violist Jory Fankuchen has built a reputation as an engaging performer of many genres, as well as a passionate pedagogue. In response to this versatility, the San Francisco Examiner recently raved, Mr. Fankuchen’s “flamboyant” performance “created the illusion that Eugene Ysaye had been born in Argentina, possibly in a bed next to Jean Sibelius.” His ensembles include the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Magik Magik Orchestra, Squid Ink, the Musical Art Quintet, the Chamber Music Society of San Francisco, and he appears as a regular guest with the New Century Chamber Orchestra. Jory has appeared as soloist with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony, at the Tanglewood Music Center, and has the distinction of performing on Jascha Heifetz’s Guarneri del Gesu violin at the Legion of Honor.
Chamber music has always been the driving force behind Jory’s passion for music. He has performed in concert with artists such as Robert Mann, Joseph Silverstein, Joel Krosnick, Bonnie Hampton, Mark Sokol, and Ian Swensen. As first violinist of the Kailas String Quartet, he performed throughout North America, winning first prize in the Chamber Music International Competition, and silver at the National Fischoff Competition. Jory serves on the faculty of the Crowden Music Center, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and most recently as a visiting lecturer at Cornell University. He holds a B.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory, and an M.M. from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Ian Swensen and Lucy Chapman, respectively. Learn more about Jory at www.joryfankuchen.com
Violinist Natasha Makhijani holds a Bachelor of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music. Her principle teachers include Bettina Mussumeli, Zvi Zeitlin, and Charles Castleman. Natasha has appeared as concertmaster and assistant concertmaster of numerous orchestras, including those of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and the Eastern and Las Vegas Music Festivals. She appeared as assistant concertmaster and soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra and while Eastman she was invited to be a member of the Graduate Chamber Music Society.
Currently residing in San Francisco, Natasha is in demand throughout the Bay Area as a performer and a teacher. She is the Associate Concertmaster of the Oakland Symphony, a member of the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Magik Magik Orchestra, and has performed with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera.
Equally dedicated to teaching as she is to performing, Natasha has held teaching positions at the Eastman School of Music and the San Domenico School Conservatory, and is on currently on the faculty of The Crowden Music Center and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Pre-College Division. She has also recently picked up the baton, as a member of the conducting staff of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra.
Freelance violist and violinist Clio Tilton delights in the diversity and excitement of her career. Seeking to share her gifts both through teaching and performing, she can be heard around the Bay Area in a wide range of groups: early music ensembles, symphony orchestras, chamber groups, and bands.
Clio started piano at age six, picked up viola in fourth grade, and the rest is history. She complete Oberlin’s double degree in viola performance and comparative literature, then went on to earn her master’s in music at Juilliard. Upon graduating from Juilliard she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Switzerland, where she studied orchestral and baroque performance. During her time as a Fulbright scholar, Clio had the opportunity to perform with Swiss ensembles such as L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Synfonietta de Lausanne, and Camerata de Lausanne.
As a modern violist Clio performs regularly as a substitute with the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Magik Magik Orchestra as well as other regional orchestras. Sought after as a chamber musician, Clio has performed with the Friction Quartet, Classical Revolution, and is a member of the Americana Orchestra and of the Chamber Music Society of San Francisco. She has recorded for Time Warner with the Camerata Lausanne, and has also been heard in recording Shajarian, Geographer, and Meklit.
An early music specialist, Clio performs with the American Bach Soloists, the San Francisco Bach Choir, Jubilate Orchestra and Musa. She has performed in the past with European ensembles including the Wallfisch Band and the baroque orchestra of the Paris Conservatory, and was selected to be an intern with the French baroque orchestra Les Arts Florissants.
Chamber music has always been, and continues to be, a central part of Clio’s musical pursuits. During her college years, she spent three summers at the prestigious Kneisel Hall chamber music festival in Maine, and has studied chamber music with the Juilliard String Quartet, Misha Amory of the Brentano Quartet, and Sylvia Rosenberg. During her time at Juilliard she was a member of the award winning Calla Quartet. In Europe she performed at the Thy Festival, and most recently has become passionate about finding ways to share chamber music with audiences on a deeply personal level through her work with the Chamber Music Society of San Francisco.
Since moving to the Bay Area in 2011, Clio has become a specialist in early childhood music. She finds this field essential, as it allows people to grow up with the ability to fully enjoy and participate in music. Also a chamber music coach and teacher of violin and viola, Clio is a resident teaching artist at the Alameda String Academy. Learn more about Clio at www.cliotilton.com.
Cellist Samsun van Loon studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and as a quartet cellist at seminars with the Alexander, Miro, and Takacs String Quartets. During that time he received the conservatory’s Chamber Music Honors Award as well as the M. Alan Neys Award for first prize at the Pacific Musical Society’s annual competition. He has recorded for the Phoenix Spring Ensemble as well as the Arcos Chamber Orchestra’s Portrait of Anders Eliasson on the Neos label, and has been critically praised as a “promising talent” with “the rhetorical polish of a skilled storyteller.”