Season Guest Artists

img_9843Keisuke Nakagoshi, a native of Japan, earned a Bachelor of Music in composition and a Master of Music in chamber music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied composition with David Conte and piano with Paul Hersh. In 2005 he was selected to represent the Conservatory for the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project, a program featuring young musicians from major conservatories across the United States. Nakagoshi has performed to acclaim on prestigious concert stages across the United States, including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and Davies Hall in San Francisco. He has received training from some of the most celebrated musicians of our time – Emanuel Ax, Gilbert Kalish and Menahem Pressler. He recently made a solo debut with San Francisco Symphony on Ingvar Lidholm’s Poesis with Herbert Blomstedt conducting. Nakagoshi is currently Pianist-in-Residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as a member of the Grammy nominated piano duet ZOFO.

SFS1P 0026Jodi Levitz, 2011 recipient of the Sarlo Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, is an active performer of international reputation and a passionate advocate of new music for viola. She was principal viola and soloist with the Italian chamber group I Solisti Veneti for 12 years, a position she won as a student at The Juilliard School. She has performed as a soloist throughout Europe, South America, North America and Asia, and recorded for the Concerto, Dynamic, Naxos and Erato labels. She served on the faculties of the Ars Musica Academy at Imola, Progetto Orchestra and numerous European summer festivals, and is a core faculty member of the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Courmayeur, Italy. Levitz attended The Juilliard School, Pre-College Division from age 12 and received a B.M. and M.M. from The Juilliard School. Her principal teachers were Margaret Pardee, Paul Doktor, William Lincer and Dorothy DeLay. She pursued chamber music studies with the Juilliard Quartet, Felix Galimir and Josef Gingold. She serves on the board of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music and is former violist of the Ives Quartet.

dsc_0176James Jaffe’s goal as a cellist is to connect with composers, colleagues, and audiences. His performances have been heard on Cleveland’s WCLV 104.9, Virginia’s WVTF 89.1, and streamed live from the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. James has been a featured soloist with CityMusic Cleveland, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Stockton Symphony, St. John’s Chamber Orchestra, and the Diablo Symphony Orchestra. He has performed frequently at Groupmuse events, including a sold-out performance of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden at the Bay Area’s first Massive Muse. James has spent summers performing at the Aspen Music Festival, the Casalmaggiore International Festival in Italy, and the Astona Academy in Switzerland. He has also appeared in chamber music concerts at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music, the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival, and for Musical Upcoming Stars in the Classics. James’s captivation with contemporary music has led to a collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, a series of performances of Khse Buon by Chinary Ung, and the development of Peregrinations for Solo Cello with San Francisco composer Kyle Randall.

A chamber musician at heart, James has collaborated in performance with Geoff Nuttall, Ian Swensen, Jodi Levitz, Masumi Per Rostad, Kristopher Tong, Carol Wincenc, Chen Zhao, and Don Ehrlich. He was also a founding member of the Thalia Quartet, based in Cleveland, which presented a series of twenty outreach concerts in Canada and was featured at the Robert Mann String Quartet Seminar in New York. His chamber music mentors include members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Takács, Tokyo, Vermeer, Emerson, Brentano, Borromeo, Kronos, Artis, Cavani, and Concord Quartets. As a teacher, he spent two years as director and coach of the Chamber Ensembles program for Baldwin Wallace University’s Conservatory Outreach.

James is fortunate to have studied the cello with Louise Saunders, Milly Rosner, Richard Aaron, Stephen Geber, and Jennifer Culp. He has earned performance degrees from the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and an Artist Certificate in chamber music from the San Francisco Conservatory.

blobSteve Sánchez, San Francisco native, is currently 2nd clarinet of the Monterey Symphony Orchestra. For the 2015 season, Steve was an extra, performing full time, as 2nd clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony. Previous positions include Acting Utility/Bass Clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony and Principal Clarinet of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

Steve has performed nationally with the orchestras of the San Francisco Opera and Ballet, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; and internationally with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Steve can be heard on several recordings by the SFS, Detroit Symphony, and various video game soundtracks.

Steve received his Masters in Music from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. His principal teachers include Dan Gilbert and Fred Ormand, in addition to coachings and master classes with Ted Oien, Stephen Williamson, and Yehuda Gilad. As an educator, Steve has been on the faculties of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Chabot Community College, and summers teaching at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Away from the clarinet, Steve loves to spend time with his amazing wife and daughter, and searching for that perfect cappuccino.