Faculty
Patrick Dalton-Holmes, violin

 Marked by his expressive power and formidable technique in performance, Patrick Dalton-Holmes has been heard all over the United States, Europe, and Asia as a soloist and chamber musician. He has worked with a number of distinguished conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas and performed with prominent orchestras such as Detroit Symphony Orchestra as well as New World Symphony. Presently, Patrick serves as a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra while maintaining an active teaching schedule in Indianapolis. Prior to his time with The Pacific Crest Music Festival, Patrick has also participated at the Aspen Music Festival and the Music Academy of the West.

 

Patrick has received his Bachelor of Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Graduate Performance Degree from University of Michigan. Prior to college, Patrick attended the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. His other teachers included Paul Kantor, David Cerone, David Updegraff, Kathleen Winkler, and Peter Salaff. 

George Anthony Figueroa, violin

An accomplished soloist, pedagogue & chamber musician, George Figueroa has toured extensively throughout US, Europe, Central & South America. He is a former member of the La Catrina Quartet (the youngest Latin American concertizing quartet) with whom he performed at the prestigious Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Figueroa is currently recording and performing a series of chamber works written by various Latin American composers. These works are highly influenced by various styles of Latin American rhythms, & have already been well-received by audiences & reviewers from stages around New York, Washington DC, Panama, Uruguay & England.

 

Mr. Figueroa has trained & collaborated with prominent chamber musicians such as Robert Mann, William Preucil, Yo-Yo Ma & various chamber ensembles such as Brentano, Miami & Turtle Island String Quartet. He has also recorded for various public radio programs including both PBS & NPR in Cleveland. 

 

As a pedagogue and chamber musician Mr. Figueroa actively travels to music festivals in Panama and Uruguay, where he enjoys teaching a core of young professional violinists and chamber musicians. He is the founder & artistic director of Harper’s Chamber Music Academy, a multi-national group of musicians whose training is geared toward chamber music. He also founded Chamber Music Lenoir, a group of chamber musicians who give masterclasses & join with local artists to perform an annual series of concerts for the community.

 

At present, Mr. Figueroa is a member of New York’s prestigious Musica de Camara, a core of professional string players whose mission is to help promote the music of contemporary American, Caribbean & South American composers. Mr. Figueroa’s concert engagements include recitals in many prestigious chamber concert series throughout the world.

Michael Whitson, viola, PCMF founder and director

Michael Whitson is an active violist and teacher in the Southern California area. As a performer, he has shared the stage with the likes of Katy Perry, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Blake Shelton, Itzahk Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, as well as many other artists and groups. He is a regular studio musician, having performed on numerous movie scores such as "Pirates of the Caribbean", "Despicable Me", and "LEGO Movie". He has also recorded for many current television series such as "Empire", "Once Upon a Time", and "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD". Michael performs with local orchestras and ensembles, including the Los Angeles Opera.

 

A passionate educator as well, Michael serves as the faculty violist at the University of Cal Poly, is currently a Los Angeles Philharmonic Teaching Artist, and maintains his own private studio. He is currently serving as project manager for the Los Angeles. Philharmonic's youth orchestra summer program in Idyllwild

 

Growing up in the Bay Area, his first studies were with his parents who were also active performers and teachers. He was awarded a full scholarship to attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Paul Hersh. He then completed his graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma in which he was a member of the university's graduate string quartet. 

 

Along with his love for music, Michael is a passionate fly-fisherman, hiker, and sports fan.

Karoline Menezes, viola, 

Karoline Menezes was born in João Pessoa, Brazil and began her musical studies at the age of ten. A graduate of Azusa Pacific University and the University of Southern California, Karoline was awarded full scholarships from both institutions and graduated with Honors from the latter. Ms. Menezes is a performer, collaborator, and educator based in Los Angeles. An avid orchestral and chamber musician, her performances include venues across the United States and the world

such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Walt Disney Hall, Hollywood Bowl and Sala São Paulo.

 

Ms. Menezes has performed in the United States, Europe and Brazil, and has collaborated with top american and international artists. Some of these performances include a documentary with Elton John and James Newton Howard (2013), an appearance at the Oscars (2016) with the band The Weeknd, a premiere of Andrea Bocelli’s new album on Jimmy Kimmel’s Live show (2018), and a recent television special on Fox Live for the award-winning musical Rent (2018). As a studio musician, she continues to appear on various film scores and album sessions.

 

Besides her performing career, Menezes is strongly committed to the arts through teaching, and

dedicates herself to community development through instrumental music education. She coaches extensively in the greater Los Angeles area, where she maintains her home private studio, is an adjunct faculty at Pierce College and a Viola Teaching artist for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.

Laura Gaynon, cello

Laura Gaynon is an active performer and presenter of cello and chamber music in the San Francisco Bay Area. Described as "stunning" by the SF Examiner, Laura has performed with the American Bach Soloists, Tenth Avenue Players, Magik*Magik Orchestra, Ensemble for These Times, the unconducted orchestra One Found Sound, and the baroque chamber ensemble Musa. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with luminaries including Kim Kashkashian, Geoff Nuttall, Bonnie Hampton, Paul Hersh, and Ian Swensen. Laura is the Associate Director of Bard Music West in San Francisco, as well as Artistic Director of Bay Area Concerts at Home, a chamber music series that takes place entirely in the living rooms around the Bay Area. She is dedicated to promoting the music of today, and spearheaded Musa’s “Art Inspiring Art” commissioning project, now in its third year.

 

A devoted teacher, Laura has a studio in San Francisco and is on faculty at Chamber Music by the Bay, California Music Preparatory Academy and the Pacific Crest Music Festival. Laura has degrees from Yale University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with an M.M. in cello performance, an Artist Certificate in chamber music, and an emphasis in Historical Performance Practice as a student of Jennifer Culp and Elisabeth Reed. ​ www.lauragaynon.com

Chiharu Sai, piano

Selected by Japan’s major newspaper, Mainichi Shinbun, as “One of the 100 People in Tokyo to Represent the 21st Century,” pianist Chiharu Sai performs widely as a soloist and chamber musician, both in Japan and the United States.

 

Her performances have met wide acclaim for their “great verve and refreshing power” (Chopin Magazine). Ms. Sai’s performance highlights include four concerts in 2002-2010 at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City including two solo recitals, one chamber music concert with New York Amadeus String Quartet, and one concerto performance with the Carolina Philharmonic conducted by David Michael Wolff.

 

The renowned critic Harris Goldsmith said of Ms. Sai’s performance of Mozart’s piano concertos, “Ms. Sai proved herself to be a Mozartean of refreshingly unusual potency. She is one of those rarities: an artist who is unafraid to explore the white-hot passion of the Salzburg genius”. Upon hearing Ms. Sai’s performance at Opera City Hall in Tokyo, the music critic Yukiko Hagiya wrote, “This critic wishes that she would cross the Pacific Ocean more often to enthrall the classical music fans of Japan”.

 

Ms. Sai balances her performance schedule with an active involvement in music education and pedagogy. Since she moved to Mount Shasta from New York City in 2013, she has been teaching both at College of the Siskiyous and Southern Oregon University. 

 

Ms. Sai holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Her doctoral dissertation entitled “The Proportional Function of the Cadenza in the First Movements of Mozart’s Piano Concertos” was published by Lambert in Germany. Her debut CD of Chopin’s 4 Scherzi and 4 Ballades was released on King Records of Japan in the fall of 2008. Of this disc, the critic Yoshiko Ikuma noted Ms. Sai’s “deep identification with their celebrated creator’s genius”.

 

www.chiharusai.com

 

Fritz Gearhart, Violin, 2019 Guest Artist

Currently a faculty member at the University of Oregon School of Music, Gearhart has taught at the university level since 1990, including previous appointments at East Carolina University and Indiana University at South Bend. Gearhart has been a featured clinician at music conventions and workshops for MENC, ASTA, and NSOA, and has presented master classes at music schools all around the country, including Texas Christian University, Boise State University, Ithaca College, University of Oklahoma, Eastman School of Music, and the Hartt School, among many others. He is a frequent adjudicator, and was a judge for the National Fischoff Competition in 2008. Gearhart has been a featured clinician at several national conventions including ASTA in Detroit, Kansas City and Santa Clara, CA where he was also the featured chamber music coach. In addition to his many performing and teaching activities, Gearhart has also appeared as a guest conductor at several string festivals around the country, including South Carolina All-State String Orchestra, Northern Virginia Honors Orchestra, Wyoming String Clinic, and All-City Strings in Salem, OR. Gearhart is currently on the summer faculty of the Marrowstone Music Festival in Bellingham Washington, and the Chamber Music Camp of Portland.

As a violinist, Gearhart has appeared in major halls around the country including the Kennedy Center, the 92nd Street Y in NYC, Alice Tully Hall, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie (six times since 1998). He is heard frequently on National Public Radio, including past live broadcasts on WFMT Chicago, WQXR in New York as well as Public Radio’s nationally syndicated program Performance Today. A sampling from the press: “…a sizzling performance…”(The Wall Street Journal),  “…supple and imaginative…”(The New York Times), “…a superlative evening of musicmaking…”(New York Concert Review), and “Gearhart is a bold assertive player…”(Strad). Gearhart has made numerous recording, and has been released on Albany, Koch Entertainment and Centaur Records. His 2014 release on Centaur Records features the music of his father, Livingston Gearhart.

 

Tanya Gabrielian, Piano, 2019 Guest Artist

Currently

Hailed by the London Times as a “pianist of powerful physical and imaginative muscle”, Tanya Gabrielian has captivated audiences worldwide with her gripping performances. She has performed on four continents in acclaimed venues including Carnegie Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Sydney Opera House, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, and the Salle Cortot in Paris, with such orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, London Sinfonia, and the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

Tanya shot onto the international stage at the age of twenty with back-to-back victories in the Scottish International Piano Competition and Aram Khachaturyan International Piano Competition. Since then, performance engagements have included Alice Tully Hall and the 92 nd Street Y in New York, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, Edinburgh International Festival, Seoul Arts Center in Korea, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, an eleven-city tour of China, and a return recital engagement at Wigmore Hall in London. Tanya’s Southbank debut recital in the Purcell Room in London, presented by the Philharmonia Orchestra, was chosen as “Performance of the Year” by Seen and Heard International. Her Wigmore Hall debut, as winner of the coveted Wigmore Prize awarded by the Royal Academy of Music, was reviewed as “revelatory, a feast of romantic pianism which held us enthralled” and “an astounding achievement by any standards, and one I cannot imagine being bettered… Remember the name—Tanya Gabrielian—you will be hearing a lot more from her I feel sure.” Tanya’s latest recording, Remix: Bach Transcriptions, was released on MSR Classics and was selected as Album of the Week by radio stations in Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. She has also been featured on the cover of the magazine Clavier.

 

In addition to the traditional concert stage, Tanya is passionate about inspiring new generations of musicians and music lovers in diverse settings, dedicated to community engagement, education, and activism through art. Projects have included collaborations with the National Alliance on Mental Illness in programs featuring composers with mental illnesses, highlighting the stigma around mental health issues; founding an interactive performance series for patients at the New York State Psychiatric Institute; an installation with the artist Fran Bull for the exhibit In Flanders Fields: A Meditation on War; and a multidisciplinary collaboration combining Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross with final statements from executed death row inmates. Tanya was awarded the Pro Musicis International Award, McGraw-Hill Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach, Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and the S&R Washington Award for her work.

 

Tanya’s interests have always been diverse. Admitted to Harvard University to study biomedical engineering at the age of sixteen, Tanya instead pursued a career in music, completing her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Royal Academy of Music in London, originally studying both piano and viola. She received the prize for the best final recital for all six years of study and received a DipRAM, the highest performance award given by the Royal Academy of Music. Tanya was the only candidate accepted for the prestigious Artist Diploma, an extraordinarily selective post-graduate residency program, at The Juilliard School, and she received her doctorate from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is an Assistant Professor of Piano at Boston University and a Shigeru Kawai Recording Artist.

 

Please visit www.tanyagabrielian.com for more information.

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© 2019 by Pacific Crest Music

Background photo credit: Chiharu Sai