MUSA is dedicated to bringing music of the 17th and 18th centuries to audiences new and old. We believe that the music of this period –from the lowly tavern song to a magnificent court spectacle –transcends its time and place to speak to us today. Whether you hear us in a concert hall or a restaurant, we hope that you will embark with us on a journey through some extraordinary music.
Emily Botel, violin
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, violinist Emily Botel has performed throughout North America and Europe. She earned her B.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music and will earn her M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in May 2012. Emily has received many honors and awards including the Matinee Music Club of Philadelphia Instrumental Prize, the Mu Phi Epsilon Cleveland Heights Chapter Scholarship Award, the Mary W. Parks and Julius and Sophie Schmiedl Memorial Scholarship, and the William Wolski Violin Scholarship.
Emily has studied chamber music with artists such as Julie Andrijeski, Jodi Levitz, Ian Swensen, Mark Sokol, the Cavani Quartet, and Peter Salaff of the Cleveland Quartet. She has performed with chamber ensembles in master classes given by Norman Fischer, the St. Petersburg, Cavani, Mendelssohn, London Haydn, and Pacifica Quartets. Emily has appeared as soloist in master classes given by Andres Cardenas, Hagai Shaham, Daniel Phillips, Diane Monroe, and Kay Stern. She has performed at various festivals, including the International Music Academy Pilsen, the National Orchestral Institute, the Banff Music and Sound Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Spoleto Festival USA. Emily will participate in the 2012 American Bach Soloists Academy. Her principal teachers include Ian Swensen, Linda Cerone, and David Updegraff. Emily’s baroque violin mentors include Elizabeth Blumenstock and Julie Andrijeski.
Natalie Carducci, violin
Violinist Natalie Carducci performs throughout the United States, appearing in venues ranging from Avery Fisher Hall in New York City to intimate cafes in the San Francisco Bay Area. A versatile chamber and orchestral musician with a special interest in early music, she has collaborated with such renowned artists as Steven Dann, Kenneth Slowik, James Boyd, and members of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Natalie has performed in master classes with Jeanne Lamon, Robert Mealy, Stephen Shipps, David Updegraff, the Cavani String Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and the Gryphon Trio, appearing in music festivals around the world, including the NYU String Quartet Workshop, St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar, Killington Music Festival, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, the International Music Academy Pilsen in the Czech Republic, Le Domaine Forget in Quebec, and the American Bach Soloists Academy.
In the Bay Area, she performs with The Albany Consort and the San Francisco Bach Choir. Most recently she won the Voices of Music Bach Competition, giving her the opportunity to perform in their concert series. A Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition semi-finalist, Natalie performed and coached inner-city school children through the Chamber Music Connection program in her native city of Columbus, Ohio. Natalie received her Bachelor of Music degree from SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Music and is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree at the San Francisco Conservatory with Ian Swensen and Elizabeth Blumenstock. Her main teachers have included Michael Davis, Laurie Smukler, and Calvin Wiersma. A certified Pilates instructor, Natalie promotes body-mind awareness for sustained physical well-being and enjoys sharing her knowledge with the music community at large.
Gretchen Claassen, cello and viola da gamba
Laura Gaynon, cello
Laura Gaynon, a San Francisco Bay Area native, began her life with the cello at the age of five, and has since performed around the world, from San Francisco, Boston and New Haven to Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Germany and Shanghai. She feels very fortunate to have studied with great pedagogues such as Jennifer Culp, George Neikrug, Ole Akahoshi, Mikhail Gelfandbein and Irene Sharp. She has performed in numerous master classes with artists including Menahem Pressler, Matt Haimovitz, David Requiro, Nicolo Luisotti and Sir Simon Rattle.
Her true passion is chamber music, and she has participated in a number of chamber music seminars including Lyricafest in Boston, MA and the International Chamber Music Workshop and Festival in Germany, studying with Terry King, Laura Bossert, Kyoko Hashimoto, Rafael Rosenfeld, and Benzion Shamir. At the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Laura has studied with Ian Swensen and Mark Sokol.As an undergraduate at Yale University, Laura was principal cellist of the Yale Symphony Orchestra. An active chamber musician and member of the new music ensemble, the Bach Society, the rock cello band “Lowstrung”, the “Quartissimo!” String Quartet, and a string trio, she frequently performed both classical and contemporary music. Upon graduating, Laura moved to Boston where she had the privilege of learning from master cellist and teacher George Neikrug.
Laura recently earned her Master of Music degree at the San Francisco Conservatory where she will continue to study with Jennifer Culp, pursuing a Professional Studies Diploma.
Esther Ho Man Lam, harpsichord
Esther Ho Man Lam received her bachelor’s in harpsichord performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is currently a master’s degree candidate in harpsichord performance there. Prior to coming to the Conservatory, she studied piano in Hong Kong with Peggy Lo for ten years, under whom she completed a Grade 8 Exam in piano from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). She also studied singing in Hong Kong with Chau In Ha, under whom she completed a Grade 8 Exam in voice from the ABRSM as well. Later, she studied piano with Krill Gliadkovsky in Los Angeles at Santa Monica College, which she attended under a scholarship.
Esther has been very active in the SFCM Baroque Ensemble, both as an instrumentalist and in collaboration with singers on the operatic and song repertoires. She performed as a harpsichord soloist in a 2009 production of Handel’s Rinaldo and enjoyed her first orchestra appearance in 2010, performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 with the Baroque Ensemble. She has also performed in summer festivals, including the American Bach Soloists Festival.
Addi Liu, viola
Violist Addi Liu began playing the violin at age nine in Hong Kong and the viola at fifteen in San Francisco. He performs regularly in solo and chamber music recitals and has played in chamber music and viola master classes for Yo-Yo Ma, Menahem Pressler, Robert Mann, Misha Amory, Yizhak Schotten, Hank Dutt, David Finckel, Wu Han and others. he has participated in summer festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Montecito Summer Music Festival under the Westmont Viola Fellowship, and the California Chamber Music Institute at the University of the Pacific, which he attended on a full scholarship.
He has played in local ensembles such as the Modesto Symphony, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Magik*Magik Orchestra, Merced Symphony, Ensemble Parallèle, and served as principal viola for the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, which went on tour in Europe. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is continuing his graduate studies at the Conservatory where his chamber music coaches include Mark Sokol and Ian Swensen. His mentors include Catherine Van Hoesen and Elizabeth Blumenstock on baroque viola. He is in the studio of Jodi Levitz.
Derek Tam, harpsichord and conductor
Currently based in the Bay Area, harpsichordist and conductor Derek Tam performs with several ensembles in the area. In addition to his work at MUSA, he is the assistant music director of the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra. He also serves as a conductor with the Star Valley Children’s Choir, based in Foster City, and was recently appointed artistic director of Opus Q, a men’s vocal ensemble based in Berkeley. Derek is also the music director at Bethany Presbyterian Church in San Bruno. He also teaches private piano lessons and is also in demand as a piano accompanist and continuo player. Derek graduated from Yale University with a degree in music and political science; his principal teachers there were Jeffrey Douma for conducting, Elizabeth Parisot on piano and Ilya Poletaev on harpsichord. Visit his website, www.dereksaihotam.com for more information.
Clio Tilton, violin and viola
Clio Tilton, recent Fulbright Scholar in Switzerland, performs across Europe, Asia and the United States. As a baroque violist she has been heard at the Boston Early Music Fringe Festival and in concerts for the Les Arts Florissants Juilliard Residency. Her recent performances include collaborations with the Albany Consort, the Wallfisch Band and the American Bach Soloists.
Ms. Tilton holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and The Juilliard School, and has participated in master classes with Elizabeth Wallfisch and members of Les Arts Florissants. During her time in Switzerland, she studied historic performance with Florence Malgoire at the Centre de Musique Ancienne in Geneva and collaborated with musicians at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Ms. Tilton has recorded for the Warner label, and she is an alumna of the 2011 American Bach Soloists Academy.