Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Young Composer Program World Premiere

Saturday, August 9 | The Green Music Center of Sonoma State University

Committed to promoting new music in the classical realm, pianoSonoma launched its first Young Composer Program on Saturday, August 9 with a public reading at 10:00AM, using the Green Music Center’s state-of-the-art facilities. This year’s selected Young Composer was Thomas Feng, who premiered Two Pieces for Cello and Piano. pianoSonoma’s own Artists in Residence performed the work, and the event was free and open to the public.

In addition to the public read through, Thomas received a one-on-one coaching with pianoSonoma’s Composer-in-Residence Paul Frucht.

More about Thomas:

Thomas Feng (b. Pittsburgh, PA, March 3, 1994) is a student composer, pianist, and flutist. His music has already garnered multiple honors from such organizations as ASCAP, the Pacific Musical Society, the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts (YoungARTS), Project21 at Oklahoma City University, New York Art Ensemble (now Tribeca New Music), the Boston Metro Opera, and readings and performances by pianoSonoma, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Community Music School at Webster University, and Areon Flutes. Most recently, he was the winner of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra Youth for Youth Commissioning Program, and will be writing for them a new work for string orchestra.

In the coming fall, Thomas will be a junior at UCLA. He has studied with Sean Friar, Mark Carlson, David Conte, and Corbin Hines for composition, Claude Monteux and Shao Jiang Huang for flute, and Walter Ponce and Hojoon Kim for piano. Additionally, Thomas has participated in workshops, masterclasses, and additional studies with Stephen Dankner, Paul Chihara, and the faculty at the 2012 European American Musical Alliance summer program in Paris, France (including Narcis Bonet and Philip Lasser).

Composition aside, Thomas is a versatile musician, participating in various roles in the UCLA Chorale, Early Music Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Music Outreach Program, Contempo Flux (contemporary music ensemble), Philharmonia, and Act III Theater Ensemble. This summer, he is the Community Engagement Intern at the American Youth Symphony, sponsored generously by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

To read more about the Young Composer Program, click here.


Yamaha RemoteLesson

2014 Yamaha Remote Lesson™ Masterclass

pianoSonoma was thrilled to offer a masterclass last summer unlike any Sonoma audiences have seen. Using Yamaha’s Remote Lesson™  technology and the piano company’s world-renowned Disklavier™  CFX concert grand, participants worked on stage at The Green Music Center’s Weill Hall with a master teacher in Denver. Pianists working with the clinician represented a vibrant cross-section of up-and-coming talent, from pianoSonoma’s Artists in Residence to area college students to local high-school musicians. The event, which was free and open to the public, took place on Wednesday, August 6 in Weill Hall at The Green Music Center of Sonoma State University.

More about Yamaha’s innovative technology as outlined by the global music powerhouse on the company’s website:

Remote Lesson™ technology, developed by Yamaha, makes it possible to connect two, three, or even four Disklavier pianos via the Internet. When a teacher, performer, or student plays a Disklavier using this technology, each remote Disklavier produces EXACTLY the same key and pedal movements in real time. Remote Lesson enables long distance lessons, performances, and masterclasses to take place as if the pianists are all in the same room. Remote Lesson is currently available to select performers and educators.

Disklavier™ is an advanced acoustic player piano developed by Yamaha. The instrument incorporates a digital control system that records and reproduces performances with high precision by moving the keys and pedals in exact accord with input digital information. By uploading music content to the Internet via Yamaha’s DisklavierRadio, digital information on the performance can be streamed and reproduced automatically for listeners’ enjoyment.

pianoSonoma Artistic Directors, Yamaha artists Michael and Jessica Shinn, were grateful for the opportunity to work with Yamaha and The Green Music Center to bring this truly extraordinary experience to the Sonoma area.

pianoSonoma at The Green Music Center

pianoSonoma at The Green Music Center

Sunday, July 27 and Sunday, August 3 | Weill Hall, The Green Music Center

Purchase tickets here.

pianoSonoma arrives at the Green Music Center this summer with approximately 20 participants, 15 Yamaha pianos, and 9 conservatory artists. The small chamber music festival features workshop-style lessons and rehearsals, events at exclusive boutique vineyards, and most notably, two concerts at Weill Hall, Sundays at 3PM on July 27 and August 3. But if concertgoers are expecting standard classical fare from this Juilliard crowd of musicians, prepare to be surprised. pianoSonoma’s ambitious program creates a dazzling musical menu unlike anything the audience has ever tasted.

With the exquisite musicality of pianoSonoma faculty Jessica and Michael Shinn along with some of the nation’s leading young artists, including cellist Julian Schwarz and pianist David Aladashvili, generous helpings of the classical chamber music canon—the Mendelssohn Trio, Franck Violin Sonata, and Ravel Tzigane—will be sprinkled with the robust flavors of new music by New York-based composer Thomas Cabaniss and pianoSonoma’s first Composer-in-Residence Paul Frucht. Violinist Yevgeny Kutik, fresh from a much anticipated album release of treasured pieces his mother brought when his family emigrated from the former Soviet Union, brings an unparalleled poignancy to Prokofiev’s Cinderella. And crossover artists Charles Yang, violin, and Peter Dugan, pianist, add a spice to improvisation that is as tantalizing as it is thrilling.

With its extraordinary performers and uniquely crafted programs, pianoSonoma’s summer concerts are sure to leave ticket holders coming back for seconds.


Weill Hall-Sunday, July 27 at 3pm

Rachmaninoff Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos | Michael and Jessica Shinn, piano

Prokofiev “Waltz” from Cinderella | Yevgeny Kutik, violin and David Aladashvili, piano

Paul Frucht Bagatelle No. 1 | David Aladashvili, piano

Franck Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano |Charles Yang, violin and Peter Dugan, piano


Weill Hall-Sunday, August 3 at 3pm

Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor|Yevgeny Kutik, violin, Julian Schwarz, cello, and David Aladashvili, piano

Thomas Cabaniss Tiny Bits of Outrageous Love | Michael and Jessica Shinn, piano

Ravel Tzigane | Charles Yang, violin and Peter Dugan, piano

Paul Frucht Two Piano piece premiere | Michael and Jessica Shinn, piano


Click here to buy your tickets.

2014 pianoSonoma Fundraising Gala

2014 pianoSonoma Artists in Residence Campaign Fundraising Gala


The fourth season of pianoSonoma is upon us, and we have some exciting developments on the horizon. We hope you will make plans to join us in New York City for our gala fundraiser in February as we celebrate the progress our festival has made, share our vision for pianoSonoma’s future, and present some truly exquisite music-making by our 2014 Artists in Residence.

On Thursday, February 13th, the Yamaha Artist Salon on Fifth Avenue will host our third annual pianoSonoma Artists in Residence Campaign Fundraising Concert. The event begins at 6:00PM. Meet our new Artists in Residence as they perform repertoire ranging from Bach through Mendelssohn and Franck to modern pop masterpieces.

Tickets start at $75, and seating is limited to 100 guests. A portion of your ticket price ($50) is tax-deductible, and all proceeds will go directly toward pianoSonoma. We are grateful for your support and look forward to spending this special evening with you!

Festival Gala Concert at the Green Music Center

Festival Gala Concert in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center

Saturday, August 10, 2013 | Green Music Center at Sonoma State University

pianoSonoma was thrilled to present its Festival Gala Concert in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center in a concert that featured faculty and Young Artists performing works by Brahms, Rossini, Halvorsen, Schubert, and more.


Brahms Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60

Rossini Duet in D Major for Cello and Double Bass

Halvorsen Passacaglia in G Minor on a Theme by Handel for violin and viola

Excerpts from Schubert Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667, “The Trout”

And a Special Sneak Preview of a work for two pianos!


A look at this beautiful hall:

pianoSonoma at the Green Music Center

Artistic Directors Michael Shinn and Jessica Chow Shinn rehearse a sneak preview two-piano work. Notice Jessica’s kick drum!

pianoSonoma at the Green Music Center

Rehearsing Brahms.

pianoSonoma at the Green Music Center

The Schubert “Trout” rehearsal with a gorgeous view of the hall.

pianoSonoma at the Green Music Center

Soundcheck just before the concert begins.

Winemaker Dinner at Chalk Hill Estate

Saturday, August 3, 2013 | Chalk Hill Estate, Healdsburg, CA

A ticketed event in an exquisite venue, the Winemaker Dinner at Chalk Hill Estate featured the delectable fusion of wine, food, and music.


A glimpse at this spectacular evening:

Chalk Hill Winermaker Dinner

Participant June Wu warms up for her performance of the Chopin Ballade in g minor.

Read More…

Session I Final Concert

Friday, August 2, 2013  | Jackson Theater, Sonoma Country Day School

pianoSonoma’s Session I Final Concert was held on Friday, August 2 and featured Young Artists, selected participants, and members of the Sonoma State University community performing works by Roussel, Schubert, Franck, Poulenc, and more. The event was free and open to the public.

Gemstone Vineyard Excursion

Gemstone Vineyard Excursion

Wednesday Evenings, July 31 & August 7, 2013 | Gemstone Vineyard, Yountville, CA

As part of both Sessions I and II of pianoSonoma 2013, participants, Young Artists and faculty were invited to this small, boutique vineyard for a musical soiree with dinner, wine and musical performances by Young Artists. 


Photos from these magical evenings:

Gemstone Vineyard Excursion

Participants, faculty & staff, Young Artists, and guests enjoy tasting Gemstone’s delicious wine.

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2013 Young Artists Campaign Fundraising Gala

Thursday, February 21, 2013 | Piano Salon, Yamaha Artist Services, 689 5th Avenue

Wine and Hors d’Oeuvres Reception, 6:00 PM
Concert of Piano and Chamber Music, 6:30 PM

pianoSonoma’s biggest fundraiser of the year featured chamber music performances by Young Artists and faculty, plus two piano and four hand pieces played by Jessica Chow Shinn and Michael Shinn, the pianoSonoma Duo