Concert Series presents:
The Gualala Arts Concert Series is excited and delighted to present Roy Bogas and Friends for the third annual Summer Chamber Music Festival, July 9 and 10. This now-traditional weekend of superb performances by pianist Bogas and outstanding string players from the Bay Area will be the absolute highlight of our concert season. In addition to Bogas, the ensemble includes violinists Axel Strauss and Amy Hiraga, violist Geraldine Walther, and cellists Peter Wyrick and Sharon Bogas. In previous Gualala Arts Chamber Music Festivals, the ensemble thrilled audiences in sold-out performances, and were accorded enthusiastic standing ovations. The love affair between Gualala and Bogas and Friends will continue this season with two concerts at Gualala Arts Center: Saturday, July 9, 7:30 pm, and Sunday, July 10 at 4:00 pm.
Saturday's program will include String Quartet No. 1 by Ernest Bloch, and Quintet for Piano and Strings by Dmitri Shostakovich. Sunday's program will include Piano Quintet in E Flat, K.452, by Mozart, Sonata in D Minor for Violin and Piano by Brahms, and the unique Quintet in C Major for Two Violins, Viola, and Two Cellos by Franz Schubert.
The inclusion of the Bloch composition in Saturday's program reflects a Bogas-Bloch link with Gualala. Roy Bogas is well known as a premier interpreter of Ernest Bloch's music, and a Bloch piece has been featured in each of the Gualala summer festivals. Local resident Sita Milchev, a singer and performer with the Ernest Bloch Bell Ringers, is the composer's granddaughter. On Saturday evening, July 9, at 6:45 pm, Roy and Sita will give a special pre-performance talk on the music of Ernest Bloch.
Roy Bogas received his training in New York and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony at age 14, and at age 19 he became accompanist to Yehudi Menuhin, playing over a hundred concerts with him throughout North and South America. He has also played with Joseph Szigeti and many other well-known artists. In 1962 he was a prizewinner at the second Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He has performed as soloist with virtually every orchestra in Northern California, and with many other orchestras in this country and abroad. Bogas is a professor of Music at Holy Names University in Oakland, and is also principal solo pianist for the San Francisco Ballet. An active chamber musician, he is the founder and director of the MasterGuild Series of chamber music concerts at Holy Names.
Violinist Axel Strauss resides in San Francisco, where he serves as Professor of Violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He made his recital debut in Hamburg in 1988 and his concerto debut with the Neubrandenburg Philharmonic two years later. At the age of 17 he won the silver medal at the Enescu Competition in Romania, and has been recognized with many other awards, including top prizes in the Bach, Wieniawski, and Kocian Competitions. In 1998, he became the first German artist to win the coveted Naumburg Violin Award in New York. He later became teaching assistant to the famous Dorothy Delay at the Juilliard School. He has performed in recitals and concerto appearances in many venues in the United States as well as Europe, and has worked with Itzhak Perlman and other well-known artists. He also maintains a busy concert schedule, and is frequently invited to appear at music festivals in the United States and abroad.
Violinist Amy Hiraga was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra from 1991 until 1999. She is currently a permanent member of the San Francisco Symphony. Her teachers included Dorothy Delay at the Juilliard School and Emanuel Zeitlin in Seattle. She has performed and appeared as soloist with many symphonies and chamber orchestras in the United States, and has also performed in many music festivals. She and her husband, cellist Peter Wyrick, live in Mill Valley with their two daughters, Mayumi and Mariko.
Geraldine Walther has been principal violist of the San Francisco Symphony since the 1976-77 season, having previously served as assistant principal of the Pittsburgh and Baltimore Symphonies and the Miami Philharmonic. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, she was first-prize winner of the William Primrose International Competition in 1979. She is well known as a soloist, having performed many concertos with the San Francisco Symphony. She is equally renowned for her chamber music at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and in many Bay Area venues. This past February she and Roy Bogas gave a special concert in Gualala as part of the chamber music series, and were accorded a very appreciative standing ovation. This August, Ms. Walther will take her place as the permanent violist of the world-famous Takacs Quartet. We are fortunate indeed to have had her as a member of the ensemble at the Gualala Festival.
Peter Wyrick, Associate Principal Cellist of the San Francisco Symphony, was one of the last students of Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School in New York. He has served as Principal Cellist of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center and as Associate Principal of the New York City Opera Orchestra. He was a member of the acclaimed Ridge String Quartet, whose recording of the Dvorak piano quintets with pianist Rudolf Firkusny on the RCA label won the French Diapason d'Or and was nominated for the 1993 Grammy Award for the Best Chamber Music Performance. He has performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, and as chamber musician and soloist with renowned chamber groups and orchestras throughout the world.
As a special bonus, cellist Sharon Bogas, Roy's daughter, will join the ensemble for Sunday's performance of the Schubert Quintet, which calls for two cellos. Sharon began her cello studies at age 9 in her hometown of Berkeley. Later, she continued her studies at the Juilliard School, where she received her Master of Music in Violoncello Performance in May, 2004. Ms. Bogas has been awarded first prize in several competitions in California, including those held by the Music Teachers Association, The Etude Club, and the Berkeley Piano Club. She was a finalist in last year's Stulberg Competition in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and received prizes in the 2000 Washington International Competition for Strings and the 2001 Schadt Cello Competition in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Youth Orchestra, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Fremont Symphony, and the Ukiah Symphony, among others. She has also performed recitals with her father in the Bay Area as well as at the Cleveland Institute of Music and in New York. She has performed in several chamber music festivals in the U.S. and in Italy.
Tickets for the Gualala Chamber Music Festival are $20 for each concert. Children ages 7 through 17 are admitted free. Advance tickets are available at Gualala Arts Center or at the Dolphin Gallery in Gualala. Tickets may also be purchased at the door prior to the performances. For further information, call the Gualala Arts Center at (707) 884-1138, or visit gualalaarts.org. Those unable to furnish their own transportation may call the Arts Center to make arrangements.