Chamber Music Series presents:
Sunday, May 6, 2007 at 4:00 p.m.
at the Gualala Arts Center
The Chamber Music Series is pleased to present the Broderick Ensemble, featuring viola, violin, and piano, in a Sunday afternoon concert on May 6th, 4:00 p.m., at the Gualala Arts Center. The players are Elizabeth Prior Runnicles, viola, Chen Zhao, violin, and Avi Downes, piano. The program will include the Viola Concerto for Viola and Piano by George Ph. Telemann, the Elegy for Viola and Piano by Alexandre Glazunow, Four Pieces for Viola and Piano from Robert Schumann's op. 113 Marchenbilder, and Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola by Bohuslaw Martinu.
The Broderick Ensemble was founded in 2001 by violist Elizabeth Prior Runnicles, who at that time lived on Broderick Street in San Francisco, hence the name. Although performing as a trio for the Gualala concert, the ensemble has varied in its makeup from two to seven players, most of whom are affiliated with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. The Broderick Ensemble has performed to great acclaim in many Bay Area venues, and we are looking forward to another delightful chamber music performance at Gualala Arts.
Violist Elizabeth Prior Runnicles was awarded her Bachelor of Music in Performance at the University of the Orange Free State, South Africa, where she also played with the Capetown Symphony. She continued her studies at the Aufbaustudium Diplom Music Conservatory in Freiburg, Germany, where she was principal violist of the Freiburg Philharmonic, and performed with the Freiburg Baroque Soloists. She has performed with various orchestras and ensembles throughout Europe and South America, as well as the United States. She has been a member of the San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Opera Orchestras, as well as the California Symphony, the Marin Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony.
In addition to founding and performing with the Broderick Ensemble, she has played with many chamber music groups, including Chamber Music SF. For three years she was a solo performer at the Amelia Island, Florida, Chamber Festival. Of one of her local appearances, the San Francisco Classical Voice wrote "Runnicles has that passion for deep, dense 'viola sound' that too many of her compatriots are willing to forsake in the interest of greater agility; it's a continual pleasure to hear her getting the sound and the agility to boot.."
Violinist Chen Zhao joined the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 2000. Since then, he has participated in highly-acclaimed performances and recordings of Mahler's symphonies and the Keeping Score PBS documentary films under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Chen has toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, and has performed at prestigious festivals, such as the Ravina, La Jolla, Santa Fe, San Juan Islands, Evian, and Lucerne Festivals.
Chen has served as concertmaster of the New World Symphony, and the Round Top Festival Orchestra, and has appeared as a soloist with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and the Oslo Chamber Orchestra. He was a founding member of the Round Top String Quartet. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Chen is currently on the faculty of the SF Conservatory, the SF Youth Orchestra, and the San Domenico School of Music.
Pianist Avi Downes, since making noteworthy debuts at the age of sixteen in London, Vienna, and Amsterdam, has performed extensively throughout Europe, South America, and the United States. A native of San Francisco, she began her piano studies at the age of three as the youngest student ever admitted to the San Francisco Conservatory. At 14, she moved to Europe to further her musical education, completing her studies at the University of Vienna and the University of Cologne.
Throughout her career, Ms. Downes has divided her time between her solo work and various chamber ensembles. As the youngest of three very musical sisters who made music together, her interest and talent for chamber music showed itself at a very young age. She went on to win top prizes in some of the most prestigious international music competitions in the world, including the ARD Competition in Munich, the Rostropovich Competition in Paris, the Maria Canals in Barcelona, and the Vittorio Gui and the Trio di Trieste competitions in Italy.
Tickets are $20 for advance purchases, or $25 on the day of the concert (get your tickets early). Children and young people ages 7 through 17 are admitted free. Advance tickets are available at the Gualala Arts Center or at the Dolphin Gallery in Gualala. For advance credit card purchases by telephone, call the Arts Center at 707-884-1138. For further information visit our website,
GualalaArts.org. Those unable to furnish their own transportation may call the Arts Center to request rides to the concert.