Bay Area-Based Bach Trio Wins First Prize at Annual Menuhin Seminar/Festival

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Bach Trio holding their instruments in front of a piano

The Bach Trio, a Bay Area-based youth ensemble, won the top prize at the School of Music’s Yehudi Menuhin Seminar for Chamber Music on February 2.

The trio won first prize in the Jane Galante Competition. The $1,500 award is made possible by a generous gift from the McLean Fellowship Fund for the Menuhin Seminar. The Bach Trio is comprised of pianist Josephine Chan, cellist Ryan Har and violinist Pierce Wang. They study at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Pre-College Division and are coached by Joseph Maile.

The Ambria Trio took home second prize, worth $1,000 and made possible by a generous gift from Norma Siani-Alston. The ensemble is comprised of pianist Sarah Yuan, violinist Eunseo Oh and cellist Katherine Lee.

The Atlas String Quartet won third prize, worth $500 and made possible by a generous gift from David and Judy Preves Anderson, in memory of Milton Preves. The quartet is comprised of violinists Andromeda Kepecs and Matthew Sakiyama, violist Sofie Kanayama and cellist Sarah Chong.

The Ambria Trio and Atlas String Quartet both train with Young Chamber Musicians, an affiliate of the nonprofit organization InterMusicSF that is coached by Susan Bates.

“Hearing these young ensembles, all 18 or less, and their astonishing performance level, makes one feel assured that the future of chamber music is very bright indeed,” said Paul Yarbrough, the event organizer and Alexander String Quartet violist.

This year’s competition was juried by the Alexander String Quartet, comprised of faculty members Yarbrough, Zakarias Grafilo, Sandy Wilson and Fred Lifsitz; the Tower Quartet, Kyle Wightman Baldwin and Music Professor and Director Cyrus Ginwala.

About the Yehudi Menuhin Seminar for Chamber Music

The Menuhin Seminar provides young chamber music ensembles from throughout California the opportunity to participate in master classes and concerts with Music faculty. Ensembles compete for cash prizes and Music scholarships to SF State.

Launched in 2003 to honor the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin’s association with San Francisco and SF State, this event advances the belief that music has the power to create understanding and transcend differences between people. Directed by Cyrus Ginwala.

— Matt Itelson

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