Edwin Outwater is Music Director of Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) and Director of Summer Concerts at the San Francisco Symphony. He was recently named Artistic Director and Conductor of the Eastern Sierra Symphony in Mammoth Lakes, CA.
As SFS Director of Summer Concerts, Mr. Outwater’s highlights have included conducting summer performances with Madeleine Peyroux, Pink Martini, Angélique Kidjo, Cheyenne Jackson, and Makoto Ozone, among others. In 2016-17 he leads Music for Families and holiday concerts with the SFS in addition to curating his third program for the SFS SoundBox series.
In the 2016-17 season, his final season as music director of the KWS, Mr. Outwater and the orchestra continue their groundbreaking Intersections concerts. This season, he explores the deep relationship between music and science in collaboration with the Institute for Quantum Computing and cellist Johannes Moser. Other KWS highlights include a gala farewell concert with Measha Brueggergosman and Stewart Goodyear, and world premieres from Richard Reed Parry and Riho Esko Maimets.
This season, Mr. Outwater’s guest conducting schedule features return engagements to the New World and Chicago symphonies, and appearances with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He also makes debuts with the Brussels Philharmonic, the Grant Park Festival, and the Montreux Jazz Festival, and appears at the Kennedy Center in their new music series led by composer Mason Bates.
Mr. Outwater’s conducting may be heard on two recent releases: Expanded, with These New Puritans, and Sarah Kirkland Snider’s album Unremembered, released on New Amsterdam Records. In 2011 Mr. Outwater directed the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony on its first commercial CD release in more than a decade, From Here On Out, which features the music of Nico Muhly, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, on the Analekta label.
A native of Santa Monica, California, Mr. Outwater graduated from Harvard University in 1993 later receiving his master’s degree in conducting from UC Santa Barbara. He served as Resident Conductor of the SFS from 2001 to 2006 and from 2001 to 2005 was Wattis Foundation Music Director of the SFS Youth Orchestra.
Recently named the most-performed composer of his generation, Mason Bates serves as the first composer-in-residence of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His music enlivens imaginative narrative forms with innovative orchestral writing, the harmonies of jazz and the rhythms of techno, and it has been the first symphonic music to receive widespread acceptance for its unique integration of electronic sounds. Leading conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Riccardo Muti, and Leonard Slatkin have championed his diverse catalogue. He has become a visible advocate for bringing new music to new spaces, whether through institutional partnerships such as his residency with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, or through his club/classical project Mercury Soul, which transforms spaces ranging from commercial clubs to Frank Gehry-designed concert halls into exciting, hybrid musical events drawing over a thousand people. His music’s novel realization of narrative forms has recently attracted the attention of artists in dramatic forms, such as famed film director Gus Van Sant, and he is composing an opera on the topic of Steve Jobs to be premiered at Santa Fe Opera in 2017. He is currently composing a work celebrating the centennial of John F Kennedy to be premiered by Sasha Cooke and The National Symphony Orchestra.
Jacob Nissly was appointed Principal Percussion of the San Francisco Symphony in 2013. Previously, he was the principal percussion of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony. He also served as a member of the New World Symphony. Mr. Nissly has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, Houston Symphony, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and with the Verbier Festival Orchestra and Pacific Music Festival. He is an adjunct professor of percussion at the Eastman School of Music. Mr. Nissly holds a Bachelor of Music and Jazz Studies from Northwestern University and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. He began his percussion studies with Woody Smith in Iowa.
Raymond Froehlich joined the San Francisco Symphony as a percussionist in 1991. A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he was previously a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and a timpanist with the Berkeley Symphony. Mr. Froehlich has often been featured with the SFS in works by twentieth-century and contemporary composers. He performs with several jazz ensembles in the Bay Area, as well as a rock trio and Ultra World X-tet, which combines Chinese instruments—the guzheng and pipa—with saxophone, electric guitar, and bass.
Tom Hemphill joined the San Francisco Symphony’s percussion section in 1974. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, he was a member of the Toledo Symphony before joining the SFS, and he has also retained a strong interest in jazz. Mr. Hemphill has been featured with the Orchestra in music including Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Steve Reich’s Three Movements, George Antheil’s Ballet mécanique, Russell Peck’s Liftoff!, Michael Tilson Thomas’s Island Music, and several works by Lou Harrison. He was an organizer of the San Francisco Percussion Ensemble and has served as a coach of the SFS Youth Orchestra.
James Lee Wyatt III joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2001 after serving as principal percussionist of the Honolulu Symphony. A native of Princeton, Kentucky, he received his bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Michigan and his master’s degree from Temple University. Mr. Wyatt has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, as well as at the Ojai Festival, Britt Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Pacific Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, and the US and Italian Spoleto Festivals.
David Chernyavsky, who joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2009, was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He began violin at the age of six and at eleven gave his first solo recital. After winning prizes in competitions in Russia and France, he entered the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. In 1997, Mr. Chernyavsky came to the US to study at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. After graduating, he continued studies at the Juilliard School, from which he received a master’s degree. Mr. Chernyavsky has recorded several CDs with the Saint Petersburg Quartet and with the Joel Rubin Klezmer Music Ensemble, and he has released a solo CD, Klezmer Violin.
Kelly Leon-Pearce, a member of the SFS since 1990, holds degrees from the Juilliard School of Music, where her teachers included Dorothy DeLay and Felix Galimir. She has served as a regular substitute of the New York Philharmonic and as associate and assistant concertmaster of the Aspen Festival Orchestra. As a founding member of the Persichetti Quartet, she played the cycle of Persichetti quartets at Kennedy Center and a Bartók cycle at MoMA in New York.
Matthew Young joined the SFS viola section in 2012. He was a founding member of the Verklärte Quartet, which won grand prize in the 2003 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. He currently performs as a member of Ensemble San Francisco. Winner of a 2007 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians and the Robert Vernon Prize for Viola Performance, he attended the University of Kentucky, Yale School of Music, and Cleveland Institute of Music.
Amos Yang joined the SFS in 2007 as Assistant Principal Cello. He was previously a member of the Seattle Symphony. Born and raised in San Francisco, he was a member of the SFS Youth Orchestra and San Francisco Boys Choir and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. He has made regular appearances with the Seattle Chamber Music Society and at the Olympic Music Festival, and from 1996 to 2002 he was the cellist in the Maia String Quartet.
Nadya Tichman, Associate Concertmaster and occupant of the SFS Foundation Chair, joined the Orchestra in 1980 and served as acting concertmaster from 1998 to 2001. Born in New York, Ms. Tichman studied at the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute. She was a founding member of the Donatello Quartet. Ms. Tichman plays a 1724 Stradivarius violin purchased by the San Francisco Symphony for her exclusive use.
Soprano Marnie Breckenridge is a champion of contemporary music, regularly performing new music by modern composers in concert and recital. Recent opera roles include Mother in Dog Days by David T. Little with Montclair Peak Performances, Sierva Maria in Peter Eötvös’s Love and Other Demons at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, La Princesse in Philip Glass’s Orphée, and Margarita Xirgu in Golijov’s Ainadamar with Opera Parallèle; her Berkeley Symphony debut in Unsuk Chin’s Cantantrix Sopranica with Kent Nagano; and her Ravinia Festival debut in Jake Heggie’s To Hell and Back with Philharmonia Baroque. She recently composed the vocal lines for and sang the lead in Wake, an original production with director Mei Ann Teo and composer Jon Bernstein at the Connelly in New York. For her debut with the Sacramento Philharmonic she sang Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 and Chicago Songs, written for her by Kurt Erickson. Other concert work includes Carmina burana with the San Francisco Choral Society, Berg in Vienna concerts at Bard Festival, and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with Napa Symphony and Pacific Symphony. She performed under the baton of Lorin Maazel as Lucia in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia at his Castleton Foundation and on tour. Ms. Breckenridge is a featured soloist on a 2012 New World Records’ album of Victor Herbert songs and recently made her European and Asian debuts as Cunegonde in Candide with the English National Opera and Prague State Opera, on tour in Japan. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in SoundBox in April 2016.
Tenor William Ferguson’s 2016-17 season features a staged production of Handel’s Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony, appearances with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Richmond Symphony, and the Waterbury Symphony; a world premiere song cycle by Chester Biscardi with the new music ensemble Sequitur; recitals with guitarist David Leisner; a concert with cellist Yahuda Hanani at Tanglewood; and the role of Nanki-Poo in The Mikado with Opera Omaha. He has appeared with Opera Australia, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, American Symphony Orchestra, BBC Orchestra, Boston Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others. Mr. Ferguson is a recipient of several awards and honors including First Place in the Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition, the Elihu Hyndman Career Grant from Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Judges’ Award in the Opera Index Competition, a Bagby Foundation Career Grant, and the Alan Weiler Award for Excellence presented by Opera Orchestra of New York. In 2003 he was awarded the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Award. A native of Richmond, VA, he holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School.
Adam Larsen is a documentary filmmaker and designer for live performance who has designed for several SF Symphony productions including Debussy’s Le martyre de Saint Sébastien, Peter Gynt, Peter Grimes, On the Town, and most recently Das klagende Lied. He is the resident projection designer for SoundBox. Notable works include Hal Prince’s LoveMusik on Broadway; The Gospel at Colonus at the Athens, Edinburgh, and Spoleto festivals; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at the Singapore and Edinburgh festivals; Brief Encounters and My Fair Lady at the Shaw Festival; The Women of Brewster Place at Alliance Theatre and Arena Stage; Ghost Brothers of Darkland County and Native Guard at Alliance Theatre; big at Atlanta Ballet; Love Lies Bleeding, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, and Balletlujah at Alberta Ballet; Saariaho’s Maa with Atlanta Symphony and GloAtl; Janáček’s From the House of the Dead at Canadian Opera; Dove’s Siren Song and Handel’s Semele with Pacific Musicworks; Adams’s A Flowering Tree and Handel’s Agrippina at Opera Omaha; Cage’s Second Hand and Foss’s Phorion, and Michael Tilson Thomas’s Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind with New World Symphony; Dove’s Flight at Juilliard; Yoon’s Sunken Cathedral at Prototype; Mascagni’s Iris at Bard Summerscape; and recently the world premiere of Mazzoli’s Breaking The Waves at Opera Philadelphia. Mr. Larsen holds a BFA in cinematography from North Carolina School of the Arts. His documentary about autism entitled Neurotypical aired on the PBS series POV.
Luke Kritzeck has worked with artists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in theater, dance, music, circus, and opera on stages around the world. Prior to joining New World Symphony as the Director of Lighting in January 2014, Mr. Kritzeck spent six years working for Cirque du Soleil on its touring production TOTEM and in Macau, China on its resident show ZAiA. His other projects with Cirque du Soleil include serving as the lighting director for featured performances, including the Venetian Macau Tennis Showdown and the International Indian Film Awards, which was broadcast to more than 350 million viewers. Mr. Kritzeck’s design credits include Chautauqua Opera Company, Cincinnati Ballet, Cedar Fair Entertainment, Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Lafayette Ballet Theatre, and the San Francisco Symphony.