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  2. Faculty Artist Series

Ian Swensen, violin


Sol Joseph Recital Hall
50 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
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Free, reservations recommended

Café Crème open. Visit sfcm.edu/cafe-creme


Violin Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 23

Violin Sonata in G Major

Piano Trio in G Minor


Ian Swensen, violin
Jean-Michel Fonteneau, cello
Weicong Zhang, piano

Ian Swensen, violin
A native of New York, violinist Ian Swensen comes from a musically gifted family of Norwegian and Japanese-Hawaiian descent. He has lived in the Bay Area for over 20 years, teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Sacramento State University. He is a passionate pedagogue and his students have gone on to major positions in orchestras, teaching institutions and chamber groups around the world.

Swensen also maintains an active schedule as soloist and chamber musician, appearing at Music@Menlo, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society and others. Recent projects include a series of recitals with pianist Jeffrey LaDeur, Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat with members of the San Francisco Symphony and a series of Haydn trios with Kenneth Slowik on fortepiano. Over the years other engagements have included Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, Music from Marlboro, residencies at Tanglewood, Banff, Morningside Music Bridge in Calgary and travels to Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand to teach and perform. He has performed with members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Emerson, Takács, Concord and Tokyo quartets, as well as Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Mark O'Connor and Yo-Yo Ma.

Swensen studied at The Juilliard School with Dorothy DeLay and the Eastman School of Music with Donald Weilerstein and members of the Cleveland Quartet. In addition, Mark Sokol of the Concord Quartet has had a profound impact on his musical growth. He is one of the few musicians to have been awarded the Walter W. Naumburg International Competition’s top prize for both solo violin and chamber music (as first violinist of the Meliora String Quartet). His recordings can be found on the Telarc and Deutsche Grammophon labels.

Weicong Zhang, piano
Weicong Zhang, Chinese pianist, has shared the stage with many distinguished artists, including violinists Pierre Amoyal, Ian Swanson, Albert Markov, Alexander Markov, Kathleen Winkler, Feng Ning, Bing Huang and Siqing Lv, violists Nobuko Imai, Lars Anders Tomter, Matthias Buchholz and Teng Li, cellist Haiye Ni, Reinhard Latzko and Martti Rousi, flutists Emmanuel Pahud and Henrik Wiese, clarinetist Thorsten Johanns, and trumpet player Matthias Höfs.

Zhang has toured in the United States and Canada, performing at the Stern Auditorium at the Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Vancouver Playhouse, etc. Since her return to China in 2008, she has performed in almost every major venue, including the China National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing Concert Hall, Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Shanghai Symphony Concert Hall, Guangzhou Xinhai Concert Hall, Xian Concert Hall, Wuhan Qintai Concert Hall, Shenzhen Concert Hall, Hongkong Cultural Center

Zhang was guest artist in Young Euro Classic Festival Ensemble, Beijing International Music Festival, Shanghai Conservatory of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music International Chamber Music Festival and International Violin Masterclasses and Sonata Competition of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She was collaborative pianist for Morningside Music Bridge and three Piatigorsky Seminars for cello. She gave master classes in accompanying at Manhattan School of Music, the Middle School affiliated with Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Xian Conservatory of Music.

Zhang received her bachelor degree at UT Austin and master degree at Manhattan School of Music in New York City.  In 2007, she received doctoral degree in collaborative piano from Manhattan School of Music. She studied with Professor Junwei Zhang (her grandfather) and Professor Shizhen Yao at Shanghai Conservatory, Dr. William Race at UT Austin and Dr. Heasook Rhee at Manhattan School of Music. In 2008, she became faculty at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music teaching piano solo and chamber music.

Jean-Michel Fonteneau, cello
Jean-Michel Fonteneau is a founding member of the Ravel String Quartet, winner of two prizes at the Evian String Quartet International Competition in 1989, and of the first French Grammy Award “Les Victoires de la Musique Classique” in 1993. They toured extensively around the world and single-handedly created the first ever string quartet residency program in France.Highly sought after, Mr. Fonteneau performs frequently with such renowned artists as Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Kim Kashkashian, members of the Amadeus, Juilliard, Pro Arte, and Fine Arts Quartets.

A passionate and devoted teacher, Fonteneau served on the faculty of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon, France, until 1999, when he moved to the United States to join the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His students have won national and international competitions, appeared on “From the Top,” and been honored as a Presidential Scholar.

He appears regularly at summer festivals including the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Domaine Forget, Oberlin at Casalmaggiore, MYA, and the Morges Summer Academy in Switzerland. Fonteneau’s recordings can be found with Musidisc-France and Albany Records.

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