Erika Miranda - Director Violin/Viola USA

Trained in the USA, (San Francisco Conservatory of Music and St Louis Conservatory of Music), UK (Anglo-American Chamber Music for Strings in England), Canada (Johanessen International School for the Arts) and France (European Community Baroque Orchestra). She lived and worked in England for many years taking additional training with Kato Havas in Oxford .

For seven years, Erika was Principal for English Festival Opera as well as playing for orchestras such as London Schubert Players, London Apollo Orchestra, and the City of Oxford Orchestra touring and recording with these ensembles. While living in Oxford she became a Founder/ Director of her own ensemble and established two highly successful concert series in collaboration with (and sponsored by) the Oxford City Council and local businesses. Ms. Miranda has also adjudicated for concertmaster auditions at Oxford University.

For the last seven years, since returning to the States, she has been on the music faculty and directed programs for the musically eminent Crowden School in Berkeley, California and has developed a highly respected violin studio with many prize-winning students. She has also acted as Interim-Director for the Sacramento Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program in 2002 and for the last two years has been Head of Strings for the Berkeley Youth Orchestra and helped implement and direct their chamber music program.

In 2003 Erika collaborated with the Oxford Chamber Music Course to bring gifted American students to England to experience playing with English students. This collaboration then gave birth to the idea of founding the British and American Chamber Music Exchange which has now become Youth Music International.

In 2006 YouMI launched the First International Youth Music Festival in San Francisco in collaboration with SF State University's School of Music and Dance and the National Youth Strings Academy in Britain. The festival brought together an eminent international faculty from the US and UK as well as 60 highly gifted students from California and Britain. After an exciting masterclass given by the Alexander Quartet, the festival culminated with diverse and unforgettable performances at three of the most historic landmarks in San Francisco: Grace Cathedral, Mission Dolores and St. Mary's Cathedral.

Erika has also been Principle for the Sacramento Opera and Choral Society for the last seven years and also continues to free-lance and play with orchestras and chamber music ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area.


John Cotton - Choral Director Countertenor UK

John's formal singing training began, aged 7, as a chorister with the Southend Boys Choir. Aged 9 he became a chorister (later Head Chorister for 2 years) at Rochester Cathedral, Kent, and a music scholar at the Choir School. Aged 13, he was awarded a music scholarship to Harrow School where he played Piano, Violin and Organ. In his lower 6th year, John discovered his falsetto and a term later was offered a choral scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read Theology. After completing his degree, he was invited to continue singing in the Magdalen Chapel Choir as an alto Lay Clerk.

In 1999, John was appointed an alto Lay Clerk at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, where he continued to sing until 2007. During his first year at Christ Church he studied as a postgraduate at Trinity College of Music, where he gained a vocal diploma. John has sung in London and abroad with a variety of ensembles, including the Gabrieli Consort. He has also performed on television and in a number of films, including Longitude, How Music Works, and Stage Beauty; and his voice has been featured on a number of soundtracks, including Ever After and most recently Mr Bean's Holiday. He can be heard on dozens of recordings from each of the choirs in which he has sung, including his last recording with Christ Church, a critically acclaimed account of Taverner's Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas.

John's experience as a Choral Director began at school and continued at university, where he was director of the Magdalen Singers from 1996-7. At Christ Church he founded, in 2001, an a capella group, The Clerks of Christ Church, which has performed in venues as various as Christ Church, Oxford, Christchurch, New Zealand (where they toured in 2002, 2003 and 2004), Le Manoir aux Quatr'Saisons (Raymond Blanc's Restaurant and Hotel), and Dorchester and Douai Abbeys, as well as for the memorial service of Lord Jenkins, the Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and in the presence of the then Prime Minister Tony Blair. In July 2004 The Clerks of Christ Church made their film debut in Sir Richard Eyre's Stage Beauty, starring Billy Crudup and Clare Danes. The Clerks of Christ Church have signed exclusively to SOMM Records. Their debut disc, In Pace, was released in 2004, and was followed by A Garland of the Elizabethan. A recording of Tallis' contribution to the 1575 publication Cantiones Sacrae is to follow shortly, all the music being edited anew by John.

John has recently formed another group, The Renaissance Men, with the intention of recording the complete works of Tomas Luis de Victoria, using his own editions. Their first recording, the Missa Pro Defunctis (1583) and Officium Defunctorum (1592), is due for release soon.

From 2006-7, John was Director of the Cherwell Singers, an Oxford-based chamber choir. Concerts included major programmes at Merton College Chapel, Oxford and the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, as well as smaller engagements. The choir made great progress under John's direction, and was very sad when, in 2007, he left to take up his current role as Head of Music at Wychwood School in Oxford, where he had conducted the Chamber Choir and taught singing since 2003. John is now solely responsible for the musical life of the school and recent projects have included a highly successful production of Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas. He was present as an observer at the 2007 International Youth Music Festival in Oxford, UK and was asked by Erika Miranda to direct the Choral Course which is running in conjunction with the Chamber Music Course for the first time at the 2008 Festival in San Francisco.


John Kendall Bailey - Associate Conductor USA

John Kendall Bailey is Music Director, Principal Conductor and Chorus Master of
Trinity Lyric Opera, Music Director and Conductor of Voices of Musica Sacra, Associate
Conductor of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, and Artistic Director
of the San Francisco Song Festival.
In 1994, Mr. Bailey founded the Berkeley Lyric Opera and served as its Music Director
and Conductor until 2001. Since then he has been a guest conductor with the Oakland
East Bay Symphony, Oakland Youth Orchestra, and Oakland Ballet, and music director
and conductor for productions with North Bay Opera, Mission City Opera, Goat Hall
Productions, Solo Opera, the Crowden School and Dominican University. From 2002-2006 he was Chorus Master of the Festival Opera of Walnut Creek. He has recently conducted the premieres of two of David Conte’s operas, America Tropical and Famous, and has been guest conductor for the University of California-Berkeley Chamber Chorus and the University of California-Davis Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Alumni Chorus.

Upcoming engagements include guest conductor with the American Philharmonic “Sonoma County and Music Director and Conductor for the Castro Valley Center for the Arts production of Carousel.
As a baritone, oboist, pianist, and lecturer, Mr. Bailey has appeared with numerous orchestras, choruses, and opera companies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

MASTERCLASS 2006 and 2008


Zakarias Graffilo violin
Fred Lifsitz
Paul Yarbrough
Sandy Walsh-Wilson

At home in San Francisco, the members of the Alexander String Quartet are a major artistic presence, serving as Ensemble in Residence of San Francisco Performances and as directors of the Morrison Chamber Music Center at the School of Music and Dance in the College of Creative Arts at San Francisco State University.

The Alexander String Quartet was formed in New York City in 1981 and the following year became the first string quartet to win the Concert Artists Guild Competition. In 1985, the Quartet captured international attention as the first and only American Quartet to win the London International String Quartet Competition, receiving both the jury's highest award and the Audience Prize. In May of 1995, Allegheny College awarded Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees to the members of the Quartet in recognition of their unique contribution to the arts. Honorary degrees were conferred on the ensemble by St. Lawrence University in May 2000.


Photo by Hanya Chlala -

Guy Johnston - Cellist UK

BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2000, Guy Johnston's teachers have included Doane and Kirshbaum. Projects in 06/07 include performances of the Elgar Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Walton Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic and Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the St. Petersburg Symphony; Guy looks forward to working in future seasons with the Deutsches Sinfonie Berlin (Brahms Double Concerto with Sophia Jaffe), the Philharmonia and Camerata Ireland (Schumann and Tavener). Guy has also collaborated with the BBC Symphony at the Proms, as well as orchestras including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and the Osaka Philharmonic, and has worked with Vassily Sinaisky, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Alexander Dimitriev and Leonard Slatkin. Guy Johnston performs regularly at Wigmore Hall, and has recently joined the BBC New Generation Scheme with the Aronowitz Ensemble, with whom he will be giving future concerts at many of the major music festivals at home and abroad. More Information at : Guy plays on a rare cello made by Pellizon dated 1820.

Laura Samuel - Violinist, Belcea Quartet UK

Established whilst studying at the Royal College of Music in 1994, the Belcea Quartet has quickly gained a reputation as one of the world's leading chamber ensembles. They represented Great Britian in the ECHO Rising Stars series and were selected for the BBC Radio 3 New Generations scheme from 1999 to 2001. They won first prizes at both the Osaka and Bordeaux International String Quartet Competitions in 1999 and the Royal Philharmonic Society's Chamber Music Award in both in 2001 and 2003. In 2001 the quartet began an exclusive recording contract with EMI and won the Gramophone Award for the Best Debut Recording. Their future recording plans for EMI include the complete Bartok quartets. The Belcea Quartet's international engagements take them to the Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Brussels' Palais des Beaux Arts, New York's Carnegie Hall and the Chatelet in Paris and to festivals including Luberon, Istanbul, Trondheim, Lausanne, Salzburg and the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade. In the UK they regularly appear at the Bath, Petworth, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Perth and Edinburgh festivals and at Wigmore Hall where they were resident Quartet from 2001 to 2006. More info at :

Caroline Balding - Violinist (UK) (2007 - Oxford)

of "poetic intensity" ( Music and Musicians),"rapt beauty" and "virtuosic distinction" (Gramophone) is a chambermusician, also leading and directing ensembles across Britain. She was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music to study with Emanuel Hurwitz, winning eight prizes there, and formed a close association with the Britten Pears School, taking part in masterclasses and becoming leader of the orchestra. As the violinist with the chamber ensembles Gemini and Lontano, amongst others, she has given recitals throughout the world at such venues as La Fenice in Venice, the Wigmore Hall, London, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and gave the Taiwanese premiere of " Quartet for the End of Time". Often to be heard on BBC Radio 3 and numerous other European radio stations, she also participated in the series "Women in Music" for Channel 4 television. She made her second solo Proms appearance in 1999 with Lontano and has been leader of the Kent Opera Orchestra since 1998. Caroline enjoys a vast spectrum of musical activities. She has had the privilege of being part of very many premiere performances and working alongside the foremost composers of our day. Wielding a baroque violin, she has appeared as guest leader with Florilegium, The English Concert and the Hanover Band,in addition to being first violin of "The Band of Instruments" based in her home town of Oxford.

Deirdre Cooper- Cellist (UK) (2007 - Oxford, 2006 & 2008 - San Francisco)

Born in Edinburgh, Deirdre emigrated to the US and studied both cello and extensive chamber music in California and New York with Colin Hampton, Bernard Greenhouse & Zara Nelsova. She has received numerous chamber music and concerto prizes both as a student as well as a professional and has been a soloist with many orchestras in both the US and UK including the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ballet Orchestra and the Glasgow Chamber Orchestra. Deirdre has also been principal cellist with the Scottish Ballet Orchestra and sub-principal of The BBC Scottish Symphony as well as a guest principal cellist with the Philharmonia Orchestra-London, BBC Scottish Symphony, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Musici, Sinfonia 21, English Sinfonia and other orchestras and ensembles both in the UK and the USA. She was a member of the Robert Bloch String Quartet (quartet in residence at UC Davis) playing Baroque and classical repertoire on period instruments and also commissioning many new works by American composers. She has championed new music with both the Hebrides and Paragon Ensembles of Scotland as well as playing with the Philharmonia Orchestra-London soloists and the Edinburgh String Quartet. For several years now, Deirdre has been a member of the Smith quartet which specializes in performing contemporary works both acoustic and with tape and/or live electronics. The quartet has commissioned many works and has performed throughout the UK, Europe, Japan, South America and Canada. They have recorded for Sony, Decca, BMG and others and on radio for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM and BBC2's the Culture Show with Steve Reich. Their latest album 'Different Trains' has received rave reviews from the press and radio around the world.

Photo by John G. VanWinkle

Don Ehrlich - Violist (USA) (2006 - San Francisco)

Until his recent retirement, Don was Assistant Principal Violist of the San Francisco Symphony. He holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Michigan, where he earned his doctorate. A dedicated music educator, he is a longtime faculty member at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and coaches young musicians each Saturday for the San Francisco Youth Orchestra. Mr. Ehrlich was a founding member of the Aurora String Quartet and a member of the Stanford Quartet, and he is a regular at the Mendocino Music Festival. He plays a special ergonomic viola made by David Rivinus of Portland, Oregon. Don's latest CD, "The Six Cello Suites of Bach" (arranged for viola), is available exclusively through the SF Symphony Store, or online at .

Jacqueline Johnson - Cellist (Australia) (2007 - Oxford),

graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia. During her studies there she took part in masterclasses with cellists Rohan da Sarem, Anner Bylsma and Paul Tortelier. She was a full time member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, played with the Australian Opera and Ballet companies and broadcast and recorded recitals for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She gave many solo and chamber recitals throughout Australia, and also in China and Hong Kong and made several recordings and CDs. On moving to the United Kingdom in 1990, Jacqueline undertook further study with Christopher Bunting, and has also received coaching from Steven Isserlis and Colin Carr. Now based in Oxford, Jacqueline freelances combining chamber music and solo performances with orchestral work and teaching. Recent concerto performances include Dvorak Concerto, Brahms Double Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, Shostakovich Cello Concerto, no 1, and Schumann concerto.

Andrew MacDonald - Violin (UK) (2007 - Oxford),

was awarded the Laurence Turner Prize at Huddersfield University where he was also greatly involved in the Contemporary Music Festival. He has also studied at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies. He is now a highly respected teacher for the London Borough of Enfield and at the Hall School Hampstead, where he has helped build a thriving chamber music program. Several of his groups have reached the finals of the National Chamber Music Competition and the Youth and Music Festival. For 10 years he was also the leader of Redhill Sinfonia.

Victor Romasevich - Violinist/Violist, (USA) (2006 - San Francisco),

was born in Minsk, Belarus, and as a youth studied with Rostislav Dubinsky of the famed Borodin Quartet. He continued his training at the Moscow Conservatory and, following his emigration to the United States in 1977, at Juilliard with Ivan Galamian. In 1979 he became a violin and viola pupil of the composer and philosopher Iosif Andriasov. Winner of the Gina Bachauer Prize at the 1985 J.S. Bach International Competition, Mr. Romasevich joined the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Violist in 1990 and in 1992 moved to the First Violin section. He appears frequently in recitals and chamber concerts as a violinist, violist, and keyboard player.

James Ross - Conductor (UK) (2007 - Oxford, 2008 - San Francisco),

won scholarships to Harrow School in London and to Christ Church at Oxford University. There he studied history, took a master's degree in music and a doctorate on French opera under Roger Parker, winning the Sir Donald Tovey Prize. He was a finalist in the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra's 1998 Conducting Competition and since then has conducted in Austria, Bosnia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Serbia, Spain, Sri Lanka and the USA.

He is the Music Director of St Albans Symphony Orchestra, Oxford's Christ Church Festival Orchestra, Sidcup Symphony Orchestra, Welwyn Garden City Orchestra and Chorus and the Royal College of Paediatrics Orchestra and Chorus. From September 2007 he will also be Music Director of Haslemere Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Previous positions include conductor of Oxford University Sinfonietta. He has performed in leading UK concert halls, including Symphony Hall, Birmingham, St. John's Smith Square, London, and the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford.

He has conducted over 600 works, ranging from the Baroque, most of the standard symphonic and choral repertoire, to contemporary music by Boulez, Knussen, Ligeti, Stockhausen and many more; accompanying includes Mahler, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Sir Thomas Allen, Elgar 'Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations with Guy Johnston, and concerts with members of The National Opera Studio; major 20th-Century works include Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring; Janácek, Sinfonietta and Bartók, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. He has also conducted much specialist French music and has a strong interest in modern music.

Numerous first performances including a New Music Day with Roxanna Panufnik and members of the City of London Sinfonia on 14 May, supported by the Arts Council, and on 3 July he conducted Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire at the Jacqueline du Pré Hall, Oxford. In 1996 he was an assistant for Bernard Haitink's Don Carlos recording with The Royal Opera, London.

His teachers have included Tsung Yeh (USA / Hong Kong), Zdenek Bilek (Czech Republic), Victor Feldbrill (Canada), Ernest Schelle (Switzerland) and Alan Hazeldine (UK); he has also received advice from Bernard Haitink, Paul Daniel, Peter Donohoe, Sir David Willcocks and Sir Charles Mackerras.

He is a frequent guest speaker, including at the Bibliothčque Nationale de France; he has also taught at Oxford University and contributed to Music and Letters (Vincent d'Indy's Fervaal, 2003), Opera, English Historical Review, Musical Times and is a co-author of Vincent d'Indy et son temps and French Music Since Berlioz, published this year. He is a member of the Performers and Composers Section of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (UK), of the Conductors Guild (USA) and American Symphony Orchestra League. More information at:

Glen Sheldon - Violin/Conductor (UK) (2007 - Oxford),

was already appearing as soloist while in school and was also Concertmaster for the Jewish Youth Orchestra. He was awarded the Peter Latham Prize in Musicology at the Royal Academy of Music and the Robert Naylor Recital Prize at Surrey University. He is now a member of the orchestra for English National Opera and has been in demand as an orchestral leader and soloist. His playing has been described in reviews as "eloquent and moving". Both he and Andrew MacDonald (above) are also tremendously dedicated to their String Quartet Anything Goes which has always committed itself to performing both classical string quartet repertoire and their own colourful arrangements of light music. "I was very impressed with the high standard and flexibility of ANYTHING GOES" Senior Producer, Nigel Acheson, BBC Radio 4.

Jassen Todorov - Violinist (USA) (2006 - San Francisco),

first came to international attention after his Carnegie-Weill Recital Hall debut in 1999. Since then he has released two solo CDs featuring works by Brahms as well as contemporary composers. He tours regularly as a soloist and chamber musician, and has recently performed both the Sibelius and Mendelssohn violin concertos in European venues. Mr. Todorov is currently completing his DMA at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, from which he also received a Master of Music Degree in the year 2000.

Christopher Windass - Violin/Viola (UK) (2007 - Oxford)

Chris studied Violin and Viola at Birmingham Conservatoire under Ernest Element, John White and Peter Thomas. While at Birmingham, Chris became a member of the string quartet in residence at the college sponsored by BRMB radio and gave numerous concerts throughout the country playing in many major festivals. He continued his studies privately with Emmanuel Hurwitz , David Takeno and Manoug Parikian. Chris leads a busy career both as a orchestral player and chamber musician appearing with groups ranging from the Medici and Brodsky string quartets to the Philharmonia Orchestra ,Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra. Chris has always had a passion for chamber music which lead him to establish the now famous Oxford Coffee Concert series in the Holywell Music Room on Sunday mornings and Music in Adderbury. In 1986 he set up the Adderbury Ensemble, a flexible group of players performing string quartets and expanding on occasions up to orchestra size large enough to play Beethoven Symphonies (never with a conductor!) The group has an increasingly busy schedule of concerts and recording both in UK and Europe.

International Youth Music Festival 2006 also included:

The NYSA Faculty

Roger Garland-
Violinist, (UK),

studied the violin with Manoug Parikian whilst reading Music at Cambridge. In 1969, he joined the English Chamber Orchestra, combining this with recital and solo work throughout the country. In 1973, he joined the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields with whom he has made many solo appearances and broadcasts in Europe, North America and Australia. He has also appeared as soloist in broadcasts for the Chichester Festival and the Flanders Festival. He has broadcast solo recitals and chamber music on B B C Radio 3 and is a keen champion of 20th century music, his latest CD being of the Trio by Michael Finnissy on Et Cetera Records with the Gagliano Trio. He also leads the Guarnerius String Quintet.

Levon Parikian- Conductor, (UK),

studied conducting with George Hurst and, at his encouragement, auditioned successfully for a position in Ilya Musin's class at the St. Petersburg conservatoire. Here he gained an insight into Musin's rigorous technique of conducting, which has influenced generations of Russian conductors. Since his return from Russia, Levon has pursued a freelance conducting career, and is much in demand as Guest Conductor with orchestras in Britain. He currently holds Principal Conductor posts with several London-based orchestras, and is Chief Guest Conductor of the City of Oxford Orchestra. He was recently appointed Conductor of the Royal College of Music Junior Sinfonia, Visiting Guest Conductor at Royal Holloway University of London, and Artistic Director of The Rehearsal Orchestra. He has also worked with, among others, English Sinfonia, European Chamber Opera, City of Southampton Orchestra, and the Royal Orchestral Society. Levon has been Assistant Conductor on recordings with the Philharmonia and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and to Sir Simon Rattle in The Rehearsal Orchestra's weekend on Bruckner's Ninth Symphony.

Viviane Ronchetti- Violinist, (UK),

was awarded an Exhibition from the Royal Manchester College of Music to study the violin with Endre Wolf at the age of 13. She won several awards at the RMCM and continued her studies with Alexandre Moskovsky and Manoug Parikian. She has freelanced with the major London chamber orchestras and, as a member of the Park Lane Sextet, has appeared at the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall and on Radio 3. She has held Head of Strings positions at both Harrow School and Queenswood School. She is Director of the National Youth Strings Academy - the nationwide string chamber orchestra dedicated to furthering the musical education of talented young string-players aged 11-21. She is a violin professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Junior Department and has recently become an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals.