About the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento
Following his graduation from the Juilliard School, William Barbini became a member of the New York Philharmonic. While in New York, he performed frequently in chamber music ensembles. He was first violinist with the Gramercy String Quartet, the resident ensemble at Lehman College, Fordham University in the Bronx. The Quartet played a series of pre concert performances at Avery Fisher Hall and appeared jointly with Pierre Boulez and the New York Philharmonic. Other chamber music credits include performances with the Balihry Piano Trio, the Philharmonia String Quartet, and violin duos with Kineko Okumura. He has performed solo recitals and concertos with orchestras in this country and Europe.Some of these ensembles include; the New York Philharmonic, Tonkünstler Orchestre, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony, Niagara Falls Philharmonic, Sacramento Symphony and the Sacramento Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Barbini came to Sacramento in 1983 to serve as concertmaster of the Sacramento Symphony. A year later he joined the faculty of California State University at Sacramento as a member of the Music Department. He is currently the Music Director of the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento and serves as Concertmaster for the Classical Philharmonic, the Pro Art Symphony, Chico Symphony and the Monterey Symphony. Recently Mr. Barbini was invited to join the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, violinist Kineko Okumura was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship after her successful Tokyo debut. Her American recital debut was enthusiastically received and, as a student at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, she was selected on three occasions to perform as a soloist. In Italy, Ms. Okumura was selected from the master class of Franco Guilli to perform it the Grand Concert of the Accademia Chigiana. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music where she studied with Oscar Shumsky. She has won numerous awards and competitions, including the Paganini International Competition and the Ysaye Award. Formerly a member of the Gramercy String Quartet and the New York Chamber Orchestra, Ms. Okumura has also performed many solo recitals and made numerous music festival appearances.In 1983 she joined the Sacramento Symphony,where she appeared as soloist. Currently she holds the position of Principal Second Violin with the Sacramento Chamber Orchestra and performs extensively in the Bay Area.She holds the position of Associate Concertmaster with both the Pro Art Symphony and the Classical Philharmonic and is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento. Prior to this she was a permanent substitute for the New York Philharmonic and Principal Second for the New Jersey Symphony.
Victoria Ehrlich, a native Texan, studied at Southern Methodist University, the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her teachers included Robert Marsh, Bernard Greenhouse and Robert Gardner. Prior to joining the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in 1984, she played with the Santa Fe Opera, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and was principal cellist with the Symphonies of Omaha, Richmond and Phoenix. Ms. Ehrlich has performed with the San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Symphony, the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony, Classical Philharmonic, Lamplighters, and the percussion group Adesso. She is also an active chamber musician. Recent work includes several concerts involving collaborations between poets and composers.
Flutist Mathew Krejci, is Principal Flute of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and teaches flute at the University of the Pacific. He has performed with Gian Carlo Menotti's Festival of Two Worlds in Charleston, South Carolina and Spoleto Italy. Krejci has been Principal Flute of the Bear Valley Music Festival; has played at San Francisco's Curran Theatre, performing in Phantom of the Opera; was a member of the Sacramento Symphony for 18 years; played with the California Wind Orchestra; and was a featured soloist with Sacramento's Camellia Orchestra. During the summer of 1997, Krejci and his violinist son Evan toured the Slovak Republic at the invitation of the Slovak government as part of the Slovak's "Living Abroad Festival". In 1999, he was invited to perform a recital of contemporary flute music by Czech and American composers in Prague, Czech Republic.
Active Bay Area violist, Elizabeth Prior is principal violist with the Santa Rosa symphony and is also a season substitute with the San Francisco Ballet. Elizabeth is associate principal with the Marin Symphony and performs regularly with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, the New Century Chamber Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony. Other orchestral credits include Freiburg Philharmonic (Associate principal) and Cape Town Symphony. She has toured and worked with Südwestfunk, Stuttgart Radio, Basel Symphony, and the Mannheim Opera Orchestras. A native of South Africa, she was a prizewinner in the International String Competition in Pretoria and gave her recent debut at Carnegie Hall with the Russian Chamber Orchestra.
The Ariel Ensemble has performed extensively in Northern California under the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento. The recipient of many awards and grants locally, the ensemble won the highest commissioning grant awarded from Chamber Music America.
Their performances have met with extremely enthusiastic response in Napa, Monterey, the San Francisco Bay area, Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, with many return visits.
The quartet's recording of "Jazz Quartet" by Meyer Kupferman on Soundspells Productions received a very favorable review: "The musicians convey the feeling of great joy. Superior sound. Fans of jazz, classical fusion, fans of contemporary music - get this disk!" - Fanfare Magazine.