San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Cycles of Resistance: Chelsea Hollow & Taylor Chan – Friday, January 28 at 8 pm



Cycles of Resistance

Chelsea Hollow, soprano
Taylor Chan, piano

Sophie Xuefei Zhang Two Poems by Qiu Jin
Anthony R. Green Zachte Krachten
Michael Wiener Maagal
Myron Silberstein Prayers for Peace
Özden Gülsün Keskin Al kan kuşak
Lauren McCall Living Water
Molly Joyce The Fight for Our Rights
Jason Cady I could not allow that to stand

Concert Rebels presents Cycles of Resistance, a recital featuring operatic activist Chelsea Hollow and pianist Taylor Chan. The program chronologically explores poetry and texts of resilience and rebellion throughout the 20th and 21st centuries featuring 9 world premieres in 8 languages. Highlights include Living Water by Lauren McCall, inspired by the Flint Water Crisis; Al kan kuşak by Özden Gülsün Keskin weaving together harrowing stories from the Turkish Femicide; Maagal by Michael Wiener, featuring text from Hannelore Brenner’s The Girls of Room 28 which celebrates the tenacity, altruism, and strength of a group of young girls who passed through the Theresienstadt internment camp on their way to Auschwitz; and I could not allow that to stand by Jason Cady, using text from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s response to the harassment she faced from a fellow congressman. Cady’s piece was premiered virtually as a presentation Chelsea made as a guest speaker for The United Nations’ Discussion on Human Rights, Arts, & Protest. The majority of the program was commissioned by soprano and curator, Chelsea Hollow in the beginning of the pandemic, bringing together artists and librettists from around the globe digitally to create inspiring works with a deep connection to activism, resilience, and the hope to heal deep societal wounds. Join us for an evening of reflection, inspiration, and communal growth.

Cycles of Resistance Bios

Chelsea Hollow is an operatic activist, creating art that makes her audience think collectively and creatively. In this time of political, environmental, and social unrest, Hollow cherishes her mission as an artist to give voice to the voiceless and challenge societal norms that exclude marginalized voices. In 2019, she commissioned, curated, and toured with her feminist recital, Voice for the Voiceless. This work inspired a call for proposals in 2020 which created the recital, Cycles of Resistance, a showcase of 8 activist movements from around the world in the 20th & 21st centuries. This work was so fulfilling, Chelsea joined forces with Maria Caycedo and founded Concert Rebels, an organization with a mission to fund, commission, and curate activist recitals with a purpose to amplify marginalized voices, activate audiences, and inspire collective growth. Concert Rebels works with singers, activists, composers, and educational institutions to create new art song based on activist texts, speeches, and poetry.

Chelsea Hollow is also a coloratura soprano known throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for her “soaring high range” and “stage panache!” Locally, she performs with companies including The San Francisco Opera Guild, West Bay Opera, West Edge Opera, The Lamplighters, Pocket Opera, and 42nd Street Moon. A passionate performer of new music, Chelsea has built a reputation for performing new works with confidence and artistic expression. In summer of 2017, Chelsea recreated the role of Elizabeth Frankenstein in the West Coast Premiere of Libby Larsen’s Frankenstein with West Edge Opera. In early Fall 2016, Chelsea made her international debut in Guadalajara, MX singing the role of Mina Harker in Ibarra’s Despertar al Sueño with Escenia Ensamble in collaboration with West Bay Opera. Last year, Ms. Hollow returned to Mexico to perform the role of Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire (Previn) with Escenia Ensamble and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the State of Chihuahua. Chelsea was thrilled to join Pittsburgh Festival Opera to cover the role of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss. There, she also performed the role of Joujou in Lehár’s The Merry Widow. More traditional roles include Die Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte/Mozart), Amy March (Little Women/Adamo), Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail/Mozart), Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann/Offenbach), Lakmé (Lakmé/Delibes), Lucy (The Telephone/Menotti), Marie (La Fille du régiment/Donizetti), and Madame Herz (Der Schauspieldirektor/Mozart).

Concert specialties include Mozart’s concert aria Popoli di Tessaglia, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Allegri’s Miserere, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. Recent soloist appearances include Carmina Burana (Orff) with the Golden Gate Symphony Orchestra and the Concerto for Two Orchestras (Gubaidulina) with the Berkeley Symphony. In Fall 2014, Chelsea was recognized as the winner of the BluePrint New Music Concerto Competition where she performed Schönberg’s rarely performed work, Herzgewächse under the baton of Maestro Nicole Paiement. Other appearances include the Moorpark Symphony Orchestra’s Annual Concerto & Aria Concert where she was featured as the competition winner. Musical theater experience includes Cunégonde (Candide/Bernstein), Carroll Beamish (Very Warm for May/Kern), Amelia (Bernarda Alba/LaChiusa), and Rapunzel (Into the Woods/Sondheim).

Ms. Hollow works with local San Francisco Bay Area composers regularly to premiere art song and operas. Joining West Edge Opera’s Snapshot program, she “steered the performance,” of Stephen Eddins’s Why I Live at the P.O. with “indignation that struck the perfect balance of martyrdom and pathos.” In Spring 2013, Chelsea joined the Hot Air Festival as the soprano soloist in Benjamin C.S. Boyle’s To One In Paradise. Chelsea holds a Master of Music Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music Degree from San Francisco State University.

Taylor Chan holds an M.M. in Collaborative Piano from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she is currently a staff accompanist and vocal coach. She also teaches private piano lessons at The Hamlin School, and freelances in various opera, musical theatre, and new music productions and projects. As accompanist to the Grammy Award-winning Premier Ensemble of the San Francisco Girls Chorus, she performed at Davies Symphony Hall and made her Herbst Theatre debut in recital with lyric tenor Nicholas Phan (2018). Other SFGC performances include TedXSanFrancisco (2018), David Conte’s Faculty Artist Series (SFCM), San Francisco’s Tony Bennett Way celebration, and private events for Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Recent engagements include performing microtonal pieces by Jacques Desjardin and Bruce Mather at the former’s faculty recital at SFCM; Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians at the 2019 Hot Air Music Festival (SFCM); the world premiere of Deon Nielsen Price’s opera Ammon and the King; 56×54: “But Wait, There’s More!” with Ensemble for These Times at the Center for New Music; and a performance featuring solo and chamber works by Michael Gilbertson, Lisa Bielawa, David Conte, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Vivian Fung with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. She has served as rehearsal pianist for Opera Parallèle, most recently performing Xochitl and the Flowers with the organization in May 2019.

In addition to solo and accompanied standard classical and contemporary repertoire, Taylor is always looking for novel collaborative creative experiences and opportunities to expand her skillset. Her other interests include psychology, writing, philosophy, and visual art.

Chinese-born Canadian pianist Sophie Xuefei Zhang enjoys a career as a soloist, a chamber musician, and an arts educator. She has appeared on stage with Kim Kashkashian, Jean-Michel Fonteneau, Ian Swensen, and Bonnie Hampton as well as members of the Juilliard String Quartet, Ives String Quartet, American String Quartet, Windscape, and Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, among others. Sophie has served as artist-in-residence with her piano duo at Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec for the 2012-2013 season, and ensemble-in-residence with Aleron Trio on San Francisco’s Old First Concerts series for the 2014-2015 season. She has also served as gallery lecturer at MoMA Museum of Modern Art and as lecturer at City College of New York. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Sophie is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Teachers College Columbia University with a research focus in interdisciplinary education in Music and Art. Selections of Sophie’s photography work have been published in the book Tibet, the Life Changing Journey (Shantou University Press 2010); other works have also been put on auction at the International Women and Children’s Health Conference to raise money to support local initiatives in women and children’s health.

Anthony R. Green (he/him/his), composer/performer/social justice artist, was raised on Narragansett and Pauquunaukit (Wampanoag) land in Providence, RI. His various creative projects include musical and visual creations, interpretations of original, contemporary, and repertoire works, collaborations, educational outreach, and more. Behind all his artistic endeavors are the ideals of equality and freedom. His compositions and projects have been presented in 25+ countries by various internationally acclaimed soloists and ensembles. As a performer, he specializes in piano performance, experimental vocalizations, improvisation, movement, and performance art. He is the co-founder and associate director of Boston-based Castle of our Skins, dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. When not traveling, Green enjoys a variety of activities, many centered around Black and queer identities. He currently resides in Leiden, the Netherlands, with his MRI physicist/pianist partner, Dr. Itamar Ronen. For more information visit his website at

Michael Wiener, born in 1975 in Germany, combines his interest in contemporary music, especially composition, with his academic background in international law. From 2002 until 2006, he was a member of the composition class of Alexander Müllenbach at the Conservatory of Luxembourg, where he received a composition certificate ‘supérieur avec la qualification très bien’. He was also awarded prizes at the composition competitions Carl von Ossietzky, Engelbert Humperdinck and Artistes en herbe. His choir piece Major autem ex his est caritas has been chosen as a winner in the composition contest of Universal Sacred Music in New York City and was recorded by Harold Rosenbaum with the New York Virtuoso Singers (published on CD by Soundbrush Records). In addition, his piece Camino de Santiago was recorded on CD by the female ensemble Otto Voci. He completed his doctoral thesis at the law faculty of the University of Trier and also holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of London. In his LL.M. thesis, he analyzed legal notions and copyright issues in the last piano sonata of Viktor Ullmann (1898–1944), thus exploring further the links between music and law ( Since 2011, he has also been a visiting fellow of Kellogg College at the University of Oxford.

Myron Silberstein is a Chicago-based composer and pianist whose writing falls within the tradition of the overlooked composers whose works he has premiered and recorded. Vittorio Giannini, Ernest Bloch, Nicolas Flagello, and Thomas Pasatieri are among Myron’s greatest influences, and he embraces the unabashed emotionalism, melodic and harmonic warmth, and structural rigor of these composers. Myron’s output includes a large number of songs, works for solo piano, and duo-sonatas. He particularly enjoys collaborating with living poets. His recordings can be found on Naxos, Centaur, and Connoisseur Society. Mark Lehman of the American Record Guide lauded Myron’s recording of sonatas by Peter Mennin and Norman Lloyd as “An indispensable addition to the discography of American music.” A recording of Myron’s first two piano sonatas and unpublished piano pieces and songs by Vittorio Giannini is currently in post production.

Born in 1983 in Izmir, Özden Gülsün Keskin started her music education in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory as a violin student under Gönül Gökdoğan. She continued her violin education in Dokuz Eylül University State Conservatory under Attila Işıksun and Şebnem Edgü. In 2004, Keskin was admitted to the Composition and Conductor Department of DEÜ State Conservatory and started studying under İstemihan Tavioğlu. Her orchestral work titled Ütopya (2009) was played by DEÜ State Conservatory Student Orchestra at Izmir Sabancı Art Center. In 2010, she participated in the Mehmet Aktuğ Commemoration Concert hosted by Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center with her work titled Yalnızlık. In 2011, she participated in the Klasik Keyifler Chamber Music Festival masterclass and her work Kırık Ayna (2010) was played during the “Composers’ Cauldron” concert at KMYO Ottoman Madrasah, Cappadocia. In 2012, her work titles Kaleidoscope (2012) was played by Şeniz Duru Koevoets, Ümit İşgörür, and Yonca Alpay as part of the fifth Journey of the Sound, Young Composers’ Festival at İTÜ MİAM – Maçka Campus, Mustafa Kemal Amphitheater. In 2016, she presented her work, titled Hystheria as part of the 6th Synthermia International Music Festival hosted in Thermi Municipality Conservatory Concert Hall in Thessaloniki, Greece. In November 2020, she was selected as one of the composers commissioned to the Deterritorializing the Realm of New Music Call for West Asian Composers Commissions hosted by Canadian Music Center and that work will be played by pianist, Anoush Moazzeni in Canada in 2021.

Lauren Mccall is a composer and educator from Atlanta, Georgia. She studies music technology at the Georgia Institute and is an alumni of the Vermont College of Fine Arts where she studied music composition. Lauren is an active music educator developing curriculum for the websites EarSketch and TunePad through her graduate research assistantship at Georgia Tech. Lauren has had compositions performed around North America and in Europe. This includes her piece for piano, Shake the Earth, which was performed in Morehead, Kentucky at Morehead State University’s Contemporary Piano Festival, along with being performed in Eugene, Oregon at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers’ Symposium. Her arrangement of the spiritual I’m Troubled was performed in Lakeland, Florida at Florida Southern College for the Grady Rayam Prize in Sacred Music, and her graphic score composition The Fish Wife was performed in Montreal, Canada by the ensemble Amis Orgue Montreal. Along with composing Lauren also enjoys playing classical music and jazz on the clarinet and piano, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.

Composer and performer Molly Joyce was recently deemed one of the “most versatile, prolific and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome” by The Washington Post. Her music has additionally been described as “serene power” (The New York Times), written to “superb effect” (The Wire), and “unwavering” and “enveloping” (Vulture). Her work is concerned with disability as a creative source. She has an impaired left hand from a previous car accident, and the primary vehicle in her pursuit is her electric vintage toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay which suits her body and engages her disability on a compositional and performative level. Her debut full-length album, Breaking and Entering, featuring toy organ, voice, and electronic sampling of both sources was released in June 2020 on New Amsterdam Records, and has been praised by New Sounds as “a powerful response to something (namely, physical disability of any kind) that is still too often stigmatized, but that Joyce has used as a creative prompt.”Her debut EP, Lean Back and Release, was released in January 2017 on New Amsterdam Records to much acclaim. Molly is a graduate of The Juilliard School (graduating with scholastic distinction), Royal Conservatory in The Hague (recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund Grant), and Yale School of Music. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies from CUNY School of Professional Studies and is alumnus of the National YoungArts Foundation. She currently serves on the composition faculty at New York University Steinhardt and Wagner College.

Jason Cady is a composer and librettist. He performs on pedal steel guitar and modular synthesizer. Pitchfork called him a “mod-synth mastermind … funny and engaging.” Anthony Tommasini, in The New York Times, described his video opera, I Screwed Up the Future, as “charming fantasy … drably comic and spacey.” Opera News described his opera I Need Space as “delightfully weird … hilarious, dry and detached performances made this futuristic, retro story of love and rejection endearingly poignant.” His recent opera, Candy Corn, was called “hilarious” by The Wire, and “radically enjoyable” by I Care If You Listen. Cady’s CDs have been released on Lockstep Records and Peacock Recordings, and his podcast opera, Buick City, 1:00 AM is available on Apple Podcasts. Cady founded Experiments in Opera with Aaron Siegel and Matthew Welch. He is the Co-Artistic Director with Kamala Sankaram. He also performs in the JCC Trio with Dan Joseph and Tom Chiu. Cady has an M.A. in composition from Wesleyan University, where he studied with Alvin Lucier and Anthony Braxton. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance from Arizona State University, where he studied composition with Richard Lerman, Harold Budd, and Daniel Lentz. He was born in Flint, Michigan and now lives in New York City. He is an enrolled member of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Old First Concerts has volunteer opportunities available!

Our concerts rely on the generosity of volunteers to assist with simple tasks like:


distributing programs

box office

set-up and clean-up

Scheduling is flexible — you choose when to work! We especially need helping hands for our Friday and Saturday night performances.

An excellent opportunity for students, seniors, or anyone who possesses a love for music!

If you’d like to consider volunteering with Old First Concerts, please contact for more information.