Kay Stern, violin; Jeremy Preston, violin; Susan Freier, viola; Stephen Harrison, cello; Elizabeth Schumann, piano
Gustav Mahler Movement for Piano Quartet in A minor (1876)
Franz Schubert String Trio in B-flat major, D. 581 (1817)
Max Bruch Piano Quintet in G minor (1886)
The Ives Collective presents powerful live music experiences through fresh and informed interpretations of established masterworks and underappreciated gems. With core members and Artistic Co-Directors Susan Freier and Stephen Harrison, the Collective wants to share their joy in bringing together old friends and new in a variety of combinations to perform the widest possible spectrum of chamber music.
Kay Stern is the Concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, a position she has held since 1994. She is Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In the past, Kay served as assistant to Dorothy DeLay at the Aspen Music Festival, assistant to the Juilliard Quartet at the Juilliard School and held faculty positions at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Music Academy of the West. She has taught and coached at various music festivals around the world and been in residence at Wellesley College and San Diego State University.
Kay has been featured on television and radio. She has appeared in PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, CNN’s Women Today, Minnesota Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and WQXR-NY Robert Sherman’s Listening Room. Kay has also contributed several articles in Chamber Music America. As the former first violinist and founding member of the Lark String Quartet, she performed and gave master classes throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
Some of Kay’s Concertmaster positions include the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Concordia at Lincoln Center, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. She regularly performs as Concertmaster for many movie sound tracks and video games recorded at Skywalker Ranch. Kay is an active chamber musician, collaborating with colleagues around the world. She regularly plays for fund raising events and has helped raise money for medical research, schools, arts organizations, student orchestras and political fundraisers. Some of the educational and community programs she participated in include the New York Philharmonic Musical Arts Experience, Young Audiences of NY Children’s Programs, Lincoln Center Student Programs and the Minnesota School & Resource Center for the Arts Touring Program, Seaside Music Academy and Pacifica School Volunteers. Her past music festival appearances include the Caramoor, Bard, Olympic and Grand Teton Music Festivals.
Kay attended the Juilliard School as a student of Dorothy DeLay. While at Juilliard, she received full scholarships for her Bachelor, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs. She also studied with Michael Davis at Ohio State University. Her concerto and chamber music recordings can be heard on Phillips, Nonesuch, Innova, MusicMasters, Koch International, Gramavision and Albany Records.
Jeremy Preston is a section violin player with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and the principal second of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Prior to this he was the Associate Concertmaster of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and a tenured member of the North Carolina Symphony for seven seasons. He has performed with many orchestras throughout the U.S. and in the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Symphony and the New Century Chamber Orchestra. Jeremy is an avid chamber musician and has performed at venues throughout the Bay Area. Previously, he was a member of the North Carolina String Quartet and frequently performed with the Mallarme Chamber Players, the Peace College Manning Chamber Players, New Music Raleigh, and the Eastern Music Festival Chamber Players.
Trained at the New England Conservatory of Music, Rice University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Jeremy’s teachers include Marylou Speaker Churchill, Lynn Chang, Kathleen Winkler, Sally Thomas, and William Preucil. His chamber music coaches include Norman Fisher, Pamela, and Claude Frank and members of the Cleveland and Juilliard Quartets. Jeremy maintains an active teaching studio out of his apartment in the Haight and loves living and hiking in the beautiful city of San Francisco.
Susan Freier earned degrees in music and biology from Stanford University as a Ford Scholar and continued her studies at the Eastman School of Music where she co-founded the award-winning Chester String Quartet. The Chester went on to win the Munich, Portsmouth (UK) and Discovery Competitions and were the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University, South Bend.
In 1989 Susan returned to her native Bay Area and joined the Stanford faculty and the Stanford String Quartet. She performs with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and has been an artist/faculty member at the Newport Music Festival, Garth Newell, Music in the Mountains, Rocky Ridge Music Center, and the Schlern and Orfeo Music Festivals (Italy). Susan teaches and performs at the Mendocino Music Festival, the SoCal Music Workshop and the Telluride Chamber Music Festival.
Stephen Harrison has been on the Stanford University faculty since 1983. A graduate of Oberlin College and Boston University, he has been solo cellist of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players since 1985.
Stephen has been on the faculty of the Pacific Music Festival, the Orfeo and Schlern International Music Festivals (Italy) and the Rocky Ridge Music Center. He is currently principal cellist at the Mendocino Music Festival, and performs and teaches at the SoCal Chamber Music Workshop and the Telluride Chamber Music Festival.
Pianist Elizabeth Schumann has a diverse career portfolio of projects, recordings, and performances that have brought her all over the world as recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. The Washington Post Magazine noted her playing as “deft, relentless, and devastatingly good—the sort of performance you experience not so much with your ears as your solar plexus.”
The first-place winner of both the Bösendorfer International Piano Competition and the Pacific International Piano Competition, Elizabeth has won over 25 prizes and awards in other major national and international competitions, including the Cleveland International Piano Competition and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition. Elizabeth was honored with the prestigious Gilmore Young Artists Award, and was highlighted in a PBS Television documentary on the Gilmore Festival.
She has performed solo recitals and chamber music concerts worldwide, in such venues as the Kennedy Center, Vienna’s Bösendorfer Saal, Toronto’s Koerner Hall, and Montreal’s Place des Arts. Featured at the International UNICEF benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina Victims, the Cannes Film Festival, the Gilmore Festival, Australia’s Huntington Festival, the Musica Viva chamber music series, the Ravinia Rising Stars Series, and National Public Radio’s Performance Today, her recitals have been broadcast live on public radio and television in cities around the world, including Washington D.C., New York, Sydney, Cleveland, Montréal, Dallas, and Chicago. Elizabeth gave the world premiere performance of Carl Vine’s Sonata No. 3, which the composer dedicated to her.