Robert Howard & Evan Kahn, cellos
Akshaya Tucker The Heart Savors its Fragrance West Coast Premiere
Barry Guy Red Shift
John Zorn Ouroboros
plus Baroque favorites by Boccherini and Barrière
Robert Howard and Evan Kahn present an eclectic program which explores the extreme versatility of the cello. Works will include Baroque favorites by Boccherini and Barrière, Barry Guy’s evocative Red Shift, Akshaya Tucker’s new Hindustani piece for solo cello, The Heart Savors its Fragrance, and John Zorn’s Ouroboros—a 21st century tour-de-force.
A native of Atlanta, GA, Robert Howard began studying cello at age 12. Graduate of Rice University and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has studied and performed at festivals such as Tanglewood, Spoleto, Verbier, the Accademia Chigiana, and the Sandor Vegh Academy in Prague. Robert won first prize in the Rome Festival Competition and has received grants from the Maggini and Virtu Foundations. Robert has performed in the Festival Internacional de Musica in Costa Rica, the Festival de Guadarama in Spain, and on the Mostly Mozart series in Lincoln Center. He has performed with American Bach Soloists, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, and the San Francisco Symphony. A regular guest on many Bay Area chamber music series, Robert has also made concerto appearances with BARS Orchestra and Stanford Symphony. He has worked directly with composers such as Osvaldo Golijov, Gabriela Frank, George Perle, George Benjamin, and Jonathan Berger. Robert runs his own house concert series, concertsbythesquare.org, which combine thematically linked chamber music programs with food and short lecture presentations. A passionate teacher, he has made two trips to Kenya, where he taught and performed. He has coached at San Francisco Conservatory, Stanford University, San Jose State University, San Francisco State University, and the Conservatorio Superior Coruña in Spain.
Native to Los Angeles, cellist Evan Kahn has been praised as “a cellist deserved of serious listening” for bringing his “electrifying … nuanced and colorful” style to all of his collaborations, from concerti to chamber music to contemporary performances. Intensely passionate about new music and music of non-Western cultures, he has commissioned and premiered over 50 works by composers from around the world, including his father’s Cello Concerto.
Evan holds principal positions in four orchestras — principal cello in Symphony Silicon Valley, acting principal cello in Opera San Jose, and assistant principal cello in San Jose Chamber Orchestra and West Bay Opera. As cellist in the Lazuli String Quartet/Sutro Strings, Evan plays in many local chamber music concert series, and is a sought-after quartet and piano trio cellist in the San Francisco Bay Area. His Pittsburgh-based piano trio, Trio Rizi, won the top awards in the Silberman Chamber Music Competition and the Pittsburgh Concert Society Competition. Evan is also a resident cellist for several Bay Area music collectives and ensembles, such as After Everything, Mythica Foundation, and hip-hop band Ensemble Mik Nawooj.
As a soloist, he has performed with North State Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, the Veridian Symphony Orchestra, Segah Festival Orchestra, Diablo Symphony Orchestra, and Pittsburgh String Orchestra, as well as the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic and San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, after winning both institutions’ concerto competitions. In April/May 2018, he served as Artist-in-Residence with Performance Today at NPR, sharing some of his favorite works for cello and his philosophies on music and life. The 2018-19 season includes concerti with the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, Palo Alto Philharmonic, and Livermore-Amador Symphony. In February 2019, he was named Musical America’s New Artist of the Month.
Evan attended Aspen Music Festival on a fellowship, where he studied with Juilliard professor Darrett Adkins and played co-principal in the Aspen Academy of Conducting Orchestra, the Aspen Sinfonia Concertante, and the Aspen Philharmonic as an Orchestral Leadership Fellow. In summer 2016, he served as one of 40 student fellows in the Piatigorsky Cello Festival — fellows hand-picked from conservatories around the world — and in summer 2017, Evan attended the Taos School of Music to work with the Brentano, Borromeo, and Shanghai Quartets.
Evan received a Master’s in Chamber Music at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying with Jennifer Culp. He graduated with college and university honors from Carnegie Mellon University, studying with David Premo. Before college, he took lessons with LA Opera principal cellist John Walz and Lyris Quartet cellist Timothy Loo. Other important mentors include Paul Hersh, Thomas Loewenheim, Amos Yang, Ian Swensen, and Bonnie Hampton.
In addition to performing and teaching, Evan enjoys making curry, reading postmodern fiction, and watching The Great British Bake Off. He plays on a cello by Italian luthier Carlo Carletti, c. 1900.