Founder & Director


Claude Ganz, Founder, immigrated to the United States from Europe. After fleeing Germany during the Hitler regime, he went to France where he was placed in a deportation camp from which he and his family escaped to Switzerland in 1943. After four years of internment as a refugee he came to California in 1947. A successful businessman, he was appointed by President Clinton to oversee the economic reconstruction of Bosnia. He has a broad history of community service. His many involvements include serving on the boards of the San Francisco State University Business School, the SF Jewish Community Federation, PBS Broadcasting Station, the American Conservatory Theatre, the San Francisco Art Institute, the San Francisco Film Festival, the Jewish Home for the Aged, the Jerusalem Foundation, and he was the President of the Board of the SFO Jewish Museum (now the Contemporary Jewish Museum).


Brian S. Wilson, Director of Jewish Studies, Composer/conductor Brian Scott Wilson is a native of Lynn, MA, and a graduate of New England Conservatory (B.M.), the University of Chicago (M.A.) and the University of Arizona (D.M.A.). His teachers include Malcolm Peyton, Edward Diamente, Dan Asia, Ralph Shapey and Shulamit Ran (composition) and Barbara Schubert, Michael Walters, Gregg Hanson and Kurt Klippstater (conducting). Additionally, he has participated in conducting workshops under Frederick Fennell and Sergiu Commissiona. Winner of the International Trombone Association Composition Prize, Brian has composed for and conducted ensembles throughout the US and in Russia, Israel, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Estonia, and Costa Rica. Finding inspiration in the music of Stravinsky, Mingus and Varese, Wilson’s eclectic style is a blend of classic and jazz idioms that feels simultaneously familiar and new, while his spirituality finds expression in both obvious and unexpected ways. Brian is chair of the Department of Music and professor of music theory and composition at Sonoma State University.


FACULTY teaching in the program CLICK HERE