March 24, 2015

Navarro Plays it Close to the Heart

Trio Navarro's next concert—Sunday, March 29 at 2 pm in Schroeder Hall—features works with special connections to two of its members. The program includes the String Quartet No. 3 by Bernard Brindel—father of Navarro cellist Jill Brindel— and the String Quartet, Op. 1 by Russian/Armenian composer Iosif Andriasov—who taught violin and viola to Navarro violinist Victor Romasevich.

Brindel's Third String Quartet was written in 1968 and was performed that summer by a faculty string quartet at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. Like most of his music, the first movement is in a loose Sonata Allegro form, the second a traditional ABA form, and the last movement is a loose Rondo Sonata Allegro. The first and last movements have rhythmically robust first themes contrasting with lyrical second themes. The second movement is deeply meditative. Both the dance-like motifs and the singing sections reflect the composer’s Jewish origins.

Andriasov composed his String Quartet for Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, Opus 1, in 1954, when he was 21 years old. The String Quartet is dedicated to Nelli Andriasova (Andriassian), the composer’s sister. It was first performed by the students of the Music College at the Malyi Concert Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Moscow, USSR, in 1954. The sincere, lively, joyous, effervescent music of the String Quartet stirred such stormy applause by enthusiastic listeners that, according to witnesses, the balcony floor of the concert hall shook, and the personnel on duty ran from downstairs to the hall to see what was going on there.

The two quartets include guest artists Philip Santos, concertmaster of the Fremont Symphony, and violist Patty Heller of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

The concert will conclude with Shostakovich’s G Minor Piano Quintet with pianist Marilyn Thompson; Victor Romasevich and Philip Santos, violins; Patty Heller, viola; and Jill Brindel, cello. The quintet, composed during the summer of 1940, received its premiere on November 23, 1940 at the Moscow Conservatory with the composer at the piano. One of Shostakovich’s best-known chamber works, it received the Stalin Prize in 1941.

Tickets are $8, parking included, and available at the door and online at the link below.

Schroeder Hall at the Green Music Center is located near the intersection of Rohnert Park Expressway and Petaluma Hill Road. Enter campus from Rohnert Park Expressway and park in Lots L and O.  

For information call (707) 664-2324.



Patty Heller joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra’s viola section in 1986. She has served as Principal Viola in several productions over the years, and can be seen onstage in the company’s recording of Orlando Furioso with Marilyn Horne. Having toured as a recitalist in Ireland and around the American Northwest, she is now a familiar face as a chamber musician on Bay Area stages. Patty has developed and produced a wide variety of curricular programs for K-12 schools in San Francisco and her current hometown of Daly City, and is a featured speaker with the San Francisco Opera Education’s outreach programs.

Ms. Heller studied viola with Lee Yeingst of the Denver Symphony, then Max Aronoff and Toby Appel at Philadelphia’s New School of Music. She studied with Katò Havas in England and credits Havas’s New Approach with providing the musical and technical skills necessary to perform without injury throughout the rigorous Opera performance schedule. Patty sometimes shares her Bay Area home with remarkable people from around the world via Airbnb. Having been raised in the middle of the country, she finds it amazing that, every day, the Pacific Ocean is right there.

In addition to teaching violin at CSU East Bay, Philip Santos performs frequently with many established groups in the Bay Area including the San Francisco Symphony's Chamber Music Series, Chamber Music Sundaes, Sierra Chamber Society, Music on the Hill, Old First Church Concerts and Composers, Inc. Currently, Mr. Santos is Concertmaster of the Fremont Symphony, Assistant Concertmaster of Marin Symphony and Principal Second Violin of California Symphony. He has also played with the Chicago Symphony and has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony and Berkeley Symphony. Mr. Santos is on the faculty of the University of California's Young Musicians Program and has a very active studio where he teaches many private students throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pianist Marilyn Thompson has performed virtually the entire standard chamber music repertoire. Her recordings include performances of the Thomas Beversdorf Cello Sonata, the Brahms Trio, Op. 87and Ravel’s Violin-Piano Sonate. Miss Thompson has performed in chamber music concerts in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center and the 92nd Street “Y” in New York City; the Philip’s Gallery, Washington D.C.; Boston’s Symphony Hall; Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco; and in the Teatro Nacional, San Jose, Costa Rica. In the 1980s she was the pianist member of the Chamber Soloists of San Francisco and the San Francisco Trio. At the present time Miss Thompson is the pianist of the TRIO NAVARRO – which she co-founded in 1992 with cellist Jill Rachuy Brindel – a group that performs frequently throughout the Bay Area. Marilyn Thompson has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; the College of Holy Names, Oakland, California; at the University of California at Santa Cruz; and is presently on the faculty of Sonoma State University where she has taught since 1976.

Violinist and violist Victor Romasevich was born in Minsk, Belarus. His mother, Lena Lubotsky, began teaching him piano at the age of four. When five, he started violin studies with Anna Silberstein. At six, he enrolled in the violin class of Mikhail Garlitsky and Lev Sharinov at the Gnesin Music School in Moscow. As a youth he studied violin with Rostislav Dubinsky of the Borodin Quartet. He continued his training at the Moscow Conservatory with Boris Belenky and Nadia Beshkina. Following his emigration to the United States in 1977, he studied at Juilliard with Ivan Galamian. In 1979 he became a violin and viola pupil of the composer and philosopher Iosif Andriasov. Winner of the Gina Bachauer Prize at the 1985 J.S. Bach International Competition, Mr. Romasevich joined the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Violist in 1990, and in 1992 moved to the First Violin section. Mr. Romasevich joined the Trio Navarro in 2013. He appears frequently in recitals and chamber concerts as a violinist, violist and keyboard player.
Jill Rachuy Brindel has been a cellist with the San Francisco Symphony since 1980 and a co-founder and member of TRIO NAVARRO, hailed as “the premier trio of Northern California” by Classical Sonoma. Ms. Brindel studied at Indiana University and Chicago Musical College and was formerly Assistant Principal Cellist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, Principal Cellist of the Mendocino Music Festival for its first six years, cellist for the Navarro Quartet and a member of the Houston Symphony. She has performed chamber music at Kohl Mansion, the Russian River Chamber Festival, Old First Church, the Ralston Chamber Series and Chamber Music Sundaes.  In 2006 she returned to the Mendocino Music Festival as Principal Cellist and chamber soloist and in 2009 she became co-director of the Emerging Artists Program at the festival. Ms. Brindel actively promotes the music of her late father, composer Bernard Brindel.  She is a private instructor of cello as well as the coach for the cello section of the SFS Youth Orchestra. Ms. Brindel has given seminars on audition techniques to students at the University of Nevada at Reno and the New World Symphony.



Media Contact:

Ruth E. Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicity
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928