Executive Director, Co-founder, pianist
Born in the heart of the Castro in San Francisco, Elizabeth Dorman enjoys a multifaceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. A recent winner of the 2016 Father Merlet Award from Pro Musicis, she has soloed with orchestra in Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall, Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, Davies Symphony Hall, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
A frequent recitalist and chamber musician, Elizabeth has performed across the United States, including recent concerts with the San Francisco Symphony Chamber Players, at New York City’s Symphony Space, Sonoma Classical Music Society, Concerts at Old Saint Mary’s, UCSF Chancellor’s Recital Series, and has been broadcast live on air at WUSF Tampa, Seattle’s Classical King FM’s “Northwest LIVE” performance series, and KQED San Francisco. She has appeared at festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Sarasota, Icicle Creek, Silicon Valley, and was an Artist in Residence for two seasons at the Banff Centre in Canada. She is currently a Bridge Arts Ensemble Artist.
Elizabeth is a doctoral candidate under Gilbert Kalish at Stony Brook University where she enjoys teaching and managing the undergraduate piano program and as well as coaching undergraduate chamber music as Head Piano Teaching Assistant. A passionate educator, she has previously held teaching positions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division and has been piano faculty at summer festivals including the Icicle Creek Music Center and San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Summer Music West chamber music program. Her students have frequently won awards and honors, including most recently the Stony Brook Symphony concerto competition.
Elizabeth began her training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she received her Bachelors of Music and was the school’s first double instrument major, studying piano with Paul Hersh and double bass with Stephen Tramontozzi.
Michael James Smith
Director of Engagement, Co-founder, pianist
Michael, a native of Davis, CA, enjoys performing as a soloist as well as collaborating with a wide range of artists within many different musical communities.
Michael has performed throughout New York, the United States, and Europe in a variety of venues, from Carnegie’s Weill Hall and Bernard Haitink Hall to Rikers Island Detention Center, Kensington Memory Care Centers, and other unique community venues. He has appeared at festivals including Music@Menlo, Norfolk, and Tanglewood, and his performances have also been featured on WQXR, WFMT, and Wisconsin Public Radio.
Michael holds a deep interest in developing concert formats and styles that integrate large audience exchanges into live performances. He is a recent alum of Ensemble Connect — a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. The fellowship brings together many facets that Michael is passionate about: performing, teaching, outreach, and developing unique roles as a creator and presenter. Michael now serves as an advisor to the Ensemble and is a pianist at The Bridge Arts Ensemble.
Michael is a Doctoral Candidate at Stony Brook University under Gilbert Kalish, where he served on the Pre-College music theory faculty and managed the undergraduate piano program, teaching chamber music and solo piano majors as Head Piano Teaching Assistant. Among other honors, Michael has been awarded the Theodore Rehl Prize by Lawrence University and the Gilbert Kalish Scholarship by Stony Brook University. Michael is further engaged in a wide variety of music making, including working with Electronic Media, Free Improvisation, Jazz, and Rock, and is always searching for ways to connect people with all types of music and art.
2017 Teaching Artists
Jessica Chang, Viola:
Founder and Executive Director of Chamber Music by the Bay, Ms. Chang performs interactive concerts for diverse communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work as a teaching artist has led to concert residencies, most recently with Project 440, the Savannah Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire. She has also served as violist of the Afiara Quartet, with whom she toured North America, including a visiting faculty residency at The Banff Centre in Alberta and residency as the Glenn Gould School Fellowship Quartet-in-Residence at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. To learn more about Jessica, view her full website Here
James Jaffe, Cello:
James has performed solos with CityMusic Cleveland, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Stockton Symphony. Recent chamber music appearances have taken him to the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival, through Switzerland and France on concert tours, to the Robert Mann String Quartet Seminar in Manhattan, to Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music, and frequently to Groupmuses in San Francisco. He is also a member and frequent section leader of One Found Sound, San Francisco’s unconducted chamber orchestra. Passionate about sharing music with the next generation, James has served as director of high school chamber ensembles at Baldwin Wallace University and mentored students through the Detroit Symphony's Civic Youth Ensembles program. This year he will serve as conductor of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra’s Preparatory Orchestra and coach chamber ensembles at the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley. Learn more about James at his website.
Jeannie Psomas, Clarinet:
Jeannie is the principal clarinetist with the Reno Chamber Orchestra as well as the second clarinetist with the Fresno Philharmonic. She has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, and many of the regional orchestras throughout the Bay Area and Nevada. Jeannie also plays clarinet with the Bay Area Woodwind Sextet Frequency 49. Born and raised in the Sunset District of San Francisco, Jeannie attended the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts high school and also played clarinet in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. Jeannie currently works in the public schools through the San Francisco Symphony as a Woodwind Teaching Artist and at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts as an Artist in Residence. Take a look at Jeannie Here