Isaac Pastor-Chermak & Alison Lee: Sonatas and Showpieces

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Isaac Pastor-Chermak & Alison Lee: Sonatas and Showpieces

Piano and cello masterworks - with a world premiere by composer Jean Ahn

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St Alban's Episcopal Church 1501 Washington Avenue Albany, CA 94706

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About this event

Join Berkeley's own Isaac Pastor-Chermak and Alison Lee for an afternoon of greatest hits and brand-new music for cello and piano. Isaac and Alison will perform sonatas and showpieces by Britten and Brahms, and the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by Jean Ahn. One of the Bay Area's most prominent musical "power couples", Isaac and Alison have collaborated musically since 2016, including several performances of the complete Beethoven and complete Brahms sonatas and appearances at Calliope and St. Alban's individually and as a duo. Jean Ahn is a music faculty member at UC Berkeley and director of Ensemble ARI, which performed on Calliope's 2021-22 season.

Your safe enjoyment of this wonderful music is our first priority! All artists, guests, and staff must be fully vaccinated and boosted for Covid 19 in order to attend. We will ask for proof of vaccination at the door. At this time, we are also requiring an N95, KN95, or double mask be worn, properly covering nose and mouth, throughout the performance.

Join us in person OR by live-stream!


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Artist Profiles:

Cellist Isaac Pastor-Chermak enjoys a diverse and varied career in symphony and opera orchestras, chamber music, and solo and recording engagements, as well as engaging deeply with his community as a conductor, educator, and nonprofit board member. He is Principal Cellist of Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony; Associate Principal Cellist of Stockton Symphony; Assistant Principal Cellist of Opera San Jose and Fresno Philharmonic; and a member of Berkeley Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, and Dayton Philharmonic. He spends his summers at the Eisenstadt Classical Music Festival in Austria, and partners with regular sonata collaborators Alison Lee and Miles Graber, in addition to myriad one-off creative projects every season. As an educator, Pastor-Chermak is Adjunct Professor of Music History at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, coaches adult amateur chamber music at the Crowden Music Center, and teaches a small private cello studio. He sits on the Board of Directors of East Bay Music Foundation and on Calliope – East Bay Music and Arts Advisory Board, and is Music Director Emeritus of Solano Youth Chamber Orchestra.

A native of Fremont, California, Alison Lee is a pianist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a prize winner of many competitions including the Midwest International Piano Competition and the Dorothy Van Waynen Piano Competition. Her concerto appearances include performances with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra and Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. Besides performing as a soloist, Alison enjoys playing chamber music and frequently performs with cellist Isaac Pastor-Chermak. She dreams of making chamber music more accessible to young musicians and is the current director of East Bay Music Foundation’s Chamber Music Festival and Ensemble Matching Program. Alison holds a doctoral degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota and previously studied with Lydia Artymiw, Jon Kimura Parker, and Angela Cheng. She currently teaches piano, chamber music, and music theory in Fremont and Berkeley.

Composer Jean Ahn: Born in Korea, Jean Ahn finished her B.A. and M.M. at Seoul National University and her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. Her creative output includes works ranging from solo instruments to full orchestra, as well as choral, dance and electroacoustic music.

She received First Prize at both the Renée Fisher Competition and the Sejong Korean Music Competition, as well as awards from the Korean National Music Composers Association, the De Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition, and the Isadora Duncan Award for Saltdoll. Last year, she was a Finalist for the League of American Orchestra Women Composers Commissioning Competition, and for the American Prize.

Her works have been performed by the Berkeley Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Diablo Symphony, California Youth Symphony, Contemporaneous Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Earplay, Enhake, Ensemble Sur Plus, Invoke String Quartet, Khasma Duo and Aspen New Music Ensemble.

Commissions include works for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Volti, SF Bach Choir, SF Choral Artists, Ong Dance Company, New Arts Collaboration, Gayaguem Soloist JUL, and Locrian Chamber Players, among others.

Her current project includes “Footsteps” for piano and multimedia written for New Arts Collaboration, “The New Women” for MTAC National Convention, and “Animal Farm” for Dancer Jia Wu and the Saint Mary’s College Performing Arts Department. Her “Folksong Revisited” for piano and “K-Folksongs” for voice and piano are ongoing projects that show her vision to introduce Korean songs and techniques to professional performers in the US.

She teaches at UC Berkeley, and also teaches special needs students at CHIM Studio. In addition, she is the director of Ensemble ARI, the Korean-American ensemble whose mission is to bridge Korea and other communities through western instruments. For more information on Jean Ahn and her music, visit

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