Classical Music at the Cultural Crossroads
Artist Panel Discussion

Friday May 20 5:30pm

Cowell Theater Lobby
Tickets: Admission Free


A panel of musicians and composers ask, “How can we redefine 'classical' music to reflect the diversity that it encompasses?” Given that living composers are drawing from traditions from around the world and contemporary 'classical' music is no longer only a western European art, the panel will also discuss the notion that ALL music (including our favorite historical masterworks) was once considered new music. Panelists include composers Stephanie Webster whose work will be featured at the Festival with Dana Lawton Dances, Sascha Jacobson of the Musical Art Quintet who will perform in collaboration with Compagnie Surya B from France and Charlton Lee of the Del Sol Quartet who will perform on Friday June 3. Martha Rodríguez-Salazar will present CMC's Mission District Young Musicians Program at the Festival on June 4.


Sascha Jacobsen


Sascha Jacobsen was born into a musical family, going as far back as his great, great, great, great-grandfather, who was a bassist for the Moscow Opera. His mentors have been Michael and James Finley, John Brecher, Nico Abondolo, and Dennis Trembly, as well as Wolfgang Guttler and Shinji Eshima. He completed a Master's degree at the University of Southern California and has served on the faculty at Humboldt State University, Laney College, Golden Gate Bass Camp, and the Sequoia Chamber Music Festival. Sascha has performed with Rita Moreno, Hugh Jackman, Martin Short, Mandy Patinkin & Patti LuPone, Marc Shaiman, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth, Andrew Lippa, Eddie Duran, Dave MacNab, Tim Weed, Tango masters Raul Jaurena, Pepe Motta, and Maria Volonte, Flamenco greats Chuscales, Jose Luis Rodriguez, and Juanito Pascual, as well as Grammy winning artists Mads Tolling and Tupac Mantilla, and many others.

Charlton Lee


Charlton Lee is the founding violist of the Del Sol String Quartet. He has toured North America, Europe and Asia as a soloist and chamber musician. He is sought after as an educator, chamber music coach and jurist, with teaching experience at San Francisco State University, San Francisco School of the Arts, Steamboat Springs and Oaxaca music festivals, and he coaches regularly for Chamber Musicians of Northern California and the Symphony of the Redwoods. He created and performed music for the award-winning short film, “Red, White, Blue, and Yellow,” and also has collaborated with various dance companies, including Stephen Pelton, Ben Levy, and Garrett/Moulton. Charlton received a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics and Physics from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s Degree in Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Consequently, he may be the only person to have published articles in both Physics Review Letters and Strings Magazine. He also is a 20th generation disciple of the martial art Chen Taiji and an avid chef.

Charith Premawardhana


Charith Premawardhana was born in Sri Lanka, raised in Chicago, and has been a resident of San Francisco since 2004. He holds performance degrees from The Ohio State University, Rice University, and a chamber music degree from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Charith is the founder of Classical Revolution, an organization which promotes live music performances in neighborhood and community venues. What started in 2006 years ago as a weekly chamber music reading session at Revolution Cafe in San Francisco’s Mission District has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with over 30 active chapters in cities around the US, Canada, and Europe. Classical Revolution is very active in the SF Bay Area, having presented more than 1200 live performance events since 2006.

Stephanie Webster


Stephanie Webster is a Mexican-American musician who focuses on the folk music of her ancestors and other related cultures. She typically performs programmatic recitals that utilize her voice, various instruments and guest performers. Ms. Webster earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts: Music with an emphasis in composition from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2012, a Master of Music degree in Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2014 and a Master of Music degree in Marimba Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2015 in the studio of Jack Van Geem. She also studies percussion Trey Wyatt and her past private instruction has been under the tutelage of Conrad Susa, Dr. Martin Rokeach and Dr. Frank La Rocca (composition), Artie Storch (percussion) and Dr. Lino Rivera (piano).

Martha Rodríguez-Salazar


Recognized as a "Luminary" in 2011 by the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco and most recently as "Excelencia Latina" by LAM and Mundo Fox, singer, flutist, conductor and producer Martha Rodríguez-Salazar has been bringing Latin American folk, classical and contemporary music to the Bay Area for more than 15 years. As a core member of the Bernal Hill Players, she has been involved in the commissioning and performing vibrant, rhythmic, energetic new work by Bay Area and Mexican composers that challenge commonly-held assumptions about new music. Born in Mexico and classically-trained at Mills College as a concert flutist and opera singer, she is active curating and directing musical and theater productions and choirs which celebrate Latin American culture. She currently works with the San Francisco Symphony as the curator for its annual Día de los Muertos celebration; and with the Community Music Center as a voice, flute, choir instructor and coordinator of the Mission District Young Musicians Program.

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