Zephyr International Chamber Music Course & Festival

Courmayeur, Italy • July 2-20, 2018

Mack McCray & Jodi Levitz Artistic Directors • Meikui Matsushima Administrative Director

Courmayeur, Italy

The small and lovely city of Courmayeur, one of Europe's premiere skiing and alpinist destinations, is located in a spectacular setting at the foot of the majestic Mont Blanc. This region, the Valle d'Aosta of Italy, is noted for its breath-taking scenery, its castles, churches and rich history dating back to the Roman Empire. Courmayeur is 137 miles/220 km from Milano, easily accessible by bus, train or car.

Our Program

The Zephyr International Chamber Music Course and Festival features a daily regimen of coaching, rehearsals and master classes for strings and piano, and will present fifteen concerts throughout the region during the twenty-day session. Students, faculty and non-participants will be housed in a 3-star hotel where two meals will be served daily, and in addition to the intense musical activities there will be time for recreation, social events and excursions (included in the tuition fee) to Mont Blanc, Cogne, and Piccolo San Bernardo. Auditions are required (no exceptions). A maximum of only 25 of the highest quality students will be accepted for the festival. Repertoire will be assigned and prepared in advance of the actual session. All students will participate in the ensembles and performances.

Meet the Faculty
Mack McCray & Jodi Levitz • Artistic Directors
Meikui Matsushima • Administrative Director
Board of Directors: Susan Bates, Julia K. Cheng, Meikui Matsushima, Mack McCray, Robin Schader
Board of Artistic Advisors: John Adams, Emanuel Ax, Jorja Fleezanis, Bonnie Hampton, Klaus Hellwig, Garrick Ohlsson, Michael Steinberg (in memoriam), The St. Petersburg String Quartet


BETTINA MUSSUMELI / VIOLIN • Well known as the former co-concertmaster and violin soloist of the Italian chamber group "I Solisti Venetia", Bettina Mussumeli is Professor of Violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the first violinist of the Ives Quartet. Ms. Mussumeli has performed throughout Europe, Australia and the Far East, and has made numerous recordings for the Erato, RCA, Tactus and Concerto labels. She collaborated frequently as guest concertmaster with the Orchestra Toscanini of Parma, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Orchestra del Teatro di Cagliari and the Orchestra della Fenice. She holds B.M. and M.M degrees from The Juilliard School studying with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay. She studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri and Cleveland quartets. She has also studied with Kato Havas at Oxford, England, focusing on the elimination of tension in violin playing.

JODY LEVITZ / VIOLA • Jodi Levitz is Professor of Viola, Chamber Music, and String Department Chair at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as the violist of the Ives Quartet. She is an active performer of international reputation and passionate advocate of new music for her instrument. Ms. Levitz was principal viola and soloist with the Italian chamber group "I Solisti Veneti" for twelve years, a position she won while still a student at The Juilliard School. She performed as soloist throughout Europe, South America, the USA and the Far East, and recorded works of Cambini, Giuliani, Hummel, Porter, Mendelssohn, Rolla, Schoenberg and Schubert on the Concerto, Dynamic, Naxos and Erato labels. Ms. Levitz attended The Juilliard School, Pre-College Division from the age of twelve, and also received her B.M. and M.M. from Juilliard. Her principal teachers were Margaret Pardee, Paul Doktor, William Lincer and Dorothy DeLay.

MARIANNE CHEN / CELLO • Marianne Chen began studying the cello at the pre-university program of the Juilliard School of Music under the guidance of Toby Saks, Michael Rudiakov, Channing Robins, and Jerome Carrington. She continued her studies at the Juilliard School with Lorne Munroe, and studied chamber music with Robert Mann and Felix Galimir, graduating with the prize "Mu Phi Epsilon". She furthered her studies under the master Antonio Janigro in Stuttgart and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. She also studied at the "Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, where she received the Diploma of Merit. Marianne Chen has performed in major theaters and symphonic festivals in Europe, Asia, and the United States. She has made recordings for Dynamic and Tactus, including first performances of contemporary music. She regularly gives master classes in Italy, Greece, Slovenia, and the United States. She was invited to teach at the Garden State Music Festival (New Jersey), the Academy Gustav Mahler Bolzano, the School of Music of Fiesole, and the Juilliard School. She has participated as a judge in many prestigious international competitions and is professor of cello at the Istituto Superiore di Musica in Modena.

MACK MCCRAY / PIANO • A graduate of Juilliard School, Mack McCray won the Silver Medal in the International Georges Enescu Competition, first prize in the San Francisco Symphony and Charleston Symphony Young Artists competitions and numerous other prizes all in one season: 1969-1970. He has been invited guest artist at important festivals throughout the world, including Paris, Seville, Monte Carlo, Bucharest and Hong Kong . He has performed under such conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Edo de Waart, Josef Krips, Leon Fleisher and Arthur Fiedler. McCray has performed with the Japan Philharmonic in Suntory Hall, Tokyo, at the Carmel Bach Festival, Manhattan's Trinity Church Series, and at the International Piano Festival in Shanghai. Most recently he has performed at Lee University’s 2015 Piano Festival in Tennessee, and was soloist and chair of the jury at the 2015 Piano Festival in Xiamen, China.

MEIKUI MATSUSHIMA / PIANO • Meikui Matsushima graduated from the Toho Music College in Tokyo, Japan where she studied piano with Eiko Tanaka. She continued her musical studies with Beatrice Beauregard at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Currently she is a member of the piano faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory's Preparatory Division, and taught at the International Chamber Music Course and Festival in Positano, Italy from 1998-2001. She served two terms as the president of the San Francisco Chapter of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, and was Program Director of the 1999 San Francisco International Summer Music Festival.

Visiting Guest Artist-in-Residence: Manuel Zigante, cellist and distinguished professor at Torino Conservatory, will give a master class and perform with the Zephyr faculty

MANUEL ZIGANTE / CELLO • Manuel Zigante graduated with top marks at the Rome Conservatory Santa Cecilia as a student of Amedeo Baldovino, then studying chamber music with the composer Gyorgy Kurtag and Piero Farulli. In 1988 he founded the Quartetto d’Archi di Torino, which has played in important festivals and halls throughout the world. He is also active as a soloist, in duo with piano, in Baroque ensembles and with jazz artists such as Claudio Chiara and Giorgio Licalzi. Maestro Zigante was Piero Farulli's assistant at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole for 10 years. Now he is a professor at the Conservatorio G. Verdi in Torino, where he teaches quartet. He plays a Joseph Dall'Aglio cello of 1831.

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