Peter Wyrick has served as Associate Principal Cello of the San Francisco Symphony, occupying the Peter & Jacqueline Hoefer Chair, since 1999. Born in New York to a musical family, he began his studies in Poughkeepsie, New York, and proceeded to the Juilliard School at the age of eight, where he was one of the last students of Leonard Rose. Mr. Wyrick made his solo debut at age twelve with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Since then he has performed as soloist with the Aspen Chamber Orchestra, the Queens Philharmonic, the American Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma Chamber Orchestra, the Kozponti Sinfonicus in Budapest, Hungary, and Symphony Silicon Valley. He has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony in works including Leonard Bernstein's Meditation No. 1 from Mass, Haydn’s Sinfonia concertante in B-flat major, and music from Tan Dun's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Concerto.
Mr. Wyrick was the principal cello of the Mostly Mozart Orchestra and associate principal cello of the New York City Opera Orchestra. His recordings include the cello sonatas of Gabriel Fauré with pianist Earl Wild for dell'Arte Records, and performances for the Stereophile and Arabesque labels. In chamber music, Mr. Wyrick has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Yefim Bronfman, Lynn Harrell, Jeremy Denk, Julia Fischer, and Edgar Meyer, among others. He was a member of the Ridge String Quartet, whose recording of the Dvořák piano quintets with pianist Rudolf Firkusny on the RCA label won the French Diapason d'Or and was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Chamber Music Performance. Mr. Wyrick has participated in the Helsinki, Spoleto, Bard, Vancouver Chamber Music West, La Jolla, Santa Fe, Ruby Mountain, and Lake Tahoe music festivals.
Mr. Wyrick plays a David Tecchler cello, on generous loan from Jacques and Barbara Schlumberger, made in Rome, circa 1724.
Amos Yang joined the SFS in 2007 as Assistant Principal Cello. He was previously a member of the Seattle Symphony. Born and raised in San Francisco, he was a member of the SFS Youth Orchestra and San Francisco Boys Choir and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the US, including regular appearances with the Seattle Chamber Music Society and at the Olympic Music Festival, and from 1996 to 2002 he was the cellist in the Maia String Quartet. He has served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Iowa, Grinnell College, and the Interlochen Advanced String Quartet Institute. He makes regular appearances on the SFS’s Chamber Music Series and recently appeared as soloist in the Symphony’s new SoundBox series, performing excerpts from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 as well as Mark Summer’s Julie-O. He has also served as a mentor for the SFS’s Community of Music Makers program.
Lyman & Carol Casey Second Century Chair
Member since 1974
Hometown: Rock Hill, SC
On being in the Orchestra:
Orchestral playing creates a situation in which you can lose yourself in a large soundscape. I really enjoy being part of a bigger picture. In this orchestra there has always been a tremendous amount of professional integrity, energy, and focus onstage.
Began playing music:
Both my parents were professional pianists, so I started early on the piano. My father’s sister was a cellist, and she introduced me to the cello when I was eight. We lived out in the country where there weren’t many distractions, so we spent a lot of time practicing, and it paid off.
I studied with Irving Klein, who was the cellist in the Claremont String Quartet. Playing quartets had a big effect on how I think about music. The repertory is varied and rich. It provides tremendous opportunities for a cellist to relate to other instruments, but also to be featured and play melodic lines.
I enjoy playing sonata repertory with William Corbett-Jones, a very fine local pianist. I also enjoy various groupings of chamber musicians from the Orchestra. Before I was a parent, I spent ten years coaching the Youth Orchestra cello section, which was a great joy. I’m also a scuba diver—that’s how I met my husband, who is a marine biologist.
Margaret Tait has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.
Cello - The Stanley S. Langendorf Foundation Second Century Chair
Member since 1977
Hometown: New Philadelphia, OH
Other musical activities:
As Principal Cellist of the Sierra Chamber Society, I play a lot of chamber music. I also get most of the personnel together, set up rehearsals, and get the music. I really love having that opportunity to learn other music, and it’s great to work in small groups. I also take voice lessons, which is so different from learning an instrument. It’s taken me a long time to learn how to breathe and how to stand, and you really need a coach to tell you what you sound like. It definitely has influenced my cello-playing as far as color and phrasing.
In your CD player:
Great Sopranos of Our Time—these voices are so glorious, I have to sing along!
I'm enjoying art classes. When I finished a recent painting, I thought it was a visual symphony, with all colors combined to make a complete picture, just as all instruments together form a musical picture.
Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer—what lush descriptions of nature. I felt as if I were right there with the cast of colorful characters. Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin, had a lot of interesting food for thought. I also enjoyed On Writing: A Memoir Of the Craft, by Stephen King.
SFS member since: 1994
Hometown: Santa Rosa/Philadelphia/Daly City/New York
Music schools you attended: Juilliard School; San Francisco Conservatory of Music, prep division
Began playing music: At age 8
Musical inspirations: Hearing a string quartet perform in my elementary school
If I were not a professional musician, I might be an: Anthropologist
Favorite composers: Schubert, Sibelius, Bernstein
Favorite works featuring my instrument: Mozart’s last three string quartets
When I’m not working, I enjoy: Spending time with my husband and two teenagers; being active in Democratic politics
Recent reading: City of Veils, by Zoe Ferraris; Catherine the Great, by Robert Massie
On my CD player/iPod: My son’s bluegrass band
Favorite things to do in the Bay Area: Explore different neighborhoods, visit museums (in SF), hiking (in Marin), and biking
Plus: I recently did a meditation retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and have also been to India with my family when my husband presented a talk on his research on meditation to his Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Barbara Bogatin has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.
Gary & Kathleen Heidenreich Second Century Chair
SFS member since: 1980
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Music schools you attended: Indiana University, Chicago Musical College
Began playing music: At age 3
Musical inspirations: My first cello teacher, Shirley Evans Tabachnick, Principal Cellist of the Lyric Opera Orchestra
If I were not a professional musician, I might be a: writer
Favorite composers: The ones I’m currently playing
Favorite works featuring my instrument: Schubert, Cello Quintet; Villa-lobos, Bachianas Brasilieras; Tchaikovsky, Pezzo Capriccioso; Brahms, Piano Trio in B major
When I’m not working, I enjoy: Teaching, cooking, playing chamber music, playing with my grandchildren
Recent reading: The Evening Star, by Larry McMurtry; Animal Vegetable Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver; Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson
On my CD player/iPod: Catoire, Piano Quintet; Brindel, Concertino for Cello and Strings; Trios by Andriasov and Taneyev
Favorite things to do in the Bay Area: Walk up hills to see the views: ocean, bay, bridges, Marin; Eat out at the many wonderful restaurants
Plus: I coach the Youth Orchestra cellists, which is great fun. They are an exceptional group of adolescents. I’m preparing my father’s First String Quartet right now and I’m enjoying getting to know it. I recently became a grandmother and I’m having the time of my life! Two more are coming in May.
Jill Brindel has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.
David Goldblatt, occupant of the Christine & Pierre Lamond Second Century Chair, joined the San Francisco Symphony cello section in 1978, having previously played in the Pittsburgh Symphony. He studied in New York City with Lieff Rosanoff and Jean Goberman and went on to attend the New School of Music in Philadelphia. In 1975 he graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music. Mr. Goldblatt has also been a cellist with the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra.
Member since 1982
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
My mother grew up going to Philadelphia Orchestra concerts. She loved playing piano; I remember falling asleep to her Chopin. She was the musical influence, but later on, my enthusiastic father encouraged me to head for Juilliard with Leonard Rose as my teacher.
I always come back to Beethoven. I would have liked to meet him. There is so much intricacy and beauty in his music. For me, his originality is often unmatched. But then there is Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Schumann. . .
My dad and I started a chamber music festival in Mill Valley in the ’80s. It began with a small group of colleagues and grew to include musicians from all over the country. I met my husband Jack Vad—the Symphony’s recording engineer—at my own festival. Eventually the festival ended, and we had our two boys
On being in the Orchestra:
The thing that I find so amazing about the Orchestra is that one is amongst so many other talented musicians who have worked incredibly hard and have been so involved in making music. When we all come together doing our own perfected thing on our own instrument, we are able to bring any composer’s music to life, and to create huge multitudes of gorgeous sound. It is spectacular.