Margaret Tait joined the SFS in 1975 and currently occupies the Lyman and Carol Casey Second Century Chair. A Virginia native, she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and she previously served as principal cello with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Tait was a founding member of the Aurora String Quartet, in which she performed with SFS colleagues for twenty-two years.
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.
Barbara Bogatin joined the SFS in 1994. Previously, she served as principal cello with the Milwaukee and New Jersey symphony orchestras, and she performed frequently with the New York Philharmonic for ten years. A native of Santa Rosa, she studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. Along with her husband, neuroscientist Clifford Saron, she frequently leads workshops on meditation and music practice. For more on Barbara Bogatin, visit sfsymphony.org/barbarabogatin.
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.
Sébastien Gingras joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2010, and previously was a member of the New World Symphony and the Saint Louis Symphony. He grew up in Chicoutimi, Québec, where he was educated at the Conservatoire de Musique. He received his master’s degree in music from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Laurence Lesser. Mr. Gingras has joined in chamber music performances with artists including Menahem Pressler, Anthony Marwood, and the Alcan and Borromeo string quartets.
David Goldblatt, occupant of the Christine & Pierre Lamond Second Century Chair, joined the SFS cello section in 1978, having previously played in the Pittsburgh Symphony. Mr. Goldblatt has also been a cellist with the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia (now the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia) and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music. He is currently a coach for the SFS Youth 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.
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm
Sun: 2 hours prior to concerts
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