Violas

Jonathan Vinocour

Principal
 

Jonathan Vinocour joined the SFS as Principal Viola in 2009, having previously served as principal viola of the Saint Louis Symphony and guest principal viola of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He has appeared frequently as soloist with the San Francisco and Saint Louis symphonies and recently collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma in a performance of R. Strauss’s Don Quixote with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. A sought-after chamber musician, he is a regular guest of such as festivals the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Marlboro, Bridgehampton, Salt Bay, and Cleveland Chamberfest. Mr. Vinocour graduated from Princeton University with a degree in chemistry and from the New England Conservatory where he studied with Kim Kashkashian. A dedicated teacher, he serves on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as the Aspen Music Festival and School. He plays on a 1784 Lorenzo Storioni viola on loan from the San Francisco Symphony.

(September 2018)

Yun Jie Liu

Associate Principal

Yun Jie Liu is Associate Principal Viola of the SFS. Born in Shanghai, he began his violin studies with his father. He entered the middle school of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and was named assistant professor of viola upon graduation. In 1990, he was invited by Mstislav Rostropovich to join the National Symphony in Washington DC. Mr. Liu regularly gives chamber music concerts and solo recitals in venues in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Washington DC, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Yun Jie Liu joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1993. He currently serves on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory.

(September 2018)

Katie Kadarauch

Assistant Principal

Katie Kadarauch joined the SFS in 2007 as Assistant Principal Viola. A native of the Bay Area, she was principal viola of the SFS Youth Orchestra and earned a bachelor’s degree and graduate diploma from the New England Conservatory. She also studied at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, during which time she performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and recorded film scores for movies such as Get Smart, Spider-Man, and Avatar. Ms. Kadarauch was the violist of the former Janaki String Trio, which toured the US and abroad and recorded with the Naxos and Yarlung labels. She plays on a Peter Rombouts viola ca.1720, on loan from the San Francisco Symphony. For more on Katie Kadaurach, visit sfsymphony.org/katiekadarauch.

(September 2018)

John Schoening

Joanne E. Harrington & Lorry I. Lokey Second Century Chair

John Schoening
Joanne E. Harrington & Lorry I. Lokey Second Century Chair
Member since 1974
Hometown: Racine, WI

On being in the Orchestra:
Being inside the sound of the Orchestra is a great thing. I’m able to make sounds with the group that I can’t make myself, because I’m just one part of what’s going on. That is the appeal: The music is really great, and the sound of the Orchestra is spectacular.

Interests:
I’m a photographer—that’s a passion for me. In 1975 the Orchestra went to Japan and I bought a camera there and started taking slides. Then I saw an Ansel Adams book and immediately I bought an old large-format press camera. Ever since then I’ve been totally hooked on taking pictures and working in the dark room. I like landscapes with a sign of man in them: a building, a telephone pole—anything that creates nice light and shapes.

Musical family:
My mother is an excellent pianist and organist. My wife is a schoolteacher and she plays the flute, and my older son Matthew plays solo electric cello under the name Mr. Cello Man. He plays on albums and often performs shows in the Bay Area. My younger son Tristan is a drummer (on anything in the house) and a beatboxer, and is interested in designing lighting for stage sets.

Advice to aspiring musicians:
Play chamber music with the attitude that you want to blend in with other people. The job of an orchestral musician is to be a strong player, and also to blend and phrase with everybody. It may be difficult to relinquish control, but that is really where the enjoyment comes from.

 

 

Nancy Ellis

Nancy Ellis, a New Jersey native, joined the San Francisco Symphony’s viola section in 1975. She attended Oberlin College for two years before transferring to Mills College, of which she is a graduate. She has toured Europe with a quartet that backed rock singer Van Morrison, and she has attended the Marlboro Music Festival and toured with Music from Marlboro.

(September 2018)

Gina Feinauer

Gina Feinauer
Viola
Member since 1992
Hometown: Ardsley, NY

Began playing music:
Both my parents are musicians, so I was immersed in music from a young age. I started piano lessons early on with my mother; I could read music before I could read words. And there was always music going on. My mother had this record collection that spanned everything from Duke Ellington to Barbra Streisand, and then to the Juilliard String Quartet playing Schubert’s Death and the Maiden.

Current interests:
I have two kids—identical twin boys—so most of my time and energy is spent with them. But I love to do chamber music, and I try to say yes every time I get asked to play for something with SFS colleagues or elsewhere.

Listening to:
My husband’s iPod is in the car. He’s got such great taste and it’s fun to listen to things I wouldn’t otherwise. He’s a big opera buff and has practically every opera on there, so I’ll be driving along and suddenly I’m listening to Rigoletto.

 

David Gaudry

David Gaudry, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, joined the San Francisco Symphony’s viola section in 1982. A graduate of Indiana University, he also studied at the Vancouver Academy of Music and at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Prior to joining the SFS he was a member of the Vancouver Symphony.

(September 2018)

David Kim

David Kim joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2009. He attended the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, and—as a recipient of the 2007-08 Fulbright/Swiss Government Arts Grant—the Geneva Conservatory. Mr. Kim was a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has been a member of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and the IRIS Orchestra. His chamber music engagements have included performances at the Musée du Louvre, Ravinia’s Rising Stars Series, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

(September 2018)

Christina King

Christina King, a native of Newport Beach, CA, joined the SFS in 1996. She has been a member of the Tucson Symphony and served as principal viola in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony. Prior to those positions, she played with various orchestras in Mexico City. Ms. King is a graduate of Barnard College/Columbia University, where she pursued a degree in English while studying violin and viola at the Manhattan School of Music. She was later granted a fellowship to Northwestern University, where she earned her master’s degree.

(September 2018)

Wayne Roden

Wayne Roden, a native of Alabama, attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and Northern Illinois University, where he studied with Scott Nickrenz. Following induction into the military, he studied viola with Karen Tuttle and also played frequently at the White House as a member of the Strolling Strings of the US Army Band. Since joining the San Francisco Symphony in 1974, he has performed chamber music locally and nationally. With the San Francisco Chamber Soloists, he performed with Janos Starker, Jaime Laredo, Stephanie Chase, and Jerome Lowenthal.

(September 2018)

Nanci Severance

Nanci Severance has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony since 1982. Before joining the Orchestra she attended Oberlin College, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and Northern Illinois University and her primary teachers were Denes Koromzay and Bernard Zaslav. Ms. Severance has appeared with and been a member of many Bay Area ensembles, including the Donatello Quartet, San Francisco Contemporary Music Ensemble, PARLANTE Chamber Orchestra, and the Stanford String Quartet. She has participated in such summer festivals as the Grand Teton Music Festival, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Telluride Chamber Music Festival, and the Eastern Music Festival.

(September 2018)

Adam Smyla

Adam Smyla, who joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2000, won the National Viola Competition in his native Poland at age seventeen. Shortly thereafter he became the youngest member of the Polish National Radio and Television Orchestra and was invited to join the Penderecki String Quartet, with which he toured internationally for nearly a decade. From 1995 to 2000, Mr. Smyla was assistant principal viola with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and principal viola of the Sun Valley Symphony. He is a viola coach for the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and active in chamber music performing frequently with his wife, pianist Edna Koren.

(September 2018)

Matthew Young

Matthew Young Matthew Young joined the SFS viola section in 2012. He was a founding member of the Verklärte Quartet, which won grand prize in the 2003 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. He currently performs as a member of Ensemble San Francisco. Winner of a 2007 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians and the Robert Vernon Prize for Viola Performance, he attended the University of Kentucky, Yale School of Music, and Cleveland Institute of Music.

(September 2018)