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Dec 12, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY’S SHENSON SPOTLIGHT SERIES HIGHLIGHTS ASCENDANT ARTISTS THROUGH FOUR DEBUT RECITALS AT DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL, JANUARY–JUNE 2024

January 31, pianist Eric Lu performs Franz Schubert’s Four Impromptus, Opus 142 and Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 3

February 21, cellist Gabriel Martins is joined by pianist Victor Santiago Asunción for a program of Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Opus 73; Claude Debussy’s Cello Sonata No. 1; Anton Webern’s Drei kleine Stücke, Opus 11; and Johannes Brahms’ Cello Sonata No. 2

March 6, violinist Alexandra Conunova presents a recital performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Adagio in E major, Edvard Grieg’s Violin Sonata No. 3, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Rondo capriccioso, and Franz Waxman’s Carmen Fantasie

June 26, violinist Stella Chen and pianist George Li perform Franz Schubert’s Rondo in B minor; Eleanor Alberga’s No Man’s Lullaby; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The San Francisco Symphony’s Shenson Spotlight Series, now in its third season, features ascendant artists in their Davies Symphony Hall recital debuts. Soloists presented by the Shenson Spotlight Series January–June 2024 include pianist Eric Lu, cellist Gabriel Martins together with pianist Victor Santiago Asunción, violinist Alexandra Conunova, and violinist Stella Chen and pianist George Li.

On January 31, pianist Eric Lu performs Franz Schubert’s Four Impromptus, Opus 142 and Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Opus 58. Born in Massachusetts in 1997, Eric Lu first came to international attention as a Laureate of the 2015 Chopin International Competition in Warsaw at the age of 17. He then won First Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2018. The following year, he signed an exclusive contract with Warner Classics, and has since collaborated with some of the world’s leading orchestras and performed in major recital venues. Lu’s third album on Warner Classics was released in December 2022, featuring Schubert’s piano sonatas D.959 and D.784. In 2024, he is appearing for the sixth consecutive year in recital at Wigmore Hall London.

On February 21, cellist Gabriel Martins is joined by pianist Victor Santiago Asunción for a program of Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Opus 73; Claude Debussy’s Cello Sonata No. 1 in D minor; Anton Webern’s Drei kleine Stücke, Opus 11; and Johannes Brahms’ Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, Opus 99. Born of American and Brazilian heritage, Gabriel Martins began playing the cello when he was five and went on to receive his Bachelor of Music degree at the USC Thornton School of Music and his Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory of Music. He has been recognized with the Concert Artists Guild/Young Classical Artists Trust Grand Prize, the Sphinx Competition Gold Medal, the David Popper International Cello Competition Gold Medal, and more. In addition to performing, Martins composes, arranges, and teaches. Pianist Victor Santiago Asunción has appeared in concert halls in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Turkey and the United States as a recitalist and concerto soloist. He made his orchestral debut at the age of 18 with the Manila Chamber Orchestra and his New York recital debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 1999.

On March 6, violinist Alexandra Conunova presents a recital performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Adagio in E major, Edvard Grieg’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Rondo capriccioso, and Franz Waxman’s Carmen Fantasie. Hailed for her virtuosity, warm tone, impressive range of color, and flawless technique, Alexandra Conunova has appeared with many international orchestras. Future engagements include concerts at the Verbier Festival, Nuremberg Symphony, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, Aalborg Symphony, Kristiansand Symphony, Odense Symphony, and Belgrade Philharmonic. Conunova’s recording of Prokofiev’s violin sonatas with Michail Liftis and her recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons were well received.

On June 26, violinist Stella Chen and pianist George Li perform Franz Schubert’s Rondo in B minor; Eleanor Alberga’s No Man’s Lullaby; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Sonata in A major, Opus 47, Kreutzer. Gramophone’s 2023 Young Artist of the Year, Stella Chen garnered worldwide attention with her first-prize win at the 2019 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition, followed by a 2020 Avery Fisher Career Grant and 2020 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award. Since then, Chen has appeared across North America, Europe, and Asia in concerto, recital, and chamber music performances. She recently made debuts with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Baltimore Symphony, Belgian National Orchestra, and many others. Since winning the Silver Medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, pianist George Li has rapidly established a major international reputation performing regularly with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. He began his piano studies at the age of four, giving his first public performance at Boston’s Steinert Hall at the age of 10, and in 2011, he performed for President Obama at the White House. Li is an exclusive Warner Classics recording artist, and his third album, which will include solo pieces by Schumann, Ravel, and Stravinsky, is scheduled for release in the spring of 2024. 

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