Our Performers

Maya Cohon, violin (12/2)

A Seattle-native, violinist Maya Cohon joined the San Francisco Opera in 2017. Growing up in a family of musicians, Maya cultivated her love for chamber music reading string trios, quartets and quintets with her cousins, aunts, and uncles. Maya has performed chamber music that spans a range of musical and narrative styles, on pieces including the world premiere of The Wind Will Blow Us Away by San Francisco composer Sahba Aminikia, and George Crumb’s Black Angels.

Maya earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University. Before joining the SF Opera, Maya was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and New World Symphony in Miami. Maya also performs with the Seattle Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and Breckenridge Music Festival. She loves exploring new cultures and cities, and has enjoyed performing in venues all over the world, including Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Carnegie Hall, and small Churches in Northern Italy. When she is not playing music, Maya enjoys running, hiking and swing dancing.

Heeguen Song, violin (12/2)

Native of South Korea, Heeguen Song is an Associate Concertmaster of San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and a regular substitute player of San Francisco Opera Orchestra. As a member of Beaubliss Quartet and Ensemble Ari, Heeguen performs regularly in South Korea and throughout the Bay Area in venues such as Seoul Arts Center, Sejong Arts Center, Herbst Theater, Old First Concerts and Bing Concert Hall. Heeguen resides in Albany with her husband Sugwoo Shin and their two children.

Jennifer Hsieh, violin (12/2)

Jennifer Hsieh is a new member in the first violin section of San Francisco Opera. Prior to her move to San Francisco, Jennifer was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. During her studies, she served as the concertmaster of the New England Conservatory Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia. As a soloist and chamber musician, she performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall and Taiwan's National Concert Hall. Her string quartet, Oceanus received the Entrepreneurship Grant from the New England Conservatory and led a series of masterclasses and performances in Taiwan. She has participated in many music festivals including the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Verbier Festival, the Music Academy of the West, the New York String Seminar, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Jennifer was raised in a family of music lovers. She began piano at age 3 and at age 10, she picked up the violin as a secondary instrument and was immediately taken with it. Jennifer moved to New York City at the age of 13 for her violin studies at the Juilliard Pre-College division. She received her Bachelor's degree and Graduate diploma at the New England Conservatory and earned her Masters degree at the Juilliard School. Her teachers include Naoko Tanaka, Musuko Ushioda and Malcolm Lowe.

In her free time, she enjoys biking, cooking and seeking out good food in the city.

Dian Zhang, violin (12/2)

Born in China, Dian Zhang moved to Los Angeles, CA, where he spent his formative years. He received his Bachelors and Master's degrees at the Peabody Institute where he studied with Victor Danchenko and is currently working toward completing a DMA at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he studied with Cho-Liang Lin for the past three years.

 

Dian Zhang joined the first violin section of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in the Fall of 2017. Prior to his appointment at the San Francisco Opera, Dian served as concertmaster of the Shepherd School Symphony, Chamber and Opera orchestras. He also thoroughly enjoys exploring and performing unusual repertoire with the conductorless string ensemble, KINETIC as well as with the contemporary music ensemble, Loop38. In chamber music, Dian has appeared with both the Context and Syzygy music series in Houston, as well as performances in Baltimore and New York City. He has also appeared on concert stages in cities in Canada, Brazil, Spain, Austria and the UK. Dian has collaborated with some of the great musicians of our time in various music festivals both in the US and internationally, including the Four Seasons Music Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, the Britten-Pears Music Festival, the Chamber Music Residency at the Banff Centre and the Norfolk Music Festival.

 

Community engagement events are deeply important to Dian; he has participated in events such as the lunchtime concerts at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, a lecture recital at the Baltimore School for the Arts, and runout concerts at the Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. For the past two years as the Mary Hobson Teaching Fellow at Rice University, Dian enjoyed teaching courses in music fundamentals and music theory for non-music majors.

All concerts will be held at Epworth United Methodist Church
1953 Hopkins St. Berkeley, CA 94707
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