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Jessie Chang & Winds of the San Diego Symphony: Baroque, Beethoven, & Beyond

  • Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre, Cuyamaca College 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway El Cajon, CA, 92019 United States (map)


Trio Sonata No. 3

Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679 - 1745)

Sarah Skuster, oboe; Andrea Overturf, oboe; Ryan Simmons, bassoon; Leyla Zamora, bassoon; Takae Ohnishi, harpsichord


Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971)

Sarah Skuster, oboe; Andrea Overturf, english horn; Sheryl Renk, clarinet; Valentin Martchev, bassoon; Julia Pautz, violin

Trio for piano, clarinet and bassoon

Mikhail Glinka (1804 - 1857)

Sheryl Renk, clarinet; Valentin Martchev, bassoon; Jessie Chang, piano


Trio Sonata No. 2

Jan Dismas Zelenka

Sarah Skuster, oboe; Andrea Overturf, oboe; Ryan Simmons, bassoon; Leyla Zamora; bassoon; Takae Ohnishi, harpsichord

Quintet for piano and winds Op. 16

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)

Sarah Skuster, oboe; Sheryl Renk, clarinet; Darby Hinshaw, horn; Valentin Martchev, bassoon; Jessie Chang, piano

Jessie Chang


Pianist Jessie Chang is admired for her beautiful tone, commanding technique, and magnetic personality. She first discovered her love for the piano when she was not even four years old and urged her parents to enroll her in the Yamaha Music School in Taipei, Taiwan. Later, Ms. Chang made her TV debut, appearing on the Taiwan Central Television when she was ten years old. Five years later, she made her concerto debut with the California State University Orchestra.

Ms. Chang attended the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Constance Keene. At the age of nineteen, she earned her Bachelor degree and Masters of Music degree two years later and was the recipient of the “Best Female Pianist” award at both commencements. She received scholarships to attend the Manhattan School of Music from the Reachout Committee of the Los Angeles Music Center, the Young Musicians Foundation and the Manhattan School of Music. Her previous teachers included Yin Yin Huang AceVedo and Milton Stern, and she has also worked closely with renowned artists such as Menahem Pressler, Herbert Stessin, Oxana Yablonskaya and Bernard Segall.

Ms. Chang has also received top honors in more than thirty distinguished piano competitions of national and international stature, including First Prizes in the following: the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition, the Music Teachers Association of California State Solo Competition, the Los Angeles Liszt Competition, the Southern California Junior Bach Festival and the Chinese Talent Search. The Grand Prize was awarded to Ms. Chang in the Music Teachers Association of California Young Artists Guild, and additional top honors were received in the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Competition, the IBLA International Competition and the International Young Artists Piano Competition. Ms. Chang has the distinguished honor of being the first person to have won four gold medals at the US Open Music Competition.

Among the highlights of her career, Ms. Chang appeared at the Blossom Festival with The Cleveland Orchestra playing Mozart’s Double Concerto with her duo-partner and husband, Jahja Ling. She has been featured at the Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium and in front of 28,000 people at Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta. Ms. Chang has played with various other orchestras including the San Diego Symphony orchestra, the Florida Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic. She has also performed engagements with China Philharmonic and Guangzhou Symphony.

Locally, Jessie Chang enjoys teaching, playing chamber music with members of the San Diego Symphony, singing as an alto with the Westminster Choir of First Presbyterian Church, and being the proud mom of two darling daughters, Priscilla and Stephanie.

Sarah Skuster


Sarah Skuster joined the San Diego Symphony as principal oboist in 2009 and has subsequently appeared as a featured soloist with the orchestra on several occasions. She previously served as interim second oboe with the Dallas Symphony, second oboe with the Akron Symphony and has appeared as a substitute with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Skuster enjoys performing with the San Diego Symphony Chamber Series, Art of Élan, Camarada, Palimpsest, Renga and San Diego New Music and has performed at the Ojai Music Festival, and Festival Mozaic. Ms. Skuster earned a Bachelor of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with John Mack and attended Mannes College as a student of Elaine Douvas with additional studies at the Aspen Music Festival and as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. She is also a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied with Dan Stolper. Ms. Skuster is a Lecturer of music in oboe at San Diego State University and maintains a private teaching studio of all ages and abilities.

Andrea Overturf

Andrea Overturf serves as English horn of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra (holding the Dr. William and Evelyn Lamden English Horn Chair), a position she previously held with The Florida Orchestra. Equally adept at the oboe, she received second prize in the 2007 International Double Reed Society Gillet-Fox Solo Oboe Competition. Ms. Overturf has appeared as guest English horn with numerous orchestras across the country including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National and Seattle Symphonies. She has presented solo recitals throughout the United States and Asia and has appeared as guest soloist with the San Diego Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony and Aspen Music Festival, among others. Ms. Overturf has performed with numerous summer festivals including La Jolla SummerFest, the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival where she held the English horn fellowship for three years. As a chamber musician she has collaborated with artists such as James Conlon, Lorin Maazel, John Harbison and James Levine, including the American stage premiere of Elliott Carter’s opera What Next?

Andrea Overturf is the first oboist in the history of The Juilliard School to graduate from the prestigious solo-intensive Artist Diploma Program where she also received her Master’s Degree. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music, graduating with the Performer’s Certificate, the highest performance distinction awarded to undergraduates. Her principal teachers include Elaine Douvas, Pedro Diaz, Nathan Hughes, Richard Killmer, Richard Woodhams and Rebecca Henderson. Originally from Seattle, Ms. Overturf is an avid visual artist and creates mixed media sculpture in her free time.

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Leyla Zamora


Leyla Zamora has been a member of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra since 2005. Ms. Zamora studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Baylor University and DePaul University in Chicago. Before coming to San Diego, Ms. Zamora held for 11 years the position of principal bassoon with the Memphis Symphony. She has also performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Auckland Philharmonia in New Zealand, Costa Rican National Symphony and Colombian Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Zamora has participated in orchestral and chamber music festivals such as the Britt and Cascade Festivals in Oregon, New Hampshire Music Festival, International Orchestra in Japan, Spoleto Music Festival in Italy, Des Moines Metro Opera and Cassals Festival in Puerto Rico. Ms. Zamora has presented master classes and recitals at the Universities of Idaho, Wichita State and Southern Mississippi, as well as University of Memphis, Washburn University in Kansas and University of the Pacific in Stockton. She has performed solo concerti and recitals in Costa Rica, Colombia, Japan, Czech Republic and the former Soviet Union.

Ryan Simmons


Ryan Simmons began playing in the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in 1998 after graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In the 2001-02 season he played in the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Associate Principal Bassoon, then spent two seasons as Principal Bassoonist of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. In 2004 he won the national audition for the job of Second Bassoon in the SDSO. He also performed as Principal Bassoon of Orchestra Nova San Diego. He has studied with a few of the legendary bassoon teachers including Bernard Garfield, Steven Maxym and Norman Herzberg. He has played and participated in many festivals including Marlboro, Tanglewood, National Repertory Orchestra, Mainly Mozart and La Jolla SummerFest. He has also performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Philarmonica de Tenerife and the Moscow Radio Orchestra.

In addition to performing, Ryan Simmons is the owner of RS Woodwinds, a woodwind repair shop. He has worked on several of the instruments played by the members of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra as well as their students' instruments. He is certified to install Straubinger pads in flutes and clarinets, and has very successfully repaired most of the top makes of woodwind instruments including: Brannen, Powell and Haynes flutes, Heckel and Pucner bassoons, Loree oboes, Buffet clarinets and bass clarinets, vintage Selmer saxophones and various modern Irish flutes and chanters.

Takae Ohnishi

Harpsichordist Takae Ohnishi has performed extensively as a soloist, chamber musician and continuo player. The Gramophone remarks that "Ohnishi's brilliant artistry immerses the listener in the creative and emotional narratives Bach unfolds with incomparable mastery." Classics Today described her performance as "masterful," and praises its "vitality and impressively differentiated articulation."

Ms. Ohnishi has been the principal harpsichordist at Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, as well as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble, Gardner Chamber Orchestra, and continuo player with Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and Bach Collegium San Diego. She has performed at the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico, Boston Early Music Festival, the American Academy in Rome, and took part in the complete Brandenburg Concertos at the Gardner Museum directed by Paula Robison. As a performer of contemporary music, Ms. Ohnishi appeared as a guest artist at Yellow Barn, and the Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance held at the New England Conservatory of Music. She also performed with the Harvard Group for New Music and the Callithumpian Consort.

Ms. Ohnishi is a prizewinner at the International Early Music Harpsichord Competition in Japan. Her debut CD A Harpsichord Recital was selected as an International Special Prized CD by the Japanese leading music magazine Record Gei-jyu-tsu. Her recording of contemporary music is released on Mode and New World Records. Her latest solo disc Goldberg Variations is released on Bridge Records to critical acclaim.

As a lecturer, Ms. Ohnishi has been invited to lecture and give master classes in Yantai, China, Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, as well as the Early Music Festival in Fukuoka, Japan. She participated in a lecture series entitled "Historical Performance Practice," recorded and published by Tokyo's Muramatsu Gakki company. Her recital tour in Japan was broadcast nationally on NHK TV program "Classic Ku-ra-bu."

Ms. Ohnishi graduated from Toho Gakuen School of Music, and holds a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University. Her teachers include Arthur Haas, Peter Sykes, John Gibbons and Chiyoko Arita. Since 2007, Ms. Ohnishi has been Lecturer of Harpsichord and Baroque Chamber Music at the University of California, San Diego; she also taught at the University of San Diego. As Music Director of the "Music at Green" concert series, she brings live performance to the patients at the Scripps Hospital. In 2011-12, Ms. Ohnishi served as Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.

Sheryl Renk


Sheryl Renk is the Principal Clarinetist of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. She was the Principal Clarinetist of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra for ten years and was formerly a member of the San Francisco Symphony. During that time Sheryl joined the orchestra on several European, Asian and United States tours, and she performed on numerous San Francisco Symphony recordings.

Prior to the above positions, Ms. Renk performed extensively throughout the West Coast with various orchestras, opera orchestras and chamber music groups. She has appeared as soloist with several orchestras as well as a duo performance with renowned clarinet soloist Richard Stoltzman. She has also performed on many movie and commercial soundtracks, mostly recorded at the famed Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. 

Ms. Renk completed her music education at San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Donald Carroll. She continued her clarinet studies with Rosario Mazzeo, formerly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

Festivals attended include the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, the La Jolla SummerFest Chamber Music Festival, the Durango Music Festival in Colorado, the Cascade Music Festival in Oregon, the Carmel Bach Festival and the Bear Valley Music Festival. Ms. Renk is the Clarinet Professor at San Diego State University.

Valentin Martchev


Valentin Martchev was born in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, and started playing the bassoon at age ten. He went to the State Academy of Music in Sofia and Duquesne University, studying with Yordan Metodiev, Tony Komitoff and Nancy Goeres. During his student years in the states he attended the Aspen, Tanglewood, Music Academy of the West and Marlboro Music Festivals. Mr. Martchev was a tenured member of the Bulgarian State Radio Orchestra and the Charlottesville Symphony in Virginia, where he was also on the university faculty.

In 2001 Mr. Martchev joined the San Diego Symphony Orchestra as their principal bassoonist. U-T San Diego said his 2007 performance of John Williams’ bassoon concerto Five Sacred Trees“….made this bassoonist a star.” He has performed multiple times with the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, the Mainly Mozart Festival and La Jolla SummerFest. In 2008 he was Guest Principal Bassoon with the LA Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen, and in 2010 he was Guest Associate Principal Bassoon with the Cincinnati Symphony under Paavo Järvi. He has performed chamber music concerts at SDSU, Riverside Community College, Lake Mammoth and at UCSD, and he has participated in music series such as Jacaranda, Art of Élan, Luscious Noise and Le Salon de Musique. He is on the faculty of Cal State Fullerton and San Diego State University. 

Valentin Martchev plays on a 1985 Heckel Biebrich.

Julia Pautz


Recently called "a genuine virtuoso" by the Dallas Morning NewsJulia Pautz has been a member of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra since 2010. A native Texan, Ms. Pautz earned a Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music degree with honors from the University of Southern California and a professional studies certificate from The Colburn School. Following her studies Ms. Pautz joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. In Texas she also served on faculty of the preparatory department at Texas Christian University. 

While in Los Angeles Ms. Pautz studied with renowned violin pedagogue Robert Lipsett. She has also held a Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and attended the New York String Orchestra Seminar. An enthusiastic chamber musician, Ms. Pautz has appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, the Brevard Music Center, ENCORE School for Strings, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Basically Beethoven series, the Abiquiu Chamber Music series and the Blanco Performing Arts series. While a member of the Texas-based Hall Ensemble chamber group, Ms. Pautz toured throughout the southwestern United States to critical acclaim. 

Julia Pautz now happily splits her time between making beautiful music with her colleagues and mothering her busy toddler Jackson.

Darby Hinshaw


Darby Hinshaw joined the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in 2011. He was born into a casually musical family in San Francisco: His mother is a former organist who holds a Master of Music degree from SDSU, and his father is a great enthusiast of traditional Irish music. During his childhood he experimented with the Irish tin-whistle, the piano and the great highland bagpipes, and he frequently attended organ recitals, highland games and Irish sessions with his parents. He began playing the horn at the age of 12 and attended the "School of the Arts" high school in San Francisco. He joined the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra in 1996, where he played principal horn on several critically acclaimed European tours. While still in the youth orchestra, Mr. Hinshaw attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with SF Symphony hornists Bruce Roberts, Jonathan Ring and Robert Ward. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in 2005 and pursued his professional options instead of attending graduate school. 

Prior to his arrival in San Diego, Darby Hinshaw made a place for himself in the many regional symphony orchestras in Northern California, playing principal horn in the Marin Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony and Stockton Symphony. Over a period of six years as a freelancer, he would appear with the horn sections of 16 different orchestras, traveling all over the Bay Area and parts of the San Joaquin Valley. He also performed frequently with the San Francisco Symphony and appears on their recent recordings of Mahler's 2nd and 8th Symphonies on SFS Media, as well as the Mahler episode of the Keeping Score series on PBS.