Meet the Musicians

Cynthia Baehr, Concertmaster is also the Concertmaster of Opera San Jose, the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and a member of the New Music Works Ensemble. She has also performed with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Midsummer Mozart and Stratos Chamber Orchestras. Before moving to California, Cynthia lived and performed in Europe with the Lucerne Chamber Soloists and the Wurttembergisches Chamber Orchestra in Germany. Prior to that time she was the Assistant Concertmaster of the Caracas Philharmonic in Venezuela and a member of the Quartetto Filarmonica.

Laura Caballero - Assistant Concertmaster Laura currently performs with Silicon Valley Symphony, Opera San Josť, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony. She has served as Concertmaster for the former San Jose Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Modesto Symphony, Monterey Bay Symphony, Colorado Philharmonic, and New World Symphony. Before moving to the Bay Area, Laura performed with Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, San Diego Symphony, and Santa Fe Opera.

Allison Gigi Dang - Violin Born in Oakland and raised in Berkeley, Allison Gigi Dang graduated from Berkeley High School, attending Vassar College, then completing two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one each in Linguistics and Psychology, from UC Berkeley; and a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance of Violin from the New England Conservatory of Music. A former member of the Sacramento Symphony, Midsummer Mozart, and San Jose Symphony orchestras, she presently belongs to Monterey Symphony and Symphony Silicon Valley, freelancing with Oakland East Bay, California, Modesto and Stockton Symphonies.

Emma Heffernan - Violin is an active freelance violinist in the Bay Area. She presently performs with the Santa Cruz and Monterey Symphonies and the Fresno Philharmonic. In addition to numerous performances throughout California, Emma has appeared internationally in Korea, Japan, and Canada. Emma studied violin with Roy Malan at UC Santa Cruz and graduated in 2008 with degrees in both sociology and music. She currently studies with renown violinist Neil Weintrob.

Valerie Tidel - Violin/Viola is a veteran member of the "Freeway Philharmonic", with contracts in Modesto, Marin and Silicon Valley Symphonies, as well as Opera San Jose and San Jose Chamber Orchestra. She often subs with the S.F. Opera and has played in every other orchestra within driving distance at least once. In the summer she plays Midsummer Mozart and/or Mendocino Music Festival. Ms Tisdel is always trying to get more exercise and play more chamber music. She lives in San Francisco with a bassoonist husband, two teenagers, four cats and a good dog.

Chad Kaltinger - Viola studied at the University of Illinois and at the Aspen Music Festival where he received an Orchestral Fellowship and placed 1st in the E. Nakamichi Viola Concerto Competition. Chad is currently Principal Violist with the Santa Cruz County Symphony, the Musica Vitale Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Monterey and also plays with Opera San Jose, San Francisco Opera's Western Opera Theatre, Monterey Symphony, and the Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra.

David Allcott - Viola started playing viola in public school when he was nine years old. He began his professional music career as a Regular extra violist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17. After graduating form MIT with a B.S. in Management, he played in Las Vegas for two years as a backup musician for many popular artists. Moving to Italy, he played a season with La Scala Opera in Milan. He then returned to the United States to complete a Master of Music Performance degree at Boston University where he studied with violists Walter Trampler and Raphael Hillyer. He performed for nine years a s Principal Violist of the Rhode Island Philharmonic before moving to California in 1994. David performs with the Monterey Symphony and many Bay Area orchestras and chamber music groups. He is a Senior Software Engineer at Symantec Corporation where he writes software development tools for the Internet.

Lana Gruen - cello studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Natalia Shakhovskaya. She then moved to Germany to earn an advanced degree at the Mannheim Conservatory and at the Stuttgart Conservatory. Mrs Gruen is the winner of the 2000 Bavarian Radio Orchestra Competition and participated in the gala concert with Mstislav Rostropovich. She served for many years, as the Principal Cellist of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and played with Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra. She has played with the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Russian Chamber Orchestra, and as featured soloist with numerous Bay area orchestras.

Robert Burkhart- Cello performance credits at Alice Tully Hall, Bargemusic, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and The Rose Studio at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Robert has also appeared as a soloist throughout Japan as a member of the New York Symphonic Ensemble.

Judith Roberts - cello is a newcomer to the Santa Cruz area, Judy plays with the Santa Cruz Symphony and the Monterey Symphony. She also performs with the New Music Works Ensemble in Santa Cruz. Before coming to Santa Cruz, she played in the Stadttheater Kiel and Luebeck in germany, where she lived for 24 yrs. She was also assistant- principal cellist in the Teatro de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. She is a graduate of the School of Music at Bloomington, Indiana.

Joel Schaefer - cello performs with the Santa Cruz County Symphony, Albany Consort and Santa Cruz Chorale. He has appeared with Bay Shore Lyric Opera, Monterey County Symphony, Santa Cruz Baroque Festival and Chanticleer. Joel studied at UC Santa Cruz where he started to perform on baroque cello and viola da gamba. He has performed in master classes for JŠnos Starker and Wieland Kuijken, and on a concert tour of Italy and Croatia. When not playing music, he is a professional translator, amateur oenophile and milonguero, and writes occasionally at

Bruce Moyer - Bass has served as Principal Bassist with the Portland, Maine Symphony before coming to California. He is currently principal bass of the Monterey Symphony and a member of Symphony Silicon Valley and the Carmel Bach Festival. Other performances include almost every major ensemble in the Bay area such as the San Francisco Symphony, Ballet and Opera, and the Philharmonia Baroque.