Special Events


Winter Benefit Recital featuring Nora Chastain, violin

February 6, 2020, 7:30pm

Acclaimed Berlin-based violinist Nora Chastain, a student of Anne Crowden, performs a memorable evening of masterworks.

General admission tickets are $125 and include a dessert and wine reception with the artists following the concert. Proceeds will benefit music education programs and scholarships at Crowden.

Crowden members at the Patron ($500) level and higher receive complimentary tickets to the Winter Benefit, as well as to an exclusive reception prior to the concert. Become a Crowden Member here.

About Nora Chastain

Nora Chastain, granddaughter of composer Roy Harris, was born in here Berkeley, where she began her violin lessons with Anne Crowden. Her studies continued at the Cincinnati Conservatory and at the Juilliard School with Dorothy DeLay, and in Europe with Alberto Lysy, Sandor Vegh, Ana Chumachenko, and Sir Yehudi Menuhin. At age sixteen she made her debut in Berlin playing Barber's Violin Concerto; since then she has been a regular guest with such orchestras as the San Francisco Symphony, the Orchestre de Paris, Cincinnati Philharmonia, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and the Bern Symphony Orchestra. She is a founding member of the Menuhin Festival Piano Quartet and Trio Kreisleriana.

Her chamber music activities have brought her to many of the world's capitals, including Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn, Paris, Milano, Zürich, Geneva, Edinburgh, Washington D.C., New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Sydney. Ms. Chastain's recordings include sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven, Faure, Debussy, many works for piano trio and quartet, as well as Bartok's second violin concerto. She has been a prize winner at several competitions including the Menuhin Competition in Paris in 1985. In 1993, she was awarded the prestigious annual "Förderpreis der Europäischen Wirtschaft" in Zürich as soloist. An active teacher, Nora Chastain is Professor of Violin at the Universitaet der Kuenste Berlin and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Zürich. Until 2004 she held a Professorship at the Musikhochschule Luebeck.

As one of Europe's most sought after teachers, Nora Chastain has amongst her students international prize winners, concertmasters of major European orchestras, members of well known chamber ensembles, and faculty members of universities of music. She gives regular master classes and serves on juries of international competitions. A main focus of her teaching is the integration of the American and European traditions of violin playing of the last 50 years.


Crowden Gala 2020:
Infinite Expression

March 14, 2020
Craneway Pavilion, Richmond Marina

Mark your calendars for an incredible Gala evening at the stunning Craneway Pavilion! Join the celebration as we welcome Hot Club of San Francisco, our own Crowden All-Stars, and Fischoff medalists, the Meráki Quartet. With your support, music changes everything.


Past Events from Our 2019-20 Season


Interdisciplinary Workshop with Kenneth Renshaw, Yang Bao, and Whitney Schmanski

Saturday, September 28
1:30pm to 4:30pm

Pianist/composer/filmmaker Yang Bao, violinist and Crowden School alum Kenneth Renshaw, and dancer Whitney Schmanski invite all Crowden students to participate in this workshop. The three have collaborated in interdisciplinary performances involving music, dance, and film at The Juilliard School, the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, and the Island Arts Festival in Vermont.

The workshop will be a condensed version of Yang Bao’s recently launched performance and production studio in Vermont that explores the essence of human interaction and creativity through original artistic creations involving music, dance, and film.

The workshop will begin with collaborative improvisatory exercises, and will culminate in the creation of a new piece led by Yang Bao to be featured on the Sundays @ Four concert the following afternoon performed by both students and visiting artists. Interested students should sign up by emailing: esor@crowden.org


Crowden Alumni Meet-Up: New York

Monday, October 14, 2019, 6:30–9:30pm
Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 6:30–9:30pm
Hotel Beacon, 2130 Broadway, NYC

Executive and Artistic Director Doris Fukawa is planning her annual visit to New York City, and we hope our Crowden friends on the East Coast will join us!

We'll be hosting two meet-and-greets at the Hotel Beacon on the Upper West Side. Join us for drinks and appetizers, share your stories and achievements, and introduce any new members of your family. These informal, family-friendly events will be wonderful opportunities to connect with your Crowden peers and new friends. Bring along the special people in your life, and help spread the word to any friends of Crowden.

RSVP here

Our Mission

Crowden combines music and education to nurture, develop, and inspire students of all ages, and provides essential support to the musical life of the community.

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