Special Events


Hear Together: A Free Day-long Outdoor Piano Festival

Presented by Alternating Currents, Contemporaneous, Crowden Music Center, New Music Bay Area, Ross McKee Foundation

Hear _ Together poster landscape 6

HEAR | TOGETHER was a celebration of the return of live music safely, in the open air, and the diverse range of pianists and composers in the Bay Area.

Our thanks to Alternating Currents, Contemporaneous, New Music Bay Area, and the Ross McKee Foundation for collaborating on this delightful Mother's Day of piano music!

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Winter Benefit Recital

Nora Chastain, violin
Jeffrey LaDeur, piano
February 6, 2020, 7:30 pm

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

General admission tickets are $80 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.

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.

Jeffrey LaDeur is known for his “delicate keyboard touch and rich expressivity” (San Francisco Chronicle) and playing described as “deeply moving, probing, felt entirely in the moment” (Eduard Laurel) Much sought after for his rare blend of insight, spontaneity, and approachable, communicative stage presence, Jeffrey has captured the hearts and minds of audiences from the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall to the Shanghai Conservatory and the Orlando Festival in the Netherlands.

Having inherited a rich tradition of pianism and interpretation from Annie Sherter, student of Vlado Perlemuter and Alfred Cortot, LaDeur has established himself as a compelling exponent of the French masters from Couperin to Ravel in addition to a diverse repertoire of canonical and alternative masterpieces. In March of 2018, LaDeur made his solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall on the centennial of Claude Debussy’s death, performing the composer’s complete Etudes with works by Couperin and Chopin. His acclaimed solo album, The Unbroken Line [MSR Classics) is devoted to music of Rameau and Debussy and has been hailed as “a masterpiece of understatement, simplicity, and ‘old school’ chord-playing where every note sings out with meaning” (Gramophone). In 2017, LaDeur founded the San Francisco International Piano Festival for which he serves as artistic director.

As a pianist, LaDeur integrates solo performance and collaboration, blending the intimacy of chamber music with the brio of concertante works. As founding member and pianist of the Delphi Trio, Jeffrey toured internationally with the ensemble for a decade and premiered William Bolcom’s first Piano Trio, written for the ensemble. With mezzo soprano Kindra Scharich he recently recorded To My Distant Beloved, an album exploring the relationship between Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte, Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -Leben and his epic Fantasyin C for solo piano, to be released on MSR Classics spring of 2020. Jeffrey has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Robert Mann, Bonnie Hampton, Ian Swensen, Axel Strauss, Geoff Nuttall, Anne Akiko Meyers, David Requiro, and Scott Pingel.

Dedicated to the principle that solo pianists thrive together, rather than as competitors, Jeffrey founded New Piano Collective, an artistic alliance of pianists, dedicated to uniquely personal artistry, collaboration, and ground-breaking programming. In 2017, LaDeur expanded the Collective and founded the San Francisco International Piano Festival, now in its fourth season, for which he serves as artistic director. The festival has quickly become of the most exciting and engaging music festivals in the country.

An active educator, Jeffrey enjoys giving regular masterclasses as a visiting artist to universities across the United States. LaDeur coaches gifted pre-college piano and string ensembles at Young Chamber Musicians in Burlingame, California.

LaDeur holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music in piano performance and chamber music, respectively. Jeffrey counts among his teachers Mark Edwards, Douglas Humpherys, Yoshikazu Nagai, and Robert McDonald.

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Violinist Nora Chastain


Crowden Gala 2020: Infinite Expression

March 14, 2020
Craneway Pavilion, Richmond Marina

Gala Poster


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

Saturday, September 28, 2019

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
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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.

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