San Francisco Conservatory of Music Appoints Kay Stern To Faculty

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) today announces the appointment of violinist Kay Stern to its faculty. Stern is currently the concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, a position she has held since 1994. She will begin her own studio at SFCM in Fall 2017, in addition to continuing her role at San Francisco Opera.

"Kay is a major artistic figure in the Bay Area's music community," says Wei He, chair of SFCM's strings department. "She has such a diverse professional background not only as a great concertmaster, but also as a chamber musician, coach, and teacher. My colleagues and I are extremely honored to have her join our strings faculty at SFCM."

"Being in close proximity to SFCM, I have had opportunities over the years to enjoy students and faculty in various performances and events," says Kay Stern. "It has always been a hope of mine to interact more often and personally with the students, to share what I have learned from my many coaches and teachers, and from my own experiences. I am excited to join at this time in the vision and development of this school. The collaborations between departments and colleagues is very exciting, and I am thrilled and inspired to be a part of the team that is creating cutting-edge experiences and opportunities for their students."

Kay Stern has held faculty positions at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Music Academy of the West and has made appearances at many music festivals around the world, including the Caramoor, Bard, Olympic, and Grand Teton music festivals. She has appeared on PBS's Live from Lincoln Center, CNN's Women Today, and Minnesota Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, among other programs. As the former first violinist and a founding member of the Lark String Quartet, she performed and gave master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Stern has held concertmaster positions with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Concordia at Lincoln Center, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. She serves as concertmaster in many studio recording ensembles for film and video game soundtracks at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch.

Stern also plays for fundraising events and has helped raise money for medical research, schools, arts organizations, and student orchestras. Community programs she has participated in include the New York Philharmonic Musical Arts Experience, Young Audiences of NY Children's Programs, Lincoln Center Student Programs, the Minnesota School and Resource Center for the Arts Touring Program, Seaside Music Academy, and Pacifica School Volunteers.

Stern attended The Juilliard School as a student of Dorothy DeLay, and also studied with Michael Davis at Ohio State University. Her concerto and chamber music recordings can be heard on Phillips, Nonesuch, Innova, MusicMasters, Koch International, Gramavision, and Albany Records.

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About the San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Founded in 1917, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is the oldest conservatory in the American West and has earned an international reputation for producing musicians of the highest caliber. Its faculty includes nearly 30 members of the San Francisco Symphony as well as Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning artists in the fields of orchestral and chamber performance, classical guitar, and jazz. The Conservatory offers its 400-plus collegiate students fully accredited bachelor's and master's degree programs in composition and instrumental and vocal performance. SFCM was the first institution of its kind to offer world-class graduate degree programs in chamber music and classical guitar. Its Pre-College Division provides exceptionally high standards of musical education and personal attention to more than 200 younger students. SFCM faculty and students give nearly 500 public performances each year, most of which are offered to the public at no charge. Its community outreach programs serve over 1,600 school children and over 6,000 members of the wider community. Notable alumni include violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern, conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, soprano Elza van den Heever, Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman and Ronald Losby, President, Steinway & Sons - Americas, among others. The Conservatory's Civic Center facility is an architectural and acoustical masterwork, and the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall was lauded by The New York Times as the "most enticing classical-music setting" in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit

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