Robin Hansen, concertmaster of the Midsummer Mozart Festival for twenty years, is a native of Berkeley. Raised in a musical family, she started playing professionally with the San Francisco Ballet while in high school. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from U.C. Berkeley where she received Hertz fellowships to study in Los Angeles and Munich, Germany. She joined Michael Tilson Thomas' New World Symphony in Miami Beach, but returned to the Bay Area to play full-time with the Ballet. Robin has performed extensively in the contemporary genre with the SF Contemporary Chamber Players, Ear Play and Composer, Inc. She performs regularly with the San Francisco Opera and has been concertmaster at Stern Grove Festival for the SF Ballet Orchestra where she holds first violin position. In addition, she is a member of the Skywalker Symphony which records movie and video score projects at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. She has toured Europe with the San Francisco Symphony and the United States with the Israel Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta.
Conductor and pianist Paul Schrage is music director of Symphonia Caritas and conductor of the Midsummer Mozart Festival. In addition, he is conductor of the San Francisco Reading Orchestra and cover conductor of the Merced Symphony. Previously he was the music director of the St. Peter’s Chamber Orchestra, assistant conductor of the Napa Valley Music Festival Academy Orchestra, and on the conducting staff of the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra.
Paul has performed with orchestras, in recital, and in jazz settings across the United States, in Europe, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Artists he has performed with include Jory Vinikour, David Ramadanoff, Elena Sharkova, Bobby Brookmeyer, Louis Bellson, Steve Smith, Gary Wittner, and Ian Swensen. Paul has strong relationships with living composers, and has premiered works by Ingrid Stozel, Rubin Zahra, and Paul Davies, among others. He was the Pianist-in-Residence of the Contemporary American Music Project. Paul has served on the faculty of Vandercook College of Music, Foothill College, and the International Summer Jazz Academy. He studied at the Kansas City Conservatory and the Hartt School. He was a finalist at the International Young Artist Piano Competition and was a Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellow. www.paulschragemusic.com
Ani Bukujian was born into a musical family and started playing the violin at the age of two and a half. When her grandmother gifted her with a toy violin, she would stand in front of the television while imitating famous violinists such as Sarah Chang and Itzhak Perlman. Ani studied with her father exclusively until the age of 15. A native of Los Angeles, she is the winner of numerous musical competitions, including three gold medals at the World Championship of Performing Arts and first place at the Bach Competition, the ASTA Annual National Solo Competition, and the Pasadena String Festival.
She recently performed as a member of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. She has served as Concertmistress in the Miami Summer Music Festival, where she played the solo of Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra. She has participated in other festivals such as Bowdoin Music Festival and Fontainebleau Festival in France. She has performed in venues such as David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie's Stern, Zankel, and Weill Hall as a chamber and orchestral musician as well as solo performer. Ani has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Kim Kashkashian, Ian Swensen, and Dimitri Murrath, and participated in masterclasses with teachers including Andres Cardenes, Aaron Rosand, Ruggiero Ricci, Abraham Shtern, Gerard Poulet, Dmitry Berlinsky, Ida Haendel, and Pamela Franks.
She holds both Bachelor and Master Degrees from The Juilliard School where she studied with Lewis Kaplan and Laurie Smukler. She attended the San Francisco Conservatory, where she studied with the concertmaster of San Francisco Symphony, Alexander Barantschik. Ani recently won the position of Principal Second violinist of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.