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June 4 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Join us for our special closing concert of the season with a quartet to showcase the beauty and synergy of the cello.

Cellists Eric Gaenslen, Angela Lee, Saul Richmond-Rakerd and Mark Votapek have had friendships and collaborations spanning decades. They have reunited for this special closing concert of the season as a quartet to showcase the beauty and synergy of the cello. The program will feature works of J. S. Bach, Julius Klengel, Antonio Vivaldi, Moses Sedler, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, and more.

Angela Lee –
A graduate of The Juilliard School and Yale School of Music, cellist Angela Lee is a recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to study in London with William Pleeth, a grant from the Foundation for American Musicians in Europe, the Jury Prize in the Naumburg International Cello Competition, and a cello performance fellowship from the American-Scandinavian Foundation. She is a founding member of The Lee Trio, which won top prizes in the Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition in Finland and the Gaetano Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Italy. The Trio has commissioned and premiered works of numerous living composers and has recordings on Delos, Innova, and the Chelsea Music Festival Records labels. In its third decade, the Trio regularly gives master classes worldwide and performs in major venues across North America, Asia, and Europe including the South Bank Centre and Wigmore Hall in the U.K., Carnegie Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Leipzig Gewandhaus, The National Philharmonic in Kyiv, and the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

Using music to foster peace and goodwill, Angela Lee has made humanitarian trips to the Republic of the Philippines and the former Yugoslavia. While on a U.N.-sanctioned tour of six war-torn cities throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, she performed for NATO troops and displaced civilians. As a member of Ensemble SF since 2022, she continues to delve into a vast array of chamber music, allowing this multi-faceted art form to inspire and connect with others in unconventional settings. Ms. Lee has been coaching chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music since 2017 and serves on the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Alumni Association Leadership Council and on the Board of Directors of The Resonance Project, which promotes empathy through live music.

Eric Gaenslen –
Cellist Eric Gaenslen has performed as a chamber musician, recitalist and guest soloist in venues across North America and Europe. As cellist of the renowned Rossetti String Quartet, Eric performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Berlin Konzerthaus and at the Maverick and Vail Bravo Music Festivals and Festival del Sole. One of his favorite collaborations was playing the Gian Carlo Menotti Suite for two cellos and piano with Gautier Capucon and Jean-Yves Thibaudet in Spoleto, Italy, for the composer’s 95th birthday. He also performed with the Ying and Enso String Quartets. Solo highlights include the world premiere of Siddartha for cello and string orchestra, by Laura Carnibucci, and a performance of Bloch’s Shelomo at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall. From 2009-2011 Eric held the position of Acting Principal Cellist of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

A devoted educator, Mr. Gaenslen gives master classes in cello and chamber music across the country and has worked with students at the University of Missouri, Kansas City; State University New York at Purchase; California State Universities at Fresno, Northridge and Long Beach; the Brevard Music Center; Cornish College and the University of Western Washington He has held faculty positions at the Mannes College in New York and at the University of California, Santa Cruz. From 2013-2015 Eric was Artist in Residence at the University of Washington where he instructed the undergraduate cello majors as well as the Doctoral students. Eric currently teaches privately in Burlingame and Palo Alto and also maintains a busy performing career.

Mr. Gaenslen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a Master of Arts degree from the Juilliard School of Music. His teachers have included Joel Krosnick, Robert Mann, Aldo Parisot, William Pleeth and Irene Sharp. [email protected]

Mark Votapek –
Formerly a professor for 8 years at University of
Arizona, rejoined the Hawaii Symphony as Principal Cello in
2015. He has been a member of the Maui-based Ebb and Flow
Arts contemporary ensemble and Oahu’s Pacific Concert Artists
International. He resides in San Francisco, where he can be
heard performing with the San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco
Opera, San Francisco Symphony, and Musica Marin. Formerly a
professor at University of the Pacific and the Interlochen Arts
Center, he continues guest teaching and coaching for the San
Francisco Academy Orchestra, San Francisco Conservatory,
Masaki School of Music, and summer teaching and performances
with the Mammoth Lakes Music Festival.
Votapek has gained renown for combining music with the
outdoors. In 2013, he completed a 27-performance recital tour
from Mexico to Canada, backpacking the entire 2700-mile Pacific
Crest Trail from concert to concert. He has frequently performed
at the Moab Music Festival, including on a multi-day river raft
concert trips, performing in natural grottos, amphitheaters, and on
the rafts themselves.
His previous posts as Principal Cellist of the Oregon Symphony
and as Associate Principal Cello of the Saint Louis Symphony,
and residencies at varied festivals, joined him with some of the
world’s finest musicians and natural lands. He performed a duo
with Sarah Chang at Aspen and climbed Mt. Elbert the following
day, immediately followed by performances at the Olympic Music
Festival and a climb of Mt. Rainier.
Votapek’s recent chamber music collaborations include Corey
Cerovsek, Jon Nakamatsu, Wu Han, Fabio Bidini, Sabrina
Höpcker, and Joseph Swenson. Votapek’s concerts have been
aired numerous times on NPR stations across the United States,
and his performance of Schelomo was featured on Performance

Saul Richmond-Rakerd –
Saul Richmond-Rakerd is a San Francisco-based cellist, and member of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra since 2023. He began his cello studies at the age of 9 in his hometown of Okemos, Michigan, and continued to study it alongside piano until he concluded high school. He went on to Brown University, where he received degrees in both Physics and Anthropology. While there, he completed the Applied Music Program, and served as principal of the Brown University Orchestra, performed as a soloist, and played regularly with several chamber music groups. After graduating, Saul decided to immerse himself in music full-time, and so, after attending the Castleton Music Festival in 2013, he moved to Florence, Italy to pursue a Biennio di Violoncello, and to play professionally as principal cellist of the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana. After completion of his diploma, he moved to San Francisco in 2015 in order to begin a Master of Music degree at the San Francisco Conservatory under the tutelage of Jennifer Culp – a degree that he completed in December 2016.

Throughout his career, Saul has enjoyed playing in a wide range of settings. He has played as a concerto soloist with the Okemos Symphony Orchestra and the Brown University Orchestra, as well as in numerous recitals, both in the US and abroad. He has been awarded First Prize at the Barbara Fritz Chamber Music Award (2016), First Prize at the Luigi Boccherini Chamber Music Competition in Lucca, Italy (2016), Second Prize at the Dorothy Van Waynen Competition for Strings (2016), Primo Arco Premio (2014), Weston Prize for the Arts (2013), and the Buxtehude Premium Prize in Music (2012). Saul has been a member of many ensembles, both traditional and non. He is an active performer of chamber music throughout the Bay Area, and he is also currently a member of Luminance, a cello-harp-trumpet trio drawing on latin, classical, and jazz roots. He was a founding member of both the Capitoline Trio and Quattro alla Volta, a cello quartet with whom he performed during his time in Italy. He greatly enjoys playing in symphonic settings as well, and has played with many different orchestras throughout his career in music. Alongside his work with San Francisco Ballet, he is an extra cellist with the San Francisco Opera, and currently serves as assistant principal cellist in the Santa Cruz Symphony, as a section cellist with the Monterey Symphony, and as co-principal cellist of One Found Sound.

Doors open at 12:30 PM. Linger after the concert for free beverages and snacks in the lobby.


June 4
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Oshman Family JCC- Albert and Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Hall (Bldg F)
3921 Fabian Way
Palo Alto, CA 94303 United States


Oshman Family JCC