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. Peterís 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