SOLOISTS

TOM STONE | VIOLINIST

Tom Stone was born in Chicago where he studied music with Hilel Kagan.  At age 16 he attended Tanglewood where he coached with Eugene Lehner of the Kolisch Quartet and played in an orchestra under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. After this experience, his focus on music became increasingly intense. Mr. Stone went on to pursue musical 

studies at the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music.  His major teachers have included Donald Weilerstein, Zvi Zeitlin, Gyorgy Sebok, and Bonnie Hampton.  Mr. Stone has also performed in masterclasses for Issac Stern and members of the Amadeus, Cleveland, Emerson, Juilliard Quartets and LaSalle Quartets. He has performed with many distinguished artists including Awadagin Pratt, Leon Fleisher, Zuill Bailey, Jon Nakamatsu, Ian Hobson, and Donald Weilerstein.  

 

During his 20 years as a founding member of the Cypress String Quartet, Mr. Stone performed thousands of concerts throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Praised by Gramophone for “artistry of uncommon insight and cohesion,” and by the NY Times for “tender, deeply expressive” interpretations, they recorded over 15 albums and are heard regularly on hundreds of radio stations throughout the world. The CSQ was heard on the Netflix original series “House of Cards,” and collaborated with leading artists ranging from Michael Franti of Spearhead to modern dance companies. The CSQ created a niche in the world arts community as one of the most passionate, insightful, and innovative ensembles of their time.   In addition to definitive interpretations of masters such as Beethoven, the CSQ commissioned some of the most important composers of it’s time including Kevin Puts, Philippe Hersant, Jennifer Higdon, George Tsontakis, and Elena Ruehr.

Mr. Stone has served as artistic director of the Centrum Chamber Music Festival and has also served as treasurer of InterMusic SF, board member of Chamber Music America, and panelist for the San Francisco Arts Commission.  Dedicated to mentoring and training the next generation of exceptionally talented individuals Mr. Stone was a visiting artist at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, University of California Berkeley and other elite universities.

Mr. Stone has also mentored the winner of the Banff international String Quartet Competition and is currently working as a consultant with young professional musicians as well as seasoned professionals and non-profit organizations.  On the commercial front Mr. Stone has worked on team dynamics with human resource professionals at Google and is advising several startups in the California.

 

Mr. Stone plays on a violin made in Cremona, Italy by Carlos Bergonzi in c. 1720-30

JEAN-MICHEL FONTENEAU | CELLIST

The eminent French cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau has performed and taught around the world. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has appeared throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. He has served as a professor of cello and chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory for the past two decades, in addition to performing and teaching annually at Yellow Barn.

Jean-Michel is a founding member of the Quatuor Ravel which received top prizes 

at the Evian International String Quartet Competition in 1989 and won the Victoire de la Musique Classique in 1994. The Quatuor Ravel performed annually at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, as well as regularly at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Salles Gaveau, and Suntory Hall. They also toured extensively throughout the United Kingdom, Germany, and North America. Jean-Michel created and led the first ever string quartet residency program in France.  

Recent collaborations include performances with Leon Fleisher, Peter Frankl, Claude Frank, Nobuko Imai, Gilbert Kalish, Kim Kashkashian, Anthony Marwood, Menahem Pressler, and Mark Steinberg. Jean-Michel has also performed alongside the Amadeus, Escher, Fine Arts, Pro Arte, and Tokyo Quartets. He has recorded extensively for Albany Records, MSR Classics, Centaur Records, and Musidisc-France. 

A passionate and dedicated teacher, Jean-Michel previously served on the faculty of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon, France before coming to San Francisco. His students have won international competitions — including the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition — and gone on to major solo, chamber, and orchestral careers. His students have appeared at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, the  Concertgebouw, the Wigmore Hall, the Verbier Festival, and on many more of the world’s premier stages. In addition to his annual residence at Yellow Barn, he previously taught at Domaine Forget, the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival, and the Morges Summer Academy in Switzerland. 

Jean-Michel is currently a member of the San Francisco Piano Trio together with violinist Axel Strauss and pianist Jeffrey Sykes. The Trio performs annually at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, along with regular performances throughout North America. He also performs regularly with the Houston-based Music in Context ensemble dedicated to historically informed performance on period instruments. 

Jean-Michel studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Musique de Paris and plays cellos made by Francesco Goffriller in 1730 and Andrew Carruthers in 2016. He lives in Berkeley, CA together with his wife Dana.

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