About Us

The Persephone Chamber Ensemble is a newly formed, intergenerational, all-female chamber group dedicated to programming music that highlights the integration of both traditional and contemporary vocal and instrumental chamber music.

LOIS BRANDWYNNE

Soloist, chamber musician and master teacher, LOIS BRANDWYNNE studied piano at Mills College with Egon Petri and Alexander Libermann and composition with Darius Milhaud and Leon Kirchner. A soloist with orchestras including the San Francisco and Oakland Symphonies, she has given recitals in the United States and Europe to critical acclaim. She has premiered many works by American composers, has performed at the Cabrillo and Claremont Music Festivals, and the SF Symphony’s Chamber Music Sundaes. As a collaborative pianist she has performed with the Ives Quartet, violist Walter Trampler, ‘cellist Bonnie Hampton and countless others. She has taught at UC Davis for over 40 years.

“A very eloquent Chopin and a Schumann animated by a profound inspiration that was boundlessly seductive.” LA LETTRE DU MUSICIEN, Paris

“A Four-Star Musician with Blazing technique, uncanny agility, musical intelligence and sensitivity.” SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

ILANA BLUMBERG THOMAS

Since her professional solo debut at age fifteen, ILANA BLUMBERG THOMAS has performed across the United States and internationally. Highlights have included solo appearances with the San Francisco Symphony and the Albany Symphony (NY), as well as performances at the prestigious Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival, the La Jolla Summerfest as a ‘Rising Star’, the Aspen Music Festival . Ms. Thomas was a three-time fellowship award recipient at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was rewarded the C.D. Jackson Memorial Prize for outstanding musicianship.

As an orchestral musician, Ms. Thomas served as a tenured member of the first violin section of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MA) from 1996-2005. Ms. Thomas also served as the associate concertmaster of the Albany Symphony Orchestra for seven seasons, including one as acting concertmaster. She has additionally performed as a member of the NYC chamber orchestra Philharmonia Virtuosi, with whom she toured internationally, the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, where she currently serves as assistant concertmaster, the Sacramento Philharmonic, Symphony Silicon Valley, the Marin Symphony, and the California Symphony. Current chamber music projects include regular performances as a member of Golden Gate Music. As an educator, Ms. Thomas has maintained a private music studio for the past twenty years, and was formerly an adjunct faculty member at the State University of New York (SUNY) Albany.

WENDY CLYMER

Violist WENDY CLYMER received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, where she studied viola and chamber music with Consuelo Sherba and members of the Charleston String Quartet. She studied viola performance at the Juilliard School as a student of Karen Tuttle and received her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music studying with Jodi Levitz. As a DMA fellow at the University of Oklahoma, she performed in the MacArthur String Quartet and served as viola teaching assistant to Matthew Dane. A freelance chamber and orchestral musician, Ms. Clymer has performed with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Grace Note Chamber Players, San Jose Dance Theatre, St. Peter’s Chamber Orchestra, Accademia Filarmonica Baroque Ensemble, Resonance Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Napa Valley, and the Neighborhood Performance Project. She presents chamber music programs at many Bay Area venues and has performed at summer festivals in the U.S. and Europe, including Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival, Musica Lozzo – Italy, Aspen Music Festival, and the Apple Hill Summer Chamber Music Workshop. She was a founding member of the New York-based pop punk band Fake Brain. A passionate music educator as well as performer, Wendy is on faculty of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra’s summer chamber music camp and has taught at the Crowden Music Center, New Mozart School of Music, Lafayette School District, and Summer in the City at San Jose State University. She has coached at adult chamber music workshops for Chamber Musicians of Northern California and served as clinician for Castillero Middle School Orchestra Festivals in San Jose. As President of the San Francisco area section of the American String Teachers Association she helped to initiate ASTACAP strings level exams in the Bay Area, for which she regularly serves as adjudicator. She has also judged the San Francisco ASTA Solo Competition, Etude Club Young Artists Competition, and Northern California Viola Society Competitions. As music lecturer at California State University – East Bay she taught violin/viola pedagogy to music education students, and she regularly guest teaches in string pedagogy classes at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

AMY BRODO

After graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music, AMY BRODO (cello and gamba) performed for many years in Italy, Israel, and England before moving to San Francisco, with positions including assistant principal cellist of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Italy, and cellist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. As a freelancer in Europe, she performed with Andrew Parrott and the Taverner Players, the Norskbarok Orchester, the Hanover Band, the Royal Philharmonic, D’Oyly Cart Opera, and the City of Valencia Symphonic Orchestra. In the Bay Area, Ms. Brodo has performed on viola da gamba and Baroque cello with groups that include Lux Musica, Sex Chordae Consort of Viols, Magnificat Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, El Mundo, I Favoriti, Musica Angelica, Archetti, California Bach Society and the Albany Consort. She has performed at various festivals and has recorded for CDI, Centaur, Sony, DDG, Koch, Helicon, Kleos, MRS, and New Albion. She is a founding member of Harmonia Felice. Ms Brodo performs with many groups on modern cello including West Edge Opera and Livermore Opera Company, Oakland, Fremont, Marin, Modesto Symphonies, as well as giving recitals and chamber music concerts, and was Music Director and President of the Junior Bach Festival. Ms. Brodo is an active teacher of cello and chamber music. She also adjudicates competitions such as Junior Bach and the U.S. Open Competition.

KINDRA SCHARICH

Mezzo Soprano KINDRA SCHARICH has been praised by The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (Joshua Kosman) for her, “exuberant vitality”, “fearless technical precision” “deep-rooted pathos” and   “irrepressible musical splendor.” A 2014 finalist in the Irene Dalis Competition, she has sung over 25 roles in the lyric mezzo repertoire, and is equally at home on the operatic or concert stage. Current and past season highlights include Minerva in West Edge Opera’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Hansel and Zerlina in Opera San Jose’s productions of Hansel and Gretel and Don Giovanni, as well as Medoro and Eduige in Handel’s Orlando and Rodelinda. Concert works include the alto solos in Mozart’s Requiem and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Fauré’s Requiem and the great choral works of J.S. Bach.  As a dedicated recitalist, Ms. Scharich has presented recitals for the American Composer’s Forum in Los Angeles, Lieder Alive, the Wagner Society Northern California Chapter, and the Yehudi Menuhin Seminar in San Francisco. A great proponent of lieder, she is currently collaborating with the Alexander String Quartet on a recording of new string quartet arrangements of Mahler’s Rückert and Kindertotenlieder, as well as Wagner’s Wesendonck-lieder, to be released in 2017. Enthusiastic about working with living composers, in the spring of 2016, Ms. Scharich premiered new works by composer Kurt Erickson; and she is currently collaborating with composer Janis Mattox on her Spanish chamber opera Sueños de Medianoche (Midnight Dreams).  Ms. Scharich studied voice and piano at Eastman School of Music and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance from the University of Michigan. She completed her post-graduate education at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Persephone Chamber Ensemble is a fiscally-sponsored affiliate of InterMusic SF, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to small-ensemble music in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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