Allegra Chapman, Cofounder
Artistic and Executive Director
Described as "brilliant" by the San Francisco Classical Voice, San Francisco-based pianist Allegra Chapman is dedicated to engaging with new audiences as performer and presenter. She performs regularly as both soloist and chamber musician, and has given concerts at Alice Tully Hall, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, the New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, and the Bard Music Festival. Her performances have been broadcast on WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago, and KALW San Francisco. An avid chamber musician, Allegra performs with various Bay Area ensembles and has collaborated with musicians Blair McMillan, Ian Swensen, and members of International Contemporary Ensemble and the Orion String Quartet. In addition to her performing career, Allegra enjoys a thriving teaching studio and has coached chamber music ensembles at many institutions, including San Francisco State University. She is a faculty member at Cal Music Prep Academy and the Xi’an International Music Festival.
Passionate about performing and promoting the music of today, Allegra has worked with composers Joan Tower and Charles Wuorinen and premiered the works of many young composers. Allegra studied with Jeremy Denk and Peter Serkin at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, graduating in the inaugural class with degrees in Piano Performance and History. She continued her studies as a scholarship student at The Juilliard School where she earned her Master of Music degree with Seymour Lipkin and Julian Martin. Allegra previously studied with John McCarthy and has also worked with Dr. Sharon Mann at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
To learn more, please visit allegrachapman.com.
Laura Gaynon, Cofounder
Laura Gynon is an active performer and presenter of cello and chamber music in the San Francisco Bay Area. Described as "stunning" by the SF Examiner, Laura has performed with the American Bach Soloists, LiveOak, the unconducted orchestra One Found Sound, and as a founding member of the baroque chamber ensemble Musa. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with luminaries including Kim Kashkashian, Krista Bennion-Feeney, Geoff Nuttall, Bonnie Hampton, Paul Hersh, and Ian Swensen. She is also Artistic Director of Bay Area Concerts at Home, a chamber music series that takes place entirely in the living rooms around the Bay Area. Recent festival appearances include the Oregon Bach Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Taos School of Music, and the International Piatigorsky Cello Masterclasses at USC.
Laura is dedicated to promoting the music of today, and spearheaded Musa’s “Art Inspiring Art” commissioning project, now in its third year. A devoted teacher, Laura has an active studio in San Francisco and is a teaching artist with Chamber Music by the Bay, as well as on faculty at California Music Preparatory Academy and the the Pacific Crest Music Festival. Laura earned degrees from Yale University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with an M.M. in cello performance and an Artist Certificate in chamber music as a student of Jennifer Culp. She earned an added emphasis in Historical Performance through her studies with baroque cellist and viola da gambist Elisabeth Reed and harpsichordist Corey Jamason.
To learn more, please visit lauragaynon.com
Stage Director, joined West Edge Opera as Artistic Director in the fall of 2009 and became General Director in December 2012. West Edge produces new and rarely done operas in an abandoned 1912 beaux-artes train station in Oakland, California. Mark has created many critically acclaimed productions for the company, most recently directing productions of Handel’s Agrippina, Laura Kaminsky’s As One and Jake Heggie’s The End of The Affair. Major directing credits include productions at the Dallas, Miami, Cincinnati, Detroit and Seattle operas, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. He made his European debut at the Reina Sofia Opera House in Valencia, Spain in 2010, directing Massenet’s Manon. For Boston Baroque, Mark has directed Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Agrippina and most recently a period-instrument Magic Flute. In 2018 he will direct Beethoven’s Fidelio for the company. His Fire Opera, Machine, for which he wrote the libretto and directed the production was produced by Oakland’s The Crucible in 2012. Mark has also worked with several young artist programs, including vocal students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Yale University, and the Peabody Conservatory.