IAN ROBERTSON, Artistic Director and Concert Chorus Condcutor
Awarded the Olivier Messiaen Foundation Prize for his artistic contribution to the preparation of San Francisco Opera’s North American premiere of Saint François d’Assise, IAN ROBERTSON has been Chorus Director and conductor with San Francisco Opera since 1987 during which time he has earned high public and media acclaim for the quality of choral singing. He is Artistic Director of the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Festival Chorale where he has been responsible for the phenomenal growth in both organizations’ musical stature and reputation. He led the San Francisco Boys Chorus in their performance for the Inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. in January, 2009.
Robertson made his SFO conducting debut with the 1988 production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and has since led performances of Falstaff, Lohengrin, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Don Carlo, Turandot, Il Trovatore and La Bohème. In addition to his highly praised work with the Opera Chorus, he has led the Opera Orchestra and Chorus in many concerts. Additional conducting assignments include the San Francisco Opera Center’s The Italian Girl in Algiers, Cosi fan tutte, La Perichole, The Elixir of Love, and La Bohème. He also led the Merola Opera Program’s Grand Finale Concert for eight consecutive years. He has conducted Don Giovanni for Sarasota Opera, The Magic Flute and Rigoletto for Edmonton Opera and has conducted La Rondine, Iolanta, Eugene Onegin, The Rape of Lucretia, Don Giovanni, Vanessa and The Rake’s Progress for Curtis Opera Theatre in Philadelphia. He has conducted a concert of “Greatest Opera Choruses” with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra.
Before joining San Francisco Opera, Robertson was Head of Music and Chorus Director of Scottish Opera, where he conducted The Barber of Seville, The Secret of Susanna, The Pearl Fishers, Rigoletto, My Fair Lady, The Abduction from the Seraglio, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and The Magic Flute, as well as concerts with the Scottish Opera Orchestra. He worked as Assistant Director with the Edinburgh International Festival Chorus and the Scottish National Orchestra Chorus. He was Music Director of the Scottish Youth Theatre.
A native of Scotland, the maestro trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and the University of Glasgow. He has appeared as solo pianist at the Edinburgh International Festival and the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room in London. He recorded recitals for the BBC and appeared as pianist with the New Music Group of Scotland in contemporary works and with Cantilena as harpsichordist.
ILDIKÓ THÉSZ SALGADO, Intermediate Chorus Director
ILDIKÓ THÉSZ SALGADO was born and raised in Hungary, where she earned a diploma in Choral Conducting and Music Education from the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. She has been on the faculty of the Kódaly Center at Holy Names University since 2001 where she currently teaches choral conducting. Her previous teaching experiences include working with the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, where she worked with the unchanged voices and musicianship skills of the boy singers. Salgado has also held choral and musicianship workshops in Washington, Utah, and throughout California. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.
JENNIFER COOPER, Education Director and Apprentice 2 Chorus Director
JENNIFER COOPER is an active member of the Bay Area’s music teaching community, having taught choral and classroom music in middle and elementary schools, voice in her home studio, and directed church choirs for youth and adults. Cooper received her early training at the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music in Ohio – seat of the oldest collegiate Bach festival in the country – and her Master of Music Education degree at Holy Names University (HNU), in Oakland. She has performed in collegiate and community operas, musical theater and choruses, and soloed in two national tours with Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians. Ms. Cooper is President of the board of the local chapter of the Organization of American Kodály Educators, centered at HNU. She joined the SFBC faculty in 2005.
ADRIAN BEHREND, Apprentice 1 Chorus Director
ADRIAN BEHRENDT is Apprentice 1 Director with the SFBC. He also serves the Piedmont Unified School District as their Vocal Music Teacher for grades K through 4, serving over eight hundred and fifty students at their three elementary schools. Through a grant offered by the SFBC, Adrian successfully completed the Level 1 training at the Kodaly Institute at Holy Names University. In addition to his busy teaching schedule, Adrian is arranges songs for his own solo CDs of original pop music. He has been a top finalist in KDFC's Star Spangled Sing Off Contest, and enjoys tennis, working out, and spending weekends with his wife and two children.
XIOMARA DI MAIO, Preparatory Chorus Director
XIOMARA DI MAIO, a Grammy award winner, is a professional pianist, choral conductor, and percussionist, who has been teaching in the Bay Area since 1998. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Ms. Di Maio came to the U.S.A. in 1980 on a scholarship from her government to study at Indiana University, where she received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music. She has also studied with Vance George (SFS Chorus director Emeritus), and Ragnar Bohlin (SFS Chorus Director). She is a Certified Suzuki Piano Teacher, and also has Kodaly Level I certification from Holy Names College. Ms. Di Maio has a private music studio in Lafayette, CA, where she teaches piano and voice to very young children, and is also the chorus vocal coach, director's assistant, and accompanist at the renowned Stanley Middle School music program directed by Mr. Bob Athayde.
Ms. Di Maio has been a guest conductor with the La Jolla Symphony Chorus; the Portland Unitarian Church Chorus; America Cantat Ensemble in Caracas, Venezuela; and was the founder and artistic director of the Las Voces Vocal Ensemble in San Diego. She has also been a coach for the SF Girls Chorus, SFS Chorus, and the UC Berkeley Choruses. Ms. Di Maio was the Director of the Crystal Choir (Foster City satellite), and also was the director of the Pacific Boychoir Academy (Contra Costa satellite). Ms. Di Maio is delighted to be with the SFBC, honored to be working with the superb staff, and happy to share her love for music with all the children and their families!
SARAH HAWLEY-SNOWearned her Masters of Music in Music Education with Kodaly Emphasis from Holy Names University, where she began studying vocal performance during her undergraduate studies, having played cello and harp since childhood. She has performed in musical productions, community orchestras, and private recitals throughout the Bay Area. In addition to her work with the San Francisco Boys Chorus, Sarah also teaches for the Oakland Youth Chorus, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and Cantare Con Vivo of Oakland. She is looking forward to furthering SFBC’s mission of providing high quality Music education for all children in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
BETSY MARVIT, East Bay Intermediate Director
After receiving a B.S. from Caltech, BETSY MARVIT studied composition with Elinor Armer and David Garner at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. An award-winning composer, Betsy has written commissions for individuals and ensembles, ranging from talented children at the Conservatory Prep to members of the San Francisco Symphony. After graduating from SFCM, she continued her studies at the Sorbonne in Paris. Betsy has since settled more permanently in the Bay Area, where she is a professor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a choral director and instrumental teacher at The Crowden School. Betsy has been with the San Francisco Boys Chorus since 1998.
ROBERT LEE, Accompanist, Musicianship Instructor, Marin Intermediate Chorus Director
ROBERT LEE comes from Calgary, Alberta, Canada as a pianist and music educator. Robert's musical training includes a MMus in Music Education with Kodály Emphasis from Holy Names University in Oakland, and a BMus in Piano Performance with distinction from the University of Calgary. In continuation of his studies, Robert has focused on collaborative piano repertoire, specifically vocal and chamber music. Robert has taught and accompanied with private studios, choirs, professional musicians, and ensembles throughout Alberta and the San Francisco East Bay. With a strong interest in collaborative piano and music education, Robert is excited to be a part of the San Francisco Boys Chorus.