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The Helen von Ammon Fund for Emerging Artists

Helen von Ammon
August 2, 1922 – January 31, 2014

A lifelong passion for painting is reflected in the unique garments designed by Helen von Ammon. She hand-spins yarns of exotic combinations — angora, silk, alpaca and llama and the rarest fiber on earth, qiviut, the soft featherweight under down of the Arctic musk ox. Then she hand-knits these unique yarns into one-of-a-kind art to wear.

As an artist, Helen von Ammon was particularly sensitive to obstacles encountered by artists of all persuasions on the path to recognition and success. Whether in the applied arts or the musical arts, artistic expression can be fettered by commercialism, perceived marketability myriad other constraints. The Helen von Ammon Fund has been established to provide talented musical artists the chance to express the depth and breadth of their capabilities. Further, the Fund provides professional musicians beginning their careers, an important performance opportunity as well as exposure and recognition.

Since the inception of the Helen von Ammon Fund in March of 2002, Noontime Concerts has presented a stellar lineup of brilliant artists including Lauren Cony, piano; The Chamberlain String Quartet, Michael Yokas and Sharon Hendee, violins, Darcy Rindt, viola and Michael Graham, cello; Caroline Campbell, violin; Gianna Abondolo, cello; Min-Ji Kim, cello; Natalya Duvanenko, piano; Kevin W. Chen, piano; Ivan Ilic, piano; Eric Nowlin, viola; Elliot Dunlap, piano; Jung-Min Amy Lee, violin; Jannie Lo, piano; Carlos Avila, piano; Kyle Faugerat, paino; Ilana Setapen, violin; Dr. James Lent, piano; Hiromi Okamoto, piano; Mariya Borozina, violin; David Requiro, cello; Vanessa Polgar, piano; Sandro Russo, piano; Jing Wang, violin; Hyperion Knight, piano; and Thomas Pandolfi, piano. Many of these artists have gone on to international acclaim.

Irving M. Klein International String Competition

Von Ammon artists Caroline Cambell, Gianna Abondolo, Min-Ji Kim, Eric Nowlin, Jung-min Amy Lee, Iana Setapen, David Requiro, and Jing Wang are top prize winners in the prestigious Irving M. Klein International String Competition. Since its inception in 1985, the Klein competition of its kind, and has helped launch the careers of many performers. Mr. Klein, who died in 1984, devoted himself untiringly to the development of young artists. He was extraordinarily sensitive to their human as well as musical needs. His friends, colleagues, and students who established the Competition in his memory sought to imbue it with his unusual qualities of empathy with and generosity to young musicians. Parallel to the guiding principles of the Helen von Ammon Fund, the Klein Competition seeks to provide recital opportunities, recognition, and assistance to accomplished musicians in the early stages of their careers. Noontime Concerts has been honored to present Klein Competition winners under the auspices of the von Ammon Fund. We look forward to featuring other Klein artists in the 2016 season.

The Klein Competition takes place each year in June at San Francisco State University and at Herbst Theater in San Francisco. For more information, please visit We encourage anyone interested in fostering young musical careers to make a tax-deductible gift to Noontime Concerts designated to The Helen von Ammon Fund. Recitalists are also encouraged to submit a demonstration tape or CD along with a resume for consideration to:

Helen von Ammon Fund
Noontime Concerts
660 California St
San Francisco, CA 94108