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Florin Parvulescu, Violin; Eric Sung, Cello; Samantha Cho, Piano from the Archives
June 8, 2021
Florin Parvulescu, Violin; Eric Sung, Cello;  Samantha Cho, Piano from the Archives

Claude Debussy: Piano Trio in G Major, L. 5

Johannes Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8

Florin Parvulescu was born in 1971 in Bucharest, Romania. He started playing the violin at the age of six at the Georges Enescu music school. In 1978, he attended the Juilliard School Pre-College Division, studying with Shirley Givens. In 1989, he went on to study at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where his principal teachers were Sylvia Rosenberg and Herbert Greenberg. He also worked closely with pianist Leon Fleisher, and violinists Berl Sinofsky and Valery Klimov. In addition to earning Bachelors and Artist Diploma degrees at Peabody, Mr. Parvulescu was awarded numerous prizes, among them the Marbury Award and Yale Gordon award.

Mr. Parvulescu joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1998. From 1996 – 1998, he was a member of the St. Louis Symphony. As soloist and chamber musician Mr. Parvulescu has appeared in recital series at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Icicle Creek Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Berkeley Chamber Music Series, Johannessen International School of the Arts in Victoria British Columbia, San Francisco Symphony Chamber Music Series, Chamber Music Series St. Louis, Heidelberg, Germany and Fontainebleau, France and as soloist with the Xiamen Philharmonic in 2009 and 2010. In 2014 Mr. Parvulescu performed Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet with renowned pianist Kiril Gerstein and Thomas Ades’s Piano Quintet with the composer at the piano and members of the San Francisco Symphony.

He has given masterclasses at the Beijing Conservatory and at the School for the Arts in Macau. He has been featured on the McGraw Hill Young Artist Showcase on WQXR radio NY and on National Public Radio. The San Francisco Chronicle praised him for his “gleaming tone and pyrotechnics.”

Eric Sung is the Principal Cellist of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. He has studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Southern California, and the Juilliard School. His principal teachers have been Stephen Geber, David Geber, Ronald Leonard, Fred Sherry, and Lynn Harrell and he has participated in masterclasses with notable cellists such as Laurence Lesser, Frans Helmerson, Joel Krosnick, Janos Starker, Steven Isserlis, Norman Fischer, Aldo Parisot, and Irene Sharp.

An avid chamber musician, Eric has performed at the Taos, Sarasota, Scotia, Kent/Blossom, Aspen, Tanglewood, Mendocino, and San Luis Obispo Mozaic Festivals. Sung studied with members of the American, Cleveland, Orion, Takacs, and Guarneri String Quartets and has performed in concert with the California E.A.R. Unit, Duke String Quartet, Quartet San Francisco, Joshua Bell, Michael Tree, Ronald Leonard, Alexander Kerr, John Graham, Lawrence Dutton, and Jeffrey Kahane.

Eric has been heard as soloist with the Colburn Chamber Orchestra, Saratoga Symphony, Stanford University Summer Symphony, Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra and the Aspen Academy of Conducting Orchestra. He has participated in the New York String Seminar, Piatigorsky Seminar and has performed at the National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestra Institute, Pacific, Verbier Festivals and the Sun Valley Symphony.

He was a member of the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra and was Assistant Principal of the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Eric has served as Acting/Guest Principal of the Sydney Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

A dedicated teacher, Eric is on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Pre-College Division and the Nueva School, as well as maintaining a private studio. His students have been prize-winners at various competitions including the Johansen International Competition, US Open International Music Competition, American Protege, Junior Bach Festival, Menuhin-Dowling, Mission College Symphony Young Artists Competition, American Fine Arts Festival, Chinese Music Teachers Association of California, and Korean Times Music Competition. Eric’s students have been accepted at schools including Harvard, MIT, Yale, USC, NEC, and Stanford. They have also participated at festivals including Yellow Barn, Bowdoin, Aspen, Music@Menlo, and the Heifetz Institute and have been heard on the radio program, From the Top.

Eric has served as a coach for the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, San Francisco Academy Orchestra, KAMSA Youth Orchestra, and the Orchestra Institute Napa Valley.

A keen appreciator of antique instruments and bows, Eric plays on a Jacob Cordanus cello from 1774 and the ex-Budd, ex-Starker Peccatte-School bow.

Eric makes his home in San Francisco with his wife, Wenyi Shih, and their cat, Muffin, a tabby tortoiseshell mix.

Born in Los Angeles, Samantha Cho is a pianist currently based in San Francisco Bay.  In fall 2016, she joined the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Pre-College Division) as Chamber Music Faculty and Staff Pianist.  From 2012-2015, she taught class piano as a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota.  Active as a performer, her recent appearances include being featured on Korean TV with violinist Florin Parvulescu.  This performance, originally aired by WFMT on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, was later re-aired in South Korea on the prestigious arts channel Arte TV.  She was also recently featured on Seattle’s King FM as part of their live, weekly radio show. Upcoming engagements include solo and chamber music appearances on San Francisco Botanical Garden, Old First, Harbor College, and more. As the winner of the 17th annual Masters Concerto & Aria Competition, Samantha performed as concerto soloist with Kenwood Symphony.

Samantha devotes a significant amount of her time to teaching and nurturing young talents: she works with students at Music at Tateuchi during the summers, coaches chamber music at San Francisco Conservatory of Music during the school year, and maintains a private piano studio throughout the year.

Samantha received her Bachelor of Music at Northwestern University, Master of Music at Cleveland Institute of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Minnesota.  Her childhood teacher, Robert Turner, was renowned as a protégée of the legendary Rosina and Josef Lhevinne.  She continued her studies with the following teachers: Paul Schenly, Kathryn Brown, Sylvia Wang, and Alexander Braginsky.