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Emerging Artist Opportunities

The excitement of discovering a promising new musician is like hearing your favorite piece of music for the very first time. At Noontime Concerts we believe that gifted emerging artists will shape the future of classical music. And that’s why it is our privilege and our commitment to offering young talented musical artists in the early stages of their careers a chance to play in our concert series.

The Helen von Ammon Fund for Emerging Artists provides scholarship-based live performance opportunities for gifted and talented young musicians who are on the threshold of amazing careers. A Noontime Concerts opportunity for these special artists becomes a memorable experience for all of us who are so lucky to see and hear them play.

Featured Emerging Artists for May 2, 2023

Daniel Dastoor, Violin  Jonathan Lee, Piano

Known for his musical sensitivity and inspired performances, violinist Daniel Dastoor has emerged as one of Canada’s leading young artists. A native of Montreal and a frequent participant in competitions and festivals, Daniel is a winner of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award and the Calgary Philharmonic’s Marley Rynd Performance Scholarship. He won first and second prize at the Prix Ravel of the Écoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau won first and second prize at the Glenn Gould School’s Chamber Competition and is a prizewinner of the Canadian Music and Alberta Festival competitions. He has also performed as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic and with the Lethbridge Symphony. Recent and upcoming appearances include performances in San Francisco, Toronto, at the Trondheim Chamber Festival, and a quartet tour of Nova Scotia presented by Musique Royale and the Lunenburg Academy.

A passionate chamber musician, Daniel has participated in the Perlman Music Program Chamber Workshop, Kneisel Hall Chamber Festival, National Arts Center’s Young Artist Program, Fontainebleau Festival, Trondheim International Chamber Festival, Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, Banff Centre Festival, and Orford Music Academy. Invited to perform as guest violinist with the UCalgary String Quartet faculty quartet in residence from 2016-2018, Daniel participated in Calgary Pro Musica’s Young Artists Development Program in the 2016-2017 season. He participated again in the 2017-2018 season as part of the Walden Piano Trio, with which he competed in the 45th Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and with which he was mentored by the Gryphon Trio at the Festival del Lago Academy in Ajijic, Mexico.

Active in the concert scene, Daniel competed in the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition, has appeared as part of the Festival de Febrero, Concerts@100, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and Arts & Letters Club of Toronto series, and has given solo and chamber performances across North America and Europe. Recent projects include recordings in Toronto’s Koerner Hall and in St. Louis, Missouri, and an online performance as part of the Banff Centre’s EvoFest: Evolution Concert Series. Daniel has performed with many great musicians including Barbara Hannigan, Vivian Hornik-Weilerstein, Krzysztof Jablonski, Diana Ligeti, Robert McDonald, Barry Shiffman, and members of the Danish String Quartet, and Tetzlaff Quartet. A frequent performer in masterclasses and festivals, he has had the opportunity to work with renowned artists such as Noah Bendix-Balgley, Miguel da Silva, James Ehnes, Mauricio Fuks, Joseph Kalichstein, Ida Kavafian, Joel Krosnick, Stefan Mendl, Régis Pasquier, Merry Peckham, Gérard Poulet, Joel Smirnoff, Roger Tapping, and Pinchas Zukerman.

An equally experienced orchestral musician, Daniel has performed as concertmaster of the Royal Conservatory Orchestra and the University of Calgary Orchestra, has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, McGill Symphony Orchestra, and Orford Academy Orchestra, and has served as a substitute in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.

Daniel is currently in the first year of his Artist Diploma in Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studies with Ian Swensen. Most recently, he completed an Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School where he studied with Paul Kantor and Barry Shiffman as a Temerty Fellow. He holds degrees in music from the Mount Royal Conservatory and the University of Calgary where he studied with Bill van der Sloot and degrees in Computer Science from the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto. He plays on a 1737 Guidantus violin on a generous loan from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Daniel gratefully acknowledges the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation for their generous support for his studies in San Francisco.

Pianist Jonathan Lee has thrilled audiences throughout the United States in venues including Symphony Hall in Boston, Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts, and has performed as soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony, Boston Pops Orchestra, and Utah Symphony.

A prizewinner of several competitions, Mr. Lee captured first prize at the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition, first prize at the San Diego International Piano Competition, first, audience, and best Liszt prizes at the Washington International Piano Artists Competition, second, audience, and best Baroque prizes at the Boston International Piano Competition, and gold medal, audience, and teacher prizes at the Seattle International Piano Competition.

Mr. Lee has also performed and participated in festivals such as Amalfi Coast Piano Festival, PianoTexas, St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar, and the Wassermann Festival. He has worked with esteemed pedagogues Jerome Lowenthal, Leon Fleisher, Boris Slutsky, and Russell Sherman.

This concert is supported by the Helen von Ammon Fund for Emerging Artists

The Helen von Ammon Fund for Emerging Artists

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

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 or the musical arts, artistic expression can be fettered by commercialism, perceived marketability, and myriad other constraints. The Helen von Ammon Fund was established to provide talented musical artists the chance to express the depth and breadth of their capabilities. So, it is with gratitude for Helen’s vision and generosity that Noontime Concerts provides professional musicians beginning their careers with an important performance opportunity, exposure, and recognition.

Ross McKee Piano Competition

Each year The Ross McKee Foundation produces a piano competition open to high school students. Up to four contestants are selected to be Ross McKee Young Artists. These laureates receive a prize of $1,500 and participate in a public recital.

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