Music for the New Year with Miles Graber, Martha Aarons, and Lev Polyakin - Rancho La Puerta
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Music for the New Year with Miles Graber, Martha Aarons, and Lev Polyakin

Week of January 6, 2024

The program will comprise music by several composers of different periods, nationalities and styles, including a tribute to new beginnings in the form of “Spring” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”


Miles Graber received his musical training at the Juilliard School, where he studied with Anne Hull, Phyllis Kreuter, and Hugh Aitken. He has lived in the Bay Area since 1971, where he has developed a wide reputation as an accompanist and collaborative pianist for instrumentalists and singers. He has been associated with numerous solo artists, as well as with such ensembles as the San Francisco Chamber Soloists, Midsummer Mozart, the Oakland-East Bay Symphony, Oakland Lyric Opera, and the San Francisco Camerata. He is a member of the chamber groups MusicAEterna, GGR Trio, Alcyone Ensemble, the Sor Ensemble, Mira Trio, and the new music group Sounds New.  He has accompanied master classes of Midori, Joseph Silverstein, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Pamela Frank, Alexander Barantchik, James Galway, Lynn Harrell, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Lipsett, Ronald Leonard, Leon Fleisher, Alisa Weilerstein, Jeanne Baxtresser, Paula Robison, and Kim Kashkashian. He has been a frequent performer with members of San Francisco Symphony, San Jose Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, California Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Oakland Symphony, Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, UC Berkeley Symphony, and members of the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.   Mr. Graber is a staff accompanist at the San Domenico Conservatory in San Anselmo, California, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Northern California Flute Camp in Carmel Valley. Other accompanying posts include the Mondavi Center for the Arts Young Artist Competition, the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, and the Summer Brass Institute.


Martha Aarons’ professional career began with her appointment as principal flute of the North Carolina Symphony. Subsequently she played with the Cleveland Orchestra for 25 years.  After becoming a freelancer, she performed often with the Philadelphia Orchestra. During this time, she appeared as guest principal flute with the Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and Mostly Mozart Festival. Ms. Aarons served as Artist Faculty with the Aspen Music Festival for 19 years. Her teaching credits include the Cleveland Institute of Music, Duke University, University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill, Oberlin College, Skidmore College, Shanghai Conservatory and Eastman School of Music. She has been soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, and with the Aspen Festival Chamber and Festival orchestras. Her first solo CD, The History of the Tango, is recorded on the Azica label and additionally features pianist Frances Renzi and Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux.  Her newest release is the CD Last Silence with violinist Lev Polyakin and pianist Frances Renzi.  Martha is also an avid runner and has qualified for her fourth consecutive Boston Marathon in April 2024!


Lev Polyakin was appointed co-concertmaster of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra at age 21. In that position he was regularly featured as soloist. In the U.S. he served as assistant concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as concertmaster of the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen Music Festival. Lev has won several prizes in international violin competitions, including the Beethoven Prize in Carl Flesch in London, and Gold Medal and Special Prize in Brescia, Italy. In addition to solo performances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, he has appeared as soloist with the London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic, and Cleveland Orchestra. Recording credits include Melodia, BBC, National Public Radio, and Decca. He is prominently featured on an album entitled Cafe Music comprising chamber music by Paul Schoenfield, which was nominated for a Grammy.  Lev has a special interest in jazz and has recorded three CDs, entitled Russian Blue, The Other Side of the Road, and Christmas Kaleidoscope.  He is also featured in the release by Azica Records entitled Last Silence, with flutist Martha Aarons and pianist Frances Renzi.