Berkeley Symphony & Friends

Chamber Concert

Beethoven & Brahms

Rene Mandel, violin

Feb. 10

At 5pm


Chamber IV: Beethoven & Brahms

Sunday, February 10 2019

5pm- 7pm

Mandel returns to PCA in February 10 concert

Rene’ Mandel, the Artistic Director of Berkeley Symphony, will lead an ensemble of five musicians in a chamber music concert at the Piedmont Center for the Arts on Sunday, February 10 at 5 p.m.

It is part of the ongoing Berkeley Symphony & Friends concert series, now on its sixth year in Piedmont.

The ensemble includes Mandel and Yuna Lee on violin, Joy Fellows on viola, Sébastien Gingras on cello and Mari Kodama on piano. They will perform Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D major, and Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Advance tickets are available online at, or by calling Berkeley Symphony at 841-2800, ext. 1.

About the Artists:

Rene’ Mandel, Violin

René Mandel was appointed Executive Director of Berkeley Symphony in 2011, and now serves as its Executive and Artistic Director. He began his relationship with Berkeley Symphony in 2006 as Artistic Administrator, Orchestra Manager, and Principal Second Violin. In these roles he elevated the quality of the orchestra by recruiting high-caliber musicians, hiring soloists, and managing concert repertoire. 

He served on the search committee that recruited Joana Carneiro as Music Director of Berkeley Symphony.

He was a founding member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra from 1993-2000, serving on its board, and was co-chair of the music director search which brought Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg to the organization. Mandel was Director of Artistic Operations and Executive Producer of Montréal Symphony Orchestra with Ketn Nagano from 2009-11.

An accomplished violinist, Mandel was a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra from 1983-1994, and an active musician in the Hollywood studio industry from 1985-2009. His solo appearances include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New Century Chamber Orchestra, and San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, among others. In addition, he has performed with San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and Los Angeles Opera.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, where he studied with Manuel Compinsky, he later attended Indiana University under Josef Gingold and completed his studies with Stuart Canin at UC Santa Barbara.

Yuna Lee, Violin

Yuna Lee received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Cho-Liang Lin and Naoko Tanaka. As an active chamber musician, she was a founding member of the Phaedrus String Quartet in 1999, and has performed at the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and toured extensively in Europe. She has performed as guest artist at the Verbier Festival, the International Bach Festival in Switzerland, and Festival Aix-en-Provence. 

In 2006 she Yuna moved to Miami Beach after receiving an orchestral fellowship with the New World Symphony where she was a featured soloist with the orchestra. She has played frequently with the Saint Louis Symphony and the Knights Chamber Orchestra in New York City.  She now performs regularly with the San Francisco Symphony. 

Yuna moved out to the Bay Area in 2010 with her husband, cellist Sébastien Gingras, and is enjoying her new family life with her 3 year old daughter. 

Joy Fellows, Viola

Joy Fellows is currently a member of the San Francisco Opera, and is Assistant Principal of the San Francisco Ballet. Before moving to San Francisco, she was Associate Principal Viola of the Indianapolis Symphony, and has also been a member of both the St. Louis Symphony, and the New World Symphony in Miami.

She has been a resident chamber musician at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Italy, and has also participated in The Juilliard String Quartet seminar, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Central City Opera (Colorado), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Classical Tahoe, Twickenhamfest, and has participated and taught at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. 

Ms. Fellows holds a Bachelor degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Master's degree from The Juilliard School. Joy studied chamber music with Robert Mann, Nicholas Mann, Earl Carlyss, Joel Smirnoff, and Samuel Rhodes. Her principal teachers included Wayne Crouse, Matthew Dane, and Samuel Rhodes of the Juilliard String Quartet.

Sébastien Gingras, Cello

Canadian cellist Sébastien Gingras grew up in Chicoutimi, Québec, where he went to school at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec. After graduating in 2003 from the class of David Ellis, he moved to Boston to study with Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory and received his Master of Music degree in 2005. The following year, he received the Graduate Diploma with distinction in performance from the same Conservatory.

Sébastien has won top prizes in several solo competitions, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition, the Festival de musique du Royaume, the Canadian Music Competition and the New World Symphony Concerto Competition. He has also been heard on several occasions on CBC in recital and in a concerto appearance.

Sébastien was a member of the New World Symphony and the Saint Louis Symphony before joining the San Francisco Symphony in 2010.

Mari Kodama, Piano

A Steinway Artist, Mari Kodama is an authoritative Beethoven interpreter. She has performed John Adams‘ Hallelujah Junction for two pianos with her sister, Momo Kodama in La Scala Paris, and with the Orchestre La Sinfonia de Lanaudière and Stéphane Laforest in Canada. 

She has recorded extensively on Pentatone, with a recent release of Martinu’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra

Since her recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 1995, she has performed with orchestras throughout the world, including performances with Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. 

In her native Japan she has performed with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo along with the symphony orchestras of Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka. 

Her festival appearances include the Salzburg Festival, the Verbier Festival, Mostly Mozart in New York City, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, and regular appearances at Les Folles Journées Festival in Nantes and Japan. 

The wife of conductor Kent Nagano, she was born in Osaka and raised in Germany and Paris. At the Conservatoire National in Paris, she studied piano with Germaine Mounier and chamber music with Genevieve Joy-Dutilleux. She has also worked with Tatiana Nikolaeva and Alfred Brendel.