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Aaron Westman - YPCO, Music Director

Aaron Westman, Young People's Chamber Orchestra, Music Director

Complimented recently for his “impressive playing” and “rapturous music” (Early Music America), Aaron Westman has become "one of the most popular period instrumentalists on the West Coast" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat). In demand as a violinist and violist, he has performed as a soloist and chamber music collaborator with Agave Baroque, American Bach Soloists, El Mundo, Ensemble Mirable, Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, Musica Pacifica, Seicento String Band, Seraphic Fire, and The Vivaldi Project.

As a principal player, Westman has worked with ABS, Berkeley West Edge Opera, Bach Collegium San Diego, Pacific Bach Project, Jubilate, and Magnificat Baroque Orchestra, and he performs regularly with New Hampshire Music Festival, Musica Angelica, Orchester Wiener Akademie, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Westman also co-directs the award winning chamber ensembles Agave Baroque and Live Oak Baroque Orchestra. Agave was a finalist in the Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition in 2012, as well as a finalist in the EMA/NAXOS Recording Competition, and was a featured main stage performer at the 2012 Berkeley Early Music Festival. Both ensembles have received recent recording grants from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. Westman has recorded for Hollywood, and on the Dorian/Sono Luminus, Magnatune, NCA, VGo, and (GRAMMY Nominated) Philharmonia Baroque Productions labels, as well as live on KPFK (Los Angeles), WDAV (North Carolina), ORF (Austria), and as a soloist on NPR's Harmonia and Performance Today radio programs.

Westman tours extensively worldwide, including with two projects starring the actor John Malkovich. Recent tours have taken Aaron to Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Peru, Spain, and all over the United States.

Westman is an alumnus of Santa Rosa High School, as well as the Santa Rosa and San Francisco Symphony's Youth Orchestras. He holds a Master of Music from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with a double-major in viola performance and early music. His teachers included Stanley Ritchie, Alan de Veritch, Geraldine Walther, and Theodore Arm. For three years, Westman taught at California Institute of the Arts, near Los Angeles.

About his 2013 appointment as Young People’s Chamber Orchestra director, Westman said: "I am honored to accept the position of Director of the Young People’s Chamber Orchestra, and I am humbled to join the list of fine musicians and educators—Linda Ghidossi-Deluca, George Thompson, and Dawn Dover—who have lovingly envisioned, crafted, and maintained this important gem of a program. I am also excited to work with the Education Program's extremely gifted artistic and administrative staff to complement their existing offerings. As I was growing up in Sonoma County, my musical mentors impressed upon me the mantra that chamber music was the highest form of our art, requiring leadership and rhetorical skills, a collaborative and charismatic attitude, a high degree of creativity, and a strong, subtle, and refined technique. I have made my career organizing, directing, performing, and touring with chamber and period instrument ensembles and chamber orchestras. It is a thrill to get to share my love for this art form with a new generation of young musicians and future leaders.”

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