Frances Steiner, Music Director
FRANCES STEINER has been the Music Director of the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay since its inception, where she has received recognition from the Los Angeles Times for providing "wonderfully vital and crisply executed performances." Dr. Steiner made musical history when she became the first woman to conduct a professional orchestra (the Glendale Symphony) from the stage of the Los Angeles Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. She also conducts the Carson-Dominguez Symphony, and her guest conducting includes appearances with the Bay Area Women's Philharmonic, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Oakland Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic.
At the age of eight, Frances Steiner's musical education was launched with a scholarship to study with Gregor Piatigorsky at the Curtis Institute of Music. Her studies were enriched with summers at the Marlboro Music Festival where she performed and studied with Rudolf Serkin, Eugene Istomin and Alexander Schneider, and at the Meadowmount School of Music where she also studied with Leonard Rose. These opportunities were funded with scholarships from Curtis. After graduating from Curtis with a bachelor degree in music, she went on to study composition with Walter Piston and Randall Thompson at Harvard University where she received an M.A. She studied conducting at the Fontainbleau School of Music in Fontainbleau, France, under Nadia Boulanger, and received a D.M.A. from the University of Southern California where she majored in cello and conducting. Post-graduate studies include master classes with Daniel Lewis and Leonard Bernstein.
Her multi-faceted career includes cello solo appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Glendale symphony; recitals and chamber music concerts at Town Hall (NYC), the Kennedy Center (Washington DC); and principal cellist chairs with the California Chamber Symphony, Glendale Symphony, Festival Orchestra (Lincoln Center), and assistant principal chair in the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The conductors (and Steiner's role models) of these orchestras include: Leopold Stokowski, Carmen Dragon, Daniel Lewis, and Neville Marriner. In the world of academia, Dr. Steiner is a Professor of Music at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Mission & History of the COSB
For 33 years, the COSB has been a beacon of classical music in the South Bay. A fully professional orchestra, it is the resident classical orchestra of Palos Verdes Performing Arts at the Norris Theatre and the only orchestra in the South Bay offering a full season with nationally and internationally recognized soloists.
Dr. Frances Steiner, the founding music director, is responsible for planning and conducting the season of five performances at the Norris Theatre, as well as for one or two special events at other locations during the course of the year. She is widely recognized for her career as a cellist and for conducting several major orchestras.
The COSB has a proud tradition of attracting award-winning guest artists. Soloists have included pianists such as Yuja Wang, Rufus Choi, Stephen Lin and Orion Weiss. Strings have included cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, guitarist Pablo Sains Villegas, harpist Marcia Dickstein and a number of well-known violinists. The latter have included Susanne Hou, Mayuko Kamio and Itamar Zorman. The COSB has a longstanding relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; past and present principal artists who have performed with the COSB include violinists Martin Chalifour and Glenn Dicterow, flautist Denis Bouriakov, oboist Arianna Ghez, clarinetist Michele Zukovsky, hornists Andrew Bain and William Lane, and cellists Peter Stumpf and Ronald Leonard.
A high regard of the COSB is not limited to its subscribers. Critiques of COSB performances emphasizing its high musical standards have been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Breeze and the Palos Verdes Peninsula News, and it is the winner of four awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. Grant support has been obtained from such noteworthy funders as the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the Los Angeles Arts Commission, and the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation.
Major donors of the COSB have included the following:
THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
THE CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL
THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY ARTS COMMISSION
THE NORRIS FOUNDATION
TOYOTA MOTOR SALES USA
THE ANN AND GORDON GETTY FOUNDATION
THE E.NAKAMICHI FOUNDATION
BOEING SATELLITE SYSTEMS