String Instructors

Antoine van Dongen

Antoine van Dongen, Dutch violinist, pianist and conductor, has been on the faculty of Wellesley College, New England Conservatory, MIT, and the Walnut Hill School of Arts between 2005-2011

Mr. van Dongen had a distinguished career serving as a first violinist with the world famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam from 1989 to 2004 and worked closely with Leonard Bernstein, Antal Dorati, Carlo Maria Giulini, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Bernard Haitink, Pierre Boulez, Ricardo Chailly and Mariss Jansons.

Between 1988-1989 Antoine van Dongen was first violinist of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been a member of the Chamber Orchestra “Per Musica” and the Dutch Bach Soloists. Mr. van Dongen played regularly with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century with Frans Bruggen and Ton Koopman. He has served as Concertmaster of the Dutch Baroque Ensemble.

As a founding member of the Feininger Piano Trio and the European Boccherini String Trio, van Dongen participated frequently in Master classes with the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri Trio.

Antoine van Dongen was a Silver Medalist at the National Violin Competition Oskar Back in 1983 and won the “the prize of the City Amsterdam” for the best interpretation of contemporary music. The prize scholarship enabled him to study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Sandor Vegh. The same year Antoine van Dongen made his debut in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

He graduated from the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam. His teachers were Davina van Wely and Herman Krebbers (former Concertmaster of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra).

Antoine van Dongen moved with his family to the Bay Area in 2012 and became a member of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. He gave masterclasses at the University of the Pacific and teaches students from Stanford University, the University of the Pacific, UC Berkeley and the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of Arts. He performs regularly with the Empyrean Ensemble at UC Davis and the ECO ensemble at UC Berkeley. He is at the distinguished faculty of the Finn centre of Music and Arts in Mountain View. Antoine van Dongen is also guest conductor of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. van Dongen joined the music faculty at UC Berkeley in September 2014 and, since 2017, is violinist of the Röntgen Piano Trio with pianist Mark Anderson and cellist Eric Gaenslen.

Dr. Bakyt Bekdjanov

Dr. Bakyt Bekdjanov was born in Bishkek, in the Kyrgyz Republic. He began his studies at the Music College of the Moscow State Conservatory of Music where he graduated in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in Violin. He continued his studies at the Nijny Novgorod State Conservatory graduating with his a Master’s Degree in 1996. In 1998, he obtained his Doctorate from Nijny Novgord State Conservatory, specializing in chamber music under Professors Benditskiy and Skulskaya.

From 1994 to 2003, Dr. Bekdjanov served as First Violin and assistant to the concertmasters of several orchestras including the Nijny Novgorod State Opera Theatre, Arzamas Opera Theatre, and the Presidents Chamber Orchestra in Bishkek. He has also performed with the Moscow State Chamber Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra and the International Symphony Orchestra (Israel). As a member of the string quartet “Semetei” he performed at Carnegie Hall in 2003.

From 1998 to 2003 Dr. Bekdjanov taught violin/viola and chamber music at the Kyrgyz National Conservatory and the Republic Music School in Bishkek. Since moving to California in 2003 he has taught violin and viola as a member of the Music Teachers Association of California and continued performing both as a versatile chamber musician and in various orchestras in Central California.

Dr. Bekdjanov’s students were laureats in numerous national and international competitions, incl. the “Golden Classical Music Awards” at Carnegie Hall in New York, and the “Grand Prize Virtuoso” in Italy. They participated in Music Festivals, and served as concertmasters of Youth Symphony Orchestras.

Judy Lee

Judy Lee – Beethoven said that “To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.” Music is not just notes and rhythm, it touches our hearts and soul with beauty.  This inspires how I have been  teaching music and violin to my students of all ages for over 15 years.  I began playing the violin at age 8 and studied violin performance in Korea.  After graduating, I have been performing, teaching in Korea and the U.S in variety of settings including orchestra, trio and quartet.  Also, my experience includes conducting children and youth orchestras in public schools.  I enjoy working with children and love to see them grow their musical skills as well as the love of music.  My philosophy of teaching is influenced by Suzuki.   My belief is that every child has talent to learn music, just as they learn to speak their first language.  I am trained in the Suzuki methods and have certificate of MTAC.

David Cann

David Cann studied violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and violin and viola at the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakadamie, Detmold – Germany. His teachers include Tibor Varga on violin, and Rainer Moog (Berlin) and Bruno Giuranna on viola. He has played with many fine orchestras, including the Bamberger Symphoniker and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and was for many years Principal Violist of the Munich Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Cann now plays with many Orchestras and Ensembles throughout the wider Bay Area.

Byron Hogan

Byron Hogan is a cellist and arranger with a distinguished career as a chamber musician who currently resides in Hayward. He was a founding member of the Julius Quartet, created as Boston Conservatory’s Honors String Quartet in 2012. In 2018, the quartet won the Yellow Springs Chamber music competition, and made their Carnegie Hall debut in 2016. They went on to hold artist residencies at Montclair State University and Southern Methodist University.

From 2010 to 2012, he was an Artist in Residence at USF as a member of the President’s Piano Trio. He has played in ensembles such as the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, The Osud trio, The St. Petersburg Opera, and the Miami ballet as well as performing as soloist with The Imperial Symphony and the Bogus Pomp Orchestra. Byron has recently taught master classes in Florida in addition to performing throughout the United States and Canada.

He holds a Bachelors of Music from Florida Southern College where he studied under Anne Parrette and Jeffrey Lang, a Masters in Music Performance and Chamber Music Performance from the University of South Florida where he studied under Scott Kluksdahl, a Graduate Performance Diploma from The Boston Conservatory under Rhonda Rider, and an Artist Diploma from the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University under Nicholas Tzavaras as part of the Graduate String Quartet in Residence program.