Amy Zanrosso’s playing has been hailed as expressive, magnetic and masterful but since no one at the New York Times has said this, she’s not allowed to put it in quotes. Her first touch of a keyboard was a two-octave electric organ that her parents had found who knows where. She enjoyed picking out tunes like O Sole Mio and Ode To Joy until her cousin decided to show her Heart and Soul on an acoustic piano. That’s the moment Amy fell in love. Thanks to her attentive and industrious Italian immigrant mom, piano lessons started at the age of 6 and by the age of 15, Amy had made the decision to make music her life. A few years later she was accepted into the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada where, in Bruce Vogt’s studio, she realized that she had way too much to learn and would always be in awe of the absolute force that is music. Bruce’s wisdom and humor still influence her life today and she will always be thankful for his guidance in those early years of learning what playing the piano really meant.
As a soloist, Amy is addicted to the thrill of performing with orchestra. Since 2016, concerto repertoire, similar to chamber music but on steroids, has forced her to push her limits, helping make her into the confident and electrifying player she always hoped to be. She has appeared as soloist with the Symphony of the Kootenays, the Russian Chamber Orchestra and the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. Her intense love of chamber music has led her to more fully admire and explore her favorite composers while sharing the experience with countless inspiring, dedicated players and appreciative audiences. In addition to freelancing in the Bay Area with various musicians and ensembles, the RossoRose Duo, founded in 2015, keeps Amy and violinist Alisa Rose occupied learning and performing repertoire from Beethoven to Auerbach.
After her Bachelor’s, Amy furthered her studies for a few years in Italy and then completed a Master’s Degree at McGill University in Montreal. Her life filled with a wealth of chamber music and was rounded out by some Broadway musicals, German cabaret and a number of years in an Argentine tango quintet. In 2014, Amy moved from Montreal to the Bay Area with her partner Dave and her dog Roscoe. She is currently based in Oakland. Since the big move, Amy went on tour to China with the GRAMMY award-winning Pacific Boychoir, rehearsed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Gustavo Dudamel at the podium and was the pianist for Chorissima, the five-time GRAMMY award winning San Francisco Girls Chorus Premier Ensemble throughout the 2017–18 season.
Like performing, Amy finds teaching to be a highly rewarding part of a musician’s life. She is a faculty member and chamber music coach at the Pre-College Academy of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA. She is constantly fueled by her fantastically inspiring students and enjoys forcing her favorite composers on them as well as telling them what to do. Amy is looking forward to all the superb music, musicians, students and enthusiastic audiences that will come her way in the future. Many thanks to Beethoven and Brahms for inspiring her to come this far – she wouldn’t change a thing.
About Circadian String Quartet
Bay Area based Circadian String Quartet was founded in 2013 to perform classical and contemporary repertoire of folkloric or cultural significance.
Since then CSQ has become known for bold original programming ideas that break boundaries or reach across cultures, that is why CSQ loves working with composers. CSQ is proud to have given world and U.S. premieres of exciting new pieces of chamber music written by Sahba Aminikia, Ben Carson, Toronto-based Noam Lemish, and British composer Ian Venables. They first performed Sahba Aminikia’s One Day Tehranlive on air on KPFA’s radio show “Music of the World” with Joanna Manqueros in 2015. Then in 2016 they commissioned Aminikia to write a new piece for string quartet and Narrator. The result, a glowing kaleidoscopic mixture of text by Allen Ginsburg and Hafez called The Weight of the World was premiered in 2017 at the Piedmont Arts center.
CSQ has also become known for its original transcriptions and compositions. In 2017 and 2019 their original transcriptions of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and the Firebird premiered to enthusiastic crowds and critical acclaim. In 2016 CSQ collaborated with narrator and historian Nikolaus Hohmann to tell stories from World War Two. For this project CSQ created short original pieces of music and text called “Chiaroscuros”which helped give their programs a narrative arc. Now there is a growing body of these short works which are now a regular part of all CSQ concerts.
CSQ has been quartet in residence at the Music by the Mountain Festival in Mt. Shasta, featured in the April in Santa Cruz new music festival, and the members also serve as resident teaching artistists for the Villa Sinfonia’s Zephyr Point Chamber music workshop in South Lake Tahoe.
Some of CSQ’s recent projects include their collaboration with world class santour player Hamid Taghavi, and the upcoming premiere of “Eurydice’s Defiance” David Ryther’s new Opera written especially for Kitka Soprano, Lily Storm and CSQ. These projects highlight the breadth of CSQ’s repertoire as they continue to expand the string quartet’s possibilities.
A huge thank you to Dobie Edmunds for generously sponsoring this event!