Goran Berg – violin, viola, orchestra, chamber music, Artistic Director/Owner
Mr. Berg holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Pedagogy from the Royal Swedish Music Academy at Stockholm University, and a Master’s Degree in Music Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy in the String Development Program at the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
He is strongly dedicated to the teachings of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, and his own teacher, Professor John Kendall. He has 36 years of music teaching experience, the last 30 years including the Suzuki Method. He conducts parent and teacher education training classes throughout the United States and Europe.
Mr. Berg teaches violin, and viola, both Suzuki and traditional methods. He conducts orchestra and coaches chamber music. Among other music styles, he likes to utilize fiddle tunes as part of his teaching as a complement to classical instrumental studies.
Besides his time with SSA, he is also Director of the Suzuki Program at the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley. He teaches violin at Crowden and conducts the Crowden Summer Suzuki Workshop, formerly the SSA Suzuki Workshop.
Mr. Berg has a long background in voice and singing. He is a trained barytone with many years of vocal studies in Stockholm. As a member of several choirs and choruses in Sweden his repertoire streches from medivial music to contemporary works. As a member of the Stockholm Motet Choir he can be heard on the BIS CD “Scandinavian Choir Music.” He also performs on the Erato recording of “Figure Humaine” by F. Polenc, with the Stockholm YMCA Chamber Chorus. Well-known chorus conductors of great importance for him are Dan Olof Stenlund, Professor at the Copenhagen Music Conservatory, and Eric Ericsson, Professor emeritus at the Royal Swedish Music Academy in Stockholm.
Goran Berg writes original arrangements of Scandinavian fiddle music, both for violins and orchestra/string quartet. His “Fiddle Heart” books are used by educators internationally. See separate website www.fiddleheartmusic.com
He has also published string arrangements in the new Eclectic Strings Series, Book 1, at Alfred Publications; Violins Go Vivaldi / Eclectic Strings.
TELEPHONE: 925.606.5818 – Sycamore Strings Academy office
Christina Berg – guitar, Music & Movement, Co-Owner of SSA
Christina Berg completed music studies at the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm. She was a music and elementary school teacher for fifteen years in Sweden, and has taught guitar in the Tri-Valley Area for over a decade. She is a certified Kindermusik Educator, Montessori instructor, and author of music education materials used to train other music educators. At SSA, she teaches her own guitar program, called Guitar with Christina. It emphasizes chord play as accompaniment to own singing. Her Kindermusik classes are organized under the auspices of Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD).
Christina and Goran Berg are the parents of three adult children, and have two grandchildren. All three children took Suzuki violin and cello throughout their childhood. Until the children moved on to college, the Berg family played as a quartet. The Berg Quartet performed at numerous weddings and church events at the Swedish Church in San Francisco. The quartet can also be heard on the Fiddle Heart CD recordings, complement to the books with the same name.
Vivenne Kim – violin
Violinist Vivienne Kim has been active as a teacher, soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician. She has been featured on television’s Emmy Award Show and Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show. Her solo performances include appearances with the Taegu City Symphony Orchestra in Korea and with the USC School of Performing Arts Orchestra. Her chamber music performances include recitals with pianist Adrienne Kim in Iyo-mishima, Japan, and performances at Le Refuge on City Island, at Reynolda House in Winston-Salem, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Toe River Music Festival in North Carolina, the Arcady Music Festival in Maine, and the Shaker Mountain Music Festival. She has collaborated with pianist Jon Klibonoff, flutist Paula Robison, members of the Lark, Cassatt, Hofstra, and Emerson String Quartet, and has performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group. She was awarded a fellowship to the Tanglewood Festival, and is a founding member of the Anteros Quartet.
A native of California, Vivienne is happy to be returning after spending 14 years as a teacher and performer in New York. She has played on such Broadway shows such as The Color Purple, Wicked, The Light in the Piazza, Fiddler on the Roof, Wonderful Town, A Christmas Carol, and Caroline, or Change. She has recorded numerous film scores and commercial jingles, including those for Hitch, Julie & Julia, The Good Shepherd, The Rookie, The Last Mimzy, You Don’t Know Jack, Bounty Hunter, Failure to Launch, The Departed, and Doubt. She has appeared on the MTV Video Award show with Sheryl Crow, performed in Carnegie Hall with k.d. lang, and has performed and recorded for Rufus Wainwright and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.
Vivienne received a degree in English and American Literature at Harvard University, and studied the violin with Miriam Fried at Indiana University. She has had the pleasure of training with Suzuki teacher trainer Judy Bossuat, and is a certified teacher for Suzuki Book One. She is a former faculty member of Concordia College in New York, and is very happy to be joining the faculty of Sycamore Strings Academy in Livermore and the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley. She lives with her husband in Berkeley.
Carol Vitcha – violin
Carol grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Education from Bowling Green State University and Miami University in Ohio. After teaching in a Suzuki program in the Cleveland Catholic Schools for 2 years, she studied the Suzuki Method in-depth with Suzuki Pioneer, John Kendall, at Southern Illinois University. Carol has attended many Suzuki and traditional string training sessions in Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, New York, Illinois, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and also had the opportunity to study with Dr. Suzuki in Japan.
In the Bay Area, Carol has taught with the East Bay Suzuki Music Association in Berkeley,
Salinas Junior College, Dominican University and Holy names Suzuki Prep programs and
maintains a home violin studio. She also has played with many “freeway” symphonies and
presently plays in a string quartet. Carol loves to help students work on reaching higher levels
in playing and having fun with music.
Carol is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, the Suzuki Association of
Northern California and a member and Evaluator for the Music Teachers Association of
Carol lives in Richmond with her husband, Bob, and 3 cats: Jack, Lucy and Ethel.
Nancy Ewing – Violin
Biography and photo coming soon
Adrianna Khoo – Cello
Adrianna Khoo has performed with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Lantau Trio, and Low Strung Cello groups since 2010. With a passion for teaching, she pioneered the Suzuki Method Cello Program at Kinder U Suzuki Music Academy – the first Suzuki school in China recognized by the International Suzuki Association. She is now starting a Suzuki Cello Program at Sycamore Strings Academy, Hope Street Music Studios, and at her San Francisco studio in California. In addition to music, Adrianna has a background in print/broadcast journalism and public relations.
Adrianna’s teaching philosophy is that every child can learn with the right discipline, environment, and parental partnering. Her students have performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and played solo with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, where she served as a coach. As Hong Kong’s first Suzuki Cello class, Adrianna’s students represented their country with a special performance during the Matsumoto 2013 Suzuki World Conference. They have raised several thousand dollars organizing benefit concerts for Japan and the Philippines.
As a musician, Adrianna produced full house programs across genres at Visage One, Sheung Wan Civic Center, Hong Kong City Hall, and the Fringe Club in Hong Kong. From the City Chamber Orchestra’s Forbidden City tour with Celtic dancers in Beijing to all cello renditions of Lady Gaga, Adrianna appreciates eclectic programming. She has played with the New England Philharmonic, Plymouth, and Richmond County orchestras. Adrianna served as principal cellist of the University of Southern California Community Orchestra, and Sacramento Youth symphonies. She has performed at the Berkeley Noon Concert Series and was the winner of the Sacramento Youth Symphony Concerto Competition.
Adrianna was a graduate scholarship student of Grammy nominated cellist Terry King at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachussetts. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa Honors with a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. She holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Southern California, where she earned the Hearst, Asian American Journalist, and Lohan scholarships to write in Los Angeles and Capetown, South Africa. Adrianna was formerly a litigation reporter at the Los Angeles Daily Journal and a Public Relations Specialist for the national I Have A Dream Foundation in New York – a youth development program which has helped more than 15,000 under-served youth go to college.
Music samples are available at www.RED-CELLO.com
Jane Lee – Cello
Cellist Jane Lee is currently a faculty member at the Crowden School, the Crowden Center for Music in the Community (CCMC), and at the Sycamore Strings Academy, where she has studios in Danville and Livermore. She also maintains a private studio in Berkeley.
Jane received her cello pedagogical training from Irene Sharp at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She also served as an assistant to esteemed pedagogue, Milly Rosner, in her private studio. Jane has appeared regularly in most of the regional orchestras in the Bay Area, and performed in the Bowdoin Chamber Music Festival in Maine.
She lives in Oakland with her husband, two sons and two 15 year-old cats.