Join us in the historic setting of the historic Villa for chamber music concerts by world-class performers and our Resident Chamber Ensemble the Saint Michael Trio.

The Saint Michael Trio are considered California’s premiere piano trio and Silicon Valley’s update to the classical music scene. In the Bay Area and beyond, they perform in packed auditoriums and receive special praise for making their concerts interesting, accessible, and oftentimes funny. Their varied discography inspires ongoing accolades in the national press.

Established in 2007, the Trio’s founding members are Daniel Cher (violin), Michel Flexer (cello), and Russell Hancock (piano). In 2018 the Trio added Robin Sharp (violin), and in 2023 the Trio is also known as “Saint Mike and Friends,” enabling performances of quartets, quintets and beyond.

One of the trio’s most distinguishing features is their popular “informances”—presentations which explore a single composer in depth, incorporating extensive commentary, slides, and deconstruction of the composer’s compositional devices. These are credited with building new audiences for the classical masterworks, particularly among the rising generation.

In addition to promoting the classical literature, “Saint Mike” (as they are colloquially known) is recognized for commissioning new composers and bringing the contemporary idiom to the classical stage. They have given world premieres to works by New York-based composers Kenji Bunch and Glen Roven, and by Vancouver-based Cameron Wilson. In the San Francisco Bay Area, they work in creative partnership with Mary Finlayson. They are also recognized for championing the crossover jazz of Claude Bolling. Their 2012 album French Fusion elaborated and expanded Bolling’s solo suites and won praise from the composer, and in 2013 the Trio premiered their treatment of Bolling’s Suite for Orchestra & Jazz Piano Trio with the Bismarck Symphony.

Saint Mike appears throughout the United States, and can be heard on Pandora, Spotify, and FM radio stations throughout the US and Canada. They are also the subject of considerable notoriety because the founding artists maintain thriving careers in the private sector.

Russell Hancock (piano) made his concert debut with Seattle’s Northwest Symphony at the age of eleven, and has since appeared as concerto soloist with orchestras throughout the United States. A graduate of Harvard, he holds a Ph.D. from Stanford where he teaches in the Public Policy Program. He also serves as president and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, an influential group of business and government leaders tackling regional problems.

Michel Flexer (cello) performed throughout his youth with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra; while a student at Harvard he studied at the New England Conservatory with Bernard Greenhouse (Beaux Arts Trio). A software architect and entrepreneur, he is most recently the co-founder of Duck Duck Moose (a subsidiary of Khan Academy).

Robin Sharp (violin) is a member of the music faculty at Stanford University and concert master of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. A graduate of Juilliard, her worldwide appearances include Carnegie Hall (New York), the Musikverein (Vienna), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and the National Music Hall (Taipei).

Daniel Cher (violin) won the undergraduate music prize while a student at Stanford, and received conservatory training as a child prodigy growing up in Southern California. His concerto appearances include the New Haven Symphony, South Bay Symphony, and Orchestra New England; he has also performed with the New Century Chamber Orchestra. A medical doctor, he designs and implements clinical trials for Silicon Valley medical device companies.

Additional Information

VENUE: These events take place indoors in the main hall of Montalvo’s historic Villa. Seating is first come, first served.

PARKING: Free parking on site.

REFRESHMENTS: Beer, wine, and soda will be available for purchase prior to the performance.


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