"Dialogues and Poetry"
Christian Baldini, music director and
UC Davis Professor of Music
Strauss: Don Juan
with Maximilian Haft, violin
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2
with Leyla Kabuli
Maximilian Haft was born in 1985 in Sacramento. He studied violin at the New England Conservatory of Music with Masuko Ushioda and at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with Vera Beths. He enjoys playing new music and has performed with Ensemble Klang (The Hague), Ensemble musikFabrik (Cologne) and Ensemble Contrechamps (Geneva). In 2009 he graduated from the Asko|Schönberg Ligeti Academy. In 2010 he received the HSP Huygens Scholarship and was a finalist in the Storioni Chamber Music Competition. In 2010 and 2011 he took part in the Lucerne Festival Academy during which he worked with Pierre Boulez and Ensemble Intercontemporain. Most recently he performed the solo part of Witold Lutoslawski’s violin concerto Chain II with the Noord Nederlands Orkest to critical acclaim. He performs regularly with The Hague String Variation, De Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht, Bern Camerata and the Metropole Orkest and has recorded for Mode Records, Hänssler Classic, Wergo, Musiques Suisse and FYO Records.
Leyla Kabuli is a student at UC Berkeley, majoring in electrical engineering and computer science as a Regents and Chancellor’s Scholar. Leyla had a featured performance on NPR’s From the Top in 2016, collaborated with the show on a benefit video, and was invited to perform at their 2017 Gala. She performed with Ensemble SF in two concerts, and was featured in San Francisco’s Noontime Concerts as the Helen von Ammon Emerging Artist Award recipient. She performed as a soloist with the Waring Festival Orchestra, Nova Vista Symphony, Palo Alto Philharmonic, Sonoma Philharmonic, El Camino Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. She is an active chamber musician and collaborative pianist, and also plays the bassoon and violin. She currently studies piano with Professor Yoshikazu Nagai of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is the pianist of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. Her recognitions include 2016 and 2017 National Young Arts Honorable Mention Awards, and the US Chopin Foundation scholarship. She won first prizes in the Los Angeles Young Musician, eMuse, American Protégé, and Wildflower Music Showcase International Competitions, the second prize in Enkor, third prize in Virginia Waring Concerto, and the best transcription and audience prizes in the Seattle International Piano Competition. She was also a semifinalist in prestigious international events, including the International Piano-e-Competition, Hilton Head International, Yamaha USASU International, and the First Arthur Rubinstein Youth International Piano Competition. Her regional and national first prizes include Pacific Musical Society, MTAC, CAPMT, Kruschke, Mindell, Ghiglieri, Classical Masters, East Bay, Berkeley Etude Club, US Open, Junior Bach, and MTNA Piano Duet competitions. She also received top awards from the American Prize in Solo Piano, Ross McKee, and Zeiter competitions.