Susan Bates, Founder & Director
Young Chamber Musicians is led by long-standing champion of chamber music education, Susan Bates with guest appearances by noted chamber music artists from near and far. Ms. Bates holds the 1992 award for "Excellence in Chamber Music Training" from Chamber Music America, and she is the 2013 recipient of the Tom Heimberg Viola Advocate Award from the Northern California Viola Society. Since 1982, she has guided numerous young musicians who are now pursuing careers as professional musicians and playing chamber music "for the love of it".
Ms. Bates' career includes the creation and direction of several chamber music education programs for highly talented musical youth in the San Francisco Bay Area: San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory Chamber Music Program (1983-2000), California Summer Music (1996-2000), Lake Tahoe Music Festival Academy with the Miró Quartet (2000-2006), and Young Chamber Musicians (2008-present). She also serves as an instructor of viola and chamber music in the Pre College Division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (1982-present), and the Virtuoso Program of San Domenico School (1980-1983 and 2008-2011). In 2002, Ms. Bates joined her colleagues of Midwest Young Artists, Chicago, Illinois to create the MYA Summer Chamber Music Program serving on its faculty until 2009. Ms. Bates joined the faculty of the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop (SoCal) in 1979 and remains a dedicated coach at the workshop each summer.
Susan Bates is a founding member of the New Age String Quartet that worked under the tutelage of the Paganini Quartet. She was for seven years instructor at San Jose State University serving as violist of the faculty ensemble, the San Jose String Quartet. The Quartet worked closely with composer Lou Harrison, giving the premier of his Quartet Set (1978). Ms. Bates also recorded Mr. Harrison's Threnody for Carlos Chavez (1979) for Solo Viola with Gamelan Sekar Kembar for CRI. In 2010, Susan Bates retired from the viola section of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra after 34 years. Recently, she was awarded the 2013 Tom Heimberg Viola Advocate Award from the Northern California Viola Society.