Cordula Merks is concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, while Chen Zhao has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony since 2000
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) has appointed violinists Cordula Merks and and Chen Zhao to its string faculty from autumn 2017.
Concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and first assistant concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony, German-born Merks held concertmaster positions with Germany's Essen Philharmonic, Bochum Symphony and Bergische Symphony before moving to the US in 2011. A graduate of the Amsterdam Conservatory, she is serving as artist-in-residence at the University of Washington during the 2016-17 season.
An alumnus of the Curtis Institute and SFCM, Chinese violinist Chen Zhao has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony since 2000 and has toured throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. He is also on the faculty of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and regularly coaches with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra.
'With the appointments of Chen Zhao and Cordula Merks, we are gaining two distinguished artists and educators,' said SFCM dean Kate Sheeran. 'Chen's experience as a longtime member of the San Francisco Symphony, and Cordula's new appointment as concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet further our connections to our stellar neighbouring artistic institutions here in the Civic Center.'