Resident String Quartet Program

Receive up to $20,000 in scholarship funds!

The University of California, Santa Cruz invites high school seniors to apply for the Student Resident String Ensemble Program. Ensemble members will receive scholarship funds of up to $12,000*, participate in a number of department-sponsored performances and public concerts, and have the opportunity to be coached by Roy Malan, concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet and member of the UCSC String faculty.

The UCSC department of Music offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Undergraduate students receive a strong foundation in musicianship, giving them excellent preparation for graduate work and professional careers. The department's Music Center provides state-of-the art instructional and performance facilities for its students, including the Recital Hall that critics have called "the finest college hall of its size in California."

*Students selected for the program will receive $5,000 per year for four years. The student's progress will be reviewed after two years; if satisfactory progress has been made. To receive the award each year students must be registered full-time music majors in good standing.

Audio Clip

Quartet in G Major K.387 by W.A. Mozart: I. Allegro vivace assai

Quartet in F Major by Maurice Ravel: III. Très lent

How to Apply

Applicants should submit the following items:

A CD or DVD of two contrasting works (a total of 15-20 minutes of music)
-- A one-page outline of musical experience: instrument, years studied, orchestra experience, works, performed.  Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number and email address
-- A copy of the Application for Admission to the University of California, Santa Cruz
Send all materials by November 30, 2013 to:

Coordinator, Resident String Student Ensemble Program
Music Center
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Finalists will be invited to UCSC to meet with the String Faculty and Director of Ensembles for an audition/interview in February of 2012.

All applicants must file a formal application for admission to the University of California, select Santa Cruz as one of their campuses, and be admitted. A copy of the completed UC application must be sent to the Resident String Program electronically or by mail (postmarked by November 30, 2013). For admissions information and deadlines, call the UCSC Admissions Office at (831) 459-4008 or visit them online at

Nicole Paiement

Conductor, Nicole Paiement, is the Director of Ensembles at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she conducts the Orchestra, the Chamber Singers and the Opera. With her University Ensembles, she has recorded various CDs including music by Schütz, Stradella, Tailleferre, Cope and Harrison. She is also the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music New Music Ensemble. Under her baton, the Ensemble has recorded and commissioned many works.
Paiement is the Artistic Director of Ensemble Parallèle – a professional ensemble, dedicated to contemporary chamber opera. With this Ensemble, Paiement has recorded many world premieres performances, commissioned many new works from composers of various countries, and toured in various countries including Australia and Korea. The Ensemble’s most recent projects have included the world premiere of Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar, the west coast premiere of John Rea’s re-orchestration of Berg’s Wozzeck and the San Francisco premiere of Philip Glass’ opera Orphée. Paiement is presently working on the world-premiere performance of the chamber version of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby and a commissioned opera by composer Dante De Silva. In collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts, she conducted Ensemble Parallèle in an opera installation of Virgil Thomson/Luciano Chessa’s Four Saints in Three Acts this summer at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Paiement is also the Artistic Director of the BluePrint Project – a series focused on building new music for the city of San Francisco. These contemporary music events have highlighted many American living composers and culminated in various CD recordings. Over the years, BluePrint has collaborated with various organizations in the San Francisco Bay area. These have included the Pacific Rim Festival, Other Mind Festival and the International Women Composers Festival.
Paiement’s interest in both vocal and instrumental music has led her to conduct and record many world premieres of operas. She made her Korean debut conducting in 2004 the world premiere of Chan-Hae Lee’s opera Back to the Origins and Nicola Le Fanu’s Old Woman of Beare. Since then, she has returned to Korea on many occasions. In her interest to work on interdisciplinary projects, she has collaborated with many dancers and media artists. Through these collaborations she toured with EP in Australia in Summer 2005 and participated in the Asian-American-Australian Sound-Dance and multi-Media Connections. Paiement is also an active guest conductor. Recent engagements include the world premiere recording of Laura Schwendinger’s Violin Concerto with New York violinist Kurt Macomber. In March 2012, she will join the Dallas Opera to conduct the performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse. She holds a Doctorate in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music.

Roy Malan

Roy Malan studied in London with Yehudi Menuhin and then at Juilliard and the Curtis Institute with Ivan Galamian and Efrem Zimbalist. He has been concertmaster and solo violinist with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra since 1974 and a member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. For twenty years Malan was concertmaster of both Sinfonia San Francisco and the San Francisco Chamber Symphony and a featured soloist on the latter's European tours. He is on the faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Mr. Malan is also founder and co-director with pianist Robin Sutherland of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival. He has received critical acclaim for concerto appearances at New York's Lincoln Center, Washington's Kennedy Center, the Paris Opera and the Edinburgh Festival. He has recorded extensively with Robin Sutherland, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and as a concerto soloist.

The author of a biography on the late Efrem Zimbalist, Malan was honored in 1982 by Zimbalist's dedication of a specially orchestrated version of his "Coq d'or Fantasy." He was further honored by the bequest of the great Russian violinist's collection of favorite bows.

Concurrent affiliations: concertmaster, San Francisco Ballet; principal violinist, San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players; founder and director, Telluride Chamber Music Festival; faculty, Rocky Ridge Music Center. Former affiliations: Ithaca College; Stanford University; first violinist: Porter Quartet, Stanford String Quartet, Ives Quartet, Crown Chamber Players, San Francisco Piano Trio. Teachers: Ivan Galamian, Efrem Zimbalist, Yehudi Menuhin. Performances: solo and chamber music in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Interests: emphasis on 19th-century literature and performance practice and on virtuoso techniques; chamber music. Recordings: Sonatas, by Efrem Zimbalist and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Genesis Records); Sonatas, by Robert Russell Bennett and Ottorino Respighi (Orion Master Recordings); Fredrick Kaufman Concerto, Violin Sonata (Orion Master Recordings); Music from Telluride (Transparent Recordings); and numerous contemporary works for CRI and Newport Classics, including a solo violin piece, Gihon, written for him by jazz flutist James Newton. Pedagogical philosophy: acquisition of the technique, tone, and general musical culture essential for performing the Classical, Romantic, contemporary, and virtuosic basics of the repertoire; cultivation of the sensitivity and discipline essential for chamber music playing.

Resident String Quartet Members:

Esther Cynn is a junior at University of California, Santa Cruz, majoring in cello performance under Vanessa Ruotolo. She is the principal cellist of the orchestra and the cellist of the Resident String Ensemble. She has also been the cellist for the UCSC Farm Quartet for their Farm to Fork fundraiser. Last year, she won the Auclair Memorial and Kretschmer Scholarships. She has also been part of the orchestra pit for local musicals put on by All About Theatre!, Scotts Valley Performing Arts, and Cabrillo Stage.

Sophia Kreide, a senior at University of California, Santa Cruz, made her debut in the music world at the age of 16 when she won the Merced County Young Musicians Competition and was given a chance to solo with the Merced Symphony.  Since then, she has gone on to study with Roy Malan of the SF Ballet.  She is a member of the UCSC Resident String Ensemble scholarship program and is co-concertmaster of the UCSC Orchestra.  She has played with the Santa Cruz Chamber Players and for April in Santa Cruz, and has played for many musical theater companies in the area, as well as local recording artists.  She maintains an active interest in teaching, having taught at Cazadero Music Camp this past summer, and after graduating, hopes to start her own private studio in the Bay Area as well as play chamber and orchestral repertoire professionally.

Erik Petersen studies physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He studied viola with Pamela Freund-Striplen and currently studies with Roy Malan. He is the principle violist in the orchestra as well as a member of the Resident String Ensemble. 

Zachary Ragent is from San Mateo, CA, where he began playing the violin at the age of five under the direction of Marjorie Lin.  While in San Mateo, Zachary served as concertmaster of and toured internationally with the Peninsula Youth Orchestra. As a music major in violin performance at UCSC, Zachary is continuing his studies with Roy Malan, where he is a member of UCSC’s resident string ensemble and serves as rotating concertmaster and principal second of the UCSC orchestra.

Rebecca Wishnia studied violin for eight years with Roy Oakley and now studies with Roy Malan. At UC Santa Cruz she is a recipient of the Resident String Ensemble, Kvetschmer, and Cooper music scholarships and is co-concertmaster of the orchestra. As part of various ensembles she has appeared in several local festivals, including the Cabrillo Festival, April in Santa Cruz, and the Mendocino Music Festival. As a member of Villa Chamber Orchestra she performed in the Debut Series at Carnegie Hall and in Europe. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree and also studies Japanese.