The Shenson Faculty Concert Series Presents: Ben Snellings, Cello

March 31, 2019 @ 4:00 pm
CMC Concert Hall
544 Capp St
San Francisco, CA 94110

CMC cello faculty member Ben Snellings, with special guest Jason Totzke, violin; presents a concert of string solos and duos from the Baroque, Classical, and Neo-classical styles, and repertoire from Hungary. Selections will include Haydn, Bach, Prokofiev, and Kodály.



Franz Joseph Haydn – Duet for Violin and Cello, Hob VI:D1

Johann Sebastian Bach – Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007

Sergei Prokofiev – Sonata for Violin Solo, Op. 115

Zoltán Kodály – Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7

Ben Snellings, Cellist:

A highly versatile artist, pedagogue and arranger, cellist Ben Snellings’ musical adventures span such diverse arenas as symphonic orchestral performance, musical theater, television, chamber music ensembles and jazz combos. Mr. Snellings is the former Assistant Principal Cellist with the Santa Rosa, Napa and Modesto Symphony Orchestras and has performed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with numerous organizations such as the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Masterworks Chorale, Pocket Opera and the San Francisco Composers Orchestra. His diverse chamber music collaborations include performing, arranging and composing for the Jazz Strings Duo “Different Strokes” and concerts with the Armadillo String Quartet on Princess Cruise Lines. Additional credits include performances with the Austin Willacy Band, collaborating as solo cellist with the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and the completion of a successful European tour of “West Side Story.” He was the music director and artistic performer for “Funky Fitness”, a television show produced in San Francisco.

As an entrepreneur, Mr. Snellings is a popular musician for celebrations and events. He has created enchanting atmospheres for hundreds of art openings, non-profit and business receptions, weddings and more. His work as a classical and jazz musician is founded on rigorous, graduate-level conservatory education: he composes original pieces and has created dozens of expertly-crafted arrangements of traditional jazz and pop repertoire for solo cello and various string ensembles. A cellist with deep roots in San Francisco and a former artists’ management administrator, he collaborates with a broad network of music professionals, specializing in crafting custom ensembles to provide unforgettable, custom-manicured events in historic and illustrious venues throughout the Bay Area.

An experienced and dedicated pedagogue, Mr. Snellings’ wide-ranging teaching positions have included Artist in Residence programs in San Mateo and San Francisco, and Chamber Music and Sectional Coaching for numerous school districts, private schools, youth orchestras and community music schools. In addition to maintaining a large studio of private cello students, Mr. Snellings is currently on the Conducting and Cello Faculty of the Golden Gate Philharmonic, teaches cello students at the San Francisco Community Music Center and is the Small Ensembles Program Director and Musicianship Instructor at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco. Mr. Snellings holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Arizona, a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a California State Teaching Credential in Music from San Francisco State University.

Jason Totzke, Violinist/Violist:

Violinist Jason Totzke has performed in the United States, Canada and Europe. He has been heard on WXXI Radio Rochester (NY) and as soloist with the Boston Chamber Ensemble, the Kensington Symphony Orchestra (CA), and the Pro Arte Chamber Ensemble of South Florida. His performances have received acclaim from the press which describe him as having consistent “character, poise, and tender phrasing” (Sun Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale). He is a former member of the Syracuse Symphony (NY), the Erie Philharmonic (PA), and performed with the Rochester Philharmonic (NY) for nearly a decade. While completing the prestigious Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, he taught at the University of Rochester and at Rochester’s Hochstein Music School where he was a founding member of the Hochstein String Quartet, and appeared in chamber music recitals with faculty members of the Eastman School and with principal players of the Rochester Philharmonic. A California native, Dr. Totzke currently resides in San Francisco and has performed with numerous orchestral and chamber music ensembles throughout the San Francisco Bay area. He is the concertmaster of the Kensington Symphony Orchestra, has been a guest Concertmaster of the Thalia Symphony in Seattle and has recorded for numerous motion picture, television and video game sound-tracks. An active teacher, he is currently a faculty member of the Golden Gate Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and maintains a large studio of private violin and viola students. Dr. Totzke plays on a Dutch violin made c. 1760 by Johannes Cuypers.

This faculty concert series is made possible by support from the Shenson Foundation.