Raushan Akhmedyarova, who joined the San Francisco Symphony 2006, is a native of Kazakhstan and comes from a family of musicians. She won first prize at the National Violin Competition of Kazakhstan, the International Competition of Asia in Tashkent, the UNISA International Competition in Pretoria, and the Geneva International Competition. She graduated from the Kazakh State Conservatory and studied privately at the Moscow Conservatory, and in 1994 she received a full scholarship to study at Southern Methodist University. Ms. Akhmedyarova was previously associate concertmaster of the New Century Chamber Orchestra and has served on the faculty of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra.
Cathryn Down joined the San Francisco Symphony as an acting member in 1994 and became a permanent member of the violin section in 2001. A Bay Area native, she played for two years with the SFS Youth Orchestra and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory. Ms. Down began her professional career in Europe as a member of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival orchestra, associate concertmaster of the Baden-Baden Orchestra, and assistant concertmaster of the National Orchestra of Belgium. After returning to the Bay Area, she played with the New Century Chamber Orchestra and Sacramento Symphony until joining the SFS.
Matthew Young joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2012. Winner of a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians, he was also the winner of the Robert Vernon Prize for Viola Performance, and was a featured soloist in Severance Hall with the CIM Orchestra. Young has been invited to be guest principal of the Vancouver and Melbourne Symphonies, and has performed with the Boston Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Matt Young was a founding member of the Verklärte Quartet, which won both the gold medal and the grand prize of the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition during his time with that group. He has played chamber music with members of the Cleveland, Juilliard and Takacs quartets.
Barbara Bogatin joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1994. Previously, she served as principal cello with the Milwaukee and New Jersey symphony orchestras, and she performed frequently with the New York Philharmonic for ten years. A native of Santa Rosa, she studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. She has led workshops on meditation and music practice, also served as a mentor for the SFS’s Community of Music Makers Program.