Urs Leonhardt Steiner, Executive Director / Conductor
Internationally renowned as a conductor, guitarist, educator, and composer, Maestro Steiner founded the San Francisco Sinfonietta as a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization in 1994. Looking toward its third decade, the organization now has changed its name to the Golden Gate Symphony & Chorus. Originally from Chur, Switzerland, he graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Master of Music in 1986. He studied conducting with James Wimer, Gustav Meier, Herbert von Karajan as well as Master classes with Andre Previn, Erich Leinsdorf and Leonhard Bernstein. In collaboration with his father, techno star Peter “Cool Man” Steiner, he has received critical acclaim for CD’s that have sold more than a million copies worldwide.
Maestro Steiner’s compositions include operas “Il Secondo Settenio” and “Return of the Phantoms” which have been performed to critical acclaim in Switzerland and the United States. In addition to leading the San Francisco Sinfonietta in local and international endeavors, he is a frequent guest conductor with orchestras and ensembles in Europe, United States and Central America. He is currently Music Director of the International Music Festival and Co-Director of “Musica en Los Barrios” in Managua, Nicaragua as well as artistic Director of the Music Theater Chur, Switzerland. Under his direction he has created innovative music education partnerships with the “Pan y Arte” Foundation in Muenster, Germany for funding community programs for underprivileged youth and communities in Central America. Here in San Francisco he is the Music Director of the Community Music Center Orchestra as well as the Adda Clevenger School Show Choir. Mr. Steiner is the first Swiss Artist to appear at the White House in Washington D.C.
Loretta Taylor, Concertmaster
Loretta Taylor has been the concertmaster of the Golden Gate Symphony since its founding as the San Francisco Sinfonietta 1994. She has worked extensively with many orchestras throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She has performed in orchestras in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Perth, Australia. In addition to currently being the concertmaster of the Golden Gate Symphony, she teaches at the Community Music Center and is principal second violin of the Santa Cruz County Symphony. Loretta has coached chamber music for the Chamber Musicians of Northern California and the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop. Ms. Taylor has been soloist with the Old First Orchestra, Community Music Center Orchestra and the New Millenium Strings. She has been instrumental in managing San Francisco Sinfonietta orchestra during tours in Germany, Austria, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua and Switzerland. Ms. Taylor is a graduate of San Francisco State University, magna cum laude.
Ruth Keys, Principal Flute
Currently the Principal Flutist with the Golden Gate Symphony, Ruth Keys has performed locally and internationally with the organization and with the Community Music Center Orchestra. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Ms. Keys very sensibly relocated to San Francisco shortly after graduation from the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Flute Performance. She has studied with John Krell, John Wummer and Deborah Carter. She regularly plays with a number of Bay Area music organizations, makes frequent appearances as a solo recitalist and is a founding member of the quartet Fog City Flutes. Ms. Keys is currently engaged in the development of a comprehensive method of individual and group flute instruction.