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San Francisco Opera Appoints New Principal Cellist

Cellist Evan Kahn will succeed David Kadarauch, who previously held the position for 49 years


Following nearly five decades of continuity, the San Francisco Opera now has a new principal cellist. Evan Kahn has been appointed to the role, and will begin his tenure with the orchestra at the opening of the 2023/24 season. He succeeds David Kadarauch, who had previously been the orchestra's Principal Cello for 49 years.

Originally from Los Angeles, Kahn studied with David Premo at Carnegie Mellon University, before continuing his studies with Jennifer Culp at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Alongside his position at the San Francisco Opera, Kahn is also principal cello for three other orchestras: the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Opera San Jose, and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he has made appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, LA Opera, and the San Francisco Symphony.

He is a four-time attendee of the Aspen Music Festival, where he held Fellowships in orchestral leadership and in contemporary ensemble playing.

"SF Opera is one of the best companies in the world with a whole lot of legacy, coming off its 100th anniversary season," Kahn said. "I'm so, so excited to be their first new principal cellist in 49 years, succeeding the great David Kadarauch."

"I was lucky enough to study entirely with tremendously supportive teachers," Kahn added. "Jennifer Culp was one of those: always in the room with you, meeting you on your level. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor, and the three years I worked with her were so, so formative."

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