Sierra Ensemble Program

Mar 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Member Concerts, Program Notes

Anita Fetsch Felix, violin
Janis Lieberman, horn
Marc Steiner, piano

About Sierra Ensemble

A unique chamber group comprised of horn, violin and piano, Sierra Ensemble was founded in 1998 by horn player Janis Lieberman and two fellow Bay Area musicians. Pianist Marc Steiner joined the group in 2002, and violinist Anita Felix in 2008. Their instrumentation not only enables performance of trios, but serves as a base that allows for inclusion of other instruments, bringing a wider range of repertoire to the concert stage.

In 2004, Sierra Ensemble proudly participated in the recording of Heartstrings, a diverse creative project that encompassed music, poetry, and visual art. They have toured the east coast and recently had the privilege of performing in Istanbul, Turkey, as part of a new project, the “San Francisco-Istanbul Musical Bridge.” Their active west coast presence includes a recent Sacramento performance of the world premiere of “Outbursts, an Homage to Brahms” by San Francisco composer Martha Stoddard.

The members of Sierra are active performers and music educators, dedicated to their mission of “creating community through the power of music.” They bring chamber music to diverse venues, including house concerts, schools, and community centers. In addition to programs that feature traditional and contemporary repertoire, including new works written especially for them, educational outreach is central to their goal of inspiring the listeners of today and cultivating the audience of tomorrow.

Program, March 2012:


Horn Concerto No. 4 in Eb M. K. 495
Rondo-Allegro Vivace

Sonata #5, “Spring” in F, op. 24 for violin and piano
Adagio molto espressivo


Trio in E-flat Major for Horn, violin, & piano, Opus 40

Scherzo: Allegro
Adagio mesto
Finale: Allegro con brio

Georges Barboteu (1924-2006)

W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)




Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Artist Biographies

Anita Fetsch Felix began her artistic endeavors as a ballet dancer but later changed to violin, which she began under the tutelage of her mother, Nicholette Fetsch. After attending the music conservatories of the University of the Pacific, Drake U., and U of Wisconsin-Madison, she became a member of the Omaha Symphony, Nebraska Sinfonia, and Omaha Symphony String Quartet, In addition to solo and chamber music activities, Anita is currently concertmaster of the Folsom Lake Symphony, a member of the Sacramento Philharmonic, Sacramento Opera Orchestra and the Sacramento Choral Society Orchestra. Her desire to perform the virtuosic violin and piano chamber music literature resulted in the formation of Duo Concertante with her father, pianist Wolfgang Fetsch. They are recognized as current Roster Artists of the California Arts Commission’s Touring and Presenting Program. Their music outreach has extended throughout California from Mendocino to San Diego, and the western United States to Colorado. Anita joined Sierra in 2008.

Janis J. Lieberman is an international French horn artist having performed in Turkey, Israel, Greece, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, and the United States. As Janis’s father was working in Turkey, she began her horn studies in Ankara, Turkey with Erol Gomurgen, principal player of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra. She returned to America to study at the Boston University School of the Arts. After graduating, Janis was appointed the Principal Hornist of the Israel Sinfonietta Orchestra, performing and recording over 80 concerts a year throughout the country and on tour in Europe. She performed in special concerts with Zubin Mehta and Isaac Stern, as well as with the Jerusalem Symphony and Israel Chamber Orchestra. In addition, Janis was on the faculty of the Rubin Conservatory of Music in Israel. She returned to the United States and performed with Mstislav Rostropovich and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Janis currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area and is a member of the Sacramento Philharmonic and Sacramento Opera Orchestras. She also plays Principal Horn with the Golden Gate Opera and has also performed with the SF Ballet and Opera Orchestras, the San Jose Symphony, Napa Valley Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony and Modesto Symphony Orchestras. Janis has appeared as soloist in Mozart Concerto No. 4 and the Schumann Konzertstück with the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra, Redwood Symphony, and the Bear Valley Music Festival Orchestra. Janis co-founded Sierra Ensemble in 1998.

Marc Steiner is a native of Los Angeles, California. He earned Bachelor, cum laude, and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California. As an undergraduate he was elected to membership in Pi Kappa Lambda, the national academic honor society for music. His teachers have included Mildred Portney Chase, Robert Ward, Nina Scolnik and Edna Golandsky. Mr. Steiner has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and duo pianist in recitals in Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, the Midwest, New England, and was a finalist in the recent San Francisco Concerto Orchestra Competition. An active teacher, coach and clinician as well as performer, Mr. Steiner frequently presents lectures and master classes on the Taubman Approach to piano technique. He served as a faculty member of the Taubman Institute and is a former member of the Golandsky Institute faculty. He is Past President of the Music Teachers’ Association of California, Alameda County Branch, and continues to serve on the board of the Branch’s Scholarship Foundation. He maintains private studios in the East Bay and the Los Angeles area. He joined Sierra Ensemble in 2002.

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