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Chancellor's Concert Series Kicks Off 2012 With Performance Today


The UCSF community is invited to the first Chancellor’s Concert Series of 2012 with a performance by violinist Leor Maltinski and cellist Angela Lee today (Jan. 26).

Violinist Leor Maltinski

Violinist Leor Maltinski

UCSF’s Pearl Toy, MD, the program’s director and founder, initiated the concert series in 1997. Nelson Schiller, MD, provides annotation for the audience about the pieces performed. And David Watts, MD, reads poetry before every concert, then introduces the concert.

Violinist Maltinski and cellist Lee will perform Bach’s Duetti BWV 802-805 and Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello, from noon to 12:45 p.m., in the Genentech Hall Atrium at Mission Bay, 600 16th Street.

Chancellor’s Concert Series performances are held at various UCSF locations. To see the series’ schedule — or for a calendar of other cultural events — visit the Arts & Events website

Toy is aprofessor emeritus in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at UCSF, where she as worked for 30 years doing blood research, teaching and treating patients.

Cellist Angela Lee

Cellist Angela Lee

Watts works for the gastroenterology and Internal Medicine practice.He has been a part of the UCSF family since his internship in 1966.

And Schiller is a cardiologist, who has worked at UCSF for 40 years.

The trio took time out from their hectic schedules to answer a few questions about the popular lunchtime concert series and why it’s an important offering at UCSF.

The concert series is one of most visible ways that UCSF strives to be a good employer and neighbor by offering high-quality performances for free.

Q: How did you become involved with the Chancellor’s Concert Series?

Toy: I started the Chancellor’s Concert Series in 1997, and asked and received funding support from then-Chancellor Haile Debas. His successor, Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, was also very supportive. We are lucky that they recognized the value of the series.

Watts: By request from Dr. Haile Debas (who was chancellor at the time the series was created).

Schiller: Due to my life-long interest in music, I began attending concerts as soon as they began. Since the artists were top-tier musicians and the music was often chamber music intended for experienced listeners, I thought the audience would enjoy the programs more if the pieces were annotated. I volunteered to provide such notes, and this effort gave me motivation to indulge in my hobby of reading about composers and the provenance of their work. I also hoped that it would augment the popularity of the concerts and thereby assure their perpetuity.

Q: What is it about the Chancellor’s Concert Series that made you want to become involved as a planner, patron, and participant?

Toy: UCSF is an all-science campus, and I felt that some music would be good for the campus.

Watts:It’s a great combo of poetry and music.

Schiller: San Francisco is rich in musical talent and many of the most elite among this talent pool, members of the San Francisco Symphony, perform at UCSF’s Chancellor’s Concert Series. I had hoped to be able to hear these artists in an intimate environment and to meet them, as well. Both of these things have happened.

Q: What role or contribution do the arts have in supporting UCSF’s mission of advancing health worldwide?

Toy: By offering high-quality music performances and arts on campus, UCSF advances the health of its students, staff, faculty, patients, and members of the community.

Watts: The arts give balance to the life experience of caretakers and researchers.

Schiller: Medicine and music have a long history of interaction. The same physician scientists who advance health are often great fans of the arts.Having a top-tier musical program contributes to the quality of their environment and to their pride of membership. I know it does so for me. As a dedicated health-science campus, prior to the arrival of the Chancellor’s Concert Series, we had little cultural activity on the campus; now we have the top tier of culture.

Q: How do you fit art and music into your daily schedule?

Toy: I go to concerts and play the piano.

Watts: (The arts) fit themselves into my day.

Schiller: I schedule my obligations and duties around this activity. Once in a while — since patient care always comes first — all or a portion of a program may missed, but fortunately that’s not often.

Q: If you could make a living full time as a performer, what kind of performer would you be?

Toy: I would be a member of the San Francisco Symphony, but one has to walk on water to pass the extremely tough selection process!

Watts: A conductor or — more broadly — a writer.

Schiller: A cellist — but the idea is so far-fetched as to be inconceivable.