Magnificent melody

Morgan Hill-born violinist returns for South Valley recital

Alex Cooke HOMECOMING Violinist and Morgan Hill native Kimia Ghaderi appears with two other classical musicians in ‘Apex Piano Trio’ on Sunday, June 18 at Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church. Photo: Alex Cooke

Lifelong violinist and Morgan Hill native, Kimia Ghaderi returns to her hometown in the California debut of “Apex Piano Trio”. Ghaderi began her musical journey at the young age of four and grew up performing in the spotlight of the symphony with the accomplished San Jose Youth Symphony, the California Youth Symphony and the pre-professional San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. While she also plays the flute, piccolo, and has basic piano skills, Ghaderi has a special affinity for the violin.

“I have always loved the beautiful vocal quality and versatility of the violin,” says Ghaderi, but she recognized the importance of a multi-instrument talent. “I gained so much by studying music from a different perspective.”

After graduating from Live Oak High School in 2008 at 16, Ghaderi, now 27, went on to Rice University in Houston where she graduated magna cum laude in 2012 with a bachelor of music degree. Ghaderi relocated to Ohio for her graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she began collaborating with her current trio members, cellist Carlyn Kessler and pianist Andrew Focks.

“For years it has been on my mind to plan a recital in Morgan Hill, and I’m thrilled to finally be doing that along with my fellow trio members.”

Ghaderi and Kessler completed their master’s degrees in 2015 and Focks completed his doctor of musical arts degree in 2016.

Along with distinctive individual careers in solo, chamber and orchestral settings, Ghaderi and Focks have performed together both in the US and abroad for five years; and the trio has been playing together as an ensemble throughout Northeast Ohio for three years.

“Coming back to my hometown and playing for an audience with many longtime friends and family is a truly unique and special experience,” she says. Ghaderi is bringing “Apex Piano Trio” home to Morgan Hill for a program that she notes “is very diverse in style and there’s something for everyone in the piece.”

Focks and Ghaderi will open the recital with pieces for violin and piano, including jazzy music by American composer Gershwin and classical “gems” by Mozart and Rachmaninoff.

Focks will join cellist Carlyn Kessler for selections by Bruch and Mendelssohn. The second half of the recital will be dedicated to the Brahms Piano Trio No. 1, which Ghaderi says the trio is honored to be presenting for the first time together in concerts this summer and which describes as “a journey exploring the depths of human experience.”

See ‘Apex Piano Trio’ Sunday, June 18 at 7pm at Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church at 16970 Dewitt Ave, Morgan Hill. Light reception to follow; free admission; donations will be accepted. For more information visit

Tia Sundberg
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Tia Sundberg is a crafting diva, knitter, Halloween fanatic and freelance writer for South Valley magazine.