Elaine Kreston, cellist
photo: Tom Wyse



maybeck trio




The Maybeck Trio - bios

Roy Zajac, clarinet
Jerome Kuderna, piano
Elaine Kreston, cello

One of the Bay Area’s outstanding chamber music groups, the Maybeck Trio features the clarinetist Roy Zajac, ‘cellist Elaine Kreston and pianist Jerry Kuderna. Sharing a common passion for chamber music (and a common Czech ancestry) they bring a unique combination of passion and refinement to the classics as well as contemporary works, some of which were composed especially for them. Performing a broad range of trios and duos, their goal is to blend the voices of their instruments into a singular artistic statement which mirrors the voice of the composer.


Members of the Maybeck Trio:

Roy Zajac
In the fall of 1986, clarinetist Roy Zajac began a Bachelors of Music Education at the University of Michigan where he studied clarinet with Fred Ormand. In the summer of 1987, Roy went to Vienna, Austria to study with the principal clarinetist of the Vienna Philharmonic, Peter Schmidle. While working to complete his Bachelor's degree in Music Education, he was accepted to play at the Grand Teton Music Seminar and performed with local professional groups including the Ann Arbor Gilbert and Sullivan Society and the Jackson Symphony. Upon completing his degree, Roy took a job with the Filharmonia del Bajio in Guanajuato, Mexico. He played there for one season then returned to the United States to work on a Master's degree in Music Performance at the University of Minnesota. While studying for his degree, Mr. Zajac was able to play substitute clarinet with the Minnesota Orchestra and perform with the Bergen Wind Quintet. After completing his Master's degree, Roy took a job with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West at Travis AFB, CA. Mr. Zajac has also performed in the orchestras of Napa, Sacramento, Berkeley, and Marin. In 1998 he won his current position: principal clarinet of the Santa Rosa Symphony. He performs regularly in chamber music recitals with members of the Santa Rosa Symphony and Jeffrey Kahane, the West Marin Music Festival, and is a founding member of the Maybeck Trio. In the summer of 2006, Mr. Zajac performed and taught at the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp. Roy also maintains an active teaching studio in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Elaine Kreston
Cellist Elaine Kreston has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe, including Carnegie's Recital Hall and as soloist on Broadway, and has been featured in broadcasts on NPR and KPFA. Formerly a member of symphonies in Texas and California, Ms. Kreston now performs primarily in chamber music settings. She is a founding member of the classical Maybeck Trio and the unique RumiCello, a collaboration that mingles the poetry of Rumi with the sounds of the cello. Plugging in her cello, Elaine goes electric with "avant-cabaret" vocalist Amy X Neuburg. Elaine has performed as improvising soloist at the events of Krishna Das, Adyashanti, and Eckhart Tolle, and has released a CD with Translucent. She has also been featured with a variety of musicians including Rod Stewart, opera star Frederica von Stade, Walter Becker (of Steely Dan), and Rick Allen (of Def Leppard).

Last season, Ms. Kreston performed in venues from LA to New York City, and was principal cellist in the United Nations 60th Anniversary Official Celebration at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral. She also collaborated with the Kitka vocal ensemble in the staged production of "The Rusalka Cycle." Elaine's discography is equally diverse, and includes the soundtrack of the Academy-Award winning film "Born Into Brothels." Elaine holds degrees from the New England Conservatory and UT-Austin. In addition to performing, she leads a teaching studio in the Bay Area and frequently visits schools to perform, teach, and inspire. To learn more about her latest adventures, please visit www.elainekreston.com .

Jerome Kuderna
Jerome Kuderna studied at the San Francisco and New England Conservatories, where his principal teachers were Robert Helps and Rudolf Kolisch, and at Juilliard with Adele Marcus. He holds a Ph.D. from New York University, where he worked with Eugene List. He has taught at the University of Louisville and at Princeton, where he performed new works by Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions under the auspices of the Group for Contemporary Music, among others. He wrote his dissertation on the piano works of Milton Babbitt and recorded Babbitt's Phonemena for the New World Records historic anthology of American Music series. Mr. Kuderna has performed numerous concertos for piano and electronic sound, including the American premiere of Philippe Manoury's Pluton, a work in which the electronic MIDI-generated sounds respond to the piano in real time.

Mr. Kuderna is known to Berkeley Symphony audiences for his 2001 premiere of Daniel Brewbaker's Piano Concerto No. 2, "To Kalon;" and the 2002 U.S premiere of Galina Ustvolskaya's 4th Symphony under Kent Nagano. Most recently, he gave the West Coast premiere of Elliott Carter's monumental Piano Concerto under the baton of George Thomson in 2006. This year Jerry gave the Irving Fine memorial concert at Brandeis University and a program of 20th century nocturnes (including Carter's Night Fantasies) at the Berkeley Arts Festival. A founding member of the Maybeck Trio, he also teaches at Diablo Valley College where he recently conducted its orchestra. He continues to give open classes on the classical and contemporary piano literature which he has taught in the communities of Berkeley, Concord and Walnut Creek. Mr. Kuderna lives in Berkeley.


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