Orchestra Gradus ad Parnassum is an opportunity for young people to make steps toward music excellence and life experience through education and artistic performance.

This new orchestra serves children and youth of Tri-Valley cities of the San Francisco Bay Area and it is led by a team of outstanding international performers – conductor and violinist Imant Airea, pianist and conductor Temirzhan Yerzhanov.

OGP is a project under fiscal sponsorship of SocialGood Fund, a non-profit corporation.

Imant Airea
Music Director

Praised in the early days of his career as a “fine musician whose performance touched to tears” by the great conductor Evgeny Svetlanov, Latvian-American conductor Imant Airea went on to become a prominent artist in his native country and abroad. His talent and experience brought him a recognition that propelled him to several resident conductor positions with such orchestras as The Bolshoi Theater Orchestra, Monterey Symphony, and Symphony of New Russia. Mr. Airea had many guest appearances with orchestras such as the Moscow Philharmonic, The National Latvian Symphony, Gyunggi Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of Russia, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine and more than dozen of orchestras across former USSR. As a Music Director he also led such orchestras as Daugavpils Symphony, Yaroslavl Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan.

Mr. Airea was sought after by companies like National Latvian Opera, The Tchaikovsky Perm Opera & Ballet, Chişinău National Opera, The Alisher Navoi Grand Opera, Riga Operetta and others, where he led many productions. At the Bolshoi Ballet, world’s leading ballet company, he made a National premiere of the ballet Cyrano de Bergerac, choreographed by the legendary Roland Petit. His wide opera, ballet, operetta and musical repertoire ranges from Giselle to Rite of Spring, from Eugene Onegin to Il Trovatore.

Throughout his career Mr. Airea was happy to collaborate with many prominent artists like mezzo-soprano Irina Arkhipova, baritone Vladimir Chernov, bass Ildar Abdrazakov; pianists Boris Berezovsky, Derek Han, Dubravka Tomšič, Diane Walsh, Dmitry Bashkirov; violinist Mikhail Bezverkhny and many others. As an enthusiastic artistic director, Mr. Airea participated in several festivals, including Skaneateles Festival in New York State, International Arkhipova Festival in Moscow and International Sobinov Festival in Yaroslavl. A true champion of modern music, Mr. Airea premiered and performed many works of contemporary composers such as Alfred Schnittke, Edison Denisov, Evgeny Svetlanov, Sergey Slonimsky, Sergey Berinsky and others at the International Moscow Autumn Festival.

Conductor’s core repertoire includes virtually all major symphonies and oratorios by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Shostakovich, just to name a few. Russia’s top record label Melodia released five discs of Mr. Airea’s performances and his career brought him on stages of Latvia, Russia and as far as France, Germany, South Korea and USA.

Trained first as a violinist at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, Riga, Mr. Airea studied there also conducting with Professor Vassily Sinaisky. Later his other mentors were great conductors Ilya Musin and Arvīds Jansons. He himself rose to become a violin and conducting teacher, having been a Professor at the Saratov State Conservatory and Associate Professor in Conducting and Music Director at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music.

Temirzhan Yerzhanov
Artistic Director

The American musician hailing from Kazakhstan launched his international career by winning the Gold Medal at the International Robert Schumann Piano Competition in Zwickau, Germany, and now continues performing also as an emerging conductor.

Temirzhan Yerzhanov has toured in Germany, Russia, France, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, USA, United Kingdom, China and India. He has soloed with many orchestras including Moscow Radio Tchaikovsky Symphony, Zwickau Philharmonishes Orchester, Sacramento Philharmonic, Vogtland Philharmonie, and The Symphony Orchestra of India, working with such conductors as Vladimir Fedoseev, Lothar Seyfart, Johannes Wildner, Michael Morgan and Jiří Malát. He has appeared in prestigious venues such as London Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Dresden Sempergalerie, Paris Salle Gaveau, New York Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Moscow Conservatory and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Grand Halls. Mr. Yerzhanov has been featured on live broadcasts, in studio recordings and talk shows of Deutsche Radio Berlin, Hong Kong Radio, BBC Radio, Radio Free Europe, Radio Russia and Orpheus Radio; recorded CDs of Schumann (RCD label) and Prokofiev works including World premiere of Classical Symphony (Con Brio Recordings).

A diverse musician, Mr. Yerzhanov has collaborated on concert stage with many opera singers and instrumentalists including such artists of international acclaim as Elena Kelessidi, Melody Moore (sopranos), Suzanna Guzman, Catherine Cook (mezzo-sopranos), Ao Li (bass), Michael Collins (clarinet), Vasko Vassilev (violin). He is a frequent piano duo player with his wife Klara Frei and internationally acclaimed opera coach sought after by singers and companies like Opera San Jose, New Opera New York City, Opera Academy of California, Telegraph Hill Festival in London. He conceived and performed a National premiere of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. Having started as assistant conductor at Golden Gate Opera, El Camino Youth Orchestra and California Opera, he led Kazakh State Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a National Premieres of Mozart’s Idomeneo and Krönungsmesse, Orquestra Capital Philharmonia Brasilia and two orchestras that he founded – Google Orchestra and Orchestra Gradus ad Parnassum. As a Music Director at the Opera Cultura, San Jose he conducted La Llorona and premieres of Cuentos de Perigrinacion and Bless me, Ultima by Hector Armienta.

A graduate and former faculty member of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Temirzhan Yerzhanov studied piano with Professor Mikhail Voskressensky and accompanying with Professor Vazha Chachava. Later he studied conducting with Latvian-American conductor Imant Airea. He was named ‘Best Performer of 2007’ by San Francisco Classical Voice along with San Francisco Opera and soprano Angela Gheorghiu, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance Group, Artemis Quartet and Medieval Trio. In his native country he is awarded with Yenbek Sinirgen Qairatkeri, the highest honorary title for national contribution.