About Me

inarahedtrim150_textmediumInara Morgenstern has taken an active role in the San Francisco Bay Area classical music scene for more than three decades in both teaching and performing roles.


Although Inara was born in Vienna, Austria, she is Latvian by descent. She received her Master's degree in Piano Performance from San Francisco State University and has done doctoral work at Stanford Univ.

In addition to teaching piano and music theory at San Francisco State, Inara is pleased to have accompanied many recitals at UC Santa Cruz and assisted several opera productions. In years past, she assisted at the piano such vocal luminaries, such as Boris Goldowsky, Jess Thomas, and Blanche Thebom as well as accompanied members of the San Francisco Symphony and Opera Chorus.

Inara is well known for her solo and duo piano performances. In her solo piano performances, she recently has championed compositions by the Nicolai Medtner as well as American composers, such as Amy Beach, Charles Griffes and Leo Ornstein.

For the last 20 years, Inara has found a special satisfaction in her partnership with co-faculty member Dr. Victoria Neve. The duo has participated in several of the "Pianomania" concerts at the Dean Lesher Center for the Arts (in the "Best Bay Area Piano Series") and most recently at a Piano Duo Festival in San Rafael.

In 2005 they began a significant exploration of 20th century American composers with their performances of works by George Crumb, which feature extended techniques. "Music for a Summer Evening, Makrokosmos III" for 2 pianos and percussion was followed by performances of "Celestial Mechanics, Makrokosmos IV" for piano 4-hands and the two-piano work, "Otherworldly Resonances," for amplified pianos.

Recently, Inara has been thrilled to accompany her daughter, Ariela Morgenstern (a graduate of the UC Santa Cruz vocal performance program, now a professional singer) on several recitals incorporating art song, musical theater, and cabaret styles.

She also has two Maine Coon cats named Hermione (Minnie) and Hercule.

Inara's brother Eriks Upmanis lives in Santa Clara. Her father-in-law, Leonard Morgenstern, lives in Rossmoor, Calif. Her brother-in-law James Morgenstern, his wife Linda Dow and their daughter, Dara, live in So. Calif. And sister-in-law Ann Morgenstern, her husband Jeff Kallman and their daughter Rebecca live in Pleasanton, Calif.

Copyright 2009, Inara Morgenstern