Founder and Artistic Director Ian Scarfe grew up on a small farm in southeast Texas. He began playing the piano as a small boy, and played trumpet in his school band and sang with local choirs. He left Texas to study music at Willamette University in Oregon. After earning at Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance, he moved to San Francisco for graduate and postgraduate studies at the SF Conservatory of Music.
Ian has performed as a soloist and collaborator around the world, including such places as Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Portland, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He is a founding member of several Bay-Area based organizations, including Classical Revolution, Nonsemble Six, and the Oak Street Trio. Recently Ian appeared as soloist with San Francisco's Symphony Parnassus, performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4.
After two summers of visiting Trinity County, Ian decided it was time to try and integrate his musical passion with this wonderful area and community. Thanks to the support and enthusiasm of the residents, he is confident that this festival will grow and become a staple of Trinity County's cultural life.
Ellen McGehee started playing violin at the age of ten. In 8th grade she helped found a string quartet, which would play together for the next five years. From 2000 - 2003 she attended the Boston University School of Fine Arts, where she was privileged to study with Yuri Mazurkavich. After graduating from Willamette University in 2004, she received a prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study the music of different mountain cultures, which took her to the Andes of South America, Liangshan of China, the highlands of Papua New Guinea, and Tibet. On her travels she was able to take advantage of the tonal flexibility of the violin in addition to learning new instruments. Since returning to the United States, she has recorded albums with various groups, including the eleven-piece band Bad Dream Good Breakfast, and folk musician Jonathan Brinkley. She moved to Trinity County in 2009, and is excited to help bring chamber music to the community.