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Jamie Narushchen

Jamie Narushchen was born and raised in Minneapolis and began studying piano with his grandmother at the age of six.  Narushchen joined San Francisco Ballet School as an accompanist in 1987, and in 2013, was named a Lee R. Crews Endowed Pianist for San Francisco Ballet, a position he holds in addition to his current work for the School.  As pianist supervisor, he schedules a team of pianists to accompany about 130 classes weekly, plays a full load of classes each week, and teaches music classes to students as part of the School’s curriculum.  Throughout his 33 years at SF Ballet, he has regularly provided accompaniment for West Coast auditions held by American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School, Boston Ballet, and others.  He also enjoys the opportunity to play for Mark Morris' and Suzanne Farrell's classes when they visit the Bay Area.   

Alongside SF Ballet's Music Director and Principal Conductor Martin West, Narushchen also teaches a course at San Francisco Conservatory of Music that introduces pianists to ballet accompaniment. 

Narushchen studied piano performance at Johns Hopkins Peabody Conservatory, taking additional coursework in composition at SF Conservatory of Music.  In his free time, he likes to travel out of state to visit his son Milo and his daughter Chloe and her family.

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Karen Cheong

Karen Cheong studied ballet and piano as indoor hobbies while growing up in Oregon’s coastal rainforest in Astoria, Oregon.  She remembers dancing to Lynn Stanford’s records as a kid at Maddox Dance Studio, and later seeing an accompanist for the first time as a teen at Marin Ballet's summer session in the early 80s.

After earning a couple of degrees in Chinese language and literature, she moved out to San Francisco, experienced the dot-com bust, and eventually found long-term work at UC Berkeley, where she managed a study abroad program to Beijing, worked as a financial analyst for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and currently serves as the manager of UCB’s Berkeley International Office.  Outside of work, she’s finding music scores and creating the artwork for future CDs, taking ballet classes, seeing performances, or reading Sam Sifton’s latest on her phone while heading up to Berkeley Farmers' Market.

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