Members of the Amaranth Quartet

Emily Botel

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, violinist Emily Botel has performed throughout North America and Europe with the belief that music is a powerful tool to create connection and community. She is passionate about reaching new audiences through small ensemble and chamber orchestra performance. Emily is first violinist of the Amaranth Quartet, a founder and violinist with the unconducted, chamber orchestra One Found Sound, and a member of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Emily has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, has performed with many orchestras including California, Monterey, Marin, Oakland East Bay, Santa Rosa, and Stockton Symphonies. Emily has performed at various festivals such as Aldeburgh, Banff, Kronos, National Repertory Orchestra, New Music on the Point, Lake Tahoe, and Spoleto USA.

Emily earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, with a minor in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University, a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and an Artist Diploma in Orchestral Studies as a member of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra. She has studied with renowned pedagogues Linda Cerone and David Updegraff, award winning soloist and chamber musician Ian Swensen, San Francisco Symphony members Catherine Van Hoesen, David Chernyavsky, and Melissa Kleinbart and baroque violinists, Julie Andrijeski and Elizabeth Blumenstock.

As a chamber musician, her work has taken her to a variety of venues including SFJAZZ, Herbst Theater, Freight And Salvage, Legion of Honor, and the DeYoung Museum. With a passion for early music, Emily was a founding member of the baroque ensemble MUSA and has performed with the San Francisco Bach Choir, the American Bach Soloists Academy, the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, Berkeley Fringe Baroque Festival and Early Music America’s Young Performers Festival.

In addition to her classical work, Emily has collaborated and performed with various popular and indie artists such as Kygo, Third Eye Blind, Journey, Geographer, Weezer, Zola Jesus, Diana Gameros, Magik*Magik Orchestra and has performed at iconic venues such as The Fillmore, The Greek Theater, The Fox Oakland, Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever and on festival stages such as the Hardly-Strictly Bluegrass Festival and the Stern Grove Festival. Emily frequently spends many hours in recording studios, appearing on a wide range of albums and on numerous feature film scores.

Emily is a dedicated educator. She has been a violin teacher at the Enriching Lives through Music program in San Rafael, a teaching fellow in Belize with the organization MusAid, a chamber music and sectional coach for the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and on chamber music faculty for the String Quartet Camp at the San Francisco Community Music Center. Emily is a registered Suzuki teacher and has a private teaching studio in San Francisco.

Julie Michael

Violist Julie Michael strives to bring the same spirit of sincerity to the performance of music of all eras. A passionate interpreter of new music, Julie has collaborated with composers such as Oren Boneh, Zihua Tan, and Noa Haran to commission and premiere new works for viola. Julie can be heard performing with ensembles throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the United States, including Amaranth Quartet, sfSound, One Found Sound, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and Alarm Will Sound. 

As a teaching artist, Julie believes in the power of music to stimulate personal growth and build relationships. She currently teaches at Harmony Project SF Bay Area, and has also taught at Share the Warmth in Montreal, both inspired by El Sistema philosophy. Committed to bringing her students' skills into the 21st century, Julie has taught a class on contemporary chamber music at McGill University, and her article on Takemitsu's A Bird came down the Walk, for viola and piano, won first prize in the 2013 David Dalton Research Competition and was subsequently published in the Journal of the American Viola Society.  

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Julie holds degrees from McGill University and the University of Michigan. 

Abigail Shiman

Violinist Abigail Shiman is an active performer and passionate teacher. Growing up in a musical family in the Boston area, music was always a familial staple. It blossomed into a passion at a young age, and later into a career. Based in Austin, TX, where she has an active teaching studio, Abigail performs and leads workshops all around the world. In September of this year, she worked as a teaching artist at the Flying Carpet Festival in Mardin, Turkey, where she performed and led workshops with artists from around the globe.

Taking joy in the collaborative nature of chamber music, Abigail is a founding member of the Amaranth Quartet, a San Francisco based string quartet now in its fifth season. Amaranth Quartet was featured on the Kronos Quartet Festival 2017 at SF Jazz, was in residence at the Banff Centre, and will perform this year in the Shenson Chamber Music Concert at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The Quartet takes pride in collaborating with contemporary composers to bring new pieces to life, and just announced a call for scores by young composers ages 16-24.

Abigail is in her fourth season with One Found Sound, San Francisco's premiere unconducted and collaborative chamber orchestra. The ensemble brings the magic of chamber music to enthusiastic audiences in unique and immersive concert experiences.

Shiman received her MM from San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Ian Swenson, and mentorship of Cathy van Hoesen and Bettina Mussumeli. In her undergraduate work at Bard College, Abigail received musical guidance from Erika Kiesewetter, Marka Gustavsson, and the Colorado Quartet.

When she is away from her violin, Abigail can be spotted going for a run, baking sweet treats, finding water to swim in, and drinking coffee.