Even though Garden Strings was officially formed in 2004, three of us have been playing chamber music together for over 25 years! We are a group of friends who enjoy playing music together, exploring new arrangements and musical styles, and want to share our music with others. We have traveled and performed internationally, teach music, and perform in orchestras from San Francisco to Walnut Creek to Napa. Almost every weekend, you will find us performing for Bay Area weddings, parties, and special events. We look forward to sharing our music with you!

Liz Rivard - Violin
Liz Rivard – Violin

Violinist Liz Rivard, a Colorado native, earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, where she studied with Yuval Yaron and Franco Gulli. She continued her studies in Violin Performance at The Longy School of Music in Boston, MA where she studied with Joseph Silverstein. She is a former member of The Phoenix Symphony and The Florida Orchestra and has also performed with the Colorado Symphony, Utah Symphony and Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. She has participated in many music festivals such as Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, Spoleto USA Festival, Interlochen Arts Festival, Crested Butte Music Festival and Mendocino Music Festival. An active Symphonic and Chamber musician, Liz performs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Photo of Ilana Blumberg Thomas holding her violin
Ilana Blumberg Thomas – Violin

Ilana Blumberg Thomas: Following her solo debut at age 16 with the SF Symphony, Ilana appeared at the Tanglewood, Marlboro, and Aspen festivals and now is a regular with Bay Area groups including the Left Coast Ensemble, Jazz Mafia, Earplay, Fever’s Candlelight Concerts, and many more. As an orchestral musician, Ilana performs with the Oakland Symphony, Symphony San Jose and the symphonies of Santa Rosa, Sacramento & Marin, among others.

She has recorded for Philip Glass, the Monophonics, and on countless classical recordings and has appeared live in recent years with artists including the Eagles, Kygo, Kris Bowers, Warren Haynes, Josh Groban, Wynton Marsalis, Luciano Pavarotti, Il Divo, Michael Buble, Sara Brightman, and Andrea Bocelli.

Adding to her diverse experience, she appeared internationally and on tour with ODESZA and performed on Broadway in NYC in the orchestra for The Producers and Aida. She was a member of the Crowden School’s founding class and attended Oberlin Conservatory; she currently teaches at Oakland School for the Arts.

Ivo Bokulic – Viola

Croatian-American violist Ivo Bokulic is an established, in-demand musician in the Bay Area and beyond. Currently, he is Acting Principal Violist of the San José Chamber Orchestra, and holds additional positions in Opera San José, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and One Found Sound. Ivo also performs with groups such as New Century Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco Opera.

In addition to opera and orchestra, Ivo has toured, recorded, and shared the stage with artists such as Smokey Robinson, The Eagles, Death Cab for Cutie, Sting, Andrea Bocelli, and Father John Misty. He also regularly records music for video games, television, and films at Skywalker Ranch. This season, Ivo can be seen performing at Fever’s Candlelight Concerts in San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento.

Ivo holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Jodi Levitz. He plays a viola made in 1999 by Hiroshi Iizuka. When he’s not making music, Ivo enjoys cultivating his mostly monochromatic aesthetic, indulging in fine dining, and embarking on indie music deep dives. He also loves sending and receiving copious amounts of cat memes and polishing the day off with a glass of vino.

Dina Headshot with Cello
Dina Weinshelbaum – Cello

Dina Weinshelbaum, received her B.A. in Music from UC Berkeley, where she studied with Colin Hampton. She currently teaches at Black Pine Circle School in Berkeley and maintains a private teaching studio from her home. In addition to teaching cello, Dina plays with many Bay Area groups, including San Francisco Opera Center Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony, California Symphony, Modesto Symphony, and Oakland East Bay Symphony. She enjoys performing with Parlor Tango as well as with Garden Strings.

Image of Pauline Metzgar - Viola
Pauline Moreira – Viola

Pauline Moreira, violist and native of the East Bay, was a music major at UC Berkeley before accepting a full scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She received her Bachelor of Music from the Conservatory and studied viola with Paul Hersh and Isadore Tinkleman. Pauline has played in numerous professional orchestras and toured Europe with Leonard Bernstein and Christoph Eshenbach. Pauline is a member of the Modesto Symphony and also plays with the Sacramento Philharmonic.