The versatile violinist provides the soundtrack to some of SF's biggest and most intimate events.
I first heard Rose Crelli’s (@frozenfiddlerose, rosecrelliviolin.com) amazing talent in July when she performed “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” before a Tony Bennett statue at the Fairmont. Everyone in the impromptu crowd, there to honor the great crooner who had died, was moved. The violinist grew up in rural Alaska and Canada’s Yukon Territories (in a one-room cabin with no running water, electricity or internet) with a family that adopted her from a Chinese orphanage. She moved to SF in 2020 to attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for a postgraduate degree. Since then, Crelli has performed at scores of weddings and events in the Bay Area. We spoke with this happy force of nature between gigs.
Best advice you ever received?
My violin professor, Bryan Hall, said to remember to distinguish between what’s urgent and important.
When are you happiest?
When I’m performing and sharing my music with others and seeing people smiling, singing and dancing along to my music.
What’s your greatest weakness?
Pad Thai and s’mores.
What’s on your Spotify playlist?
Rachmaninov, Jhene Aiko and the Unseen Strangers—an amazing bluegrass band.
Favorite venue you’ve played in SF?
Chase Center Stadium for a Warriors game; it’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever performed solo for—over 18,000 people.
What’s on your bucket list as far as places to perform?
Oracle Park, Levi’s Stadium, runway shows for NYFW and the San Francisco Symphony Davies Hall.
Book you always recommend?
Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It reminds me to always trust my intuition and gut instinct.
Your favorite place to hang out in SF?
Alamo Square, Baker Beach, the Marin Headlands or a beach in Pacifica.
Where do you want to travel in 2024?
I’m so excited because I’m finally visiting China! I haven’t returned since I left the country as an 8-month-old baby when my family adopted me.
Favorite art space in SF?
Medicine for Nightmares (medicinefornightmares.com) is a bookstore and an art gallery featuring different artists every month.
Superpower you’d love to have?
Speaking to animals.
What’s your mantra?
Everything always works out better than you can imagine.
Photography by: PHOTO BY TRACY EASTON; STYLED BY THERESA PALMER, A PALMER IN CALIFORNIA