If at the beginning of a concert at Sunset Center in Carmel a representative of a presenting organization were to address the audience from the stage and ask for a show of hands of people who had had piano lessons in their youth, most likely more than half the members of the audience would respond with raised hands. How did the piano become the ubiquitous musical instrument it tentatively remains today at home and in concert? How did it happen that in the westward expansion of population in the United States, there were more pianos than bathtubs in the homes of settlers west of the Mississippi? How did the piano become a status symbol of middle class prosperity in the nineteenth and the first half of the 20th century? Incidentally answers to these questions (and a lot more) can be found in Arthur Loesser’s very entertaining social history “Men, Women and Pianos” published in 1954.
The Monterey Symphony recognizes audience interest in the piano in its new season for 2107-2018, themed “Concert Grand.” All six concerts feature pianists appearing as soloists performing concertos by Mozart, Liszt, Saint-Saëns, Brahms, Tchaikovsky de Falla, and Prokofiev. Adding to the luster of its new season will be the introduction to Monterey Peninsula audiences of some new, young emerging pianists, who will be bringing freshness and excitement to each concert.
With the exception of one guest conductor, Conner Gray Covington from the Curtis Institute of Music, Monterey Symphony Music Director Max Bragado-Darman will conduct the remainder of the concerts. All concerts will take place at Sunset Center, Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm.
For further details see www.montereySymphony.org