Author Archives: David Beech

Carmel Bach Festival: Anderson and Roe – Duo Playing of Genius


How times have changed for the piano at the Carmel Bach Festival – and surely, for most of the festival audience, for the better! Ostracized for years in favor of the harpsichord, the piano has now been allowed, in the era of Music Director Paul Goodwin, to be heard in the performance of Bach and other composers, ancient and modern. This year, the new open mindedness has extended to Poulenc’s aggressive Piano and Winds Sextet, and, in tonight’s (Thursday July 28) program, to Ligeti and even Radiohead.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Piano, Romantic Era

Carmel Bach Festival 2016:  Summer Winds

Wind instruments

By way of light relief from the Festival’s main Sunday offering of Bach’s B Minor Mass, the evening chamber concert in All Saints’ Church featured two relatively modern works for wind quintet, the second also adding a piano. The players were Dawn Loree Walker (flute), Neil Tatman (oboe), Ginger Kroft (clarinet), Britt Hebert (bassoon), Alicia Mastromonaco (horn), and Keenan Boswell (piano).

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Carmel Bach Festival, Romantic Era

Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano Evening at Hidden Valley

Masters Festival 2016_edited-1

Returning to its usual Monday evening schedule on June 27, 2016, the Hidden Valley Music Seminars continued its Master Festival with a concert by New York Philharmonic principal players Mark Nuccio (clarinet) and Judith LeClair (bassoon), together with pianist Zsolt Balogh.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber music, Classical Era, Hidden Valley Music Seminars, Woodwinds

Theofanidis Premiere Centerpiece of Excellent Miró Quartet Program

 Miro Quartet_edited-1

The final concert of Chamber Music Monterey’s 2014/15 season at Sunset Center on April 10th was excellent throughout. The Miró Quartet, formed twenty years ago and making their fourth appearance in Carmel, were in wonderful form, with their flawless playing both pleasing to the ear and entirely at the service of the music.

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Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Chamber music, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Classical Era, String quartet

Driving Miss Denny — the Avant Garde Arriving in Carmel…..


Melinda Coffey Armstead & David Gordon

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, November 9, 2014, the beautiful large drawing room at the La Mirada site of the Monterey Museum of Art hosted an event that could not have been matched anywhere else in the country. The words of narrator (and, all too briefly, tenor) David Gordon, and the music of pianist Melinda Coffey Armstead, combined to recreate a formative moment in the cultural life of Carmel-by-the-Sea in the early 1920’s. This was the arrival in the village, fresh from her studies in San Francisco and New York, of the gifted pianist Dene Denny. Her tastes ranged from Bach and Chopin to the most recent and extreme manifestations of the avant-garde. She was so committed to the latter that she gave North American premieres (in Los Angeles at the Biltmore Hotel, as well as in Carmel) of works that would still be considered avant-garde today — as the audience for this event was soon to discover.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Carmel Bach Festival, Carmel Music Society, Piano