Author Archives: Joe Sekon, D.M.A.

Santa Cruz Symphony — Embracing the Dance


The fortunate audience at the Sunday, November 19, concert at Mello Center witnessed a performance that will be etched in the back of their craniums forever. The highly anticipated Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A Major Op. 92 (1812) under the direction of Santa Cruz Symphony Music Director Danny Stewart raised the bar for this work by what appeared to be an insurmountable measure. The orchestra performed brilliantly! Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Classical Era, Santa Cruz Symphony

Santa Cruz Symphony — Music of the Spheres

Concert Master Nigel Armstrong

 The Santa Cruz Symphony under the direction of Maestro Danny Stewart opened its 60th season with its new orchestral members included in a most impressive performance of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” (ca. 1725) and Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” (1916). To sum up this concert in one word would be quite impossible, however, I believe “brilliant” would lead one in the correct direction! The addition of new musicians has already paid huge dividends in raising the performance bar and only furthers the fact the orchestra’s reputation under Stewart has spread like wildfire. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Santa Cruz Symphony

Pianist Hans Boepple in Carmel Home Concert


On Sunday afternoon, September 17, at the elegant home of Lyn and Renee Bronson, an invited audience had the unique pleasure of hearing an intimate recital performed by distinguished Santa Clara University pianist Hans Boepple, who has frequently appeared as a soloist on the Carmel Music Society’s series at Sunset Center in Carmel and as a concerto soloist with the Santa Cruz Symphony. The idyllic setting with views of the Pacific Ocean proved to be perfect for meaty program consisting of the following works: Bach’s Toccata in D Major, BWV 912 (1710), César Franck’s Prelude, Chorale and Fugue (1884), Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in D Major, Op. 23, No. 4 (1903) and Chopin’s Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58 (1844). Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Classical Era, Piano, Romantic Era

Cabrillo Festivo – Contemporary Music Con Brio


On Friday, August 11, at the Civic, Maestro Macelaru and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra performed four fine works of diverse character. The West Coast Premiere of William Bolcom’s (1938) Symphony No. 9 (2012) opened the evening’s concert. In a conversation with friends about this work, Bolcom mentioned that this symphony would round off his composition of symphonies. The list of composers who composed nine symphonies and no more, is extensive: Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak, Spohr, Bruckner, Mahler, Vaughn Williams and the list goes on. The “curse of the 9th Symphony” has been attributed to Arnold Schoenberg and began with Gustav Mahler, who after having composed his Eighth Symphony composed Das Lied von der Erde, structurally in symphonic form, then composed his ninth symphony, but no more. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Concerto

Cabrillo Festival – Music Tributes Part 1

Conductor Cristian Macelaru

After a most successful opening concert, the Cabrillo Festival continued with its second exciting concert at the Civic on Saturday, August 5. The concert began with Three Latin American Dances (2003) by Gabriela Lena Frank (1972); Violin Concerto Tributes (2009) by James Stephenson (1969) featuring highly distinguished violinist Jennifer Frautschi (West Coast Premiere); The Conjured Life (2017) by David T. Little (1978) and Double Play (2010) by Cindy McTee (1953). Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Concerto, Orchestral