Author Archives: Richard Lynde

Pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi Returns in Triumph to conclude Distinguished Artists 30th season

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Bravos not only to pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi on his superb all-romantic piano recital, his first here in 15 years, but also to Distinguished Artists Concert & Lecture Series founder and director John Orlando for 30 years of first-rate musical adventures. The recital was on June 4 at Peace United Church of Christ in Santa Cruz, site of the spectacular Yamaha CFX concert grand; the proceeds of the concert going towards the balance on this ultra world-class instrument. We were treated to lots of familiar Chopin, some unusual sounds from a big Edward Grieg sonata, a brilliant take off on Liszt by the contemporary Roberto Piana (not “piano”), and what was almost a Viennese waltz by none other than Avant Guard 20th-century French innovator Francis Poulenc. And present at the end of the concert to award a triumphal bouquet of flowers was native San Lorenzo Valley pianist Chetan Tierra, himself an award-winning pianist, who reveled in the presence of Pompa-Baldi, his teacher and mentor at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

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

Czech Pianist Veronika Bohmova Inaugurates Aptos Keyboard Series

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On Sunday, May 17, the APTOS KEYBOARD SERIES was inaugurated at the Rio Del Mar home of Josef and Maria Davico Sekon, in a splendid piano recital featuring the World Premiere of Joe’s “Eccetera for Piano Solo.” This “Czech-Mated” house concert featured extraordinary young virtuosa Veronika Bohmova from that country’s Republic, who performed one piece from her homeland along with Slovak-American Joe’s own witty number, plus a full program by famous composers and an encore lifted from Horowitz and played as impressively. Co-heroine with Ms. Bohmova was the Sekon’s newish RX 2 Kawai grand, perfect for the brightly-windowed alcove where it reposed, lid open, with an especially rich bass and just the right size sound for this home gathering that was filled with folding chairs for this event, then opened up for snacks along with Joe’s own 2012 Vino Rosso and discussions with Bohmova.

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

Aptos Composers Shine Through Del Sol Quartet

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Local lovers of classical music were treated on Sunday April 12 to a marvelous concert at Peace Church when the Del Sol String Quartet performed a program of works that were so modern the earliest one was from the 1970s and the others all from the 21st century. Two Aptos composers were featured: the late, great Lou Harrison (1917-2003) and current Cabrillo music faculty Josef Sekon (1937). The San Francisco based quartet, founded in 1992 when musicians were very young, features Benjamin Kreith and Rick Shinozaki violins; Charlton Lee viola and Kathryn Bates cello. This ensemble has twice been top winner of the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, and has performed all over the world, so they were ideal for the music we heard. And they did not disappoint.

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

“Words & Music” with poet Ellen Bass & pianist Inna Faliks

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Poet Ellen Bass

On Sunday, February 22, 2015, in a wonderful hybrid recital of “Music/Words” Santa Cruz Poet Laureate Ellen Bass and internationally acclaimed pianist Inna Faliks alternated readings of deft, quiet, deep verse with keyboard performances that crackled with high energy always under control. The nearly full house at Peace United Church of Christ, Santa Cruz, came on Sunday February 22nd to what Distinguished Artists Concert & Lecture Series’ John Orlando described as “in the midst of our 30th year.” Many in the audience were well familiar with the words of Bass, and they alternated with the sounds of the magnificent Yamaha flagship CFX concert grand, rightly praised by the pianist. Each woman displayed formidable talents separately, their uniting character that of profundity. While Bass achieved this via brief, aphoristic, free verse literally understandable to middle school students, the pieces chosen by Faliks ranged from very few notes in Mozart, more in Liszt, a lot in Brahms, and a torrent in our contemporary Rodion Schedrin.

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

Pianist Tyler Hayford in a recital to benefit Typhoon Haiyan Relief

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Along with our record water shortages, for several years now we’ve been living through a drought of young, local classical keyboard talent. This musical shortage ended Saturday evening, January 11, at the Peace United Church of Christ (formerly the First Congregational) in Santa Cruz, when 17-year-old Tyler Hayford, a junior at Pacific Charter School, performed a most satisfying, often brilliant, recital featuring the music of Bach, Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff. In this program, he proved himself a most worthy “successor” to the teen-aged Aaron Miller of Aptos and Chetan Tierra of the San Lorenzo Valley from way back in the 1990s.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Piano