Monterey Symphony — Sound Waves, Third Concert

Conductor Max Bragado-Darmen

During my 45 years on the Monterey Peninsula I don’t remember ever experiencing such a powerful set of storms as we have just witnessed during the past two weeks. And, it has had its toll, for at the Monterey Symphony concert last night at Sunset Center there were pockets of empty seats throughout the audience. Even though the brunt of the storm has hopefully passed, there are still people on the Peninsula without electricity, and some of us are still without telephone landlines and internet access (I am able to write and post this review thanks to my being able to tether my iPhone’s internet hotspot to my computer).

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Monterey Symphony, Orchestral


Pianist Nikolai Lugansky

Pianist Nikolai Lugansky

On February 4, 2019, Nikolai Lugansky played a recital at Miami’s Temple Beth Am for The Friends of Chamber Music of Miami in a program consisting of works by Debussy, Scriabin, and Rachmaninoff.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Piano


Ensemble Monterey at St. Philips Lutheran Church

Music Director/Conductor John Anderson has a reputation for “knocking ’em out of the ballpark” with his extraordinary ability to find and present outstanding soloists and the best musicians from our community in a series of innovative programs. Well, he did it again last night at St. Philips Lutheran Church in Carmel Valley where an SRO audience was alternately thrilled, enlightened and entertained in Ensemble Monterey’s program, “Song and Dances.”

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Orchestral


Santa Cruz Symphony: Enlightenment

Cellist Jeremy Tai

                    

Contemporary works are much like contemporary art. The major difference is one can spend time viewing an art work, looking at it from several angles in an attempt to better understand what in many cases the artist intended to depict. However, and unfortunately, music is performed in real time and as it passes, so too does the time it demands for a better understanding. 

“Enlightenment” is a most appropriate title for the opening concert of the orchestra’s 2019 season, and it was filled with wonderful surprises. Like the tortoise found in Hindu mythology, appearing capable of carrying the heavens on its back, one hears and witnesses towering achievements from our young conductor. In order to reach such heights, Maestro Stewart has created an impressive musical atmosphere based on mutual respect and partnership. When this occurs, impressive musical results are the artistic consequence, a fact the supportive audience has experienced during his tenure. He has built the technical quality of the orchestra much in the manner of the late Pierre Boulez, and his contemporary Esa-Pekka Salonen now of the San Francisco Symphony, who forever look for perfection in details and refinement in the intimacy of the works they perform. Especially evident was the orchestra’s sound in the Mozart Symphony No. 40. The orchestra’s development sounded like an impressive “major big city orchestra”!

San Francisco take note!

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Cello, Concerto, Orchestral, Santa Cruz Symphony


Chamber Music Monterey Bay — Borromeo String Quartet with Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman

On January 19th, 2019, at Sunset Center, the Borromeo String Quartet performed the Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet by Jean Françaix, the String Quartet in G Minor by Claude Debussy, Etude #6 and Lullaby #2 by Sebastian Currier, (both west coast premieres), and Quintet in A Major for Clarinet and Strings by Mozart. The members of the quartet were violinists Nicholas Kitchen and Kristopher Tong, violist Mai Motobuchi, and cellist Yeesun Kim, and on the Françaix and Mozart pieces, Richard Stoltzman was featured on clarinet.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber music, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Classical Era