Ensemble Monterey — Serenades for Strings

On Saturday evening, October 13, at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church in Carmel Valley, Ensemble Monterey opened its 2018-2019 concert season with a program of works exclusively for strings. Dr. John Anderson not only directed the ensemble, but was also most likely the person who selected the works we heard. It was an interesting program, especially since the first half featured two composers seldom heard in live or recorded performances — Arthur Foote and George Antheil. Very likely I was not the only person in the audience to be hearing the works by Foote and Antheil for the first time. Read full story

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


Virtuoso! JoAnn Falletta Leads Symphony Silicon Valley’s Opening Concert

Thoroughly engaging the Symphony Silicon Valley in their program of Barber, Prokofiev, and Sibelius, guest-conductor JoAnn Falletta led a spectacularly successful demonstration of orchestral discipline Saturday, October 6 at San Jose’s California Theatre to inaugurate the 2018-19 season. By the time we reached the commanding series of chords that conclude the Sibelius E-flat Symphony, Op. 82, the irrevocable impression we had gleaned convinced us that master musicians had assembled to deliver nothing less than a virtuoso display of musical temperament buttressed by seamless technical control. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Orchestral


Chamber Music Monterey Bay opens with Van Kuijk Quartet

CMMB opened its 2018-2019 season at Sunset Center last night with a performance by the Van Kuijk Quartet. These young musicians charmed us with their youthful exuberance, instrumental mastery and compelling rendering of the three works performed during the evening’s concert. In case you were wondering how Kuijk is pronounced, it is very simple — “Kuijk” is pronounced like “Quick.” The founder of the quartet is violinist Nicolas Van Kuijk, who despite his Dutch-appearing name is French. In fact the other members of the quartet, violinist Sylvain Favre-Bulle, violist Emmanuel François and cellist François Robin, are also French. Read full story

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


John Jensen in a Concert of American Music

Having appeared in recital at Hidden Valley two years ago, at which time he blew us away with a rich and rewarding performance of Charles Ives’ “Concord Sonata,” pianist John Jensen was back among us last night to present a two-hour concert featuring the music of Carl Ruggles, Aaron Copland, Carleton Macy, Rick Yramategui and the less familiar Sonata for Piano No. 1 by Charles Ives. Unfortunately, I was teaching until 7:15 pm and only arrived  at 8:00 pm in time to hear most of Aaron Copland’s Piano Sonata, but too late to hear the first work on the program by Carl Ruggles, his “Evocations — Four Chants for Piano.” Read full story

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


Halida Dinova performs on the “Aptos Keyboard Series @ St. Johns”

Pianist Halida Dinova has been a familiar presence both in the Santa Cruz area and on the Monterey Peninsula in several solo recitals during the past ten years. Thus, it was no surprise that enough of her fans showed up to hear her perform on Sunday afternoon at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Aptos so that the presenters ran out of printed programs.

Tatar born Russian pianist Halida Dinova studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with legendary pianist Anatol Ugorski and at the Kazan State Conservatory with Natalia Fomina (a student of the famed Heinrich Neuhaus). Ms. Dinova also studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she received her Artist Diploma. She is the prize winner of three International Piano Competitions. Read full story

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