Chamber Music Monterey Bay presents Music from Copland House at Sunset Center

On Saturday, November 3rd, 2018, we were treated to a truly spiritual and breathtaking performance by Music from Copland House. The concert contained four works spanning neo-romanticism to more contemporary styles, all with their own entrancing narratives and emotional undertones, and all referencing the principal theme of the night’s concert — A Journey. The members of the ensemble, violinist Curtis Macomber, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach and pianist Michael Boriskin, were playing Shostakovich’s very first Piano Trio in C Minor and Fauré’s very last Piano Trio in D Minor, as well as two commissioned works where clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein was added to the mix: one by Chamber Music Monterey Bay (Puts’ Living Frescoes) and one by Music from Copland House (Lam’s Fragrance of the Sea).  Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Chamber music, Chamber Music Monterey Bay


Monterey Symphony Opens its New Season

Composer Alex Berko receives acclaim

On Saturday evening at Sunset Center the Monterey Symphony opened its 73rd season – Sound Waves – with a new work by composer Alex Berko, commissioned in collaboration with the Big Sur Land Trust, entitled Among Waves plus Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, “The Great.”  This concert has been generously donated by Katharine Comstock, Alyce Nunes and Anita Dunsay (in memory of Richard Dunsay). This program will be repeated Sunday afternoon, October 21, at 3:00 pm, also at Sunset Center Read full story

Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Monterey Symphony, Orchestral, Romantic 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


Cabrillo Festival: Notes from a Journey

The Cabrillo Festival concert on Saturday, August 11, Notes from a Journey, was dedicated to the many incredible Host Families who are an intrinsic part of the Festival. They open their homes to these orchestra’s fantastic musicians. Thank you!

Liguria, (2012) by Andrea Tarrodi (b.1981) (US Premiere) opened the evening’s program. Two works in this concert followed the idea Modest Mussorgsky used in his Pictures at an Exhibition where a tour of art works served as musical illustrations. In this case five small Italian fishing villages were the models. As with Mussorgsky’s Promenade through the art works, Tarrodi used the pathway connecting the villages as a musical walking tour. Maestro Macelaru’s keen ear led the orchestra through adventurous texturing of Waves, the Horizon, The Blue Path, Colours, Mountains and Stars. Superb orchestral balance of sound filled the Civic. An enjoyable composition to be sure. Read full story

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


Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music 2018 — “In the Blue Room with the Kronos Quartet”

“In The Blue Room with the Kronos Quartet”

This annual tradition has really gained quite the following as part of the Cabrillo Festival. David Harrington, the first violinist and typically the speaker for the group, guessed that it was back in 1978 when they first collaborated with the festival. The San Francisco based group has always maintained strong political views and this concert was no different. They opened with a short piece by Egyptian composer, Islam Chipsy. Zaghlala, loosely translated as meaning blurred vision cause by strong light in the eyes, was full of glissandos and fast passages. Perhaps this choice of piece was a nod to the song and dance man in charge at the moment distracting from the real issues at hand. Friend of the festival, Missy Mazzoli, was up next with a piece named ‘Harp and Altar’ for string quartet and recorded sound. The recording began as low vocal intonations and grew stronger into full words, which began to overpower the sound of the quartet and eventually overtook them in prominence. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Chamber music, String quartet