Monterey Symphony: A Whale of a Concert!

Conductor Jung-Ho Pak

This was an extraordinary event and unlike any other concert I have ever attended! Monterey Symphony guest conductor Jung-Ho Pak had selected four innovative works for this program, the fourth in a series themed with the title “Sound Waves.” Not unexpectedly, two of the four compositions we heard last night at Sunset Center immersed us in the sound and images of sea in a major way with a video by Feo Pitcairn to accompany the Hovhaness work and a video by Annie Crawley to accompany Stella Sung’s Oceana (2018). The videography was projected on a screen above the Monterey Symphony players. Both Pitcairn and Crawley were in the audience and were introduced.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Monterey Symphony, Orchestral


Catalyst Quartet

Violist Paul Laraia, cellist Karlos Rodriguez, violinist Karla Donehew Perez
and violinist Jessie Montgomery

When the Catalyst Quartet appeared at Sunset Center last night, courtesy of Chamber Music Monterey Bay, we heard four fabulous musicians and a fabulous program — by any standard, a great combination. Every once in a while, we hear a concert in which the polish and refinement of the musicians’ individual mastery combined with their ability to respond to each others individual artistic skills produces a concert in which there is an inevitability about the playing. Simply said, it was difficult to imagine the works they performed being played any other way.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Strings


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