Carmel Presbyterian Community Concert

            Fall has arrived! With the crisp air come favored activities: Enjoying wonderful fruits and vegetables, making pies and jellies and jams, Football games, and Opening Concerts. What Fun! For quite a few years, I supported my children by spending many Friday evenings sitting in Bleachers and cheering. Truth be told, I paid more attention during “Halftime” than “Game time” due to the activities my kids favored. Those were happy Friday evenings for the most part. Now, I’m content to attend a few concerts when the leaves begin to turn fabulous colors.

            To whet my appetite this fall, I chose to attend a Community Concert. Sponsored by Carmel Presbyterian Church, six local musicians gathered Friday, October 4, 2019 to offer a wide variety of music. There were solo pieces along with duets; even a Piano Trio. One of the organists at Carmel Presbyterian, Eun Ha Chung, was the busiest as she played solo pieces on the piano and the organ. She also served as accompanist for most of the other musicians. Eun Ha is a talented pianist. The instruments at Carmel Presbyterian Church were both used to their advantage.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Cello, Chamber music, Organ, Piano


Violinist Ilya Kaler & pianist Alon Goldstein open Distinguished Artist Series

Violinist Ilya Kaler
Pianist Alon Goldstein

The 2019-20 The Distinguished Artists Concert Series, founded and directed by John Orlando since 1984, now Emeritus Head of the Piano Department at Cabrillo College, opened this season’s performances with a splendid violin-piano recital at Peace United Church in Santa Cruz on Saturday evening, September 21st. The stunning program, featuring violinist Ilya Kaler and frequent pianist here, Alon Goldstein at the mighty Yamaha CFX concert grand gave a rousing performance “as advertised” –- in a word “sensational.” While Goldstein often deceptively appears as if in a meditative trance, Ilya Kaler strode out with his fiddle in an energetic, forceful stance. Yet the duo performed “as one.”  Kaler is the only violinist to have gold-medalled in all three of these huge international competitions: The Paganini (1981), The Sibelius (1985) and the Tchaikovsky (1986).  He continues to concertize all over the world and is currently on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute. Goldstein also is in demand around the world, and his Festival appearances include not only the Marlboro in Vermont but also the super-exclusive Verbier in the Swiss Alps. 

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Chamber music, Piano, Romantic Era, Violin


The Joy of Modern & Traditional Music

            Our little corner of the World is a quiet one. We have many opportunities to savor live performances of wonderful music. While those concerts would probably not demand the attention of those hungry for elite spectacles, I enjoy an hour or two of carefully chosen music competently prepared for our listening pleasure. Those who gathered at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Carmel on Sunday, August 18, 2019 experienced a lovely afternoon of music. Cortez Montalbo, trumpet and Steve Denmark, organ shared with us their Joy of Modern & Traditional Music. Dr. Denmark did double duty by accompanying on the piano as well as the organ. Mr. Montalbo used a collection of three instruments, cornet and two trumpets (B-flat and C) to play a variety of compositions.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Brass, Organ


Hidden Valley Ends its Master Artist Series with cellist Mark Kosower in recital

Mark Kosower

On Tuesday evening Hidden Valley Music Seminars presented the last of its Master Class concerts with a splendid recital by cellist Mark Kosower and pianist Jee-Won Oh. The parking lot was full and there was not an empty seat inside the hall. In fact, shortly after 7:40 pm, Peter Meckel himself had to bring in a few more single chairs. I had seen seldom the house so full. 

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Chamber music, Hidden Valley Music Seminars, Piano


Pianist Ko-Eun Yi at the Aptos Keyboard Series at St. John’s

Pianist Ko-Eun Yi

Korean pianist Ko-Eun Yi thrilled an audience of piano lovers yesterday afternoon as she performed a recital for the Aptos Keyboard Series at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist. Artistic Director of the series Josef Sekon continues to surprise us by discovering new young talented artists and bringing them to central California.

Juilliard trained pianist Yi may have looked very young, fragile and vulnerable as she sat down at the piano. However, from the first notes of her opening work, Scarlatti’s Sonata in c-sharp minor, K. 247, L. 256, she revealed not the demeanor of a playful kitten, but that of a ferocious tiger, as she devoured each work on the program and left us thirsting for more by the end of the program.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Classical Era, Piano, Romantic Era