Pianist Kevin Lee Sun in Aptos Keyboard Series

Pianist Kevin Lee Sun

Kevin Lee Sun made quite a splash when he won the Grand Prize in the Carmel Music Society’s 2018 Biennial Piano Competition, and he reinforced this positive impression when he appeared as a recitalist on the Music Society’s regular concert season in January 2019. It was, however, noted in 2019, that Sun’s programming for this recital was odd. The most dramatic works that should have ended the program were scheduled in the first half so that the more problematic selections ended the program with a whimper rather than a bang. It so puzzlied the audience that at the end of the program there was a weak standing ovation and no encore.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Classical Era, Piano, Romantic Era


Philharmonia Baroque — Music of Shakespeare

            Shakespeare. It’s a family name. A famous name. All around the world, people think immediately of William Shakespeare. Thousands of people can claim a Shakespeare in their family tree. We had the pleasure on Sunday afternoon, January 12, 2020, of listening to a fine chamber ensemble led by one such descendant: Nicholas McGegan. The Carmel Music Society invited us to Sunset Center in Carmel to hear Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players with Sherezade Panthaki, soprano. This was part of a tour during McGegan’s Farewell Season as Music Director of Philharmonia Baroque. Since I particularly enjoy productions of Shakespeare’s plays where music is added between acts, or as part of the action, I was curious what music McGegan had chosen especially because we were not to hear the words of any of the plays.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Music Society


Bay Area Steinway Series — Pianist Albert Cano Smit

Albert Cano Smit

Despite the venue challenges the Bay Area Steinway Series has experienced, it continues to present many of the world’s most impressive keyboard artists as witnessed by the December 8 performance by Albert Cano Smit at the West Valley College in Saratoga. Although Swiss-born Albert Cano Smit won his first international competition at age 14 , it was his winning First Prize in the 2017 Naumburg Competition that sent up the red flag of special attention.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Romantic Era


Pianist Péter Tóth delivers the goods

Hungarian pianist Péter Tóth had a great success last night as he appeared in recital at Hidden Valley. He attracted a capacity audience of loyal fans, and he didn’t disappoint them. Quite to the contrary his virtuoso skills and penetrating musicianship carried the day in a demanding program of works that spanned two and a half centuries.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: Baroque, Classical Era, Romantic Era


Ensemble Monterey — Songs for Winter

Ensemble Monterey has chosen a new venue for its 2019-2020 season Monterey Peninsula concerts — First Presbyterian Church of Monterey. With its larger sanctuary, theatrical quality lighting, professional choral risers (with very comfortable seats), fine acoustics and adequate parking, it is a most excellent choice. Maestro John Anderson for this occasion had constructed a very satisfying program showcasing some of the finest musicians from our area, plus some outstanding soloists.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Cabrillo College, Oboe, Orchestral