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.

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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.

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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.

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


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