Pianist Sofya Gulyak’s Triumphant Return

Sofya Gulyak

Yesterday afternoon, by popular demand, the brilliant Russian-trained pianist Sofya Gulyak returned for a triumphant fifth recital appearance in central California. The event was jointly sponsored by Joseph Sekon’s Aptos Keyboard Series and the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist at 125 Canterbury Drive in Aptos.

Gulyak has won many prestigious piano competitions — among them first prize and the Princess Mary Gold Medal at the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition — the first woman to achieve this in the history of the competition. She has also won first prizes at the William Kapell International Piano Competition (USA), the Helsinki Maj Lind International Piano Competition, Tivoli Piano Competition (Copenhagen), Gyeongnam International Piano Competition (South Korea) and the Allegro vivo International Piano Competition (SanMarino).

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Piano, Romantic Era


Recital by Organist Vlada Volkova-Moran in Aptos

Vlada Volkova-Moran

On Sunday afternoon, May 26, we had the opportunity to hear an all-Bach program inaugurating the recently installed tracker organ at the Episcopal Church of St John the Baptist in Aptos. Performing on this occasion was organist Vlada Volkova-Moran, who is also a distinguished Russian-trained pianist and teacher residing in Santa Cruz.

The two-manual tracker organ was built near Boston c. 1869 and was originally installed in a church in Marysville. The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist purchased the organ for one dollar, and then spent $100,000 to have it dismantled, packed up and shipped to Aptos, where it was then restored, installed and finely adjusted for its new home.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Organ


YMMC – Love Side Stories

YMMC concerts are family events, and we do mean big family events. When you add together all the young musicians from OITS (Orchestra in the Schools), and the young musicians from YMMC’s Youth and Honors Orchestra, it amounts to about 125 young players, who with their parents and siblings bring to each concert a capacity audience that fills Sunset Center in Carmel. It is also gratifying to see the level of generous community support as evidenced by the long list of donors and angels in the printed program — with Patricia & George Yellich, deserving a special mention as sponsors of this afternoon’s program.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Classical Era, Concerto, Orchestral


YMMC Woodwinds & Brass Ensembles Benefit Concert

Adam Shapiro, Jake Garneau, Cassidy Novack, Daniel Regaldo-Ortiz,
Elias Osorio & Bennett Bishop

On Friday evening, May 10, at Hidden Valley Seminars in Carmel Valley, Youth Music Monterey County (YMMC) presented a concert by Woodwind & Brass Ensembles. It was very inspiring to see these young musicians coming together to perform a wide variety of music, most of which is totally unfamiliar, unless you are a brass or woodwind player, of course. In a society where so many young high school students’ free time is dominated by various sporting activities, it is indeed gratifying to also see the fruits of many hours, spent not on the playing fields, but in practice rooms developing musical skills that often reached a very high professional level. 

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Brass, Woodwinds


I Cantori di Carmel: Expressions of the Heart

Cyril Deaconoff

Expressions of the Heart is a most apt title for the evening’s program from I Cantori di Carmel. All Saints’ Church in Carmel, provided the beautiful acoustics for an eclectic program ranging from Bach to contemporary Russian composer Georgy Sviridov. As Conductor Cyril Deaconoff pointed out, this selection of choral works is sung from the heart to the heart of the listener. I Cantori program notes are known for rich descriptions – definitely an appreciated mini history lesson without sitting through graduate classes! 

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Choral