- Camerata Singers – Considering Matthew Shepard
- Chamber Music Monterey Bay — Escher String Quartet
- Aizuri String Quartet — Fabulous Artistry
- YMMC March Concert – Migration
- Ensemble Monterey’s Tribute to an Early Spring
- Pianist Kevin Lee Sun in Aptos Keyboard Series
- Monterey Symphony presents: Ovation
- The Thoughtful Muse: A Recital by Pianist Daria Rabotkina
- Stravinsky – Music & Dance in Miami
- Ehnes Quartet in Beethoven Quartet Cycle
- Heavy Stuff – A Recital by Vladimir Feltsman
- Santa Cruz Symphony: Catharsis
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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
Christi Macelaru welcomed everyone to the concert by inviting us ‘into the madness’ and ‘Dust Devils’, by Vivian Fung, which opened the concert with a whirl. She captured the swirl of a dust storm and everything the wind would pick up with it. In celebration of William Bolcom’s 80th birthday, the festival programed Bolcom’s ‘Concerto in D for Violin and Orchestra’ and his students, Kristin Kuster and Gabriela Lena-Frank pieces as well. Having a teacher and his students all having pieces performed was a wonderful showcase of how the influence of a teacher lasts a lifetime and the progression of the festival. There was also an addition to the program: a piece by Karim Al-Zand, a friend of the festival. The piece is an elegy for the displaced with the title, Luctus Profugis after which Christi asked us not to applaud, but reflect instead on who we are and where we come from. What a difficult, yet poignant way to engage the audience by Christi Macelaru who Lena-Frank termed ‘a gem’.
In addition to this being the year the Monterey Symphony is celebrating its 70th anniversary, one of the program selections on its March concert series, the symphonic poem Dante, by Enrique Granados, served to remind us how 100 years ago the tragedy of World War I impacted not only millions of men in arms, but also prominent members of Europe’s artistic community. It was in 1916 that composer Enrique Granados returning from America lost his life when his ship was torpedoed in the English Channel, Franz Marc, German Expressionist artist and a founder of Der Blaue Reiter Schule, was killed at the Battle of Verdun, and Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein lost his right arm on the Polish front (Ravel later composed his Concerto for the Left Hand for him).
May I begin by reminding the reader of how festive a live concert band, notwithstanding the limitations of beginning and intermediate student musicians, can be. However perfect professional orchestras might sound, they can be hard pressed to match the heartfelt energy and enthusiasm of a community or student concert ensemble. Such was the case today at the Cabrillo College Spring Festival of Bands concert.
Composer Heather Morris
There is nothing like the sound of a concert band. Not that I have anything against the full orchestra timbre, but the sound that come from the combined brass, woodwinds and percussion (minus the strings) is inherently festive and rousing. Such was the case for Cabrillo College’s Concert Band and Symphonic Winds on Sunday, May 4, under the direction of instructor Jon Nordgren. Along with familiar works by Mozart and John Phillips Sousa, the program spotlighted an outstanding ensemble of percussionists in Vaclav Nehybel’s Festivo. More percussive virtuosity followed, featuring Paul Kuhn, in Variations on a tune for Tympani by Maurice Garner. Into the Storm by Robert Smith was expertly conducted by assistant conductor Nicholas Marinovich.