Carmel Trio in Aptos

Sometimes you find a wonderful experience when you least expect it. I had the pleasure of listening to a fine collection of Sonatas for piano and strings in the afternoon of Feb. 10, 2019. The Carmel Trio (Nicola Samra, Violin; Christopher Healy, Cello; and James Neiman, Piano) presented 3 works: Two Sonatas for piano and violin (Mozart and Beethoven) and a Sonata for piano and cello (Rachmaninoff). Our thanks to the community of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Aptos for sharing their space. I thoroughly enjoyed the fine performance.

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Archived in these categories: Cello, Chamber music, Piano, Violin

Santa Cruz Symphony: Enlightenment

Cellist Jeremy Tai


Contemporary works are much like contemporary art. The major difference is one can spend time viewing an art work, looking at it from several angles in an attempt to better understand what in many cases the artist intended to depict. However, and unfortunately, music is performed in real time and as it passes, so too does the time it demands for a better understanding. 

“Enlightenment” is a most appropriate title for the opening concert of the orchestra’s 2019 season, and it was filled with wonderful surprises. Like the tortoise found in Hindu mythology, appearing capable of carrying the heavens on its back, one hears and witnesses towering achievements from our young conductor. In order to reach such heights, Maestro Stewart has created an impressive musical atmosphere based on mutual respect and partnership. When this occurs, impressive musical results are the artistic consequence, a fact the supportive audience has experienced during his tenure. He has built the technical quality of the orchestra much in the manner of the late Pierre Boulez, and his contemporary Esa-Pekka Salonen now of the San Francisco Symphony, who forever look for perfection in details and refinement in the intimacy of the works they perform. Especially evident was the orchestra’s sound in the Mozart Symphony No. 40. The orchestra’s development sounded like an impressive “major big city orchestra”!

San Francisco take note!

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Cello, Concerto, Orchestral, Santa Cruz Symphony

Santa Cruz Symphony Musicians — An Evening of Chamber Music at Samper Hall

Cellist Jonah Kim

On Sunday March 4 at Cabrillo College’s Samper Hall we were treated to an evening of intimate chamber music featuring Santa Cruz Symphony’s principal cellist Jonah Kim joining with other principal players and the Symphony’s Conductor Daniel Stewart. It is a given fact a Symphony Orchestra is as good as its musicians and this is the very reason the Santa Cruz Symphony’s Music Director Maestro Daniel Stewart has searched and found some of the very finest young talent available anywhere. This is precisely the main reason the Symphony performs works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler and Strauss, to name but a few, with such perfection and emotion. First cellist extraordinaire Jonah Kim, concertmaster extraordinaire, Nigel Armstrong, Maestro extraordinaire Stewart and guest collaborating pianist Elizabeth Dorman performed four works that will keep the sold out audience buzzing for weeks to come! To be sure, Ms. Dorman’s performance was equally extraordinaire! These are very deep musical talents with enormous artistic abilities brought forth in this concert. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Cello, Piano, Piano trio, Violin

Dave Dally conducting the MPC Orchestra with guest Soloists

Dave Dally 3-16-14_edited-1

Last night at MPC’s Music Hall Conductor Dave Dally was on the podium to lead the MPC Orchestra through an All-French program that drew a full-capacity audience. Let’s make that a “standing room only,” audience with extra chairs added at the last moment before the concert began, so that late comers were practically brushing elbows with the orchestra players. Dally created this orchestra from scratch, so to speak, since thirty years ago it began to evolve from a small string class that met on Monday evenings at the MPC Music Hall and gradually drew amateur string players from the community and presented two formal concerts a year.

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Archived in these categories: Cello, Concerto, Orchestral, Piano, Romantic Era, Strings

Youth Music Monterey County Chamber Players at All Saints’ Church

YMM Chamber Players 4-17-16

Sometimes it seems as though the quest for excellence on the playing field has elevated sports to such a level of importance that the performing arts are becoming increasingly irrelevant. However, anyone who had the good fortune to hear the YMMC Chamber Music Players in its showcase benefit concert yesterday afternoon at All Saints’ Church in Carmel would have had ample proof of another quest for excellence that has been going on right under our eyes. Youth Music Monterey County is alive and well, and what we heard Sunday afternoon was some of the same young instrumental players who are outstanding members of the YMMC Honors Orchestra, but heard on this occasion in smaller ensembles.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, All Saints' Church, Baroque, Cello, Chamber music, Classical Era, Piano, Piano trio, Romantic Era, String quartet, Strings