Cellist Janneke Hoogland & Pianist James Neiman at Del Mesa

In a late afternoon recital, we had an opportunity yesterday to hear a performance by two relatively new arrivals on the Monterey Peninsula, cellist Janneke Hoogland and pianist James Neiman. They performed works for cello and piano by J.S. Bach, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff for a capacity audience of family, friends and residents of Del Mesa Carmel.

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Archived in these categories: Cello, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Piano


Brahms in Rome

A spectacular all-Brahms concert in Rome with pianist Yefim Bronfman and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia conducted by Daniele Gatti offered the Piano Concerto No. 2 and Symphony No. 2 at the Sala Santa Cecilia on May 5. Arriving by bus in a torrential rainstorm, it nevertheless was exciting to see the Auditorium at the famed Parco della Musica, a huge modern building that contains several concert venues north of the city center.

Of interest to this retired orchestra player was the concert etiquette of the orchestra. Unlike symphony orchestras in the United States, here the players do not enter the stage early to tune and warm up. There is no pre-concert noodling in front of the entering public as in the USA. At four minutes after the announced concert time the players file on stage to continuous applause. They take their seats and the concertmaster begins the formal tuning process.

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


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