Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music 2018 — “In the Blue Room with the Kronos Quartet”

“In The Blue Room with the Kronos Quartet”

This annual tradition has really gained quite the following as part of the Cabrillo Festival. David Harrington, the first violinist and typically the speaker for the group, guessed that it was back in 1978 when they first collaborated with the festival. The San Francisco based group has always maintained strong political views and this concert was no different. They opened with a short piece by Egyptian composer, Islam Chipsy. Zaghlala, loosely translated as meaning blurred vision cause by strong light in the eyes, was full of glissandos and fast passages. Perhaps this choice of piece was a nod to the song and dance man in charge at the moment distracting from the real issues at hand. Friend of the festival, Missy Mazzoli, was up next with a piece named ‘Harp and Altar’ for string quartet and recorded sound. The recording began as low vocal intonations and grew stronger into full words, which began to overpower the sound of the quartet and eventually overtook them in prominence. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Chamber music, String quartet


Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music 2018 — Opening Night

Cristian Mācelaru

The Cabrillo Festival opened with its traditional pomp and ceremony. From 6:30-7:45 pm, there was an Alfresco Dinner in front of the Civic followed by the pre-concert talk with Sarah Cahill and Maestro Cristi Mācelaru. Previously written questions were submitted and answered by Mācelaru, and some good ones at that. Perhaps the most pressing was how does Mācelaru select his program? Actually what was missing was “to where or whom does a composer submit a score?” No information was given, except that the Maestro may ask a composer for a work or a work is commissioned. And does a composer receive feedback such as yes, no or maybe at some undetermined point do submitted compositions gravitate into a black hole never to be heard of again? One can assume these questions were directed to Ms. Cahill as well, since she specializes in performing new piano works. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Chamber music, Concerto


[email protected] — Ich bin Berliner

The city of Berlin provided the cultural venue for the indubitably successful concert from [email protected], Saturday, July 28, at the Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton. Music by Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and Mendelssohn elicited a series of dazzling ensembles in seamless harmony, since each of the representative composers had found in Berlin receptive sponsors who fostered their artistic growth or challenged their native ingenuity. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Chamber music, Classical Era


Emil & Nozomi Khudyev in Recital

On Monday, July 2, 2018 Hidden Valley Music Seminars presented an extraordinary family of artists. The Khudyev family, who emigrated to the US from Turkmenistan, has produced a generation of Soviet trained and USA educated master musicians, several of whom gathered Monday night to perform works for clarinet, violin and piano. Emil Khudyev is Associate Principal Clarinetist for the Seattle Symphony, and he was joined on stage by his wife, Nozomi Khudyev, an extraordinary pianist from Japan and a graduate of the Juilliard School, as well as his brother and violinist Farkhad Khudyev, who currently serves as Music Director of the Hidden Valley Orchestra Institute and Youth Music Monterey County. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Chamber music


Violinist Kyung Wha Chung & Pianist Kevin Kenner in Miami Recital

On Thursday, June 28, as part of the week’s Chopin Festival in Miami, Kyung Wha Chung came from Seoul, Korea, to perform a recital with pianist Kevin Kenner at the Frost School of Music. As a student at Juilliard, Chung studied with the legendary Ivan Galamian and later with Joseph Szigeti. She was considered one of the world’s greatest violinists, who performed and recorded with many major pianists and conductors, until her concert career was interrupted for several years by an injury.

Thursday’s program began with the Fauré Violin Sonata in A Major, Opus 13. The beautiful performance and collaboration with Kenner reminded of what a great violinist she is. The first half ended with Kenner playing his reconstruction of Chopin’s Mazurka in F Minor, Op. 68, No. 4 and the Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52, in which his wide range of sonority and fluid technique demonstrated why he had been chosen to be awarded First Prize in the 1990 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber music, Piano, Violin