Pianist Kate Liu performs for Aptos Keyboard Series

A rich program of classic works was on the menu for The Aptos Keyboard Series at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Aptos on January 13. Pianist Kate Liu took advantage of the warm acoustics of the church to create an atmosphere of quiet moods and colorful displays of sounds. Beethoven’s late Sonata No. 31, Op. 110, engages the listener much as do the same composer’s late string quartets, with tuneful passages and complex textures. Ms. Liu emphasized the lyrical qualities throughout with a beautiful singing tone. Even the fugue subjects were clearly apparent in the final movement. Two Beethoven characteristics were plumbed for dramatic tension, that is, the dynamic contrasts between loud and soft, and the use of silences. Actors know that a quiet delivery can demand more attention from the audience than a forceful one. And musicians know that a quiet phrase draws the listener into the action. This was a technique used by Ms. Liu throughout her program.

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Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Piano, Romantic Era


MPC String Ensemble & MPC Chorus

Cyril Deaconoff – MPC Chorus Music Director 

A capacity audience turned out last night at the MPC Theatre to hear a double header — David Dally directing the MPC String Ensemble and Cyril Deaconoff directing the MPC Chorus. David Dally I have known and admired for over three decades, but this was my first opportunity to observe the artistry of Cyril Deaconoff, who has succeeded Dr. Sal Ferrantelli both as Director of the MPC Chorus and also I Cantori di Carmel. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Classical Era, Orchestral


Paderewski Festival 2018 – Gala Recital by pianist Kate Liu

Image result for kate liu, piano - images

Last night we had the pleasure of hearing the exciting young pianist, Kate Liu, in an astonishing performance that combined blazing virtuosity with a rare subtlety of expressive magic that drew us into her world and held us spellbound for the better part of two hours. Since the occasion was the Gala Artist Recital in the Ballroom of the Paso Robles Inn that closes the Paderewski Festival every year, it was no surprise that the opening work on her program was a work by Paderewski, the Mélodie, Op. 16, No. 2. Read full story

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


Paderewski Youth Competition 2018 — Awards Concert

Noelle Hadsall, Andy Shen, Suri Kim, Simon Liu & Max Afifi

A large audience was on hand Saturday afternoon in the Grand Ballroom of the Paso Robles Inn to hear the young winners of the Paderewski Youth Piano Competition. Joel Peterson acknowledged the donors and benefactors of the festival and introduced the Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Jarosław J. Łasiński. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Classical Era, Piano


Aptos Keyboard Series at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine in Aptos presents pianist Robyn Carmichael

Pianist Robyn Carmichael

The Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine at 125 Canterbury Drive in Aptos has recently become an important venue for music events. The Reverend Tracy J. Wells Miller, who prefers to be addressed as “Mother Tracy,” was on hand yesterday to welcome music lovers who had come to hear pianist Robyn Carmichael present a piano recital on the newly-acquired, brand-new, Kawai semi concert grand piano. Although this event was an inaugural celebration for the new piano, acquired through the generosity of donors, Mother Tracy also pointed with pride to the recently-installed tracker organ, which had been acquired from another church and undergone significant renovation. It also will be celebrated and honored in an inaugural organ recital event coming up in the very near future. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Piano, Romantic Era