Kevin Lee Sun — Winner of the 2018 Carmel Music Society Piano Competition

2018 Carmel Music Society Biennial Piano Competition winner Kevin Lee Sun appeared in recital yesterday afternoon at Sunset Center. It was, in retrospect, an oddly chosen program. The works on the first half, consisting of a Prelude & Fugue from Bach’s WTC II, the Fantasia nach J.S. Bach by Busoni and Schubert’s “Wanderer Fantasy,” were totally involving and demonstrated Sun’s ability to paint with a stunningly beautiful palette of colors while demonstrating a seemingly effortless total keyboard mastery. At the end of the first half, spontaneous bravos erupted from members of the audience, and he received a thunderous standing ovation.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Carmel Music Society, Competition, Piano, Romantic Era

Youth Music Monterey — Mother’s Musical Souvenir

YMMC Competition Winner Courtney McDonald

Youth Music Monterey County attracted a huge audience at Sunset Center on Sunday afternoon. YMMC President Dorothy Micheletti gave a warm welcome to the talented young performers, their families who support them, and to their hardworking teachers who inspire them. She also gave thanks to all the donors whose financial generosity makes it possible to present concerts in a very professional venue like Sunset Center, rather than in a school auditorium on squeaky chairs or, heavens forbid, a gymnasium — where some youth orchestras with leaner budgets might end up performing. Thanks were also given to Hidden Valley Music Seminars, whose Director, Peter Meckel, continues to provide much needed rehearsal facilities. Since this concert not only represented the end of YMMC’s 2017-2018 season, but also the 30th anniversary of the founding of YMMC, the audience was invited to a birthday celebration following the concert with lavish goodies and birthday cake in the lobby and on the patio outside. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Competition, Concerto, Orchestral, Romantic Era, Youth Music Monterey

Farkhad Khudyev– A Winner at the 8th International Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition

Farkhad in Europe

Kudos to Farkhad Khudyev, Music Director of Youth Music Monterey and Associate Conductor of Hidden Valley Opera. He recently returned from Frankfurt, Germany, where he participated in the 8th International Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition, one of the most prestigious competitions in the world for conductors. Competing against 300 conductors from 58 countries, Khudyev won Third Prize and an opportunity to conduct the prestigious Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.

A reviewer from the Frankfurter Neue Presse stated: “Farkhad Khudyev kam uns romantisch mit der „Oberon“-Ouvertüre Carl Maria von Webers: grazil, sehr empfindsam, die hellen Bläser fast zauberisch. Aber mit einem Schlag zieht Khudyev Tempo und Lautstärke an, gelangt zu ausgesprochen lustvollem Dirigieren, bringt den Orchesterapparat in Schwung.

[Translation: “Farkhad Khudyev came to us romantically with the “Oberon” Overture by Carl Maria von Weber:  graceful, very sensitive, with almost magical bright winds. But in just one gesture, Khudyev draws on tempo and volume, leads to a very pleasurable conducting and brings the orchestral apparatus into full swing.”]


Archived in these categories: Competition, Hidden Valley Music Seminars, Orchestral, Youth Music Monterey

2016 Carmel Music Society Piano Competition Winner Man-Ling Bai

Man-Ling Bai 1-22-17

It was virtually a full house yesterday afternoon when Man-Ling Bai, the Carmel Music Society’s 2016 Piano Competition winner, returned to Sunset Center to play a full recital as a part of the Grand Prize award she received the previous year. The ground floor orchestra seats were packed, the balcony was almost half full, and the ushers ran out of printed programs and were asking the last arriving people to share programs. It was a lively and unusual audience with many young piano students and new people we do not usually see at CMS concerts. If filling the seats and attracting a new audience is one of the most important goals of any presenting society, then this concert was a very special success indeed. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Carmel Music Society, Competition, Piano, Romantic Era

Carmel Music Society’s 2016 Piano Competition Awards Concert

An enthusiastic audience turned out Saturday evening at Sunset Center to enjoy the 8:00 pm Awards Concert featuring the three winners of the Carmel Music Society’s 2016 Piano Competition. This competition is open to pianists between the ages of 18 and 30, who live, study or were born in California, Oregon and Washington. There were 27 applicants who submitted audition CDs, and an audition committee consisting of CMS board members Barbara Ruzicka, Rudolf Schroeter & Erik Dyar listened to the CDs and narrowed the field down to the six finalists heard during the morning and afternoon competition.

The Society’s President, Dr. Anne Thorp, welcomed the audience and introduced the competition judges, Heidi Hau, a member of the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (and the First Prize Winner in the 1998-99 Carmel Music Society’s  Piano Competition), Jung-Ho Pak, Conductor of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra (also a resident of Carmel Valley) and Dr. Anatole Leikin, Professor of Music and Department Chair at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Dr. Thorp presented the awards on stage. The Grand Prize, consisting of $5000, which in part includes an opportunity to perform in 2017 as part of the Carmel Music Society’s subscription series, was awarded to 21-year-old Man-Ling Bai, a student at California State University Fullerton, where she studies piano with Mr. Ning An on full scholarship. The second prize of $2000 was awarded to Misha Galant, 18, who will be attending Columbia University this coming fall as one of eight students accepted into its joint exchange program with Juilliard this year. The third prize was awarded to Dongni Xie, 26, a DMA candidate studying this fall with Pamela Mia Paul at the University of North Texas College of Music (on a full scholarship plus a Teaching Fellowship). During the awards concert, the young prizewinners were scheduled to play in reverse order with the Grand Prize Winner ending the evening’s program. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Baroque, Carmel Music Society, Classical Era, Competition, Piano, Romantic Era