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


Cabrillo Festival: Notes from a Journey

The Cabrillo Festival concert on Saturday, August 11, Notes from a Journey, was dedicated to the many incredible Host Families who are an intrinsic part of the Festival. They open their homes to these orchestra’s fantastic musicians. Thank you!

Liguria, (2012) by Andrea Tarrodi (b.1981) (US Premiere) opened the evening’s program. Two works in this concert followed the idea Modest Mussorgsky used in his Pictures at an Exhibition where a tour of art works served as musical illustrations. In this case five small Italian fishing villages were the models. As with Mussorgsky’s Promenade through the art works, Tarrodi used the pathway connecting the villages as a musical walking tour. Maestro Macelaru’s keen ear led the orchestra through adventurous texturing of Waves, the Horizon, The Blue Path, Colours, Mountains and Stars. Superb orchestral balance of sound filled the Civic. An enjoyable composition to be sure. Read full story

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


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


The Perils of Perfection: SF Symphony and Daniil Trifonov

 

Music by Sibelius and Rachmaninov provided the intense musical landscapes traversed by the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting, for the series June 21-24 at Davies Hall. The first half of the concert, devoted to the last two Sibelius symphonies, projected as consummate a sense of orchestral homogeneity and sumptuousness of tone as has been my privilege to experience. Guest pianist Daniil Trifonov joined the orchestra for a massive rendition of the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto, the much-familiar score’s here having received an idiosyncratic interpretation that makes us wonder what happens when a flawless technical command has nowhere to go than “other.” Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Concerto, Orchestral, 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