Monterey Symphony — Talented young artists from the Curtis Institute of Music

Pianist Michael Davidman

I can’t remember when I have enjoyed a performance of a Mozart piano concerto as much as I did the dazzling, charming performance we heard last night by 20-year-old Michael Davidman. A student at the Curtis Institute of Music, Davidman was sharing the limelight on this occasion, the 4th program in the Monterey Symphony’s “Grand Piano Series,” with guest conductor Conor Gray Covington, a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, who at a young age already has an an impressive list of accomplishments to his credit. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Concerto, Monterey Symphony, Piano trio


YMMC’s Junior Youth and Honors Orchestra at Sunset Center

Simon Liu Performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2

Some of the most eagerly anticipated events in our music season on the Monterey Peninsula are the concerts presented twice each year by Youth Music Monterey County (YMMC) in collaboration with Youth Orchestra of Salinas (YOSAL). Those of us with long memories can remember YMMC’s modest beginnings over thirty-five years ago when its concerts were presented in the auditorium at Santa Catalina School. During those early years the string players in the Junior Youth Orchestra needed their teachers on stage for ten minutes at the beginning of each concert to help them tune their instruments. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Concerto, Piano, Romantic Era, Youth Music Monterey


Gentle Ecstasies: Master Sinfonia in Concert

David Ramanadoff, Conductor

The Master Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, David Ramanadoff conducting, presented a fine concert, Sunday afternoon, January 28, at the Los Altos United Methodist Church, with a program of Vaughan Williams, Mozart, and Mendelssohn. Veteran pianist Hans Boepple made excellent sense of Mozart’s valedictory Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595, ingratiating its exquisite contours in a manner that several times took this reviewer back to the “golden” pianism of Sir Clifford Curzon, especially in the E-flat Major Larghetto. The final work, Mendelssohn’s Third Symphony, the “Scottish,” received from Ramanadoff a clear and controlled reading, as expansive as it proved eminently lyrical and dramatic. Read full story

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


MPC Concert Band gives us an evening with Gershwin

Pianist Lucy Faridany & Conductor John Anderson

A capacity audience turned out to hear the MPC Concert Band in its Gershwin concert last night in MPC’s Theater, and it was a supercharged audience that tended to linger around after the concert was over. This was a larger than life band — I mean five tubas, five trombones, four trumpets, and more versions of a clarinet than I even knew existed, and everybody played their hearts out.

Over the years Conductor John Anderson has built what amounts to a community band with a span of ages from age 16 to 70’s plus  (actually I think I saw in the ensemble on stage one man in his eighties). We can assume that for enthusiastic professional and amateur jazz players an opportunity to perform in the MPC Concert Band under the direction of veteran John Anderson ranks up there with the more important events in their lives. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Concerto, Jazz, Monterey Peninsula College, Piano


MPC String Ensemble — David Dally, Soloist and Conductor

For the past forty years violinist and conductor Dave Dally has been providing an important service to us on the Monterey Peninsula. Starting modestly from a Monday-evening string class at Monterey Peninsula College, he has created an ensemble that would be the pride of any community. It presents ambitious and artistic programs, draws in the best local area musicians and often features distinguished local artists as soloists. It may still officially be called the MPC String Ensemble, but when Dally wants to present a more ambitious work requiring a larger instrumentation, he finds winds, brass and percussion as needed. So let’s call it what it is. It has become a community orchestra, and it is a model of what a community orchestra should be. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Concerto, Monterey Peninsula College, Orchestral, Romantic Era