Santa Cruz Symphony Ascendance

Soloist Jon Nakamatsu

On Sunday, October 13, the Santa Cruz Symphony under the direction of Maestro Danny Stewart opened its 62nd season at the Mello Center for the Performing Arts with three works that covered a time span of some 250 years. In perfect tune with Maestro Stewart’s imaginative programming, the concert offered works the audience knows and loves, a concerto from Beethoven’s growth and development period, one of Stravinsky’s finest ballet scores and a new work by Mason Bates. The 2019-2020 season was off to a most exciting start. 

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Classical Era, Concerto, Santa Cruz Symphony


CBF 2019: Chamber Concert — Viennese Matinee

Fortepiano

By the last day of some festivals, many are a bit tired, a bit overwhelmed, and hoping to coast to the finish. Not so at Carmel Bach Festival 2019! The next to last entry in the Chamber Concerts section of the Program Guide has quite an interesting list of compositions. Taking the stage at Sunset Center at 11:00 am on Saturday July 27, 2019, members of the Festival Orchestra gathered around a fortepiano. I have heard recordings and seen a fortepiano in a museum, but to hear it played on stage with other instruments was going to be intriguing.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Concerto


Something New: The San Francisco Symphony — Under the Stars

Frost Amphitheatre
photo by Brandon Patoc

New Zealand conductor Gemma New appeared in an all-Tchaikovsky program with the San Francisco Symphony Wednesday, July 10, at the refurbished Frost Amphitheater in Palo Alto. The well attended outdoor concert drew an appreciative, if unsophisticated, crowd of admirers, some of whom decided to ignore protocol and crunch cellophane in the quieter moments of the evening’s scores. As for Ms. New, she sports an athletic demeanor on the podium, graceful and demonstrative, even conducting the solo passages that make the Tchaikovsky Fifth Symphony its colorful, fateful self. 

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Archived in these categories: Concerto, Romantic Era


Monterey Peninsula College Orchestra — Spring Concert

Conductor David Dally and the MPC College Orchestra

The MPC Orchestra we heard last night at the MPC Theatre is a living testament to Conductor David Dally’s thirty odd years of successfully transforming a small Monday-Evening String Class into a thriving community orchestra that presents two major concerts every year. Yes, there are a few MPC students among the orchestra players, but there are also many distinguished local musicians from our community — among them are clarinetist Erica Horn, oboist Claire Horn, percussionist Greg Bullock, trombonist Suzanne Mudge, cellist (and former violinist) Vernon Brown, tuba player Jim Paoletti, and many others who regularly appear with other distinguished orchestra ensembles during the concert year.

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


Monterey Symphony ends its 2018-2019 Season

Guest artist: pianist Marcos Madrigal

Conductor Max Bragado-Darman led the Monterey Symphony in a concert of three popular masterpieces last night at Sunset Center in Carmel, and, not surprisingly, it was a great success with each work winning a rousing standing ovation. 2019-2020 will be the last season for retiring conductor Bragado-Darman, and he will be missed.

The concert began with one of Richard Wagner’s masterpieces, the Overture to his opera The Flying Dutchman. The tale of a cursed ship that can never make port and is doomed to wander the seas forever is effectively set to music by Wagner and continues to fascinate audiences today as much as it did at its premiere in Dresden in 1843. Last night the Monterey Symphony wowed us with its powerful performance that featured a full compliment of strings, woodwinds, brass, trombones, bassoons, harp and percussion, plus the strong direction from Bragado-Darman.

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