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


Electrifying Performance by pianist David Jae-Weon Huh with Monterey Symphony

David Jae-Weon Huh

Pianist David Jae-Weon Huh

Appearing last night at Sunset Center with the Monterey Symphony under the direction of Max Bragado-Darman, Korean pianist David Jae-Weon Huh gave us an electrifying performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 that was overflowing with pent up energy, explosive virtuosity, rampant expressive romanticism and a spontaneous joy of music making. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Concerto, Monterey Symphony, Piano


YMMC – Violin Prodigy Nicholas Brady Performs Kabalevsky Concerto

On a sunny Sunday afternoon it was a capacity audience that turned out for the first concert of the 2017-2018 Youth Music Monterey County season at Sunset Center. The parking lot was full and the lobby was jammed with people waiting to be let in to the theater.

The concert began with Conductor Farkhad Khudyev leading the YMMC Junior Youth Orchestra in a performance of brief works by three composers active in the former Soviet Union – Lev Knipper, Dimitry Kabalevksy and Aram Khachaturian. Perhaps you have never of Lev Knipper, but I can assure you that if you heard the melody of Knipper’s “Meadowlands,” you would recognize it immediately. It has a very striking beginning with percussion effects imitating the sound of clopping hooves of horses approaching from the distance and fading into the “Meadowlands” theme. After it reaches its climax the melody begins to diminish and we hear the clopping of hooves once more, with the Red Army cavalry passing off into the distance. If this sounds like movie music, you would be correct, for its origin was from Soviet propaganda films. Read full story

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


Carmel Music Society presents Philharmonia Baroque

On Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 3 pm in Carmel’s Sunset Center, the Carmel Music Society presented a return engagement by Philharmonia Baroque. This is the fourth time the San Francisco Bay Area-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has appeared on a Carmel Music Society concert season, and although the personnel may change from concert to concert, concertmaster Elizabeth Blumenstock has remained a constant. The concert line-up for the first half included works by baroque composers Locatelli, Pisendel, Veracini, and Vivaldi, however, it was announced before the concert began that the Vivaldi work to be included would not be the “Autumn” movement from the Seasons, but the Double Oboe Concerto in D Minor instead, due to Blumenstock feeling cramps in her arm the day before. We were assured that she was fully up to the rest of the concert, but to prevent further injury, just not up to the extreme taxing of “Autumn.” And by a few movements in, we forgot about being concerned for her as she simply played consistently and beautifully.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Music Society, Concerto, Orchestral