Hidden Valley Masters Festival — Robert Walters and Judith LeClair

Robert Walters, English Horn & Judith LeClair, bassoon

Does it gets any better? We enjoyed a warm balmy evening, an intimate audience and another opportunity to hear two fabulous principal players of the New York Philharmonic. English hornist Robert Walters and bassoonist Judith LeClair were back with us again to share the limelight at Hidden Valley’s Masters Festival — not only to present concerts, but also to attract gifted young woodwind players who come from long distances to spend a week receiving instruction and mentoring from the featured players, plus also an opportunity to participate in master classes.  Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber music, Hidden Valley Music Seminars

Elaine Douvas leads Oboe Celebration at Hidden Valley

Making her eleventh annual appearance at Hidden Valley on June 12th, 2017, Elaine Douvas, principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, led from the front in a celebration of the great tradition of American oboe playing. As Hidden Valley impresario Peter Meckel put it to the audience, we were in the presence of four generations of oboists – not only Ms. Douvas and her former students Christopher Gaudi (established) and Liam Boisset (freshly graduated), but also the late beloved John Mack, former principal of the Cleveland Orchestra, who both taught Elaine Douvas, and later persuaded her to continue his series of master classes at Hidden Valley. We could probably add a fifth generation peering down from the Hidden Valley rafters – the spirit of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Marcel Tabuteau, under whose spell John Mack had fallen when studying at the Curtis Institute. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Hidden Valley Music Seminars, Oboe

YMMC Chamber Players at Hidden Valley

Rafael Vasquez & Megan Tang – violins, Antón de la Fuente – piano,

Benjamen Sterwerf – viola and Kim Kistler – cello

When Youth Music Monterey County puts on a concert, it really does it in style! In its Chamber Players Benefit Concert at Hidden Valley last night, the hall was packed, and the 26-page printed program gave ample credit to just about everybody —  the players, the sponsors and Hidden Valley Seminars, which provides the venue. The performers gave us an excellent concert, and then to top to all there was a splendiferous reception with so much food and wine at a very long table it looked like “The Last Supper.” Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Classical Era, Concerto, Hidden Valley Music Seminars, 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

“Homage” – Contemporary Piano Music Performed by John Jensen


Pianist John Jensen

Those of us fortunate enough to be at Hidden Valley Music Seminars yesterday afternoon heard a concert of contemporary music that turned out to be a surprisingly rich and rewarding experience. The scope of this concert focused on solo piano works performed by pianist John Jensen and represented three composers: Charles Ives, Donald Betts and Carleton Macy. It was, in fact, Mr. Macy who was the guiding light and producer of this concert, and it was only recently that I became aware of composers Macy and Betts, who are both former professors of music at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Macy, now a resident of Pacific Grove, admits to performing skills on French horn, alto recorder and bass drum (although anyone hearing his solo piano compositions might guess that his piano skills are probably not too shabby either).

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Hidden Valley Music Seminars, Piano