Monterey Symphony Ends Season with a Bang!

Pianist Philippe Bianconi

The Monterey Symphony ended its 2017-2018 season last night at Sunset Center in a blaze of glory. The ending work on the program, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, sent us on our way with its famous themes resonating in our heads and reminding us how great a piece it is, no matter how many times we may have heard it in the past. The Monterey Symphony, under the direction of Max Bragado-Darman never sounded better, and it is with shock and surprise that we learned in the printed program that Maestro Max will be leaving us at the end of the 2019-2020 season. We will miss him, but he has accomplished a lot during his tenure and will be leaving a much stronger orchestra than the one he inherited. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Monterey Symphony, Orchestral, Piano, Romantic Era


Monterey Symphony Treats us to Mendelssohn & Brahms

To hear Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 “The Italian” in a live performance is an opportunity not to be missed, and our expectations were amply rewarded last night at Sunset Center as Max Bragado-Darman conducted the Monterey Symphony in the fifth program of its 2017–2018 season. This sunny, vibrant symphony represents Mendelssohn at his best, and the Monterey Symphony was at the top of its form with lots of fine playing from every section of the orchestra.  Read full story

Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Monterey Symphony, Orchestral, Romantic Era


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


Monterey Symphony Chamber players

Monterey Symphony Chamber Players — Zlata Grekov, Christina Mok, Chad Kaltinger, Robin Bonnell, Beth Zare & Caitlyn Smith-Franklin

Last night at All Saints’ Church in Carmel, the Monterey Symphony Chamber Players treated us to a wonderfully varied and festive program that gave us the feeling the Holidays had truly arrived. All Saints’ Church lends itself well to such an event, not only because of its superb acoustics, but also because of its naturally warm and spiritual ambiance.

At Monterey Symphony concerts, we are accustomed to hearing the musicians performing together as a large ensemble. On this occasion we heard six of the players, concertmaster Christina Mok, violinist Zlata Grekov, violist Chad Kaltinger, cellist Robin Bonnell, and hornists Caitlyn Smith-Franklin and Beth Zare, stepping into the limelight to entertain and uplift us with music of a more intimate nature. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, All Saints' Church, Chamber music, Monterey Symphony


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