Violinist Oliveira Shines with Monterey Symphony

Elmar Oliveira

World renowned violinist Elmar Oliveira held the audience in the palm of his hand last night as he gave a luscious and powerful rendition of Bruch’s famous Violin Concerto No. 1. This is a work heard more often in recordings, thus it was a special pleasure to hear it on this occasion in live performance by the Monterey Symphony conducted by Max-Bragado-Darman for a capacity audience at Sunset Center.

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Archived in these categories: Concerto, Monterey Symphony, Orchestral


Monterey Symphony: A Whale of a Concert!

Conductor Jung-Ho Pak

This was an extraordinary event and unlike any other concert I have ever attended! Monterey Symphony guest conductor Jung-Ho Pak had selected four innovative works for this program, the fourth in a series themed with the title “Sound Waves.” Not unexpectedly, two of the four compositions we heard last night at Sunset Center immersed us in the sound and images of sea in a major way with a video by Feo Pitcairn to accompany the Hovhaness work and a video by Annie Crawley to accompany Stella Sung’s Oceana (2018). The videography was projected on a screen above the Monterey Symphony players. Both Pitcairn and Crawley were in the audience and were introduced.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Monterey Symphony, Orchestral


Monterey Symphony — Sound Waves, Third Concert

Conductor Max Bragado-Darmen

During my 45 years on the Monterey Peninsula I don’t remember ever experiencing such a powerful set of storms as we have just witnessed during the past two weeks. And, it has had its toll, for at the Monterey Symphony concert last night at Sunset Center there were pockets of empty seats throughout the audience. Even though the brunt of the storm has hopefully passed, there are still people on the Peninsula without electricity, and some of us are still without telephone landlines and internet access (I am able to write and post this review thanks to my being able to tether my iPhone’s internet hotspot to my computer).

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


Monterey Symphony Opens its New Season

Composer Alex Berko receives acclaim

On Saturday evening at Sunset Center the Monterey Symphony opened its 73rd season – Sound Waves – with a new work by composer Alex Berko, commissioned in collaboration with the Big Sur Land Trust, entitled Among Waves plus Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, “The Great.”  This concert has been generously donated by Katharine Comstock, Alyce Nunes and Anita Dunsay (in memory of Richard Dunsay). This program will be repeated Sunday afternoon, October 21, at 3:00 pm, also at Sunset Center Read full story

Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Monterey Symphony, Orchestral, Romantic Era


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