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


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