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).

Read full story
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


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