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

Yoel Levi Conducts Israel Philharmonic in Miami

Yoel Levi

On February 6, 2019, Yoel Levi conducted the Israel Philharmonic
at Miami’s Arsht Center. The program consisted of Schubert’s Third
Symphony and the Bruckner Seventh Symphony. The featured work, Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony, written between 1881 and 1883, was played after intermission. It is a work of gigantic dimensions, fullness of sound and richly complex harmony.

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

Ensemble Monterey at St. Philips Lutheran Church

Music Director/Conductor John Anderson has a reputation for “knocking ’em out of the ballpark” with his extraordinary ability to find and present outstanding soloists and the best musicians from our community in a series of innovative programs. Well, he did it again last night at St. Philips Lutheran Church in Carmel Valley where an SRO audience was alternately thrilled, enlightened and entertained in Ensemble Monterey’s program, “Song and Dances.”

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Orchestral

Santa Cruz Symphony: Enlightenment

Cellist Jeremy Tai


Contemporary works are much like contemporary art. The major difference is one can spend time viewing an art work, looking at it from several angles in an attempt to better understand what in many cases the artist intended to depict. However, and unfortunately, music is performed in real time and as it passes, so too does the time it demands for a better understanding. 

“Enlightenment” is a most appropriate title for the opening concert of the orchestra’s 2019 season, and it was filled with wonderful surprises. Like the tortoise found in Hindu mythology, appearing capable of carrying the heavens on its back, one hears and witnesses towering achievements from our young conductor. In order to reach such heights, Maestro Stewart has created an impressive musical atmosphere based on mutual respect and partnership. When this occurs, impressive musical results are the artistic consequence, a fact the supportive audience has experienced during his tenure. He has built the technical quality of the orchestra much in the manner of the late Pierre Boulez, and his contemporary Esa-Pekka Salonen now of the San Francisco Symphony, who forever look for perfection in details and refinement in the intimacy of the works they perform. Especially evident was the orchestra’s sound in the Mozart Symphony No. 40. The orchestra’s development sounded like an impressive “major big city orchestra”!

San Francisco take note!

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Cello, Concerto, Orchestral, Santa Cruz Symphony

The Grand Line: Symphony Silicon Valley

Pianist Jon Kimura Parker

Happy is the ensemble that relishes its own sound. While only two staples of the Romantic style – the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83 and the Dvorak Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88 – made up the program for Symphony Silicon Valley’s concert of January 19 at the California Theatre, conductor Daniel Meyer had the orchestra execute with the kind of sonorous homogeneity that allows the players themselves to enjoy the integration of their respective parts into an aesthetically satisfying whole. With the participation of this evening’s piano soloist, Jon Kimura Parker, in the Brahms, the collaboration found blissful expression in the program, designed to please an audience committed to the proven classics.

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Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Orchestral, Piano, Romantic Era