Cellist Janneke Hoogland & Pianist James Neiman at Del Mesa

In a late afternoon recital, we had an opportunity yesterday to hear a performance by two relatively new arrivals on the Monterey Peninsula, cellist Janneke Hoogland and pianist James Neiman. They performed works for cello and piano by J.S. Bach, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff for a capacity audience of family, friends and residents of Del Mesa Carmel.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: Cello, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Piano


Pianist Sofya Gulyak’s Triumphant Return

Sofya Gulyak

Yesterday afternoon, by popular demand, the brilliant Russian-trained pianist Sofya Gulyak returned for a triumphant fifth recital appearance in central California. The event was jointly sponsored by Joseph Sekon’s Aptos Keyboard Series and the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist at 125 Canterbury Drive in Aptos.

Gulyak has won many prestigious piano competitions — among them first prize and the Princess Mary Gold Medal at the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition — the first woman to achieve this in the history of the competition. She has also won first prizes at the William Kapell International Piano Competition (USA), the Helsinki Maj Lind International Piano Competition, Tivoli Piano Competition (Copenhagen), Gyeongnam International Piano Competition (South Korea) and the Allegro vivo International Piano Competition (SanMarino).

Read full story
Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Piano, Romantic Era


Pianist Jura Margulis Returns to Hidden Valley

Pianist Jura Margulis

Having heard pianist Jura Margulis fifteen times previously in recital at Hidden Valley, we had every reason to believe his solo recital yesterday afternoon would take us on a special musical journey. We were not to be disappointed. Not only did his recital contain some very significant music, but it also displayed his mastery that enhanced the music he performed rather than merely showing off his brilliant technique. Not surprisingly he attracted a capacity audience.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: Piano, Romantic Era


Monterey Peninsula College Orchestra — Spring Concert

Conductor David Dally and the MPC College Orchestra

The MPC Orchestra we heard last night at the MPC Theatre is a living testament to Conductor David Dally’s thirty odd years of successfully transforming a small Monday-Evening String Class into a thriving community orchestra that presents two major concerts every year. Yes, there are a few MPC students among the orchestra players, but there are also many distinguished local musicians from our community — among them are clarinetist Erica Horn, oboist Claire Horn, percussionist Greg Bullock, trombonist Suzanne Mudge, cellist (and former violinist) Vernon Brown, tuba player Jim Paoletti, and many others who regularly appear with other distinguished orchestra ensembles during the concert year.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Concerto, Monterey Peninsula College, Orchestral, Piano, Romantic Era


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.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Concerto, Monterey Symphony, Piano, Romantic Era