Pianist Nikolai Lugansky

Pianist Nikolai Lugansky

On February 4, 2019, Nikolai Lugansky played a recital at Miami’s Temple Beth Am for The Friends of Chamber Music of Miami in a program consisting of works by Debussy, Scriabin, and Rachmaninoff.

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


Carmel Trio in Aptos

Sometimes you find a wonderful experience when you least expect it. I had the pleasure of listening to a fine collection of Sonatas for piano and strings in the afternoon of Feb. 10, 2019. The Carmel Trio (Nicola Samra, Violin; Christopher Healy, Cello; and James Neiman, Piano) presented 3 works: Two Sonatas for piano and violin (Mozart and Beethoven) and a Sonata for piano and cello (Rachmaninoff). Our thanks to the community of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Aptos for sharing their space. I thoroughly enjoyed the fine performance.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: Cello, Chamber music, Piano, Violin


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.

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


Pianist Kate Liu performs for Aptos Keyboard Series

A rich program of classic works was on the menu for The Aptos Keyboard Series at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Aptos on January 13. Pianist Kate Liu took advantage of the warm acoustics of the church to create an atmosphere of quiet moods and colorful displays of sounds. Beethoven’s late Sonata No. 31, Op. 110, engages the listener much as do the same composer’s late string quartets, with tuneful passages and complex textures. Ms. Liu emphasized the lyrical qualities throughout with a beautiful singing tone. Even the fugue subjects were clearly apparent in the final movement. Two Beethoven characteristics were plumbed for dramatic tension, that is, the dynamic contrasts between loud and soft, and the use of silences. Actors know that a quiet delivery can demand more attention from the audience than a forceful one. And musicians know that a quiet phrase draws the listener into the action. This was a technique used by Ms. Liu throughout her program.

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


Kevin Lee Sun — Winner of the 2018 Carmel Music Society Piano Competition

2018 Carmel Music Society Biennial Piano Competition winner Kevin Lee Sun appeared in recital yesterday afternoon at Sunset Center. It was, in retrospect, an oddly chosen program. The works on the first half, consisting of a Prelude & Fugue from Bach’s WTC II, the Fantasia nach J.S. Bach by Busoni and Schubert’s “Wanderer Fantasy,” were totally involving and demonstrated Sun’s ability to paint with a stunningly beautiful palette of colors while demonstrating a seemingly effortless total keyboard mastery. At the end of the first half, spontaneous bravos erupted from members of the audience, and he received a thunderous standing ovation.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Carmel Music Society, Competition, Piano, Romantic Era