Electrifying Performance by pianist David Jae-Weon Huh with Monterey Symphony

David Jae-Weon Huh

Pianist David Jae-Weon Huh

Appearing last night at Sunset Center with the Monterey Symphony under the direction of Max Bragado-Darman, Korean pianist David Jae-Weon Huh gave us an electrifying performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 that was overflowing with pent up energy, explosive virtuosity, rampant expressive romanticism and a spontaneous joy of music making. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Concerto, Monterey Symphony, Piano

Morgenstern Trio Triumphs!

On Friday evening November 10, the members of the Morgenstern Trio returned for the fourth time to perform for Chamber Music Monterey Bay at Sunset Center in Carmel. Every time we hear this ensemble we marvel once again at the refinement and artistic intensity of the individual players and the uncanny way they perform together in ensemble to create music that totally grabs us and holds us enthralled for the better part of two hours.

The members of the trio, pianist Catherine Klipfel, violinist Stefan Hempel and cellist Emanuel Wehse, are brilliant and accomplished musicians who started performing together during their conservatory days at Folkwang Universität der Kunste in Essen, Germany. The awards this ensemble has won in chamber music competitions is impressive and indicates that wherever they competed, their amazing gifts were instantly recognized. What was so impressive in their playing last night was the miraculous way the individual musicians listened so intently to each other, respected each others space, and always enhanced each others playing. This was ensemble playing at its best. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Classical Era, Piano

Korean Pianist Ji at Steinway Society the Bay Area — A sonic Artist!

Photo credit: Sangwood Lee

In a remarkable, marathon recital, the Korean pianist Ji — substituting for Seong-Jin Cho — performed music in such a way that attests to his love of sound and music more than to his love of keyboard celebrity, rare enough in any day and age. Reminiscent of the sensibility of such luminaries as Stokowski and Celibidache, Ji eschews the glamour element of concert appearance – sporting a seedy, “street clothes” look at his Saturday, November 4 venue at Le Petit Trianon for the Steinway Society – and requesting for his entire second half that the audience refrain from any applause. The effect, his having programmed the monumental Goldberg Variations for the first half, came to represent the 26-year-old pianist’s complex personality, which pays homage to tradition and discipline while embracing a thoroughly engaging, desultory confrontation with life and art as he sees them. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano

Pianist Nikolai Lugansky

On Thursday, November 2nd, pianist Nikolai Lugansky played a recital in Miami, Florida. Over the years, I have had the privilege of hearing the seven Richter recitals in Carnegie Hall in 1960, the ten Rubinstein recitals in1961, Horowitz in November 1968 as well as producing recordings with Leonard Shure, Lazar Berman, Earl Wild, Nelson Freire, David Bar-Illan, Ivan Davis, Joseph Kalichstein and Seymour Lipkin, among others.

A few years previously, Lugansky was playing a recital the night that “Hurricane Sandy” was passing through Miami. As he was performing the last movement of the Rachmaninoff Second Sonata, the lights went out and the entire hall went totally dark – Lugansky didn’t miss a single note! Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano, Romantic Era

Paderewski Festival 2017 — Gala Recital by pianist Magadalena Baczewska

As the Paderewski Festival 2017 wound down, one of the most eagerly anticipated events was the final Gala Recital by distinguished pianist Magadalena Baczewska on Saturday evening, November 4, in the Grand Ballroom of the Paso Robles Inn. In introductory remarks by the Honorable Mariusz M. Brymora, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles, we were reminded that we are approaching next year the centenary of the 1918 restoration of the Independence of the Polish Republic, when Ignacy Jan Paderewski, as the representative of Poland signed the Versailles Treaty restoring Polish sovereignty after 123 years of partioning and subjugation by foreign powers. Influenced by the dramatic success of the historical musical, “Hamilton,” there are plans in the making to produce an English-language musical inspired by the life and elegance of Paderewski — hopefuly to appear next year on Broadway. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano