A Penchant for the Moderns: Pianist Gabriela Martinez in Concert

As though serving as a foil for the oft-percussive, even “symphonic” sonority of several of her chosen compositions, pianist Gabriela Martinez concluded her Sunday, April 15 recital at Le Petit Trianon Theatre for the Steinway Society the Bay Area with the sweet, salon Romance in E-flat Major, Op. 44, No. 1 by Anton Rubinstein. Some of us elder auditors could recall that Frank Sinatra sang the melody version of the piece as “If You are but a Dream.” Ms. Martinez, however, seemed less concerned with performing “standard” repertory as much as inviting us to hear both old and new wine in new bottles. She opened with the Seven Bagatelles, Op. 33 of Beethoven, his so-called Kleinigkeiten, of 1802-03. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Piano, Romantic Era


Pianist Anastasiya Naplekova Performs Rachmaninoff Recital

On Saturday afternoon, April 7, 2018, at the Steinway Gallery in Coral Gables, Florida, Ukranian born pianist Anastasiya Naplekova played a stunning all-Rachmaninoff recital consisting of many seldom played, technically demanding works on Saturday in Miami. After studying with Natalia Melnikova in the Ukraine, Naplekova worked with the noted Rachmaninoff interpreter Santiago Rodriguez in Florida. The program consisted of six Rachmaninoff transcriptions, six Etudes-Tableaux from Op. 39 and the 1932 version of the Second Sonata. Reminiscent of some of the most distinguished pianists of the past, Naplekova played the piano with no physical histrionics. All of the communication was projected by her brilliant fingers, broad range of color and dynamic range. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano


Pianist Péter Tóth in Recital at Carmel Presbyterian

Hungarian pianist Péter Tóth is no stranger to California audiences. He has appeared as concerto soloist performing Liszt’s Totentanz with the Palo Alto Philharmonic and several times in recital on the Monterey Peninsula at All Saints’ Church. The presenter of last evening’s recital at Carmel Presbyterian Church was Carmel pianist and teacher Barbara Ruzicka, who had heard Tóth in his dazzling San Francisco debut in 2007. Ruzicka felt a personal connection since Tóth had been the recipient of the Sari Biro Memorial Prize at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, and Ruzicka had been a piano pupil of the late Sari Biro in San Francisco almost thirty years ago. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano, Romantic Era Tagged


Santa Cruz Symphony Musicians — An Evening of Chamber Music at Samper Hall

Cellist Jonah Kim

On Sunday March 4 at Cabrillo College’s Samper Hall we were treated to an evening of intimate chamber music featuring Santa Cruz Symphony’s principal cellist Jonah Kim joining with other principal players and the Symphony’s Conductor Daniel Stewart. It is a given fact a Symphony Orchestra is as good as its musicians and this is the very reason the Santa Cruz Symphony’s Music Director Maestro Daniel Stewart has searched and found some of the very finest young talent available anywhere. This is precisely the main reason the Symphony performs works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler and Strauss, to name but a few, with such perfection and emotion. First cellist extraordinaire Jonah Kim, concertmaster extraordinaire, Nigel Armstrong, Maestro extraordinaire Stewart and guest collaborating pianist Elizabeth Dorman performed four works that will keep the sold out audience buzzing for weeks to come! To be sure, Ms. Dorman’s performance was equally extraordinaire! These are very deep musical talents with enormous artistic abilities brought forth in this concert. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Cello, Piano, Piano trio, Violin


Palpable Intimacies: The Atos Trio in Recital

Some concerts require no encore: the Atos Trio performed music of Turina, Mendelssohn, and Schubert for the Steinway Society, Sunday, March 4 at the Petit Trianon Theatre. Before a small but decidedly enraptured audience, the Trio – celebrating its 15th year of collaboration – displayed a consistent level of ensemble and spontaneous, insightful musicianship as to elevate them to the upper echelons of chamber music performers. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber music, Piano, Piano trio, Romantic Era