Paderewski Festival 2018 – Gala Recital by pianist Kate Liu

Image result for kate liu, piano - images

Last night we had the pleasure of hearing the exciting young pianist, Kate Liu, in an astonishing performance that combined blazing virtuosity with a rare subtlety of expressive magic that drew us into her world and held us spellbound for the better part of two hours. Since the occasion was the Gala Artist Recital in the Ballroom of the Paso Robles Inn that closes the Paderewski Festival every year, it was no surprise that the opening work on her program was a work by Paderewski, the Mélodie, Op. 16, No. 2. Read full story

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


The Third Ear: A Recital by Seong-Jin Cho

An extraordinary exhibition of pianistic virtuosity and seamless musicianship graced the precincts of the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco on Monday evening, October 21, under the auspices of San Francisco Performances, with Seong-Jin Cho’s electrifying renditions of music by Bach, Schubert, Chopin and Mussorgsky. The Korean pianist, winner of the 2015 Gold Medal at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw, may appear demure and shy in person, but once seated at the keyboard he commands no less than a Titan’s arsenal of power and colors, focused entirely and aptly, to the style of the music at hand. It seemed as if each successive selection unleashed potential within the piano that a wizard had found the alchemy to manipulate. By the time Cho graced the audience with two encores, the sense of awe and veneration in the hall had us palpably in thrall. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano, Romantic Era


Monterey Symphony Opens its New Season

Composer Alex Berko receives acclaim

On Saturday evening at Sunset Center the Monterey Symphony opened its 73rd season – Sound Waves – with a new work by composer Alex Berko, commissioned in collaboration with the Big Sur Land Trust, entitled Among Waves plus Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, “The Great.”  This concert has been generously donated by Katharine Comstock, Alyce Nunes and Anita Dunsay (in memory of Richard Dunsay). This program will be repeated Sunday afternoon, October 21, at 3:00 pm, also at Sunset Center Read full story

Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Monterey Symphony, Orchestral, Romantic Era


Aptos Keyboard Series at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine in Aptos presents pianist Robyn Carmichael

Pianist Robyn Carmichael

The Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine at 125 Canterbury Drive in Aptos has recently become an important venue for music events. The Reverend Tracy J. Wells Miller, who prefers to be addressed as “Mother Tracy,” was on hand yesterday to welcome music lovers who had come to hear pianist Robyn Carmichael present a piano recital on the newly-acquired, brand-new, Kawai semi concert grand piano. Although this event was an inaugural celebration for the new piano, acquired through the generosity of donors, Mother Tracy also pointed with pride to the recently-installed tracker organ, which had been acquired from another church and undergone significant renovation. It also will be celebrated and honored in an inaugural organ recital event coming up in the very near future. Read full story

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


Ensemble Monterey — Serenades for Strings

On Saturday evening, October 13, at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church in Carmel Valley, Ensemble Monterey opened its 2018-2019 concert season with a program of works exclusively for strings. Dr. John Anderson not only directed the ensemble, but was also most likely the person who selected the works we heard. It was an interesting program, especially since the first half featured two composers seldom heard in live or recorded performances — Arthur Foote and George Antheil. Very likely I was not the only person in the audience to be hearing the works by Foote and Antheil for the first time. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Romantic Era, Strings