Chamber Music Monterey Bay — Escher String Quartet

Escher String Quartet

We were an appreciative audience. I was concerned the damp, drippy weather might keep some from attending, but many still ventured out to enjoy an evening of excellent music performed by outstanding musicians. So, on Saturday, March 7, 2020 Sunset Center opened its doors and we settled into our seats to hear the Escher String Quartet. I recommend that you find a chance to see and hear them play in the future. The Escher String Quartet members are currently Adam Barnett-Hart, violin, Brendan Speltz, violin, Pierre Lapointe, viola, and Brook Speltz, cello. Each of these musicians performs as soloist, as chamber musicians, and teaches or mentors aspiring string players. We were introduced to a few of the young people they worked with earlier in the day. I found myself smiling in approval that Chamber Music will have such a bright future.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Romantic Era, String quartet


Aizuri String Quartet — Fabulous Artistry

Aizuri String Quartet

The Aizuri String Quartet presented a most impressive concert Thursday on March 5 at Peace United Church in Santa Cruz as part of the Distinguished Artists series. The quartet draws its name from the unique Japanese wood block prints usually in Prussian Blue color and quite valuable. Members of this superb quartet based in NYC are Miho Saegusa and Emma Frucht violins, Ayane Kozasa viola and Karen Ouzounian cello. 

The concert program consisted of Antonín Dvořák’s Cypresses; Lembit Beecher’s These Memories May Be TrueArmenian Folk Songs by Soghomon Soghomonian, an ordained Armenian priest commonly known as Komitas. These five works were based on Armenian folk songs and arranged by Sergei Aslamazian. At the Purchaser’s Option by Rhiannon Giddens and the String Quartet in D minor Op. 56, Voices Intimae, by Sibelius concluded the innovative program. 

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


Pianist Kevin Lee Sun in Aptos Keyboard Series

Pianist Kevin Lee Sun

Kevin Lee Sun made quite a splash when he won the Grand Prize in the Carmel Music Society’s 2018 Biennial Piano Competition, and he reinforced this positive impression when he appeared as a recitalist on the Music Society’s regular concert season in January 2019. It was, however, noted in 2019, that Sun’s programming for this recital was odd. The most dramatic works that should have ended the program were scheduled in the first half so that the more problematic selections ended the program with a whimper rather than a bang. It so puzzlied the audience that at the end of the program there was a weak standing ovation and no encore.

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


Monterey Symphony presents: Ovation

Music Director Max Bragado-Darman

It seemed like a gala evening at Sunset Center last night as the Monterey Symphony under the direction of Max Bragado-Darman presented its February concert: Ovation. “The 3rd Annual Women’s Night Out” attracted a whole bunch of well-dressed women for its 6:30 pm festivities, the pre-concert lecture in the theatre was well attended, and the orchestra, at the top of its form, received a well deserved standing ovation.

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Archived in these categories: Monterey Symphony, Orchestral, Romantic Era


New York Philharmonic Quartet in Miami

 On Sunday January 5, 2020, the New York Philharmonic Quartet
and Joseph Kalichstein played a beautiful concert of Mozart, Dvorak
and Shostakovich at Florida International University’s Wertheim
Concert Hall in Miami to a large, most appreciative audience.

The quartet is comprised of four of the Philarmonic’s principal
musicians – Concertmaster Frank Huang, Principal Associate
Concertmaster Sheryl Staples, Principal Viola Cyntia Phelps, and
Principal Cello Carter Brey.

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