Santa Cruz Symphony — Pianist Yuja Wang Returns


Faithful supporters of the Santa Cruz Symphony under the direction of Music Director Daniel Stewart were treated to rare, innovative programming, in a special sixth concert of its 2016-2017 season featuring Yuja Wang — certainly one of the most sought after pianists in the world. In her first performance with the Santa Cruz Symphony in February at Civic Center and Mello Center Wang created a sensation performing the Concerto No. 5 by Prokofiev and Concerto No. 2 by Johannes Brahms. Subsequently. it was Yuja Wang who having enjoyed her first Santa Cruz appearances who suggested this special return engagement.  Read full story

Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Orchestral, Piano, Romantic Era, String quartet

One Hundred Years of Chamber Music from Vienna

Vienna was the center for chamber music in the 19th century, where many of the great composers lived and worked. In was in this European capital that notable works were created for solo, orchestral, and chamber music works that helped define the Romantic movement of the 19th century. One hundred years of chamber music from Vienna was the underlying theme presented in concert by the Gould Piano Trio with clarinetist Robert Plane in San Jose on April 2, presented by the San Jose Chamber Music Society at the Trianon Theater. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Romantic Era, String quartet

San Jose Chamber Music Society – Pražák Quartet from Prague

San Jose Chamber Music Society scored a big win with the appearance of The Pražák Quartet from Prague at the Trianon Theater in San Jose on March 12. Playing two quartets by Antonin Dvořák and one by Alexander von Zemlinsky, at first glance the program appeared to be very limited, considering the three works were composed over a span of only 17 years. One might wonder if the program lacked diversity. Would there be any variety in these apparently similar works? Read full story

Archived in these categories: Romantic Era, String quartet

Daedalus Quartet Shines

Daedalus Quartet 2-25-17

When I read a preview of Chamber Music Monterey Bay’s presentation of  the Daedalus Quartet, the first question in my mind was: am I going to enjoy this concert? The program consisted of what appeared to be piece of juvenilia by Haydn (his very first quartet), a contemporary work by Mieczysław Weinberg (never heard of him), and ended with Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131, (at 40 minutes duration, sort of the Hammerklavier of string quartets). Was I ever wrong! These four amazing musicians — violinists Min-Young Kim and Matilda Kaul, violist Jessica Thompson and cellist Thomas Kraines — spun magic right from the opening of the Haydn to the very last note of the Beethoven. Read full story

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

Youth Music Monterey County Chamber Players at All Saints’ Church

YMM Chamber Players 4-17-16

Sometimes it seems as though the quest for excellence on the playing field has elevated sports to such a level of importance that the performing arts are becoming increasingly irrelevant. However, anyone who had the good fortune to hear the YMMC Chamber Music Players in its showcase benefit concert yesterday afternoon at All Saints’ Church in Carmel would have had ample proof of another quest for excellence that has been going on right under our eyes. Youth Music Monterey County is alive and well, and what we heard Sunday afternoon was some of the same young instrumental players who are outstanding members of the YMMC Honors Orchestra, but heard on this occasion in smaller ensembles.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, All Saints' Church, Baroque, Cello, Chamber music, Classical Era, Piano, Piano trio, Romantic Era, String quartet, Strings