Ensemble Monterey’s Tribute to an Early Spring

Spring has come early to my yard. The pines are full of pollen, the roses and other shrubs are budding, morning walks include a swing by the seal pupping beach. I hadn’t thought about it being “early” until seeing the title for the concert on February 22, 2020. I suppose so though, there are places with snow still on the ground in February. For this early Spring evening, Ensemble Monterey under the leadership of Dr. John Anderson offered 3 pieces for our listening pleasure. I chose to attend the performance at First Presbyterian Church, Monterey. The ensemble for this concert is made up of 15 instrumentalists, all playing string instruments. This venue presents a wonderful opportunity to really experience a chamber orchestra. The seating is on a lower level than where the musicians sit on the wood platform. This gives us great acoustics for hearing the music and good viewpoint to watch the musicians at work. 

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Strings


YMMC Fall Concert at Sunset Center

New YMMC Conductor Danko Druško

Youth Music Monterey County launched its 2019-2020 season yesterday afternoon at Sunset Center in Carmel with a concert featuring the Junior Youth and Honors Orchestras. This concert represents a new chapter in YMMC’s history as it welcomes new Music Director and Conductor, Danko Druško, who comes to us with outstanding credentials and a wealth of experience conducting professional, university and youth orchestras throughout Europe and North America.

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Archived in these categories: Orchestral, Romantic Era, Strings, Violin, Youth Music Monterey


Viola Visions in Miami

At the New World Center in Miami Beach on October 19, 2019, Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony presented a fascinating series of programs entitled Viola Visions. The last of the concerts, “NEW CLASSIC VIOLA,” featured three of the world’s greatest violists playing a range of new works highlighting new directions and new perceptions of what the instrument can really accomplish. It featured Roberto Diaz, Cynthia Phelps, and Tabea Zimmermann.

The program opened with Roberto Diaz, formerly Principal Viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra and now President and CEO of Curtis Institute. Diaz performed Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto (2014), commissioned by the Library of congress in honor of the late Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge and celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Library’s concert series.

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Archived in these categories: Romantic Era, Strings


CBF – Concertmaster Peter Hanson presents Psycho

Concertmaster Peter Hanson

On Monday, June 15th, at Sunset Center, with the Bach Festival well under way, audiences attended “Psycho!,” where Peter Hanson and his string orchestra played a wide variety of pieces: “Holberg Suite” by Edward Grieg, “Shaker Loops” by John Luther Adams, and after intermission, extracts from the soundtracks of PsychoDunkirkThe Deer Hunter,The Lord of the RingsSchindler‘s List, and an encore (which we’ll get to), as well as the famous Air on the G String by this festival’s namesake, Johann Sebastian Bach.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Strings


Musikiwest – ChamberFest

Musikiwest ChamberFest

Learning an instrument is a lotta work. Learning how to be a part of a Chamber Group can be even harder! Musikiwest ChamberFest is training young aspiring chamber musicians to be the best in both respects. Participants in their programs explore the means by which to identify an unhealthy collaborative experience and develop the skills to create music with grace, flexibility and sensitivity. This week, from July 7 to July 10, 2019, at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, Artistic Director Michelle Djokic has guided 4 Fellows and 4 Artists through workshops, discussion sessions and rehearsals. 

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Archived in these categories: Strings