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


Carmel Chamber Players Debut in Home Concert

Review of Carmel Chamber Players

Nicola Reilly, James Neiman & Janneke Hoogland

            I enjoy walking the beach and enjoy the many trails we have in the Monterey area. Even so, I passed up my afternoon walk on Sunday, October 27, 2019 to attend a wonderful concert. I am so glad I took the time to sit still and experience an afternoon of chamber music by the Carmel Chamber Players. This, incidentally, is the debut appearance of this newly founded group. I joined a small group of guests at the Bronson Piano Studio in Carmel Highlands. Chamber music historically has been played and enjoyed in homes, and the living room studio in the home of Lyn and Renée Bronson is a perfect setting. To listen while viewing the trees behind the pianos is always a joy.

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Archived in these categories: Cello, Chamber music, Piano, Violin


Violinist Ilya Kaler & pianist Alon Goldstein open Distinguished Artist Series

Violinist Ilya Kaler
Pianist Alon Goldstein

The 2019-20 The Distinguished Artists Concert Series, founded and directed by John Orlando since 1984, now Emeritus Head of the Piano Department at Cabrillo College, opened this season’s performances with a splendid violin-piano recital at Peace United Church in Santa Cruz on Saturday evening, September 21st. The stunning program, featuring violinist Ilya Kaler and frequent pianist here, Alon Goldstein at the mighty Yamaha CFX concert grand gave a rousing performance “as advertised” –- in a word “sensational.” While Goldstein often deceptively appears as if in a meditative trance, Ilya Kaler strode out with his fiddle in an energetic, forceful stance. Yet the duo performed “as one.”  Kaler is the only violinist to have gold-medalled in all three of these huge international competitions: The Paganini (1981), The Sibelius (1985) and the Tchaikovsky (1986).  He continues to concertize all over the world and is currently on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute. Goldstein also is in demand around the world, and his Festival appearances include not only the Marlboro in Vermont but also the super-exclusive Verbier in the Swiss Alps. 

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Chamber music, Piano, Romantic Era, Violin


CBF 2019: Fire & Grace & Ice

The Frozen North

            Sometimes you have to buy a concert ticket as a leap of faith. Faith that you will enjoy the music even if you haven’t heard the artist. Faith that you will enjoy the music even if you haven’t heard the instrument(s) used. I had never heard of a nyckelharpa. I have never really delved into Scandinavian folk music. The closest I’ve come to Hardanger Fiddle is bumbling my way through a Hardanger embroidery workshop. I’ve attended workshops and concerts at Church in the Forest before. I knew I would enjoy a lively afternoon hearing Fire & Grace & Ice on Monday, July 22, 2019. I knew attending Fire & Grace & Ice on Monday, July 22, 2019 at Church in the Forest would be a more satisfying experience than that workshop. Listening to the musicians having fun playing wonderful music was thrilling.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Violin


Carmel Trio in Aptos

Sometimes you find a wonderful experience when you least expect it. I had the pleasure of listening to a fine collection of Sonatas for piano and strings in the afternoon of Feb. 10, 2019. The Carmel Trio (Nicola Samra, Violin; Christopher Healy, Cello; and James Neiman, Piano) presented 3 works: Two Sonatas for piano and violin (Mozart and Beethoven) and a Sonata for piano and cello (Rachmaninoff). Our thanks to the community of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Aptos for sharing their space. I thoroughly enjoyed the fine performance.

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Archived in these categories: Cello, Chamber music, Piano, Violin