Violinist Kyung Wha Chung & Pianist Kevin Kenner in Miami Recital

On Thursday, June 28, as part of the week’s Chopin Festival in Miami, Kyung Wha Chung came from Seoul, Korea, to perform a recital with pianist Kevin Kenner at the Frost School of Music. As a student at Juilliard, Chung studied with the legendary Ivan Galamian and later with Joseph Szigeti. She was considered one of the world’s greatest violinists, who performed and recorded with many major pianists and conductors, until her concert career was interrupted for several years by an injury.

Thursday’s program began with the Fauré Violin Sonata in A Major, Opus 13. The beautiful performance and collaboration with Kenner reminded of what a great violinist she is. The first half ended with Kenner playing his reconstruction of Chopin’s Mazurka in F Minor, Op. 68, No. 4 and the Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52, in which his wide range of sonority and fluid technique demonstrated why he had been chosen to be awarded First Prize in the 1990 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber music, Piano, Violin

Santa Cruz Symphony Musicians — An Evening of Chamber Music at Samper Hall

Cellist Jonah Kim

On Sunday March 4 at Cabrillo College’s Samper Hall we were treated to an evening of intimate chamber music featuring Santa Cruz Symphony’s principal cellist Jonah Kim joining with other principal players and the Symphony’s Conductor Daniel Stewart. It is a given fact a Symphony Orchestra is as good as its musicians and this is the very reason the Santa Cruz Symphony’s Music Director Maestro Daniel Stewart has searched and found some of the very finest young talent available anywhere. This is precisely the main reason the Symphony performs works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler and Strauss, to name but a few, with such perfection and emotion. First cellist extraordinaire Jonah Kim, concertmaster extraordinaire, Nigel Armstrong, Maestro extraordinaire Stewart and guest collaborating pianist Elizabeth Dorman performed four works that will keep the sold out audience buzzing for weeks to come! To be sure, Ms. Dorman’s performance was equally extraordinaire! These are very deep musical talents with enormous artistic abilities brought forth in this concert. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Cello, Piano, Piano trio, Violin

Lean and Lyrical – A Recital by James Ehnes

Sporting his abundantly resonant 1715 “Marsick” Stradivarius, violinist James Ehnes, with the keyboard collaboration of Orion Weiss, presented a fine display of lyricism and virtuosity in his program for Chamber Music San Francisco at the JCC Palo Alto, Monday, February 12. Often labeled “the Heifetz of today,” Mr. Ehnes intoned the music of Beethoven, Poulenc, and Richard Strauss less with the burnished Heifetz wizardry than with the lean, elegantly virile style of Heifetz’s most apt and commercially successful protégé, Erick Friedman.  Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Classical Era, Violin

Pianist Mauro Bertoli and Violinist Lucia Luque in Recital

Lucia Luque & Mauro Bertoli

Performing together for the first time in California, right here in Santa Cruz at Peace United Church on January 21st to continue the 33rd season of the Distinguished Artists Concert and Lecture Series founded by Director John Orlando, was the delightful youngish duo of Italian-trained Argentinian violinist Lucia Luque and Italo-Canadian pianist Mauro Bertoli, a resident of Ottawa since 2009, who had made a CD back in 2010 after meeting during events that included Luque’s winning prizes for her artistry in Turn, Naples and Verona: and Bertoli being awarded not only the first Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Youth Prize, but also the Giuseppi Sinopoli Award presented personally by the president of the Italian Republic. Though the duo performed each work impeccably and to hearty applause from the full house, to these ancient ears the pianist at the big Yamaha CFX did not over all quite match the intensity of the violinist on her Italian-made 1920 Enrico Marchetti instrument. Read full story

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

Eldar Hudiyev and James Neiman in Concert

J.S. Bach’s Sonata in E Major, BWV 1016, Brahms Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78 and the Beethoven Sonata No. 9 in A Major “Kreutzer”, Op. 47, were on the program Sunday, January 21, at 3 pm at the Aptos home of Josef and Maria Sekon. This was the opening concert of the 2018 Aptos Keyboard Series.

As I entered the quaint home that served as the current venue, aromas of freshly brewed French espresso coffee still lingered in the air. Original art works by known artistswere highlighted by the warm sunlight coming through the windows. Many wooden folding chairs painted in bright red, blue, green and yellow filled the floor challenging one as a tight-rope walker, but added warmth to the attractive ambiance. As the minutes passed the venue became packed to the brim by some 40 guests who were in for a wonderful and rare musical treat done in a true 17th-19th century Italian or French “Salon” setting. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Chamber music, Violin