Versatile Palette: Pianist Nelson Goerner in Recital

Nelson Goerner

The San Francisco Bay Area seems to have become a mecca for keyboard talent of the first rank, as witnessed by the recent spectacular appearance of Argentine pianist Nelson Goerner at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, on Monday, April 15, under the auspices of Chamber Music San Francisco. Goerner presented to us a brilliant, architecturally balanced program of works from the Romantic era. His performances of Brahms, Beethoven, Schumann, and Chopin demonstrated his tonal and technical mastery in often seamless fluency, but more importantly extended the often salon-like sentiments of Brahms, Schumann, and Chopin into transcendent, epic visions of poignant, lyrical drama.

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Archived in these categories: Piano, Romantic Era


Pianist Halida Dinova in Aptos

It was an enthusiastic audience that greeted pianist Halida Dinova at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Aptos yesterday afternoon. Since Ms. Dinova has appeared several times previously on the Aptos Keyboard Series, her fans had high expectations, and she certainly did not disappoint them on this occasion. A Russian trained virtuoso with a blistering technique equal to any challenge, she also demonstrated that she could on demand spin magic moments of expressive and poetic playing.

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


Violinist Oliveira Shines with Monterey Symphony

Elmar Oliveira

World renowned violinist Elmar Oliveira held the audience in the palm of his hand last night as he gave a luscious and powerful rendition of Bruch’s famous Violin Concerto No. 1. This is a work heard more often in recordings, thus it was a special pleasure to hear it on this occasion in live performance by the Monterey Symphony conducted by Max-Bragado-Darman for a capacity audience at Sunset Center.

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Archived in these categories: Concerto, Monterey Symphony, Orchestral


Third Coast Percussion at Herbst Theater

What an imaginative and extraordinary way to spend Wednesday night, April 3, in San Francisco. I had the privilege of attending a performance by Third Coast Percussion at Herbst Theater presented by San Francisco Performances.

Having recently released its newest album, ‘Perputulum’, Third Coast Percussion is, if they haven’t already, becoming a force to be reckoned with. ‘Perpetulum’ is a joint venture with Philip Glass, its latest commissioned composer. Glass has never before written for percussion alone, and TCP thought it was time. They premiered the West Coast performance of the piece written last year (2018) last Wednesday at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco to a very receptive, but not sold out crowd. In the spirit of musical convergence, Glass leaves the cadenza between the second and third movement mostly up to the performers. 

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Archived in these categories: 21st Century


The Santa Cruz Symphony: Invocations

Esa-Pekka Salonen

The Sunday, April 7 performance of the Santa Cruz Orchestra offered a unique treat in that two of today’s finest leading composer-conductors were represented: Maestro Danny Stewart on the podium conducting Karawane (2014), a composition by fellow colleague, Finnish Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen. In 2020, Salonen will become Music Director/Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony. With the passing of Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen seemed the likeliest leading active composer-conductor to assume that honor and the many challenges associated with it. 

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Orchestral, Santa Cruz Symphony