Aptos Keyboard Series at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine in Aptos presents pianist Robyn Carmichael

Pianist Robyn Carmichael

The Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine at 125 Canterbury Drive in Aptos has recently become an important venue for music events. The Reverend Tracy J. Wells Miller, who prefers to be addressed as “Mother Tracy,” was on hand yesterday to welcome music lovers who had come to hear pianist Robyn Carmichael present a piano recital on the newly-acquired, brand-new, Kawai semi concert grand piano. Although this event was an inaugural celebration for the new piano, acquired through the generosity of donors, Mother Tracy also pointed with pride to the recently-installed tracker organ, which had been acquired from another church and undergone significant renovation. It also will be celebrated and honored in an inaugural organ recital event coming up in the very near future. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Piano, Romantic Era


Ensemble Monterey — Serenades for Strings

On Saturday evening, October 13, at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church in Carmel Valley, Ensemble Monterey opened its 2018-2019 concert season with a program of works exclusively for strings. Dr. John Anderson not only directed the ensemble, but was also most likely the person who selected the works we heard. It was an interesting program, especially since the first half featured two composers seldom heard in live or recorded performances — Arthur Foote and George Antheil. Very likely I was not the only person in the audience to be hearing the works by Foote and Antheil for the first time. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Romantic Era, Strings


David Gordon — Singing My Heart Out — 150 Years of Songs about Conscience and Hope

Sometimes a simple setting is the best background for musical eloquence. Such was the case October 7th at 3:30 p.m. at The Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula featuring the troubadour extraordinaire, David Gordon. Humor, eloquence, elegance, emotion, talent, and much more were on abundant display! Though having physically moved to Oregon, Gordon’s spirit and music will never leave the Monterey Peninsula. An early arriving audience busily buzzing in anticipation certainly attested to this fact to be part of the sold out program. As the subtitle noted, songs from 1852 through 2016 were featured. By weaving themes together, the strength of lyrics proved their timeless as well as timely relevance. Along the way, history of the composers or of the times that inspired the pieces was also woven in. If all history lessons were presented in Gordon’s inimitable way, perhaps more of us would retain historical facts and be more sensitive. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Vocal


Santa Cruz Symphony: Fidl Fantazye

    

The highly anticipated Mahler Symphony No. 4 was performed by the spirited Santa Cruz Symphony under the baton of Maestro Danny Stewart, Music Director and Conductor extraordinaire. To compound this intensity, once again Maestro Stewart conducted this masterpiece and the entire concert from memory! The venue was the Mello Center for the Performing Arts Sunday on October, 7. The fourth movement featured the superb voice of guest artist, Chinese soprano Meigui Zhang. It is quite obvious Stewart’s affinity for Mahler allows him to capture and magically express Mahler’s musical intensity. The performance had a tremendous impact on the audience, especially the ‘Mahlerites’ who filled the Mello with eagerness and appreciation. Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 is set for the following season.  Read full story

Archived in these categories: Orchestral, Romantic Era, Santa Cruz Symphony


Virtuoso! JoAnn Falletta Leads Symphony Silicon Valley’s Opening Concert

Thoroughly engaging the Symphony Silicon Valley in their program of Barber, Prokofiev, and Sibelius, guest-conductor JoAnn Falletta led a spectacularly successful demonstration of orchestral discipline Saturday, October 6 at San Jose’s California Theatre to inaugurate the 2018-19 season. By the time we reached the commanding series of chords that conclude the Sibelius E-flat Symphony, Op. 82, the irrevocable impression we had gleaned convinced us that master musicians had assembled to deliver nothing less than a virtuoso display of musical temperament buttressed by seamless technical control. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Orchestral