Monday, April 26, 2010

Classical Music Radio Making a Comeback?

Well, probably not in our region. At least not yet. The gist of this article is that while commercial classical FM is dwindling, public stations are picking up the slack.

Monterey Bay listeners have just a few choices. Our two primary listener-supported stations play NPR feed for part of the day, and often play the same feed at the same time. Another local FM station is merely a repeater for BBC news. Yadda yadda. I love the news, but where is classical music, with no commercial interruptions?

Read the full story here =>

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Soprano Takes Cab From Poland To Royal Opera House

Aleksandra Kurzak is one of many musicians whose ability to travel has been challenged by the volcanic ash cloud. "Last heard, the Dutch Nieuw Ensemble was stuck in Hong Kong, the Asko Ensemble wasn't leaving New York anytime soon, the Ensemble Modern was still in Istanbul and the Dresden Philharmonic was stranded on the Spanish island of Mallorca...."
Bloomberg 04/20/10

Read the article here =>

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Beethoven Visits Cleveland

In 1958, the Colossus speaks to an 11-year-old boy

by Harvey Sachs

an article in American Scholar Magazine

Harvey Sachs is a writer, lecturer, music historian, translator, and arts administrator. This essay is adapted from his book The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824, which will be published in June by Random House.

Red the full article here ==>

Thursday, April 15, 2010

At Leipzig's Bach Museum, Research Is In The Forefront

Visitors learn about Bach's penmanship, as well as the paper and ink he used. The display even explains how to date a Bach manuscript. But what makes this [newly renovated and expanded] museum unique is the interactive approach it takes to the teaching of its subject matter.
(Wall Street Journal)

Read more ==>

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yow! A Symphonic Weekend!

Last weekend was filled with chamber music and singing voices, and this weekend features treats for lovers of symphony repertoire.

Thanks and many bravos to Max Bragado-Darman and John Larry Granger—and the orchestras they lead—for continuing to bring great orchestral music and first–rate soloists  to our region. This weekend: music by Barber, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Elgar, Gershwin, Turina, and Ginastera!

The two soloists featured this weekend are particularly dazzling. Visit their fascinating websites (see below for the web addresses).

(You also can read details of both concerts in tomorrow's "Intermezzo" column by Barbara Rose Shuler here.)

Monterey Symphony Orchestra
Max Bragado-Darman, conductor
Sara Buechner, piano

Sat. March 27 (2 pm)
Dress Rehearsal, Sherwood Hall, Salinas
Sat. March 27 (7 pm)
Concert, Sherwood Hall, Salinas
(Note new Salinas start times)

Sun. March 28 (3 pm)
and Mon. March 29 (8 pm)
Sunset Theater, Carmel

Elgar: Cockaigne Overture, Op.40     (Wiki)
Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F major     (Wiki)
Turina: Rapsodia sinfónica     (about Joachin Turina)
Ginastera: Estancia Suite     (Alberto Ginastera on Wiki)

Symphony website:

Sara Buechner website:

And across the Bay:

Santa Cruz County Symphony
John Larry Granger, Conductor
Tessa Lark, violin

Sat. March 27 (8 pm)
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

Sun. March 28 (2 pm)
Henry J Mello Center, Watsonville

Barber: Adagio for Strings     (Wiki)
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto     (Wiki)
  with Tessa Lark, Violinist
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 ("Scottish")     (Mendelssohn on Wiki)

Symphony website:

Tessa Lark website:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Two events for lovers of choral singing!

The New Choir and the Santa Cruz Chorale
Music from around the globe, performed by two premiere choral ensembles
Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 8:00pm
Holy Cross Church
126 High Street, Santa Cruz
Get Directions: Location Map

The New Choir – composed of about twenty five singers from the greater San Francisco Bay Area – is an auditioned chamber choir performing choral works from all genres. The members of the New Choir have been brought together by their common love for the making of beautiful music. The New Choir is dedicated to the study and performance of quality choral literature and sharing the joy and the spiritual enhancement inherent in the making of music.

Join Director Eileen Chang and the New Choir to hear Renaissance masters Monteverdi, Des Prez, Guerrero and Sweelinck, Romantic pieces by Delius, Stanford, Grieg, Rhienberger and Brahms, and Hebrew Love Songs by contemporary California composer, Eric Whitacre; Spirituals and folk songs from Haiti, the Phillipines, India and Korea, including the dramatic story of valiant Koreans defending their homeland from invasion in a powerful setting by California Korean composer, Nah-kum Paik.

The New Choir will be joined by the Santa Cruz Chorale under their director, Christian Grube, for a performance of Heinrich Schütz Psalm 100 for double choir.

Celebrate the Spring Equinox with the delightful, fresh sound of the New Choir.

More concert and ticket information, visit the Santa Cruz Chorale website

Hart to Heart: Variations on Psalm 42
A workshop for choral singers with Dr. Andrew Megill

March 21, 2010 (Sunday) from 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Monterey Peninsula College Choral Room (MAP)

This is an event all singers should know about.

Andrew Megill is recognized as one of the leading choral conductors of his generation, known for his passionate artistry and unusually wide-ranging repertoire, extending from early music to newly-composed works. He is also Associate Conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival and Director of the Festival Chorale.

Dr. Megill will be presenting four works on the Psalm 42 text “Like as the hart”. He will examine how composers from different centuries and different musical styles compose music around a similar text.  In the process Dr. Megill will help participants explore the changes in singing style that each new century brings. Scores will be provided at the workshop.

    Palestrina (1525-1594):  Sicut cervus
    Handel (~1720): Chandos Anthem
    Mendelssohn (1837): Wie der Hirsch schreit
    Howells (1941): Like as the hart

$15 if signed up before March 19
Register and pay online by clicking here (no surcharge) or call 644-8012.
$25 at door (with no prior sign-up).
21 years and under free.
Participants may attend as singers or observers.

For more information visit the I Cantori website.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chamber Music Delights

For lovers of instrumental chamber music, great concerts are taking place in Monterey and Santa Cruz this weekend.

Imaginary Intersections: Raga And Raj
Saturday, March 20, 7:30pm
Part of the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival

First Congregational Church, Santa Cruz

In the mysterious Kingdom of Oudh near Calcutta, the fashion of the 1780s turned toward the 'Hindostannie Air', leading British musicians to perform amorous melodies and dance tunes of North India on European instruments.

Barry Phillips, a Ravi Shankar trained composer/performer of classical Indian music, has created a new work for early instruments which re-imagines this historical East-West encounter (world premiere).

Read our previous post about this concert here==>

Or visit the updated Santa Cruz Baroque Festival website

Light-Hearted Winds
Ensemble Monterey
Mozart, Jacob, Hummel and Beethoven

John Anderson, Conductor and Music Director (photo)

Saturday, March 20, 2010, 8 PM
   Golden State Theatre, Monterey
Sunday, March 21, 2010, 7 PM
   First Congregational Church, Santa Cruz

“Light-Hearted Winds” is a concert of classic delights featuring the wind section of the orchestra in compositions designed for pleasure and enjoyment. Come enjoy Mozart’s spirited overture from The Magic Flute, Beethoven’s lovely Rondino, Hummel’s early romantic-era Octet, Jacob’s Divertimento for Winds and one of Mozart’s most joyful compositions Serenade in E Flat Major.

More information on the Ensemble Monterey Website

Monday, March 15, 2010

Camerata Singers Concert Review!

Surprises sometimes happen in the nicest way!

Only after attending yesterday's concert by the Camerata Singers did I receive the message from Lyn Bronson asking me to review the concert for his Peninsula Reviews Website. I was delighted to oblige!

Read my review of the Camerata Singers concert here ==>

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

For the Masses!

Camerata Singers and their music director John Koza would be worthy of high praise simply for their wonderful singing and Mr. Koza's wonderful repertoire programming.

But they get a very special extra star in their crown for their "Camerata Futures" program  which each spring puts a group of auditioned high school students in the choir for Camerata's March concerts.

This weekend don't miss this wonderful ensemble in their latest outing "For the Masses!"

The first half of the program includes Mozart’s exciting Missa brevis in D major along with his exquisite Ave verum corpus. The second half features two short gospel pieces by Grayson W. Brown and Robert Ray’s thrilling Gospel Mass.

Friday 8pm St/ Pauls Epicopal Church, Salinas
Saturday 8pm, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Monterey
Sunday 3pm, First United Methodist Church, Pacific Grove

More information on the Camerata Singers website