JOHN WINEGLASS original commission premiered by the Monterey Symphony in October, 2016, Max Bragado-Darman conducting at Sunset Center in Carmel. Click HERE
NEW THIS WEEK
MONTEREY COUNTY POPS! celebrated Independence Day with their concert band in a live stream from the new outdoor amphitheater at York School. Wind, brass and percussion played a variety of patriotic music from the US with Carl Christensen conducting and introducing the pieces in English and, for music from south of the border, in Spanish. Vocalists were Jackie Craghead and Mia Pak. (Pak did a Steinbeck favorite, Gershwin’s “Embraceable You,” in fine style.) The telecast on AMP TV accessed through the Pops! website, was beset with technical problems, from sections that totally disappeared to weirdly inexplicable ‘wowing’ out of tune on the audio feed. But it was a first for the orchestra and hopefully the people at AMP learned from the exercise.
DANCER SARA WILBOURNE, RIP
THE SANTA CRUZ dance community learned of the death of Sara Wilbourne (pictured in red) in early May. A few years ago, after a diagnosis of encroaching dementia, friends say, the intensely private Wilbourne retreated from public life and news of her death leaked out only gradually. She was believed to be around 70 years old. She first came to Santa Cruz around 1980 after she and Tandy Beal met at the University of Utah. Beal recruited Wilbourne to become part of her Santa Cruz-based dance company and she followed Beal to California. Over the next 35 years, Wilbourne was not only a central figure in the fertile local dance community, she also became an irreplaceable resource and creative force in the larger arts community, giving her focus and energies to such organizations as Cabrillo College, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre and others. She worked to connect artists with each other, and with whatever they needed for collaboration and support.
ENNIO MORRICONE, 1928-2020
FROM The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to Cinema Paradiso
THOUSAND HAND GUAN YIN
ORIGINAL DANCE created by Chinese choreographer Zhang Jigang. This dance is performed by 63 deaf dancers of the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe. Because they cannot hear the music, six conductors in white costumes help them synchronize with the music.
HOW CLOSE IS TOO CLOSE FOR CHORAL SINGERS?
NEW RESEARCH into spread of virus particles suggests at least eight feet. Click HERE
THANK YOU for sharing that wondrous combination of “Slap that Bass” and Gershwin’s filming of it. (Weekly Magazine, June 30.) More than made my day. We need more joy. We need more Fred (Astaire)! I forgot how happy just watching him makes me. ~Layne Littlepage, Carmel chanteuse
VIOLIN PRODIGY CHRISTIAN LI
VIVALDI’S “SUMMER” STORM at the 2018 Menuhin Competition, which he won at age 10. He has signed a recording contract with Decca.
IDA HAENDEL, LAST OF THE GOLDEN AGE
THE 20TH CENTURY delivered perhaps the greatest era of outstanding violinists in history. Beginning as a child prodigy and still performing in 2010, Ida Haendel’s lustrous career survived, and flourished, through every imaginable privation and human catastrophe. This obit from The Guardian includes a 1989 performance of Saint-Saens Concerto in B minor. Click HERE
HAENDEL’S BACH CHACONNE
THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH
ON LISTENING TO this new Delos CD, I thought I had stumbled onto a reincarnation of Joan Sutherland, the operatic diva from New South Wales who, by virtue of her astounding career, came to be known as La Stupenda. I compared the opening track of this collection of French and Italian arias, “Depuis le jour” from Charpentier’s Louise with the same scene in a Sutherland collection and was indeed not far off the mark. Born and trained in Russia, the diminutive Ekaterina Siurina does indeed produce a creamy legato and coloratura à la Sutherland, with similar horsepower in the big, dramatic repertoire. And, like Sutherland, she prefers to put her riches into the vowels at the expense of the articulating consonants, a criticism of the Australian through much of her storied career. I learned to get over it, and have no real complaints in Siurina’s new collection, titled “Amour éternel,” that includes opera scenes and arias by Gounod (Roméo et Juliette, Faust), Bizet (Les pêcheurs de perles, Carmen), Puccini (La bohème, La Rondine, Turandot) and Verdi (Desdemona’s final scene from Otello). A lustrous, warm soprano who can easily handle dramatic roles is a rarity in any generation, and her worldwide reputation proves it. She is joined on this new release by tenor Charles Castronovo and mezzo Rita Preiksaite along with the Kaunas City Symphony (Lithuania) skillfully conducted by Constantine Orbelian. SM
IN THE APRIL 21 edition, our Weekly Magazine carried a video of Niv Ashkenazi and the Violins of Hope. Click HERE Now the new CD is out on Albany label. The program contains Robert Dauber’s only surviving piece, Serenade; Ernest Bloch’s Nigun; John William’s theme from Schindler’s List; Julius Chajes’ The Chassid; Sharon Farber’s cello concerto, Bestemming: Triumph; Three Concert Pieces by Szymon Laks; George Perlman’s Dance of the Rebbitzen; Paul Ben-Haim’s Berceuse sfaradite and Three Songs Without Words; and Maurice Ravel’s Kaddisch. SM
ORCHESTRAS WHO PAY THEIR BOSSES THE BIGGEST BUCKS
DREW McMANUS has been doing his annual trawl through orchestral accounts to see who’s getting paid what. But fiscal 2017/18 was a weird year in which the really big spenders—New York, LA Phil and San Fran—had no CEO in place, or only for part of the season. That meant only one orchestra was paying its boss more than a million bucks. Who was that? Mark Volpe. So why is he about to retire when he’s finally broken into big money?
- Boston Symphony: $1,050,596
- Philadelphia Orchestra: $770,708
- Cleveland Orchestra: $578,617
- Chicago Symphony: $537,541
- Seattle Symphony: $484,982
- Detroit Symphony: $467,857
- Pittsburgh Symphony: $431,015
- Saint Louis Symphony: $427,176
- Utah Symphony: $407,519
- Minnesota Orchestra: $383,681
INTERVIEW WITH AMERICAN COMPOSER ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK
IT INCLUDES YouTubes of his music. Click HERE
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON RESPONDS IN KIND
MASTER SONGWRITER takes no crap, misses old friends, forgets birthdays. Click HERE
ITALIAN FOOD FEST, THEN A COP SHOWS UP
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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor