Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

OTONOWA JAZZ ENSEMBLE at Hidden Valley to benefit victims of 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. FIDDLE EXTRAVAGANZA returns to Santa Cruz Civic. AMIT PELED (above) will open Distinguished Artists series with Pablo Casals’ famous Gofriller cello, on September 6. THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE starts on September 5 at the Colligan in Santa Cruz.

SC SHAKESPEARE TO HOST STUDENTS

SEPTEMBER 4 THROUGH 7, at the Stanley Grove, some 1,000 students from schools in Santa Cruz, Aromas, Pajaro Valley and Campbell, will be able to attend fully professional performances of Romeo and Juliet. These 10am matinees are for students and their chaperones only, and include a post-show discussion with the actors after each performance. The Teacher’s Study Guide is available for a free download HERE 

CHAMBER MUSIC MONTEREY BAY

SEASON 2018-19 starts in October with the Van Kuijk Quartet playing an adolescent string quartet by Schubert and the popular String Quartet in F by Ravel. Their program also includes György Ligeti’s First Quartet “Métamorphoses nocturnes”—in keeping with CMMB’s policy to include late 20th or early 21st century repertoire in each of their programs. In that spirit, and with Andrew Sudol (right), CMMB’s recently named executive director, they invited their subscribers to vote on sending a bus to a concert at the 2018 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, a first-time gambit. Not surprisingly, most votes were in favor of the Kronos Quartet program on August 5. “About a dozen people went,” Sudol told me, “and joined a large crowd of somewhere between 700 and 800.” He promised that CMMB will “keep that going,” at future Cabrillo Festivals. Sudol grew up in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, always with a keen taste for live music, including jazz and pop as well as classical. The family moved here five years ago; before joining CMMB he worked for the Monterey Jazz Festival. Before that he was development director for Stanford Live. Descended from a Polish heritage, he speaks several Slavic languages fluently. At UCLA he studied Political Science and Russian Civilization. His two daughters attend Carmel public schools, where one studies Japanese and the other Mandarin. Other CMMB artists this coming season are Music from Copland House, the Borromeo Quartet with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, the Catalyst Quartet and the Montrose Trio. 

BAUHAUS BALLET

A DANCE of Geometry, from 1922

DANCE REIMAGINED AT USC

AT THE Glorya Kaufman School. Click HERE   

PRESERVING GUATEMALA DANCE AND CULTURE

MAYAN ‘DEER DANCE’ celebrated annually on the eve Corpus Christi Day

FRACTURED NEW MUSIC A ‘GOOD THING’

SO SAYS ALEX ROSS in The New Yorker. Click HERE  

CRACKPOT HYMNAL & BEAT THERAPY

DMITRI TYMOCZKO, American composer, brings brilliant technique and a playful wit to his art. Crackpot Hymnal is one short movement from his Typecase Treasury, a seven-movement piece for string quartet (Amernet Quartet) and piano (Kevin Weng-Yew Mayner) inspired by a printer’s typecase he received as a child in which all the lead type pieces were replaced with mini-collectables, “a strange crystal, a piece of iron pyrite, a shark’s tooth.” Another of its movements is titled This One Was Supposed to be Atonal. Other fascinating and fun pieces are The Eggman Variations (Corigliano Quartet and pianist John Blacklow) and This Picture Seems to Move for string quartet (Amernet) inspired by paintings by Paul Klee and Umberto Boccioni. The most ambitious work is a cheeky piano concerto called Another Fantastic Voyage, with pianist Daniel Schlosberg and the Illinois Modern Ensemble conducted by Stephen Taylor. Its movements are titled The Mad King, Changeling and An Evil, Evil Carnival. Highly entertaining. 

BEAT THERAPY uses three pianists and an instrumentation that includes drums, three saxophones, two bass clarinets, trumpet, synthesizer and bass. The program shows the composer has a mastery of jazz, with titles like Loop & Swing, Kachunk, Katrina Stomp, Earthquake and The Mysterious Stranger. Some of them are upbeat while others are circumspect and meditative. This band (with no name) of twelve crack jazz musicians is spectacular. Bridge Records first made a fan of us with Tymoczko’s CD, Rube Goldberg Variations. The composer also wrote A Geometry of Music, a “new way of thinking, demonstrating that contemporary tonal styles, from postminimalism to rock develop seamlessly out of earlier music.” Influences include Stravinsky, Debussy and Ravel. Tymoczko is a totally hands-on musician with a fearless imagination. SM   

‘WEIRD COMPOSER’ PREMIERE IN BOSTON

TOD MACHOVER’S Schoenberg in Hollywood to be staged by Boston Lyric Opera. Click HERE  

RODRIGO’S CONCERTO D‘ORANGE JUICE’

FROM BRASSED OFF starring the late, great Pete Postlethwait.

NEXT WEEK

DISTINGUISHED ARTISTS Series welcomes Amit Peled to play Brahms on Pablo Casals’ Gofriller cello in Santa Cruz. JEWEL THEATRE COMPANY opens its 2018-19 season at the Colligan Theater with Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane. KYMA INTERNATIONAL SOUND SYMPOSIUM at UC Santa Cruz.    

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor