CHAMPIONS OF THE ARTS, the annual Arts Council Monterey County awards banquet (see below.) US MARINE CORPS JAZZ ORCHESTRA (above) plays CSUMB’s World Theater on Friday. CLASSICAL GUITARIST BENJAMIN VERDERY at UC Santa Cruz. MINIMALIST PIONEER composer Terry Riley (right) at Peace United Church; his shocking IN C of 1964 turned the world of new music upside down. SMUIN BALLET returns to Carmel with its new Dance Series 01 with a focus on Etta James, a Michael Smuin original plus three mainstage premieres by company artists. ELTON JOHN’S BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL opens in Carmel. BEN WENDEL’S ‘SEASONS’ BAND turns Tchaikovsky into jazz at Kuumbwa. For links to these and dozens of other live performance events, click our CALENDAR
BLIND MUSICIANS CAN NOW ‘SEE’ THE CONDUCTOR
BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY liberates them to play in time. Click HERE
THE HEART KNOWS NO BORDERS
THIS IS THE FIRST PERFORMANCE of a new concerto for double bass and orchestra, The Heart Knows No Borders, commissioned and played by the venerable Gary Karr. The composer, Andrés Martín, conducts the Baja Chamber Orchestra of Tijuana.
THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH
ADAM NEIMAN plays the complete Preludes and Études-tableaux by Rachmaninoff in this new 3-CD set. These 45 miniatures, including the early Cinq morceaux de fantaisie, which contains the notorious Prelude in C-sharp Minor—all in the unmistakable style of the great Russian pianist—offer a generous range of interpretive possibilities and Neiman takes the plunge with swagger and panache. Moreover, his excellent program notes shed important light on Rachmaninoff’s contribution to 20th century music: “Whereas the Op 33 Études-tableaux serve as harbingers of early modernism, the nine Études-tableaux, Op 39, fully embrace the spirit of exploratory dissonance and the shedding of traditional tonality.” “Fully” is a stretch; for all his popular allure he was certainly well behind the new wave of his time: Debussy, Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Bartók. Even his exact contemporary, Alexander Scriabin, stepped out of the romantic Russian homesick yearning. Neiman has achieved a major career as a concerto soloist, chamber musician—he is music director of the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont—and solo recitalist. He is currently building a discography on Aeolian Classics, has recorded for Naxos and includes titles on the Bridge label as a member of Trio Solisti. Neiman’s brother James, also a pianist, is a recently-arrived resident of Carmel Valley, assertively active in the classical music scene of the Monterey Peninsula.SM
NEW JERSEY TEEN TO BE SPIELBERG’S MARIA
WAS CHOPIN A GREAT COMPOSER?
OR MERELY a salon miniaturist? Terry Teachout asks and attempts to answer. He picks up several quotes, including this one by the early 20th century pianist Artur Schnabel, “If I spend the same amount of time with a Chopin [étude] or with some Beethoven bagatelle, I get tired of the Chopin piece sooner.” Teachout follows up on Alan Walker’s Chopin biography published last fall. Click HERE
MICHEL LEGRAND, 1932-2019
COMPOSER OF Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Windmills of Your Mind. Here he joins late chanteuse Maurane, 1960-2018.
WAS SHAKESPEARE SHAKESPEARE?
ACTOR MARK RYLANCE revives the old debate anew. Would you like some Bacon with that? Click HERE
TOP SECRET DRUM CORPS
DROP A STICK and the show stops immediately.
PHILIP PEARCE attended the opening of Red Velvet at the Colligan in Santa Cruz. Click HERE
THE BRENTANO QUARTET is joined by pianist Yekwon Sunwoo in music by Beethoven and Dvořák. CELLIST LEYLA McCALL brings her Capitalist Blues to Kuumbwa. ENSEMBLE MONTEREY plays Carmel & Santa Cruz. SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL begins a new season. POLITICAL COMEDIAN BILL MAHER to rock SC Civic.
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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor