Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

DISTINGUSHED ARTISTS SERIES presents a Schubertiade, a recreation of an evening with the composer and friends in early 19th century Vienna. MONTEREY SYMPHONY welcomes guest conductor Jung-Ho Pak to the podium for a program of regional premieres. (See below.) SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS welcome the return of MUSA Chinese Baroque, featuring music of that era from China. BASS-BARITONE CHRISTIAN PURSELL sings to benefit vocal music at Cabrillo College on Sunday. 33RD ANNUAL SANTA CRUZ JAZZ FESTIVAL at Cabrillo College. FOUR OLD BROADS opens West Coast premiere at Mountain Community. LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO (above) returns to Santa Cruz. MASTERS OF SOUL at World Theater in Seaside. For links to these and dozens of other live performance events, click on the display ads, left, or on our CALENDAR

CABRILLO FESTIVAL 2019 ANNOUNCED

CRISTIAN MĂCELARU’S third season emphasizes women artists and composers. Programs include three World Premiere original commissions: Kristen Kuster’s When There are Nine, an homage to Ruth Bader Ginsberg featuring Room Full of Teeth vocal ensemble, Clarice Assad’s New Interactive Educational Work and Preben Antonsen’s Psalm Without Words. In addition are two US premieres, eight West Coast premieres and twelve composers-in-residence. The August 11 concert consists of two major works by Wynton Marsalis, his Violin Concerto, featuring soloist Nicola Benedetti, and Blues Symphony, with the composer in attendance. For complete Festival details, click HERE    

JUNG-HO PAK TO MAKE MONTEREY SYMPHONY DEBUT

THE LOCAL RESIDENT with an international conducting career makes his long-anticipated debut appearance this weekend in a program of local premieres. Continuing the Symphony’s ocean-themed “Sound Waves” season, Pak will begin by conducting And God created great whales by Alan Hovhaness, a “conceptual” piece that combines the natural songs of humpback whales with orchestra. (Pak cites Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Cantus Articus with its bird songs as another example of combining the sounds of nature with composed music.)

Also with the sounds of oceanic mammals, Pak has included Stella Sung’s Oceana, a short concert work about ocean ecology that underscores the destructive noise pollution of the oceans, from military and industrial activities, that disorients the great mammals of the sea. As a response to Sung’s music, videographer Annie Crawley created an undersea video that will be screened with the music. Pak says both Sung and Crawley will be in attendance, and oceanographer John Ryan from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute will join him on stage for the pre-concert lectures one hour before the Saturday and Sunday performances.

Pak has performed Tan Dun’s Water Concerto many times; this production will feature percussionist Christopher S Lamb, who premiered the piece in 1998 in New York. “Tan Dun is the at the forefront of ethnomusicological work, and the most successful,” Pak says. “You can almost hear the orchestra speaking Chinese. He elevates the simplest and most universal—water—to the highest degree.” Two percussionists of the Symphony will join Lamb to either side with bowls of water lit from the bottom. “It feels like you’re watching a ceremony, a Japanese tea service, something holy.” The composer dedicated the 25-minute work to Toru Takemitsu, the greatest Japanese composer of the latter 20th century.

Pak’s program concludes with Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony of 1945, a work that nominally celebrates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II at unfathomable cost in lives but turns out to be a sarcastic joke. In 1946, a critical article by musicologist Izrail Nestyev was published: “What remains to be proposed is that the Ninth Symphony is a kind of respite, a light and amusing interlude between Shostakovich’s significant creations, a temporary rejection of great, serious problems for the sake of playful, filigree-trimmed trifles. But is it the right time for a great artist to go on vacation, to take a break from contemporary problems?” That is exactly what Shostakovich predicted and exactly what he had taken upon his shoulders: to speak truth to power through music. SM

SUNSET CENTER SEEKS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

FOR DETAILS, click HERE  

HAPPY 75TH DAME KIRI

KIRI TE KANAWA was born Claire Mary Teresa Rawstron in the small New Zealand seaside town of Gisborne. The birth child of a native Maori man and a woman of European descent was adopted at five weeks of age by a local couple, Tom and Nell Te Kanawa, he a Maori and she with family ties to the British Isles. (Georg Solti at the piano.)

 

STEEL AND STRINGS

REVIVING THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA’S GLORY. Conductor Franz Welser-Möst has led the way, not without controversy. Click HERE  

REMEMBERING JACQUES LOUSSIER, 1934-2019

CONSERVATORY-TRAINED musician caused a sensation in 1959 when he established a trio with the string bass player Pierre Michelot and the drummer Christian Garros and recorded his sophisticated jazzed-up interpretations of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

 

HOW PASSIVE LISTENING TO MUSIC IMPAIRS CREATIVITY

BACKGROUND MUSIC dulls the senses. Click HERE   

KENNY RANKIN, 1940-2009

TEN YEARS ON, taken too soon.

 

NEXT WEEK

JEWEL THEATRE opens Breaking the Code at the Colligan. PIANIST WU HAN plays Tchaikovsky and Schubert in Carmel. ARIA presents ‘She Sings’ in Monterey. SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FEST hosts an organ recital at Peace United. SC CHORALE hosts Cantabella Children’s Chorus from Pleasanton. GOLDEN GATE CHAMBER PLAYERS at Hidden Valley. PG POPS ORCHESTRA in Pacific Grove. BAY BELLES in Carmel.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor