Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

MONTEREY SYMPHONY welcomes pianist Marcos Madrigal in a program of Wagner, Chopin and Beethoven. MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY THEATER opens Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn at Park Hall in Ben Lomond. CSUMB Spring Choral Concert. MIRIAM ELLIS INTERNATIONAL PLAYHOUSE at UC Santa Cruz stages plays in Chinese, French, Japanese and Spanish. MONTEREY COUNTY COMPOSERS FORUM presents new compositions by 11 composers (pictured above) at Hidden Valley with guests Kenny Stahl, Leberta Lorál and Anthony DeMers. ARIOSE SINGERS“The Hope We Choose” in Santa Cruz. MPC ORCHESTRA and guests play Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. WAITING FOR GODOT opens in Carmel. For links to these and dozens of other live performance events, click on the display ads, left, or on our CALENDAR

DORIS DAY, 1922-2019

ANIMAL LOVING “Calamity Jane” lived right on busy Carmel Valley Road overlooking the Quail Lodge golf links. Thousands of twice-daily commuters never knew.

 

DOSVEDANYA FARKHAD KHUDYEV

FOR SIX MEMORABLE YEARS as music director of Youth Music Monterey County, the Turkmenistan native, who has performed for presidents from Western Europe to the Eurasian steppe, and conducted major orchestras in Europe, the United States and China, is bidding farewell to legions of fans in Monterey County. We all knew the time would come when this gifted and charismatic musician would follow his rising star, to what is—immediately—an important post as music director of the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra at Austin and a tenure-track position on the faculty there. This move puts YMMC in the same position as the Monterey Symphony: the search for a new music director, but with greater urgency since Khudyev’s replacement must be on board no later than mid-summer.

DISAPPOINTED WITH YOUR HORIZONTAL PIANO?

TRY DAVID KLAVINS’s 15-foot tall vertical concert grand. Click HERE   

PIAS SCORES GLOBAL DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION OF BERLIN PHIL

THIS is a big feather for our friends at PIAS and just in time for the fabled orchestra’s new season with its new conductor, Kirill Petrenko. Click HERE  

PUNJABTRONIX

OLD AND NEW Indian culture, with DJ Swami, 70 years after partition. 

 

YOUNG CHILD EXCLAIMS “WOW!” AT BOSTON CONCERT

HARRY CHRISTOPHERS was conducting the Handel and Haydn Society performance of Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music. Be sure the sound is turned on. Click HERE   

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

IN 1824, a frisky 15-year-old named Felix Mendelssohn wrote a brilliant classically-modeled symphony, now called his Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op 11. By then he was not only absurdly experienced for his age—he had already written 12 symphonies for string orchestra—but would follow up this full-orchestra, 30-minute piece a year later with two of his greatest masterpieces, the Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture and the Octet for Strings in E-flat. A case could be made that Mendelssohn’s talent never burned brighter than in his early works. Curiously, the work rarely gets the exposure it deserves, so this new release is both revelation and treat, not least for the highly charged performance by the period-instrument Freiburger Barockorchester and its Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado. The new Harmonia Mundi disc includes the original 1834 version of the concert overture Die Schöne Melusine (by ancient legend, a freshwater mermaid that today serves as the logo for Starbucks) and the sparkling Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor of 1837 for which Kristian Bezuidenhout plays a period fortepiano.

A MOST WORTHY and contemporary complement to the Mendelssohn is a new Bridge recording by pianist Marc Ponthus of Schumann’s soaring Fantasie, Op 17, the ETA Hoffmann-inspired Kreisleriana set of eight short pieces, Op 16, and the popular Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op 15, all written at virtually the same time. Ponthus is a true polymath, a scholar, conductor, stage director, film director, editor and pioneer of solo recitals of music by thorny contemporary composers, including Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis, whose music in recital programs is as likely to be paired with Bach or Beethoven. His playing on this CD is often idiosyncratic but never unfaithful to its irresistible composer, that visionary romantic chameleon. SM 

MIRGA, THE SINGING CONDUCTOR

CITY OF BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA director isn’t the first podium crooner. Plus, she has a new son to sing about. Click HERE  

 

UNICREDIT TO DIVEST PRICELESS ART COLLECTION           

PROCEEDS to fund social initiatives. Click HERE  

MCAET DEMONSTRATION DAY

LAST THURSDAY MORNING at the Monterey County Office of Education’s Arts, Education & Technology center, director Hamish Tyler, esteemed music educator Rob Klevan and MCAET staff welcomed the community—including guests from SLO County—to tour the center’s high-tech audio/video facilities. Seven interns, current or recent students at Hartnell College, were introduced and interviewed by Klevan, then joined the audience for a tightly organized, inspirational 45-minute presentation by Lauren Palumbi, a classically trained alumnus of Stevenson School and now a full time professional musician/vocalist and DJ who, with partner Dauz, goes by the name Razzvio. She plays a seven-string electric violin that uses live looping and state-of-the art digital tech, and is well known among bands and their fans in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas. For this occasion she lavished her comments, with specific pointers and details, on the students who aspire to careers in digital media. She also live-looped her violin playing into a full band and sang along. Below, she performs Eurythmics’ Here Comes the Rain Again.   

 

FRESH REVIEWS

FARKHAD KHUDYEV’S YMM swansong. Click HERE

THE EXPLORERS CLUB at the Colligan in Santa Cruz. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

JURA MARGULIS to play the original piano version of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. CALIFORNIA ROOTS FESTIVAL’S weekend at the Monterey Fairgrounds. BARBERSHOP EXTRAVAGANZA at Carmel’s Unitarian Universalist. VLADA VOLKOVA-MORAN at Aptos Keyboard Series. PUDDLES PITY PARTY at the Rio. 

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor