Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

INTERNATIONAL FLUTIST KEITH UNDERWOOD will be joined by pianist Barbara Lee at Hidden Valley. SAXOPHONIST/COMPOSER REMY LE BOEUF and vocalist JAZZMEIA HORN coming to Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz. NIGEL ARMSTRONG makes Fiddle Music Magic. SINGER/SONGWRITER RUFUS WAINWRIGHT plays the Rio Theatre. GRUPO FOLKLORICO LOS MEJICAS (above) brings the dance of Mexico to UC Santa Cruz.For links to these and dozens of other live performance events, click on the display ads, left, or on our CALENDAR

LIGHT FALLS

LAST WEEK’S PBS SPECIAL, taped before a live audience in New York, is a new play by and starring (pun intended) Columbia University physicist Brian Greene that examines Albert Einstein’s discoveries and obsessions. Several of Einstein’s colleagues and rivals are portrayed by stage and film actor Francesca Faridany (right) who will narrate Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Carmel Bach Festival in July. Click HERE  & HERE

 

THE S.T.A.R. FOUNDATION of Monterey County (Support The Arts Regionally) Scholarship program has existed to help graduating Monterey County high school seniors pursue their interest in the performing arts beyond the secondary school setting. Scholarship awards are available for students having an interest in acting, musical theater, vocal and/or instrumental music, related technical skills, playwriting, performing arts management in a college or in an extracurricular program while enrolled in college.

CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s recipients: Cesar Avila: Salinas, Anzar High School; Isaiah Boulware: Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove High School; Gabrielle Flanders: Seaside, Ocean Grove Charter School/MPC; Ryan Hebert: Salinas, Trinity Christian High School; Luke Herzog: Pacific Grove, Pacific Grove High School; Pablo Mendoza-Contreras: Soledad, Gonzales High School; Mercedes Soto: Gonzales, Gonzales High School; Christian Vela: King City, Marina High School. To learn more, click HERE  

WHY ARE ARTISTS SO EASILY EXPLOITED?

KQED ARTS report by Nastia Voynovskaya unpacks the causes. Click HERE  

MONTEREY SYMPHONY’S CONDUCTOR SEARCH

THE SEARCH for a new music director for the Monterey Symphony offers a rare opportunity to review the search process from top to bottom and to revise it as needed on a variety of levels. During a recent phone chat with Nicola Reilly (left), the Symphony’s executive director, she told us that in order to accomplish that task a search committee was formed early this year pursuant to choosing candidates to conduct the orchestra in the first four concert pairs of the 2020-21 season. “Most likely we’ll have four candidates and two guest conductors,” Reilly said. “We hope to announce our choice after the March concert in 2021.” To read more about the process, click HERE

ROBERT FREEMAN’S PERSPECTIVE

NOW RETIRED, Freeman was director of the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory and University of Texas Austin. His blog entry, “Saving American orchestras from themselves,” sheds valuable light. Click HERE 

MUSIC BOX FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

INSPIRED by computer-generated virtual Animusic, made real by the Marble Conveyer Belt team.

 

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

THIS OUTSTANDING NEW LSO video serves up both Blu-ray and DVD discs together at the same price. Yet the title is a bit misleading. For sure it includes Debussy’s virtually unknown Première Suite d’Orchestre, completed in 1884 when the composer was 22—which I had never heard or even heard of before—but constitutes only one portion of an otherwise French program. (The odd-man out is Wagner’s Tannhäuser overture, which may seem a strange choice but gets an exciting reading directed by the stickless conductor François-Xavier Roth.) The Debussy consists of four movements and while not revealing his mature fingerprints nonetheless paints an accurate portrait of what’s to come: bright, bracing and luminous. Its companion, the ballet suite from Jules Massenet’s opera Le Cid, based on the romantic tale of the 12th century Christian hero Don Rodrigo Diaz and his beloved Ximena—as portrayed in the 1961 Anthony Mann movie El Cid that starred Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren—serves up six of the most vivacious dances from the same number of Spanish regions ever composed, though rarely performed. (The program note also calls attention to Debussy’s unfinished opera Rodrigue et Chimène, another revelation to me.) The program is filled out with Eduard Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D Minor in a blazing tour de force performance by Edgar Moreau, then 23, filmed at the Barbicon in January, 2018. SM

BJÖRK MORPHS LIKE PROTEUS  

 

LOVE OR HATE THE RECORDER? BLAME CARL ORFF

COMPOSER of Carmina Burana created an applied music education system now used worldwide, the Orff Schulwerk. Click HERE 

IMMORTAL RAY CHARLES, FIFTEEN YEARS GONE

 

FRESH REVIEWS

HIDDEN VALLEY STRINGS reviewed by Dana Abbott. Click HERE

PIRATES OF PENZANCE reviewed by Jocelyn McMahon, and THE MIRACLE WORKER reviewed by Philip Pearce Click HERE

SMUIN DANCE SERIES 02. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

ALI RYERSON’S Jazz Flute Club Night at Hidden Valley. PIANIST SOFYA GULYAK performs for Aptos Keyboard Series. BANDS ON THE BEACH in Santa Cruz begins its summer season.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor