Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

DENSON-PILON-BLADE TRIO (pictured above) plays Kuumbwa. MATILDA THE MUSICAL opens in Carmel. “NIGHT OF THE LIVING COMPOSERS” at Cabrillo College. JEWEL THEATRE’S THE OTHER PLACE continues at the Colligan. FOR LINKS to these and other live performance events click on our CALENDAR or on the display ads, left.

MONICA MENDOZA FLUTE RECITAL

MONICA is a contributing music reviewer for Performing Arts Monterey Bay. She is a junior at the University of the Pacific and performs this Wednesday (tomorrow), 7:30pm, with pianist Sabine Klein at the UOP recital hall. 

JOHN KOZA TO RETIRE FROM CAMERATA SINGERS

EFFECTIVE JUNE 30, well-known choral conductor to step down after his 20th season. He is only the second Artistic Director, of the acclaimed chorus and its “Futures” program for young singers. “We’ve made some truly beautiful music over twenty years,” says Koza, “I will miss the singers and our audiences very much.”  John and his wife Susan are planning a move to their beloved Tucson, Arizona, sometime late summer. This month, Camerata’s board of directors will begin the search for a new Artistic Director. For his last two programs, with performances in Salinas and Monterey, Koza will conduct the regional premiere of Craig Hella Johnson’s passion oratorio, Considering Matthew Shepard, and, as his swansong, the Requiem Mass by Maurice Duruflé.

MONTEREY SYMPHONY CONDUCTOR SEARCH

FOUR FINALISTS to replace Max Bragado Darman as music director will open the 2020-21 season.  The finalists include Donato Cabrera, the Music Director of the California Symphony and the Las Vegas Philharmonic; Jung-Ho Pak, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Cape Symphony; Jayce Ogren, who has conducted many of the world’s most prominent orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and the Dallas and San Francisco Symphonies; and Peter Bay, the primary conductor for the Austin Symphony and Ballet Austin who has appeared with 75 different orchestras from Chicago and St. Louis to Germany and Austria. (Jung-Ho Pak and Peter Bay have previously guest-conducted the Monterey Symphony.) For more detailed bios, click HERE. Over coffee recently, I spoke with Monterey Symphony executive director Nicola Reilly (pictured, left), who joined Symphony musicians and board members on the Search Committee, to learn more about the process. “A Music Director search gives an organization time to reflect on its roots, and where it would like to go artistically,” she had said in a previous press release. Using Roger Saydack’s Music Director Search Handbook, published by the League of American Orchestras, as a guide, Reilly said the four primary focuses of the search were: education and training, experience, strength of leadership and “special talents.” She added, the candidates’ “history of successes” and “exciting ideas” also factored into the Committee’s choices. “Each of the four represent a different approach,” she said. She also affirmed that the Committee’s recommendation to the full Board of Directors be unanimous, thereby avoiding a potential split between musicians and board members, as had led to a rancorous partisan fiasco during the Symphony’s search season in the early 1980s. I asked her if the process had produced any surprises. She joked that several applicants had high-profile careers that made her wonder if their interest locally was more about golf than leading the orchestra. SM    

KHORI DASTOOR SHAKES UP OPERA SAN JOSÉ

ONLY THE COMPANY’S THIRD DIRECTOR, Dastoor began her OSJ career as an onstage soprano in 2007 and replaced retiring Larry Hancock last fall. Her plans for next season include a ‘Bollywood’ style Marriage of Figaro, Richard Strauss’ scandalous Salome and Bernstein’s West Side Story. Click HERE  

2020 CLASSICAL GRAMMYS

DON’T BE SURPRISED if you hardly recognize any of the names. The old paradigm is rapidly fading. Click HERE  

AND SO

2020 GRAMMY & 2013 PULITZER-WINNING COMPOSER CAROLINE SHAW sings her own song with the Attacca Quartet. Words by Shaw, Gertrude Stein, Robert Burns and Billy Joel.

 

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

DEBUSSY’S ETUDES deserve another hearing. They have never enjoyed as much attention as the innovative French composer’s other piano works, especially the preludes, yet should be accorded similar status for their originality, their wit and their pianistic technical challenges. Inspired by Chopin, Book 1 contains etudes for five fingers (“d’après Monsieur Czerny”), for thirds, fourths, sixths, octaves and “eight fingers.” Book 2’s etudes are designed for half-steps, ornaments, repeated notes, opposing sonorities, “composed” arpeggios and chords. The birth of his daughter, Claude-Emma “Chouchou” (pictured on the album cover) inspired Debussy to compose his charming Children’s Corner suite also included. The movements are Steps to Parnassus (referring to the torment of all piano students), Jimbo’s lullaby, Serenade of the doll, The snow is dancing, The little shepherd and Golliwogg’s cake walk. Aleck Karis plays with a robustness that I think the composer would have applauded and encouraged. SM

BERNSTEIN ON INTERPRETATION

WITH Glenn Gould, Eileen Farrell and Igor Stravinsky, 1960.

 

IS RACHMANINOV THE MOST INNOVATIVE COMPOSER?!

SO SAYS a group of theoretical physicists who put the Russian pianist first among a list of 19 well-known composers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Beethoven didn’t even make the top ten list. Click HERE

STAR COUNTERTENOR & BREAKDANCER

ONLY in Poland. Click HERE 

PAGANS ‘DO’ THE RITE OF SPRING

JUST LIKE Stravinsky imagined?

 

FRESH REVIEWS

SANTA CRUZ SYMPHONY’S Mahler Fifth Symphony. Click HERE

HARVEY at The Listening Place Readers Theater. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

MONTEREY SYMPHONY performs Elgar & Rimsky-Korsakov in Carmel. SINEAD O’CONNOR at the Rio; TRAVIS TRITT & CHRIS BOTTI as well. ALISA FEINMAN & KIMBALL HURD in Big Sur.RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA at Cabrillo College. JULES MASSENET’S CINDERELLA at UC Santa Cruz. RWAP XXVIII:PRISM opens at UC Santa Cruz. THE BIG SING at Hidden Valley. “MARRIED TO A MEXICAN” comedy in Salinas. “A FLASH OF BROADWAY” in Monterey.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor