HE CHANGED THE COURSE OF MUSIC WORLDWIDE. Synthesizer genius made unprecedented, reimagined, spectacular transcriptions of orchestral classics (Pictures at an Exhibition, Firebird Suite) often with spooky imitations of singing voices and human and animal body functions, created or contributed to dozens of film and television scores and invented a new sonic vocabulary that directly influenced American pop musicians Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Some of today’s classical composers, like Mason Bates, a Cabrillo Festival composer in residence this summer, use ‘electronica’ techniques pioneered by Tomita. Read & listen HERE
MIRIAM ELLIS INTERNATIONAL PLAYHOUSE
THE 16TH SEASON is coming to the Stevenson Event Center at UC Santa Cruz, May 25, 26 and 27. Theater pieces in four languages, Russian (Uncle Fyodor, the Dog and the Car), Spanish (The Bat, Oaxacan legend), Japanese (Best Friends) and French (Moliere’s Tartuffe), will be performed with English supertitles. Free admission.
HOW SOON WE FORGET. First in a New Weekly Series. David Mason played trumpet solo.
2016-17 TO BE CELEBRATED with the return of favorite artists: The Romero Guitar Quartet (Oct 2), Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble (Oct 29), Mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade (right) with pianist/composer Jake Heggie (Feb 12), Pianist Jean-Philippe Collard (Mar 12) and the second of two programs of Beethoven piano trios by Wu Han, Philip Setzer and David Finckel (Apr 9). All concerts are Sunday matinees except Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Visit the CMS website HERE
MONTEREY SYMPHONY UPDATE
ANNE AKIKO MEYERS will play Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and Ravel’s Tzigane with the Monterey Symphony this weekend. (She recently broke a bone in her foot, so she may be wearing a cast.)
Meanwhile, subscribers to Max Bragado-Darman’s orchestra have been invited to renew for the next season that, among other goodies, celebrates Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. 2016 also honors the centennial of Serge Prokofiev whose Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2 is included in Concert 1, along with Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and the premiere of a new commission, Big Sur, by composer John Wineglass—a nod to Carmel-by-the-Sea’s 100th. Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will dominate Concert 2. Concert 3 will feature Sergey Krylov in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, along with Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and Brahms’ Third Symphony. Guest conductor Bruno Aprea will take the Concert 4 set in Romeo and Juliet by both Berlioz and Tchaikovsky. Scenes from Verdi’s Otello and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, featuring soprano Cyndia Sieden, comprise Concert 5. For Concert 6, Otto Nicolai’s overture The Merry Wives of Windsor, Dvořák’s rarely-performed Piano Concerto—featuring Carmel Music Society competition winner Michael Noble—and Symphony in D Minor by César Franck. Several of these works have not been heard in our region for a long while; some not ever.
R. NATHANIEL DETT’S 1932 “Biblical Folks Scene” finally gets a first fully-professional recording in a live performance at Carnegie Hall on May 9, 2014. It was included in an annual series of the Cincinnati May Festival launched by music director James Conlon to bring the city’s communities together following the police shooting-death of an unarmed black teenager there in 2001. The 50-minute oratorio is an extraordinary piece that comingles folk music, spirituals and classical orchestral techniques in a retelling of the Exodus story. Well-trained as a composer, even in the face of institutional racism, Dett was an early student of famed composition pedagogue Nadia Boulanger in Paris. The production, for four solo voices, chorus and orchestra features soprano Latonia Moore (Miriam), mezzo Ronnita Nicole Miller (Voice of Israel), tenor Rodrick Dixon (Moses) and baritone Donnie Ray Albert (The Word/Voice of God), with the Cincinnati Symphony and May Festival Chorus conducted by Conlon.
NEW ARTS COUNCIL FUNDING AVAILABLE
THE ARTS COUNCIL FOR MONTEREY COUNTY has announced new grants for art programs and cultural groups. All art festivals, programs and cultural groups with annual budgets less than $100,000 are eligible to apply, thanks to new funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The purpose of these new grants is to further increase access and opportunity for all Monterey County residents. Grant requests will be reviewed monthly. Arts Council staff Berniz House will be available to answer any questions in English or Spanish. (firstname.lastname@example.org.) For grant application requests, click HERE
SPECTORDANCE WINS STATE GRANT
THE CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL will award a $24,000 JUMP StArts to SpectorDance, one of 27 grantees chosen for this program. JUMP StArts grants support arts education and artists-in-residence programs for at-risk youth within the juvenile justice system. Projects are developed in partnership between an arts organization and a juvenile justice/social services entity. The grant will enable SpectorDance to offer choreography classes at Rancho Cielo culminating in a performance of new works created. SpectorDance has worked with Rancho Cielo since 2013, leading to East-West, a powerful dance piece dealing with gang violence and its human toll.
PACREP’S The Other Place by Sharr White gets a rave. Click HERE
ENSEMBLE MONTEREY and Cantiamo! Click HERE
Scott MacClelland, editor