LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO (above) returns to Santa Cruz’ Rio Theatre. TWO ONE NIGHT STANDS in Santa Cruz: Ostinato for Elly, an octet by BARRY PHILLIPS will open Night of Living Composers at Cabrillo College, and “ONE NIGHT ONLY” is the title of a UC Santa Cruz faculty recital by six performers. Eric Johnson’s signal album “AH VIA MUSICOM” is celebrated afresh by the band, and guitarist LEO KOTTKE returns, both at Rio Theatre. For more info and links, click our CALENDAR and/or the ads, left.
CHAMPIONS OF THE ARTS
ANNUAL MONTEREY COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL GALA celebrates seven worthy and deserving honorees at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, this Saturday starting at 5pm. They are individually categorized: WALT deFARIA (Lifetime Achievement), ELLEN MARTIN (Luminary), RAMÓN SILVA RUELAS (Volunteer Leader), ANDREW JACKSON (Professional), SOL TREASURES (Nonprofit), ANGELICA MURO (Educator) and REG HUSTON (Philanthropist). Each of them explains their own point of view in videos accessible on the Arts Council’s website. Click HERE
AMONG THEM, Huston’s S.T.A.R. Foundation is unique in several ways. S.T.A.R.’s principal funding source for the last 25 years has been a bingo game in Salinas that operates under strict legal statutes and guidelines. S.T.A.R.’s beneficiaries are non-profits that collectively have received grants over the years that exceed $1million given to benefit youth and educational arts program throughout Monterey County. Most recently, some $46K in grants to 13 beneficiaries were announced this month. (The acronym stands for Support The Arts Regionally.) Two years ago, S.T.A.R. lost its bingo source funding and has had to develop replacement strategies since.
MEANWHILE, one of S.T.A.R.’s most urgent projects, in collaboration with area theater companies and other funders, is to find a space in Monterey County where the crucial inventory of theatrical costumes can be stored and inventoried that is safe from the elements, secure and climate controlled. S.T.A.R.’s next grant application deadline is April 30, 2018. Click HERE
HIDDEN VALLEY DEDICATES JOHN WADDELL CENTER
HOSTED BY PETER MECKEL, Saturday’s event on the Hidden Valley campus feted the HV “family,” numbering here a little over 100, with dinner in the new dining hall, named in honor of HV’s late founding choral conductor. The Friction Quartet and mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer performed the world premiere of Rick Yramategui’s new You too will find your strength, set to a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. (Yramategui’s writing for string quartet dazzled me more than how it fit with the vocal line.) As a benediction, Laura Anderson sang Agee/Barber’s Sure on this shining night with Yramategui at the piano. Photo: composer Yramategui, vocalist Mentzer and the Friction Quartet (violist Taija Warbelow is obscured.)
Here: the Friction Quartet plays Yramategui’s Cutting Quartals, at Hidden Valley in 2016.
FARKHAD KHUDYEV TO CONDUCT IN COPENHAGEN
KHUDYEV, music director of Youth Music Monterey’s orchestras and a guest conductor of the Monterey Symphony, is one of only 24 conductors selected from more than 500 applicants worldwide to participate in the 2018 Nikolai Malko International Conducting Competition, in April. The Malko is considered among the most prestigious of conducting competitions. Eleven months ago Khudyev took third prize at the Georg Solti International Conductors’ Competition in Frankfurt. “The competition will be live-streamed from Copenhagen,” says Khudyev. “It will be a great honor to represent our wonderful Monterey Peninsula on the world stage again.”
BACH TAKES MORE LUMPS
CLASSICAL GADFLY Norman Lebrecht can’t quite get his head around it. “Once upon a time, there was a Bach Festival of international renown at the University of Oregon, in Eugene. Its founder Helmut Rilling retired in 2011. His successor, the British conductor Matthew Halls, was fired last year after allegedly making a racial joke to his good friend Reggie Mobley, who said he took no offence. Since then, the university has behaved like a bunch of clowns. The latest mishap was to announce the engagement as a guest conductor of Jaap ter Linden, ‘a pioneer in the emergence of the historical performance movement,’ according to the website. Then someone realized that Jaap ter Linden was fired three years ago by the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio after three students complained of a racial slur they said he used in rehearsal. So Jaap ter Linden’s concert has now been dropped from the Bach Festival website.” Full story HERE
HEARING PLANTS PLAY MUSIC
WHAT WE CAN LEARN from them about consciousness, apparently sorely needed. Click HERE
LEONARD BERNSTEIN CENTENNIAL
HIS BIRTHDAY isn’t until August, but the Lenny bandwagon is already rolling. Two full concert seasons will claim him: 2017-18 and 2018-19. So far, the Santa Cruz Symphony signed on in November with his Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and the Carmel Bach Festival has announced his On the Town for its Friday ‘Main’ program in July. For a global view, click HERE
HOUSTON GRAND OPERA WINS ITS FIRST GRAMMY
CANADIAN SOPRANO Barbara Hannigan won classical vocal album Sunday night at the Grammys, for “Crazy Girl Crazy.” Other winners include pianist Daniil Trifonov, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and composers Jennifer Higdon (twice) and Gavin Bryars. There’s a first-ever Grammy for the Houston Symphony. And a posthumous Grammy for Leonard Cohen for his last album, which employs a Montreal synagogue choir.
Producer of the year: David Frost. Orchestral performance: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio, Manfred Honeck, conductor, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Opera recording: Berg: Wozzeck, Hans Graf, conductor; Anne Schwanewilms, Roman Trekel, soloists; Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony. Choral performance: Bryars: The Fifth Century, Donald Nally, conductor. Chamber music/small ensemble performance: Death & The Maiden, Patricia Kopatchinskaja & Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Instrumental solo: Transcendental, Daniil Trifonov. Compendium: Higdon: All Things Majestic, Viola Concerto & Oboe Concerto, Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Nashville Symphony. Contemporary composition: Viola Concerto, Jennifer Higdon, composer. Engineered album: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio, Mark Donahue, engineer (Manfred Honeck & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra).
DANCING WITHOUT SOUND; PLAYING WITHOUT SIGHT
NO PROBLEM for these Chinese dancers and musicians.
SILENT SKY in new Jewel Theatre production at the Colligan. Click HERE
MICHELLE BRADLEY and the SANTA CRUZ SYMPHONY at the Mello. Click HERE
AMERICAN STRING QUARTET plays the “Three B’s” for Carmel Music. VIOLINIST ELDAR HUDIYEV and pianist James Neiman perform a YMM benefit recital. EVENING OF WORLD THEATER at Cabrillo College. LYLE LOVETT & ROBERT EARL KEEN at SC Civic. A celebration of unemployed journalist WALLACE BAINE at the Rio.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @PerfArtsMtyBay
Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor