LOCALLY WELL KNOWN composer of opera and concert works (most recently including the “Beatitude” Mass and gospel-flavored Hear me Redeemer) has been commissioned by Texas State University, San Marcos, to write a one-act opera, Lady Bird, based on events in the life of the former first lady. Libretto is by Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof) who collaborated with Mollicone for the opera Coyote Tales. Lady Bird will be given its world premiere at the university’s Performing Arts Center late next April 28.
AN AMERICAN BEETHOVEN? WHO KNEW?
GEORGE FREDERICK BRISTOW, 1825-1898. We must thank Rebecca Miller of Santa Cruz for the revelation. A former candidate for music director of her hometown Santa Cruz Symphony she has gone on to an international conducting career, including several CD recordings, the latest of which is a program with the Royal Northern Sinfonia of Bristow’s “Jullien” Symphony, named for and dedicated to a short-lived French conductor, and two concert overtures. Bristow was born in Brooklyn to English musical immigrants. He became an accomplished music figure in New York as a performer and composer in all genres. This CD serves up ambitious, high-energy readings, bold and gutsy, with a polished orchestra obviously fired-up for the occasion. At 43 minutes, the “Jullien” Symphony, itself ambitious, seriously challenges the post-Beethoven composers of Europe, France and Britain. Miller abets him in kind. Beethoven, Mendelssohn and, to a lesser degree, Schumann figure in the mix. Indeed, Miller displays an unerring sense of suspenseful anticipation and comes through with authority. This new CD is both revelatory and triumphant.
“WHAT THE EYE HEARS,” a new history by Brian Seibert. Click HERE (Click on the photo, left, from the Clifton Dance Academy, to see the joy.)
PERFORMING ARTS PEOPLE
DOROTHY MICHELETTI, Board President of the uniquely successful Youth Music Monterey County, gets our full attention. Click HERE
PACREP’S CATS. Philip Pearce: “I liked it.” Click HERE
MONTEREY SYMPHONY’S All-American program and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival’s annual Emerging Artists Showcase. Click HERE
Scott MacClelland, editor