Weekly Update: May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013

Learn the extraordinary qualifications of our new theater critic, Philip Pearce, by going to our Who We Are page. Philip already has his next review lined up. You can follow him on our Theater Reviews page. We’re thrilled to have such an authoritative and pithy writer on our growing team of contributors.

Coming to the Music at All Saints’ series, at Carmel’s All Saints’ Church this Friday, is the explosive Hungarian keyboard talent, Balázs Szokolay. I say explosive because the Glasgow Herald described him as “…dazzling, dangerous and tremendously exciting.” London’s Daily Telegraph remarked on his “vast range of colors, shades and sonorities,” adding, “one has to go back to (French master from an earlier generation) Gieseking—and Gieseking rarely commanded the sort of philharmonic climaxes that Szokolay can release.” (For the record, in Hungary the last name comes before the given name.)

In his youth, Balázs racked up fourteen major competition prizes, then went on to a professorship at the Liszt Academy in Budapest and, now, the Liszt School at Weimar. He has recorded extensively for Hungariton and Naxos labels. At All Saints’ his program will include to major works of 19th century piano literature, Schumann’s Fantasy in C minor and Liszt’s truly original Sonata in B Minor. Oh, and don’t be afraid of mispronouncing his name. To his non-Hungarian friends, he’s known as Szoky (forget about the z) Balash.

Since the last incarnation of KBOQ finally succumbed to chronic, imported geriatric automation, I found myself last week once again asked if there is any classical radio available locally. With one exception, and a very limited one at that, the answer is no—unless you have a computer. That exception is KUSP 88.9 FM, offering classical programming Monday through Thursday, 7-9:30pm, and Friday, 7:30-10pm: www.kusp.org In addition to CD shows, this includes broadcasts of live concert recordings by the Monterey and Santa Cruz Symphonies, among other local presenters from both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, plus performances by the Carmel Bach Festival, Cabrillo Music Festival of Contemporary Music and Monterey Jazz Festival (including some live broadcasts.)

If you do have a computer, you can get all the classical music you want, from San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London (BBC Radio 3), Amsterdam, Munich, etc., etc. Meanwhile, KAZU, from CSUMB, offers online classical music as well: http://kazu.org/classical  

If you are inclined to download streaming audio of classical music, contact me at editor@performingartsmontereybay.com, and I’ll give you some very low-cost recording/editing software suggestions that you can use to make your own CDs. Likewise, if you are dissatisfied with the tiny, tinny loudspeakers that are built into many computer monitors, there are some quick and easy, and inexpensive, ways to enjoy a much fuller, richer stereo result.

Lastly, if you come across some late performing arts news, please let us know so we can pass it on to our readers. Thanks.

Scott MacClelland, editor