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Recital
MTA BENEFIT CONCERT FEATURES FAURE, DVORAK, JANACEK AND BARBER WORKS
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 11, 2018
In a splendid concert Nov. 11 the Music Teachers Association of California, Sonoma County Chapter, presented their sixth annual benefit concert before 40 avid listeners in the Santa Rosa home of Helen Howard and Robert Yeats. Highlights of the performances, involving eight musicians in various perf...
Recital
SERKIN'S SINGULAR MOZART AND BACH PLAYING IN WEILL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 09, 2018
Returning to Weill Hall following a fire-related recital cancellation in 2017, pianist Peter Serkin programmed just three works in his Nov. 7 concert, three masterworks that challenged both artist and audience alike. It needs to be said at the outset that Mr. Serkin takes a decidedly non-standard a...
Chamber
LUMINOUS FAURE TOPS LINCOLN TRIO'S SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, November 07, 2018
Familiarity in chamber music often evokes warm appreciation, and it was thus Nov. 7 when the Chicago-based Lincoln Piano Trio made one of their many Sonoma County appearances, this time on the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series. Regularly presented by local impresario Robert Hayden, the Lin...
Symphony
PEACE AND LOVE FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 04, 2018
Before the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 4 performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story,” Symphony CEO Alan Silow took a moment to acknowledge the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack and to observe that music offers a more peaceful and loving view of the world. Mr. ...
Chamber
ATOS TRIO IN MILL VALLEY CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 04, 2018
When the ATOS Piano Trio planned their all-Russian touring program at their Berlin home base, it had a strong elegiac, even tragic theme that surely resonated with their Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience Nov. 4 in Mill Valley. Comprised of Annette von Hehn, violin; Thomas Hoppe, piano; and...
Chamber
ATOS TRIO IN OCCIDENTAL CHAMBER CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 03, 2018
When the Berlin-based ATOS Piano Trio entered the cramped Occidental Performing Arts stage Nov. 3, the audience of 100 anticipated familiar works in the announced all-Russian program. What they got was a selection of rarely-plays trios, with a gamut of emotions. Then one-movement Rachmaninoff G Mi...
Symphony
MIGHTY SHOSTAKOVICH 10TH OPENS MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Just two works were on the opening program of the Marin Symphony’s 67th season Oct. 28, Tchaikovsky’s iconic D Major Violin Concerto, and Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony. Before a full house in the Marin Center Auditorium conductor Alasdair Neale set a judicious opening tempo in the brief orchestra i...
Symphony
VIVALDI FOR ALL SEASONS IN WEILL BAROQUE CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, October 27, 2018
The Venice Baroque Orchestra, a dozen superb musicians that include strings, harpsichord and recorder, played an uplifting concert Oct. 27 of mostly Vivaldi sinfonias and concertos. The Weill Hall audience of 600 had rapt attention throughout, and the playing was of the highest musical level. This r...
Recital
LIN'S PIANISM AND PERSONA CHARM SCHROEDER HALL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 21, 2018
In somewhat of a surprise a sold out Schroeder Hall audience greeted pianist Steven Lin Oct. 21 in his local debut recital. Why a surprise? Because Mr. Lin was pretty much unknown in Northern California, and Schroeder is rarely, very rarely sold out for a single instrumentalist. But no matter, and...
Chamber
HEROIC TRUMPET AND ORGAN MUSIC AT INCARNATION
by Jerry Dibble
Friday, October 12, 2018
The strong connections between Santa Rosa’s musical community and California State University Chico were on display Oct. 12 as David Rothe, Professor Emeritus in the Chico Music Department, and Ayako Nakamura, trumpet with the North State Symphony, presented a concert titled “Heroic Music for Trumpe...

Reviews

11/11/2018 - MTA BENEFIT CONCERT FEATURES FAURE, DVORAK, JANACEK AND BARBER WORKS - Terry McNeill
Music Teachers Association of Sonoma County / Carol Schindler, Esther Judson, Peggy Nance, Abbie Gabrielson, Mary Beard and Paul Mihaly, piano; Christa Durand, soprano; Sonja Myklebust, cello
In a splendid concert Nov. 11 the Music Teachers Association of California, Sonoma County Chapter, presented their sixth annual benefit concert before 40 avid listeners in the Santa Rosa home of Helen Howard and Robert Yeats. Highlights of the performances, involving eight musicians in various perf...
11/9/2018 - SERKIN'S SINGULAR MOZART AND BACH PLAYING IN WEILL RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Green Music Center / Peter Serkin, piano
Returning to Weill Hall following a fire-related recital cancellation in 2017, pianist Peter Serkin programmed just three works in his Nov. 7 concert, three masterworks that challenged both artist and audience alike. It needs to be said at the outset that Mr. Serkin takes a decidedly non-standard a...
11/7/2018 - LUMINOUS FAURE TOPS LINCOLN TRIO'S SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series / Lincoln Trio. Desíree Ruhstrat, violin; David Cunliffe, cello; Marta Asnavoorian, piano
Familiarity in chamber music often evokes warm appreciation, and it was thus Nov. 7 when the Chicago-based Lincoln Piano Trio made one of their many Sonoma County appearances, this time on the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series. Regularly presented by local impresario Robert Hayden, the Lin...
11/4/2018 - PEACE AND LOVE FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY - Steve Osborn
Santa Rosa Symphony / Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor. Sharon Isbin, guitar
Before the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 4 performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story,” Symphony CEO Alan Silow took a moment to acknowledge the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack and to observe that music offers a more peaceful and loving view of the world. Mr. ...
11/4/2018 - ATOS TRIO IN MILL VALLEY CHAMBER CONCERT - Abby Wasserman
Mill Valley Chamber Music Society / ATOS Piano Trio. Annette von Hehn, violin; Stefan Heinemyer, cello; Thomas Hoppe, piano
When the ATOS Piano Trio planned their all-Russian touring program at their Berlin home base, it had a strong elegiac, even tragic theme that surely resonated with their Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience Nov. 4 in Mill Valley. Comprised of Annette von Hehn, violin; Thomas Hoppe, piano; and...
11/3/2018 - ATOS TRIO IN OCCIDENTAL CHAMBER CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Redwood Arts Council / Atos Trio. Annette Von Hehn. violin; Stefan Heinemeyer, cello; Thomas Hope, piano
When the Berlin-based ATOS Piano Trio entered the cramped Occidental Performing Arts stage Nov. 3, the audience of 100 anticipated familiar works in the announced all-Russian program. What they got was a selection of rarely-plays trios, with a gamut of emotions. Then one-movement Rachmaninoff G Mi...
10/28/2018 - MIGHTY SHOSTAKOVICH 10TH OPENS MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON - Terry McNeill
Marin Symphony / Alasdair Neale, conductor. Dylana Jenson, violin
Just two works were on the opening program of the Marin Symphony’s 67th season Oct. 28, Tchaikovsky’s iconic D Major Violin Concerto, and Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony. Before a full house in the Marin Center Auditorium conductor Alasdair Neale set a judicious opening tempo in the brief orchestra i...
10/27/2018 - VIVALDI FOR ALL SEASONS IN WEILL BAROQUE CONCERT - Sonia Morse Tubridy
Venice Baroque Orchestra / Anna Fusek (recorder), Massimo Raccanelli Zaborra (cello) and Giampiero Zanocco (violin), soloists
The Venice Baroque Orchestra, a dozen superb musicians that include strings, harpsichord and recorder, played an uplifting concert Oct. 27 of mostly Vivaldi sinfonias and concertos. The Weill Hall audience of 600 had rapt attention throughout, and the playing was of the highest musical level. This r...
10/21/2018 - LIN'S PIANISM AND PERSONA CHARM SCHROEDER HALL AUDIENCE - Terry McNeill
Green Music Center / Steven Lin, piano
In somewhat of a surprise a sold out Schroeder Hall audience greeted pianist Steven Lin Oct. 21 in his local debut recital. Why a surprise? Because Mr. Lin was pretty much unknown in Northern California, and Schroeder is rarely, very rarely sold out for a single instrumentalist. But no matter, and...
10/12/2018 - HEROIC TRUMPET AND ORGAN MUSIC AT INCARNATION - Jerry Dibble
Church of the Incarnation / David Rothe organ; Ayako Nakamura, trumpet and flugelhorn; Carol Menke, soprano; Laura McLellan, cello
The strong connections between Santa Rosa’s musical community and California State University Chico were on display Oct. 12 as David Rothe, Professor Emeritus in the Chico Music Department, and Ayako Nakamura, trumpet with the North State Symphony, presented a concert titled “Heroic Music for Trumpe...
10/7/2018 - LECCE-CHONG PROVES HIS METTLE WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY - Steve Osborn
Santa Rosa Symphony / Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor. Arnaud Sussmann, violin
Francesco Lecce-Chong was handed two warhorses for his debut as conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony, and he rode them both to thrilling victory. For the first win, Brahms’ violin concerto, he owed much to soloist Arnaud Sussman, but for the other triumph, Beethoven’s fifth symphony, he and his musi...
9/30/2018 - THORNY BARTOK AND ELEGANT MENDELSSOHN FOR THE BRENTANO - Sonia Morse Tubridy
Brentano String Quartet / Mark Steinberg and Serena Canin, violin; Misha Amory, viola; Nina Lee, cello
In a minor masterpiece of programming choices the Brentano String Quartet played a Sept. 30 Weill Hall program with an emphasis on refinement, even with a challenging Bartok work in the mix. Dvorák’s Miniatures for Two Violins and Viola (Op. 75a) opened the concert with charm and gentle loveliness,...
9/30/2018 - ECHO'S RICH MUSICAL TAPESTRY IN MARIN - Abby Wasserman
Echo Chamber Orchestra / Daniel Canosa, Conductor. Dan Ferreira, Clarinet
Marin’s Echo Chamber Orchestra unfurled a glorious tapestry of Mozart, Weber and Respighi music Sept. 30 in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church. The church, located on the grounds of San Francisco Theological Seminary, boasts a ceiling high enough for angels to fly, and its quiet setting and aco...
9/23/2018 - IDIOMATIC SCHUMANN AND BEETHOVEN HIGHTLIGHT WALKER'S CONCERTS GRAND RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Concerts Grand House Recitals / Judy Walker, pianist
Mostly known as a concert producer and indefatigable promoter of Sonoma County music, pianist Judy Walker stepped into the soloist’s role Sept. 23 in a sold out recital for the Concerts Grand House recitals series. Two Scarlatti Sonatas, in D Minor (K. 213) and D Major (K. 29), began the hour-long ...
9/22/2018 - SAKAKEENY'S LION AND ROSE HIGHLIGHTS SO CO PHIL'S 20TH SEASON OPENER - Terry McNeill
Sonoma County Philharmonic / Norman Gamboa and Gabriel Sakakeeny, conductors. Sophia Santulli, mezzo-soprano. California Redwood Chorale, Robert Hazelrigg, director
Fresh from a triumphant tour in Latin America the Sonoma County Philharmonic opened its 20th season Sept. 22 in a celebratory concert in the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium. Keeping to the evening’s orchestra history and past performance, conductor emeritus Gabriel Sakakeeny, who led the So Co Ph...
9/17/2018 - DEDIK'S POTENT BEETHOVEN AND CHOPIN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Sporing Lake Village Classical Music Series / Anastasia Derik, piano
Anastasia Dedik returned Sept. 17 to the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series in a recital that featured three familiar virtuoso works in potent interpretations. Chopin’s G Minor Ballade hasn’t been heard in Sonoma County public concerts since a long-ago Earl Wild performance, and Beethoven’s...
9/9/2018 - DUO WEST OPENS OCCIDENTAL CONCERT SEASON - Terry McNeill
Redwood Arts Council / Sonja Myklebust, cello; Abbie Gabrielson, piano
Before a full house at the Occidental Performing Arts Center Sept. 9 the cello-piano Duo West, playing from score throughout, presented a recital that on paper looked stimulating and thoughtful. Beginning with MacDowell’s To A Wild Rose (from Woodland Sketches, Op. 51), the transcription by an unan...
9/5/2018 - CELLO-PIANO DUO IN HUSKY SPRING LAKE VILLAGE PROGRAM - Terry McNeill
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series / Monica Scott, cello; Hadley McCarroll, piano
Two thirds of the way through a stimulating 22-concert season the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series Sept. 5 presented two splendid cello sonatas before 110 people in the Village’s Montgomery auditorium. A duo for more than a decade, East Bay musicians cellist Monica Scott and pianist Hadle...
8/12/2018 - EXTRAVAGANT FUSION OF STYLES AT CHRIS BOTTI BAND WEILL HALL CONCERT - Jerry Dibble
Chris Botti Jazz Band / Chris Botti, trumpet. Musicians TBA
Trumpeter Chris Botti still performs in jazz venues including SF Jazz and The Blue Note, but now appears mostly in cavernous halls or on outdoor stages like the Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. He brought his unique road show to the packed Weill Hall August 12 in a concert of effusive e...
7/29/2018 - SCHUBERT "MIT SCHLAG" AT VOM FESTIVAL MORNING CONCERT - Abby Wasserman
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Owen Dalby and Rachell Wong, violin; Andrew Gonzalez and Lauren Nelson,viola; Tanya Tomkins and Madeleine Bouissou, cello; Eric Zivian and Jeffrey LaDeur, piano
The spirit of 19th century Vienna was present July 29 on the final day of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival. The Festival in the second half of July glittered with innovative programming and the new, old sound of original instruments played by musicians who love music with historic instruments. ...
7/29/2018 - PASSIONATE BRAHMS-SCHOENBERG MUSIC CLOSES VOM FESTIVAL SUMMER - Abby Wasserman
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Monica Huggett, Sara Bleile and Susannah Foster, violin; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Kate Van Orden, bassoon; Anthony Manzo, double bass; Sadie Glass, horn; Eric Hoeprich, clarinet; Christian De Luca, piano
An extraordinary program of chamber music by Brahms and Schoenberg attracted a capacity crowd to the Valley of the Moon Music Festival’s final concert July 29th in Sonoma’s Hanna Center. It opened with a richly expressive reading by Festival Laureate violinist Rachell Wong and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur...
7/28/2018 - PRAGUE AND VIENNA PALACE GEMS HIGHLIGHT VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT - Sonia Morse Tubridy
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Monica Huggett and Rachell Wong, violin; Marc Schachman, oboe; Sadie Glass, horn; Andrew Gonzalez, viola; Christian de Luca, fortepiano; Kate Van Orden, bassoon; Eric Hoeprich, clarinet; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Zivian, piano. Apprentices TBA
The remarkable Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival presented a concert called “Kinsky Palace” July 28 on their final Festival weekend in Sonoma’s Hanna Center. Two well-known treasures and one lesser gem were programmed. Starting the afternoon offerings were violinist Monica Huggett and Fest...
7/22/2018 - INNOVATIVE CHAMBER WORKS IN HANNA CENTER CONCERT - Sonia Morse Tubridy
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Augusta McKay Lodge and Susanna Foster, violin; Lauren Nelson, viola; Tanya Tomkins and Madeleine Bouissou, cello; Eric Zivian, Jeffrey LaDeur and Christian De Luca, piano
The Valley of the Moon Music Festival presented a July 22 concert featuring three giants: Haydn, Schubert and Schumann, composers who altered music of their time with creative innovations and artistic vision. In the fourth season the Festival’s theme this year is “Vienna in Transition”, and VOM Fes...
7/21/2018 - VIENNA INSPIRATION FOR VOM FESTIVAL PROGRAM AT HANNA CENTER - Nicki Bell
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Kyle Stegall, tenor; Nikki Einfield, soprano; Augusta McKay Lodge, Sarah Bleile and Anna Presler, violin; Phyllis Kamrin, viola; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Zivian, piano. Apprentices TBA
A music-loving audience filled Sonoma’s Hanna Center Auditorium July 21 to begin a record weekend of three concerts, produced by the Valley of the Moon Music Festival. The Festival’s theme this summer is “Venice in Transition – From the Enlightenment to the Dawn of Modernism” Prior to Saturday’s m...
7/15/2018 - VANHAL QUARTET AT VOM FESTIVAL DISCOVERY AT HANNA CENTER - Abby Wasserman
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Marc Schachman, oboe; Tekla Cunningham and Carla Moore, violin; Kati Kyme and Toma Iliev, viola; William Skeen and Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Zivian, piano
A near-capacity crowd of 220 filled the Sonoma Hanna Boys Center Auditorium July 15 for the opening concert of the fourth Valley of the Moon Music Festival. This Festival presents gems of the Classical and early Romantic periods performed on instruments of the composer’s era, which presents a few ch...
7/13/2018 - SPARKLING CIMAROSA OPERA HIGHLIGHTS MENDOCINO MUSIC FESTIVAL - Kathryn Stewart
Mendocino Music Festival / Festival Orchestra, Luçik Aprahämian, conductor. Singers include Shawnette Sulker, Tonia D'Amelia, Sylvie Jensen, Michael Desnoyers, Bojan Knezevic and Ben Brady. Erin Neff, stage director
The Classical music era was a time of extraordinary innovation. Dominated by composers from the German-speaking countries, the period witnessed the handiwork of masterpieces by two classical giants, Haydn and Mozart. Both composers put forth a tremendous catalog of masterful works and perhaps to our...
6/19/2018 - !PURA VIDA! A SONIC TRIUMPH FOR SO CO PHIL IN THRILLING COSTA RICA TOUR CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Sonoma County Philharmonic / Norman Gamboa, conductor. Hans Brightbill, cello
Long anticipated events, such as a great sporting game, gourmet feast, holiday trip or a concert, occasionally fall way short of expectations. The results don’t measure to expectations. With the Sonoma County Philharmonic’s Costa Rica concert June 19, the performance exceeded any heated or tenuou...
6/15/2018 - SO CO PHIL BON VOYAGE CONCERT AN ODYSSEY OF CONTRASTING SOUND - Terry McNeill
Sonoma County Philharmonic / Norman Gamboa, conductor. Hans Brightbill, cello
In a splashy bon voyage concert June 15 the Sonoma County Philharmonic Orchestra launched its June 17-25 Costa Rica tour, performing gratis in Santa Rosa’s Jackson Theater the repertoire for tour concerts in San José, Costa Rica’s capital, and in surrounding towns. Conductor Norman Gamboa pr...
6/6/2018 - COMMANDING CHOPIN AND DEBUSSY IN SLV RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series / Laura Magnani, piano
Concerts at the classy Spring Lake Village Retirement Home in Santa Rosa have admission limited to residents and a few guests, but the chance to hear a first cabin North Bay pianist June 6 brought a Classical Sonoma reviewer into the audience of 100. The crowd numbers were unusually low due to a ba...
5/25/2018 - MUSICAL ALCHEMY INSIDE A HIDDEN GEM - Kayleen Asbo
Sky Hill Cultural Alliance / Jura Margulis, piano
The Petaluma Historical Library and Museum is a hidden gem of Sonoma County, a gracious building that is one of Sonoma County’s loveliest venues for chamber music concerts, with a fine period piano particularly suited to Romantic music.  Of the surprisingly large array of festivities there, one of t...
5/12/2018 - FINAL VOM MUSICIANS CONCERT IN SCHROEDER A SCHUBERT DELIGHT - Terry McNeill
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Zivian, piano; Kyle Stegall, tenor; Joseph Maile, violin
It's rare to have the opportunity to compare in a short period two performances of the same major Schubert work, in this case the great B Flat Piano Trio, D. 898. The chance came May 12 when the Valley of the Moon Festival musicians played it in Schroeder, just over a month since the Hall’s residen...
5/6/2018 - FERRANDIS BIDS ADIEU WITH MAHLER’S FINAL SYMPHONY - Steve Osborn
Santa Rosa Symphony / Bruno Ferrandis, conductor. Jan Mikusek, cymbalom
Sonoma State students in graduation robes posed for pictures and hugged each other at the university’s stone gates on Sunday afternoon, mirroring the prolonged farewells within the university’s Green Music Center, where Bruno Ferrandis bid adieu to the Santa Rosa Symphony after a dozen years at the ...
5/1/2018 - SONIC SPLENDOR AT MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE - Abby Wasserman
Marin Symphony / Alasdair Neale, conductor. Zuill Bailey, cello
The Marin Symphony Orchestra ended the current season with a flourish, interpreting big and small works by Richard Strauss and Stravinsky. Strauss and Stravinsky were contemporaries for 40 years, but inhabited different worlds. Both composers were affected by cataclysmic changes and war, and musical...
4/29/2018 - ORGAN SYMPHONY IN SSU ORCHESTRA CONCERT IN WEILL - Terry McNeill
Sonoma State University Symphony / Alexander Kahn, conductor. Jonathan Dimmock, organ
Though Classical Sonoma seldom reviews student concerts, as ample North Coast concerts keep the staff of 11 reviewers busy. But the chance to hear the Sonoma State University Orchestra tackle St. Saëns’ majestic Organ Symphony April 29 was a rare opportunity and not easily to be missed. Avec l’...
4/21/2018 - HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN - Terry McNeill
Mastercard Performance Series / Louis Lortie, piano
One of the anomalies in the long ago “Golden Era” of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didn’t play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuber’s work to the public’s attention, and now they seem to be on almost ever...
4/15/2018 - SPLENDID JUPITER AND ZOOMING CONCERTO AT VALLEJO SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE - Terry McNeill
Vallejo Symphony / Marc Taddei, conductor. Cecile Licad, piano
Over the past two years the Vallejo Symphony has made big changes, moving from a stark middle school auditorium to the snazzy remodeled 1911-era downtown Empress Theater, and engaging Marc Taddei as its seventh conductor. April 15 was the season’s final concert of the 86th season. In a programmin...
4/14/2018 - VIRTUOSO CELLO AND GUITAR TRANSCRIPTIONS AT RAC SEBASTOPOL CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Redwood Arts Council / Boris Andrionov, cello; Dimitri Illarionov, guitar
Listeners and yes even music critics usually prepare for a concert with research, checking recorded performances, looking at artist biographies and even reviewing sheet music. This was a difficult task for the April 14 Redwood Arts Council concert in Sebastopol’s Community Church, as the performers...
4/8/2018 - TRIO NAVARRO'S POPULAR FARE IN SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Green Music Center / Victor Romasevich, violin; Jill Rachuy Brindel, cello; Marilyn Thompson, piano
Long time Classical Sonoma readers may recall many Trio Navarro concert reviews that lauded their virtuosity and interest in rarely played repertoire. The April 8 concert in Schroeder Hall before 85 chamber music fans featured sterling performances but had a mostly conservative menu of popular trio...
4/8/2018 - KENNER'S ALL POLISH RECITAL HAS PADEREWSKI RARITY - Abby Wasserman
Dominican University of California Guest Concert Series / Kevin Kenner, piano
Kevin Kenner’s April 8 recital at Dominican University’s Angelico Hall had been advertised as all-Chopin, but he added a detour into another seminal Polish composer-pianist, Paderewski. Several of Mr. Kenner’s teachers were Poles, he speaks Polish, and he navigated at the piano both composers’ deman...
4/8/2018 - IT'S ALL ABOUT THE VOICE AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY - Steve Osborn
Santa Rosa Symphony / Bruno Ferrandis, conductor. Tracy Silverman, electric violin; Jacalyn Kreitzer, mezzo-soprano; SSU Symphonic Chorus, Jenny Bent, director
In an April 8 Santa Rosa Symphony concert filled to the brim with instruments--electric violin, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard samplers, harps, piano and myriad drums, gongs and bells, to say nothing of winds, brass and strings--the instrument that came out on top was the hum...
3/31/2018 - VOM FESTIVAL TRIO CHARMS WITH CHAMBER MIX, AND HUMMEL - Terry McNeill
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / VOM Festival Musicians: Tanya Tomkins, cello; Monica Huggett violin; Eric Zivian, piano.
At the core of the group of Valley of the Moon Music Festival (VOM) musicians is an ensemble of trios and duos, and as a trio March 31 Festival founders cellist Tanya Tomkins and pianist Eric Zivian joined British violinist Monica Huggett for a chamber music concert in the Green Music Center’s Schro...
3/30/2018 - GOOD FRIDAY REQUIEM FILLS INCARNATION - Terry McNeill
Church of the Incarnation / Cantiamo Sonoma, St. Cecilia Choir. Carol Menke, conductor. and soprano. Robert Young, organ; Thomas Hart, baritone
Maurice Duruflé’s short and intense Requiem has been heard in Santa Rosa’s Church of the Incarnation before, but the March 30 Good Friday performance was stripped down in the number of performers, combining Cantiamo Sonoma and the St. Cecilia Choir with musical underpinning from organist Robert Youn...
3/25/2018 - HAMELIN'S HUSKY MOOD IN SCHROEDER RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Green Music Center / Charles Richard-Hamelin, piano
Convention in piano recitals has the artist coming on stage and playing. Canadian pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin walked on Schroeder Hall’s stage March 25 and didn’t play for six minutes, chatting with the audience. A risk for some artists. Then most programs include a contemporary or rarely play...
3/18/2018 - VIRTUOSIC VARIATIONS IN MORGAN'S SCHROEDER ORGAN RECITAL - Paul Blanchard
Green Music Center / Robert Huw Morgan, organ
Organist Robert Huw Morgan’s artistry spun through the web of early variation form in a Mar. 18 recital on Schroeder Hall’s wonderful Brombaugh organ. Mr. Morgan, Stanford University’s resident organist, performs a wide range of repertoire, but as he said in comments to the audience, he loves when h...
3/17/2018 - ORFF AND HINDEMITH SONIC SPLENDOR AT FINAL SO CO PHIL CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Sonoma County Philharmonic / Norman Gamboa, conductor. Ivalah Allen soprano; Mark Kratz, tenor; Igor Vieira, baritone
Sonoma County Philharmonic concerts are continually artistically successful but on the Santa Rosa High School’s stage the orchestra rarely numbers above 40, and in the 900-seat hall audiences can be scant. Violinists can be in short supply. An opposite scene occurred at the March 17/18 concert set...
3/12/2018 - DEDIK RECITAL MARCH 12 IN SPRING LAKE VILLAGE SERIES - Terry McNeill
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series / Anastasia Dedik, piano
Pianist Anastasia Dedik has been an occasional North Coast visitor, playing with her Trio in Ukiah, and in recitals in Sonoma and with the Spring Lake Village series. She returned March 12 to Spring Lake (a retirement community, with Impresario Robert Hayden) in an abbreviated recital before a pack...
3/2/2018 - ADVENTUROUS BACH AND PENDERECKI IN MUTTER-ORKIS WEILL RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Mastercard Performance Series / Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin; Lambert Orkis, piano
German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter returned to Weill Hall March 2 in a recital curiously different than her appearance on the same stage several years ago, and also dissimilar to a recent San Francisco concert with a heroic Respighi Sonata performance. On a rainy night before 700 fans Ms. Mutter ...
2/25/2018 - BEETHOVEN'S MAJESTY IN TAKACS QUARTET CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Mastercard Performance Series / Takács Quartet. Edward Dusinberre and Károly Schranz, violin; Geraldine Walther, viola; András Fejér, cello. Marc Andre Hamelin, piano
Greatness in a single musical composition carried the day Feb. 25 when the Takács String Quartet played Beethoven in Weill Hall. Sweeping aside two first half pieces, the Takács tackled Beethoven’s penultimate Quartet, the monumental C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131, written in 1826. From the first notes (<...
2/24/2018 - CHOPIN BALLADES FEATURED IN CONCERTS GRAND RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Concerts Grand House Recitals / Nancy Lee Harper, piano
Pianist Nancy Lee Harper made an elegant North Coast debut Feb. 24 in the Concerts Grand House Recitals series in a private Santa Rosa home. Ms. Harper, for decades a performer and teacher in Portugal, has recently relocated to Northern California, played an all-Chopin recital that was comprehensiv...
2/18/2018 - SOMBER GERMAN POETRY IN SONG AT ROSCHMANN RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Mastercard Performance Series / Dorothea Röschmann, soprano; Malcolm Martineau, piano
Two weeks does make a hefty difference. Feb. 3 saw the diva Renée Fleming beguile a full Weill Hall house in a mix of Brahms, Broadway show songs and Dvorak chestnuts. It was a gala event with couture gowns and colorful extra-musical communication between singer and her rapt audience. Dorothea Rösc...
2/18/2018 - KIM-PETERSEN DUO SHINE IN MILL VALLEY CHAMBER RECITAL - Abby Wasserman
Mill Valley Chamber Music Society / Bomsori Kim, violin; Drew Petersen, piano
“Bomsori” means “the sound of spring” in Korean, and violinist Bomsori Kim’s sound is like spring - fresh, clarion, and nuanced. Her expressiveness and obvious pleasure in engaging with audiences is substantial, and she partnered with pianist Drew Petersen in a Feb. 18 recital for the Mill Valley C...
2/18/2018 - ROMANTIC MUSIC AND AMBIANCE AT SEB ARTS RECITAL - Nicki Bell
Sebastopol Center For The Arts / Robyn Carmichael, piano
Sebastopol had is own musical salon Feb. 18 with visits to Paris of the 1830s, and side trips to Wales and Germany. Pianist Robyn Carmichael presented a concert of favorite romantic masters and their muses, loves and inspirations, with music of Chopin, Liszt Mendelssohn and Schumann. This was no c...
2/18/2018 - POWERHOUSE TANEYEV QUARTET IN TRIO NAVARRO CONCERT - Sonia Tubridy
Trio Navarro / Victor Romasevich, violin; Jill Rachuy Brindel, cello; Wayne Roden, viola; Marilyn Thompson, piano
Now in their 26th year of presenting chamber music as artists in residence at Sonoma State University, members of the Navarro Trio have performed, over the years, piano trios both famous and rarely performed, including many contemporary works. Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G Minor, K. 478 opened the Fe...
2/11/2018 - NOVEL AND FAMILIAR WORKS FROM THE TILDEN TRIO - Terry McNeill
Dominican University of California Guest Concert Series / Tilden Trio. June Choi Oh, piano; Sarn Oliver,violin; Peter Wyrick, cello
North Coast chamber music fans have the luxury of two fine resident piano trios, with the frequently performing Trio Navarro at Sonoma State, and the Tilden Trio at San Rafael’s Dominican University. The Tilden plays less often, but their Feb. 11 performance brought several hundred to Angelico Hall ...
2/10/2018 - A FIFTH CONTENDER ENTERS THE RING FOR THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY - Steve Osborn
Santa Rosa Symphony / Michael Christie, conductor. Anna Fedorova, piano
In these international times, what makes a piece of music American? For Michael Christie, the answer is that it needs to have at least premiered on these shores, if not been composed here. Thus the rationale for the “all American” program that Christie--the fifth and final conducting candidate for t...
2/9/2018 - BERLIN WIND QUINTET'S NOVEL PROGRAM SCORES IN WEILL CONCERT - nicholas xenelis
Mastercard Performance Series / Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. Walter Seyfarth, clarinet; Marion Reinhardt, bassoon; Michael Hasel, flute; Andreas Wittman, oboe; Fergus McWilliam, horn; Steven Hough, piano
Driving into the Green Music Center parking lot Feb. 10 I knew there was something unusual taking place since the lot was nearly full. Was another event going on this same night? A large crowd in Weill Hall isn’t expected for chamber music, in this case with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. S...
2/8/2018 - HAUNTING RACHMANINOFF WORKS IN HU'S MAO RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Music at Oakmont / Chin-Un Hu, piano
Ching-Yun Hu made a return Music at Oakmont appearance Feb. 8 in Berger Auditorium, reprising a recital she made in the same hall four years ago. Many of the recital’s trappings were the same, but the music Ms. Hu chose to play was decidedly different. All afternoon the pianist was in an aggressiv...
2/3/2018 - A COMPLETE ARTISTIC PACKAGE IN FLEMING'S WEILL HALL RECITAL - Vaida Falconbridge and Mary Beard
Mastercard Performance Series / Renée Fleming, soprano; Helmut Höll, piano
The diva Renée Fleming strode on the Weill Hall stage Feb. 2 in her first couture gown of the evening, a gray and swirling cream strapless sheath with flamboyant coordinating stole. For this concert, Ms. Fleming stayed to somewhat lighter fare, foregoing heavier dramatic and coloratura arias for a v...
2/2/2018 - ZNAIDER-KULEK DUO CHARMS AND CHALLANGES WEILL AUDIENCE FEB. 2 - Terry McNeill
Mastercard Performance Series / Nikolaj Znaider, violin; Robert Kulek, piano
Weill hall has mounted several exceptional piano recitals, with Garrick Ohlsson’s titanic Liszt concert, and of course Lang Lang’s two insouciant but also compelling performances topping the list since 2013. But arguably the virtuoso violinists have on balance been more impressive, and thoughts g...
1/27/2018 - VIVID GERMAN ROMANTICISM IN VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT IN SCHROEDER - Terry McNeill
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Eric Vivian, piano; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Hoeprich, clarinet; Catherine Manson, violin and viola
Though not new to Sonoma County, the Valley of the Moon Music Festival (VOM) concerts are relatively recent in the Green Music Center’s Schroeder Hall. So the first of three spring concerts Jan. 27 provided a picture of what’s in the repertoire leading up to their Festival this summer at Sonoma’s Ha...
1/27/2018 - MONUMENTAL NIELSEN SYMPHONY CAPS SO CO PHIL CONCERT AT SR HS - Terry McNeill
Sonoma County Philharmonic / Norman Gamboa, conductor. Hans Brightbill, cello
Turning again away from conventional repertoire, the Sonoma County Philharmonic programmed Jan. 27 three works in what were local debut performances in Santa Rosa High School’s Performing Arts Center. Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony, Op. 29, called “Inextinguishable,” closed the program with an extravaga...
1/21/2018 - ECLECTIC ANDERSON & ROE TRANSCRIPTIONS CAPTIVATE WEILL HALL AUDIENCE - Nicki Bell
Green Music Center / Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, piano
From the first moment when Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe walked Jan. 21 on the Weill Hall stage and spoke to the audience about their two-piano program, it was clear that an afternoon of drama, humor, virtuosity, warmth, transcendence and excitement was in store. This dynamic and mesmerizing ...
1/20/2018 - BALCOM TRIO HIGHLIGHTS DELPHI'S RAC CONCERT IN OCCIDENTAL - Sonia Morse Tubridy
Delphi Trio / Jeffrey LaDeur, piano; Liana Bérubé, violin; Michelle Kwon, cello
The Redwood Arts Council audience first met the Delphi Trio (Jeffrey LaDeur, (piano), Liana Berube (violin), and cellist Michelle Kwon) in 2013, and subsequent concerts in the same Occidental hall have become crowd favorites. The January 20th program before a capacity audience seemed to have enthus...