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Chamber
PERFORMER AS PROMOTER: CLARA SCHUMANN AND MUSICAL SALONS CLOSE VOM FESTIVAL
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Sunday, July 28, 2019
The July 28 closing performance of the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival could have been subtitled "Friends", as it was devoted to works by both Clara and Robert Schumann, and those of their friends and protégés Brahms and virtuoso violinist Joseph Joachim, with whom Clara toured extensively...
Chamber
ROMANTIC CHAMBER WORKS HIGHLIGHT VOM FESTIVAL AT HANNA CENTER
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Now in its 5th season the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival presented July 27 a concert titled “My Brilliant Sister,” featuring Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s compositions for combinations of voice, fortepiano and strings. Fanny and her brother Felix were close, and Felix occasionally published ...
Symphony
ROMANTIC DREAMS AT THE MENDOCINO MUSIC FESTIVAL
by Kayleen Asbo
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Romanticism, contrary to many popular perceptions, wasn’t simply about diving into the habitat of the heart. Romanticism began as a literary movement that elevated the power of nature as a transcendent force and sought with keen nostalgia to rediscover the wisdom of the past. The Romantics in both l...
Chamber
CHAUSSON CONCERTO SHINES IN A VISIONARY'S SALON
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Ernest Chausson’s four-movement Concerto in D Major for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet (1891) is neither concerto nor sonata nor symphony, but it somehow manages to be all three, especially when played with fire and conviction by an accomplished soloist. Those incendiary and emotional elements w...
Chamber
EUROPEAN SALON MUSIC CAPTIVATES AT VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Two stunning programs of 19th and 20th century chamber music were presented on July 21 and 28 as part of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival at the Hanna Center in Sonoma. Festival founders and directors pianist Eric Zivian and cellist Tanya Tompkins were both on hand to contribute brilliantly at ...
Chamber
ECLECTIC INSTRUMENTAL COMBINATIONS IN VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, July 20, 2019
A Lovely summer afternoon in Sonoma Valley, an excellent small concert hall, enthusiastic audience, exciting musicians and creative programming with interesting story lines. All these were combined July 20 at a Valley of the Moon Festival concert titled “An Italian in Paris.” This is the fifth seaso...
Opera
'ELIXIR' A WELCOME TONIC IN SPRIGHTLY ANNUAL MMF OPERA
by Terry McNeill
Friday, July 19, 2019
In most of the Mendocino Music Festival’s 33 seasons a single evening is given over to a staged opera, with bare bones sets, lighting, costumes, minimal cast and short length. No Wagner or Verdi here, no multiple acts and complicated production demands. Light and frothy are the usual, and so it wa...
Recital
PUNGENT WALTZES AND VIRTUOSITY IN LADEUR'S SLV RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
San Francisco based pianist Jeffrey LaDeur has become one of the most sought-after North Bay virtuosi, and cemented that reputation July 17 in a short but eclectic recital in Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village Chamber Music Series. Before 140 in the Village’s auditorium Mr. LaDeur began with Schubert...
Choral and Vocal
NOBLE BRAHMS REQUIEM PERFORMANCE CLOSES SONOMA BACH'S SEASON
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, June 01, 2019
Sonoma Bach, conducted by Robert Worth, presented a truly grand finale to their 2018-19 "Light Out of Darkness" season in two sold out Schroeder Hall performances June 1 and 2. The program "A Human Requiem" was received rapturously with a well-deserved standing ovation for the main work, Brahms' ...
Chamber
THREE SONG CYCLES HIGHLIGHT VIBRANT SLV RECITAL
by Pamela Hicks-Gailey
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
An ambitious recital of vocal and piano music was presented May 8 at Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village by mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur. The duo engaged the enthusiastic audience with scholarly friendliness and artistry in performances of Beethoven's short cycle of six song...

Reviews

7/28/2019 - PERFORMER AS PROMOTER: CLARA SCHUMANN AND MUSICAL SALONS CLOSE VOM FESTIVAL - Pamela Hicks Gailey
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Tanya Tomkins, Geirbruder Gudmundsdottir and Ana Kim, cello; Eric Zivian, Christian de Luca and David Belkovski, piano; Andrew Gonzalez snd Joshua Gomberoff, viola; Marc Destrubé, Keats Dieffenbach and Jason Issokson, violin;
The July 28 closing performance of the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival could have been subtitled "Friends", as it was devoted to works by both Clara and Robert Schumann, and those of their friends and protégés Brahms and virtuoso violinist Joseph Joachim, with whom Clara toured extensively...
7/27/2019 - ROMANTIC CHAMBER WORKS HIGHLIGHT VOM FESTIVAL AT HANNA CENTER - Sonia Morse Tubridy
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Danielle Sampson, soprano; Keats Dieffenbach and Jason Issokson, violin; Joshua Gomberoff, viola; Geirbruder Gundmundsdottir, Ana Kim and Tanya Tomkins, cello; Christian De Luca and Eric Zivian, piano
Now in its 5th season the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival presented July 27 a concert titled “My Brilliant Sister,” featuring Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s compositions for combinations of voice, fortepiano and strings. Fanny and her brother Felix were close, and Felix occasionally published ...
7/24/2019 - ROMANTIC DREAMS AT THE MENDOCINO MUSIC FESTIVAL - Kayleen Asbo
Mendocino Music Festival / Festival Orchestra. Allan Pollack, conductor. Spencer Myer, piano
Romanticism, contrary to many popular perceptions, wasn’t simply about diving into the habitat of the heart. Romanticism began as a literary movement that elevated the power of nature as a transcendent force and sought with keen nostalgia to rediscover the wisdom of the past. The Romantics in both l...
7/21/2019 - CHAUSSON CONCERTO SHINES IN A VISIONARY'S SALON - Steve Osborn
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Kyle Stegal, tenor; Rachel Barton Pine, Anna Pressler and Liana Bérubé, violin; Phyllis Kamrin, viola; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Vivian, piano
Ernest Chausson’s four-movement Concerto in D Major for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet (1891) is neither concerto nor sonata nor symphony, but it somehow manages to be all three, especially when played with fire and conviction by an accomplished soloist. Those incendiary and emotional elements w...
7/21/2019 - EUROPEAN SALON MUSIC CAPTIVATES AT VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT - Pamela Hicks Gailey
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Kyle Stegal, tenor; Rachel Barton Pine, Anna Pressler and Liana Bérubé, violin; Phyllis Kamrin, viola; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Vivian, piano
Two stunning programs of 19th and 20th century chamber music were presented on July 21 and 28 as part of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival at the Hanna Center in Sonoma. Festival founders and directors pianist Eric Zivian and cellist Tanya Tompkins were both on hand to contribute brilliantly at ...
7/20/2019 - ECLECTIC INSTRUMENTAL COMBINATIONS IN VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT - Sonia Morse Tubridy
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Eric Zivian, Jeffrey LaDeur and David Belkovski, piano; Madeleine Bouïssou, cello; Kyle Stegal, tenor; Nikki Einfeld, soprano; Rachel Barton Pine, violin
A Lovely summer afternoon in Sonoma Valley, an excellent small concert hall, enthusiastic audience, exciting musicians and creative programming with interesting story lines. All these were combined July 20 at a Valley of the Moon Festival concert titled “An Italian in Paris.” This is the fifth seaso...
7/19/2019 - 'ELIXIR' A WELCOME TONIC IN SPRIGHTLY ANNUAL MMF OPERA - Terry McNeill
Mendocino Music Festival / Festival Orchestra. Mary Chun, conductor. Kevin Gino, tenor; Aurelie Veruni and Ann Lucas, soprano; Nick Volkert, baritone; Bojan Knezevic, bass. Patricia Price, stage manager; Jenny Matteucci, chorale director; Janice Culliford, costumes
In most of the Mendocino Music Festival’s 33 seasons a single evening is given over to a staged opera, with bare bones sets, lighting, costumes, minimal cast and short length. No Wagner or Verdi here, no multiple acts and complicated production demands. Light and frothy are the usual, and so it wa...
7/17/2019 - PUNGENT WALTZES AND VIRTUOSITY IN LADEUR'S SLV RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series / Jeffrey LaDeur, piano
San Francisco based pianist Jeffrey LaDeur has become one of the most sought-after North Bay virtuosi, and cemented that reputation July 17 in a short but eclectic recital in Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village Chamber Music Series. Before 140 in the Village’s auditorium Mr. LaDeur began with Schubert...
6/1/2019 - NOBLE BRAHMS REQUIEM PERFORMANCE CLOSES SONOMA BACH'S SEASON - Pamela Hicks Gailey
Sonoma Bach / Sonoma Bach Choir. Robert Worth, conductor. Live Oak Baroque Orchestra. Danielle Sampson, soprano; Paul Murray, bass
Sonoma Bach, conducted by Robert Worth, presented a truly grand finale to their 2018-19 "Light Out of Darkness" season in two sold out Schroeder Hall performances June 1 and 2. The program "A Human Requiem" was received rapturously with a well-deserved standing ovation for the main work, Brahms' ...
5/8/2019 - THREE SONG CYCLES HIGHLIGHT VIBRANT SLV RECITAL - Pamela Hicks-Gailey
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series / Kindra Scharich, mezzo-soprano; Jeffrey LaDeur, piano
An ambitious recital of vocal and piano music was presented May 8 at Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village by mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur. The duo engaged the enthusiastic audience with scholarly friendliness and artistry in performances of Beethoven's short cycle of six song...
5/5/2019 - ALEXANDER TORADZE DELIVERS A LESSON IN SERENITY - Steve Osborn
Santa Rosa Symphony / Bruno Ferrandis, conductor. Alexander Toradze, piano
An entire concerto movement consisting of serene piano melodies over a soothing backdrop is probably not the first thing that springs to mind when seeing Shostakovich’s name on an orchestra program, but that’s exactly what pianist Alexander Toradze delivered--twice--at Sunday’s Santa Rosa Symphony c...
4/28/2019 - MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON CLOSES WITH AUTUMNAL ELGAR AND THEATRICAL BEETHOVEN - Abby Wasserman
Marin Symphony / Alasdair Neale, conductor. Oliver Herbert, cello
Mozart’s enchanting Overture to his opera The Magic Flute, a miniature tapestry of gems from the 1791 work, opened the Marin Symphony’s final concert of the 2018-2019 season. Under conductor Alasdair Neale, the playing of the sprightly seven-minute piece by a reduced-size classical ensemble sparkled...
4/26/2019 - SHAHAM-EGUCHI DUO'S EXCITING MUSICAL GENEROSITY IN WEILL - Abby Wasserman
Green Music Center / Gil Shaham, violin; Akira Eguchi, piano
Violinist Gil Shaham may be the most modest virtuoso on the concert stage today, and it is the great music he most wishes to put forward, never himself. Generosity, a quality he is known for, was abundantly clear in Weill Hall April 26 when he performed, with pianist Akira Eguchi, a generous program...
4/11/2019 - GLITTERING PIANISM IN LI'S OAKMONT RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Music at Oakmont / George Li, piano
Piano prodigies have always been a fascination for the music public, and the greatest of them (some were Mozart, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Saint Saëns, Hofmann) went on to legendary fame. George Li, who made is local debut at a Music at Oakmont recital April 11, was a remarkable recent keyboard prodigy t...
4/7/2019 - SO CO PHIL'S SEASON CLOSER WITH EXPANSIVE PROKOFIEV 5TH IN JACKSON - Terry McNeill
Sonoma County Philharmonic / Norman Gamboa, conductor. Debra Scheüerman, piccolo
Closing their 20th season with their usual programming aplomb, the Sonoma County Philharmonic played a provocative set of concerts April 6 and 7 in the Jackson Theater, the Orchestra’s new home at the Sonoma Country Day School by the Sonoma County Airport. Local composer Nolan Gasser’s Sonoma Overt...
4/5/2019 - SISTINE CHAPEL INSPIRATION FOR THE TALLIS SCHOLARS IN WEILL HALL - Sonia Morse Tubridy
Green Music Center / Tallis Scholars
Returning to Weill Hall April 5 after a seven year absence, the ten singers of the Tallis Scholars brought the sacred choral tradition of Palestrina and his contemporaries to an audience of delighted music lovers. Under the direction of Peter Phillips, the 1973 founder of the group, the program was...
3/31/2019 - AUTUMNAL SIBELIUS 7TH HIGHLIGHTS VSO'S SEASON CLOSING CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Vallejo Symphony and American Canyon High School Chamber Choir / Marc Taddei, conductor. Brad Walker, baritone; Shawnette Sulker, soprano; Jaime Butler, Choir Director
Closing their 87th Season March 30 and 31 the Vallejo Symphony has moved from a single weekend concert to a set of two, and the late March response was two full houses in the charming downtown Vallejo Empress Theater. Conductor Marc Taddei opened the Sunday program with a rousing performance of B...
3/30/2019 - SHARED INSTRUMENTAL BEAUTY IN VIEAUX-MEYERS WEILL HALL CONCERT - Abby Wasserman
Green Music Center / Anne Akiko Meyers, violin; Jason Vieaux, guitar
Exciting timbral sound and intricate counterpoint, made possible when two artists with complementary instruments play together, were richly explored by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and guitarist Jason Vieaux March 30 in Weill Hall. Whether in close harmony, or unison, or weaving separate melodies to...
3/24/2019 - RARE MAHLER QUARTET AT MILL VALLEY CHAMBER CONCERT - Abby Wasserman
Mill Valley Chamber Music Society / Fauré Quartet. Dirk Mommertz, piano; Erika Geldsetzer, violin; Sascha Frömbling, viola; Konstantin Heidrich, cello
Piano quartets are relatively rare in the classical literature, and there are only about 40 compositions for the combination of piano, violin, viola and cello, mostly from the Romantic period of the mid to late 1800s. It therefore was special March 24 to hear three great works of this medium, perfor...
3/16/2019 - AMERICAN CLASSICS SPARKLE UNDER KAHANE’S BATON - Steve Osborn
Santa Rosa Symphony / Jeffrey Kahane, conductor. Elena Urioste, violin
Jeffrey Kahane, the Santa Rosa Symphony’s former conductor, returned to the Weill Hall podium on Saturday night, and the results were expectedly wonderful. The concert of American classics was by turns playful (Gershwin’s “An American in Paris”), emotional (Barber’s violin concerto) and triumphant (...
3/8/2019 - FLORESTAN TRIO'S MENDELSSOHN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Sporing Lake Village Classical Music Series / Florestan Trio. Hamilton Cheifetz, cello; Janet Guggenheim, piano; Carol Sindell, violin
Spring Lake Village’s monthly concerts usually clock in under an hour, but the March 8 Florestan Trio’s performance was more extended as so much good music was on tap for the 125 residents attending at Santa Rosa’s premiere retirement residence facility. Four short pieces made up the first half, be...
3/3/2019 - TILDEN TRIO'S BOHEMIAN ENERGY AT DOMINICAN CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Dominican University of California Guest Concert Series / Tilden Trio. Sarn Oliver, violin; Peter Wyrick, cello; June Choi Oh, piano
Hard on the heels of the Trio Navarro’s late February concert in Sonoma State’s Schroeder Hall, Northern California’s other premiere resident piano trio, the Tilden, played an equally convincing program March 3 in Dominican University’s Angelico Hall. Clearly each hall’s acoustics, stage pianos and...
2/23/2019 - 24 SONGS IN A MENKE-THOMPSON RECITAL ODYSSEY - Terry McNeill
Vocal Recital / Carol Menke, soprano; Marilyn Thompson, piano
Sonoma County pop and country singing enjoys continued popularity but it rare to see a professional classical vocal concert announced. Diva Ruth Ann Swenson was once a local star, but she has long departed and not much virtuoso recital singing can be found in the North Bay. But the exception to th...
2/17/2019 - UNEXPECTED ARENSKY AND MENDELSSOHN BY THE NAVARRO - Terry McNeill
Sonoma State University Department of Music / Trio Navarro. Marilyn Thompson, piano; Victor Romasevich, violin; Jill Rachuy Brindel, cello
The 100 people entering Schroeder Hall Feb. 17 for a Trio Navarro concert were handed a program that appeared to feature two popular piano trios, Mendelssohn and Arensky. But continuing the Navarro’s tradition of repertoire exploration, the pieces were not the usual first Mendelssohn and first Aren...
2/17/2019 - GLOVER'S ECLECTIC PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHT'S CINNABAR RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Cinnabar Theater / Daniel Glover, pianist
Daniel Glover is arguably the busiest virtuoso pianist in the San Francisco Bay area, but rarely is heard in North Bay concerts. So 90 local pianophiles were anxious to hear him Feb. 17 in Petaluma’s charming small Cinnabar Theater, and they were rewarded with an eclectic program of sometimes unfam...
2/11/2019 - MENDELSSOHN'S SCOTTISH SAVES THE EVENING IN SRS WEILL CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Santa Rosa Symphony / Sara Ioannides, conductor. Sara Davis Buechner, piano
The audience entering Weill Hall for Santa Rosa Symphony concerts Feb. 9-11 were presented with a program that on first glance appeared a curious patchwork – a great symphony mixed with a seldom heard concerto and two disparate overtures, and a guest conductor unknown locally. Monday night’s concer...
2/8/2019 - INTRIGUING BELL-HAYWOOD RECITAL BEFORE FULL HOUSE IN WEILL HALL - Abby Wasserman
Green Music Center / Joshua Bell, violin; Sam Haywood, piano
A big portion of the capacity audience in Weill Hall February 8th came to hear violinist Joshua Bell’s virtuosity, and were treated as well to splendid playing from Sam Haywood, Mr. Bell’s regular pianist since 2010. The duo performed three engaging sonatas, highlighted by Mr. Bell’s sterling techn...
1/27/2019 - TRIPLE PLAY UKIAH SYMPHONY CONCERT AND TCHAIKOVSKY SERENADE - Terry McNeill
Ukiah Symphony / Les Pfützenreuter, conductor. Carolyn Steinbuck, Elena Casanova and Elizabeth MacDougall, piano
Over the years the Ukiah Symphony’s concerts have been in the Classical Sonoma Calendar sections, but rarely has this Orchestra, now in its 39th season, had a full winter season concert review. The provocative Jan. 27 program in Mendocino College’s Center Theater seemed a good reason to reacquaint ...
1/26/2019 - JACKSON THEATER WELCOMES A NEW RESIDENT ORCHESTRA - Terry McNeill
Sonoma County Philharmonic / Norman Gamboa, conductor. Tom Hyde, trumpet; Anthony Perry, English horn; Lin He, violin
Moving to a permanent new performance venue can be a perilous undertaking for an orchestra, with different acoustics, the loyal audience finding the new spot and infrastructure challenges of lighting and lobby and backstage operations. In their first concert Jan. 26 in Windsor’s Jackson Theater the...
1/26/2019 - ECLECTIC PASSIONATE PROGRAMMING AT MARIN SYMPHONY CONCERT - Abby Wasserman
Marin Symphony / Alasdair Neale, conductor. Orion Weiss, piano.
The Marin Symphony’s second Masterworks concert of the 2018-19 season featured works by John Adams, Sibelius and Brahms, a masterful assembly. In a spoken introduction before the program’s first half, conductor Alasdair Neale primed the audience for the “terra incognita” of Adams’ The Chairman Dance...
1/13/2019 - A SLICE OF HEAVEN FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY - Steve Osborn
Santa Rosa Symphony / Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor. Marie Plette, soprano
Under its vibrant new music director, Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Santa Rosa Symphony this past Sunday offered a nearly perfect afternoon of Mozart (Symphony No. 40) and Mahler (Symphony No. 4). While the two works share a common digit, the only element uniting them is genius. They made for a dazzlin...
1/13/2019 - KHOZYAINOV'S BRILLIANT PIANISM IN MILL VALLEY RECITAL - Abby Wasserman
Mill Valley Chamber Music Society / Nikolay Khozyainov, piano
In its third concert of the season the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society Jan. 13 presented Russian virtuoso Nikolay Khozyainov. His intelligent and sensitive interpretations, masterful pedal work, and virtuoso technique left the near-capacity audience in Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church astounded and ...
1/10/2019 - A COMPLETE MUSICAL PACKAGE IN ARRON'S OAKMONT RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Music at Oakmont / Edward Arron, cello; Jeewon Park, piano
Cellist Edward Arron has been a welcome artist at the Music at Oakmont series, and after his Jan. 10 recital it’s easy to understand his popularity. His artistry is a complete package, with potent instrumental technique wedded to integral musical conceptions. In a nearly flawless concert with pian...