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Chamber
SURPRISING IVES TRIO AND SONGS AT VMMF'S HANNA CENTER
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, July 24, 2022
In a recent Valley of the Moon concert review comments were made about repertoire that reflected summer at a festival – lighter weight music, much informality. The July 24 concert in the Hanna Boys Center appeared on paper to have muscle, and featured the music of Ives. Remarkably, though the idio...
Chamber
SEMINAL SCHUBERT CYCLE PERFORMANCE FROM STEGALL-ZIVIAN AT VMMF
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, July 23, 2022
It was a much cooler concert July 23, starting the second weekend of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival's three-week run, and easier on the performers, audience and instruments alike. The afternoon opened with Beethoven's 1801 curtain-warmer 7 Variations on "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen" ("...
Opera
MARIN'S STRIPPED-DOWN OPERA CHARMS
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, July 17, 2022
Stripped to the bone but rich with flavor, Contemporary Opera Marin’s program “It’s All About Mozart,” presented July 17 in the College of Marin’s James Dunn Theater, was positively alchemical. Two works for chamber opera ensemble were performed by four soloists, nine choristers and an orchestra of ...
Chamber
MOZART AND BRAHMS AN AUSPICIOUS COUPLE AT VMMF FESTIVAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, July 17, 2022
Is there such a thing as summer music? Something lighter than heard in the winter season, with much informality? The Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival specializes in this approach, and July 17 presented a concert in Sonoma Valley’s Hanna Center that even produced lightweight Brahms. Befor...
Chamber
CLARINIST HOEPRICH'S VIRTUOSITY IN VMMF OPENING CONCERT
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, July 16, 2022
Beautiful sounds filled the hot July 16 air at the Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma Valley, as a nearly full crowd braved the late afternoon heat (95 in the shade) to enjoy some early Romantic Kammermusik and a glass of wine at an al fresco reception. The back wall doors of the hall were opened and bench...
Recital
AGGRESSIVE PIANISM IN MYER'S MENDO FESTIVAL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Indiana-based pianist Spencer Myer has been a welcome Mendocino Music Festival performer since 2010, and he renewed his personal connection with North Coast piano buffs July 14 in a short recital in Mendocino’s Preston Hall. The afternoon was a mixed success, with Beethoven’s E Minor Sonata (Op. 90...
Opera
SONOROUS WAGNER GALA AND CAPACITY CROWD AT VALLEJO'S EMPRESS
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, July 9, 2022
Opera galas in the San Francisco Bay Area are a rare occurrence, and an all-Wagner gala even more so. Therefore it’s a pleasure to report that the Vallejo Center for the Arts produced an exciting all-Wagner concert July 9 in Vallejo's charming Empress Theater. There was a near capacity and very happ...
Choral and Vocal
TRAVELING CHORISTERS SO CO DEBUT IN TWO BIG CANTATAS
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Berkshire Choral International (BCI) is a travel-loving chorister's dream. Drawing its membership nationwide, it is headquartered in the Western Massachusetts Berkshires region and travels to destinations for a week of rehearsals, sightseeing, and performing. What makes this group different however,...
Opera
VERDI'S THEATRICAL LA TRAVIATA TRIUMPHS AT CINNABAR
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, June 19, 2022
In years gone by Petaluma’s venerable Cinnabar Theater mounted two complete operas each season, but in COVID times alas it’s just one. But in this June’s run of six of Verdi’s La Traviata one was surely enough, if it was really good, and the June 19 performance was in every way splendid. As with ...
Symphony
CLOUDS AND PASSION: MARIN SYMPHONY'S STELLAR CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, June 19, 2022
A wide contrast of era and mood characterized the first half of Marin Symphony’s stellar June 19 program in the Marin Center, opening with Jennifer Higdon’s transparent, cloud-light tone poem, blue cathedral, and ending with Stravinsky’s clashing, crashing Symphony in Three Movements. Conductor Al...
Symphony
Mariachi Meets Orchestra at the Santa Rosa Symphony
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, June 12, 2022
Quick, which semiclassical cantata includes the immortal line, “But the workers received from their employers an insurance that covered major medical expenses”? The answer is “Los Braceros,” a cantata by Enrico Chapela Barba for mariachi and orchestra suffused with great music but in desperate need ...
Choral and Vocal
RARE MOZART COUPLING COMPLETES SONOMA BACH'S SEASON IN SCHROEDER
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, May 28, 2022
Sonoma Bach closed their impressive 2021-22 season May 28 treating a full Schroeder Hall audience to a pair of beloved, unfinished Mozart standards, The (Great) Mass in C Minor, and his Requiem from 1791, both conducted masterfully by founder and artistic director Robert Worth. Although modern audi...
EXOTIC RUSSIAN MUSIC FEATURED IN MV PHIL CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Thursday, May 19, 2022
The Mill Valley Philharmonic, in its twenty-second year, continues to mature. Founded and nurtured by Laurie Cohen, the all-volunteer ensemble is thriving under the baton of Dana Sadava, Ms. Cohen’s successor. The orchestra performed two Russian masterworks May 14 - Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Them...
Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony Premieres Daugherty Sketches of Sonoma County
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 8, 2022
“The most sacred duty of audiences,” said Santa Rosa Symphony Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong at their May 8 concert, “is to hear orchestral works for the first time.” The concert offered that duty in the form of a world premiere of Michael Daugherty’s “Valley of the Moon,” a programmatic work sketc...
Chamber
BRAHMS-ERA TRIOS HIGHLIGHT OAKMONT CHAMBER CONCERT
by Nicholas Xelenis
Thursday, May 5, 2022
The Music at Oakmont concert May 5 in Berger Auditorium was attended with mostly masked patrons who were buzzing at the door and then made an effort to get close to the stage to hear the piano trio from the Israeli Chamber Music Project. Berger’s sonics were a bit of a challenge for the musicians w...
Chamber
CHAMBER GEMS OF BRAHMS IN TRIO NAVARRO'S SCHROEDER CONCERT
by Judy Walker
Sunday, May 1, 2022
The Navarro Trio, comprising regular members cellist Jill Brindel and pianist Marilyn Thompson, presented a concert May 1 in Schroeder Hall devoted to the music of Brahms, and were joined by violinist Jeremy Constant, William Klingerhoffer (horn) and violist Jenny Douglass. A small audience receive...
Recital
UNIQUE ELEGANCE IN GALBRAITH GUITAR RECITAL
by Gary Digman
Friday, April 29, 2022
Paul Galbraith is a unique guitarist: his instrument is unique, his technique is unique, and his repertoire is unique. This was clearly evident in his Redwood Arts Council performance at Community Church of Sebastopol April 29. Mr. Galbraith’s guitar has eight strings, two more than the usual six, ...
Symphony
VSO'S ELEGANT PASTORAL SYMPHONY SHINES IN EMPRESS RETURN
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 24, 2022
After an extended COVID wait the Vallejo Symphony returned to the city’s Empress Auditorium April 23 and 24 with a program that easily proved the long layoff didn’t lesson the VSO’s legendary quality. The Sunday performance is reviewed here. One of the highlights of the afternoon was the seldom-hea...
Choral and Vocal
A SPIRITUAL FAURE REQUIEM IN GOOD FRIDAY CANTIAMO CONCERT
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Friday, April 15, 2022
A lovely and emotional rendering of Fauré's beloved Op. 48 Requiem was presented on Good Friday by Cantiamo Sonoma at Santa Rosa's Church of the Roses. The singers of Cantiamo were joined by members of the The Roses Chancel Choir and Chamber orchestra to create a powerful yet tender and memorable p...
Symphony
LUSH ORCHESTRA PLAYING IN SO CO PHIL-LLOYD MEMORIAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 3, 2022
Continuing into the post COVID era the Sonoma County Philharmonic played a set of sensual concerts April 2 and 3 in Santa Rosa’s Jackson Theater, rich in instrumental splendor. The Sunday afternoon concert, attended by 250 (all masked), is reviewed here. Anthony Perry’s laconic English horn solos ...

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SR SYMPHONY CHOOSES HARMONY OVER FOOTBALL by Steve Osborn
3/3/2022 11:30:34 AM; Steve Osborn - Comment 123 View Full Comment