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GAULIST FLAVOR IN FINAL SF PIANO FESTIVAL CONCERT AT OLD FIRST
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Final summer music festival programs are often a mix of what has come before, with the theme and even a featured composer taking a last stage appearance, with a dramatic wrap up composition. San Francisco’s International Piano Festival defied the norm August 29 with an eclectic French-flavored prog
SPARE DUO PRECEDES MYSTEROUS DUO AT DEN BOER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, August 27, 2021
In a departure from usual summer festival fare Julia Den Boer played an August 27 virtual recital in the San Francisco Piano Festival’s 4.5 season with four works, all mostly quiet but all in separate ways insistently demanding of artist and listener. Throughout the 40 minutes there was nary a powe
HARMONIC COMPLEXITY IN PHILLIPS' ALL-GRIFFES RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, August 20, 2021
Charles Griffes’ piano music is similar to that of Busoni, Reger and even Poulenc, in that there is a sporadic flourish of interest with concerts and scholarly work, then a quick fade into another long period of obscurity. So, it was a delight to have an all-Griffes recital August 20 on the San F
Chamber
ONE PIANO, TWO PIANO, THREE PIANO, FORE
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Schroeder Hall was nearly full July 29 for the final pianoSonoma concert of their season, and presumably the draw and highlight for many of the 150 attending was Bach’s Concerto for Four Pianos. And that performance was probably going to be a North Bay premiere. However, it wasn’t the highl
Chamber
PENULTIMATE VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT FEATURES GORGEOUS VOCALISM
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Thursday, July 29, 2021
The 2021 Valley of the Moon Music Festival continued on July 29 with a sumptuous online offering of French songs, concluding with the second piano quartet by Fauré, Op. 45. Such a beautiful bouquet of video performances wonderfully filmed and recorded softened the disappointment of not being able to
Other
SIX GUITARISTS IN UNIQUE NAPA RECITAL
by Gary Digman
Sunday, July 25, 2021
The first Napa Valley Guitar Festival was held at Napa’s First Presbyterian Church July 25, and featured performances from six classical guitarists. The Church is an iconic structure in downtown Napa, its huge white presence dominating the scene, and the white theme continues inside punctuated by be
Chamber
BOGAS' TENURE ENDS IN OUTDOOR GUALALA CHAMBER CONCERT
by Iris Lorenzfife
Sunday, July 25, 2021
The preconcert call that music lovers should gather at Gualala Arts July 25 to attend the final Roy Bogas and Friends Concert was not quite as dire as it sounded. It seems that a year of Covid 19 and an 88th birthday had combined to convince Mr. Bogas that he was working too hard. But with cellist P
Chamber
CLARA SCHUMANN TRIO COMMANDS VOM CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT AT HANNA
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, July 24, 2021
The Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Series has begun several virtual and a few live concerts in its new seventh season, some broadcast from Sonoma’s Hanna Center Hall and some in posh local venues. July 24’s video had a small live audience and a well-produced video program of three works. Titled “
Chamber
RARE LANG SONGS SPARKLE AT VOM FESTIVAL VIDEO RECITAL
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Unexpected pleasures are often the best. Valley of the Moon Chamber Festival presented a such a pleasure last week-a July 21 recorded performance by tenor Kyle Stegall and pianist Eric Zivian in another mini-recital (very mini-just 15 minutes!) of six songs by the nineteenth century German composer
Chamber
EXEMPLARY QUARTET PLAYING IN MENDO FESTIVAL FT. BRAGG CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Faced with the impossibility of presenting concerts in the iconic large white tent on the bluff, the Mendocino Music Festival opted to use Ft. Bragg’s Cotton Auditorium for ten events in the abbreviated 35th season. San Francisco’s Alexander String Quartet played July 21 to a fully masked audience

Reviews

8/29/2021 - GAULIST FLAVOR IN FINAL SF PIANO FESTIVAL CONCERT AT OLD FIRST - Terry McNeill
San Francisco International Piano Festival / Jory Vinikour and Philippe LeRoy, harpsichord; Gwendolyn Mok and Jeffrey LaDeur, piano
Final summer music festival programs are often a mix of what has come before, with the theme and even a featured composer taking a last stage appearance, with a dramatic wrap up composition. San Francisco’s International Piano Festival defied the norm August 29 with an eclectic French-flavored prog...
8/27/2021 - SPARE DUO PRECEDES MYSTEROUS DUO AT DEN BOER RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Julia Den Boer / Julia Den Boer, piano
In a departure from usual summer festival fare Julia Den Boer played an August 27 virtual recital in the San Francisco Piano Festival’s 4.5 season with four works, all mostly quiet but all in separate ways insistently demanding of artist and listener. Throughout the 40 minutes there was nary a powe...
8/20/2021 - HARMONIC COMPLEXITY IN PHILLIPS' ALL-GRIFFES RECITAL - Terry McNeill
San Francisco International Piano Festival / Nicholas Phillips, piano
Charles Griffes’ piano music is similar to that of Busoni, Reger and even Poulenc, in that there is a sporadic flourish of interest with concerts and scholarly work, then a quick fade into another long period of obscurity. So, it was a delight to have an all-Griffes recital August 20 on the San F...
7/29/2021 - ONE PIANO, TWO PIANO, THREE PIANO, FORE - Terry McNeill
Piano Sonoma / Michael Shinn, Jessica Shinn, Christina Wu and Peter Dugan, Piano; Anita Graef, cello
Schroeder Hall was nearly full July 29 for the final pianoSonoma concert of their season, and presumably the draw and highlight for many of the 150 attending was Bach’s Concerto for Four Pianos. And that performance was probably going to be a North Bay premiere. However, it wasn’t the highl...
7/29/2021 - PENULTIMATE VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT FEATURES GORGEOUS VOCALISM - Pamela Hicks Gailey
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Emily Marvosh, contralto; Lisa Lee, violin; Liana Bérubé, viola; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Zivian, piano
The 2021 Valley of the Moon Music Festival continued on July 29 with a sumptuous online offering of French songs, concluding with the second piano quartet by Fauré, Op. 45. Such a beautiful bouquet of video performances wonderfully filmed and recorded softened the disappointment of not being able to...
7/25/2021 - SIX GUITARISTS IN UNIQUE NAPA RECITAL - Gary Digman
Napa Valley Music Associates / 6 guitarists: Eric Symons, Matthew Grasso, Marc Teicholz, Florante Aguilar, George Benton England and Pat Imbimbo
The first Napa Valley Guitar Festival was held at Napa’s First Presbyterian Church July 25, and featured performances from six classical guitarists. The Church is an iconic structure in downtown Napa, its huge white presence dominating the scene, and the white theme continues inside punctuated by be...
7/25/2021 - BOGAS' TENURE ENDS IN OUTDOOR GUALALA CHAMBER CONCERT - Iris Lorenzfife
Gualala Arts Chamber Music Series / Roy Bogas, piano; Peter Wyrick and Mariko Hiraga, cello; Amy Hiraga, viola; Mayumi Wyrick and Sarn Oliver, violin
The preconcert call that music lovers should gather at Gualala Arts July 25 to attend the final Roy Bogas and Friends Concert was not quite as dire as it sounded. It seems that a year of Covid 19 and an 88th birthday had combined to convince Mr. Bogas that he was working too hard. But with cellist P...
7/24/2021 - CLARA SCHUMANN TRIO COMMANDS VOM CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT AT HANNA - Terry McNeill
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Rachel Ellen Wong, violin; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Zivian, piano
The Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Series has begun several virtual and a few live concerts in its new seventh season, some broadcast from Sonoma’s Hanna Center Hall and some in posh local venues. July 24’s video had a small live audience and a well-produced video program of three works. Titled “...
7/21/2021 - RARE LANG SONGS SPARKLE AT VOM FESTIVAL VIDEO RECITAL - Pamela Hicks Gailey
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Kyle Stegall, tenor; Eric Zivian, piano
Unexpected pleasures are often the best. Valley of the Moon Chamber Festival presented a such a pleasure last week-a July 21 recorded performance by tenor Kyle Stegall and pianist Eric Zivian in another mini-recital (very mini-just 15 minutes!) of six songs by the nineteenth century German composer ...
7/21/2021 - EXEMPLARY QUARTET PLAYING IN MENDO FESTIVAL FT. BRAGG CONCERT - Terry McNeill
Mendocino Music Festival / Alexander String Quartet
Faced with the impossibility of presenting concerts in the iconic large white tent on the bluff, the Mendocino Music Festival opted to use Ft. Bragg’s Cotton Auditorium for ten events in the abbreviated 35th season. San Francisco’s Alexander String Quartet played July 21 to a fully masked audience ...
7/20/2021 - ECLECTIC PROGRAMMING AT PIANOSONOMA CONCERT IN SCHROEDER HALL - Pamela Hicks Gailey
Piano Sonoma / Peter Dugan and Christine Wu, piano; Kara Dugan, mezzo-soprano
After a dark year bereft of live performance, pianoSonoma launched July 20 the first Vino & Vibrato concert of the 2021 season in Sonoma State's Schroeder Hall, albeit sadly senza vino due to Covid protocols. Three exceptional musicians showered the audience with an interesting variety of pia...
7/10/2021 - RARELY-PLAYED SCHUMANN HIGHLIGHTS HEALDSBURG RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Brave New Music / Gary McLaughlin, violin; Rose McCoy, piano
Brave New Music sporadically produces concerts in and around Healdsburg, and July 10’s violin recital in downtown St. Paul’s Church must have been one of the first post-lockdown, post-be-extra-careful classical music concerts in Sonoma County's summer season. New Music Founder Gary McLaughlin with ...
7/10/2021 - ECHOS ON A WARM SUMMER NIGHT - Abby Wasserman
ECHO Chamber Orchestra / Daniel Canosa, conductor. Carol Adee, Flute
ECHO Chamber Orchestra’s first concert in a year and a half, “A Musical Promenade,” was a promenade indeed. When patrons arrived at San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church for the 6:00 performance July 10, they were funneled through the garden to the Duncan Hall patio, where folding chairs were set ...
6/24/2021 - LONG DISTANCE LOVE BEGINS VOM SUMMER FESTIVAL - Pamela Hicks Gailey
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Nikki Enfeld, soprano; Emily Marsh, contralto; Kyle Stegall, tenor; Edward Nelson, baritone; Allegra Chapman and Eric Zivian, piano
The Valley of the Moon Music Festival offered a 7th season preview June 24 with a stunning online concert, aptly named Long Distance Love, featuring inspired performances of Beethoven's short song cycle An die ferne Geliebte,, and selections from Brahms’ beloved Liebeslieder Wal...
6/2/2021 - ROMERO'S ARTISTRY IN SLV RECITAL PROGRAMMING AND PERFORMANCE - Terry McNeill
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series / Gustavo Romero, piano
Gustavo Romero has been an admired visitor to North Bay stages, playing over a decade recitals at Dominican University, the Music at Oakmont concerts and at the Spring Lake Village Concert Series. He returned June 2 to SLV in a virtual recital, videoed from his home concert hall the University of N...
5/16/2021 - RUBICON'S VIRTUAL CONCERT A MALANGE OF CONTRASTS - Terry McNeill
The inaugural concert of a new Mendocino County chamber group is a reason for celebration, and the Rubicon Trio made the most of a mixed musical menu during a May16 virtual concert. Presented by the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra as the last in their “Salons with the Symphony” Series, the Rubicon began w...
5/16/2021 - PIANO VIRTUOSITY IN YAKUSHEV'S REDWOOD ARTS RECITAL - Nicki Bell
Redwood Arts Council / Ilya Yakushev, piano
Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev’s recital for the Redwood Arts Council was perhaps the local season’s virtual music at the greatest distance, as the filming May 16 came from a church in St. Petersburg. And good filming it was, with multiple camera viewpoints of the church, full and split screens and ...
5/9/2021 - STYLISH HAYDN QUARTETS CLOSE GREEN ROOM SERIES - Terry McNeill
Green Music Center / St. Lawrence String Quartet. Geoff Nuttall and Owen Dalby, violin; Lesley Robertson, viola; Christopher Costanza, cello
Completing the Green Music Center’s spring series series of “Green Room” virtual concerts, the St. Lawrence String Quartet played May 9 a lightweight program of two Haydn works. Lightweight perhaps, but in every way satisfying. The G Major Quartet (Op. 76, No.1) began the music that was supplement...
5/5/2021 - ECLECTIC PIANISM IN SPRING LAKE VILLAGE VIRTUAL RECITAL - Terry McNeill
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series / Dmitry Rachmanov, piano
During the pandemic The Santa Rosa Symphony’s virtual concerts received their due in performance praise, but another series, Spring Lake Village, more quietly presented monthly virtual concerts to a select local audience. May 5 saw the latest event, produced by impresario Robert Hayden, and feature...
4/25/2021 - SONIC CONTRASTS HIGHLIGHT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY SPRING PROGRAM - Terry McNeill
Santa Rosa Symphony / Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor. Joseph Edelberg, violin
In a curious mixture of compositions, the Santa Rosa Symphony’s penultimate virtual concert of the season April 25 unfolded in ways both highly satisfying and a bit perplexing. Directed by resident Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, the event followed a familiar format – several contemporary wor...
3/28/2021 - ZUILL PLAYS ZWILICH WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY - Steve Osborn
The Santa Rosa Symphony took a cautious step toward the return of live music in their March 28 virtual concert by sharing the stage with an actual live soloist rather than an apparition. Star cellist Zuill Bailey was still masked, and his back was toward the equally masked and plexiglassed orchestra...
3/28/2021 - ECLECTIC CELLO PIANO VIRTUAL RECITAL FROM TOMKINS ZIVIAN DUO - Terry McNeill
Redwood Arts Council / Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Zivian, piano
The venerable 41-year Redwood Arts Council Series in Occidental has joined the virtual recital world with low budget but artistically satisfying programs, mostly using videos filmed in the performer’s residences. March 28 saw the Tanya Tomkins-Eric Zivian duo present an eclectic program from their ...
2/28/2021 - SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY HITS THE SWEET SPOT - Steve Osborn
Santa Rosa Symphony / Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Small orchestras can inhabit a sweet spot between chamber ensembles and full orchestras, but how well they hit that spot depends on the composer's orchestration and the players' ability to project. That dependence was on full display in the Santa Rosa Symphony's Feb. 28 concert, which featured three...
2/21/2021 - NOVEL OBOE-HARPSICHORD RECITAL FROM AIKEN DUO IN UKIAH - Terry McNeill
Ukiah Symphony / Beth Aiken, oboe and English horn; Tom Aiken, harpsichord
Oboe and harpsichord recitals are a rare North Bay event, even in a pandemic environment where a formal hall setting isn’t available. So it was a delight Feb. 21 to experience on the Ukiah Symphony’s website a recital by Symphony oboist Beth Aiken and harpsichordist husband Tom. The Aiken home vis...
1/24/2021 - A HEALTHY MIX OF TRANSCRIPTIONS AND ORIGINALS FROM THE SR SYMPHONY - Steve Osborn
Santa Rosa Symphony / Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Transcriptions and ascending arpeggios were the order of the day on Jan. 24, as the Santa Rosa Symphony performed uplifting works by Bach/Webern, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Marianna Martínes and Mozart. The concert video was made in Weill Hall on Jan. 9. The first transcription was Webern’s 1935 renderi...