A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

World-acclaimed virtuoso pianist Simon Trpčeski returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall Tuesday evening with a program of Haydn, Chopin, Prokofiev, and the California premiere of Pande Shahov’s “Songs and Whispers.”

Two great choral events round out the week – both concerts feature fabulous editions of American history in the genre.  Wednesday evening, Karen Benjamin and Alan Chapman put together a unique experience titled “Music of the People – Songs of 19th Century America,” and Saturday afternoon, the Da Camera Society’s Chamber Music in Historic Sites brings America’s premier gospel singers, the Harlem Gospel Choir, to historic Trinity Baptist Church.

Pianist Simon Trpčeski at Walt Disney Concert Hall

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Colburn Celebrity Series presents superstar pianist Simon Trpčeski in his return to Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Pande Shahov’s “Songs and Whispers” should be great, and should tie the program together in a very personal way for Trpčeski.

In a Culture Spot LA interview earlier this month, Trpčeski explained that the genesis of “Songs and Whispers” was his suggestion “to write a piece connected to Chopin somehow, but which would include Macedonian roots too.”  He went on to forecast that “the potential of Macedonian folk music is huge and I personally believe that it can lead to a newer, if not a completely new, perception of contemporary classical music. I hope that the audience, especially the folk and jazz lovers, will like it. I expect Pande to be present himself, which is an honor for me.”

Trpčeski also told Culture Spot LA that he “insisted on a piece not too contemporary but with obvious signs of today’s ‘way’ of thinking, which in its creation and development included a wide range of styles and influences, from Bach to Scriabin, Debussy, Prokofiev, Satie and jazz musicians.”


Haydn: Piano Sonata in C Minor, Hob.XVI/20

Chopin: Two Nocturnes, Op.32

Chopin: Two Nocturnes, Op.48

Pande Shahov: Songs and Whispers – Suite for piano, California premiere

Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No.7

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m.

Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

Tickets: $50.25 to $109

Music of the People – Songs of 19th Century America

Soprano Karen Benjamin and bass-baritone Cedric Berry join with pianist Victoria Kirsch and KUSC classical radio celebrity Alan Chapman to present an intriguing program of 19th-century American folk songs, spirituals, and Hutchinson Family Songs.

The Hutchinson Family was a popular group in mid-19th-century America in an era that included the Civil War.  The arrangements keep the melodies in the foreground and are intended to celebrate the uniquely American aspects of music and prosody in the spoken language they portray.

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Zipper Concert Hall, The Colburn School, 200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

Free admission.

Harlem Gospel Choir

The Da Camera Society Chamber Music in Historic Sites, cosponsored by Councilwoman Jan Perry, and made possible in part by a grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles, brings the incomparable Harlem Gospel Choir to historic Trinity Baptist Church.

Founded in 1986 by Allen Bailey, the Harlem Gospel Choir has distinguished itself as America’s premier gospel choir. Assembled from the finest singers and musicians from churches in Harlem and the New York area, the Choir is well-known from national and international events throughout a rich 25-year history.

The architectural design of the church is itself historically significant, as is the history that transpired there throughout the civil rights movement in Los Angeles.  A special experience in venue and music awaits you.

Program to be announced, although it may include: Lord You Are Good • I Am a Friend of God • Looking for You • O Happy Day • Celebration • We Are the World • Amazing Grace • Hosanna • Holy Holy Holy • We Lift Our Hands in the Sanctuary • Total Praise.

Saturday, Feb. 26, 3 p.m.

Trinity Baptist Church, 2040 W. Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles

Tickets: $43, $39, $35. For information, call (213) 477-2929.

These events were selected from among those listed in Jim Eninger’s Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter, an extensive calendar of upcoming music events, large and small, happening all around Los Angeles.