A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

This week is a perfect time to sample the artistry of the remarkable pianists from the Los Angeles area.  There are recitals galore as the local university faculties parade, making for a fine week to focus on the classical pianists of LA.  So, while we wait with anticipation for the chamber season to open, marvel and enjoy the depth of the local scene with these great recitals.

Jump-start your weekend early Wednesday midday in Pasadena with a free half-hour concert by internationally distinguished pianist Michael Sellers, a member of the piano faculty of Mount Saint Mary’s College and the Southern California Conservatory of Music.

Thursday evening pianist Louise Thomas from the ranks of the Chapman University faculty will perform at the Salmon Recital Hall.  Dr. Thomas is known internationally as soloist and collaborator, and has performed internationally and at Walt Disney Concert Hall and Carnegie Hall.

On Saturday, CSU Long Beach Faculty Artist and alumna, Chizuko Asada, will perform in Daniel Recital Hall. Also on Saturday, CSUN alumna, now faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, Kariné Poghosyan, returns to LA with an all-Liszt recital dedicated to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001.

In another remembrance Sunday in the Samuelson Chapel of California Lutheran University, Eric Kinsley dedicates his faculty recital of 17th- to 20th-century works for harpsichord and piano to the victims and survivors of September 11.

Here are the details on the artists and programs:


Michael Sellers

The Pasadena Presbyterian’s 30-minute lunchtime “Music at Noon” Series brings acclaimed pianist Michael Sellers Wednesday, Sept. 7.  Sellers was born in Chicago, and earned degrees from Northwestern University and the Manhattan School of Music. He is a member of the piano faculty of Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles and the Southern California Conservatory of Music.

The LA Times described Sellers’ performance as “a genuinely stirring exhibition of bravura… massive in tone and imposing in concept.”   His eclectic repertoire includes “Bach and Scarlatti to Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Bartok, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, to the Impressionists and contemporary composers.”  Sellers premiered Touches by Leonard Bernstein, and in his 25th European tour included an all-Chopin program in Paris.  You can hardly find a more delightful way to spend a midday break with lunch and friends.

Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

Free admission. Lunch is available following the concert for a $6 donation, or bring your own lunch to enjoy in the church courtyard.


Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas is director of Keyboard Collaborative Arts at Chapman University where she is a member of the faculty.  A native of Ireland, Dr. Thomas received her doctorate in piano performance from USC, and has since performed throughout Europe, North America, and Asia.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 8 p.m.

Salmon Recital Hall, Chapman University

One University Drive, Orange

Tickets: $10 / $5 students and seniors.

For information and tickets, call (714) 997-6871.


Chizuko Asada

Born in Japan, Chizuko Asada earned her Master’s degree in piano performance at California State University, Long Beach, where she now is a music faculty member.

Saturday, Sept. 10, 4 p.m.
Daniel Recital Hall, University Music Center (UMC)

California State University, Long Beach

Tickets: $10 / $7 students and seniors. For information, call (562) 985-5408.


Kariné Poghosyan

“The Previews” 10-Year Anniversary Concert celebrates Franz Liszt’s 200th birthday with CSUN graduate, Kariné Poghosyan, returning from her new home in New York as a member of the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music.


Franz Liszt:             Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage)

Book 2: Deuxième année: Italie (Second Year: Italy)

“The series is a much-sought opportunity for performers….the talent
level is extremely high.” —Los Angeles Times

Saturday, Sept. 10, 2 p.m.

Trinity Lutheran Church, 1340 Eleventh Street, Manhattan Beach

Free admission, donations appreciated.  For information click here.

Special note: Poghosyan will perform another program on Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Rolling Hills United Methodist Church’s “Sundays at Two” concert series. The recital, which includes Stravinsky’s masterwork Trois mouvements de Petrouchka, is dedicated to the victims of 9/11.


Eric Kinsley

Eric Kinsley will perform a California Lutheran University faculty recital of 17th- to 20th-century works for harpsichord and piano dedicated to the victims and survivors of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Compositions by Bach, Pachelbel, Chambonnières, Schrader, Haydn and Vivaldi, were selected to honor the memory of those who died and to express hope for the future.

Kinsley earned his doctoral degree at the Manhattan School of Music, and has been a member of the New York contemporary Music Band, Pacific Classical Winds, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. His activities have been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Harpsichord Society, and the Sylvia Marlow Foundation.

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2 p.m.

Samuelson Chapel, California Lutheran University

60 West Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks

Free.  Donations will go to the Conejo Compassion Coalition.

For information click here

~Theodore Bell/Culture Spot LA

Culture Spot LA recommends Jim Eninger’s Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter, an extensive calendar of upcoming music events, large and small, happening all around Los Angeles.