In Classical Focus, Theodore Bell chooses a few highlights from Jim Eninger’s Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter, which casts a wide net and regularly lists numerous concerts in the LA area (not just chamber music either). Here are his top picks from the latest newsletter, with additional information for the classically curious.
Pianist Jade Simmons will present an intriguing concert at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena entitled “Picasso and Scriabin: Master Manipulators of Color” Friday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. The concert is free with museum admission, and with her introductory lecture, it should make for a really interesting experience. She reorganized Scriabin’s 24 Preludes from Opus 11 to coordinate with Picasso’s blue, green, and rose periods. Simmons is known for her diverse repertoire and as an international performer and engaging speaker. PBS and NPR have broadcast her work, and she recently recorded a CD featuring American works for piano, past and present. You may recognize her as the host of this year’s Van Cliburn International Piano Competition webcast.
Here’s an opportunity to hear one of the West Coast’s finest Baroque ensembles in another of their unique programs as Musica Angelica presents “Musical Journeys: Exploring Music of the California Missions and Its European Origins.” I’ve heard them several times this season, and the quality of the musicians and productions have been outstanding. This fundraising concert (tickets are $150) is an opportunity to share in a truly original program and to support this rare and worthwhile period-instrument chamber ensemble at an al fresco evening of music, tapas, and cocktails. This special event will take place Saturday, Aug. 29, at 5:30 p.m. at the historic Beverly Hills Tennis Club, 340 N. Maple Drive, Beverly Hills. For information or to request an invitation, call (310) 458-4504.
The Malibu Coast Chamber Music Festival started Aug. 18, but there are several great programs still to come this week. The venue is the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture (MAHMA) in Malibu, and on Friday, Aug. 28, and Saturday, Aug. 29, at 7:30 p.m. the ensemble will present selections by Brahms, Debussy, and ensemble violinist Maria Newman. Debussy’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano” is my favorite in this program. The festival finale, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m., features Kris Wildman (soprano); Maria Newman, Tarn Travers and Steven Zander (violin); Eric Kutz (cello); Hal Ott (flute); and Peter Longworth and Wendy Prober (piano). The works are diverse ranging from Bach to the present, including original works by Maria Newman, with Scott Hosfeld conducting.
Are you looking for a pleasant afternoon of extraordinary music performed on the extraordinary Dobson organ? Find it Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 12:45 p.m. downtown with free parking and free admission at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels as local scholar and recording artist Christoph Bull is featured in recital. Born in Mannheim, Germany, Dr. Bull is distinguished by the numerous prizes he has been awarded for his artistry. He studied at the University of Church Music Heidelberg, the Freiburg Conservatory, the Berklee College of Music, USC, and the American Conservatory of Music. In 2002, Dr. Bull became the fifth university organist at UCLA, where he also teaches.
Here’s something different: The Orion Saxophone Quartet, offering an opportunity to hear the instrument in a way not often experienced. Jeff Benedict, noted local saxophonist and scholar of the instrument, along with Charles Richard, another of Harvey Pittel’s saxophone studio alumni from the University of Texas formed the Orion Quartet in 1989. This Los Angeles group has generated a national reputation, and the expressive tone of the ensemble and the unique, bold and unapologetic manner with which they perform is an experience you will remember. The all Latin-American program includes “Scherzino Mexicano” by Manuel Ponce, “Sevilla” by Isaac Albeniz, “Choro y Tango” by Aldemaro Romero, and Astor Piazzolla’s “Bordel 1900.” Admission to the concert on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 12:30 p.m. is free at the Lansing Recital Hall, Crowell Music Building, Biola University, 13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, (562) 903-4892.
Check out the complete Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Sundays Live website: http://www.sundayslive.org/newsletter.cfm.