Past Seasons

2022-2023 Season

Concert One

Music From Leipzig: Works by Bach and Schumann

Music by Bach and Schumann

Saturday, October 15 2022, 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 16 2022, 3:00 pm

THE NISENE ENSEMBLE:
Kristin Garbeff, Concert Director and Cello
Cynthia Baehr-Williams, Violin
Ben Bregman, Viola
Kumi Uyeda, Piano

Leipzig, Germany has been the center for Western art music for over 800 years! This concert features music composed in Leipzig by two composers who spent much of their life there, Johann Sebastian Bach and Robert Schumann. The program opens with Bach’s Goldberg Variations beautifully arranged for string trio, followed by Bach’s later solo keyboard work, Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV 825. Robert Schumann’s intimate Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47, the last work written in 1842, his “Year of Chamber Music,” closes the program.


Concert Two

Women’s Words and Music

Music by Chris Pratorius-Gomez, Clara Schumann, Rebecca Clarke, Margaret Bonds, Caroline Shaw, and William Bolcom

Saturday, October 22 2022, 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 23 2022, 3:00 pm

Emily Sinclair, Concert Director and Soprano
Polly Malan, Viola
Josiah Stocker, Piano

This concert highlights women composers and poets of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, using the deeply resonant and rare combination of soprano, viola, and piano. The first half premieres a new piece by Chris Pratorius-Gomez based on a text by Mary Oliver, followed by several of Clara Schumann’s lieder and Rebecca Clarke’s Viola Sonata. The second half begins with a recently discovered cycle by Margaret Bonds. it also features Caroline Shaw’s beautiful In manus tuas for solo viola and concludes with William Bolcom’s epic work exploring life and death using the poetry of Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, and Jane Kenyon.


Concert Three

The Place Where You Never Grow Old

Music by Johannes Brahms, Camille Saint-Saëns, Jean Françaix and Rebecca Clarke

Saturday, December 3 2022, 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 4 2022, 3:00 pm

Bruce Foster, Concert Director and Clarinet
Chad Kaltinger, Viola
Miles Graber, Piano

The music that composers write later in life is often the most profoundly beautiful and heartfelt of all. Brahms had effectively retired from composing when he went on a late
binge of compositions for the clarinet and viola inspired by the artistry of a dear friend. Saint-Saëns, surrounded by a musical world of modernism, pens a very Proustian look back at a musical style from his youth. Françaix was 80 when he wrote his rollicking and virtuosic trio bringing up the adage “Music is the place where we never grow old.” The Clarke is just an astonishing piece for clarinet and viola, and we couldn’t resist!


Concert Four

Slavic Glory

Music by Frédéric Chopin, Efrem Zimbalist, Fritz Kreisler, and Antonín Dvořák

Saturday, January 14 2023, 7:30 pm
Sunday, January 15 2023, 3:00 pm

Roy Malan, Concert Director and Violin
Polly Malan, Viola
Christine Lee, Cello
James Winn, Piano

This concert celebrates a few of the many great Slavic composers. The program starts with Ballade No. 2 for solo piano by Chopin, one of the best-known Polish composers. This is followed by a sonata for violin and piano composed by the Russian violinist and composer Efrem Zimbalist. Next is a Slavonic Fantasie by Fritz Kreisler based on themes by the beloved Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. The program concludes with one of Dvořák’s piano quartets. This is a concert not to be missed!


Concert Five

AMERICANA: A Century of Song

Please join us for an evening of classical American song featuring underrepresented composers, living composers and all-time favorites.

Saturday, March 4 2023, 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 5 2023, 3:00 pm

Solmaaz Adeli, concert director and mezzo-soprano
Danielle Naler, piano
Micah Naler, violin

  • American Lullaby by Gladys Rich (1893 – 1972)
  • Ashokan Farewell by Jay Ungar (b. 1946)
  • Shenandoah, American, 19th C.
  • Bethena – A Concert Waltz by Scott Joplin (1868 – 1917)
  • The Circus Band by Charles Ives (1874 – 1954)
  • Spring and Fall by Benjamin Dorfan
  • Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, American, 19th C.
  • Theme from New World Symphony by Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904)

Intermission

  • Fly Me to the Moon by Bart Howard (1915 – 2004)
  • Live Without a Thought of Dying by Diana Rowan (b. 1971)
  • Credo by Juhi Bansal (b. 1983)
  • Adon Olam by Joshua Fishbein (b. 1984)
  • Theme from “American Symphony” by Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904)
  • Piccola Serenata by Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990)
  • Que Sera, Sera by Jay Livingston (1915 – 2001) music, and Ray Evans (1915 – 2007) lyrics

Concert Six

Reimagining Schubert: Piano, Voice, and Clarinet

Music by Franz Schubert, Ivan Rosenblum, and Ben Dorfan

Saturday, May 20 2023, 7:30 pm
Sunday, May 21 2023, 3:00 pm

Ivan Rosenblum, Concert Director, Composer, and Piano
Ben Dorfan, Composer and Piano
Diane Syrcle, Mezzo-Soprano
Erica Horn, Clarinet
Ward Willats, Actor
Andrew Davids, Actor

Schubert would have certainly enjoyed this program’s “Re-imagining:” a mezzo replacing the usual tenor; a clarinet replacing the now-obsolete “arpeggione” instrument; two contemporary compositions inspired by Schubert pieces; comic relief with Ivan’s new satiric song imagining a reincarnated Schubert living as a Santa Cruz busker; a theatrical Prologue of sibling shenanigans at the piano; a newly composed piece by Ben Dorfan for all four musicians; and finally, Ivan’s promise not to tamper with two of Schubert’s piano pieces — but you never know!

 

2021-2022 Season

Concert One

A World Tour of Nationalist Trios

Music by Turina, Piazzolla, Dvořák

Saturday, November 6, 2021 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 7, 2021 3:00 pm

THE VERVE TRIO:
Chia-Lin Yang, Concert Director and Piano
Elbert Tsai, Violin
Brady Anderson, Cello

Verve Trio, the group that wowed us in 2019 with “Three Trios, Three Eras,” returns with three more sensational trios. These works by Turina, Piazzolla, and Dvořák, reveal each composer’s affinity for the folk music of his homeland—plus a nod to America. This enticing array brims with myriad styles: Andalusian, Bohemian, tango, and jazz!


Concert Two

Gabriel Fauré and His Circle of Influence

Music by Martinů, Boulanger, Saint-Saëns, Kodály, Bloch and Fauré 

Saturday, July 9, 2022 7:30 pm
Sunday, July 10, 2022 3:00 pm

THE NISENE ENSEMBLE:
Cynthia Baehr-Williams, Concert Director and Violin
Chad Kaltinger, Viola
Kristin Garbeff, Cello
Kumi Uyeda, Piano

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) was a universally admired composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. Modern audiences now know him as one of the most influential composers of his entire generation, his profoundly elegant music creating a bridge between the end of Romanticism and our own modern era!

This must-see concert highlights the joyous and sublime influences that Fauré’s music had on his friends, students, and other composers—an influence that continues to this day!


Concert Three

Beethoven, Bagatelles, and Music for Winds and Piano

Music by Beethoven, Françaix, Ligeti, Jon Scoville, Couperin

Saturday, September 17, 2022 7:30 pm
Sunday, September 18, 2022 3:00 pm

Ivan Rosenblum, Concert Director and Piano
Lars Johannesson, Flute
Peter Lemberg, Oboe
Erica Horn, Clarinet
Michelle Reem, Bassoon
Susan Vollmer, French Horn

Beethoven’s 250th birthday celebrations started in 2020 and haven’t stopped yet! Proclaiming Beethoven’s genius is always in order and this concert delivers the best of the best.

The bagatelle “genre” was a Ludwig favorite, so naturally we’ll include a few of his own, along with those of Couperin, Ligeti, Kapustin, and Santa Cruz’s very own Jon Scoville. For even more variety, the concert includes a rarely performed gem for wind quintet by Jean Françaix, and concludes with Beethoven’s Wind & Piano Quintet.

As a master of unconventionality in both his music and personality, we know Ludwig would applaud our unusual programming!


Concert Four

Elegant Exuberance

Music by Grieg, Schubert, Schumann

Saturday, March 12, 2022 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 13, 2022 3:00 pm

Roy Malan, Concert Director and Violin
Susan Freier, Violin
Polly Malan, Viola
Stephen Harrison, Cello
James Winn, Piano

“Merriam-Webster defines exuberance as “the quality of being joyously unrestrained or enthusiastic,” and never in a concert of chamber music can this sentiment apply more! You’ll hear three unique masterpieces from three of the world’s greatest composers, each in the prime of their compositional powers: Edvard Grieg, Franz Schubert, and Robert Schumann!

The concert begins with the Allegro from Schubert’s stunning String Trio in Bb, D471, followed by another tour de force, Grieg’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in C Minor! The concert ends with Schumann’s astonishing Piano Quintet in Eb, Opus 44.
Photo by Steve DiBartolomeo


Concert Five

The Hero’s Journey:

Music by Beethoven, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Lili Boulanger, Ben Dorfan

Saturday, April 2, 2022 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 3, 2022 3:00 pm

Ben Dorfan, Concert Director and Piano
Jeff Gallagher, Clarinet and Narration
Shannon Delaney D’Antonio, Violin
Kristin Garbeff, Cello

In this concert, we explore the theme of overcoming challenging circumstances.

Beethoven’s Op. 11 Trio is a product of the composer’s return to health after a severe illness. Prokofiev’s iconic Op. 119 Cello Sonata signifies a remarkable victory over Soviet-era censors. Stravinsky’s compact masterpiece the Suite from L’Histoire du Soldat, came to be when the 1918 flu pandemic made it impossible to perform the original theater version. Completed in the final year of her life, Lili Boulanger’s energetic D’un matin de printemps is seemingly an act of defiance towards her declining health. Initially programmed for SCCP’s 2019-2020 season, Ben Dorfan’s Clarinet Sonata will be a world premiere!

This concert will bring out the hero in all of us!


Concert Six

Birds of a Feather

Music by Bach, Berlioz, Dorff, Quantz, Kuhlau, Fuentes Gassón

Saturday, April 30, 2022 7:30 pm
Sunday, May 1, 2022 3:00 pm

Kris Palmer, Concert Director and Flute/Alto Flute/Bass Flute
Teresa Orozco, Flute/Alto Flute
Varya Milinder, Piano
Orlando Castro, Guitar (Guest Artist)

From Peter and the Wolf to Carnival of the Animals, the flute is always the bird. It’s never the lion, the tiger, or the bear. But, it’s fast and it soars high with the wind. Flutists Kris Palmer and Teresa Orozco celebrate this beautiful instrument, with pianist Varya Milinder lending her immense talents.

 

2020-2021 Season

Concert One

Vive la Différence

French Music of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Music by Claude Debussy, César Franck, and Maurice Ravel

March 14 at 3pm: Premiere Watch Party and Q&A with Ensemble 1828.
March 14-April 13: The concert will be available to watch online, on-demand.

Ensemble 1828:
Nicole Oswald, violin
Isaac Pastor-Chermak, cello
Alison Lee, piano

Recording produced by Ensemble 1828

Ensemble 1828, a rising Bay Area piano trio, is thrilled to bring an all-French program to Santa Cruz Chamber Players’ groundbreaking online 2020-21 season. Anchored by one of the great piano trios in the repertoire, our program celebrates three iconique compositions for strings and piano, delivered digitally to SCCP’s fans and subscribers.

We begin with the cello sonata of Claude Debussy, considered by many to be the greatest cello sonata of them all. Composed in the twilight of Debussy’s life, the Cello Sonata is equal parts lush French impressionism and quirky modernism. The program continues with the violin sonata of César Franck, a quintessentially Romantic work and a staple of the violin-piano repertoire that will dazzle and inspire. The program concludes with all three artists onstage together for one of the great piano trios, not to mention one of the finest examples of Impressionist art of any genre: the Ravel Piano Trio.

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The Santa Cruz Chamber Players 2021 Concerts are supported in part by Arts Council Santa Cruz County.

Concert Two

Gabriel Fauré and His Circle of Influence

Music by Gabriel Fauré, Rebecca Clarke, César Frank, Lili Boulanger, Ernst Bloch, and Nadia Boulanger 

April 18 at 3pm: Premiere Watch Party and Q&A with Artists.
April 18-May 17: The concert will be available to watch online, on-demand.

Cynthia Baehr-Williams, Concert Director and Violin
Chad Kaltinger, Viola
Kristin Garbeff, Cello
Kumi Uyeda, Piano

Kallan Nishimoto, Recording engineer

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) was one of the most influential French composers, linking the end of Romanticism with the beginnings of the modern era. Fauré taught many young composers. One of the best known of these was Nadia Boulanger, who herself became a sought-after teacher who mentored many of the leading composers of the 20th century. One of those closest to her was her sister, Lili Boulanger. Another of Nadia’s students was Suzanne Bloch, daughter of her close friend Ernest Bloch. In 1916, Suzanne Bloch became acquainted with Rebecca Clarke when both entered the same competition and, out of 72 entries, tied for first place. There was speculation at the time that Rebecca Clarke was a pseudonym for Bloch himself, based on the belief that a woman could not have written such a great work.

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The Santa Cruz Chamber Players 2021 Concerts are supported in part by Arts Council Santa Cruz County.

 

2019-2020 Season

Concert One

Blowing in the Wind!

Sweet and Spicy Music for Woodwinds, Piano, and Cello

Music by Von Weber, Glinka, Martinu, Villalobos, Paquito D’ Rivera

Saturday, October 19, 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 20, 3:00 pm

Aude Castagna, Concert Director and cello; Lars Johannesson, flute; Jeff Gallagher, clarinet; Vlada Volkova-Moran, piano

Our “Blowing in the Wind” concert features contrasting timbres of flute and clarinet in team with piano and cello. We warm up with the classical period and Carl Maria Von Weber’s flute trio of 1818, move into the Russian Romantic style with Michael Glinka’s 1832 Trio Pathetique, and then shift to two modern works: Bohuslav Martinu’s 1944 flute trio and Heitor Villa-Lobos’ 1950 Jet Whistle, a interlude joke for flute and cello. To complete our musical journey, we cross over to world music with two Cuban dances written by contemporary Cuban Grammy award winning composer, saxophone and clarinet prodigy Paquito D’ Rivera.

 

Photo of Aude Castagna by Neil Simmons, professional photographer.

 

Concert Two

Virtuosity Defined

Musical Creativity and Artistic Expression Beyond the Flying Fingers

Music by Bach, Paganini, Javier Contreras, Ursula Kwong-Brown 

Saturday, November 23, 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 24, 3:00 pm

Kris Palmer, Concert Director and flute; Steve Lin, guitar; Isaac Pastor-Chermak, cello

The Black Cedar Trio brings their award-winning blend of flute, cello, and guitar with “Virtuosity Defined.” The program includes music of Bach and Paganini, plus new music by Chilean composer Javier Contreras and American composer Ursula Kwong-Brown. After the trio’s recent San Francisco concert, The Rehearsal Studio blog wrote, “Contreras’ music was an examination of not only the unique sonorities of each of the three instruments but also a rich study of how those sonorities could be blended in different combinations…clearly a major undertaking; but those willing to listen to it attentively were richly rewarded.”

Concert Three

From the Old World to the New:

Schubert and 21 st Century America

Music by Schubert, Rebecca Clarke, Henry Mollicone, John Wineglass, Emily Wong

Saturday, January 11, 7:30 pm
Sunday, January 12, 3:00 pm

Kristin Garbeff, Concert Director and cello; Cynthia Baehr-Williams, violin; Chad Kaltinger, Viola; Kumiko Uyeda, Piano

Travel with us through time as we begin with Schubert in 19th century Europe and emerge in California in the 21st century. The program begins with Schubert’s masterful Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major then moves to the new world with Morpheus, Rebecca Clarke’s impressionist-inspired work for viola and piano. From there we explore the beauty and tragedy of 21st century American composers, all of whom have ties to Santa Cruz and the SF Bay Area. Henry Mollicone’s heaven-inspired work for violin and piano was written in remembrance of his dear friend. John Wineglass’ piano trio explores new soundscapes with haunting melodies as it depicts the last days of Diana, Princess of Wales. Last on the program is Emily Wong’s jazz-influenced tribute to the victims of September 11th.

 

Concert 4

Three Trios, Three Eras

Music by Beethoven, Anton Arensky, Nikolai Kapustin

Saturday, February 29, 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 1. 3:00 pm

Chia-Lin Yang, Concert Director and piano; Elbert Tsai, violin; Brady Anderson, cello

The development of the piano trio will be presented in a musical journey through three centuries–from Beethoven’s regal Archduke, which is widely seen as his crowning achievement in the genre, to Anton Arensky’s turbulent Piano Trio No. 1 with its stormy drama and haunting melodies, and finally with the audacious Divertissement by Nicholai Kapustin, who has incorporated classical structure and jazz style to form his tremendously unique language. Featuring UCSC piano faculty Chia-Lin Yang, San Francisco Conservatory of Music violin faculty Elbert Tsai, and Bay Area cellist Brady Anderson.

 

2018-2019 Season

Concert 1

Brahms, Beloved

Music by Brahms

Saturday, September 29, 7:30 pm 
Sunday, September 30, 3:00 pm

Roy Malan, concert director and violin; Robin Sutherland, piano; Polly Malan, viola; Susan Freier, violin; Stephen Harrison, cello; Carlos Ortega, clarinet

There is no composer more beloved than Brahms! The concert season starts with his poignant melodies and rich textures to touch the heart.  At this concert you will hear and enjoy three of the most profound masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire: Sonatensatz for piano and violin; Sonata in E Flat Major for Clarinet and piano; and Clarinet Quintet in B minor.

 

Concert 2

American Voices3

Music by Bloch, Barber, Pratorius Gómez, Cowell, Brown, and others

Saturday, November 10, 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 11, 3:00 pm

C.A.Jordan, concert director and soprano; Kathleen Purcell, flute, alto flute, and piccolo; Kristin Garbeff, cello; Kumi Uyeda, piano

The second concert of our spectacular new season is a “triple-entendre” of American composers, featuring the words of three uniquely American poets, sung by a uniquely talented American soprano.

The program includes our featured trio of American composers and poets, starting with the perennial favorite, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 by Samuel Barber, on the poem of the same name by James Agee; a new and expanded version of Dream Within a Dream by local favorite Chris Pratorius Gómez, on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe; and a world premiere by UCSC alumnus Daniel Brown on Tony Hoagland’s impactful poem, “Personal.”

The sensuous and rarely performed Henry Cowell’s 1938 Toccanta features the soprano voice as another chamber instrument and the interplay between the four musicians is both lively and quite intoxicating.

Ernest Bloch’s Cello Suite No. 1, and Undine Smith Moore’s Afro-American Suite, will round out the program with enticing instrumental pieces. The granddaughter of slaves, Moore was a prolific composer and music educator. This suite injects spiritual melodies and jazz influences into the European art form of piano trio, featuring flute instead of violin.

Photo by Steve DiBartolomeo

Concert 3

Music Sample

On the Shoulders of Giants!  Wild Coast Brass

Music by J.S. Bach, Barber, Canadian Brass and more

Saturday, January 19, 7:30 pm
Sunday, January 20, 3:00 pm

Kevin Jordan, concert director and trumpet; Charles Old, trumpet; Ruth Jordan, horn; Steve Mortensen, trombone; James Paoletti, tuba

This program from the Wild Coast Brass has an eclectic and “best of the best” mix of chamber music for brass!  Each selection is a tribute to composers and the ensembles that have played them before and who, through their professionalism, their musicality, and their sometimes playful approaches, have moved and inspired an entire generation of music lovers. Come learn about some of the greatest groups in modern brass history and celebrate the innovative and expressive ways that they continue to inspire their audiences—and their colleagues.

 

Photo by Steve DiBartolomeo

 

Concert 4

Ensemble San Francisco

Music by Schumann, Kim, Dohnanyi, and Liszt

Saturday, February 16, 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 17. 3:00 pm

Rebecca Jackson, concert director and violin; Matthew Young, viola; Angela Lee, cello; Elizabeth Schumann, piano

Travel delightfully backwards in time with Ensemble San Francisco, “a hip, unstuffy, and malleable group of high-quality chamber musicians” [San Francisco Classical Voice]! The program begins with a nine-minute modern piano quartet by Solbong Kim, a composer who “defies categorization and speaks a musical language that is modern yet non-doctrinal” [Korea Times]. Next, moving to the turn of the 20th Century, is Erno Dohnanyi’s String Trio, a jam-packed, five-movement work that covers an incredible spectrum of sounds in a mere 21 minutes. Following is Liszt’s most known transcriptions of Robert Schumann’s Widmung Song for solo piano, with elegant virtuosic flourishes accompanying the original hypnotic melody. The program ends in 1842 with Schumann’s Piano Quartet, home to a most glorious slow movement ever conceived! Although the music in this concert spans 162 years, each work takes listeners on a sublime journey of introspection and celebration.

 

Concert 5

MUSA—Chinese Baroque

Music by Rameau, Pedrini, Pu’an, and more

Saturday, March 16, 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 17, 3:00 pm

Derek Tam, concert director, harpsichord; Rita Lilly, soprano; Mindy Ell Chu, mezzo-soprano; Addi Liu, violin and viola; Laura Gaynon, cello; David Wong, guqin and guzheng

“Chinese Baroque” explores the dynamic and complex cultural exchanges between Western Europe and China in the 17th and 18th centuries, through the lens of music.  Enjoy rare delights ranging from the only Western-style sonatas written in China before the 20th century to a tune played by the Emperor Kangxi!

MUSA is a chamber ensemble dedicated to historically informed performances of Baroque and Classical repertoire, as well as new music for period instruments, which showcases the talents of younger area professionals.

 

Concert 6

Madness and Music: From Concert to Cabaret

Music by Bach, Schumann, St. Saëns, Maconchy, and more

Saturday, April 27, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 28, 3:00 pm

Ivan Rosenblum, concert director and piano; Lori Schulman, soprano; Kathleen Purcell, flute; Jeff Gallagher, clarinet

A broad, light approach to “madness” makes for a varied, entertaining program! Featured will be music from a composer, a writer and a performer, who’ve all been diagnosed with mental illness – Robert Schumann, Sylvia Plath and Glenn Gould.

These pieces will be combined with playful songs of obsession—food, drink, movies, love, over-zealousness—composed by Bach, Bernstein, Noel Coward, William Bolcom, and Queen. Of course no program titled “Music and Madness” would be complete without an excerpt from the “Mad Scene” in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor or some version of “Ophelia’s Song.” Even more mayhem will ensue in St. Saën’s  Tarantella for clarinet, flute and piano—the “mad” dance provoked by a tarantula’s bite.  And finally, the eccentric Victorian world described in a drug-drenched dream from Alice in Wonderland  set to music by David Del TreDici?   “TOTALLY MAD,” you say?  Check it out!

 

Photo by Steve DiBartolomeo

2017-2018 Season

Concert 1

MUSA Presents “Smorgasbord Baroque”
Music by Antonio de Salazar, Teodorico Pedrini, Georg Philipp Telemann, and more

Saturday, October 21, 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 22, 3:00 pm

Derek Tam, concert director and haprsicord
Cynthia Black and Addi Liu, Baroque violins
Gretchen Claasen, Baroque violoncello

“Smorgasbord Baroque” features Baroque and Classical music from unexpected places! From the imperial Chinese court to the cathedrals of Guatemala, composers drew from European and indigenous sources to create music that dynamically captured the first wave of globalization from the 16th through 18th centuries.

Interaction between cultures could be limited. Teodorico Pedrini, a missionary to the Chinese court, wrote a set of thoroughly Italianate 12 violin sonatas in Beijing.  John Antes, an American missionary in Egypt, wrote thoroughly European-style string trios on the banks of the Nile.

You will hear Italian-born Francesco Geminiani’s sonatas based on old Scottish airs; the fifes and drums (as played on harpsichord) of the Battle of Trenton; songs by the Mexican Antonio de Salazar;  Guatemalan Rafael Antonio Castellanos ; and the music of Ignatius Sancho, the first black man to vote in Great Britain!

Concert 2

 

Latin Lovers
Music by Vivaldi, Revel, Villa-Lobos, Bizet and more

Saturday, November 11, 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 12, 3:00 pm

Solmaaz Adeli, concert director and mezzo-soprano
Lars Johannesson, flute; Kristin Garbeff, cello; Vlada Moran, piano and harpsichord; Jennifer Cass, harp

Latin Lovers offers audiences a vast repertoire of classical music by Latin composers, from Vivaldi’s Italian Baroque, as well as the glorious words of Pablo Neruda set to Chris Pratorius Gómez’s music.

You’ll hear captivating melodies written in the form of Tangos and Habaneras, operatic favorites from Carmen and Orland furioso, ethereal harp music, the gorgeous cello and piano duet Sicilienne, and one of the most beautiful Vocalise, that of Ravel.

The concert also features works by Villa-Lobos, Fauré, and recent compositions by Paraguay’s harpist Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, as well as a chamber song cycle by one of our hometown favorites, Santa Cruz’ Chris Pratorius Gómez.

Come and enjoy festive Latin flare, right here in Santa Cruz!

Concert 3

Czech, Please
Music by Smetana, Dvorak, and Suk

Saturday, January 13, 7:30 pm
Sunday, January 14, 3:00 pm

Roy Malan, concert director and violin
Susan Freier Harrison, violin; Polly Malan, viola
Stephen Harrison, cello; Robin Sutherland, piano

The music of Czechoslovakia always conjures up expectations of irresistible rhythm, passion, heartbreak and rapturous melody. All of these you will hear in full measure as we journey together. But we will also encounter great craft and compositional mastery. As Dvorak himself put it ‘To have a fine idea is nothing special. The idea comes of itself and if it is a beautiful and great one, this is not due to the man who has it. But to realize this idea in a beautiful fashion and to make something great out of it, that is the most difficult thing, that is art.”

Concert 4

An Arc of Romanticism

Music by  Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms

Saturday, February 24, 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 25, 3:00 pm

Brian Johnston, concert director and violin; Be’eri Moalem, violin
Shannon Delaney, viola; Aude Castagna, cello; and Ben Dorfan, piano

The Robert Schumann/Clara Schumann/Brahms triangle is central to the Romantic legacy in music. This program explores a trajectory within that legacy, with the Schumann Quintet, considered by many to be among his greatest works, representing the Romantic era in its young and hopeful stage. The Brahms piano quartet, begun when Robert Schumann was in an insane asylum and completed only years after his death, is full of drama and emotional turmoil, indicated by the composer as reflecting his unrequited love for Clara, with a slow movement that Menachem Pressler of the Beaux Art Trio has described as “the most beautiful declaration of love ever composed.”

The program opens with selections from a delightful seven-movement serenade by the young Beethoven, still anchored within the classical style but showing signs of the revolutionary spirit that later played a key role in ushering in the romantic era.

Concert 5

Ornithology

An aviary featuring Vaughan Williams, Aaron Copland, world premiers by Chris Pratorius-Gómez, and other birds

Saturday, March 10, 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 11, 3:00 pm

Chris Pratorius-Gómez, concert director and piano Roy Malan, violin; Polly Malan, viola;  Keisuke Nakagoshi, piano; Leslie Tagorda, clarinet & bass clarinet; Lars Johannesson, alto flute

Special guests Ariose Singers, conducted by Camille Couture

Celebrating the connections between birds and music, this concert will present representations of our winged neighbors. The achingly beautiful The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams will anchor the concert, while the lush romantic gem Fairyland by English composer Holbrooke will provide a glimpse of magical flight. Special guests Ariose Singers, conducted by Camille Couture, will present the charming Le chant des oiseaux, a famous French madrigal and the world premiere of 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, a setting of the pithy poem by Wallace Stevens, composed by director Pratorius-Gómez.

Other chirps will include the classic flute solo Syrinx by Debussy, Vaughan Williams’ lovely 6 Studies in English Folk Song and another premiere, a fantasy on Charlie Parker’s Ornithology, where the classic be-bop tune will be transfigured into a serene meditation accompanied by recordings of birds from throughout Santa Cruz County.

Concert 6

The Variety of Three: Music for Violin, Cello, and Piano

Saturday, April 21, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 22, 3:00 pm

Ivan Rosenblum, concert director and piano
Shannon Delaney, violin; Kristin Garbeff, cello

Three may be a “crowd” in conversation or in relationships, but in music- making, it is ideal for both variety and intimacy. Three friends collaborating: selecting, rehearsing, discussing and performing the music they all want to play; that is the essence of chamber music as well as our overall “theme” for this program. With solos, duets and trios drawn from Baroque (Tartini), Classical (Beethoven), Romantic (Arensky and Gliere) and Contemporary (Piazzolla) repertoires, this program provides a maximum of variety with a minimum of players.  As they say,“less is more” and musical thrills won’t be lacking, particularly with our performance of the “Devil’s Trill Sonata!