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Showing posts from March, 2014

Spring Chamber Music Concert

C'étaient des fous, mais ils avaient cette  petite flamme qui ne s'éteint pas.  (They were madmen; but they had in them  that little flame which is not to be snuffed out.)
-Pierre Renoir

On Thursday, March 27th, 2014 (at 7:30 p.m.), I was lucky enough to make it to the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts chamber music concert, produced under the direction of Ava Soifer, artist-in-residence. Students from the SOTA Piano Department and Instrumental Department were part of this memorable night.

The first piece on the program was Invierno Porteño by Astor Piazzola(1921-1992), performed by violinist Raina Christeson, cellist Jesse Jenks, and pianist Cristina Rey. This piece was very emotionally performed, and the great skills of the musicians added on to the inspirational experience produced upon the listener.

The second piece was not written into the program, but what I got from Mrs. Soifer's announcement was that it was a Shostakovich String Quartet performed by the Dragon String Quart…

Concerto Concert

If you are interested in classical music performed by young, audacious performers, you should definitely attend the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (SOTA) instrumental concerts. Since I don't have a lot of time to write a decent introduction, I'm going to simply skip the formal introduction part and jump right into the opinion section.

The first piece performed on the program was Concerto for Horn and orchestra in B-flat Major, Op. 91, Allegro composed by Reinbold Gliere and performed by Avery Roth-Hawthorne. I especially relished the brass-like sounds make by Mr. Roth-Hawthorne and the "a cappella" sections. When everyone was applauding, there were lots of flowers thrown at him as well as a rose from backstage (every performer was presented with a single rose by Stephanie Blanco and Anna Chen).

The second piece was Concerto for Oboe and Strings by Domenico Cimarosa and performed by Dario Cadoppi. This piece was very light-hearted, and Mr. Cadoppi seemed to enjoy every…

All Aboard The Ghost Train!

On Friday, March 14, 2014, (Pi day) I was lucky enough to attend a Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Band Concert, conducted by the fabulous Brad Hogarth. The programming was well - planned and the level of performance was extremely high. As a freshman at SOTA, I found it a completely different experience listening to music made by people I know personally.

The first piece performed was John Mackey's Harvest: Concerto for Trombone. The trombonist was Oscar Yau (although the program had a misprint which said that his name was Oscar Hin). This piece was performed with such valor (if you will permit me to use such a word when describing music) that the audience seemed to be in the scene. The scene, being about how the Greek God of wine Dionysus suffered a torturous death before being reborn again, analogized the grape harvest to the constant cycle of Dionysus. Personally for me, the picture was drawn out clearly. The music produced by both the orchestra and Mr. Yau was in such spiritual …

What Happens In SOTA's Camelot, Stays In SOTA's Camelot!

On Friday, March 7th 2014, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts performed Monty Python's Spamalot. The cast consisted with students from SOTA, some of which weren't even from musical departments! The show was extremely enjoyable and I recommend going. Get your tickets here.

Everybody in the show had microphones producing an even sound. I was grateful for that. I always found myself not hearing some people and being deafened by others. The overture sets up a good mood and The Historian comes out and gives a long and tedious speech in which he mentions England quite a few times. After a second, an ensemble of villagers and their mayor come out and begin singing the Fisch Schlapping Song. The men take out small fish and start slapping the women on either cheek with these fish. After a few slaps, the women take out even greater fish and knock the men down. Before long, the historian comes back on stage and yells:

I said England, not Finland!

The frolicking Finns gather their belongings an…