A few pictures tell the tale of my November 3rd Boston Court Performing Arts Center concert with Brightwork newmusic, Sierra Ensemble, and two of my LA Youth Orchestra violinists, Alisa Luera and Clara Ross. Three aspects to the evening made this a deeply meaningful concert experience for me:
1) the level of musicianship—each player was superb and played with commitment and expression. They really knew the music and interpreted it convincingly. I was delighted to introduce an LA audience to artistry of Bay Area-based Sierra Ensemble. The LA sextet, Brightwork newmusic, is as fine as contemporary music performance gets here in LA.
2) a full house of sophisticated and enthusiastic listeners—this on a Friday evening in Pasadena during rush hour! Some people from the Westside said it took them 2 hours to arrive. I was deeply touched. Audience engagement was really heartening and comments afterwards extremely perceptive and helpful.
3) the presence of two superheroes—Veteran LA composer William Kraft was brought by his wife Joan, also a composer. Kraft's works have been played by most major orchestras and his timpani concerto is particularly stellar. He received an ovation at the beginning of the concert. It was just beautiful. Brightwork gave Kraft's sextet titled Kaleidoscope a dazzling performance after intermission. Kraft is now a very youthful 95, continuing to compose masterworks. The other superhero who came was pianist, pedagogue, and filmmaker Salome Arkatov, my piano teacher and mentor when I attended UCLA. She persuaded a skeptical music faculty to permit me to present a senior composition recital. That was the first undergraduate composition recital the UCLA composition had allowed. Now it's an absolute requirement!
These exquisite performers, the warm, receptive audience, and the presence of two great veteran master musicians made for musical interpretations that communicated on a substantial level. To the many of you who helped make this concert a reality through your help, support, and my GoFundMe page, I offer my most sincere thanks.