Thursday, January 11, 2018

Welcome to the FWC Centennial Celebration -- The MUSIC SECTION

The UCLA Faculty Women's Club Centennial Celebration started off earlier, in December of 2017. However, I want to share with you another celebratory Music Section event and program that was held yesterday, February 21, 2018. Varied and rich program and the inclusive makeup of our attendees celebrated the 2018 Lunar New Year at the home of Shirley Ho.
Below is the photo of the FWC members who participated in the event and the program.

From left: Rochelle, Marianne, Debby, Joy, June, Olga, Zorana, Roma, Shirley
Helen, Maria, Mary Ann, Dorothea, Bette, Jarka (Jo attended, not in the photo)
Photo credit: Kelli Yang
Shirley, our hostess and vocalist, introduced us in the meanings of the Lunar New Year with various symbolic representations for longevity, prosperity, and healthy foods. Notice the posters each of us holds as well as the fortune cookies beautifully wrapped below.

The program included a live performance by Ceri Hui on the Chinese instrument ERHU.

Ceri Hui explaining the instrument and performing:
Full of Joy, and Fengyang Flower Drum

The attendees enjoyed selected readings of poems by Robert Frost, A Prayer in Spring, read by Zorana, Shakespeare's Sonnet 98, read by Mary Ann, Dorothea recited a poem in English and German, and Debby read verses in Italian.

Joy brought a CD for us to listen to La Primavera concerto No. 1 in E major Op. 8 by Antonio Vivaldi (in three movements: Allegro, Largo, Allegro). Earlier in the year, Debby Kennel, our Music Section productive member, presented the entire session on Vivaldi.
Scroll down this blog to see that session.

As the program shows, Shirley, our hostess and vocalist, treated us with a delicious and healthy luncheon.

Shirley Ho about to perform Chinese folk songs:
I Love You
the Snow That Comes from Beyond the Great Wall
Sing Jiang Folk Song
We are starting off with our traditional Sing-Along holiday potluck music program. This year we invited, besides all music section members, the "bookies," play-readers, FWC board members, as well as husbands and/or partners.

Our vocalists accompanied by Zorana at the piano (home of Jarka and Tom Wilcox)

Shirley Ho introduced the "Sing-Along" program with two traditional Christmas songs

Shirley Ho, FWC Music Section vocalist-in-residence

Joy and Gerry Frank, this time we invited the husbands. The event was very successful!

A subset of the Music Section membership
From left: Glorya, Mireya, Helen, Simone, Rochelle, Joy, Zorana (Chair),
Jarka (hostess), Jo (guest), Olga, Debby (presenter: Purcell), June (newest member)

For those of you who would like to be ahead of our next program, titled "Chopin -- Master Pianists, Pride of Poland (1810-1849)," visit numerous sources to listen and learn.

There are numerous good sources to get you started. Start with
music, mostly for the piano (some of the works you might like:
ballads, etudes, impromptus, mazurkas, nocturnes, polonaises,
preludes, scherzos, sonatas, waltzes), as well as concertos, songs,
and more. The son of a Polish mother and a French father, Chopin was brought up in Warsaw, graduated from the Warsaw
Conservatory, and 21, he arrived in Paris. There, he met writers such as Victor Hugo, Balzac, and Heine, became close friends with Delacroix, Liszt, and Berlioz.

He divided his time between performing, composing, and
a teaching.

Listen to many of the great CDs, DVDs, youtube, and above, live performances.

Looking forward to our January 17th Music Section gathering at Joy's house. The presenters are Joy and Rochelle.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Welcome to The FWC MUSIC SECTION 2017-2018

Welcome to the 2017-2018 FWC Centennial Celebration Year!
For us in the Music Section, we start our 4th year with strong programs and enthusiastic members of the Section. More members are participating in the programming, we have more diverse programs, and some new members will be joining us.

Jo Knopoff, our regular guest resident, with Zorana (Music Section chair)
and our newest Music Section member June Bulkacz
Photo credits: Milos Ercegovac (explains why I hold two glasses of wine)
Last night, October 1, 2017, we started off celebrating the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, known as LACO @ 50 with Joshua Bell performing Bernstein's Serenade (inspired by Plato's text on love in his Symposium). Leonard Bernstein who would be 100 in 2018 wrote the piece in 1940, dedicating it to his mentor Serge Koussevitzky and his wife Natalie.
From program Notes: "The fugue-like beginning of the first movement represents the speech of Phaedrus, who praises Eros, the god of love."

Joshua Bell with visiting conductor Jaime Martin and LACO
Photo: Zorana Ercegovac

Our October 2017 Music Section meeting is hosted by Jarka Wilcox and programmed by our own Debby Kennel. She selected Henry Purcell (1659-1695), an English composer of the middle Baroque period for our October 18th music section meeting.
Henry Purcell (1659-1695) 

In addition, we wish to make this year special. Some of our wonderful and talented members have decided to share music events with the FWC Board, guests, and with sister sections, such as Play-Reading, Book Section, and Creative Writing. We will again share our Holiday Sing-Along (December 20th) at Jarka and Tom Wilcox home. We are grateful to Shirley Ho who will be our hostess and vocalist, February 21st at her house. We will celebrate Chinese New Year and fellowship with music and delicious dishes!

We continue to enjoy various local concert hall and museum venues where arts intersect and empower us. Examples include Shagall: Fantasies for the Stage at LACMA where Chagall's stage designs and costumes work together with Stravinsky's Firebird, with Mozart's Magic Flute, or with Ravel's Daphne and Chloe.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dmitri Shostakovich in April and Shirley Ho in May 2017

During the months of April and May, our Music Section friends will explore various musical genres, styles, venues, and cultural eras.

Being at UCLA, the only problem is to make choices between performances, artists, and amazing venues we have around us.

On Sunday April 23 at 4-6 PM, The UCLA Alpert School of Music presented "A Poet's Cabaret," at Schoenberg Hall. Jack Perla was the featured composer and pianist, with an amazing group of UCLA opera and voice students. In addition, Jeffrey Ho performed Perla's (2010) beautiful sonatina, "Wait Here" in 4 movements (with some improv) accompanied by Mr. Perla. "Betty Box Office (2008) was performed by talented Julia Stuart, Thomas Hollow, and Christopher Hunter.

Jack Perla, Victoria Kirsch, with wonderful UCLA students after the performance
of THE WORLD (2012)
If possible, please attend the concert by UCLA Philharmonia on April 27th at 8 PM. The program includes the performance of the Eleventh Symphony in G minor (1957) also known as "The Year 1905" by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975). The symphony draws its material from popular urban revolutionary song of the 19th and early 20th centuries. You may feel the influence of G. Mahler with percussive march imagery and epic scale of this symphonic work.
General admission.
See you at the concert!! Looking forward to it.

To prep for the concert, you may want to hear Shostakovich's works at NPR:

May 17th at 12:30 AM is reserved for the vocal performance of our own Shirley Ho at her residence in Brentwood. Directions will be given by Shirley. We will need two volunteers of that Music Section event.

Fowler Musem, photo below, is truly one among UCLA's many treasure; currently, it is featuring Indian jewelry, African print fashion, spectacular masquerade from Sierra Leone, as well as lectures, regional music ensembles, and affordable items in their gift shop.
Fowler Museum at UCLA

Enduring splendor: Jewelry of India
African-print fashion

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In the SPOTLIGHT: Victor Shlyakhtenko

SAVE the DATES for February and March 2017:
The month of February will take us to UCLA's Freud Playhouse for "Cendrillon" by Jules Massenet. Libretto by Henri Cain, based on the fairytale by Charles Perrault. This opera is co-produced with the Department of Theater.
Based on a well know fairy tale Cinderella, this opera in 4 acts, was first performed in 1899 at the Theatre National de l'Opera Comique.
For a full libretto, main characters, dance numbers, and music, go to OPERATODAY and search for titles of specific operas, like Jules Massenet's Cendrillon.
WHEN: Sunday February 19th at 2 PM. $25.00, tickets at 310.825.2101

One more outstanding event:
WATCH THE MOSTER STORM splashes down on LA today from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Friday February 17th at Royce Hall (8:00 pm)
Bamberg Symphony with its origins as the German Philharmonia, goes back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Mozart's Don Giovanni Overture, premiered 29 October 1787 in Prague by the National Theater (of Bohemia); Mozart entered the work in his catalog as an opera buffa.

Max Bruch composed his violin concerto (No. 1 op. 26 in G minor) in 1886; the work was dedicated to violinist virtuoso Joseph Joachim. Gustav Mahler conducted the orchestra in 1885-1886. The San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas produced an excellent presentation in KEEPING SCORE (PBS).

The following text is taken given below from Wikipedia:
The first movement (of the Bruch's violin concerto) is unusual in that it is a Vorspiel, a prelude, to the second movement and is directly linked to it. The piece starts off slowly, with the melody first taken by the flutes, and then the solo violin becomes audible with a short cadenza. This repeats again, serving as an introduction to the main portion of the movement, which contains a strong first theme and a very melodic, and generally slower, second theme. The movement ends as it began, with the two short cadenzas more virtuosic than before, and the orchestra's final tutti flows into the second movement, connected by a single low note from the first violins.
The slow second movement is often admired for its melody, and is generally considered to be the heart of the concerto. The themes, presented by the violin, are underscored by a constantly moving orchestra part, keeping the movement alive and helping it flow from one part to the next.
The third movement, the finale, opens with an intense, yet quiet, orchestral introduction that yields to the soloist's statement of the energetic theme in brilliant double stops. It is very much like a dance that moves at a comfortably fast and energetic tempo. The second subject is a fine example of Romantic lyricism, a slower melody which cuts into the movement several times, before the dance theme returns with its fireworks. The piece ends with a huge accelerando, leading to a fiery finish that gets higher as it gets faster and louder and eventually concludes with two short, yet grand, chords.
Tonight's concert closes with L. van Beethoven's Third Symphony "EROICA" We as a Music Section group had the entire session dedicated to this Symphony in 2016.
Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E flat Major "EROICA"

Check UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance CAP UCLA for calendar of programs.

Bamberg Symphony
The Bamberg Symphony, founded in 1946, was formed from German musicians expelled from Czechoslovakia.

MARCH 2017

This month brings old masters and new multi-sensory musical experiences. Jocelyn Ho, in the photo below, will perform six piano pieces at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall on Friday, March 2-3, 2017.
Jocelyn Ho, Assistant Professor, UCLA
Another interesting avant-gard experience is the UCLA Game Lab, which strives to develop new modes of expression and form through gaming. Take a look at some of the "disruptive borderlands" by Prof. Eddo Stern and other projects by faculty and students.

Get ready for a special treat on March 15th at 12:30 PM.
The Program: We will enjoy music by Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)
Our hostess and the lead will be Jarka Wilcox
To prepare you for this event, you may want to explore some among numerous excellent sources on Dvorak. I offer just a few links for biography, photos, and discography.
RSVP and volunteer with refreshments for March 15.

Antonin Leopold Dvorak (1841-1904)

Faculty Women's Club MUSIC SECTION has started off the New Year 2017, and our Centennial Year (1918-2018) with a brilliant young pianist Victor Shlyakhtenko, 14, who has been studying piano since the age of five.
Victor Shlyakhtenko
Toccata in E minor, BWV 914 by J.S. Bach
Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli by Franz Liszt
Sonata in E-flat major, Hob. XVI:52 by F. J. Haydn
Chorphantasie Op. 80 by L. van Beethoven
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 by Liszt
 Piano Concerto No.21 in C major, K. 467 by W. A. Mozart
Sonata, Op. 26 by S. Barber
The intimate setting of the piano recital afforded the opportunity to interact with Victor, and the audience took advantage of our event: to ask questions, network, and listen to the great music.

Music Section group with Victor in the center of the photo, January 18, 2017
Thank You, Victor, for taking the time to perform for us !

QA time: our attendees had lots of questions, and Victor had so much to offer ranging from a masterful interpretation of his repertory to anecdotes, and brief commentaries.

Victor in the spotlight: too many important questions to ask
From left: Francois and Arlene, our hostesses converse with Victor

Victor with Zorana, founder and chair of the FWC Music Section

In the intimate setting of the private residence in Santa Monica, Victor gave generous time to chat with many members of the Music Section as well as invited guests.
Music Section member Olga Merkurev and Victor: old friends
Kudos to Olga who presented Victor to the Music Section attendees

Victor talks with Milos Ercegovac during the concert intermission

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

UCLA Faculty Women's Club MUSIC SECTION 2016-2017

UCLA's FWC Music Section started a celebration of the Holiday Season with a festive new tradition: we widened the Music Section membership by inviting members from book and play reading sections, we welcomed husbands, and for the first time, welcomed other FWC members to join in. Jarka and Tom Wilcox hosted the party, and Zorana Ercegovac, Chair of the Music Section, programmed the event. All music section members offered delicious food, refreshments, and beverage. The event was a great success and a wonderful way to start our FWC Centennial Celebration in 2017-2018

Shirley Ho, Music Section vocalist, performed carols in English and Chinese

Zorana Ercegovac accompanied our performers
Zorana and Debby Kennel are joined by the Swansons (from play reading)

Andrea Nolan, The FWC new member joins in, WELCOME Andrea!!

Zorana and Simone King, our Music Section member

Jarka Wilcox, our hostess, with many attendees listen the performance by Shirley Ho

Zorana and Milos Ercegovac
Debby Kennel presented Vivaldi at her Brentwood residence
from left: Jo Knopoff, guest, Mireya, Helen, Jarka, Simone, Debby (hostess),
and Zorana (chair of the Music Section)

Welcome to the Music Section of the Faculty Women's Club 2016-2017!

We had a wonderful inaugural music session on October 19th at my home

Lots of preparatory work goes into each and every music session

Our program is Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique (1830) and here's a portrait of the artist, Hector Berlioz, 1803-1869. We will briefly discuss the Romanticism as a broader context of the stylistic period, and then dig deeper in his work, and why his Fantastic Symphony is still vibrant, well performed, and modern.

Hector Berlioz

Beethoven's performance of EROICA in 1828 in Paris, as well as multiple appearances of the Shakesperian actress Harriet Smithson were important immediate inspirations for his seminal symphonic work which premiered in 1830 in Paris. Smithson (1800-1851) became his idee fixe which was used to symbolize his passionate love for the beloved.

Idée Fixe in Berlioz Fantastic Symphony, 1830

The Enlightenment period which rationalized human thought (I think, therefore I am), is now expressed in the new motto of the Romanticism: I feel, therefore I am. Indeed, Berlioz expressed his emotions and feelings for the actress using his own powerful innovative orchestral language.

The early 19th century is the cultural movement where Franz Schubert, the Schumanns, Chopin, Berlioz, and Mendelssohn created their landmark musical works. It is the period in which Delacroix, Turner, Hugo, Keats, and Dumas were particularly productive.

Eugene Delacroix: LIBERTY Leading the People, 1830

SAVE THE DATE: third Wednesday at 12:30 PM
  • November 16th 2016 -- Antonio Vivaldi at Debby's house
  • December 21st 2016 -- Holiday Sing Along at Jarka's house
  • January 18th 2017 -- we will be starting our FWC pre-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION with talented pianist Victor Shlyakhtenko an accomplished student at The Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. 
  • This is our next Music Section event, please RSVP as soon as you can
Victor Shlyakhtenko

  • May 17th 2017 -- Vocal performance at Shirley's new residence
  • volunteers needed for winter/spring months of 2017
The following events & programs are considered throughout the 2016-2017 year:

  • The Broad Stage in Santa Monica 1310 11th st., -- Sundays at 11 AM November 20, Jan 8 (2017), March 5 for the Beethoven, Bagels & Banter (tickets are at $45, call 310-434-3200).
  • The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT) at MacGowan Hall at UCLA: Dec 5-6 at 7:30 PM at Theater Lab, Melnitz Hall, "Sunday in the Park with George," music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

  • Sunday February 19 and 26, 2017 at 2 PM: Opera CENDRILLON, a version of Cinderella at Freud Playhouse, UCLA.
  • UCLA The 30th Annual Jazz Reggae Fest: MUSIC and ART and FOOD, 12 noon - 6 PM. Tickets are available at 310-825-2101.
  • December 3rd 2016 is Kenny Burrell's 85th birthday celebration at Royce Hall (825-4761)
  • CENTER FOR THE ART OF PERFORMANCE, CAP, at UCLA features excellent selection of programs in diverse genres of music: classical, folk, regional music traditions, and more. 

UCLA Philharmonia is the flagship orchestra of the UCLA Hern Alpert School of Music. Please check their homepage for the forthcoming programs and concerts.

  • There are many more excellent venues such as HEAR NOW Music Festival, April 28-30th 2017.
  • Le Salon De Musiques October through June music calendar on the Fifth Floor of the Dorothy Chandler at 4 PM.
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Broad, the LACMA, HAMMER, and other LA venues.