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