Lessons of the Masters

by Gerald Carpenter

SUMMER SCHOOL: At 1 p.m. today (Thursday, July 6), the celebrated maestro Jerome Lowenthal will teach a piano chamber masterclass in Lehmann Hall, the one at Miraflores, the gorgeous Mediterranean villa and estate that houses the Music Academy of the West. (At 2 p.m. today, the Academy Young Artists will offer a free Community Concert in the auditorium at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.)

Another venerable master, violist Donald McInnes, will present a viola masterclass at 3:15 p.m., also in Lehmann Hall at Miraflores; and the modest winds master Fred Ormand will offer a free clarinet masterclass in Singher Studio at the same time.

On Friday, July 7, at 3:15 p.m., the (place superlative of your choice here) Warren Jones will teach a vocal masterclass in Abravanel Hall, while at 7:30 p.m. the same day, the Academy Young Artists will offer one of their remarkable Picnic Concerts. If you get there at 7 p.m. you will hear Young Artists Speak Up! — a pre-concert lecture.

Those who can never get enough of a good thing — especially if it is a very good thing indeed — will want to be in their seats in Abravanel Hall at 10 a.m. this Saturday, July 8, for the Concerto Competition finals. The winners will get to perform with the Academy Festival Orchestra on Concerto Night, on July 22. The finals end at approximately 4 p.m., but one ticket allows those who can tear themselves away to come and go throughout the day.

At the Music Academy, of course, the masters also teach by example. Thus, at 8 p.m. next Tuesday, July 11, in the Lobero Theatre, they will present one of the sparkling Tuesdays at 8 concerts. This one will open with Jan Koetsier’s Figaro-Metamorphosen, Opus 131, played by Josef Burgstaller, trumpet; David Jolley, horn; and Mark Lawrence, trombone; followed by a young artist — one assumes a singer — performing Franz Schubert’s Heidenröslein, D. 257, with the priceless support of Warren Jones, on piano. Then Leone Sinigaglia’s 12 Variations on a Theme by Schubert will be explored by oboist Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida and the inestimable collaborator, pianist Jones. Ludwig Beethoven’s Variations on “Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu,” Opus 121a will then be brilliantly illuminated by Kathleen Winkler, violin; Matt Haimovitz, cello (the cutting-edge performer will be in residence July 6-12); and Jerome Lowenthal, piano.

Madeleine Dring’s Trio for Flute, Oboe, and Piano is next, played by Timothy Day, flute; DeAlmeida, oboe; and Jonathan Feldman, piano; and the concert will conclude with what looks to be the major work on the program, Erno˝ von Dohnányi’s Sextet in C Major, Opus 37, brought to vivid life by Winkler, violin; McInnes, viola; Haimovitz, cello; Ormand, clarinet; Jolley, horn; and Lowenthal, piano.

Jan Koetsier, a Dutchman, was born in 1911 and is still with us. His specialty is chamber music, and he is also a noted conductor. Leone Sinigaglia (1868-1944), born into the upper-middle class in Turin, led a double life as a composer — there was a famous violin concerto that impressed Dvořák to no end — and mountain climber, even writing a well-reviewed book about the latter, Climbing Reminiscences of the Dolomites, before turning to composing fulltime. In 1944, aged 76, while he was waiting to be shipped off to a labor camp in Germany, he suffered a fatal heart attack. English composer Madeleine Dring (1923-77) was also a popular pianist, as well as an actress and singer. Vaughan Williams was one of her teachers, and she caught from him an unquenchable thirst for folk melodies and idioms.

Finally, at 7:30 p.m. next Wednesday, July 12, violinist David Halen, concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony, will offer an intriguing masterclass/workshop in Lehmann Hall, called The Role of a Principal Player.

For tickets to all Music Academy events, call 969-8787, or visit their very friendly Web site For tickets to events at the Lobero, call 963-0761.

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