Ladies First, Last, and Always

by Gerald Carpenter

WONDROUS WOMEN: This week I celebrate two
extraordinary musicians, two extraordinary women. One is a composer
and organist, the other a virtuoso pianist. I refer, of course, to
Emma Lou Diemer and Egle

Professor Emeritus Emma Lou Diemer is a composer of astonishing
range and power, an organist of international repute, and a gifted
pianist. The Santa Barbara Music Club will honor
her (and Wolfgang Mozart) in a special benefit
concert this Sunday, April 30, at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Society
of Santa Barbara (1535 Santa Barbara St.). Unlike most Music Club
concerts, this one is not free, but costs a reasonable
$25, with all proceeds going to benefit Santa Barbara Music Club
concerts and scholarships. Tickets are available from Santa Barbara
Sheet Music (1036 Santa Barbara St.) and at the concert.

The concert will open with a piece by Diemer from 1996 called
Fiesta, played on the organ by the composer. Next, this
being the year it is, we will hear Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat
Major, K. 333
, played by the spectacular pianist Betty
. Then more Diemer, with her Psalms from
, with John Ernest, trumpet and Diemer,
organ; followed by Encore (Diemer — 1981), played by
Betty Oberacker, who played the solo part in the
world premiere of Diemer’s Piano Concerto. Then more
Mozart, the Trio in E-flat Major, K. 498 performed by
Nancy Mathison, clarinet, Tom
, viola, and Donna
, piano. Finally, there will be Diemer’s
Homage to Poulenc, Mozart, and MacDowell from 2004, played
by the exquisite flautist Suzanne Duffy, the
peerless master cellist Geoffrey Rutkowski, and
Emma Lou herself on piano.

For more information, visit the Music Club’s Web site at or call 705-1158.

Egle Januleviciute was born in Lithuania to an intensely musical
family. Her father maintains a strong presence as an opera soloist
and her mother is a professor of piano at the Lithuanian Academy of
Music. Her sister is a collaborative pianist and opera coach, and
her brother, also a pianist, leans toward his other specialty,

Januleviciute earned a doctorate in piano performance at UCSB
and she teaches piano both there and at Westmont College.

Januleviciute took up residence in Santa Barbara in 1998, and
while I cannot reconstruct the first program I heard her play, I
know that my jaw dropped during the first few bars and I sat there
dumbfounded, not daring to stir, until it was over. Any performance
she gives is an occasion for rejoicing, and a magnet for
connoisseurs. Her trademark is passion — not the sloppy,
all-over-the-map passion of the melodramatist, but the laser-sharp,
directed passion of the true virtuoso. The music always comes
first, not her brilliance, however remarkable that is.

Next Tuesday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. in First United Methodist
Church (305 E. Anapamu), Januleviciute will be playing
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C
Minor BWV 826
, Sergei Rachmaninov’s
Variations on a Theme by Corelli, Opus 42, and
Frederick Chopin’s masterpiece, Sonata No. 2
in B Minor, Opus 58

Januleviciute and her music will be introduced by Dr. Alejandro
Planchart. Music lovers would not even think about being somewhere
else that evening. Tickets run $15-$20, and are available at the


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