Hello, Young Lovers

by Gerald Carpenter

FOR INTRODUCTORY PURPOSES: We are now nearing the end of the
first week of the Music Academy of the West’s 2006 Summer Festival.
There have been plenty of master classes, but aside from the Piano
Fest last Saturday at Abravanel Hall, and the Canadian Brass
concert last night at First Presbyterian Church, there have been
few public events of scale. That will change moderately this
Saturday, and decisively next Tuesday.

At 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, in Abravanel Hall on the academy
campus, there will be a Children’s Concert by the Academy Festival
Orchestra, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya and narrated by Rod
Lathim. Tickets are $10; for those 18 and under, the show is free
of charge. There are two works on the program: Camille
Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals and Benjamin Britten’s The
Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Tickets will be available on
the day of the concert only.

This seems, to me anyway, like a fairly new event on the
academy’s summer schedule. I think it is a great idea, and the
program is well chosen, for the most part. The first work is an
informal masterpiece of a high order; it is music that can be heard
with pleasure by anyone from age 6 to age 106, and it is one of a
mere handful of surefire introductions to classical music in the
repertory. The other work is just about the only work by its
composer — except for his ballet, The Prince of the Pagodas, and
his somber tribute to his parents, Sinfonia da Requiem — that I can
listen to without falling either asleep or into a fit of frustrated
rage. But, then, the Young Person’s Guide is not really Britten’s
music, but only his arrangement of Purcell’s music. At the end,
what the children carry away is the noble Rondeau from Purcell’s
incidental music for Abdelazer, or the Moor’s Revenge, not
Britten’s admittedly clever distribution of it among the various

Still, Carnival of the Animals — those spooky fish! That tragic
swan! — worked for me when I was a kid, and I am sure it still

At 8 p.m. next Tuesday, June 27, in the Lobero Theatre, comes
the first of those magical faculty chamber music concerts known as
Tuesdays at Eight. The maestros have finally shaken free of the
Brahms straightjacket they strapped themselves in for the past few
years, and this summer’s programs have undergone “a sea-change into
something rich and strange” — with a little Mozart, here and

The first concert does indeed begin with Mozart’s Violin Sonata
in B-flat Major, K. 454, performed by violinist Kathleen Winkler
and pianist Warren Jones. Then we’ll hear Jean Françaix’s Mozart
New-look — a small fantasy upon the “Serenade” from Don Giovanni
for double bass and wind instruments — with Nico Abondolo, double
bass; Timothy Day, flute; Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, oboe; Richie
Hawley, clarinet; Bernhard Scully, horn; Dennis Michel, bassoon;
and select young artists. The Françaix is followed by Daron Hagen’s
Jot!, performed by Hawley, clarinet; Edward Atkatz, percussion; and
Jonathan Feldman, piano. Music by Dmitri Shostakovich brings the
evening to a close: first violinist Jeff Thayer and pianist Anne
Epperson perform selections from the Twenty-four Preludes, Opus 34,
and then the haunting Piano Trio in E Minor, Opus 67, played by
Kathleen Winkler, violin; Alan Stepansky, cello; and Jones,

Daron Hagen has an interesting background. Born in Wisconsin, he
studied composition with Ned Rorem at the Curtis Institute of Music
in Philadelphia, with David Diamond at the Juilliard School, and
privately with Leonard Bernstein. After Juilliard, he lived abroad
briefly, first at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, and
then at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio,
Italy. His opera Shining Brow (1991) made his reputation, and he
has since been very prolific.

For tickets and other information about Music Academy events,
call 969‑8787.


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