The 2013-14 season is a four concert series with performances in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, as well as season opening recitals in Monterey and Santa Cruz. Don’t miss the pre-concert discussion with Dr. John Anderson for insights into the composers and the music.  Pre-concert talks begin one hour before the concert and are included in your ticket price.

Concert 4: “Hail Bright Cecilia” May 3rd and 4th, 2014

Saturday, May 3rd, 8 PM, Carmel Mission Basilica

Sunday, May 4th, 7 PM, Aptos, Cabrillo College Recital Hall

Ensemble Monterey combines with the noted chorus, Cantiamo!, to present English master Henry Purcell’s Ode to the patron saint of music, Hail Bright Cecilia.  Composed in 1692, it is a joyous and festive celebration of the art of music itself.  With virtuoso solos, rousing choruses and a large baroque orchestra, it is the perfect way to welcome Spring!

Monterey Recital: September 29th, 2013

Ensemble Monterey presents noted local soprano, Lori Schulman and pianist Elizabeth Neff in recital on Sunday, September 29th. Admission is free and includes scrumptious desserts served during intermission.  The purpose is to introduce the 2013-2014 concert season of the Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra, which critics have called “the Peninsula’s unique musical treasure.”  Donations will be accepted (commensurate with enjoyment and appetite) and concert season tickets will be available. The location is Carmel’s beautiful Church of the Wayfarer at the corner of Lincoln and 7th Streets.  Ms.Schulman recently starred as “Cosette” in MPC’s hit production of LesMiserables, and has numerous other opera, stage and recital credits.  The program will include a variety of light classics and popular favorites as well as several solos by the brilliant pianist, Elizabeth Neff.

Concert 1: “Gran Partita” November 2nd and 3rd, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 8 PM, Monterey Peninsula, St Philip’s Lutheran Church, Carmel

Sunday, November, 3, 7 PM, Santa Cruz, First Congregational Church

The Gran Partita, K. 361, is the greatest of Mozart’s “unknown” masterpieces.  Composed in1784, this hour-long work was a commission by two clarinetists to showcase the beauty of their emerging instrument.  The result was Mozart at his transcendent, unrivaled best.

Richard Stauß’ Serenade, Op.4, is the first youthful work of the last of the great German romantic composers.  It is an exuberant, sometimes brash and always compelling insight into the master who would later write such iconic works as Also sprach Zarathustra.  Strauß stated that Mozart was his model in composition, and his wind masterpiece, the Serenade, Op. 4, can be seen as his homage to the Gran Partita.

Ensemble Monterey regularly performs the Gran Partita and the Strauß Serenade once every 10 years, and is the only organization to have ever performed this concert in the Monterey-Santa Cruz area.  Don’t let another 10 years pass before you hear them!

Concert 2: “Sparrows” February 8th and 9th, 2014

Saturday, February 8th, 8 PM, Monterey Peninsula, St Philip’s Lutheran Church, Carmel

Sunday, February 9th, 7 PM, Santa Cruz, First Congregational Church

Ensemble Monterey presents Sparrows, one of the 20th century’s most lyrically beautiful masterworks.  Written by living composer Joseph Schwantner, Sparrows is a 20-minute setting of fifteen haiku by the 18th century Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa,  and will be sung by Soprano Soloist Lori Schulman.  Ms. Schulman has numerous operatic and musical theater credits, but is perhaps best known to local audiences for her portrayal of Cosette in Monterey Peninsula College’s recent hit production of Les Miserables.

The trio, Death of a Princess, is a recent work by the Monterey Bay’s own Emmy Award winning composer John Wineglass. Both lovely and forceful, it is a brief tour de force composed by one of the shining stars of our time.

Ensemble Monterey is delighted to bring back one if its favorite local composers, Stephen Tosh, for another view of the 20th century as we present his Trio for Flute, Clarinet and Piano.  It is a lively, jaunty work in the spirit of France of the 1920s.

Tosh’s Trio then leads the audience directly to Albert Roussel’s Serenade, Op. 30, for Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello and Harp, composed in Paris in 1925.  Another highly spirited composition, it features flutist Lars Johannesson, always a favorite with our audiences.

Concert 3: “Piazzolla” March 15th and 16th, 2014

Saturday, March 15th, 8 PM, Monterey Peninsula, St Philip’s Lutheran Church, Carmel

Sunday, March 16th, 7 PM, Santa Cruz. First Congregational Church

Astor Piazzolla was the Argentinian composer who elevated his country’s native tango music  to the status of high art.  His compositions showcase the artistry of a master composer combined with the flair and fire of the tango itself!  Ensemble Monterey presents two of his favorite but least heard works: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires and the Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra.  The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires is Piazzolla’s tribute to Vivaldi’s famous work, and features violin soloist David Dally.  Noted Accordion artist Dale Harrison will take the solo role in the Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra.  Join Ensemble Monterey  for a musical journey to Argentina as we present these two great tango-inspired concertos.