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By Alan Blank | March 20, 2009
One of the world’s premier orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra, led by one of the world’s most in-demand conductors, Valery Gergiev, came to Orange County for the first time in 20 years, giving Costa Mesa audiences a technically brilliant and unsentimental performance of Beethoven’s piano concertos and Prokofiev’s symphonies. Touring with Russian pianist Alexei Volodin, whose agility and seemingly effortlessly flawless playing matches the orchestra to a “T,” the LSO came to Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Wednesday and Thursday nights for back-to-back programs.
By Michael Alexander | October 27, 2008
Third-graders in teacher Jaime Blandford’s class at Lincoln Elementary in Corona del Mar got to saw on violin strings, bang on drums, hammer the bars of a glockenspiel and even push the slide of a trombone in and out Monday morning. It was all part of the Third Grade Music Mobile, a program where volunteers show kids their way around an orchestra and then let them all give the instruments a whirl. The Lido Island Committee of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County has been bringing this program to Newport-Mesa schools for more than a decade, said the program’s presenter, Ellie Yates.
By Antoinette Brosius/Community Correspondent | October 20, 2008
        Local Pianist Lauded by LA Times Music Critic             Michael Sanders is no stranger to the concert halls and campuses of Southern California. He has been active as a piano soloist and accompanist, performing on both the East and West coasts, and in Japan: he has taught in the music departments of USC, UC Irvine, and Chapman University, and in his own private studio.            The Presbyterian Church of the Covenant’s “Friends of Music” is proud to be presenting him in concert on Sunday, November 9, at 4:00pm in the church sanctuary where he will play a program of fine music by Chopin, Schumann, Byrd and Gershwin.
By Candice Baker | August 7, 2008
For Neville Dickie, tickling the ivories is as natural as breathing. The British musician’s piano performances leave audiences stunned, both for their technical adeptness and colorful moments of improvised brilliance. Dickie, who plays stride and boogie-woogie piano, will be one of 19 performers at this weekend’s Orange County Classic Jazz Festival at the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa. “It’s a famous festival,” hotel General Manager Shaun Robinson said.
July 16, 2008
Landmark Steakhouse in Corona Del Mar has added a touch of music for diners during the summer months. The restaurant is home to a piano lounge featuring Jeff Vance from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every Thursday. After the piano lounge’s conclusion, the music turns up a notch as Landmark has a live DJ with music and dancing running from 10 p.m. until closing time. Landmark’s Thursday night dancing was reintroduced last week to a very warm reception from customers, owner Mario Marovic said.
By Alan Blank | May 23, 2008
Andrew Barrett is obsessed with a form of music that reached the height of its popularity during World War I, 70 years before his birth. One might think the Costa Mesa resident is part of a dying breed, but the 20-year-old ragtime fanatic is part of a nationwide network of old-time piano enthusiasts who are keeping the music alive through conventions, competitions and Internet forums. This weekend, Barrett is flying to Peoria, Ill., to compete in the World Championship Old-Time Piano Contest, which he describes as the premiere national competition for ragtime pianists.
February 25, 2008
The OCC Symphony Orchestra will present An Evening of Tchaikovsky March 1. Featured soloist Teresa De Jong-Pombo, a professor of piano, will play Tchaikovsky?s Piano Concerto No. 1, and director Ricardo Soto will lead the orchestra in Tchaikovsky?s Symphony No. 5. Both works are romantic crowd-pleasers and Soto hopes they will excite audiences with varying amounts of classical music experience. The performance will take place in OCC?s Robert B. Moore Theater at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by phone at (714)
February 10, 2008
An interactive piano concert hosted by the Newport Beach Public Library is aimed at teaching children about classical music. Pianist Robert Estrin will perform his show titled ?Living Piano: Journey Through Time? 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 16 in the Friends Room at the Newport Beach Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave. Dressed in period costumes, Estrin will perform selections from Mozart, Liszt and other well-known composers on a variety of keyboard instruments from the harpsichord to the modern piano.
By Sue Thoensen | December 6, 2007
Margie Balter was confident her recently released CD “Music From the Heart” would be a hit when she previewed it for her piano students. The music passed what Balter described as “the Lilliputian test,” referring to the “very small-sized” but perceptive kids who gave their teacher’s effort a collective thumbs-up. “Kids know what’s good,” she said. “They’re not jaded.” Balter will have a wider audience on hand Sunday when she performs at Borders bookstore in Costa Mesa, part of a Borders tour that also includes stops in Los Angeles, Pasadena, West Hollywood and Glendale.
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