Tag archives: pianist

The Life of a Collaborative Pianist
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 1, 2023

Take a look at the photo in the online calendar promoting the Duo Competition taking place on July 31. The violinist is brightly lit, his facial features and instrument fully visible, while the pianist is in the background, comparatively dark and blurry with even her hair blending into the background, and no piano keys visible.  […]

Lowenthal Enthralls
By Richard Mineards   |   March 21, 2023

Still in sprightly form at 91, legendary and pre-eminent pedagogue, Manhattan-based pianist Jerome Lowenthal, who has taught at the Music Academy for more than half a century, was honored at the Miraflores campus’s Hahn Hall with a “Lowenthal’s Legend” concert featuring his daughter Carmel Lowenthal, Grammy nominee Ursula Oppens, Vassily Primakov, Grammy Award-winner Nadia Shpachenko, […]

The Legendary Lowenthal
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 7, 2023

Piano faculty member Jerome Lowenthal figured he’d wrapped up his half-century at the Music Academy when he was the star of MA’s 2019 Opening Night Gala, “Honoring a Legend,” a densely packed evening that featured a cocktail reception, a performance at Hahn Hall curated by Lowenthal that featured a series of MA alumni pianists from […]

A Mindful New Journey for Music Academy’s Mariposa
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 25, 2022

Music Academy (they lopped off “of the West” from the name this summer) doesn’t just have a new moniker, they’ve also created a brand-new series to continue the celebration of its milestone 75th year. Think of the new Mariposa Series as “homecoming” recitals held on campus to showcase what Academy alumni and faculty are up […]

Six Questions: Mulling Things Over With Montecito Pianist
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 5, 2021

Pete Muller, the math whiz who leveraged his skills to create and manage a massively successful quant-driven hedge fund company that uses complex models to detect and predict inequities in the markets, seems even more invested in his burgeoning singer-songwriter career these days. The piano-playing Montecito resident, who released three solo albums mostly as a […]

Remembering Peter Clark: An Incredible Musical Talent and Even Better Man
By Nick Masuda   |   August 31, 2021

Dingle is a quiet port town along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, a little cove for some 2,050 people best known for its resident dolphin, Fungie. But on this particular night in 2005, it was another fun guy that captured the hearts of locals and the dozens of Santa Barbarans that had made the trek to […]

Felder Finds a New Forum: 6Qs with the musician-actor
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 26, 2020

Prior to the arrival of COVID-19, veteran virtuoso playwright, performer, and pianist Hershey Felder had made a career out of creating and performing solo shows about composers Claude Debussy, George Gershwin, Frédéric Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky that have been seen across a wide range of […]

Hacking 2020 with HOCKET at UCSB
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 20, 2020

The UCSB Department of Music not only didn’t cancel its annual Summer Music Festival in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, it’s actually using the event as something of a forum to address the situation. At least that’s the approach taken by HOCKET, the Los Angeles-based new music piano duo featuring first-year UCSB faculty member […]

Riveting Recital
By Richard Mineards   |   March 19, 2020

Ray Winn and Peter Kavoian opened the doors of their magnificent Birnam Wood home for a Musicale featuring Italian pianist Jacopo Giacopuzzi on the dynamic duo’s Bosendorfer grand piano, one of only seven of its type in the world. The Music Academy of the West fundraiser, catered by Elena Wagner, featured Verona native Jacopo, who studied […]

Focus on Film
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 12, 2020

Amazing Grace, the locally-made documentary about Grace Fisher, a 17-year-old dancer, cellist, pianist, and guitarist who contracted a rare polio-like disease that left her a quadriplegic, gets an encore screening at the Marjorie Luke this weekend. Encouraged by her mentors including Justin Hurwitz (the Montecito-raised Academy Award winning composer of the La La Land soundtrack) […]

MAW Piano Winner
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 27, 2020

Elliot Wuu doesn’t have a direct memory of the first time he slept next to the bench while his older sister Rebecca practiced on the family’s piano, something his parents told him he started doing as a baby barely one year old. But he does recall frequently taking naps as a toddler while Rebecca, who […]

Double Treble
By Richard Mineards   |   February 13, 2020

The Lobero Theatre Chamber Music Project, which launched with pianist Alessio Bax and violinist Benjamin Beilman last month, had the second performance of its triple feature with pianist Louis Schwizgebel at the weekend. The Swiss keyboardist was accompanied by violinists Beilman and Ida Kavafian – a teacher at the Curtis Institute –, cellist Clive Greensmith […]

Crowded Classical Calendar
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 6, 2020

The “core four” of Camerata Pacifica’s chamber musicians chairs – violinist Paul Huang, violist Richard O’Neill, cellist Ani Aznavoorian, and pianist Warren Jones – congregate in various formats for an enticing program at Hahn Hall on Friday, February 7. Sandwiched around 250th birthday boy Beethoven’s Sonata in C Major for Piano & Cello, Op. 102, […]

Honoring a Legend
By Lynda Millner   |   July 4, 2019

Jerome Lowenthal is one of the most electric pianistic personalities before the public,” so says one of his reviewers. Santa Barbara’s The Music Academy of the West (MAW) claims him for their own because he has been a part of their eight-week summer program for an amazing 50 years mentoring students. Yet he has appeared […]

MAW’s Solo Piano Competition Winner Returns
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 18, 2019

Sophiko Simsive, who won the Music Academy of the West’s second annual Solo Piano Competition last summer, was a little bit shaken when she answered the phone on Monday afternoon. She’d just learned of the fire at Notre Dame, and had yet to come to terms with the ongoing devastation. That personal connection might seem […]

Stand Up Film
By Richard Mineards   |   January 23, 2019

As the Santa Barbara International Film Festival celebrated its 35th anniversary, the Anti-Defamation League marked the occasion with a reception in the courtyard of the Lobero Theatre as a rainstorm raged outside. The 120-guest fifth anniversary bash, chaired by Marina Stephens, raised nearly $50,000 towards funds and, as is tradition, honored the film Liberté: A […]

Happy 80th
By Richard Mineards   |   May 3, 2013

Gloria Clark, wife of Ozzie singer Peter Clark, threw a surprise birthday lunch bash at the University Club to mark the 20th anniversary of his 60th. Pianist Peter, who has a traveled the world performing and used to host an Australian TV music show in his 20s, also appeared in two videos, edited by C. […]