To begin this column I would like to acknowledge Ron Weitzman for his decades of dedicated service on the board and as part of the administrative leadership of the Monterey Bay Symphony.
This weekend, as you may have read in Tuesday's Herald, the orchestra debuts with its new name — Monterey County Pops! — at the Golden State Theatre in Monterey as part of the city's daylong holiday celebration.
We can enjoy this marvelous professional orchestra that gives free concerts to the public throughout the year thanks in large part to Weitzman's tireless commitment to the needs of this ensemble and to other live music organizations in our community.
The newly named Monterey County Pops! is the crown of his strong musical legacy to our region. Long may it thrive!
Los Angeles Piano Quartet
The Carmel Music Society presents its December concert at All Saints Episcopal Church in Carmel this Friday featuring a performance of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet.
The quartet was formed in 1977 and made its debut at The Music Center in Los Angeles. Soon recognized as America's premier piano quartet, the ensemble performs in the U.S. and internationally and actively commissions new works for piano quartet.
Their program at All Saints includes one new work composed this year by Pierre Jalbert called Secret Alchemy. Also on the program will be a Mozart "Piano Quartet in E-flat Major" and Johannes Brahms' "Piano Quartet No. 2 in A Major.
Our terrific winter choral concerts begin this week with I Cantori di Carmel's celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah including works for chorus and brass ensemble.
Christmas selections to be heard are: "Christmas Cantata" by Daniel Pinkham, "Glory to God" by Ron Nelson, Giovanni Gabrieli's "O Magnum Mysterium," an adaptation of Gustav Holst's "In the Bleak Midwinter" for VOCI Chamber Ensemble and chorus, and romantic settings of sacred texts by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Josef Rheinberger.
The chorus, led by music director Dr. Sal Ferrantelli, will also present two movements from Ernst Bloch's "Sacred Service" and "Y'Mei Hanukkah."
Performances take place at 8p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9, at the Carmel Mission Basilica.
Tickets $20 and reserved seating $25. For more information call 644-8012 or visit the web at www.icantori.org.
San Jose Symphonic Choir
The joint groups of the former Monterey Symphony choristers and members of the San Jose Symphonic Choir will perform at 3p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the First United Methodist Church (Butterfly) on Sunset Drive in Pacific Grove.
Organist Barbara Vella and a brass choir will perform with the 80 singers. There will be an appearance by Nancy Kromm as soprano soloist.
Leroy Kromm conducts the program that features Francis Poulenc's "Gloria" and Daniel Pinkham's "Christmas Cantata." A reception follows the concert. Tickets are $15 at Bookmark in Pacific Grove or at the door. For more information call (408) 995-3318.
MPC String Concert
The Monterey Peninsula College String Ensemble, directed by David Dally, will present a concert at the Carmel Mission Basilica on Monday, Dec. 10, at 7:30p.m.
The 35-piece ensemble will perform Beethoven's last "String Quartet." The featured soloist will be soprano Laura Anderson, who will sing "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5" by Heitor Villa-Lobos, "Il Tramonto" by Ottorino Respighi and other opera favorites.
Anderson has been praised for her "rich tone" in San Francisco Classical Voice. A native of California, she has recently returned to the Central Coast from Minneapolis. Admission is free, though a $10 donation is appreciated. For more information call 626-9007.
Carmel Valley holiday fair
Join the family fun in Carmel Valley at "A Gathering in the Holiday Spirit" at the Hidden Valley Theater at 5:30 and 7p.m. Wednesday, Dec.12.
Featured artists include tenor Ben Gulley, Alisa Fineman, Rick Yramategui, Laura Anderson and The Camerata Singers. John Koza directs. Tickets are $20 and $7.50 for children under 12. For information and reservations call 659-3115.
·What: Carmel Music Society Presents The Los Angeles Piano Quartet
·Where: All Saints Church in Carmel
·When: 8p.m. Friday Dec. 7
·Tickets: $30, available at 625-9938 or online at www.carmelmusic.org; open seating; reception for artists follows
·Information: 625-9938 or online at www.carmelmusic.org