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Pianist Anna Petrova performs with the Monterey Symphony on Friday in Salinas and Saturday and Sunday in Carmel.

The Carmel Music Society launched the 2013 portion of its season at Sunset Center with a spectacular performance by Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra last week at Sunset Center.

The prestigious Bay Area ensemble swept the audience into an invigorating 18th century musical tour of Venice, Ravenna, Naples and Rome with acclaimed director Nicholas McGegan leading the way. These instrumental

forces delivered a pure baroque sound, enchantingly clear and nuanced.

The spectacular artistry of the ensemble may not resemble exactly the sound heard by 18th-century audiences but it's probably close. And it's certainly hard to imagine Venetians or Neapolitans enjoyed better players than these.

The heart of this Italian grand tour was Antonio Vivaldi's Venice showcasing violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock in the composer's signature work "The Four Seasons."

A spellbinding soloist, Blumenstock transmogrified this overly familiar work into an utterly fresh and intoxicating experience. She and the orchestra seemed joyfully effortless in their virtuosic depictions of the seasons' many moods and colors. I've never heard this work performed with more finesse.

Concertos by Arcangelo Corelli, Pietro Locatelli, Francesco Durante and a sinfornia by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi also graced this program.


Last week I was fortunate enough to acquire a ticket to the opening of Stanford's new Bing Concert Hall.


I wrote about it in Sunday's Herald so won't repeat myself here except to say that the facility is exceptional. You might want to check out the Stanford Live series that is now calling Bing home for a ticket to hear a concert in the new space.

Symphony introspection

Introspection is the theme of the third concert of the Monterey Symphony's 2012-2013 season. Max Bragado-Darman conducts an all-strings program of works from his native Spain, the concert halls of Vienna and the Bohemian life explored in Dvorak's "Serenade for Strings."

As the symphony's "season of the piano" continues, Bulgarian virtuoso Anna Petrova makes her Monterey Symphony debut in Mozart's "Piano Concerto No. 13 in C Major."

Praised for her "excellent technical mastery and powerful control of timbre," Petrova is a prize winner in numerous competitions and was a recent semifinalist at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition in Belgium, where she performed as soloist with the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie under (drum roll!) the Carmel Bach Festival's music director Paul Goodwin.

Information and tickets are available at 646-8511 or

Trio Globo

Trio Globo will perform for the Music at All Saints series in Carmel on Friday at 8 p.m. Trio Globo presents an

original voice in contemporary acoustic jazz, rooting their music in jazz, classical and sacred music as well as influences from travels in six continents.

Sporting a "combustible spontaneity," cellist Eugene Friesen, pianist and master harmonica player Howard

Levy and percussionist Glen Velez have all played with top name professionals and noted ensembles. They have

reinvented their music to bring their fortunate audiences a new sound reflective of this new era.

Tickets ($10-$45) can be purchased at or by calling 624-3883 or Bookmark Music in Pacific Grove.

They can also be purchased at the door the night of the performance. All Saints Church is located at Ninth and Dolores in Carmel. A reception will follow the concert.

For more by Barbara Rose Shuler visit her website at!

·What: Max Bragado-Darman conducts third program of Monterey Symphony season
·Where: Sunset Center, Ninth Avenue and San Carlos Street, Carmel; Steinbeck Institute for Arts and Culture, 940 N. Main St., Salinas
·When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, in Salinas; 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan 27, in Carmel; pre-concert lecture, free of charge, will be given one hour before performances by Dr. Todd Samra
·Tickets: $20-$78, available at 646-8511 or