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Second Sundays at Two

CLASSICAL CROSSROADS, INC.
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FIRSTSERVE COMMUNITY SERVICES
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First Fridays at First! ~ fff
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FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH & SCHOOL

2022-2023 Concert Series

First Lutheran Church of Torrance

Classical Crossroads' First Fridays at First!~fff concerts are graciously hosted as a gift to the community by FirstServe Community Services, the nonprofit community service partner organization of First Lutheran Church & School – Torrance. The finest artists from Southern California and around the world perform half-hour lunchtime recitals.

FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH & SCHOOL
2900 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90503
(on the south side of Carson Street just east of Maple)
For a Google map, click here.

For information, call Classical Crossroads at (310) 316-5574 or click here.

Free admission - Donations Appreciated

Click to see "First Fridays at First! ~ fff" past seasons:
[2000-2013] [2013-2014] [2014-2015] [2015-2016]
[2016-2017] [2017-2018] [2018-2019] [2019-2020]
[2020-2021] [2021-2022]

To Safely Begin the 2022-2023 Season,
Concerts Will Be Livestreamed
in Front of a Small Invited Audience
at the Scheduled Concert Time

Sign up above for e-mail concert reminders, which will have the internet links to the Vimeo livestreams of the concerts, or check back here shortly before concert time.

Classical Crossroads invites a small number of verified fully vaccinated, top supporters of the concert series to the livestreamed concerts. As the season progresses and the Covid situation improves, cautious steps are planned to return to public live-audience concerts, with livestreaming for those who cannot attend in person.

The livestream will be reprised at 8:00 p.m. With consent of the artists, the concerts may be made available for on-demand streaming for about a month, beginning in the week following the concert.

To appreciate the livestreamed concerts, you are encouraged to set aside time as you would for a live-audience concert, get comfortable, and watch on a large-screen TV with a high-quality soundbar. Alternatively, watch on an iPad or other quality computer screen with headphones.

Friday, September 2, 2022 at 12:15 p.m.

Committed to Bringing
The Light, Hope, and Strength of Music
to Audiences Worldwide

brightfeather

brightfrather duo

                               Pianist                          Violinist
                              
IRENE KIM       BENJAMIN HOFFMAN

American pianist Irene Kim, a critically acclaimed prize-winner of international competitions, has performed across the globe in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia appearing in venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Library of Congress. She holds a doctorate from the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied there with Boris Slutsky, Benjamin Pasternack, and Leon Fleisher.

Violinist Benjamin Hoffman has been heard across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, and the North America, where he has given countless performances as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. Benjamin holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music and counts among his most important mentors Ani Kavafian, Alex Kerr, and Glenn Dicterow.

Friday, October 7, 2022 at 12:15 p.m.

Part I of a Recital in Two Parts

Violinist Kerenza Peacock  Pianist Robert Thies

Violinist                                     Pianist
KERENZA PEACOCK            ROBERT THIES    

A pianist of "unerring, warm-toned refinement,
revealing judicious glimmers of power"

~ Los Angeles Times

Pianist Robert Thies's solo recitals are highly regarded by aficionados for his consummate musicianship and his sensitive artistic interpretations. Thies first captured worldwide attention in 1995 when he won the Gold Medal at the Second International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. Robert Thies enjoys a diverse career as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and collaborative artist.

"What's wonderful about watching Kerenza Peacock is that she's so enthusiastic in everything she plays. And she combines her enthusiasm with some extremely fine playing." ~ Nick Bailey, Classic FM

English violinist, currently residing in Los Angeles, Kerenza Peacock is a musical wanderer - equally at home playing classical selections by Mozart and Brahms as she is performing new works or playing with the world's most famous pop stars. Kerenza trained at the Royal Academy of Music and was leader of the Pavao Quartet for 15 years, recording five albums and touring the world.

This first part of a recital in two parts will conclude the following Sunday on Classical Crossroads' "Second Sundays at Two" series.

Friday, November 4, 2022 at 12:15 p.m.

First-Prize Winner of the
Jose Iturbi International Music Competition

Pianist Rufus Choi

Pianist
RUFUS CHOI

A Steinway Artist, Rufus Choi has performed recitals in such premier venues as Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, Zipper Hall of the Colburn School and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena; and the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. Internationally, Rufus Choi has appeared in recital at leading festivals including the Salzburg Festival in Austria, the Philomusica Festival in Oxford, England, and at festivals in Puigcerda, Spain and Locarno, Switzerland, to name a few. Highlight of his numerous concerto appearances include Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto with the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester at the world-famous Herrenhäuser Gärten and Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic. Mr. Choi trained at The Juilliard School, where he earned both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees studying with Oxana Yablonskaya.

Friday, December 2, 2022 at 12:15 p.m.

Holiday-Themed Concert

Organist CHRISTOPH BULL & Mezzo-Soprano I-CHIN LEE

Organist Christoph BullBorn in Mannheim, Germany, organist Christoph Bull has performed and recorded worldwide at renowned venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City, Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, and the Cathedrals of Moscow, Saint-Denis, and Salzburg. His solo album First & Grand, the world-premiere recording of the Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ, was celebrated by the international trade press and showcases the stylistic versatility and expressiveness of his playing. Professor Bull is UCLA's fifth University Organist, as well as Organist-in-Residence at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, playing one of the largest pipe organs in the world.

Mezzo-Soprano I-Chin LeeA graduate of CSUF in Vocal Performance, mezzo-soprano I-Chin Lee has performed as a chorister and soloist with Pacific Chorale on numerous occasions, including as the mezzo soloist in Duruflé's Requiem and alto soloist in Bach's St. John Passion. She performed as alto soloist for Messiah with the National Children's Choir at The Broad Stage and with the Camerata Singers of Long Beach. She was a featured soloist in the world premiere of Phillip Glass's The Passion of Ramakrishna at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, where she also was the mezzo soloist in Bach's Mass in B Minor with the John Alexander Singers. I-Chin is a frequent guest artist of Christoph Bull's multimedia Organica shows.

Friday, January 6, 2023 at 12:15 p.m.

Part I of a Recital in Two Parts

  Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert                  Violinist Corey Cerovsek

                             Belgian Pianist                         Canadian Violinist
              
STEVEN VANHAUWAERT    COREY CEROVSEK     

Born in Vancouver, Canada, Corey Cerovsek graduated at age 12 from the University of Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. That same year, he was accepted as a student by Josef Gingold and enrolled at Indiana University, where he received Bachelor's degrees in mathematics and music at age 15, Master's degrees in both at 16, and completed his doctoral course work in mathematics and music at age 18. Working with Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Michael Tilson Thomas, among numerous other notable conductors, Corey Cerovsek has performed with leading orchestras worldwide. In recital, he has performed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theatre and the Frick Collection (New York), the Place des Arts (Montréal), the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra "Debut Series," Wigmore Hall (London) and the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Salle Gaveau (Paris).

Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert has garnered a wide array of accolades, including the First Prize at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition. Mr. Vanhauwaert has made his solo debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall performing the world premiere of Magnus Lindberg's Fratello. He has appeared as a soloist in some of the world's leading venues, including the National Center of the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, the Concertgebouw in Brugge, the Great Hall of the Budapest Liszt Conservatory, the Forbidden City Theatre in Beijing, Segerstrom Hall, and the National Philharmonic Hall in Kiev, and with the Pacific Symphony, the Lviv Philharmonic, the Sofia Sinfonietta, the Flemish Symphony, and the Kyiv Kamerata, to name just a few.

This first part of a recital in two parts will conclude the following Sunday
on Classical Crossroads' "Second Sundays at Two" series.

Friday, February 3, 2023 at 12:15 p.m.

SERAPHOUR
Vocal Quartet

Seraphour Vocal Quartet

                                           MELISSA BIRCH         EMMA GRACE ROCHE 
HEIDI VASS             DANA ROUSE           

"Meltingly beautiful . . . a new vocal ensemble worth watching"
~ Fanfare (2022)

Celebrating that which is true, beautiful and good, Seraphour was formed as a response to the isolation of the Covid pandemic. The Southern California based group is on a mission to create beauty and light out of a dark and quiet time. The all-female quartet is dedicated to the preservation and proliferation of the sacred canon - highlighting unaccompanied classical sacred gems that celebrate the beauty of the female voice. Presenting pieces from the Renaissance to present day and commissioning new works for sacred contemplation, their music celebrates the tradition of beauty that spans centuries and inspires souls.

Friday, March 3, 2023 at 12:15 p.m.

Concertmaster of LA Opera Orchestra &
Internationally Acclaimed Pianist

Pianist Svetlana Smolina             Violinist Roberto Cani

                                     Pianist                                   Violinist  
                   
SVETLANA SMOLINA         ROBERTO CANI

A native of Milan, violinist Roberto Cani is the concertmaster of the LA Opera orchestra. He has been guest concertmaster for the London Philharmonic and the La Scala Philharmonic, and has performed as soloist with the Moscow Philharmonic, the Orchestra of La Scala in Milan, RAI Symphony (Italy), Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano, Orchestra Cantelli, Belgrade Orchestra, Zagreb Orchestra, and Missouri Chamber Orchestra. Roberto studied at the Milan Conservatory of Music, the Gnessin Institute of Music in Moscow, and the University of Southern California.

Pianist Svetlana Smolina has performed with the Mariinsky Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, iPalpiti Orchestra at Disney Hall, and with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Orchestra National de France. She has appeared at the Salzburg Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, the Academia Santa Cecilia in Rome, and at many other leading venues throughout the world. Since 2015, Svetlana has performed worldwide in a duo with the famous violinist Vadim Repin. Highlights of Svetlana's recent performances include her debut with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional Juvenil in Lima, Peru, a tour to China with the Dublin Philharmonic, and appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Sentosa Theater in Singapore, and CCK Symphony Hall in Buenos Aires.

Friday, April 14, 2023 at 12:15 p.m. *

Art Songs & Arias

Bass Gabriel Vamvulescu-               Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert

                                 Bass                                               Pianist
                   
GABRIEL VAMVULESCU       STEVEN VANHAUWAERT

Romanian bass Gabriel Vamvulescu began his musical training while studying Theology and Byzantine Music at Saint Nicholas Theological Seminary in Romania. Upon graduation, he enrolled in the George Enescu National Music Conservatory in Bucharest, subsequently winning First Place in the Ionel Perlea International Lied Competition and being accepted into the Romanian National Opera Apprentice Program with the role of Sarastro in Die Zauberflote. In 1999, Gabriel was the recipient of a full scholarship from the University of Maryland. On the operatic stage he performs in Europe and in the United States, including regular appearances with LA Opera including the roles of Il Commissario Imperiale in Madama Butterfly (2012), Guccio in Gianni Schicchi (2015), Il Gran Sacerdote di Belo in Nabucco (2017), Il Carceriere in Tosca (2017), and Ceprano in Rigoletto (2018), among others.

Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert has garnered a wide array of accolades, including the First Prize at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition. Mr. Vanhauwaert has made his solo debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall performing the world premiere of Magnus Lindberg's Fratello. He has appeared as a soloist in some of the world's leading venues, including the National Center of the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, the Concertgebouw in Brugge, the Great Hall of the Budapest Liszt Conservatory, the Forbidden City Theatre in Beijing, Segerstrom Hall, and the National Philharmonic Hall in Kiev, and with the Pacific Symphony, the Lviv Philharmonic, the Sofia Sinfonietta, the Flemish Symphony, and the Kyiv Kamerata, to name just a few.

* Moved to the second Friday of April to avoid Good Friday.

Friday, May 5, 2023 at 12:15 p.m.

Recital by the Winner of Peninsula Symphony's
Edith Knox Performance Competition

Friday, June 2, 2023 at 12:15 p.m.

Cantilena Trio
tenor/guitar/flute

Cantilena Trio

                                  JON LEE KEENAN tenor
       SUSAN GREENBERG flute                                      
                                              KENTON YOUNGSTROM guitar

These three consummate ensemble artists and good friends are favorites among Southern California aficionados.

Flutist Susan Greenberg was a member of the LA Chamber Orchestra for 36 years, where she was a frequent soloist on both flute and piccolo. She has also appeared as guest soloist with the San Francisco and Oakland Symphonies, the Santa Monica Symphony, the Napa Valley Symphony, and at the Hollywood Bowl.

About Jon Lee Keenan's solo role with the Los Angeles Master Chorale's "St. Matthew" Passion, Los Angeles Times' Mark Swed wrote, "As the Evangelist, Jon Lee Keenan offered a clarion tenor and commanding narrative style." After graduating in his home town from UNLV, Jon earned a doctorate in Vocal Arts from USC. Since joining the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 2007, Jon has appeared as a featured soloist in each season.

Guitarist, composer, and educator Kenton Youngstrom is the first in a long line of prize-winning students of the late Jim Smith at USC, where, while earning his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, he studied composition with Donald Crockett, arranging with Darniell Pershing, and film scoring with David Raksin. Kenton joined the faculty of the Colburn School of Performing Arts in 1979.

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