Click to see:
Classical Crossroads Home

First Fridays at First! ~ fff ~ Current Season

~ and ~
~ present ~
First Fridays at First! ~ fff
(Formerly, the
Bach's Lunch Recitals in Manhattan Beach)

2014-2015 Concert Series

First Lutheran Church of Torrance

The popular Bach's Lunch Recitals, a favorite in the South Bay community for two decades, are now First Fridays at First! ~ fff, 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] [2022-2023]

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.

"Supremely talented femmes"
~ LA Weekly


Ceora Winds

Michelle Matsumune flute     Heather Millette clarinet
Christin Webb bassoon

The members of Ceora Winds have played chamber music together for 10 years, performing throughout Southern California and across the country. Its members hold advanced degrees from leading schools including Oberlin and Peabody Conservatories, Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, and California Institute of the Arts. Equally adept at classical standards, jazz arrangements, and everything in between, Ceora Winds brings the joy of true chamber music to the Los Angeles community.


Free admission - Donations Appreciated

Friday, November 7, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.

"As a pianist, Holt is the classical music equivalent of an extreme sports athlete."
~ The Record (Waterloo, Ontario)

Danny Holt, piano

Pianist, Composer, Percussionist, Scholar

Pianist Danny Holt is one of a new generation of innovative young musicians ushering classical music into the 21st century. Called "phenomenal" by music critic Alan Rich, and hailed as one of the "local heroes" of the Los Angeles music scene (, Holt brings his boundless energy and wit to unique interpretations of new music, 20th-century music, and obscure, unusual, and neglected repertoire. A frequent featured pianist on the acclaimed Jacaranda series, he is equally at home whether performing masterpieces of the classical repertoire or new music on the concert stage, in an intimate house concert, or in one of his elaborate multimedia performances, where classical music meets rock-concert aesthetics and performance-art sensibility.

Danny holds degrees from California Institute of the Arts, Hampshire College, Smith College, and Interlochen Arts Academy. He is also a percussionist, composer, teacher, and scholar. He resides in Los Angeles, where he serves on the faculty of the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts.

Free admission - Donations Appreciated

Friday, December 5, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.

Organist at Westwood Presbyterian Church
~ joined by ~
Two-Time District Winner of the
Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Namhee Han, organ  Rebecca Sjöwall, soprano

Organist NAMHEE HAN                                    
                       Soprano REBECCA SJÖWALL

Playing from the heart defines Namhee Han's approach to music making. Namhee holds Master's and Doctoral degrees in organ performance from UCLA. She has been a featured artist at National and Regional Conventions of the American Guild of Organists. A favorite on numerous Classical Crossroads' concerts when they resided in Manhattan Beach, Namhee Han is making her debut at the new Torrance venue. She performs on Southern California's leading organs including the magnificent instruments at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. Namhee is resident organist at Westwood Presbyterian Church.

Whether in the opera house, on the concert stage, or in the recording studio, Rebecca Sjöwall has been lauded for her dramatic power as an actress with a voice that is "luscious," "beautifully crisp," and "a powerhouse." Besides capturing two district wins of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Rebecca is winner of the American Jenny Lind Competition, the Redlands Bowl Young Artist Auditions, and the Long Beach Mozart Festival Vocal Competition. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she holds a Master's in Vocal Performance from UCLA.

Rebecca Sjöwall sings "Alleluia" from Exsultate, jubilate by Mozart

Free admission - Donations Appreciated

Friday, February 6, 2015 at 12:15 p.m.

Beverly Hills Auditions Winners!


Boglárka Kiss, flute  Alison Bjorkedal, harp

BOGLÁRKA KISS flute                                   

Alison Bjorkedal and Boglárka Kiss founded Duo Ondine in 2005. Their performances feature the most cherished repertoire for their ensemble as well as new works, with engaging introductions to each. Most recently, they were selected by the Beverly Hills Auditions as one of the top chamber groups in Los Angeles. To celebrate the Duo's 10th anniversary in 2015, they are commissioning new works by local composers and plan to premiere them in the Southland and record them soon after.

A native of Hungary, with residences in that country and California, award-winning flutist Boglárka Kiss teaches music at Pasadena City College, maintains a private flute studio, and is in demand internationally as a masterclass teacher, music coach, and lecturer.

A magna cum laude graduate from the University of Oregon, Alison Bjorkedal earned her Master's and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees in harp performance from the USC Thornton School of Music, where she studied with Professor JoAnn Turovsky. She is a member of Southwest Chamber Music, Golden State Pops Orchestra, and MUSE/IQUE.

Free admission - Donations Appreciated

Friday, March 6, 2015 at 12:15 p.m.

Ensemble-in-Residence at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine


Trio Céleste

                              IRYNA KRECHKOVSKY violin
ROSS GASWORTH cello                                    

Based in Orange County, Trio Céleste was recently appointed Ensemble-in-Residence at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine. The Trio has already taken on several large-scale projects, including performances of the complete Beethoven Trios and performances of Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the UCI Symphony Orchestra in June of 2012. The Trio is the principal Ensemble-in-Residence at the new series, Chamber Music OC. This performance will feature the famed 1689 "Baumgartner" Stradivari violin on loan to Iryna from the Canada Council for the Arts.  

Trio Céleste performs 3rd movement of Beethoven's Archduke Trio

Free admission - Donations Appreciated

Friday, April 3, 2015 at 12:15 p.m.

Organist of First Lutheran Church & School
Performs a Recital Inspired by Good Friday

Kent Eggerts, organ


Kent Eggert has been organist at First Lutheran Church in Torrance since 1993. Prior to moving to California, he served several congregations in the Twin Cities metro area. Kent studied with Charles Parsons at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis and with Pamela Carlson of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota.

Free admission - Donations Appreciated

Friday, May 1, 2015 at 12:15 p.m.

Beverly Hills Auditions Winners!

Mezzo Soprano
~ with ~

Megan Gillespie, mezzo-soprano
Megan Gillespie in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall

Los Angeles native Megan Gillespie earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music. Megan has received high critical praise in numerous opera roles. She was a mid-Atlantic-regional finalist in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions and a finalist in the Violetta Dupont Vocal Competition in Madison NJ. A favorite at the Beverly Hills Auditions, Ms. Gillespie has performed worldwide in leading venues including the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, and in Salzburg, Austria, and Greve, Italy.

Gideon Rubin, pianoPianist. Gideon Rubin has performed as soloist and chamber musician at the American Church in Paris, Symphony Space in New York City, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., the Myra Hess Foundation Concerts in Chicago, the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, and on the Los Angeles County Art Museum's Sundays Live! series. Dr. Rubin earned a BA from Harvard University, an MM from Boston University's School of the Arts, and a Doctorate from USC.

Free admission - Donations Appreciated

Friday, June 5, 2015 at 12:15 p.m.

Beverly Hills Auditions Winners!

Pianist Esther Lee & Violinist Joanna Lee

Pianist ESTHER LEE & Violinist JOANNA LEE

Sisters Esther Seung-Hyun Lee and Joanna J. Lee were born into a musical family and trained at the world's leading music schools including the USC Thornton School, where they are now studying.

Esther began her studies in Korea including Seoul National University. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Median Hannover, and continued with post-graduate studies at Hochschule für Musik Detmold. Currently, she is a full-scholarship student of Professor Bernadene Blaha at the USC Thornton School. She has performed worldwide and is the recipient of multiple awards from numerous competitions, most notably as winner of the International Schubert Competition for Piano Duo.

Joanna earned her Concert Diploma in Violin Performance and Master's Degree in Music Pedagogy at the University of Music, Basel, Switzerland. She did additional post-graduate study at University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria. Currently, she is pursuing a Doctorate in Violin Performance at the USC Thornton School as a student of Margaret Batjer, Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Joanna has also performed worldwide and is the recipient of multiple awards from numerous competitions, most notably as "Premio Virtuosite" first-prize winner of the Padova International Competition in Italy.

Free admission - Donations Appreciated

Click to see:
Classical Crossroads Home

First Fridays at First! ~ fff ~ Current Season

~ top ~