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First Fridays at First! ~ fff ~ Current Season

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

2019-2020 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, September 6, 2019 at 12:15 p.m.

European Trio from Italy, Denmark, and Finland
plays Tchaikovsky's Masterpiece


    Lauri Rantamoijanen, cello
Pianist                   Violinist                       Cellist
   Jacopo Giacopuzzi
    Aleksander Koelbel   Lauri Rantamoijanen
   from Italy            from Denmark            from Finland

Top Scandinavian string players join award-winning Santa Barbara-based Italian pianist Jacopo Giacopuzzi in a performance of Tchaikovsky's great chamber music masterpiece, Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50, as part of La Bella Vita Trio's California concert tour.

Friday, October 4, 2019 at 12:15 p.m.

Violinist Joanna Lee & Friends
from the Los Angeles Ensemble

Joanna Lee, violin


~ with fellow Los Angeles Ensemble members ~

Cellist BINGXIA LU & Pianist FENG BIAN

A founding member of the Los Angeles Ensemble, violinist Joanna Lee has performed throughout Korea, Japan, China, Europe, and the U.S. in leading venues such as the KKL in Luzern, the JT Art Hall in Tokyo, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Born into a musical family, Joanna attended the University of Music in Basel, Switzerland, and the University of Vienna. Joanna holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree from the USC Thornton School of Music, where she studied under the tutelage of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Concertmaster Margaret Batjer on a full scholarship. Joanna was recently appointed to the Colburn School faculty and the Pacific Symphony.

Friday, November 1, 2019 at 12:15 p.m.

"Eric Byers gave an ideally eloquent reading . . . showing that
the fierce beauty is a quality of many shades."
~ Los Angeles Times

"Thies beautifully articulates the music with clean-cut
technical fluency . . . there is a sense of serene confidence
and sensitive flair in his approach."
~ Los Angeles Times

Eric Byers, cello  Robert Thies, piano

Cellist                              Pianist

Founding member of the famed Calder Quartet, cellist Eric Byers, collaborates with fellow USC Thornton alumni pianist Robert Thies, acclaimed winner of the International Prokofiev Competition.

View the e-flyer with full concert and program information by clicking here.

Friday, December 6, 2019 at 12:15 p.m.

The Organist at Westwood Presbyterian Church

NamHee Han, organ


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 Classical Crossroads' concerts, Namhee Han has appeared six times in the previous Manhattan Beach venue, and this recital will mark her sixth appearance at the current Torrance venue. Recording projects include playing solo and duo organ pieces for the DVD The Story of the Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ (watch trailer). Namhee also can be heard on American Public Media's Pipedreams.

View the e-flyer with full concert and program information by clicking here.

Friday, January 3, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.

The Guitarist & The Soprano


Guitarist Aaron Hass Soprano Anastasia Malliaras
Guitarist                                      Soprano

The Beverly Hills National Auditions committee wrote about winners Aaron Haas & Anastasia Malliaras, "A unique presentation of original voice/guitar cycles of Spanish composers sung in Ladino, Spanish, and English." Their repertoire also includes transcriptions of classic art songs with the unique sound of the guitar-voice duo.

The pair met while studying music at the University of Southern California and have been featured on numerous concert series, including Stan's Music Parlor, Sundays Live at LACMA, and St. Luke's Garden Concerts in Rolling Hills Estates. They are also the winners of the 2019 Beverly Hills National Auditions, which awarded them the opportunity to perform on Southern California's esteemed classical concert series Music by the Sea, The Interludes, and Music in the Mansion.

View the e-flyer with full concert and program information by clicking here.

Friday, February 7, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.

Two Good Friends Share Their Passion
for Classical Music with the Audience

Susan Greenberg, flute & Cristina Montes Mateo, harp

SUSAN GREENBERG            Harpist      

During her 36 years with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, flutist Susan Greenberg was a frequent soloist, premiering a concerto for piccolo by Bruce Broughton and performing a concerto for flute, alto flute, and piccolo written for her by Gernot Wolfgang. now Principal Flutist of the Santa Monica Symphony and the Vicente Chamber Orchestra.

Acclaimed Los Angeles-based Spanish harpist Cristina Montes Mateo is the 1st Prize Winner of numerous international harp competitions and soloist with leading orchestras worldwide. She is currently Solo Harpist at the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana in the Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, Spain, an orchestra created by Lorin Maazel and conducted also by Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, and Riccardo Chailly.

Later in the afternoon, Susan and Cristina will perform an assembly concert for the First Lutheran School.

View the e-flyer with full concert and program information by clicking here.

Friday, March 6, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.

Piano Duo from Portugal

Rosa Maria Barrantes, piano  Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro, piano


Peruvian-born pianist Rosa Maria Barrantes and Portuguese-born pianist Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro met in Moscow, where they both earned their Doctor of Musical Performance degrees at the renowned Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Now based in Lisbon, both are members of the internationally acclaimed DSCH - Schostakovich Ensemble, founded by Filipe in 2006 and based in Lisbon's Centro Cultural de Belém.

This is the first of a Recital in Two Parts. The second part, which will be a reprise of a celebrated recital complemented with projected images that the duo presented in Moscow, will be presented the following Sunday on Rolling Hills United Methodist Church's Second Sundays at Two concert series.

View the e-flyer with full concert and program information by clicking here.

Friday, April 3, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.
(Re-scheduled for Friday, April 9, 2021)

Steven Vanhauwaert, piano


Hailed by the Los Angeles Times for his "impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique," 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 some.

Recent albums such as Joseph Woelfl: The Paris Years (Sonarti Records) and Pensées Intimes (Hortus Records) were included in the Top 10 award on Belgian radio and received a 5 diapasons rating in France. His album Dispersion (Hortus Records) featuring works by Hindemith, Vierne, Casella, Schulhoff and a world premiere recording by Belgian composer Raymond Moulaert, received rave reviews in Germany, France, Holland, the UK, and the US. Mr. Vanhauwaert is a Steinway Artist.

Meet Steven Vanhauwaert

Friday, May 1, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.

The live-audience recital is being replaced by "streaming as live" their Music in the Mansion recital videotaped at Beverly Hills' Greystone Mansion in, March of 2019.


The Latsos Piano Duo

Latsos Piano Duo


Georgian-American pianist/composer Giorgi Latso and Russian pianist Anna Fedorova-Latso are winners of international competitions and highly regarded piano virtuosos on the international classical music scene. As The Latsos Piano Duo since 2013, they have performed four-hand piano recitals and concertos for two pianos with orchestras in Europe, Russia, America, and Asia.

Russian-born pianist Anna Fedorova-Latso graduated from the State Glinka Conservatory in Nizhny Novgorod, and is First Prize winner of international piano competitions in Russia, Italy, and Greece.

Giorgi's 2010 appearance in London's Wigmore Hall included the world premiere of his composition Cyber Moment for violin and piano, which can be seen on YouTube.

Together Anna and Giorgi are brilliant and have issued their first recording – The Latsos Perform Mozart and Schubert.

Friday, June 5, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.
(Re-scheduled for Friday, October 2, 2020)

Peninsula Symphony
2020 Knox Competition Winner


In cooperation with the Peninsula Symphony, each year Classical Crossroads presents the winner of the Knox Concerto Competition in recital on the First Fridays at First! series.

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