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2020-2021 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.

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]

For the 2020-2021 Concert Season,
the Concerts Were Videotaped and
Streamed-as-Live at the Scheduled Concert Time

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

At the discretion of the artists, the concert will be available to stream-on-demand for one month after the Premiere at the Classical Crossroads YouTube Channel.

Friday, September 4, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.


Trio Céleste

                              IRYNA KRECHKOVSKY violin
ROSS GASWORTH cello                                    

Hailed as "a first-class ensemble" (Orange County Register), "unfailingly stylish" (The Strad), "technically dazzling" (Long Beach Gazette), "flawless" (New York Concert Review), and "the epitome of what chamber musicians should be" (Palm Beach Daily News), Trio Céleste has firmly established itself as one of the most dynamic chamber music ensembles on the classical music scene today.

Recent highlights include recital debuts at the Chicago Cultural Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, New York's Carnegie Hall, Seoul Art Center in South Korea, and the world premiere of Paul Dooley's Concerto Grosso for Piano Trio and Strings, co-commissioned by Trio Céleste and Chamber Music | OC. Winners of the prestigious Beverly Hills National Auditions and the recipients of the 2017 Emerging Artist Award from Arts Orange County, the ensemble has performed hundreds of recitals worldwide. In 2014, the ensemble was selected from over 500 applicants to be Artists-in-Residence at The Grand Canyon National Park.

The ensemble was inspired to take its name after their very first meeting in New York City, where a rare celestial occurrence - the largest harvest moon in two decades - marked the beginning of their tenure together.

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

Peninsula Symphony
2020 Knox Competition Winner

Pianist Mi-Hyun Suh


A senior at Diamond Bar High School, Mi-Hyun Suh is currently studying piano with noted pianist Rufus Choi. As the First Place winner of the 2020 Knox Concerto Competition, Mi-Hyun will be performing a concerto with the Peninsula Symphony. She'll receive a scholarship of $1,600 from the Peninsula Symphony and an honorarium of $1,000 from Classical Crossroads for this solo recital.

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

Originally from England and Belgium, these two renowned Los Angeles-based artists will share their passion for chamber music with a worldwide audience in a freshly videotaped, streamed recital.

Cellist Clive Greensmith  Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert

                  Cellist                               Pianist                  

From 1999 until its final season in 2013, Clive Greensmith was a member of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet, giving over one hundred performances each year in the most prestigious international venues, including New York's Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, London's South Bank, Paris Chatelet, Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. He has collaborated with international artists such as Andras Schiff, Pinchas Zukerman, Leon Fleisher, Lynn Harrell, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Alicia de Larrocha, and Emanuel Ax. Formerly the principal cellist of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Greensmith is a founding member of the Montrose Trio with pianist Jon Kimura Parker, and violinist Martin Beaver.

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 made his solo debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and has appeared 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. Artistic Director of Classical Crossroads' Second Sundays at Two series, Mr. Vanhauwaert is a Steinway Artist.

Friday, December 4, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.

"A pianist of utmost beauty combined
with fantastic technique."
~ Vladimir Krainev

Panist Sung Chang


Pianist Sung Chang is known for his outstanding technical abilities, musical maturity, and sensitive yet powerful expression that shines through the keys. He has received critical acclaim from Jeffrey Kahane for his "poetic imagination, superb technical skills, and, most importantly, a deep emotional connection to whatever music he plays."

Among his numerous wins in more than ten international competitions, Sung Chang earned First Prize, Audience Prize, and the Schubert Special Prize from the International Schubert Competition for Piano Duo. Sung took the Silver Medal at the 12th San Antonio International Piano Competition. Most recently, he was awarded Second Prize at The Art of Duo presented by the Boulder International Chamber Music Competition in Colorado with noted violinist YuEun Kim. The duo performed the complete Beethoven violin sonatas, all within a span of three weeks, at the USC Thornton School of Music. Sung Chang studied at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover in Germany, and completed his studies at the USC Thornton School with Professor Jeffrey Kahane.

Friday, January 8, 2021 at 12:15 p.m.

A Recital in Remembrance of Namhee Han*

Organist David York


A native of the Pacific Northwest, David York began piano studies at age 7, organ at age 12, and received his first job as a church organist at age 16. After graduating with honors from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, David completed a Master's Degree in Organ Performance at the University of Southern California. His teachers have included Edward A. Hansen and Ladd Thomas. David has served as Music Director at Temple Israel of Long Beach since 1999.

* A Great Loss — The Passing of Organist Namhee Han

Namhee HanHer career as organist began late. Yet in a short period of time, her naturally sensitive and fluid playing, and her creative grace, technical virtuosity and imaginative attention to detail endeared her to ever-growing audiences, delighted with her interpretations. A brilliant musician, thoughtful of the audience and venue when selecting concert programs, and a favorite performer, always invited back . . . twelve times to the Classical Crossroads series!

She was an extraordinarily intelligent, kind, sensitive, genuine human being, happily connected to and satisfied enjoying the simplest things, an example of a healthy approach to life. For the fortunate of us who knew her personally and for the world of music and organ performance it is an immense loss.

Read a Remembrance of Namhee Han

Friday, February 5, 2021 at 12:15 p.m.

Acclaimed Berlin-Based Israeli Pianist

Pianist Einav Yarden


". . . imagination and exceptionally vivid playing . . . Sense of immense majesty, tempered by gentleness and quiet grace"
~ The Washington Post

"glistening rapture . . . ingenious humor"
~ Tagesspiegel, Germany

Award-winning pianist Einav Yarden has appeared as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Calgary Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Jerusalem Symphony, among others. Notable stages on which Einav has performed as a recitalist include the Berlin Philharmonie, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Berlin Konzerthaus, the 92nd Street Y in New York, The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Rose Theater at Lincoln Center, and Paris's Salle Cortot and Auditorium of the Musée d'Orsay, among others.

Einav was a longtime student of the great Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, earning with high honors a Master of Music and a Graduate Performance Diploma. Her earlier education was in Tel Aviv University with Emanuel Krasovsky.

Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:15 p.m.

Cellist of the Calder Quartet


Cellist Eric Byers  Violinist Lucia Micarelli  Pianist Fabio Bidini

  Cellist                      Violinist                        Pianist

As a founding member of the Calder Quartet, Eric Byers has appeared in the world's leading concert halls including Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, Wigmore Hall in London, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Mozarteum and Esterházy Palace in Austria, and the Sydney Opera House. Eric studied at the USC Thornton School with Ronald Leonard.

Violinist Lucia Micarelli has toured internationally with famed singers Josh Groban, Chris Botti, and Barbra Streisand. Lucia's first PBS concert special is airing throughout the U.S. She studied at The Juilliard School's Pre-College Division with the renowned pedagogue Dorothy DeLay and also took lessons with Itzhak Perlman and Cho-Liang Lin. Lucia spent her summers at the Aspen Music Festival, where she won the Violin Concerto Competition. She also attended the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with celebrated violinist Pinchas Zukerman.

Among the world's leading pianists, Italian-born Fabio Bidini has appeared as concerto soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre, Philharmonia Orchestra of London at Royal Festival Hall, San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall, Philharmonia Orchestra Prague at the Rudolfinum, and Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra at Liszt Academy Hall, among many others. A Steinway artist, he is the Piano Chair at the Colburn Conservatory.

Friday, April 9, 2021 at 12:15 p.m.

Part I of a Recital in Two Parts*

Cellist Emilio Colón  Cellist Cara Elise Colón  

Cellist/Conductor                           Cellist                                            Pianist
EMILIO COLÓN         CARA ELISE COLÓN                       STEVEN                                                                                            VANHAUWAERT

Acclaimed as a passionate and virtuosic performer, Emilio Colón is highly sought after as a solo cellist, chamber musician, conductor, composer, and pedagogue. In 2017, Emilio was named Artist of the Year by the New York Classical Music Society. Notable appearances as soloist include the National Symphony of the Ukraine, Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony of Istanbul, Reno Chamber Orchestra, and Guayaquil Symphony Orchestra. Emilio is on the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Cellist Cara Elise Colón has performed in chamber music collaborations throughout the world. Most recently she was invited to perform with the Perak Society of Performing Arts (PSPA) International Ensemble on tour in Malaysia, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series and the Ware Center Concert Series in Pennsylvania, the Mammoth Lakes Music Festival, the Killington Music Festival in Vermont, and the Fundación Musical Chamber Series in Puerto Rico. Cara has held positions on the faculty of the Indiana University String Academy and the Indianapolis Academy of Music.

Hailed by the Los Angeles Times for his "impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique," Steven Vanhauwaert made his solo debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and has appeared in some of the world's leading venues, including the National Center of the Performing Arts and the Forbidden City Theatre in Beijing, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, the Concertgebouw in Brugge, the Great Hall of the Budapest Liszt Conservatory, Segerstrom Hall, and the National Philharmonic Hall in Kiev. Mr. Vanhauwaert is a Steinway Artist.

* Part II of this recital was streamed on the following Sunday on Classical Crossroads' "Second Sundays at Two" series.

Friday, May 7, 2021 at 12:15 p.m.

Part I of a Recital in Two Parts*

Members of the Internationally Acclaimed

Cellist Kyril Zlotnikov  Pianist Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro  Violinist Liza Ferschtman
photo by Felix Broede                                       photo by Rita Carmo                         photo by Marco Borggreve

FILIPE PINTO-RIBEIRO                       Violinist 
KYRIL ZLOTNIKOV                                           LIZA FERSCHTMAN

Franz Schubert's Piano Trio No.1 in B-flat Major, D898

The DSCH - Shostakovich Ensemble is a Lisbon-based Portuguese project, which provides a platform for interaction of musicians of excellence on the international scene, masters of their instruments: compelled by the pleasure of making chamber music and a deep artistic collaboration. For these two concerts, the Ensemble's founder and Artistic Director, Portuguese pianist Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro, is joined by acclaimed Dutch violinist Liza Ferschtman and Belarus cellist Kyril Zlotnikov of the renowned Jerusalem Quartet.

Due to COVID-19, the concerts are being videotaped for Classical Crossroads in Lisbon in the beautiful Teatro Thalia on the April 29, 2021.

* Part II of this recital will be streamed on the following Sunday at 2:00 p.m. as part of the "Second Sundays at Two" series.


Friday, June 4, 2021 at 12:15 p.m.

Pianist Jeeyoom KimPianist

"A force of nature who lives for that special connection with a live audience" ~ Gordon Brown, Classical Radio XLNC-FM

Award-winning classical pianist Jeeyoon Kim has delighted audiences across the U.S. and around the world with her sparkling combination of sensitive artistry, broad emotional range, impeccable technique, and uniquely engaging and innovative concert experiences. Her love of music and the piano propelled her through her undergraduate studies in piano performance in her native Korea. After moving to the U.S., she graduated with distinction with a Master's Degree and a Doctorate in Piano Performance with a full scholarship from Indiana University's renowned Jacob School of Music. In pursuit of an even deeper understanding of music and refining her ability to share it with others, she earned another Master's Degree in music education, Piano Pedagogy, with a full scholarship from Butler University. Locally, Jeeyoon is a Beverly Hills National Auditions winner.

Jeeyoon's recital at First Lutheran Church & School in Torrance is centered on Brahms' Variations on an Original Theme and will be streamed with 13 original illustrations by noted New York-based artist Moonsub Shin. The Variations with Moonsub's illustrations was featured in the first of Jeeyoon's trilogy of innovative livestreams 30 x 3 Virtual Concert (available for viewing: purchase tickets here).

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