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Beverly Hills National Auditions Winners
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The Interludes
(formerly, The Previews
in Manhattan Beach)

2013-2014 Concert Series

Torrance Beach

Talented artists and ensembles are selected at the Beverly Hills National Auditions and presented monthly in the South Bay on The Interludes concert series. The concerts also are presented on the preceding Friday evenings on the Music By The Sea recital series in the Encinitas Public Library. From January through June, the concerts are presented the following Sundays on Beverly Hills' Music In The Mansion recital series in Beverly Hills' historic Greystone Mansion. Find information about the next Beverly Hills National Auditions by clicking here.

Saturday afternoons at 3:00 p.m.
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 Beverly Hills National Auditions Winners from past seasons:
[2001-2013] [2013-2014] [2014-2015] [2015-2016]
[2016-2017] [2017-2018] [2018-2019] [2019-2020]

Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.

Two Beverly Hills National Audition Winners in One Recital


Pianist Vijay VenkateshFast-rising pianist Vijay Venkatesh is an alumnus of NPR's From the Top and a 2009 Aspen Music Festival Fellow. A 2009 Winner in National YoungArts Foundation, he took First Prizes in the International Zimmerli Solo Piano Competition in North Carolina (2011), the Russian International Solo Piano Competition (2004), and the World Piano Pedagogue Competition (2007). In 2007, he won Second Prize in the Virginia Waring International Solo Piano Competition. Vijay made his orchestral debut with the South Coast Symphony and since has performed with the Pasadena, Rio Hondo, and Transylvania Symphonies, and the YMF Debut Orchestra, Brevard Music Center and Brevard Festival Orchestras. His 2013-14 season is highlighted with performances with the Eastern Connecticut and Roanoke Symphony Orchestras, and an artist-residency at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. This is Vijay's second Beverly Hills Auditions win. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree at USC under Professor Norman Krieger.


Evgeny Tonkha, celloRussian cellist Evgeny Tonkha is a First Prize Gold Medal winner at the 12th International Cello Competition in the Czech Republic and the Special Jury Prize winner at the 13th International Tchaikovsky Competition. Born in 1982 into a musical family, Evgeny began his studies at the Gnessin Music School with his father Professor Vladimir Tonkha. Graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow, he continued his studies at Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin with renowned cellist David Geringas.

He regularly performs in leading venues including the Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Hamburg Philhamonie, and at the Hall of Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich. Evgeny performs with orchestras include the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra, Neue Philharmonie in Hamburg, Berliner Camerata, the Symphony Orchestras of Nizhny Novgorod, Toliatti, Ryazan, and the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra.

Resident and guest participant in international music festivals, currently, Evgeny resides in Los Angeles where he works in the film industry and appears as a recitalist in concert series in Southern California.

Anna Drubich, pianoEvgeny's collaborator for the recital is noted Russian-born pianist and composer Anna Drubich. Anna was born in Moscow and earned her Bachelor and Master's degrees at the Munich School for the Performing Arts (2002-2008). As a recitalist and chamber music performer, Anna gave concerts in Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain. She won First Prize at the Moscow Beethoven Competition and the Mozart Prize at the Bremen International Piano Competition. A graduate of the USC film scoring program, Anna wrote music for "Anna Karenina" (2012) among others. Performers of her concert music include noted artists such as violists Yuri Bashmet and Victor De Almeida, cellist Evgeny Tonkha and Jan Vogler, and the Novaya Rossia and Aspen Festival Orchestras.

Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

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


Kevin Kwan Loucks, piano Iryna Krechkovsky, violin Ross Gasworth, cello

Kevin Kwan Loucks piano                          
Iryna Krechkovsky violin
                                         Ross Gasworth cello
This performance will feature the famed 1689 "Baumgartner" Stradivari violin on loan to Iryna from the Canada Council for the Arts.  

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.

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

Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Grand Prize Winner at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition as a member of the Mana Saxophone Quartet


Mortarotti/Tazawa Duo

MICHAEL MORTAROTTI alto saxophone        

Praised as a "consummate and multi-faceted musician," saxophonist Michael Mortarotti enjoys an active performing career that has taken him throughout the United States, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. He is a passionate chamber player who regularly combines his unique sound with outstanding performers like the Calder String Quartet, Brazilian guitarist Camilo Carrara, oboist Jared Hauser, harpist Richard Fleischer, and Japanese pianist Erika Tazawa. During his eight-year tenure in the Mana Saxophone Quartet, the ensemble was awarded the coveted Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition in Pasadena, California. He performs on an historic Buescher saxophone (c.1937) that was built according to the acoustical specifications of the instrument's inventor, Adolphe Sax.


About pianist Erika Tazawa, the American Record Guide wrote, "Tazawa is a superb collaborator, boldly undertaking the demanding keyboard parts with boundless technique, dynamic range, and expressive understanding." Erika holds top prizes in numerous competitions including the Chopin Society of Thousand Islands International Competition, Empire State Piano Competition, Julia Crane Concerto Competition, and Tochigi Piano Competition.


Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.

Faculty Artists at
University of Nevada Reno


Hyeyeon Park, piano Dmitri Atapine, cello

HYEYEON PARK piano        

Described as "a splendid, elegant cellist, with a gorgeous sound" (MundoClasico), Dmitri Atapine has been hailed as a performer with "brilliant technical chops" (Gramophone), whose playing is "highly impressive throughout" (The Strad). Dr. Atapine has appeared on some of the world's most coveted stages including Zankel and Weill Halls at Carnegie Hall, National Auditorium of Spain, Juan March Foundation (Madrid), Prince Philip Auditorium (Asturias).


Praised for her "very sensitive" (Washington Post) and "highly nuanced" (Lucid Culture) playing, pianist Adela Hyeyeon Park's. recent concerts have been presented on the Dame Myra Hess Recital Series in Chicago, the Trinity Wall Street Series in NYC, Philips Collection in Washington DC among others, leading her to venues such as Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Recital Hall, Kennedy Center and Seoul Art Center, to name a few.

Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.

Percussion Ensemble Formed at the Colburn School

Smoke & Mirrors


While the Smoke & Mirrors Ensemble has championed the work of percussion masters, they also work with young composers who are just beginning their careers. Their debut album on the Yarlung label includes selections by Steve Reich, Eric Whitacre, Happenstance, Toru Takemitsu, and Ravel, and a world premiere recording by ensemble member Derek Tywoniuk. Together the five musicians weave into filaments of sound and rhythm as if they were one person.


Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.

"20 year-old carries on violin traditions of the greats"

  with Pianist

Samuel Nebyu, violinFirst Prize winner of the 16th Remember Enescu International Violin Competition in Romania (2013) and Flame International Violin Competition in Paris (2008), 20-year-old violinist Samuel Nebyu performed at international music festivals including the Eilat Music Festival in Israel, Mozarteum Festival in Salzburg, Austria, and Ravello Festival in Italy. Born in Hungary, Samuel's African-American and Jewish-European descent brings a unique flair to his playing - from improvisations worldwide with famed Gypsy violinist Roby Lakatos to classics and modern interpretations.
As a soloist and recitalist Samuel played in concert venues such as the Centre of Fine Arts in Brussels, the magnificent Peles Castle in Romania, Wiener Saal in Salzburg, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and the Alice Tully Hall in New York. He entered the Brussels Royal Conservatory at 15 where he studied with Igor Oistrakh, continued with Professor Boris Kuschnir in Vienna, and was violinist-in-residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium. Currently, Samuel continues his studies with Professor Eduard Schmieder at the Center for the Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he won the 2013 Temple University Concerto Competition.

Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.

"Svetlana Smolina, an outstanding Russian pianist with a luxuriant tone ... found urgency in the flashy solo part." - Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, July 2011

Svetlana Smolina, pianoRussian Pianist

Born in Nizhny-Novgorod, Russia, pianist Svetlana Smolina has performed with orchestras and in recitals worldwide. Some recent notable solo appearances with orchestras include Mariinsky Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, New York Philharmonic at Avery Fischer Hall, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestra National de France, Odessa and Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, with iPalpiti in Walt Disney Concert Hall, and numerous others. A frequent guest in the world's leading festivals, she has performed recitals in prestigious halls including Royal Covent Garden Opera, Mariinsky 3 Concert Hall, Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory Hall, Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Grand Artists Series in Tel-Aviv, Academia Santa Cecilia in Rome, and Vienna's Sacher Hall, to name just some. Dr. Smolina is DMA graduate from the University of Michigan. She has recorded for Decca/Phillips and with violinist Vadim Repin for Deutsche Grammophon in Berlin.

(Franz Liszt: Liebesträume)

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.

Grand Prize at the Korea Music Foundation Competition
& First Prize at Asia-Pacific Young Artist Competition


Somang Jeagl, pianoBorn in Daegu, South Korea in 1983, So-Mang Jeagal began the piano at the age of 5, and at 11 gave his first recital debut. He studied at Seoul Arts High School, followed by graduation with the highest honors from Seoul National University with Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. Winner of several national as well as international competitions, Somang is a recipient of a Grand Prize at the Korea Music Foundation Competition and First Prize at the Asia-Pacific Young Artist Competition. Somang performed at many important international music festivals and concert series, including Salzburger Schloss Konzerte in Austria, touring Australia and New Zealand (Sydney, Canberra, Wellington, and Auckland) as part of the KUMHO Virtuosi Trio Concert Series, and he also was featured in US Tour Concerts (New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Toronto) of the US Seoul National University Alumni. Somang continues to broaden his musical aspirations by participating in masterclasses with eminent concert pianists such as Leon Fleisher and John O'Conor. Currently, he is working with Professor Kevin Fitz-Gerald in the Artist Diploma Program at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.

The New York City-based

                                          ALINA LIM cello

Inspired by the French musical term allant meaning "energetic" and "driving," the three young artists of the Allant Trio are passionate about performing so that audiences of all ages and backgrounds can rediscover the power and beauty of chamber music. Formed at Juilliard three years ago, last year the Trio was invited to participate at the highly selective Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival in San Francisco. In 2011, the trio was chosen for a three-week performance residency at The Banff Centre in Canada and was named semifinalists at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in Norway. The trio performs often throughout the New York City metro area, and recently, was featured as soloists at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in New Jersey.


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