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Bach's Lunch

2006-2007 Recital Series

From 2001 to 2013 in Manhattan Beach, Bach's Lunch recitals have become Classical Crossroads' First Fridays at First! ~ fff recitals in Torrance CA.

Sun Setting in Manhattan Beach

Bach's Lunch recitals were half hour without intermissions. Lunch, with sandwiches made from special-order bakery bread and farmers-market-fresh produce, were available afterwards to enjoy with the artists or take back to the office in a box.

Friday, October 6, 2006 at 12:15 p.m.

"Super" Bach's Lunch
Opening Recital I


Voxfire: SUSAN JUDY soprano, CHRISTEN HERMAN mezzo-soprano, SAMELA AIRD BEASOM soprano

SUSAN JUDY soprano                          
HRISTEN HERMAN mezzo-soprano
                          SAMELA AIRD BEASOM soprano

Voxfire is the collaboration of three of the West Coast's most highly regarded interpreters of early and contemporary vocal music. Using their distinct vocal colors, the three sopranos have melded their talents as a means of adapting and presenting the works of these eras with their very own musical style and dramatic flair. Voxfire's sopranos are well known for their contributions to vocal music, both as soloists and as members of prominent professional ensembles. From this varied background, they have chosen the intimate approach of one-on-a-part to create an enchanting marriage between choral and solo singing: a vocal chamber music that refreshes the ear with a pure, sonic clarity.

[Concert Program] [Voxfire's website]

Friday, November 3, 2006 at 12:15 p.m.

"Super" Bach's Lunch
Opening Recital II

LAURIE RUBIN mezzo soprano

Laurie Rubin, mezzo soprano; David Wilkinson, piano
Laurie Rubin with David Wilkinson, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, March 2004
photo by Steve J. Sherman

Mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin received high praise from New York Times chief classical music critic Anthony Tommasini, who wrote she possesses "compelling artistry," "communicative power," and that her voice displays "earthy, rich and poignant qualities." Recent career highlights include her United Kingdom solo recital debut performance at Wigmore Hall in London as well as her solo recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has performed with such luminaries as Frederica von Stade, John Williams, and Marvin Hamlisch and has appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center and The White House in Washington, DC. A graduate of both the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Yale Opera at the Yale School of Music, Laurie has recorded a CD of art songs with renowned collaborative pianists Graham Johnson and David Wilkinson on the Opera Omnia label.

[Laurie Rubin's website]

Friday, December 1, 2006 at 12:15 p.m.

Nora Chaing  Armen Ksajikian

             NORA CHIANG piano                                              
                   ARMEN KSAJIKIAN cello

At the age of thirteen Nora Chiang was awarded a five-year scholarship to attend the pre-college division of the Juilliard School. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music. She did graduate work at New England Conservatory and earned a Master of Music from the University of Southern California while studying with Norman Krieger.

Armen Ksajikian began his professional career at age 12 with the Abkhazian State Philharmonic (then part of Soviet Georgia). Since arriving in the United States in 1976, he has been very active in the musical life of Los Angeles. He has appeared as a soloist and principal cellist with numerous orchestras in the Los Angeles area, as well as the Bolshoi, Kirov, Stuttgart, Royal, and American Ballet Theater orchestras. Armen is Associate Principal of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

[Nora Chiang's website] [Armen Ksajikian on LACO's website]

Friday, January 5, 2007 at 12:15 p.m.

Pianist Mark Robson

organ and harpsichord

A founding member of Piano Spheres, Mark Robson earned his degrees from Oberlin College and from USC under John Perry and James Bonn. From January 1991 until June 2005, Mark worked on the music staff of the Los Angeles Opera as a répétiteur and eventually as Assistant Chorus Master / Assistant Conductor. His playing has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "massively virtuosic" and noted for its "display of dazzling speed, exquisite control, and surprising delicacy." As a recitalist, he has concertized at the Salle Marguerite Gaveau and Salle Cortot in Paris, the Paleis Het Loo in the Netherlands, Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Sundays Live series, the Kennedy Center, James Madison University, and the Spoleto Festival. This season in Pasadena, Mark is in the midst of performing the cycle of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas.

Friday, February 2, 2007 at 12:15 p.m.


Mojave Trio
    Sara Parkins   Margaret Parkins   Genevieve Lee
violin                   cello                       piano   

Grammy-Award-winning violinist Sara Parkins of the famed Angeles Quartet is joined by UC Irvine faculty cellist Margaret Parkins and Pomona College faculty pianist Genevieve Feiwen Lee for a return performance by popular demand.

Friday, March 2, 2007 at 12:15 p.m.

Steven Vanhauwaert


Grand-Prize winner of the International Liszt Competition in Los Angeles, Belgian pianist Steven Vanhauwaert graduated in 1999 from the Conservatorium in Kortrijk and earned his Master of Music degree in 2004 from the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. He currently studies at the USC Thornton School of Music with Professor Kevin Fitz-Gerald. Steven won the USC Concerto Competition with the Schumann Concerto and performed it with the USC Thornton Symphony under the baton of Carl St. Clair in March 2006. This recital marks the Steven's return to Trinity Lutheran after having performed last season on the "Previews" series.

[Steven Vanhauwaert's Website]

Friday, April 6, 2007 at 12:15 p.m.

Russ Litchfield, organ


A graduate of Whittier College, Russ Litchfield is Organist of First Friends Church in Whittier. For the past nine years he was the Music Director and Organist of Trinity Lutheran Church in Pasadena.

Friday, May 4, 2007 at 12:15 p.m.

Charles Raasch, organ


A native of Southern California, Charles Raasch began studying piano at age 6. He holds a Bachelor's degree from California State University Fullerton and has also studied at Chapman College. He has studied organ with Esther Jones and Michael Burkhardt.

Friday, June 1, 2007 at 12:15 p.m.

James Taulbee, organ


Organist-Choirmaster of Lutheran Church of the Master in West Los Angeles, James Taulbee holds a Master of Music from USC. This will be James's sixth appearance on the series.

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