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Bach's Lunch

2008-2009 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, September 5, 2008 at 12:15 p.m.

Opening Concert by Organist of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Long Beach

Organist David York


Organist David York is Director of Music at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Long Beach, a position he has held since 1995. After graduating with honors from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, David completed a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance at USC.

Friday, October 3, 2008 at 12:15 p.m.

Vientos Trio

RYAN ZWAHLEN oboe                       
                     MICHAEL KREINER bassoon

Members of the Vientos Trio are among the Southland's finest young professional wind players who perform with leading orchestras and chamber ensembles. In the afternoon, Vientos Trio will perform outreach concerts in the local Manhattan Beach schools.

Ryan Zwahlen, a UCLA DMA candidate in Chamber Music and Oboe Performance, has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the batons of Zubin Mehta and Bramwell Tovey. Ryan earned his Bachelor's Degree at University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, and his Master's at Arizona State University.

Clarinetist Jennifer Stevenson recently earned her DMA under Yehuda Gilad at the USC Thornton School after completing her Bachelor's Degree at DePaul University and her Master's at Rice University.

Bassoonist Michael Kreiner earned his Bachelor's Degree from Indiana University and his Master's from the Manhattan School of Music.

Friday, November 7, 2008 at 12:15 p.m.

Debut Appearance Together

Nora Chiang, piano Stirling Trent, violin Armen Ksajikian, cello
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. Nora did graduate work at New England Conservatory and earned a Master of Music from the University of Southern California. She is currently teaching piano and directing the Applied Performance Program at Santa Monica College.

Texas native Stirling Trent is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Itzhak Perlman. He is now a student of Midori Goto at the USC Thornton School, where he earned a Master's degree and is pursuing a doctorate. He has appeared in Live from Lincoln Center with Itzhak Perlman, as well as a series at Carnegie Hall in 2003 in which he was concertmaster of the New York String Orchestra under Jaime Laredo.

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Associate Principal Cellist 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.

[Nora Chiang's website] [more about Stirling Trent] [Armen Ksajikian on LACO's website]

Friday, December 5, 2008 at 12:15 p.m.

Presidio Brass

Presidio Brass
BILL OWENS trumpet                                       
SEAN REUSCH trombone                    
MIKE MCCOY horn          
       RAY NOWAK trumpet    
                       SCOTT SUTHERLAND tuba

Members of the San Diego-based Presidio Brass have been seen with major symphony orchestras, including the London Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic; can be heard on soundtracks ranging from video games to major motion pictures; and have been educated at several of America's finest institutions, including the Juilliard School, Boston Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and USC.

[Listen at Presidio Brass's website]

Friday, January 2, 2009 at 12:15 p.m.

Organist of Westwood Presbyterian Church


A native of South Korea, Namhee Han performs on the Southland's premier organs, including those at Saint James' in the City, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. She was a featured artist at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in 2004. Namhee earned a Master's and Doctoral degree in organ performance at UCLA studying with Christoph Bull. Namhee is Organist of Westwood Presbyterian Church.

Friday, February 6, 2009 at 12:15 p.m.

Violinist and Pianist of the
Rossetti Piano Quartet

Henry Gronnier, violin  Rina Dokshitsky, piano
HENRY GRONNIER violin                    

Watch Henry and Rina perform the Adagio-Allegro movement of Mozart's Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major, K379

Henry Gronnier is a founding member of the Rossetti String Quartet. His early musical studies took place at the Conservatoire in his native town of Saint Quentin, France, where he was awarded the Premier Prix in both piano and violin. He continued his studies with Michèle Auclair, Nell Gotkovsky, and Zino Francescatti. Mr. Gronnier has appeared throughout the world in recitals, including his New York debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and his London debut at Wigmore Hall. Henry Gronnier is a faculty member of the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles.

Israeli pianist Rina Dokshitsky gave her first solo appearance at age thirteen with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. At age twenty-one Ms. Dokshitsky won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and subsequently made her debut recital at the 92nd Street Y and the Kennedy Center. Ms. Dokshitsky has also collaborated extensively in chamber music ensembles at international music festivals and with renowned musicians. She is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she was a full scholarship student of Russell Sherman. As a student there, she received a Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and a distinguished Artist Diploma.

[About Henry Gronnier] [About Rina Dokshitsky]

Friday, March 6, 2009 at 12:15 p.m.

Performance of Jake Heggie's Operatic Scene "At the Statue of Venus"

AMY JARMAN soprano

Soprano Amy Jarman and pianist Victoria Kirsch will perform Jake Heggie's acclaimed operatic scene "At the Statue of Venus" with libretto by Tony-Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, along with other mythology-inspired selections.

A native Californian, Amy Jarman is a graduate of the Royal College of Music in London. She has performed as a soloist with the Nashville Symphony, Louisville Bach Society, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony, Hancock Chamber Players, and Blair String Quartet. She has been a featured artist on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Leeds International Concert Series, and St. James' Piccadilly and St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. In Southern California, Amy has been a featured soloist at the Baroque Music Festival, Corona del Mar. Her operatic roles with Nashville Opera include Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor and Mimi in La Bohème. Amy is a member of the voice faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee.

Victoria Kirsch maintains a varied professional schedule that includes international performing, work with major and regional opera companies, including Los Angeles Opera, extensive audition playing (including Plácido Domingo's Operalia competition in 2000 and 2004 and, until 2003, the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions). In 1998, she began collaboration with Julia Migenes (Carmen in the 1984 film with Plácido Domingo) on the celebrated soprano's one-woman show, Diva on the Verge, which the two have presented to acclaim worldwide. She is currently a popular teaching artist for LA Opera's Education and Community Programs Department and pianist and music director of the Los Angeles-based Operetta Foundation. As a recent NEA Chairman's Grant recipient, she is currently co-creating a show based on the writings of Emily Dickinson.

[about Amy Jarman]

Friday, April 3, 2009 at 12:15 p.m.

Organist of First Friends Church in Whittier

Russ Litchfield, organ


A graduate of Whittier College, Russ Litchfield is Organist of First Friends Church in Whittier. Russ's annual appearances on the series are warmly welcomed by the audience. J.S. Bach is his favorite composer.

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 12:15 p.m.

Organist-Choirmaster of Lutheran Church of the Master

James Taulbee, organ


Organist-Choirmaster of Lutheran Church of the Master in West Los Angeles, James Taulbee holds a Master of Music from USC. A favorite at Trinity Lutheran, this recital will be James' ninth consecutive appearance on the series.

Friday, June 5, 2009 at 12:15 p.m.

New England Conservatory of Music Oboist

Martha Kleiner



Martha Kleiner is completing her second year of study with John Ferrillo at the New England Conservatory of Music. While attending Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Martha studied oboe with Anne Marie Gabriele of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Martha has performed in Disney Hall with the Idyllwild Festival Winds and in Carnegie Hall with her high school orchestra, playing principal oboe and English horn. Martha has performed as oboe soloist with the South Bay Youth Orchestra, where she won its Concerto Competition in 2005 and 2006. She has also been a soloist with the Santa Monica College Orchestra, winning the Concerto Competition in 2006. She was principal oboist of the Southern California Honor Orchestra in 2006 and 2007. She has played with the Colburn Orchestra da Camera, where she has also been a soloist, Young Artists Orchestra at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, New England Conservatory Sinfonietta Orchestra, and the 2008 Festival Mozaic. Martha is a 2006 recipient of a Young Musicians Foundation Scholarship.

Aficionados will be delighted to hear that Martha will be joined by Blue Rose Trio pianist Rose Chen, who is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music. Rose is finishing her Doctorate at the USC Thornton School. A little-known secret is that Rose also plays the oboe.

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