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Bach's Lunch

2009-2010 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 2, 2009 at 12:15 p.m.

Charlene Chi Sings Rachmaninoff
and Other Late-Romantic Art Songs

Charlene Chi, mezzo soprano

CHARLENE CHI mezzo-soprano

A native of Toronto, Canada, Charlene Chi is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the USC Thornton School of Music. She has performed in recitals in the Western United States, Canada, and Germany. Charlene has sung leading roles with Opera Santa Barbara and UC Santa Barbara. She won first place in the Bohemian Foundation & Opera Association of Los Angeles Competition.

A native of Bulgaria, Jordan Rashkov is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the USC Thornton School of Music. He has performed as featured soloist and chamber-ensemble artist in several international music festivals including the Salzburg Festival and Florence International Chamber Music Festival and as concerto soloists with European orchestras.

A faculty member of Pomona College, Jason Yoshida earned his Bachelor of Music at UC Santa Barbara and continued his studies at the USC Thornton School.

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

Los Angeles Philharmonic Oboist

Anne Marie Gabriele, oboe


Juilliard-trained, Los Angeles Philharmonic oboist Anne Marie Gabriele previously served as oboist of the Columbus and Honolulu Symphonies, and she was Principal Oboist of the Canton Symphony Orchestra (Ohio). Anne Marie has been featured in leading festivals including the Aspen, Kent/Blossom, and Waterloo, and Breckenridg Festivals, and most recently Festival Mozaic and its WinterMezzo Series in San Luis Obispo.

Violist Robert Brophy, with whom Ann Marie will perform Loeffler's Rhapsodies, is highly regarded in town as the violist of both the New Hollywood String Quartet and the Capital Ensemble. With The Enso Quartet, he has earned honors at the 2004 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the 2003 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Pianist Bryan Pezzone is the consummate cross-over pianist who excels in classical, contemporary, jazz, and experimental genres and is well known to aficionados for his versatility and virtuosity as a collaborative pianist, recording and performing artist, improviser, and composer.

[About Anne Marie Gabriele on the L.A. Philharmonic website]
[Bryan Pezzone's website]

Friday, December 4, 2009 at 12:15 p.m.


Nora Chiang, piano Stirling Trent, violin Joo Lee, cello
ORA CHIANG piano                                       
                                  JOO LEE 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 USC. Nora Chiang is currently director of the Applied Music Program and teaches piano at Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and gives private piano instruction in her studio in Los Angeles.

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.

A native of Korea, Joo Lee came to the United States to study with John Walz at Idyllwild Arts Academy and was accepted to the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School. Ms. Lee earned her Bachelor's Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music and her Master's Degree at the USC Thornton School of Music, where she is currently pursuing her Doctorate under Ronald Leonard.

[Nora Chiang's website] [more about Stirling Trent]

Friday, January 8, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.

Helen Callus Plays Bach

Hellen Callus, viola


"Helen Callus plays with a sumptuous tone matched by flawless intonation..."Gramophone

A native of Kent, England, violist Helen Callus graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London and continued her graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Maryland, where she was the teaching assistant to Paul Coletti. Ms. Callus performs worldwide as a recitalist, chamber music collaborator, and concerto soloist. Her recordings of the viola repertoire for ASV Sanctuary Classics UK and other labels receive high critical acclaim. Ms. Callus holds the position of Associate Professor of Viola at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Listen to NPR's Performance Today broadcast of her live-in-studio interview and performance by clicking here.

[Helen Callus' website]

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.

"...blessed with abundant energy, powerful fingers, a big sound and natural musicality." - Gramophone

Christopher Atzinger, piano


American pianist Christopher Atzinger has performed in Austria, Italy, France, Spain, and Canada in addition to performances throughout the United States highlighted by concerts in New York at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall; in Chicago at the Dame Myra Hess Series, and PianoForte Salon Series; and in Washington, D.C. at the Phillips Collection.

Mr. Atzinger is medalist of the New Orleans International Piano Competition, the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, and the Nina Plant Wideman International Piano Competition. He was also winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Competition and the Premio Città di Ispica prize at the IBLA Grand Prize Competition in Ragusa-Ibla, Italy. Mr. Atzinger has recorded for MSR Classics and Centaur and will record works of Judith Lang Zaimont for Naxos in 2010.

Mr. Atzinger earned degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Michigan, and Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He currently lives in Minnesota, where he teaches at St. Olaf College.

Friday, March 5, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.

Organist of Westwood Presbyterian Church

Namhee Han, organ


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.

Lars Hoefs, celloA native of Germany, Andrea Thiele was principal harpist of the Phoenix Symphony from 1998 to 2001, the Staatskapelle Schwerin from 1994 to 1998, and played with the orchestras of the Hamburgische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Münchner Philharmoniker, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and numerous local orchestras. As a soloist, she performed with the Polish Chamber Orchestra, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, Warsaw Symphony, Yale Philharmonia, Phoenix Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonia Nacional of Mexico City, and the Southeast Symphony in

Friday, April 2, 2010 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' tenth consecutive appearance on the series. As the concert falls on Good Friday, the program will consist of music appropriate for Holy Week.

Friday, May 7, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.


AlmaNova Duo

                        JESSICA PIERCE flute
ALMER IMAMOVIC guitar                   

The AlmaNova Duo began their career in France while studying at the famed École Normale de Musique de Paris. Flutist Jessica Pierce and guitarist Almer Imamovic both continued their studies at the USC Thornton School, where Jessica earned her Doctorate under Jim Walker and Almer earned his Master's degree under Scott Tennant. They've performed throughout Europe and the North America.

[Alma Nova Duo's website]

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.

Millennia Consort

Millennia Consort

Bill Owens & Ray Nowak trumpets                   
Sean Reusch trombone                     
 Mike McCoy horn            
               Scott Sutherland tuba

Members of the San Diego-based Millennia Consort 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. Organist and founder Alison Luedecke earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music.

Click to Listen to Promenade
from Pictures at an Exhibition

[Millennia Consort's website]

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