Click here for First Fridays at First! ~ fff Series

Select Season: [2000–2001] [2001–2002] [2002–2003] [2003–2004] [2004–2005] [2005–2006] [2006–2007] [2007–2008] [2008–2009] [2009–2010] [2010–2011] [2011–2012] [2012–2013]

Bach's Lunch

2011-2012 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 7, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.

Director of Music & Organist
St. Francis Episcopal Church
in Palos Verdes


Composer of the two popular hymns Surely It is God Who Saves Me and My Flesh is Food Indeed, among others, Ray Urwin graduated from Oberlin Conservatory, earned his Master's degree in Orchestral Conducting from SUNY Stony Brook, and his Doctorate in Organ Performance from Yale University. Dr. Urwin is in demand as an organ recitalist and accompanist, has performed nationally in New York, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Princeton, Sacramento, and other cities, and has been a featured Wednesday recitalist at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral downtown.

Friday, November 4, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.

Westwood Presbyterian Church

Namhee Han, organ


Namhee holds Master's and Doctoral degrees in organ performance and, additionally, in applied linguistics from UCLA. She has coached, among others, with Marie-Claire Alain, Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, Jean Guillou, David Craighead, Frederick Swann, Marilyn Keiser, and Paul Jacobs. Namhee has been a featured artist at National and Regional Conventions of the American Guild of Organists and performs in the major organ venues in the Southland. Constantly expanding the repertoire of her artistic expressions, she has played the harpsichord and harmonium with the GRAMMY Award winning Southwest Chamber Music, and regularly collaborates with instrumentalists, orchestras, and choral groups. Namhee is the resident organist at Westwood Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.

Friday, December 2, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.

Musical Offerings


Melissa McIntosh Landis, sopranoRenowned soprano Melissa McIntosh-Landis studied at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, Southern Nazarene University, and the USC Thornton School of Music, where she earned her DMA. She is a sought-after recitalist, concert soloist, and opera singer. Ms. Landis instructs choral and vocal music at Mt San Antonio College and is an Artist-in-Residence for Whittier College.

Timothy Durkovic, pianoBorn and raised in Guatemala, Timothy Durkovic was educated at the National Conservatory of Guatemala, the Juilliard School, Salem College, and the USC Thornton School of Music. In addition to winning the Gold Medal at the Liszt Competition, he won both the 2001 San Diego Duo Piano Competition and the 2001 IBLA Grand Prize Duo Piano Award (Sicily, Italy) with his piano-duo partner Chie Nagatani.

Friday, January 6, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.

Montréal-Based Pianists



Piano Theatre
Click to Watch Demo

Elizabeth Schumann performs internationally as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. The Washington Post Magazine noted her playing as "deft, relentless, and devastatingly good--the sort of performance you experience not so much with your ears as your solar plexus."

First Prize winner of the Bösendorfer International Piano Competition and the Pacific International Piano Competition, she also won prizes in numerous other major competitions, including the Cleveland International Piano Competition and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition. As a result of receiving a prestigious Irving S. Gilmore Award, Elizabeth was a featured artist in the PBS documentary about the Gilmore.

Sonya Schumann made her orchestral debut with the Williamsburg Symphonia League at thirteen, performing as the Young Soloist Competition winner. She has competed and won several other competitions, including the Bartók-Kabelevsky-Prokofiev Competition, Williamsburg Symphony Concerto Competition, South Carolina Music Teachers Association Competition, and Southeastern Piano Festival. In 2005, Sonya performed Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with the South Carolina Philharmonic.

The repertoire for the Schumann Duo's recital will complement the program they will perform the following Sunday on Rolling Hill United Method Church's Second Sundays At Two series. For information, click here.

Friday, February 3, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.

Songs & Arias by Leonard Bernstein
Selections from Candide, West Side Story, La Bonne Cuisine, and more

Susan Dietz, soprano


Soprano Susan Dietz began winning classical vocal competitions at sixteen and singing professionally at 18. She has studied with Mady Mesple of the Paris Opera, Jean Gireaudeau of the Paris Opera Comique, James Miller from the University of Oregon as well as sopranos, Josephine Lott and Annette Warren Smith. She has sung with the San Francisco Opera, Orange County Opera, Long Beach Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, South Bay Master Choral, and the Oregon Bach Festival. Susan keeps busy with opera and oratorio work on the West Coast and has been the resident soloist at historic Wayfarers Chapel for 25 years.

Vicki Kirsch, pianoPianist Victoria Kirsch is delighted to join soprano Sue Dietz for this program of Bernstein songs and arias. Victoria curates and performs innovative programs combining music, spoken word, and the visual arts, including Trunk Show, an upcoming collaboration with soprano Suzan Hanson at El Camino College on Friday, March 2, 2012. Victoria continues her association with Julia Migenes, playing for the celebrated soprano's shows, Diva on the Verge, Franz Schubert, and Bernstein on Broadway, worldwide. She serves as music director/pianist of Palm Springs-based Opera Arts and performs on numerous music series, including Sundays Live at LACMA and the Annenberg Beach House series in Santa Monica.

Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.

Mozart à Deux:
Sonatas for Violin and Piano


Renowned UCLA Professors Guillaume Sutre and Neal Stulberg have embarked on a grand project of performing all of Mozart's masterpieces for violin and piano on a three-concert series in UCLA's Schoenberg Hall and then on a European concert tour. They'll share highlights in an extended "Super" Bach's Lunch Recital in Manhattan Beach.

Guillaume Sutre, violinInternationally renowned French-born violinist Guillaume Sutre, known worldwide as member of the Ysaÿe Quartet and for his recordings for Sony Classical, Decca, harmonia mundi, Naïve, Aeon, and Ysaÿe Records, is Professor of Violin at UCLA. He was awarded the prestigious George Enesco Prize, and in 1999, he was named Chevalier of the Order of Arts and the Letters by the French government. Guillaume plays a 1738 Italian violin made by Gregorio Antoniazzi, and uses an 1815 bow made by François Lupot.

Neal Stulberg, pianoUCLA Professor and Director of Orchestral Studies Neal Stulberg, heralded by the Los Angeles Times as ". . .a shining example of podium authority and musical enlightenment," conducts leading orchestras worldwide, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, and Moscow Chamber Orchestra, among others too numerous for mention here. In his career trajectory, he served as assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Carlo Maria Giulini and as music director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

Friday, April 6, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.


Nora Chiang Worbel, pianoPianist Nora Chiang Worbel has performed nationally and internationally as a solo and chamber musician in some of the most prestigious concert venues including New York's Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard Theater, Rochester's Eastman Theater and Kilbourn Hall, Boston's Jordan Hall and China's Beijing Conservatory. She has worked as an accompanist for the University of Southern California, Santa Monica College, El Camino College and Cerritos College. She has collaborated with musicians from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Colburn School, has produced two solo CD's and continues to perform extensively.

Nora will perform selections by Chopin, Schubert, and Debussy.

Friday, May 4, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.

"impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique" Los Angeles Times 

Steven Vanhauwaert, piano


Grand-Prize winner of the 2004 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, Belgian pianist Steven Vanhauwaert earned his Master of Music degree from the Royal Conservatory in Brussels and continued his graduate studies at the USC Thornton School. 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. He has also performed as concerto soloist with the Pacific, Flemish, Bryan, Auburn, and Peninsula Symphonies, the Eastern Sierra Chamber Orchestra, and Prima la Musica, amongst others. His China tour in June 2010, culminating with a debut at the renowned National Performing Center for the Arts in Beijing, was received with great critical acclaim. Steven is a two-time Beverly Hills Auditions Winner and frequent pianist on the acclaimed Jacaranda series.

The repertoire for Steven's recital will complement the program he will perform the following Sunday on Rolling Hill United Method Church's Second Sundays At Two series. For information, click here.

Friday, June 1, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.

Director of Music & Organist
St. Alban's Episcopal in Westwood

James Taulbee, organJAMES TAULBEE organ

Organist-Choirmaster James Taulbee graduated from Westminster Choir College with degrees in Church Music and Organ Performance. His organ teachers include Charlotte Atkinson, Catharine Crozier, Joan Lippincott, and Cherry Rhodes. Mr. Taulbee's formal studies include handbell directing, church music, and children's choirs. He also holds a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Southern California.

Click here for First Fridays at First! ~ fff Series
~ top ~