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The Previews Archives
From 2001 to 2013 in Manhattan Beach, The Previews has become Classical Crossroads' The Interludes concert series in Torrance CA

Sun Setting in Manhattan Beach

2007-2008 Previews Concert Series

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Beverly Hills Audition Winners

Talented rising artists from around the world are selected at the Beverly Hills Auditions and presented monthly in the South Bay on The Interludes concert series in Torrance (previously The Previews concert series in Manhattan Beach). The Interludes series is graciously hosted by First Lutheran Church & School – Torrance as a gift to the community. The concerts also are presented on the preceding Friday evenings on the Music By The Sea recital series in the beautiful Encinitas Library with its expansive view of the Pacific Ocean. From January through June, the concerts are presented the following Sundays on Beverly Hills' Music In The Mansion recital series in the Beverly Hills' historic Greystone Mansion.

"The series is a much-sought opportunity for young performers...the talent level is extremely high." ~ Los Angeles Times 

Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 2:00 p.m.

Makiko Hirata, piano


At seventeen, Makiko Hirata was selected to tour with the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia, performing the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto. She performed the Barber Piano Concerto with the Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia as a winner of its concerto competition. She performed concerti by Tovey, Lalo, Godard, and others as a regular guest soloist with the Jupiter Symphony Orchestra in New York City. She has toured throughout United States and Europe as the featured soloist with the Pecs Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, and has performed as soloist with the Polish Philharmonic Resovia and Romanian Arad State Philharmonia. Her New York City solo debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall was received with a standing ovation.

Starting as a student in the Juilliard Pre-College Division, Makiko went on to earn her Bachelor of Music Degree at the Manhattan School of Music and her Master's Degree at New York University. She currently studies with renowned pianist and teacher John Perry at the Colburn Conservatory of Music.

Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 2:00 p.m.

from Poland

Janaki Trio


Hubert Giziewski and Pawel Sulej graduated with honours from Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and are prize-winners of numerous competitions including the National Accordion Competition in Mlawa (2005), Concorso Internazionale Città di Castelfidardo (2006, Italy), Ibla International Music Competition (2005, Italy). As soloists and chamber music players they have performed in the world's leading concert halls including Suntory Hall (Japan), Carnegie Hall, Esplanade Art Center (Singapore), Polish Radio Concert Hall S1, and with the Warsaw National Philharmonic.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 2:00 p.m.

  Xian Zhuo, cello

MARY AU piano

First-Prize Winner in the Fourth China National Cello Competition, Xian Zhuo was selected to participate in the "Music Bridge," an exchange program for fine young Chinese and Canadian musicians in Calgary, Canada. He also took part in the China/Germany cultural exchange program. Selected by Young Artists International, Xian Zhuo performed during the 10th International Laureates Festival as part of iPalpiti at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Xian Zhuo graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory, Royal Northern College in England, Yale University, and is currently studying at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Born in Hong Kong, Mary Au received her music education at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the USC Thornton School of Music. Mary has performed as collaborative artist in the master classes of some of the world's premier artists and in the Gregor Piatigorsky Seminar for Cellists at USC.

[Mary Au's website]

Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.

from Canada

Julie Jung cello                                                    
Jennie Jung piano
Ellen Jung violin

The Jung Trio - sisters Jennie, Ellen, and Julie - has established itself as one of today's notable rising young ensembles. Born and raised in Toronto, the trio has appeared in concerts across North America and around the world. Selected by YAI as debut artists 2007, the trio performed during the 10th International Laureates Festival at Beverly Hills' Greystone Mansion and as part of iPalpiti at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The Jung Trio won the Grand Prize at the 2002 Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition and the Bronze Medal at the 2002 Fischoff Competition. The Trio members hold degrees from the University of Toronto, New England Conservatory of Music, and Yale University School of Music, where all three received Artist Diplomas. Pianist Jennie Jung is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the Juilliard School.

[Jung Trio's website]

Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.

2nd-Prize Winner at the 2007 Jeuness Musicale International Violin Competition

Catharina Chen, violin


Assisted by Pianist
Grand Prize Winner of the 2006 Los Angeles International Franz Liszt Competition

Norwegian violinist Catharina Chen has been a soloist since the age of 8, appearing with all major orchestras in Norway. She gave concerts in Italy, China, Malaysia, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, France, and South Africa. A Grand Prize winner in the third International Gnessin Violin Competition in Moscow, Russia, Catharina is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards in Norway, and most recently won the 2nd Prize at the Jeuness Musicale International Violin Competition in Bucharest, Romania (2007). In California she is known for her performances at Sundays at Two, with the Beverly Hills Symphony Orchestra, and as a member of iPalpiti on stages of Disney Hall. Currently she works with Professor Eduard Schmieder in the Artist Certificate Program at the Temple University in Philadelphia. Read about Catharina, listen, and watch her perform by clicking

Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.

Pianist Jan Bratoz


A native of Slovenia, Jan Bratoz won First Prize at the 2007 Bradshaw & Buono Piano Competition in New York, First Prize at the University of Southern California Concerto Competition in 2006, 2nd Prize at the 2006 Los Angeles Franz Liszt International Piano Competition, 3rd Prize at the Mu Phi Epsilon competition in Los Angeles in 2006, and the First Prize at the Slovenian National Competition in 1992. His performances as a soloist and a chamber musician have taken him to Austria, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Hungary, Mexico, Croatia, Italy, and the USA. He performed with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and USC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of world-renowned conductor Carl St. Clair, and with Chamber Orchestra Kranj. In 1998 he was accepted to the prestigious Mozarteum University in Salzburg, where he earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree under full scholarship at the USC Thornton School, studying with Professor Norman Krieger.

Saturday, April 19, 2008 at 2:00 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 have performed throughout Europe and the North America.

[Alma Nova Duo's website]

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.

Woodwind Quintet

Midnight Winds

Andrew Leonard clarinet Alison Lowell oboe
Amy Tatum
flute                            Maciej Flis bassoon
Kristina Orcutt

Midnight Winds began their late-night gatherings at USC in 2000 as students of the Thornton School of Music. This led them to Sedona, Arizona in May of 2006 as featured artists and quintet-in-residence for Chamber Music Sedona. The enthusiastic audience and media response to these concerts resulted in invitations for future festival residencies in New Hampshire and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. As USC alumni, Midnight continues its association with the Thornton School of Music as a featured ensemble of the Protégé Mentoring Program and with further collaboration with the Polish Music Center.

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