Wine, Samosas and Beethoven!

Clockwise from top-left: Tae Yeon Lim, Robert Thies, Sung Chang, Brendan White, Talon Smith, the five pianists who will perform all five Beethoven piano concerti in Santa Monica. Photos: Vicente Chamber Orchestra

Vicente Chamber Orchestra’s Santa Monica Music Festival

By Sam Catanzaro

Westside classical music fans get excited: on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., five talented pianists will perform all five Beethoven piano concerti at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica.

The inaugural Santa Monica Music Festival promises to be a melody-filled weekend. The event is a unique opportunity to hear the entire cycle of piano concerti by Beethoven.

“The purpose of the festival is to present talented local musicians to a diverse audience in Santa Monica,” said Zain Khan, music director of the Vicente Chamber Orchestra. “This is an opportunity to hear a variety of interpretations by a group of talented pianists. We are excited to present these great pianists to a city that appreciates the arts.”

On June 8, Brendan White will perform Beethoven’s Concerto No.1; Sung Chang will perform Concerto No. 3; Tae Yeon Lim will play Concerto No 4. On June 9, Talon Smith and Robert Thies will close out the festival, performing the second and fifth concerti, respectively. Both days begin at 2 p.m., with wine, samosas and refreshments served in the tranquil olive tree-filled church courtyard.

Ticket sales for the Santa Monica Music Festival benefit the Vicente Chamber Orchestra, a truly unique organization. Based in Santa Monica, the Vicente Chamber Orchestra is comprised of musicians – many non-professionals – from all walks of life. In fact, most of the musicians of the Vicente Chamber Orchestra are volunteers.

“We make music solely for the love of it and sharing our passion with others. The high level of musicianship of the Vicente Chamber Orchestra attracts the very best musicians throughout Los Angeles. Some of our musicians drive over two hours each way for rehearsals!” Khan said.

Khan, who also runs a software company, founded the orchestra in late 2016. The orchestra has provided Khan and its members with an opportunity to escape from the fast-paced nature of their professional lives while immersing themselves in great music.

And it is not just everyday people who make the Vicente Chamber Orchestra special. The group performs two to three concerts every year, inviting world-class soloists to perform with the orchestra. In October, world-renowned violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, cellist Julian Schwarz and pianist Wendy Chen will perform with the orchestra at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

To purchase tickets for the Santa Monica Music Festival, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beethoven-festival-june-8th-and-june-9th-2019-tickets-52975400850

For more information about the Vicente Chamber Orchestra visit, http://www.vicentechamberorchestra.com

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