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Gerald Carpenter: Montecito Is Doubly Alive with the Sound of Music

Midway in the 2013 edition of the Montecito International Music Festival at Westmont College, renowned violist and eminent college administrator Roberto Díaz will perform a concert of works by Max Bruch, Paul Hindemith and Peter Tchaikovsky at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Westmont’s Porter Theatre.

Concert tickets, which are $15 for students and seniors and $30 for general admission, will be sold at the door.

The Montecito International Music Festival brings about 160 students to Westmont every summer for a three-week, music-intensive program. The 2013 festival runs July 15 through Aug. 2. There are relatively few public events in the festival, chiefly masterclasses.

In addition to Diaz’s concert and one by violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi (7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Porter Theatre), there are masterclasses by the great Grammy-winning cellist Lynn Harrell (Friday), violinist Linda Wang (July 26) and Ashkenasi (1:30 p.m. Saturday in Deane Chapel; 2 p.m. Sunday in Hieronymus Lounge).

Tickets to the master classes are $10 for students and seniors and $20 general admission.

Díaz is president and chief executive officer of the famed Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia — along with Eastman Rochester, the only serious rivals of Juilliard. He was principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 10 years, and also principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, as well as a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa and the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. Ashkenasi is on the faulty of the Curtis Institute of Music since 2007 and formed the celebrated Vermeer Quartet.

Of course, this is the weekend of of both the Marilyn Horne Song Competition and Concerto Night at the Music Academy of the West.

The Horne Competition is one in which “Fellows from the Music Academy’s Voice and Vocal Piano programs compete for prestigious awards given to those who excel in performance of song repertoire and display a unique gift for communicating with the audience.” There are two sessions on Saturday, \both in Hahn Hall. The morning session ($16) begins at 10 a.m.; the afternoon session ($24) at 1 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the door, before the session or, if there is time, reserved seats can be purchased by phone at 805.969.8787 or online by clicking here.

The last round of concerto finalists has been played, and the winners are violinist Matous Michal, bassoonist Keith Buncke, violinist Sissi Zhang, pianist Alan Woo and clarinetist Joe Morris. They will join conductor Tito Muñoz, and their colleagues in the Festival Orchestra, on the Granada Theatre stage starting at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The program will consist of Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, first movement (Michal); Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Concerto in F-Major for Bassoon and Orchestra, first movement (Buncke); Bela Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2, first movement (Zhang); Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C-Major, first movement (Woo); and Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto, Opus 57 (Morris).

Tickets to Concerto Night are $48, $38 and $15. They can be purchased by phone at 805.969.8787 or online by clicking here. Tickets are also available from the Granada box office at 805.899.2222.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are his own.

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