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Gerald Carpenter: Two Concerts Go Toe to Toe

Over the years, I have sometimes had occasion to urge all our local music providers to coordinate their concert scheduling to avoid imposing a difficult choice upon our ever-dwindling group of music lovers. Now is one of those occasions.

There are two concerts coming up on the same day (Sunday, Oct. 29), at the same hour (3 p.m.).

While both fall within the parameters of what we might call "classical music," the two events have little else in common.

One is a solo performance by an eminent virtuoso, a professional and a professor, a maestro of his instrument. The other features student ensembles, made up, if not of amateurs, at least of talented apprentices.

To balance things out a little, one concert will charge admission, the other is free.

Maestro Paul Berkowitz, professor of piano at UCSB, will play his recital in Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West, as a way of publicizing the release of his two new Schubert CDs, the final volumes of his Schubert Piano Works cycle on Meridian Records.

Berkowitz — "in the royal class of Schubert interpreters," according to the Sunday Times of London — will perform the last three piano sonatas of Franz Schubert: "Sonata in C-Minor, D 958 (1828);" "Sonata in A-Major, D 959 (1828);" and "Sonata in Bb-Major, D 960 (1828)."

"These three late great, spiritual masterworks of Schubert, which he wrote during the last months of his short life before dying at the age of 31, bring full circle my Schubert cycle, as they were the first works I recorded in 1984," Berkowitz said.

"This is the first time I will be playing all three sonatas in one recital,” he said.

The concert is sponsored by the Santa Barbara Music Club. Admission is $15 general, $5 for non-UCSB students, free to UCSB students and children. Seats may be reserved by calling 893.2064, or by visiting www.music.ucsb.edu/news/purchase-tickets.

The rival event will be by the Westmont Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensembles, presenting their fall concert in Deane Chapel on Westmont’s lower campus. Admission is free.

The concert will feature the Westmont Brass Ensemble, Chamber Woodwinds, Bassoon Quartet, and Chamber Orchestra under Paul Mori.

They will perform several pieces, including the "Canzona No.1" by Giovanni Gabrieli, the rag; "The Entertainer" (used in the popular motion picture, The Sting), by Scott Joplin; "Beside Elm’s Brook" and "20" by B. J. Brooks; and “This is My Father’s World” by Franklin L. Shepard.

The Westmont College Choral Union will also be performing under the direction of Grey Brothers. I have no information as to what the choral selections will be; we'll have to find out when we get there.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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