Taro Wayama and Gerald Seminatore perform April 29 in Pasadena

On Wednesday, April 29, guitarist Taro Wayama and tenor Gerald Seminatore will be hosted by the Friends of Music at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church. The program will include selections by Benjamin Britten, John Dowland, and Franz Schubert. pasadena-presbyterian

12:10-12:45 pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church
585 East Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101

Free admission. Donations to the Friends of Music will be gratefully accepted.


210795_212480025436007_6947082_oGuitarist and composer Taro Wayama was born in Japan. He earned both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California, where his teachers included Pepe Romero and Scott Tennant. Taro is a winner of numerous competitions, including first place in the Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition, and second place in the Thailand’s International Guitar Competition. As a composer, he received the award for “Best Original Score” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards for his work on the independent film “Anne Jennings.” Taro produces the classical music series for Noble House Concerts in Van Nuys, and he is an active member and performer of the Ventura Classical Guitar Society. He also performs with guitarist Thomas Foster as part of Duo Ex Ovo. The duo works with the Los Angeles Public Library and other libraries and community organizations to promote an interest in live music through concerts, lectures, and teaching activities.

gerald_seminatoreAmerican tenor Gerald Seminatore began his career with professional ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival, and Emmanuel Music. Operatic engagements in the USA have included the Chautauqua, Dayton, Glimmerglass, Oakland, Santa Fe, and West Bay opera companies. He made his European debut at England’s Aldeburgh Festival, and went on to become a member of the solo ensemble at the Dortmund Opera in Germany. Further engagements in Europe include the Bremen Opera, the opera of Frankfurt am Main, and the Pfalztheater in Kaiserslautern. Gerald’s concert performances have included appearances as a soloist with many orchestras and choral ensembles, and he has many song recitals throughout the United States and Europe to his credit. His work has been recognized with numerous awards, and praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice.

Guitarist Taro Wayama and tenor Gerald Seminatore perform for Noble House Concerts

We begin the New Year by introducing a new collaborator, guitarist Taro Wayama.

Taro is a Japanese born guitarist and composer. He is a winner of numerous competitions, such as the top prize in the 2003 Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition, and 2nd place in the Thailand International Guitar Competition. Taro has performed in Japan, Thailand, Canada, and the US. As a composer he received “Best Original Score” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards for an independent film, “Anne Jennings”. Taro holds Master’s and Bachelor of Music degrees from the University of Southern California, where his teachers included Pepe Romero and Scott Tennant.

Taro and tenor Gerald Seminatore will perform as part of the Noble House Concerts Classical Series. Selections will include songs by Benjamin Britten, John Dowland, and Morton Lauridsen. This concert also features Kozue Mutsumoto (koto), Jennifer Ingertila (flute), David LR (violin), and Thomas Foster (guitar), with repertoire TBA.

Saturday, January 24, 7:30 p.m. in Sherman Oaks, CA.
Suggested donation: $15 per person. Refreshments are served by the concert hosts.

To make a seating reservation and receive directions to the venue, contact Barbara Greenspan via Email at barb@noblehouseconcerts.com, or call (818) 780-5979.

“Carols Rare and Bright” Artists: Kristof van Grysperre and Susan Kane

Kristof van Grysperre and Susan Kane frequently collaborate as part of the classical cabaret duo “Kristof and Kane.” Their next live streaming concert via the Concert Window website is on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 7:00 p.m. PST. So we thought to feature them together in a post!

A native of Belgium, Kristof van Grysperre has an international career as a pianist, chamber musician, vocal coach, and conductor. 4133He  has conducted more than forty operas, for companies such as Opera Pacific, Baltimore Opera Studio, Long Beach Opera, and the Thornton School of Music. At the piano, Kristof has collaborated with many singers and instrumentalists in recital. The Orange County Register has hailed his artistry as “gifted and stylistically impeccable.” He is currently the Associate Music Director at Long Beach Opera. “Carols Rare and Bright” will be Kristof’s second Spacious Vision concert.

American soprano Susan Mohini Kane has myriad credits as a soloist in concert and recital in Southern California and around the United States. She has presented many lectures on voice performance and pedagogy at national and international conferences, and published extensively on an array of topics related to the education and training of singers.

“Carols Rare and Bright” Performances

Click here for information about our Dec. 19 Long Beach performance.

Click here for information about our Dec. 21 Pasadena performance.

Gerald Seminatore at Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition

OperaLOGO-171x300Gerald recently received an invitation to judge the preliminary round of the Denver Lyric Opera Guild competition. So, off he went last week to a very cold city last to spend a day hearing 36 singers with fellow judges John Baril, music director of the Central City Opera, and Gayle Shay, director of opera at Vanderbilt University. During their conference following the competition, all three shared their impressions of the performers, helped one another understand shared reservations about some of the singers, and finally ranked the contestants. They also talked about current expectations for auditioning singers at festivals like Central City, and even broached the topic of the occasionally uneasy relationship between academic performance programs and the professional world.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of the day was meeting with the contestants after the results were announced. Gerald shared his thoughts with each singer about his/her audition, and also heard from many of them about their own aspirations and challenges.

(Disclaimer: this post is not associated with any published communication of the Denver Lyric Opera Guild.)

SongFest at Colburn announces 2014 artist line-up

SongFest-Logo4SongFest, the annual festival of art song at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, has just announced its faculty line-up for Summer 2014. Festival artist/teachers will include soprano Lucy Shelton, baritones Sanford Sylvan and Rudolf Piernay, composer/pianist John Musto, and the inimitable pianist and collaborator Graham Johnson. The repertoire for SongFest concerts is always intriguing, provocative, and satisfying, and we are looking forward to it! More information at www.songfest.us

Pamela Dellal performs music of Carl Phillipe Emmanuel Bach, Feb. 25

In observance of the 300th anniversary of the birthday of Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach, our own PAMELA DELLAL will present a recital of his songs and cantatas at the Boston Conservatory on Feb. 25. Peter Sykes will partner with her at the clavichord. Pamela has explored this repertoire for a number of years, and this concert is sure to be a unique and artistically satisfying event. For more information, click here to go the Boston Conservatory’s event pagepd.

Kristof Van Grysperre hard at work on “Queenie Pie”

In his role as Associate Conductor at Long Beach Opera, Kristof Van Grysperre (a member of the Project) and his colleagues have been hard at work preparing an exciting new production for its imminent premiere–Duke Ellington’s jazz opera “Queenie Pie.”

LongBeachOperaQueeniePieIt took many years before a complete performance of Ellington’s unfinished opera was attempted. (The first attempt was in 2008 at the Oakland Opera Theater.) Kristof and the team of singers at Long Beach Opera have worked long hours developing a revised performing version, which will be performed on Jan. 26, Feb. 1, and Feb. 2. Click here for more information. Best wishes for a successful run!

AND: For a classic performance of an “aria” from the original Ellington charts, check out Andre´ DeShields singing “My Father’s Island” in a 1983 broadcast of “Great Performances.”

College Music Society National Conference Presentation

OAc_AIDS_quilt_0612_opt_smallA lecture-recital authored by core group members John Seesholtz and Gerald Seminatore was presented today at the National Conference of the College Music Society. A large audience was introduced to the AIDS Quilt Songbook, and heard  performances by John and Gerald of songs by Annea Lockwood, John Harbison, and Chris DeBlasio. It was well received and stimulated further discussion among some of the attendees.

Spacious Vision artists perform for “unSUNg — Songs Uncommon and New”

Tenor GERALD SEMINATORE and pianist JAEBON HWANG were featured artists on the recent July 14 performance of the new concert series “unSUNg — Songs Uncommon and New” at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale, CA. The duo performed Benjamin Britten’s Canticle “My beloved is mine, and I am his,” and several selections from the rarely performed “Vedic Hymns” of Gustav Holst. They will next appear together on Sept. 18, 2013 on the “Music at Noon” series at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church.

Here is an illustration for one of the Vedic Hymns, “Indra, God of Storm and Thunder”. (Unknown illustrator). Indra_God_of_War_webVisuals always help make song repertoire more accessible!