Beverly Hills International Music Festival
Each event was an artistic achievement of the highest order in the full spectrum of musical creativity. Some highlights: world-class piano performances by Mikael Oganesian displayed his ability to interpret literature from Haydn to Schumann to Chopin to Krenek with equal clarity and astounding technique. The faculty recitals, both solo and in a wide variety of ensembles, comprising strings, winds and vocalists were held in the evenings and included music written by composers from early classical times to premieres of new works. The most moving of the new works was performed at the last concert, which featured the Festival Orchestra and the Choral Society of Southern California. This was "Music for the Blue Rose" by Nick Strimple and featured the Blue Rose Trio, for whom the work was written, Lauren Buckley, soprano, and the Choral Society of Southern California This is the belated result of a commission by Wilbur Richardson to write a work for the Choral Society. The texts are from Richard Swingler and William Butler Yeats. The music reflects what Wilfred Owen called "the pity of war": its destructive power, its exhilaration, and humankind's propensity for it. Many in the audience were moved to tears by the magnificent performance of this stunning composition.