Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Holiday Night Dec 15th, Annual Toy Drive


The online reservations are now closed. You may pay at the door.  Please dress warm!
December Holiday Night  

this coming Monday, the 15th @ 8 p.m. 

Music & Arts in the Studio


Annual Toy Drive and Potluck Party


We are delighted to be part of the overdue U.S. debut of the esteemed Colombian pianist Teresita Gomez, who will give us a preview of her upcoming Dec. 14 recital at Old Town Music Hall to benefit Fundacion Unidas, on behalf of the underprivileged in her native Medellin.  For CU, Ms. Gomez will perform a selection of dances ranging from Bach (Partita #2) to Colombian composers Adolfo Mejia and Moises Moleiro. 
 
Coloratura soprano Delaram Kamareh has been making a beautiful noise on the local music scene since arriving from Tehran to study opera at UCLA, including in "Invisible Cities," the opera inventively staged at Union Station this year.  She will sing a wonderful variety of arias and lieder by Bach, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky and Vivaldi, accompanied on piano by Georgi Slavchev.
   
Georgi, a talented composer in his own right as demonstrated by his Etudes last year at CU, will also play two of his fantasies based on songs of Sting, and the introspective Fur Alina by the great Estonian composer Arvo Part.  Please listen to his performance of Chopin at CU last year.  
  
Cellist Peter Myers, a graduate of Colburn and USC and a prizewinner at chamber music competitions around the world, will perform songs of Benjamin Britten arranged for cello and piano, accompanied by Mary Au.
 


As always - bring your spirits, food and drink for you and your friends to enjoy, and the unwrapped toys for the children from the neighboring church.     
******


We are most grateful to our supportive friends at Steinway Piano Gallery Los Angeles for graciously providing us with their incomparable instrument Model D. 



Steinway
 
 
CU Showcase Exhibition:

Reexamining the tradition of figurative painting has been sweeping the Nation in the last decade. A growing group of young talents is choosing this venerated ART form as the perfect vehicle to express their contemporary experience.   

Aaron Westerberg is part of the new generation of California figurative painters.

Aaron grew up in San Diego.  It was a class in traditional life drawing that drew him to continue his art training.  He studied with Jeff Watts and attended the California Art Institute, where he himself later taught.

His work received the attention of such publications as Fine Art Connoisseur, Artist's Magazine and American Art Collector, and has been exhibited in fine art galleries throughout the United States and abroad.



Aaron Westerberg, oil on canvas 34 x 22 
   
In art we trust! 
*******

405 South to the Harbor 110 South towards San Pedro; Exit Torrance Blvd., Turn Left at the Stop sign; Turn Left on Torrance Blvd /next light/; Continue pass Figueroa Ave, pass Carson Town Center North; 200 yards before next light /which is Main street/ make Left into a driveway to a large parking lot  and proceed to your right. Please note that the gate next to CU will be closed for safety.  The entrance is from the parking lot. The building is on the corer of Main and Torrance. 20795 Main St. Carson, Ca 90745

   

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Save the Date - December 15th - our Holiday event and a toy drive

Save the Date

December 15th

Our Festive Wintery Night
right in time for the Holiday Season!
Music and Arts in the Studio
Holiday event, Toy Drive and Potluck

Look for the information next week! 


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 10th Night Music & Art at the Studio - not to miss!

The online RSVP are now closed. 

November Night  

this coming Monday, the 10th @ 8 p.m. 



For our November program, we are very excited to welcome the eminent Lithuanian cellist David Geringas.  A world-renowned soloist and distinguished teacher, David Geringas studied with Rostropovich in Moscow and won the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1970.  Some of the greatest contemporary composers have dedicated works to him, one of which - Peteris Vasks' haunting "A book for solo cello" - he will perform for us.  Geringas will also be joined by one of his former students, CU's own Evgeny Tonkha, for Haydn's cheerful Duet in D for 2 cellos.

After his smashing duo performance with Danny Holt last season, the highly-regarded LA pianist Steven Vanhauwaert makes his first solo appearance at CU with some most romantic works of Rachmaninoff and Liszt.   

One of the most delightful CU debuts last season was the soprano Jennifer Lindsay, whose radiant and natural voice warmed our hearts.  She will sing selections from Verdi's La Traviata and Gounod's Faust, accompanied by CU's own, pianist Mary Au.

Osaka native Chika Inoue covered all bets  by studying saxophone at both UCLA and USC, where she recently received her doctorate.  Doctor of Saxophone, how cool is that?!  She is making her Classical Underground debut, accompanied by Mary Au. 


Leonid Steele was an artistic giant with a remarkable life story. His career in art spanned an astounding 75 years.

The very first exhibition of his life was the 1939 World Fair in New York where he was part of the Soviet Children Art Pavilion. Recovering from a concussion during the war in Novosibirsk, he met and studied with the director of the famed Tretiakov Gallery who was evacuated to Siberia and who was one of the very few students of the great Russian Realist master, Isaac Levitan.





Leonid went to Repin Academy after the war and became part of the core generation that revived the full glory of classical Russian Academic tradition and method. He melted that capability into decades of fearless stylistic feats. He moved mountains in ART. He became one of the founding influences of the Severe Style with his 1958 "Dawn." He participated in 11 All-Union exhibitions, the most prestigious in the USSR, a rare fit for a maverick artist who enjoyed public love, but never held any official post in the soviet art bureaucracy. Because of such public love of his work, he had rare mass media coverage of his art totaling around 30 million in circulation.



His output is truly gigantic. He painted masterpieces. He loved life and was loved back generously. He loved people, and his own visual brand of humanistic rendition of the very depths in personal characters made him unique within Socialist Realism. He touched universal humanity while faithfully portraying a nation in its long and tumultuous stretch of history. His style could be termed Humanist Realism.



His legacy and his life's work are now an inseparable part of our common culture, much as his name now belongs fully to our common history. 
  
http://youtu.be/d1qT71jLuIE


We are most grateful to our supportive friends at Steinway Piano Gallery for graciously providing us with their incomparable instrument.

 

Steinway
  
A message from Evgeny Tonkha about David Geringas appearance and his new music series "K17":

When I asked David Geringas if he was interested to do a solo recital in LA, he replied - “For me it’s important to play – because I love it!” Those words really struck a chord – when I first came to Los Angeles all I wanted to do was play. My first recital here took place at the Classical Underground series and I’m very grateful to Alexey and Olga for that opportunity – since then we became good friends. 

Right now I’m happy to be presenting my own concert series “K17”. Our first concert took place at the Frankel Hall in Beverly Hills on October 25th and it featured a magnificent David Geringas. It was a resounding success and I’m happy to share this success with my dear friends at Classical Underground.

Haydn Duett D-Dur Hob X:11 for 2 Cellos
Moderato
Menuet
Presto

Peteris Vasks "A book for cello solo"
Fortissimo. Pianissimo

Monday, October 13, 2014

Legendary Painter Leonid Steele Passing and Memorial October 15

"Self-Portrait in Ukrainian Shirt" 1953



It is with a profound sadness and pain we share the news of my Great Dad's passing on the morning of 
October 4th, 2014. 
  
A True ARTIST and Giant, he lived life anyone can only dream of.

He cheated death so many times that his entire life is a miracle. He survived the 1933 golodomor in Ukraine, a burst appendicitis in 1939 while in the Army (before newly discovered penicillin use it was considered untreatable), a heavy air bomb concussion in a first siege of Kharkov in 1941 that left him in coma for three months...

With all that he created ART, a kid from Kharkov, the first exhibition in his life was a 1939 World Fair in New York out of all places... he was part of the Soviet Children Art pavilion... While recovering from his concussion in Novosibirsk, he met and studied with the director of the famed Tretiakov Gallery that was evacuated to Siberia and who was Levitan's student.

He went to Repin Academy after the war and became part of the core generation that revived a full glory of classical Russian Academic tradition and method.  He melted that capability into decades of fearless stylistic feats.  He moved mountains in ART.  He became one of the founding influences of Severe Style with his 1958 "Dawn."  He participated in 11 All-Union exhibitions, the most prestigious in the USSR, a rare fit for a maverick artist who enjoyed public love, but never held any official post in the soviet art bureaucracy.  Because of this public love of his work he had a high mass media coverage of his Art totaling around 30 million in circulation. His output is truly gigantic.  He painted masterpieces.  He loved life and was loved back generously.  He loved people and his own visual brand of humanistic rendition of very depths in personal characters made him unique within Socialist Realism.  He touched universal humanity while faithfully portraying a nation.  He lived ART to his last breath.  He is a Star that guides, a true compass. 



"Family" 1972


We thank everyone for all your comforting words, good wishes and prayers in this difficult moment.  Old dear friends, who knew and loved him, spent happiest of times together... all who knew and loved his phenomenal work or got to know it... Our family deeply appreciates the outpouring of your support.
Thank you to all remarkable artists and whole Classical Underground Community, who made last CU the most special ever. Though I could not be there in person, I will treasure the recordings and photos forever.

For those who wish to say goodbye in person 
to my Legendary Dad, the memorial is going to be held on
  
 Wednesday, October 15 at 1pm 

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 
6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038. 
  
Followed by 
 A Drink in Eternal Memory of Leonid 
and
Studio Exhibition:

"Legends Never Die: The Legacy Lives!"

at my studio 
20795 Main Street, Carson, Ca 90745
 


If you wish to make a charitable contribution in Dad's name, you can make it to California Art Club were he was an Honorary Signature Member for Life.

 
The Era is closed - the Legend continues. Dad's Legacy is Forever.
ART lives! 



"The Land" 1968

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Season's Opening! October 6th Music & Arts in the Studio RSVP open


Season's Opening!
October Night  

this coming Monday,
October 6th @ 8 p.m. 


Music & Arts in the Studio

(and Potluck Party)

The thermometer may disagree, but the calendar says it is finally fall and time for the opening concert of the 7th season of Classical Underground.   If you've ever found yourself saying, "You know, I love CU but they just don't have enough woodwinds"...well, this is your night!

First we have the glorious sound of four saxophones together: the fabulous City of Angels Saxophone Quartet returns to Classical Underground to perform two movements of the lush Ravel String Quartet, and then for something completely different, Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody #2...which, if you recall Tom & Jerry (or Cziffra if you're an especially Classy Undergrounder), imagine what a hoot that will be on saxophones!

  

In addition to mind-blowing reed transcriptions, we also have a rare performance of the Poulenc Sonata for Two Clarinets, featuring our resident clarinet virtuosos Leo Chelyapov and Uriel Vanchestein.

 
There is no finer proponent of the piano works of the Argentinean composer Alberto Ginastera than our querido amigo, Eduardo Delgado.  Last Sunday he blew the roof off the concert hall with his performance of "Danzas Criollas" at his "farewell recital" (which thankfully is only a farewell to being a professor at Fullerton, and not to performing or teaching!).  We have asked him to reprise that performance, as well as Haydn's lovely Variations in F minor.
Also no stranger to CU audiences, the fine cellist Evgeny Tonkha returns with pianist Anastasia Nemirovich-Danchenko to play a group of dances and elegies by Albeniz, Faure, William Squire, and David Popper, along with a work by contemporary LA composer Juan Colomer, "Realidades Disipadas."
   
Eduardo Delgado  
     
 As always - bring your spirits, food and drink for you and your friends to enjoy.     



  
******

We are most grateful to our supportive friends at

for graciously providing us with their incomparable instrument
Model D, CD-587.
  

Steinway  

       
******
              
Classical Underground Showcase 

 It is an extreme pleasure to open our season with showcasing one of my favorite contemporary figurative artists - the sculptor Alicia Ponzio. Strong sculptors in many ways are even more rare than strong painters, and Alicia without any doubt possesses a rare strength of three dimensional mastery. Her heads and figures are imbued with a rare nowadays Form Sense and truly musical plasticity of movement.
  
If that was not enough, Alicia bravely tackles something specifically important to my own understanding of what constitutes the ultimate challenge and excitement in our ART form: a multi-figure composition. As I saw Alicia's magnificent "Lingering Shadows" at California Art Club's last Gold Medal Show, I was struck by the seriousness and depth of all her visual decisions masterfully weaving in space the three glorious figures. Force and Grace - what could ever be better to experience.  

Despite all conformist perils, there is some true ART being made within newly emerging post - contemporary cultural terrain!
  Alicia Ponzio
 
  Alicia Ponzio - The Lingering Shadows 
    
      
In art we trust! 
20795 Main Street, Carson, CA 90745

Our online reservation is now closed.
 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Classical Underground for June 2 cancelled


Classical Underground for June 2 cancelled.

Due to a family emergency, we regret that we must cancel the final Classical Underground concert of this season, which had been scheduled for Monday, June 2.  Alexey's father, Leonid Steele, has just been scheduled for surgery on June 2nd. We wish Leonid a speedy recovery, and lots of attention from the nurses!  And we look forward to seeing you all at CU next fall.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 7th - Music and Art in the Studio


(and Potluck Party)
@ Alexey Steele Grand Atelier  @ 8 p.m.




A friend of Brahms said of his Clarinet Trio, "It is as though the instruments were in love with each other."  We can hear this romance for ourselves as  Uriel Vanchestein (clarinet), Evgeny Tonkha (cello), and Clara Cheng (piano) perform Brahms' Trio in A minor, op. 114.

We are excited to welcome the distinguished pianist and newly minted UCLA professor Inna Faliks to Los Angeles and Classical Underground, performing Beethoven's rarely heard Fantasy op. 77 (watch a video teaser here:  http://vimeo.com/36656346) and Rodion Shchedrin's brawny Basso Ostinato.

Our great friends of CU, violinist Moni Simeonov and pianist Pepi Pilobossian, return to play a movement of the glorious Franck Sonata and some rustic Bulgarian tunes, which he plays with an authentic and irresistible spirit like no else.

Young but already veteran performer Nicholas King continues his CU exploration of Liszt with the titanic Sonata in B minor, one of the touchstones of the virtuoso piano repertoire.
 
     
 As always - bring your spirits, food and drink for you and your friends to enjoy.  



******

We are most grateful to our supportive friends at


for graciously providing us with their incomparable instrument
Model D, CD-551. 

Steinway  
       
******          

Classical Underground Showcase 
Leonid Steele
and the Russian Academic Legacy
  
 
Having spent the last two weeks with my Dad in the hospital made me appreciate even more so what a fortune it is to have such a true giant among us. We talked about his days in the famed Repin Academy and about some key principles that made the school so incredibly strong.

The very particular and specific approach to seeing and comprehending the form that was developed through intense drawing study of the figure allowed its best students a remarkable stylistic versatility in painting evident throughout my Dad's illustrious career.

Those principles are more relevant than ever today as we witness the incredible resurgence, even if still underground, of a serious realism in the contemporary American Art.
It is a unique privilege to be part of such institutional memory.
 
  
   
     
      
                             
directions to my "Grand Atelier" studio:  


please note that for convenience of cars not passing by while you are hanging outside, you will be entering from the first gate of the property on your left immediately before the building with columns begins, not second gate as before, then proceed to the big parking lot and walk into our building in the corner of Torrance and Main. 

405 South to the Harbor 110 South towards San Pedro; Exit Torrance Blvd., Turn Left at the Stop sign; Turn Left on Torrance Blvd /next light/; Continue pass Figueroa Ave, pass Carson Town Center North; 200 yards before next light /which is Main street/ make Left into a driveway to a large parking lot  and proceed to your right. Please note that the gate next to CU will be closed for safety.  The entrance is from the parking lot. The building is on the corer of Main and Torrance. 20795 Main St. Carson, Ca 90745