Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CU: December 19 - Music and Art at the Studio Holiday event + with Toy Drive + please dress warm!

We are sold out!!!!
Dear friends,

Classical Underground was founded on the spirit and synergy of uniting a community of Art in painting and music.  If there is a musical composition that most clearly embodies this spirit, it would be Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," written to commemorate the paintings of his dear artist friend, Viktor Hartmann.   

For our December program, Mikael Oganes will play selections from this great virtuoso suite while surrounded by an Exhibition of Pictures selected by our dear friend Jeremy Lipking from a recent show of excellent artists at his studio (see Artist Showcase notes below).  

Mark KashperKanae_bio
Mark Kashper                  Kanae Matsumoto 

Mark Kashper, beloved master violinist of the LA Philharmonic, and the graceful pianist Kanae Matsumoto return to CU to perform Schubert's lovely and charming Sonatina in G minor.   
Victor de AlmeidaMikael Oganessyan
Victor de Almeida             Mikael Oganes  

We welcome for the first time to Classical Underground the outstanding violist Victor de Almeida, who will be joined by Mikael Oganes in some festive Piazolla tangos.

Michael Kaufman Ran Kampel
Michael Kaufman                                      Ran Kampel 
Christopher Goodpasture  
Christopher Goodpasture 

Also making their CU debut from USC's Thornton School of Music, performing the Beethoven Clarinet Trio, are Christopher Goodpasture - piano, Michael Kaufman - cello, and Ran Kampel - clarinet. 
Steve Vanhauwaert Danny Holt
Steven Vanhauwaert                                    Danny Holt  

And a demi-debut: pianist Steven Vanhauwaert, who played at our Levitt Pavilion outing in Pasadena last summer, will be joined by fellow pianist Danny Holt in fanciful duos by Igor Stravinsky and Alfredo Casella.  
 Noel Gould
Noel Gould 

If youare a hardcore Undergrounder who sticks around for our decadent after-party bachanals, you know that our awesome recording engineer Noel Gould is himself also a wonderful pianist.  For this program we have finally enticed him to share some Chopin in primetime, and of course after-party as well!  

Laurence Vittes 
Laurence Vittes

Journalist and CU comrade Laurence Vittes is introducing a classical music writing workshop "How To Write About Classical Music Without Becoming A Critic" with a free trial for CU guest, with a post-concert discussion which will start right after the concert (just meet at the bar). 

Hands Steinway  
Steinway CD587 

A very important member of our December 19th event is Steinway CD587! It is one of the favorite pianos in the Concert & Artist Department. It was recently used for a recording session featuring singer, songwriter Melody Gardot.  CD587 has been described by pianists as having a medium bodied tone with excellent sustain. The piano's action is firm without being heave. 

In the spirit of Christmas, we would appreciate if you could please bring an unwrapped toy for our good friends and neigbbors Glory Christian International Church's toy drive in support of their extensive work with underprivileged inner city children. 


As always - bring your spirits, food and drink for you and your friends to enjoy.  Please RSVP via Paypal (above).   We are sold out. The paypal link is removed.  


We are most grateful to our supportive friends at

for graciously providing us with their incomparable instrument. 


Classical Underground Showcase:
"Pictures From an Exhibition"
Highlights from Jeremy Lipking's Open Studio  show 


Jeremy Lipking 

Joseph Todorovitch

Rose Frantzen

Tony Pro

Ignat Ignatov

and me
In ART we trust!    

  Alexey Steele

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CU news and beyond plus LA Phil tickets giveaway!

Dear friends!

What an amazing experience of beauty, passion and refinement November night turned out to be!  The level of the performers, the choice of the music, the surprises!  Thanks to all great musicians, thanks to the amazing audience!!!!!!!  Here are some photos from the night - and you can view a lot more in our picasa album.      

Rachmaninov trio - David, Serge, Dmitry   

Upcoming events    

December 4, Sunday @ 3 p.m.
special guest performance 
Program: Liszt repertroire
Bosendorfer Pianos
5539 Van Nuys Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91401 
Must RSVP at 818-787-0201 due to limited seating   

  Eduardo by Rose 
a live study of Eduardo playing at CU by Rose Frantzen  


LA Phil is offering a pair of tickets to the St. Petersburg Philharmonic orchestra to Classical Underground devotees.  Please respond to this email to be considered for the drawing. 

giveaway is for two tickets to the Wednesday, December 14, concert 
Handel's Messiah
Tuesday, Dec. 13 and Wednesday, Dec. 14, 8:00pm at Walt Disney Concert Hall


Philharmonia Baroque
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Dominique Labelle, soprano
Daniel Taylor, alto
Thomas Cooley, tenor
Nathaniel Watson, baritone
Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director


Handel: Messiah
Additional Info:

Although it's a widely known fact, it still beggars belief that Handel could have completed the three-hour Messiah in a mere 24 days. He created many versions over the years depending on the needs of a particular performance, but the result has become one of the most well-known and appreciated works in Western choral literature. Movement after movement features unforgettable melodies, impeccable choral counterpoint, tremendous rhythmic variety and expressive word painting. It's no wonder that it's so popular. Hearing it in a stylistically aware period performance adds even more to the enjoyment.
Presented by LAPhil.  For tickets and information, visit LAPhil.com.


You can support Classical Underground by getting a cool Classical Underground  hat and/or a t-shirt!  Inquire at classicalunderground @ yahoo.com

CU hats

Alissa Margulis, Jura Margulis, Olga Vlasova
Bryan Pezzone with CU hat
Bryan Pezzone wearing CU hat
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    Our next event is coming in December!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Russians are Coming - November Night This Coming Monday, the 7th

We are sold out!

Dear friends,
The Russians are coming to Classical Underground, by way of the San Francisco Symphony, the LA Philharmonic, CSU Northridge, and yes, even all the way from Russia!  It's an all Russian musician program, featuring some of our oldest and dearest CU friends and some welcome newcomers, and one of the greatest Russian realist painters in our Artist Showcase.

Serge Oskotsky, our own wonderful cellist with the LA Phil, and David Chernyavsky, erstwhile CU and LA Phil violinist now with the SF Symphony, will be joined for the first time by esteemed CSU Northridge piano professor Dmitry Rachmanov to perform Rachmaninoff's Trio Elegiaque #1.  Dmitry Rachmanov will also perform solo with a selection of Schubert's Moment Musicaux and song transcriptions by Liszt.

Returning to CU from Moscow is the always exciting cellist Boris Andrianov, who will perform with the Russian pianist and composer Aleksander Pokidchenko.  Take a look at this thrilling performance by Boris from a previous visit to CU: http://youtu.be/Hc3r2rKNRwg.  Making his first appearance here, Aleksander will also play Scriabin on the glorious Steinway Hamburg CD-386 from Steinway...

May we suggest bringing vodka and blini, pirogi, piroshki, pelmini, caviar to share in Russian style?  It's going to be a spirited night of great music and art!

Boris Andrianov
Boris Andrianov
Serge OskotskyDavid Chernyavsky
                                     Serge Oskotsky                    David Chernyavsky 

Dmitry RachmanovAleksandr Pikidchenko
Dmitry Rachmanov          Aleksander Pokidchenko

And the Russians will be joined by a Chinese - CU regular - Mary Au!

As always - bring your spirits, food and drink for you and your friends to enjoy.  We are sold out!

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

Classical Underground Celebrates:

the Living Legacy of the art of the Soviet Union

It is a great honor and pleasure to salute a great Russian Master - my father Leonid Steele -- and to wish him a very HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY!

Leonid Steele "Ivan Susanin" 48" X 72" oil on canvas 1952

Leonid Steele is an important Russian Artist of the Socialist Realism School, known as "Socrealizm". A graduate of the much venerated Leningrad Repin Art Institute, former Russian Imperial Academy of Arts, and an heir to the Russian Academic Tradition, he became one of the masters of what is now known in the West as Soviet Impressionism of the 1950s - early 1960s, and one of the pioneers and leading masters of the Severe Style of the 1960s.

He is part of a remarkable group of the best artists of his era, who under the pressures of totalitarian society were able to expand its restraints and to appeal directly to the core of human emotions, contributing to the universal images of humanity.

Alexey Steele "My Father Leonid Steele" 48" X 60" oil on canvas

His ART is filled with deep empathy toward the common man, conveys a uniquely personal sense of the historic Soviet Era, and yet stands alone in its unequivocal and uncompromising search for artistic truth. He is the only artist of his historic stature with a career spanning the entire time frame of this important school of  post WWII art, who now resides in the United States.

His substantial oeuvre and life story, with its aesthetic and cultural importance as a vibrant thread that contributed to contemporary multi-cultural pattern, already belongs to history.

Drawing and painting since age four every day to this very moment - tenaciously, joyfully and vibrantly -- his remarkable life in ART stands as testimony to the powers of brilliant and restless, ever-young Creative Spirit.

In ART we trust!   

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Season's Opening - This coming Monday, September 12 @ 8 p.m.

Dear friends,

Welcome back to CU for the opening of our 5th season with a program celebrating the 200th birthday year of Franz Liszt, along with music of fellow pianist-composers Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Scriabin and Franck... plus lots of cello, and a Klezmer finale to get us in the mood for the upcoming holidays! 

Joining us will be Eduardo Delgado (piano), Pavel Petrov (piano), Harout Senekeremian (piano), Armen Ksajikian (cello), Indira Rachmatulla (cello), Pepron Pilibossian (piano), Leo Chelyapov (clarinet) and Jordan Charnofsky (guitar).   

              Eduardo Delgado       Pavel Petrov

As always - bring your spirits, food and drink for you and your friends to enjoy.  Please RSVP via Paypal (the button is below).  If you have problems with PayPal - don't wait - email us right away! 

Classical Underground Showcase:

An illustrious group of some of the top realist figure painters in the nation today gathered once again in the Classical Underground stronghold of Alexey's "Grand Atelier" to welcome the towering figure of the movement - legendary painter Richard Schmid. To say that we had fun would be an unforgivable understatement, as two full days of continuous celebration of our beloved art form armed with paints and brushes, food and booze, ideas and conversation were what the spirit of ART is all about. 

On the second day in a smaller group we got to paint a wonderful musician -- one of Classical Underground favorites, soprano Oxana Senina -- with her staggering beauty perfectly reflecting the beauty of her singing, as anyone who visited CU's summer excursion to Levitt Pavilion would attest.  

Music and Painting in their inseparable unity make ART rule in our turbulent world - this is what I call NOVOREALISM.

In ART we trust!     

Please use this button to make the reservations:

Monday, September 5, 2011

About the performers for Sept 12

Eduardo Delgado, CU favorite, renowned performer of romantic and Argentinian piano repertoire, Prof. at CSUF.  Just came back from performing internationally.

Pavel Petrov, CU regular, hailed for his "masterful performances, depth of tone, exquisite taste and artistic originality" is an extraordinary gifted musician, organist, chamber performer, and pedagogue.

Harout Senekeremian, pianist, is an eager participant in the performance of new music. He continues to concertize in both solo and chamber concerts in Southern California as well as maintaining an active piano studio.

Pepi Pilibossian, an incredible collaborative pianist, our CU regular, along with classical core repertoire performing rare authentic music. 

Armen Ksajikian, has performed as principal or soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber, Opus Chamber and Hollywood Bowl orchestras, among others.

Indira Rahmatulla, a graduate of Colburn Conservatory, has achieved success in international competitions, including the Aram Khachaturian Cello Competition, and the Torrance Symphony's Young Artist Competition. Her concert engagements include solo and chamber music performances throughout Turkey, Europe, and US. Indira is Principal Cellist of the American Youth Symphony.

 Leo Chelyapov, clarinetist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger, is a graduate of the Moscow College of Musical Arts. As an avid Klezmer musician, Leo was commissioned to arrange "Klezmer Dances" for the LA Guitar Quartet, and recorded it for Sony Classical. Leo's commercial work includes soundtrack for "Private Parts," with The Red Hot Chili Peppers, performances on MTV, Late Night with David Letterman, and Madison Square Garden.

Jordan Charnofsky holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from USC Thornton School of Music in classical guitar performance. He has served regularly as principal guitarist for the L.A. Opera Orchestra, and has accompanied opera superstars Juan Diego Florez Bryn Terfel, and Luciano Pavarotti.