Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Two wonderful musicians: George Mesterhazy and Zheng Cao

In the universe of my very occasional blog, here's a very much belated post about a colleague and marvelous jazz pianist, plus a slightly less belated post about another wonderful musician and talented mezzo-soprano.

I met George Mesterhazy through a Mensa-musician friend, a trombone player named Herb Roselle who thought we'd enjoy knowing each other and talking music, and connected us.  Herb was right...and I had the pleasure and privilege of hearing George play live in San Francisco a couple of years ago.  Such a special player, arranger, and composer!

George passed away in his sleep in April 12, 2012 (yes, over a year ago: I'm embarrassingly delinquent in this post, with my apologies to all), and Herb has given me permission to post this clip of a soulful, lyrical Tennessee Waltz that he recorded when George let him put a digital recorder inside George's piano as he played.

Enjoy...

Another inspiring, generous, and fabulous musician passed away this year on Feb. 12 after a long battle with cancer: mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao. Formerly an Adler Fellow and long associated with SF Opera, Zheng premiered Bonesetter's Daughter (operatic setting of the wonderful Amy Tan novel) and was beloved among audiences and colleagues for her passionate performances and warm, rich mezzo-soprano voice.  There's an open Facebook group as a memorial to her, Zheng Cao celebration, and a public memorial is planned on June 24 at 3 p.m.  Hear her warm, rich portrayal of "You'll never walk alone" in 2011.


Two beautiful stars in the musical firmament for us all to keep alive in our hearts.

What I'm listening to: Salamone Rossi's madrigals and canzonettas; Barbara Strozzi duets, especially "Begl' occhi"; Elena Ruehr, David Garner, and Laura Schwendinger, Ruth Lomon.
What I'm studying: Ruth Lomon, Viteslzava Kapralova, Gabriela Lena Frank,  Edwin Geist and David garner for the  upcoming JMPP concert (May 19, San Jose).
What I'm reading: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children; Job by Joseph Roth, The Time Keeper by Mitch Alboum, and Stoner by John Williams.

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