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Monthly Archives: September 2015

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InConcert Sierra’s Orchestral Concert of Favorites!
Posted by admin on Sep, 29, 2015

InConcert Sierra’s attitude toward making music is truly novel: play music people want to hear! (Click on photo below for sample:)


Conductor Ken Hardin and Concertmaster Richard Altenbach put on a fund-raising concert every season featuring musical selections chosen by the audience!  The result this September 20, 2015 included Respighi’s Ancient Airs & Dances, the Blue Danube, and most poignantly, the slow movement from Dvorak’s New World Symphony.


This approach always leads to a successful financial campaign allowing the organization to pursue its lofty goals (such as sponsoring Joshua Bell’s recital in October! and securing individual patron sponsorship OF EVERY SINGLE CHAIR in the ORCHESTRA!!)  Thank you to our sponsors and community…

Clue to music programmers:  Ummm, it was a smash hit.

Great sketch of the InConcert Sierra Orchestra by Elly Gould!InConcertSketch

Richard and Kristin Chenoweth
Posted by admin on Sep, 28, 2015

September 25, 2015 Richard had the pleasure of playing with Kristin Chenoweth and her 4-man traveling band at Weill Hall, Green Center, Sonoma State University.  A small string section indeed: 2 violins, 1 cello.  This concert was part of the Summer Lawn Series, very beautiful setting.


Her personality, professionalism and charisma were inspiring.  Known for her sweet high notes, intonation was flawless, power amazing (she is 4’11” tall, and very petite) and most importantly expressivity uncommon.  The highlight of the concert for me was the lovely piano / voice rendition of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables which along with selections from Wicked, brought down the house!

at rehearsal with the charming Kristin:



Auburn Symphony Summer Concert in the Park 2015
Posted by admin on Sep, 14, 2015

Opening concert of the season for Auburn Symphony is always done in a heavily wooded park in town.  This picture below shows a lost Concertmaster, Richard Altenbach, in search of his orchestra … (I said it was wooded!)


Moments with Maestro Peter Jaffe:


Guest Maestro Perry:

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Sage & Milo
Posted by admin on Sep, 14, 2015

Just finished a feature film project cryptically entitled Sage & Milo at the Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage, Sony / Old MGM.  Why the working title Sage & Milo?  Yes, secrecy reigns again at Sony.  Referring to literary allusion,  Sage is a wiseman and Milo is a Greek soldier hero.  Add a cape to each fellow, change the & in the title to vs, and you figure it out!


The pictures below shows the beautiful Katia Popov, violinist extraordinaire and the incredible Hans Zimmer!


Having played and recorded for so many Zimmer movies, I can only say I admire him the most of any Hollywood composer.  A hilarious, witty German with a delightful Anglicized accent (all those BBC productions in London!), he is a true gentile superhero (am I giving anything away here?), at least musically speaking.  As a Participant in the ASCAP Film Composers’ Workshop, I had the pleasure of visiting him in his private studio in Remote Control, Santa Monica (a couple of beachside street blocks of buzzing musical recording activity).  He was a blast.  I will always remember how he goes about bidding for a job; he studies the script or some visuals, and instead of putting sample music to picture, he creates a 20-minute fully fleshed-out montage of all the musical themes and moments he sees for the film.

His music is characterized by originality,  shameless bows to ultra Germanic Romanticism (hello Wagner, Strauss and Bruckner!) and outrageous audacity.  His signature sound is a mixture of gigantic orchestral forces sweetened with numerous overlays acoustic and electronic, magnificent solos and wild eerie, powerful sonic effects.

I remember upon the last day of recording one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, he sent us all home WITH A BOTTLE OF RUM!  good rum …

Oh, one more interesting tidbit … It seems that the computer system is still down at Sony since the North Korean hacker attack!  Note the hand-written pass I received to enter the studio (below):