Gold Coast Chamber Players start 2015 with colorful impressionistic program

Gold Coast Chamber Players start 2015 with colorful impressionistic program

Gold Coast Chamber Players 

The Gold Coast Chamber Players concert, Serenade, coming this January, is a chance to hear dreamy sound paintings by French and Japanese Impressionist composers.

The concert will be held on Sat., Jan. 24 at 7:30 PM at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette.

Leading off the program is Chanson Madécasses by Maurice Ravel, in which the soprano, flute, cello, and piano evoke a romantic vision of Madagascar. In Camille Saint-Saëns’ “The Swan”, the cello sings serenely as the swan, and the harp imitates the gentle ripples in the water created by the swimming bird. “And Then I Knew ‘Twas Wind” by Toro Takemitsu was drawn from an Emily Dickinson poem, and has an expansive, meditative quality. Serenade pays homage to early 20th century Romanticism, with lush instrumentation and daring new harmonies. Claude Debussy, a French master of Impressionism, wrote, “Is it not our duty to find the symphonic formula which fits our time, one which progress, daring, and modern victory demand? The century of airplanes has a right to its own music.” Serenade certainly lives up to Debussy’s ideal. A pre-concert talk with Kai Christiansen will start the evening at 7 p.m.

Featured in this performance are two key members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Principal Harpist Olga Rakitchenkov, and Principal Flutist Julie McKenzie. Ms. Rakitchenkov has appeared internationally as a soloist since her professional debut in 1971, and was the Grand Prix winner at the International Harp Competition in Geneva, Switzerland. Christine Brandes, a soprano praised for her “radiant, crystalline voice” will be highlighted in several pieces in Serenade. Ms. Brandes has performed with the Houston Grand Opera and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has recorded for EMI and Virgin Classics. Recurring Gold Coast favorites violist Pamela Freund-Striplen, cellist Eric Gaenslen, and pianist Lori Lack, round out the ensemble.

The Gold Coast Chamber Players are known for their engaging and vibrant performances. Audiences have been responding with such enthusiasm that tickets are in great demand.

Ticket price includes complimentary champagne, a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m., and a reception with the musicians following the performance. Tickets are available at and by phone at (925) 283-3728. Limited seating, please reserve early.

Gold Coast Chamber Players concert, ‘Serenade’

Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
(Pre-concert talk 30 min. prior to concert)

Community Hall, at the Lafayette Library
3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette, CA 94549

Maurice Ravel: Chanson Madécasses for Soprano, Flute, Cello, and Piano
Claude Debussy: Sonata in D Minor for Cello and Piano
Claude Debussy: “Girl With the Flaxen Hair” for Flute and Harp
Maurice Delage: 3 Chants de la Jungle for Soprano and Piano
Toro Takemitsu: “And Then I Knew ‘Twas Wind” for Flute, Viola, and Harp
Carlos Salzedo: “Whirlwind” for Solo Harp
Camille Saint-Saens: “The Swan” for Cello and Harp
Andre Jolivet: Petite Suite for Flute, Harp, and Viola

Olga Rakitchenkov, harp
Christine Brandes, soprano
Julie McKenzie, flute
Pamela Freund-Striplen, viola
Eric Gaenslen, cello
Lori Lack, piano

Purchase online:
By phone: (925) 283-3728
$37.50 General, $32.50 Senior, $10 Student

Gold Coast Chamber Players
P.O. Box 271, Lafayette, CA 94549
(925) 283-3728;


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