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November 29, 2011 > Hayward Chamber Players shine again

Hayward Chamber Players shine again

By Simon Wong, Photo by Simon Wong

Many may recall their formal introduction to music through Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra followed by the school master's exhortation that every 11-year old should take up an instrument. Most did with varied success and enthusiasm; many fell by the wayside but all were exposed to the emotion, skills and discipline required of musicianship. Those who stayed the course joined school orchestras, ensembles and bands and learned to play with other musicians though the standards of performance reflected varying abilities.

The Hayward Chamber Players made their acclaimed debut at the end of July 2011 at Neumanali Restaurant, Hayward, in support of the Hayward Rotary Foundation's Third Grade Dictionary Project. They repeated their success with their second performance on November 26, 2011, before approximately 40 people in the most intimate and elegant of settings in Hayward's historic Prospect Neighborhood.

On this occasion, the ensemble comprised Corina Stoian (violin), Ted Seitz (viola), Alexandru Dumitrache (cello), Cathy O'Connor (piano) and Joia Fishman (page-turner), a member of the Mt. Eden Show Choir.

Stoian's musical career began at an early age, performing with prominent symphony orchestras throughout Romania while still a student at the prestigious Conservatory of Music, Bucharest, and winning numerous prizes in national violin and chamber music competitions. She studied further at the famous Folkwang Musikhochschule (Conservatory of Music), Essen, in Germany. Stoian has resided in the USA since August 2006 and has appeared as a soloist at the Bear Valley Music Festival, the Lesher Center for the Arts (Walnut Creek), with the Merced Symphony, Auburn Symphony, Academy at All Hallows Orchestra (Sacramento), Folsom Lake Symphony, at the Sonora Bach Festival and in numerous recitals and concerts in Amador and Calaveras counties. She has featured as a soloist in Italy, France, Israel, Bulgaria, Germany and Switzerland.

Besides duties with the Symphony Silicon Valley, Seitz plays with Opera San Jose and in the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and has performed with the American Musical Theatre Orchestra of San Jose. As a freelance musician, he has performed with the Oakland, Modesto, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Symphonies. In summer, he serves as assistant principal violist in the Mendocino Festival Orchestra. He has performed with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Spoleto, Italy and belonged to the former San Francisco Concert Orchestra. He teaches privately in the Hayward/Castro Valley area and beginners and intermediate string in the Fremont Youth Symphony and has been viola and chamber music coach with the San Jose Symphony Youth Orchestra. He provides chamber music for weddings and special events through Quality Musical Services. He studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Daniel Kobialka, has performed with John Adams and Paul Hersh, and at the Aspen Music School and Idlewood School for the Arts.

Dumitrache was born in Bucharest and joined the Bucharest Conservatory of Music aged 11. He won First Prize in the prestigious National Cello Competition, in Romania, when he was 17 and was invited to record and perform with the Romanian National Broadcast Symphony; he continued his studies at the University of Illinois where he earned his Master's degree. Dumitrache has performed throughout Romania as a recitalist and has appeared as a soloist with many European and American orchestras.

O'Connor, a life-long Hayward resident, teaches piano privately to students of all ages and abilities. She accompanies local musicians and singers throughout the Bay Area and adjudicates for music festivals and competitions. For the past 10 years, she has chaired the Friends of Today's Music project which commissions new works, by America's leading composers, for young musicians. In addition to private donations, she has received grant funding from the Aaron Copland Foundation and San Diego Foundation for this project.

The Hayward Chamber Players' program consisted of Beethoven's Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Major - Rondo; Faure's Apres un Reve (arr. by Pablo Casals) for cello and piano; Benjamin Godard's Aubade (Andantino) for violin and cello, Op. 133; Vaughan-Williams' Greensleeves for viola and piano; Carlos Gardel's Tango (Por una cabeza), which is often featured in film and television, (arr. by John Williams) for violin and piano; Dvorak's Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 87 Mvt. III-IV. Stoian performed Grigoras Dinicu's The Lark for an encore.

Given the venue's intimacy, this was an opportunity for an appreciative audience to witness virtuoso performances at close quarters. Cello, viola, violin and piano truly came alive in the hands of the Hayward Chamber Players with bowing techniques and dexterous fingering, customarily missed in a concert hall, clearly visible.

When pianist Ron Brickman, President of the Mother Lode Friends of Music, accompanied Stoian and Dumitrache in July 2011, he asserted that "community and public support will enable top musicians to perform together in people's homes and in other venues." He attended the Hayward Chamber Players' second concert.

Their polished performances left guests hankering for more. Many thought the program could have been longer and will certainly continue to support and follow the chamber music ensemble. Not only is there something magical about listening to classical music in an intimate setting with friends and fellow musicians, there is a clear sense of pride in claiming these international musicians as Hayward's own.

Stoian and Brickman will perform works for violin, clarinet and piano in a concert organized by the Mother Lode Friends of Music at the Sutter Creek Theatre, Sutter Creek, on February 12, 2012. For more information, visit www.mlfm.org/events.html.

To check the availability of the Hayward Chamber Players or to join their email list for notification of future events, contact Corina Stoian at StoianViolin@gmail.com.

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