Cara Lieurance

Nikki Statler

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra's February 19th Symphonic Series concert featured, unusually, two 20th century concertos.  Concertos are an ever-popular form that pit a solo instrument with and against the forces of the orchestra. 

Ahmed Anzaldua is a Mexican pianist/conductor who lives in Kalamazoo. In 2014, he visited Mexico to perform in one of the country's most prominent music festivals, and the presenters surprised him with an offer to fund a musical recording of his choice.

Even though the offer was unexpected, Anzaldua knew right away what he wanted to do: record the piano music of Mexican composer Miguel Bernal Jiménez (1910 - 1956), most of which has never been recorded before. 


The Brass Rail - a quintet of West Michigan brass players - was created for fun. Mike McMinn (cornet, trumpet), Roger Lynch (cornet, trumpet), Chris Garrett (horn) John Dickey (trombone) and Fritz MacDonald (tuba) have dozens years of music training and hundreds of performances between them. Walking onto the Miller Auditorium stage in formal wear for a Kalamazoo Concert Band performance is an experience familiar to all. 


Courtesy Photo

Violinist Diana Cohen was concertmaster of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra from 2007 to 2011. She now lives in Calgary, Alberta, and is concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic. Cohen performs in Kalamazoo again this week with her father, clarinetist Franklin Cohen, who recently retired from the Cleveland Orchestra, and Roman Ravinovich, a prizewinning Israeli pianist. 


Emmanuel Pahud's versatile career includes a playing as an orchestral musician with the Berlin Philharmonic, appearing as a guest soloist with orchestras around the world, and concertizing as a recitalist. Pahud and guitarist Christian Rivet will perform a program of international works, called "Around The World," in a Fontana concert on Saturday.

Pages