2019 Distinguished Artists
Concert and Lecture Series
Our classical music concerts feature outstanding music literature
performed at the highest level of artistry and expertise.
Distinguished Artists also organizes occasional free informal
classical music concerts at other locations in Santa Cruz County.
Distinguished Artists Testimonials
Testimonials, including from attendees at our most recent event, Schubertiade, on March 16, 2019
This weekend, my husband and I attended the final concert of this season’s Distinguished Artists Concert and Lecture Series, directed passionately and lovingly by John Orlando. The series of six concerts, (this one with an informative lecture by Michael Tierra), has provided us with sustaining beauty in our lives, the highest level of professional and soulful musicians, performing on piano, cello, violin, clarinet, and with voice. We were, after each concert, like children, believing and saying “Oh, this was the best yet!”
Actually, these concerts were the antidotes to discord and violence in our country, in our world. They demonstrated musical connections, musical conversations between instruments and between musicians, a sort of metaphor.
This series lifted us, made us catch our collective breaths. I felt my throat close as expressions of sensitivity and dynamic shifts were performed so beautifully. I realized at times that I was holding my breath, as if holding close the sense of the unimagined, the magical.
We are grateful.Lesley Gordon
We particularly appreciate the Distinguished Artists Series focus on piano performance. There’s really no other place to hear the classical piano repertoire performed live in this way in our county. Thank you for the moments of beauty you bring into our lives!Claire Schneeberger
The Jons (Nakamatsu and Manasse) were amazing – the talent, the personalities, the friendship, and the generosity of sharing themselves with us. And I realized that I often think “Oh this performance is the best we at Distinguished Artists, have heard yet.”
This series is important to us and the community because of the consistency of stunning artists, gorgeous music, and the intimacy of both setting and audience. Aaron and I find you to be thoughtful, extremely competent and passionate about leading this series, selecting the performers, and caring for them and us. Most important the overarching theme of your leadership is kindness and humor.
Thank you for all you do, for the scheduled gifts of accessible high quality entertainment and for making us all feel like family.Lesley and Aaron Gordon
I just want to write a few lines to express my thanks for the Distinguished Artists Series. It is the highest quality series for chamber music in Santa Cruz County. It helps fufill my need for chamber music. I am sure that many music lovers in our community feel the same. In fact, it replaces the chamber music part of the defunct Arts and Lectures Series. How lucky we are to have this series to fill the gap.Peter Farkas
Santa Cruz County has a vibrant community of music lovers and many, well attended, concerts by local artists throughout the year. By bringing internationally known performers to our town, The Distinguished Artists Series is unique in drawing this enthusiastic community together. The concerts and lectures are long anticipated events where one can be sure not only to enjoy superb music but also to meet many friends who share the same love of music. It is truly a highlight of our lives in this community.Marie-Françoise Chesselet and Terry Reisine