I first learned about the eclectic Music and Art Series, Classical Underground from a longtime former art student. I also had the privilege of meeting classical artist, Alexey Steele at the LA Art Show many years ago. It was a pleasure to learn that this fine artist has created a special series celebrating high art and music for patrons of the arts.

Over the years, I would receive an email invitation to attend, but there had always been a schedule conflict, until last night. It was exciting to finally attend a Classical Underground event. This one marked the 10th Season Opening!

My hubby and I arrived to find the location to be a warehouse in an unmarked building complex on Main Street in Carson. The parking lot entrance was off of Torrance Blvd., which was a little confusing. A long line of nicely dressed people indicated the entrance.

Upon entry, we secured a couple of seats and meandered about the space. Beautiful drawings and paintings adorned the walls. A potluck buffet of finger food and a variety of wine was located near the entrance. Musicians rehearsed and performed sound checks while guests noshed and kibitzed.

I detected a lot of Russian accents in the crowd. No doubt they were colleagues of Alexey. The casual relaxed feel lent a European ambience to the event.

Alexey Steele

Alexey Steele, left


The program also celebrated American figurative artist Patricia Watwood. Her exquisite painting, Flowers, 2016, oil on linen, 22 x 20 was prominently displayed. Breathtaking!


Patricia Watwood


About an hour after we arrived, the program commenced. We were treated to works by Astor Piazzolla, Mikhael Glinka, Sergei Rachmaninov, Robert Schumann and Modest Mussorgsky.

A trio opened the concert with three movements from Piazzolla’s sensual “Four Seasons in Buenos Aires”. David Lisker, violin. Evgeny Tonkha, cello. Anton Smirnov, piano. I’m inspired to buy the music for my trio!


Trio at Classical Underground


The beautiful soprano, Elena Mindlina enthalled the audience with songs by Glinka and Rachmaninov. She was accompanied by our esteemed and dear colleague, Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov whose sensitive touch and marvelous pedal technique gave color and warmth to the performance.


Elena Mindlina and Dmitry Rachmanov


Professor Eduardo Delgado closed the first portion of the program with a magnificent performance of eight pieces from Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestucke, Opus 12. He is a master of the “pearly” piano sound.


Eduardo Delgado


After Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro performed Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”, the event came to a close with a gorgeous Astor Piazzola Guitar and Violin duet, “History of Tango”. Philip Vaiman, violin. Kenton Youngstrom, guitar.


Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro


Philip Viaman, Violin and Kenton Youngstrom, Guitar Duet


An excerpt from their duet can be heard at the end of the video montage I created from the evening’s concert. It includes sound bytes of moments from the soundcheck, the first portion and the last performance from the program.

A nice video of the Trio can also be viewed on Classical Underground‘s Facebook page.

I hope you enjoyed this peak inside a Classical Underground concert and will consider attending one or more this season. You can subscribe to their email list from their website.
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For more on Pastimes for a Lifetime’s Art Curriculum or Piano Curriculum and founder/instructor Linda Wehrli, visit the website.

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