My First Groupmuse Performance!
Saturday, June 24 at 7 PM
Upper Civic Center
San Francisco

Red White and Rhapsody in Blue


American Music Concert
Sunday, July 12 @ 2:30
Half Moon Bay, CA
Music by Gershwin, Amy Beach, Richard Rogers

Elegant Home Concert Simulcast from My Living Room

Simulcast Link
Sunday, May 17 @ 2:30 PM
Half Moon Bay, CA

Valentine’s Concert ~
My Favorite Romantics

Sunday, February 15 @ 2:30 PM
Half Moon Bay, CA  94019

Holiday Recital with a Latin Flavor
Sunday, Dec, 14 @ 2:30 PM
Half Moon Bay, CA  94019

Piano Recital at Shauna Pickett-Gordon’s Home
Saturday, Nov. 22 @ 7 PM
Montara, CA

Red, White & Rhapsody in Blue

Piano Music and Hors d’oeuvres Celebrating America and Summer Harvest
Sunday, July 6, 2014 @ 4 PM (click for details)

The Romantic Salon Wars: Chopin vs. Liszt, as judged by Schumann

Annual Valentine’s Recital featuring Lisa Spector and Sue Hammond                            Sunday, February, 16 @ 3 PM                                                                                              Private Residence in Half Moon Bay, CA (click for details)

Encore d’Elegance

Sunday, October 27 @ 3:00 PM

My Favorite Chopin and Pinot Noir                                                                                  Private Estate Winery in Portola Valley, CA    Sunday, June 9 @ 3:00 PM


Canine Classical Concert for People and their Dogs!

Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay, CA       Sunday, May 19 @ 2:30 PM

Pre-Valentine’s Concert   2/10/13  2:30 PM Half Moon Bay, CA

Concerts for People AND their Dogs!

Through a Dog’s Ear Concert for People AND their Dogs!   10/6/12 7:00 PM

Presented by Transfiguration Church   San Mateo, CA

Through a Dog’s Ear Concert for People AND their Dogs! 10/7/12 4:00 PM

Presented by Fox Terrier Club of Northern California      Belvedere, CA


Elegant Home Concerts

New Year’s Eve Elegant Dinner Concert 2012 (sold out)

American Composers with Lisa Spector & Michael O’Neill July 29, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Dinner Concert  May 5, 2012

Valentine’s Concert February 12, 2012

New Year’s Eve Elegant Dinner Concert. Dec. 31, 2011

What guests said about previous Elegant Home Concerts:

 “Your beautiful music was wonderful!  Thank you for something so very special. We were truly transported to  another world, almost up in the heavens and how refreshing!

                                                                                                                         Jane Seifert

“The ambiance and the music was a joy to behold and to experience. We enjoyed meeting new people too!”                                                                                     Sue and Jeff Perls

“We had such a delightful evening at the concert on Saturday night. The intimate setting allowed us the opportunity to be consumed by the beauty of the composer’s work as well as your profound interpretation and expression of it. Thank you for sharing of yourself and your music in this way.”

Michael Miller

 “We enjoyed your Chopin recital immensely. It was a very special treat to hear a performing artist in her own home. Your knowledgeable comments about Chopin  helped us gain understanding of the composer and added to our appreciation.  Thank you again.

Faye Close

“We all thought the evening was  in every way just spectacular, and unforgettable. Marja and Pekka are both lovers of classical music, and they were really taken by the way you played. So were Michael and I. Listening to you play all those Chopin etudes was a truly amazing, a once in a life time experience. A couple of times I glanced at Marja and Pekka from the corner of my eye, and  I saw that they were just “gone” –taken by the incredible skill and art of your music.

Kaisa Puhakka

How it all started….

I recently had the pleasure of performing in my home for a house full of music lovers. Shortest commute ever for a concert! And there is nothing that compares to performing on the instrument you work with daily, especially when it is a 9 foot Steinway Grand.

The performance, however, was only part of the evening. My neighbor, Carol Mickelsen, and I hosted an Elegant Dinner Concert. Carol is a professional chef and previous owner of The San Benito House, Inn and Restaurant, in Half Moon Bay. I’m not sure you could have enjoyed a better dinner anywhere. Everything pre-concert was sensational. Half Moon Bay is known for it’s summer fog. However, it is often sunny in the canyon, where we live, and it shined brilliantly on July 10. Between the pre-dinner socializing over wine and delectable hors d’oeuvres, the spectacular canyon and ocean view, the 25 people who enjoyed getting acquainted, and the gorgeously presented dinner, it was a most enjoyable social gathering.

While I usually need to be in a very quiet space pre-performance, this felt different. I was surrounded by music lovers sharing wonderful, engaging stories and was happy to visit with friends, previous strangers, parents of students, and adult students (including 96 year old Marge Trogden!).  And I only had to walk next door to enjoy time with them.

Dinner at Carol's
Every bite was mouth watering and looked as beautiful as it tasted. Entree choices included Roasted Breast of Chicken stuffed with Spinach, Shallots and Bacon served with apple demiglac on a bed of American rice blend pilaf studded with butternut squash OR a vegetarian choice (which I really appreciated) of Roasted Ratatouille in Crispy Savory Tart Pastry served on a bed of sautéed greens with toasted pecans. It may have been the most delicious vegetarian entree I’ve ever had. I excused myself early to go next door and prepare for the concert. But, I’m glad a piece of chocolate brandy cake was saved for me for post-concert.

I have to admit that I live in a very private, quiet residence and have never invited 25 people into my home, so this was a new experience for me. By the time everyone walked next door for the concert, it felt like we were all one big happy family and should be planning a date for a reunion.

The event was just after the July 4th holiday, so the music featured American composers Amy Beach (1st half) and George Gershwin (2nd half). Dreaming from Sketches Op. 15 was chosen as my opening selection, to briefly introduce the audience to the music of Amy Beach before I completely dove in. Variations on Balkan Themes is one of Beach’s largest piano works and very unusual in that she uses four different themes for the variations, followed by a hauntingly beautiful funeral march, and ending with a very virtuoso cadenza.

The second half was much lighter, with the music of Gershwin. I had the pleasure of studying with Earl Wild when I was a student at Juilliard. He was known to be the last of the great romantic pianists, and his arrangements are as wonderful as his performances were. At the dinner concert, I performed three of his virtuoso etudes: Embraceable You, The Man I Love, and Fascinatin’ Rhythm. Click here to view my performance of Embraceable You.

This was followed an audience favorite, Gerhwin’s Rhapsody in Blue – always a pleasure to perform, but particularly around the 4th of July.

Here are some of the comments I received from the evening:

“It was all so wonderful…from Carol’s fantastic dinner to your beautiful music!  Thank you for something so very special. We were truly transported to  another world, almost up in the heavens and how refreshing! ”    Jane Seifert

“Thank you for a wonderful evening. The food was fantastic. The people a pleasure to meet and get to know. And, of course, your music is always a pleasure. I love Amy Beach.” Ed Burfine

A Happy CrowdClick here to view a video of the evening’s highlights.

The event was so enjoyable that we are starting a series of themed dinner concerts. Stay tuned for upcoming dates. You’ll need to come hungry, because your stomach and soul will be well fed.








One thought on “Performances

  1. I heard and was super impressed with your performance at Dave Karlin’s class on Tuesday, December 9th. You may recall that I won your “Encoures d’ Elegance!” CD that morning which I really enjoy. Since I was so intrigued with your comments about it, I also purchased “through a Dog’s Ear”. You mentioned that you occasionally have recitals in your home. I would like to bring my wife and daughter to hear you. Kindly send me your schedule for upcoming programs.

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