Grace Church music to carry a ‘Beethoven’ vibe

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It happens to be the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and that means his music will take on special meaning around the world.

Grace Church in Culver City will be among those celebrating this “monumental event,” despite the restrictions of the pandemic social-distancing mandates, music director Mary Lou Basaraba said through an email.

Today’s MidDay concert will feature Andrés Cárdenes, the world-renowned violinist, who will be seen performing the Beethoven Violin Concert with the Culver City Chamber Orchestra. The event was conducted by Cárdenes’ sister, Arlette, and presented at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Music critic and broadcaster Alan Chapman hosted the concert.

So, the MidDAY concerts on Oct. 15 and Nov. 12 will feature the CCCO Beethoven concerts with full orchestra of 54 players, likely similar in size to the orchestra of Beethoven’s era,” Basaraba said.

Cárdenes is a Grammy-nominated musician who according to sources, has parlayed his many talents into a much-loved career in classical music.  The Cuban-born Cárdenes has made a career of enthralling audiences with his solo violin, conducting, viola, chamber music, concertmaster and recorded performances.

In 1982, Cárdenes captured the second prize in the 1982 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in Moscow. Since then he has appeared as a soloist around the world, including Helsinki, Shanghai and Barcelona.

He has also collaborated with many of the greatest conductors in the world, including Lorin Maazel, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir Angré Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Jaap van Zweden, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck.

As a conductor, Cárdenes is in much demand and has performed to great reviews, sources say. His appearances include the Bavarian Radio, Detroit Symphony, Colorade Symphony, Dallas Symphone, Neue Philharmonic Westfalen, Sinfónica Nacínal de Bogota, San Diego Symphony, Sinfónica de Caracas, Orquesta Fundacíon Beethoven (Santiago, Chile) and the OFUNAM Orchestra of Mexico City.

Cárdenes has likewise served as artistic director and leader of the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra, from its inception in 199 to 2009.

Currently, he is music director of Orchestral Studies at Carnegie Mellon University.

He is a “prolific recording artist,” according to his website. Cárdenes

has interpreted concerti by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Barbar, kBalada, Gutierrez and David Stock on the Artek, Naxos and Albany labels.

Cárdenes is the co-founder and artistic and music director of the Josef Gingold Chamber Music Festival of Miami, a program geared toward education young musician s in chamber music and solo repertoire, inspired by the teachings, legacy, humanity and ideology of the legendary violinist.

He has been the violinist of the world-renowned Díaz Trio since 1995 and the Carnegie Mellon Trio since 1989.

This year marks the 43rd anniversary of his “renowned teaching and pedagogical career,” which began as an assistant to his teacher and mentor Josef Gingold at Indiana University.

He continues Professor Gingold’s legacy and discipline while holding the title of Distinguised Professor Violin Studies and the Dorothy Richard Starling/Alexander Speyer Jr. Endowed Chair of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music.

Among Cardenás’ many humanitarian awards are the Kollell Foundation Jewish Learning Award, the Kindness Award from Chabad, Mexican Red Cross and the UNICEF Cultural Ambassadorship.

He is the father of two teenagers: Isabel, an accomplished young harpist; and Tino, a talented pianist and math wizard.

“Also, cellist Kevan Torfeh and I will be getting together in the choir room at Grace church to play some duos for the Grace Diner recipients,” Basaraba said. “we will be socially distanced and with play with the windows open so, the diners can hear us during their dinner hour.

As with all virtual MidDay at Grace virtual concerts, donations benefit the Grace’s Diner, which feeds families and individuals in need. The diner is serving up to 1,500 meals a week, Basaraba said.