2023 Fall Concert Series Recap

December 27, 2023

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As 2023 draws to a close, we want to express our gratitude to the stellar musicians whose dedication and exquisite musicianship along with their artistic vision in curating imagery for their performances, made classical music accessible and exciting to a larger audience as well as delighted longtime aficionados. Collaborating with these outstanding professionals was a pleasure and a privilege. Before the New Year is upon us, we invite you as our honored guest to sit back and enjoy the recap!


Sunday, September 10th
Maestros of the Violin and Guitar
Philip Vaiman, Russian-American Violinist
Laura Mazon Franqui, Cuban Classical Guitarist

World renowned maestros, Cuban Classical Guitarist Laura Mazon Franqui and Ukrainian Violinist Philip Vaiman sparked the stage with their performances paired with gorgeous scenery and lighting for each piece. Duos included Gabriel Fauré’s Pavane, Opus 50 arranged by Henk Kok, selections from Manuel Da Falla’s Seven Spanish Songs arranged by Pujol, Heitor Villa-Lobos Aria No. 5 from Bachianas Brasilieras, Niccoló Oagabubu’s Cantabile arranged by Heinrich Albert, George Gershwin’s Lullaby arranged by Malou F. Rogers and Astor Piazzolla’s Cafe 1930s and Nightclub 1960 arranged by none other than Philip Vaiman himself. A heartfelt violin solo of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah arranged by Reena Esmail and riveting guitar solos of José Sirera’s Jerezana, Laura Snowden’s Song for Maria and Francisco Tarrega’s Capricho Arabe captured the hearts of the audience.

Sunday, October 8th
Guideri/Walz/Durkovic Piano Trio
Jessica Guideri, Violinist • John Walz, Cellist
Timothy Durkovic, Pianist

Award winning musicians, violinist Jessica Guideri, cellist John Walz and pianist Timothy Durkovic wowed the crowd with their mastery and gorgeous imagery courtesy of renowned photographer Mark Liddell. The audience was treated to a program of Antonin Dvorak’s Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, Opus 90 – “Dumky”, Johannes Brahms Trio No. 2, Opus 87 in C Major and George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess Suite, Smith/Heifetz arrangement. Stunning performances all around.

Sunday, November 5th
The Solasta Piano Trio
Eva Schaumkell, Pianist • Niv Ashkenazi, Violinist
Zack Reaves, Cellist

The exciting new Los Angeles based Solasta Piano Trio graced the stage performing Dmitri Shostakovich’s 5 Pieces for 2 Violins and Piano arranged for trio by L. Atovmyan, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Trio Opus 70 No. 1 “Ghost”, Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio Opus 17 and George Gershwin’s 3 Preludes arranged for piano trio. Beautiful curated imagery and lighting brought their artistic visions to the stage for an immersive experience.

Sunday, December 5th
The Vieness Duo Holiday Concert
Dynamic Classical Pianists
Eva Schaumkell and Vijay Venkatesh

The holiday season was off to a great start with exciting holiday favorites both classical and contemporary, arranged perfectly for piano duo. Eva and Vijay treated the audience to superb performances accompanied by festive sparkling imagery and lighting. For the first portion of their program, The Vieness Piano Duo performed God’s Time is the Very Best Time by Johann Sebastian Bach/György Kurtag, Vaughn Williams’ What Child is This: Fantasia on Greensleeves, Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons: December, O Holy Night by John Sullivan Dwight/Han Ding, Lucas Richman’s Reindeer Variations, White Christmas by Irving Berlin/John Bayless and Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride. After an intermission of delicious holiday treats and hot beverages, the second portion of their program began with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Waltz No. 2, followed by the traditional Havah Nagila and Leontovych’s Ukrainian Bell Carol Their big finale, Tchaikovsky’s entire Nutcracker Suite Opus 71a with curated imagery for each movement, brought the audience to their feet with a standing ovation. A festive ending to our 2023 concert season.

What sets Athena’s concert series apart?

Each renowned musician teams up with stage director David Sternson, curating breathtaking images and lighting for each piece, adding their artistic vision to their performances and creating an immersive, memorable audience experience.

Our concert hall of choice is a Community Auditorium near the NoHo Arts District which serves the San Fernando Valley community at large.

Stress-Free Audience Experience:
The well-appointed Community Auditorium boasts a Dolby sound system, full stage with an enormous theater screen and lighting for an immersive experience, and comfortable adjustable seating with unobstructed views from anywhere in the audience. ADA compliant egress for all abilities. Other important amenities include ample modern bathrooms right in the auditorium and a Free Parking lot with adjacent street parking for stress-free arrival. Complimentary hot beverages and refreshments served at every concert.

Royal Treatment for Guest Musicians:
Amenities include a freshly tuned Yamaha C7 concert grand, well-appointed green room with refreshments, well-lit dressing room with private bathroom, and ample stage access for pre-concert rehearsals ensure our guest musicians receive the royal treatment.

Who We Are:
The Athena Foundation for the Arts is a small but mighty team of artists, musicians, creators and mentors with a passion for the arts. Our goal to provide an annual world class concert series, bringing stellar musicians from around the world to share their outstanding programs paired with curated immersive imagery with our community, is made possible by the generosity of individual donors like yourself.

To make a year-end gift to The Athena Foundation for the Arts, please visit our website.
Click here for Donor Levels and Honor List. Thank you for your generous support.

Donations are deductible to the full extent of the law. The Athena Foundation For The Arts is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, Tax ID 88-2394159


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