St. Matthew’s Music Guild has announced its thirty-fourth series of concerts in Pacific Palisades featuring the critically acclaimed Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s under the direction of its new Music Director and Conductor, Dwayne S. Milburn. Guests artists include South African pianist Petronel Malan, 2017 National Sphinx Competition winner, violinist Annelle K. Gregory, International Prokofiev competition winner, pianist Robert Thies, internationally renowned cellist and UCLA faculty member, Antonio Lysy, and Minnesota based male vocal ensemble Cantus.

The Music Guild’s new Music Director and Conductor, Dwayne S. Milburn is a multi-faceted conductor, composer, singer and keyboard artist whose career has taken him around the world over the past twenty years. A native of Baltimore, Milburn earned Bachelor and Ph.D. degrees in Music Education and Composition at UCLA and a Master’s degree in Conducting at the Cleveland Institute. For three years he was Director of Cadet Music and the Glee Club at West Point and in 1993 he joined the U.S. Army, serving as Bandmaster of the Continental Army Band and U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” Since then he has served in the Middle East and Eastern Europe and most recently as Commander and Conductor of the U.S. Army Band and Chorus in Europe. He is retiring from the U.S. Army this September.

The Music Guild season will include five concerts featuring The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s and two concerts by guest artists Robert Thies and Cantus Vocal Ensemble.

The season opens October 12 with an all-Beethoven concert featuring pianist Petronel Malan in the “Emperor” concerto, plus the “Coriolan Overture” and Fourth Symphony. On November 9, violinist Annelle Gregory returns to the Music Guild for a 100th Anniversary Commemoration of the end of World War I featuring music of Ravel, Copland and the Violin Concerto of Wolfgang Erich Korngold.

Cantus Vocal Ensemble will present a program entitled “Alone Together,” exploring our struggle to build meaningful connection in a world that has never been more connected. They will perform music by Libby Larsen, David Lang and others on February 1. Los Angeles pianist Robert Thies presents a solo recital of music by Schumann, Chopin, Debussy and Rachmaninoff on April 5.

Argentinian ellist Antonio Lysy will be the guest artist on March 1 for an all-strings program featuring Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata, and music by Britten, Holst and Piazzolla.

The Choir of St. Matthew’s joins the Chamber Orchestra for a holiday concert of music by Bach, Vivaldi and Handel on December 7 and the season will conclude on June 7 with Beethoven’s Mass in C, Ives’s “Unanswered Question” and the world premiere of a new Music Guild commissioned work by Los Angeles composer Diana Woolner.

All concerts are on Fridays at 8 p.m. at the architecturally stunning award-winning St. Matthew’s Church, 1031 Bienveneda Avenue, Pacific Palisades. All concerts (except October) are preceded at 7:10 pm by “Liner Notes” – a preview and discussion of the evening’s music featuring Music Guild President and former Music Director, Thomas Neenan.

Tickets for the concerts are $35 at the door. Advance tickets, discounted season passes for all concerts, and more information are available through the Music Guild’s website, or by calling the Music Guild office, (310) 573-7422.

Submitted by Tom Neenan


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