Domenico Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti birthday, Murray Perahia, piano blog, Richard Goode, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, The Musical Offering Cafe, The Musical Offering Cafe in Berkeley, Zellerbach Hall

Celebrating Domenico Scarlatti’s birthday at the Musical Offering Cafe in Berkeley (Video)

musical offering parking lot mural

A great prelude to Richard Goode’s Berkeley piano recital was my brief stop-off at the colorful Musical Offering Cafe (2430 Bancroft Way) which sits directly across from Zellerbach Hall. Even the parking lot that hosts guests at both locations, has a gorgeous mural that lures concertgoers to the charming, arts-centered bistro. Packed with Classical CDs that spill into a space reserved for fine dining, the cafe is resonating with love for the great music Masters.

Since it was October 26th, Domenico Scarlatti’s birthday, my piano student, Jocel, and I fully intended to honor the composer by purchasing a few sonata-filled Cds.

That’s how a SONY Classical disk, Murray Perahia plays Handel and Scarlatti, landed in Jocel’s hands while I snatched the pianist’s Bach Concerti album.

Perahia album cropped

The Musical Offering is a great place to eat, schmooze with other Classical music mavens, and grab a few bargain priced CDs.

So on my next outing to Zellerbach, I’ll be sure to spend more time sifting through album files while sipping a cafe latte.


Berkeley, Berkeley CA, classissima,, Franz Schubert, Franz Schubert sonatas, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, Richard Goode, Schubert, Zellerbach Hall, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, Zellerbach in Berkeley California

A Feast of pianist, Richard Goode’s Artistry and a walk down memory lane

I hand-selected a particular recital for an outing with my adult student, Jocel. While he’d suggested a Yuja Wang foray at Davies Concert Hall in San Francisco, I prodded him to first experience the sublime artistry of Richard Goode. (Location: Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley, CA, CAL PERFORMANCES series)

We were not disappointed.

Richard Goode Program

The last three Sonatas of Schubert were masterfully played, infused with a singing tone that reached the very pinnacle of vocal expression idealized by the composer in his body of lieder. (songs) And while the pianist produced a liquid sound, he wove a tapestry of colors through sonorities and passagework that had an ingrown allegiance to form. His phrases, well spun, had a larger meaning — motivic threads, sequences, transitional bridges, and harmonic progressions synthesized to produce powerful emotional expression and structural meaning.


On a personal note, Richard Goode dates back to my NYC days, when the late Harris Goldsmith, Classical music reviewer at High Fidelity Magazine was a close companion. Such friendship borne of our mutual love for music, created unusual opportunities to partake of great performances up close and personal. At post concert receptions I met virtuosos such as Richard Goode, Ursula Oppens, and Richard’s close friend, Murray Perahia, though the latter was a classmate at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. Both Richard and Murray were regulars at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and were Marlboro alums, under the mentorship of Rudolf Serkin.

In the late 1960’s, Goldsmith invited me to hear “Richard” play the Schumann Fantasy at a Mannes College of Music Masterclass presented by Karl Ulrich Schnabel. (The reading had a signature sweep and beauty of phrasing that left an indelible memory) At the time, Murray was taking up conducting with Carl Bamberger, and both he and Richard had carved out rich chamber music careers before embarking upon their solo journeys.

Fast forward to October 26, 2014: Richard Goode, the seasoned, long-term emissary of divine music-making graced Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley and moved many audience members to tears. I was one of them.

Thank you, Richard for an inspiring afternoon!

me and Richard Goode


Interviews with Richard Goode on Israeli television

Interview with a Pianist’s pianist (San Francisco Classical Voice)

Barbicon in London England, Cal Performances in Berkeley CA, classissima,, FAME NYC HS of Performing Arts, Grammy awards, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Murray Perahia, Murray Perahia poet of the piano, New York City High School of Performing Arts, pianist, piano, playing piano, Schubert Impromptu Op 90 in Eb, Sony recording, word press, word, wordpress,, you tube, you tube video, Zellerbach Hall, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley

Grammy award winner Murray Perahia shines at Zellerbach Hall! Encore, Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 in Eb in two “live” performances (Videos)

Murray Perahia, Poet of the Piano

Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley is a regular stop for Murray Perahia, who happens to be my former classmate at the New York City High School of Performing Arts (The “FAME I wanna live forever school”).

I’ve already reminisced about “P.A.” and Murray’s inspiring musical presence:

For those of us who shadowed him after classes, grabbing any opportunity to partake of his amazing talent during chamber music rehearsals and more, we were amply rewarded:

He fed our own practicing with that extra dose of inspiration.

So seeking more of the same decades later, I made the jaunt to Zellerbach in Berkeley accompanied by two adult piano students who planned for an afternoon of exquisite music-making.

They were not disappointed. (Perahia’s program featured the J.S. Bach’s French Suite in G; Beethoven Op. 90 Sonata in E; Brahms Klavierstucke; Schubert Sonata in A, and various Chopin works)

The tour de force, encore, a Perahia favorite that caps many of his solo recitals, was the Schubert Impromptu in Eb, Op. 90

Venue: Zellerbach in Berkeley, California (CAL Performances) Video begins in the black, but eventually adjusts. I added a few annotations about interpretation.


My NYC High School of Performing Arts Yearbook and What I Found:


Murray Perahia rehearses Mozart Concerto No. 21 in C Major, and speaks to Sir Dennis Forman:

Murray Perahia’s Brahms/Handel Variations wins a Grammy! (Listen and watch Perahia discuss and play portions of the composition)

Murray Perahia website: