Friday December 17th marked the beginning of SoBe Arts Open Friday Concert Series. Over 100 attendees filled the Carl Fisher Clubhouse with standing room only for this season’s first free concert. The Chamber Ensemble featuring Adam Chefitz on Piano, Daisuke Yamamoto and Taichi Akutsu on volin, Yaei Kleinman on viola and Tara Santiago on Chello with Mark Schubert on percussion. played music from Around the World inspired by Austria, Brazil, the Congo, Ireland, Japan, Pakistan, Switzerland, and the United States. This concert had both a first and a last for SoBe Arts making it filled with emotion, both happy and sad.
Taichi Akutsu, who is a graduate from the New World Symphony’s Orchestral Academy and has taught violin for the past 4 years at SoBe Arts and a predominant member of the SoBe Chamber Ensemble, played his last formal concert before he returns to his native Japan bidding farewell to SoBe Arts. The concert was masterfully orchestrated by director Carson Kievman to feature Taichi playing pieces mostly arranged by Kievman himself. The program started with Bachinanas Brazileriras #5 arranged for the string quartet and piano. Then they played the Concert Premiere of Geneva On Tuesday originally written by Kievman for his daughters this past summer who play the violin and piano. Then the final piece before intermission was the light hearted Drunken Sailor, an Irish tradition, again arranged by Carson for the string quartet and percussion. After the break, Robert Chumbley conducted the World Premier of Heer Ranja Protostringnody written by Carson Kievman for the string quartet and percussion. This piece was erie and somewhat dark but very appropriate for Taichi’s farewell performance. Then the familiar Sonata #9 in A major by Beethoven again for the Piano and Violin. The final piece was Kyrie & Sanctus from Missa Luba, a mass in Congolese style, by Haazan arranged by Kievman for the string quartet and percussion. Everyone stood to applaud Taichi and the rest of the ensemble for this masterful performance and farewell to Taichi.
Many of the concert goers who never miss a SoBe concert, noticed a huge difference in the piano performance, as well they should. No more electronic keyboard. The institute now has a Steinway Grand Piano thanks to the generosity of the Coral Gables Steinway Gallery who loaned the institute the piano for their 5th anniversary season. What a difference a piano makes. SoBe would love to own this Piano and you can help. Go to the website and make a donation toward the piano. www.sobearts.org.
On January 14th, the Institute will announce their entire program for the year. It will be new, exciting, and invigorating. For more on the programs offered by SoBe Art you can go to their website listed above. There are classes in music and theater for children and adults utilizing both the Carl Fisher Clubhouse and the Little Stage Theater. Buildings owned by the City that were shuttered until SoBe Arts came in and gave them a new life. The historic Carl Fisher Clubhouse, built in 1915, is now the oldest building in Miami Beach still in use thanks to the partnership between the City of Miami Beach and SoBe Arts.