• What Was Driving Miss Denny?

    Monterey Museum of Art Presents a Special, Narrated Musical Performance

    How a girl from the mountains helped bring 20th-century music to California

    Sunday, November 9, 2014, Monterey Museum of Art–La Mirada
    Performance, 2:00 – 3:00 pm; Book Signing, 3:00 – 4:00 pm

    Monterey, CA—The Monterey Museum of Art–La Mirada is pleased to host a special presentation about the pioneering Ethel “Dene” Denny who established enduring musical and cultural traditions in Carmel, narrated by noted author and impresario David Gordon, accompanied by pianist Melinda Coffey, Sunday, November 9, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 pm, book signing 3:00 – 4:00 pm at MMA La Mirada, 720 Via Mirada, Monterey CA.

    Ethel Denny was born in a remote and roadless area of Northern California in 1885. By the 1920s, she had a Phi Beta Kappa key from UC Berkeley, a little self-built house in Carmel, and a reputation as a brilliant pianist utterly devoted to dissonant, “ultra- modern” music.

    Musician, author, and raconteur David Gordon is the recent biographer of Ethel “Dene” Denny and her partner Hazel Watrous. To tell Dene Denny’s story, David and pianist Melinda Coffey have created a special program of words and music evoking Dene’s incredible artistic path from Chopin to Schoenberg.

    Coffey will perform works that Dene actually played in the 1920s, and Gordon will interweave the music with readings from his collection of press clippings and eyewitness accounts of Dene and the radical composers she championed. It’s a fascinating story of artistic imagination, commitment, and courage, and some very unusual music.

    David Gordon, Narrator
    David Gordon’s four-decade career as opera and concert tenor spanned the globe. He portrayed sixty operatic characters on the stages of the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, National Opera Kennedy Center, the Staatsoper Hamburg and others. He has appeared as guest soloist with virtually every major North American symphony, and with orchestras and festivals on four continents. He can be heard on 17 CDs for Telarc, Decca, RCA, Delos and other labels. Local audiences know him best as the popular lecturer for the Carmel Bach Festival and the Carmel Music Society.  David is the author of Carmel Impresarios, published earlier this year, the definitive (and only) biography of Dene Denny and her life and business partner, Hazel Watrous. Together the two women founded the Carmel Music Society, the Carmel Bach Festival, and the Troupers of the Gold Coast at California’s First Theater in Monterey.

    Melinda Coffey, Pianist
    Melinda Coffey has performed as recitalist and chamber musician in the United States, Canada, England, France and Israel. Denis Matthews, BBC music critic, wrote of her “…exquisite pianism devoted entirely to the music itself.” She has recorded over sixty recitals for the CBC, and on CDs for Waterlily Records in Toronto, and Meridian Records in London. Her solo CDs include “Beyond Words,” a collection of romantic showpieces, and “Season of Dreams,” praised by Monterey County Weekly as a “Gorgeous new CD… Coffey’s playing is superbly suited to this program.”  Well-known to audiences on the central coast and northern California, Melinda lives in Carmel and is Music Director of Church in the Forest, Pebble Beach. She and David Gordon have been musical colleagues and friends for more than two decades.

    Event Details
    Advance tickets required, seating is limited.  Museum Members at the Contributor level ($100) or above, $25; all others, $35. Tickets available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-was-driving-miss-denny-narrated-musical-performance-tickets-13853794071

    For more information about the Museum, and its exhibitions and programs, visit www.montereyart.org
    Or call 831.372.5477

    Museum Hours:
    MMA La Mirada: Thursday 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Friday-Monday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
    MMA Pacific Street: Thursday-Monday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

    Monterey Museum of Art–La Mirada Parking: 
    The Monterey Museum of Art–La Mirada offers limited on-site complimentary parking. Additional complimentary parking located at Monterey Peninsula College Lot A. With limited street parking, please be considerate of our neighbors and observe city of Monterey No Parking signs.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 23, 2014

    Topics: Front PG News


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