World Premiere and International Harpist Featured at Chamber Music Palisades

Cristina Montes Mateo will perform with Chamber Music Palisades.

Chamber Music Palisades (CMP) presents its first concert of the new year on Wednesday, January 18, 8 pm, at St. Matthew’s Parish – and the program is spectacular.

It includes host Alan Chapman, a world premiere, We Begin, by Derrick Skye and one of the top harpists in the world, Cristina Montes Mateo.

According to Maestro Zubin Mehta, conductor emeritus of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, “Cristina is one among those very few individuals who have reached the very top of her field.”

A renowned Spanish harpist, Mateo, is featured not only in Skye’s new work, but also in the stunningly beautiful trio by Debussy for flute, viola and harp.

Mateo was the Unanimous 1st Prize winner at the “Torneo Internazionale di Musica” (Rome) and the International Harp Competition “V. Bucchi.” She has also won four more international contests (Paris -Laskine and Sacem-, Madrid and Tokyo), as well as numerous national awards. She is recognized as one of the leading harpists of her generation.

Derrick Skye

We Begin includes harp, flute, violin, cello, and electronics.  Skye, an American with Ghanaian, Nigerian, British, Irish, and Native American ancestry, incorporates many cultural influences into his work, reflecting his diverse background.

He believes music is the doorway into understanding other cultures. “My hope is that listeners will resonate with ‘We Begin’ in a way that helps them embark upon their days,” Skye said.

Alan Chapman, educator, radio host (Classical KUSC, Los Angeles), composer/lyricist will serve as the evening’s host. He was a longtime faculty member at Occidental College and is currently a member of the music theory faculty of the Colburn Conservatory.

Chapman has been a commentator for Chamber Music Palisades since the series began and is a regular speaker at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Upbeat Live series since its inception in 1984.  He has performed extensively with his wife, soprano Karen Benjamin, including engagements at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

The concert also includes a Mozart Duo for violin and viola and two trios for flute, violin and viola, one by Ignazio Fiorillo, a contemporary of C. P. E. Bach, and one by Max Reger, a contemporary of Rachmaninoff.

Musicians joining Skye and Mateo for this enjoyable evening are violinist Maya Magub, violist Robert Brophy, cellist Armen Ksajikian, and flutist Susan Greenberg, CMP artistic director.

Single tickets are $35; full-time students are free with ID. Tickets may be purchased at or at the door. Out of concern for the audience, performers, and staff, masks are required inside the church

Alan Chapman will host this exciting musical evening.

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