Worth A Look

Events taking place in the Midpeninsula this coming week

Many are the offerings of local arts groups, from plays to concerts to art exhibitions. Here are a few that you may want to check out.

"The Heiress" -- Palo Alto Players

Entering its final weekend at the Lucie Stern Theater in Palo Alto, "The Heiress" by Ruth and Augustus Goetz concerns an 1850s New York widower who has never gotten over the loss of his wife during childbirth -- a woman of great beauty, confidence and grace.

The widower's daughter, Catherine, is plain and dutiful -- and lacks her father's affection and approval.

Enter a charismatic young suitor. Suddenly, Catherine's opulent, but sheltered, world is interrupted, and she is left to decide if she will develop the skills she needs to navigate the narrow course between desire and obedience, heart and heartache, betrayal … and revenge.

Based on the Henry James novella, Washington Square.

Palo Alto Players website

World premiere for baroque string quartet

The world premiere of "Esterhazy, Book II" by Paul Brantley for period instrument string quartet will be paired with two Haydn quartets in a concert Jan. 31 at the Palo Alto Friends Meeting house, 957 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto.

A benefit for the Friends Committee on Legislation of California, the Quaker group that lobbies in Sacramento for just and compassionate legislation, the concert will take place from 7:30-9 p.m.

Donations will be collected at the door ($25 suggested).

Palo Alto Friends' website

Stanford Pan-Asian Music Festival

The Stanford Pan-Asian Music Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with a series of concerts and cultural events featuring artists from Tibet, Mongolia, and around the world, starting Feb. 1 and running through March 1.

The festival is dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of music in contemporary Asia, according to festival founder and artistic director Jindong Cai

On Feb. 1, two Chinese New Year Concerts -- one for families and a second for a general audience -- will feature the Stanford Symphony Orchestra at the Bing Concert Hall. At 2:30 p.m., an open rehearsal will pair the Stanford Chinese Music Ensemble with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra and guest artists in a family-friendly format. The 7:30 p.m. concert will feature the festival's artist-in-residence, renowned pipa player Cong Zhao, performing the "Little Sisters on the Grassland Concerto." Violinist Suli Xue of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will play Chinese folksongs arranged for violin and orchestra, and Taiwanese-Austrian pianist Rueibin Chen will perform the "Yellow River Piano Concerto."

Other concerts -- along with dance and opera performances and talks -- will take place on Feb. 22 and March 1.

Pan-Asian Music Festival website

Love Songs Through the Ages

The Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) in Mountain View presents "Love Songs Through the Ages," featuring mezzo-soprano Amy Bouchard, on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. Singing music by composers from Franz Schubert to Cole Porter, Bouchard will present classical and popular songs about the heart.

Bouchard has performed lead and supporting roles with numerous opera companies in both the U.S. and Europe, having sung her debut role in Salzburg, Austria. A finalist in the St. Paul Schubert Club Competition and the Roy A. Schussler Vocal Competition, Bouchard was one of only nine singers selected through national auditions for Opera Santa Barbara's 2009 Young Artist apprentice program. She has taught voice lessons for more than 12 years and has taught at Community School of Music and Arts since 2011.

The concert will be held at Tateuchi Hall at the Community School of Music and Arts, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View.

There will be a wine and chocolate reception immediately following the performance.

This event is free and open to the public.

CSMA website

— Palo Alto Weekly staff


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