Concerts in the Studio

A polyglot murmuring spilled out into the parking lot through the warehouse doors, as dozens of new arrivals locked their cars and hurried into the vast atelier studio of artist Alexey Steele to claim chairs for the concert last Monday night, December 8.

It has been one year since this unique experiment was launched, and from that auspicious birth, the monthly ‘underground’ concerts in this unlikely venue in Carson have grown in size and scope.  On this first anniversary, more than two hundred people joined 13 international musicians among dozens of Steele’s monumental canvases, to share food, wine, vodka – and classical music.

Concert coordinator and co-founder of the series, Maksim Velichkin assembled an eclectic buffet of works by Wagner, Bach, Kodaly, Ginastera, and others – played by an international array of performers.

A highlight of the concert was the world-class performance of the Allegro from Schubert’s String Trio #1, and 2 movements from Haydn’s String Trio, opus 53, played by violinist David Chernyavsky, cellist Serge Oskotsky, and violist Carrie Dennis, all of the LA Phil.

Newest LA arrival, Dennis served as Assistant Principal Viola with the Philadelphia Orchestra from 2002 until 2006, when she was named Principal Viola of the Berlin Philharmonic.  Three months ago, began her residency in Los Angeles as the new Principal Viola of the LA Phil.  An active chamber musician and soloist, Dennis has been featured in Music from Marlboro, Tanglewood, and other chamber music festivals around the world.

The monthly Music at the Atelier concerts will continue to offer pot-luck food and drink, camaraderie and conversation in many languages, and spectacular playing from the parade of guest artists who visit the studio.  It’s some of the finest chamber music available in Southern California, in a casual setting, at the price of a movie.

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