St. Mark's-in-the-Valley image

St. Mark's-in-the-Valley in Los Olivos will revive its live concert series on June 26, featuring renowned pianist Robert Cassidy and cello soloist Ani Aznavoorian.

St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Church will host a special Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series at 5 p.m., Saturday, June 26, representing its first live performance since the onset of the pandemic.

The event will feature renowned pianist Robert Cassidy and cello soloist Ani Aznavoorian, who will perform a program of sonatas that includes Beethoven’s "Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1," Debussy’s "Sonata for Cello and Piano" and Brahms' "Sonata in E Minor, Op. 38," according to a spokesman. 

Access to the concert is free to the public, while donations will be accepted to help support the upcoming season of the Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series, which comprises world-class artists, the spokesman said.

In 2018, Aznavoorian and Cassidy performed two-part “The Beethoven Project” for the Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series that featured the works of Ludwig van Beethoven’s for cello and piano.

Cassidy's background in both solo piano repertoire and chamber music performances has received widespread acclaim, the spokesman said, while Aznavoorian has led orchestras throughout the world and is the principal cellist of international ensemble Camerata Pacifica.

Cassidy — a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and coach — continues his active teaching career based at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara while serving as the artistic director of the Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series since 2019.

Aznavoorian, a graduate of The Juilliard School, continues to perform in New York and throughout the world as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Tokyo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, International Sejong Soloists, Belgrade Philharmonic, Juilliard Orchestra and Edmonton Symphony.

She also is a member of the faculty at summer festivals, as well as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The June 26 Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series performance also will be recorded and will be accessible via the St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley website beginning July 3 at smitv.org/syv-concert-series.

The mural was designed by local artists Suzi Matthies and Barbara Young as a gesture of appreciation to those donors who have supported the ongoing “Imagine – Building the Future” capital campaign. It will be on display at the theater until the groundbreaking in September.

Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record. 

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