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Pre-Concert Talks

Before every regular classical concert, patrons are invited to attend a free pre-concert talk, hosted by a local music professor- Don Adkins at the Civic Auditorium and Anatole Leikin at the Mello Center for the Performing Arts. These talks help further your understanding of the music before listening to the live performance and are central to the Symphony's mission of providing life-long education opportunities. Drs. Adkins and Leikin explain the unique attributes of the compositions, the composers and the historical context in which the music emerged.


Rhythms of Life Family Concert

Dr. Don Adkins, DMA

Pre-Concert Talks on Saturdays, 7 pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Professor Don Adkins teaches music classes at Cabrillo College. He conducts the Cabrillo College Orchestra and often provides musical direction for musicals in the Santa Cruz area. Don is music director of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Aptos and often performs as a piano accompanist for vocalists. Dr. Adkins received his DMA in orchestral conducting, his MM in composition and his BS in music education.

Dr. Adkins believes that music is one of the core expressions of our humanity.



Across the Universe and Beyond 
Benefit Concert with the White Album Ensemble

Dr. Anatole Leikin, DMA
Across the Universe and Beyond
Pre-Concert Talks on Sundays, 1 pm, Mello Center for the Performing Arts
Professor Anatole Leikin was born in Germany, grew up in Russia, and moved to the USA in 1980. He received diplomas with honors from the Gnesin Conservatory and the Gnesin Musical and Pedagogical Institute in Moscow, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Musicologist, pianist, and music critic, Dr. Anatole Leikin is Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His scholarly works on such topics as Romantic performance practice, Chopin, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Granados, structural and hermeneutic analysis, and early tonality have appeared in various musicological journals and essay collections worldwide.

Professor Leikin has extensively performed as a solo and chamber pianist, fortepianist, and harpsichordist; he has also recorded the piano music of Scriabin, Chopin, and Cope. His book The Performing Style of Alexander Scriabin was recently published by Ashgate Publishing (UK). Professor Leikin is currently writing another book for Ashgate, The Mystery of Chopin’s Préludes, and serves as an editor for The Complete Chopin - A New Critical Edition (Peters Edition, London).