This concert’s value far exceeded price of ticket

By Sara Appel-Lennon

CHULA VISTA, California — Where can you go to listen to a full orchestra combined with a leading pianist in a two-hour Beethoven concert for $10 per ticket?

On Sunday, January 29, Kingsley McLaren, on-air host of 104.9 XLNC, introduced a concert of such magnitude at the First United Methodist Church here. Classical music aficionados packed the pews.  The Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra (TICO), conducted by David Amos, and guest pianist Daniel Wnukowski also performed twice in the social hall of Tifereth Israel Synagogue in San Diego during a three-concert schedule.

Wnukowski rendered from memory Beethoven concertos No. 1 in C Major and No. 3 in C Minor  He had started playing piano at age 4 and composing at 6. Today, at 30, he has been described as a leading pianist of his generation and performs in Europe, North and South America, and Asia. 

The church’s acoustics and the timely tempo of timpanist Russ Peck enhanced the sound quality. As in a well-choreographed dance, Wnukowski, Amos and Peck were in perfect sync.

Peck has been playing timpani for 38 years. He also plays the pipe-organ for the symphony’s silent movies. Regarding the timpani, he has confided: “You need to be on the edge of your seat even when you’re standing.” 

To be serenaded by such a fine orchestra and professional pianist was truly a treat, worth well more than $10.

Appel is a freelance writer based in San Diego.

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