Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

Cellist Susan Lamb Cook will present a program of Schumann, Cameron-Wolfe, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff as part of the 2012-2013 St. James Concert Series season.

She will be accompanied by pianist Gayle Blankenburg.

The concert will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. James Anglican Church in Sonora. Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for students under 18, available at Mountain Bookshop and Sonora Music or by calling 984-0704.

"Susan Lamb Cook performed for the Sonora audience in 2011 and returns by popular request," said Carol Biederman, one of the concert organizers. "She brings not only musical expertise to her performance, but also an amazing ability to connect and share her music with her listeners."

Currently an artist affiliate in cello and chamber music at the University of California, Davis, Lamb Cook is an active performer and educator both nationally and internationally.

Her solo work has been featured on public radio station broadcasts, and she performs regularly with the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra. She is on the artistic staff for the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, and the Saarburg Festival, Germany.

Lamb Cook has served as artist in residence at Xiamen University, China, at the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg, and at the Jinan Youth Palace, China.

Her recent tour of China with Blankenburg included performances and master classes in the cities of Jinan, Hangzhou and Xiamen. As a member of the Gold Coast Trio, she has performed and given master classes at San Francisco State University, Scripps College and Harvey Mudd College. The trio also has been featured on Austrian National Television.

Lamb Cook studied with Angelica May at the Academy of Music in Vienna, Austria, and Charles Wendt at the University of Iowa.

Gayle Blankenburg has performed extensively to critical acclaim as a solo pianist, chamber musician and vocal accompanist. She was a roster artist with Southwest Chamber Music from 1996 to 2003 and is currently a member of several Los Angeles based ensembles.

She has recorded more than a dozen CDs, including song cycles with sopranos Phyllis Bryn-Julson and Lucy Shelton, and a solo piano recording of Carlos Chavez's "Invention I" on a Grammy-winning Southwest Chamber Music CD.

The Los Angeles Times has said "Blankenburg played with elegant power and poise ... Her crisp touch and light pedaling produced crystalline, pensive, haunting sequences."

Blankenburg was a student of the distinguished pianists Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio and Abbey Simon.

Sunday's program will begin with "Fantasy Pieces" by Robert Schumann and continue with "Roerich Rhapsody-Liaison" for cello and piano by contemporary composer Richard Cameron-Wolfe and Beethoven's "Sonata in C Major."

Following the intermission, the Sierra Music Scholarship winners will perform. Lamb-Cook and Blankenburg will then return to perform Rachmaninoff's "Sonata in G minor."

A reception in the parish hall will follow the concert.

The St. James Concert Series season will continue with native American flutist Mary Youngblood, a Grammy Award winner, performing at the Sonora Highschool Auditorium on Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m. Tickets for this concert are $20 for adults and $5 for students under 18 and may be purchased at Mountain Bookshop, Creative Learning or reserved by phone at 536-0825. This program is presented in conjunction with Black Oak Casino.

The final concert of the 2012-2013 season will feature Linda Carter, Janet Telford and Dorothy Woodford Arndt on May 19 at the Church of the 49ers in Columbia.

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