Archive for the ‘Greater Boston House Concerts’ Category

2013 – A Listen Back on a Musical Year

Until I put this together I hadn’t realized what a year 2013 was… it was awesome!

A big thanks to all of the Artists who shared in the creative process this year.  I have great gratitude to the listeners from around the world who came to concerts, watched videos, bought CD and downloads and made each evening extremely special.   Special thanks to my wife Catherine and her sister Caroline for being my partners in this amazing adventure that is a musical life.

To 2014!  Another year of Music in Life and Life in Music!

Besides some amazing cups of coffee, here are a few of my musical happenings:

My Greater Boston House Concerts showcased five outstanding Artists: author Glenn Kurtz, pianist Sarah Takagi, Archguitarist Peter Blanchette, The AronBerkner Duo, and composer Kathryn Salfelder.

GBHConcerts on the web:
GBHConcerts on FB: (lots of photos)


  • Capricci by Thomas L. Read for string quartet and guitar (iTunes)
  • Pravasa – Travels of the Guitar by Vineet Shende for SATB choir and guitar (FB photos HERE)
  • Six Pieces for Violin and Keyboard by John Cage (arrangement by Aaron L-C) 
  • White Potatoes by Charles Turner (New Lullaby Project)
  • A World of Your Own by Jim Dalton (New Lullaby Project)
  • Lullaby for Ewe by David Patterson (New Lullaby Project)
  • Ed è Subito Sera by Ken Ueno (New Lullaby Project)
  • Wheaton College Composers: Siv Anderson, Gordon Jones, Tim Larson, Montana Rogers (New Lullaby Project)


Boston Conservatory Feb. 2013

Boston Conservatory Feb. 2013

  • Sharan Leventhal, violin
  • Irina Muresanu, violin
  • Robert Sheena, English horn
  • Oratorio Chorale of Maine
  • Meghan Jacoby, flute
  • Betany Coffland, mezzo-soprano
  • Nicole Parks, violin
  • Farley Kelly-Masterton, violin
  • Faith Jones, viola
  • Nora Karakousoglou, cello
  • Andrea Nolin, flute
  • Colin Davis, violin
  • Natalie Favaloro, violin
  • Kenneth Stalberg, viola
  • Sarah Freiberg, cello
  • Berit Strong, guitar
  • Olav Chris Henriksen, guitar
  • Wheaton College Residency


  • St. Petersburg, Russia with the Educational Bridge Project (FB photos HERE and Read Blog HERE)
  • Messina, Reggio Calabria and Mantova, Italy (FB photos HERE)
  • Monaco
  • France
  • Highway 101 Tour: Oregon Coast (FB photos HERE)
  • Highway 101 Tour: Sacramento – San Jose- San Francisco – Willits – Chico – Petaluma
  • Maine
  • New York City
  • Louisville – GFA
  • Boston and New England


  • Granada by Isaac Albeniz
  • España Cañi by Pascual Marquina
  • Shard by Elliott Carter
  • Six Pieces for Violin and Keyboard by John Cage (arrangement by Aaron L-C) 
  • A World of Your Own by Jim Dalton (New Lullaby Project)
  • Tango en Skai by Roland Dyens (with string quartet)
  • Japanese Program
  • Fugue, BWV 962 by J.S. Bach

Watch them all at:

Fun with camera:


The New Lullaby Project turned 7 in December!

Read the Blog post:

Meet the 41 composers at



There’s probably a few more items that I missed, but I got to get back to practicing.



Reflection on the Reading-Recital w/ Glenn Kurtz

A beautifully written reflection in the Upham’s Corner News about my January Greater Boston House Concerts event.  I paired with author and former musician Glenn Kurtz for an evening of music played by me and readings by Kurtz.

A wonderful late night of music making.

Glenn & Aaron

Barbara Lieurance for GBHConcerts

A Salon Concert Review of
Inside the Piano – Outside the Box with Barbara Lieurance, piano
By Frank E. Warren

Presented by:  Greater Boston House Concerts
Aaron Larget-Caplan, Director
15 September 2012 • Season 2

Whether one plays inside the piano, or lives outside the box, Ms. Lieurance presented a truly musical event.  It seemed too, that the intimacy of the Greater Boston House Concerts, combined with Ms. Lieurance’s  natural charm, created the perfect atmosphere for this program of “modern” piano music.  The evening was so great, it is difficult to know where to begin.  So, we’ll talk first about Greater Boston House Concerts.

There's more than one play a piano

Barbara Lieurance

Founded by Boston Conservatory and UMass-Boston classical guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan in 2011, Greater Boston House Concerts ( presents monthly, salon-style programs, open to the public.  With the expert assistance of Caroline Larget and Catherine Larget-Caplan, the house is transformed into the perfect balance of a casual social evening,  and a music program of the highest professional level.  In Upham’s Corner in Dorchester, this beautiful 1885 Queen Anne Victorian home has the open space to seat 40 or more people comfortably, and it appeared to be a full house for this event.  Each concert is between one and two hours duration, followed by an informative question and answer session led by Mr. Larget-Caplan, and of course a Meet-The-Artist reception.  In polling the audience, it was a pleasant discovery to find a good percentage of the folks who lived in the neighborhood, while others came in from the suburbs and other parts of Boston.  There were as many non-musicians as musicians in every age category, and academics as well as tradesmen – a true salon experience.   This 1885 house has truly re-discovered a magical time in history.

Known for her innovative performances and her daring programming, Barbara Lieurance brings new music to concerts halls (and parlors) throughout  North America and Europe.  She has been a special guest artist at the Banff  Centre in Alberta, Canada, with the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, performed two tours with the Keys to Music program, bringing avant-garde music to hundreds of school children in Michigan, and was invited to perform  a full recital in celebration of the Swiss composer, Meinrad Schutter.  She is also a founding member of the new music trio, Antares Project.

For the GBHC presentation, Ms. Lieurance built her program around a C. Curtis-Smith composition entitled: Rhapsodies, written in 1973. When discussing the music on the program,  she raised the following points: These Rhapsodies are the first compositions (we know in modern times) written for bowed-piano – an effect where nylon line is pulled along the piano strings to create new sounds, there are four movements that all borrow titles from the Ordre, of François Couperin (1668-1733), recognized as the first French composer to write keyboard compositions of lasting significance, and in her study of the Rhapsodies, finding suggestions that  the music of Prof. Curtis-Smith is highly influenced by the sound and gestures of French Impressionism.

Greater Boston House Concerts

There were five compositions on the program, two were performed strictly on the keys, and three very much performed inside the piano sound box.  The order in which these compositions were presented  framed the featured work beautifully while allowing each piece to “live” in its own time.  The overall balance of the full program was quite perfect and extremely satisfying.  It seems the entire audience shared in this opinion.

Relaxing post-concert

To link with the French Impressionist concept alluded to earlier, the program started with Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune, a well-known work to music audiences.  A fine selection, as it settled the listeners for upcoming events.  Ms. Lieurance’s performance was perhaps a little slower than we might be accustomed to hearing yet, the phrasing and nuance of her interpretation allowed the tempo to enhance, rather than distract from the lovely and familiar tune.  From this point on, she had captured the willing audience…

The next composition, Sonata, by Russian composer Sofia Gubaidalina (b. 1931) can be described as powerful, virtuosic, and sometimes “jazzy.”  As the performer points out, it is music that requires hearing more than one time, to best appreciate its complexities.  In three movements (the first two connected), and the fast-slow-fast defining of movements, the piece is identifiably what I might call a post-Beethoven sonata in form.  The first two movements make heavy use of varying techniques for playing Inside the Piano, while the last movement is virtually performed all on the keyboard, introducing more clearly the composer’s concepts regarding Jazz harmony and rhythm.  As throughout the entire program, Ms. Lieurance performs this music with full truth.

After such an energetic piece, it is always nice to “cool down” with something that is a little more relaxing.  Ms. Lieurance does this, while keeping to the program idea of the avant-garde with a John Cage piece, Dream, from 1948, and written for Merce Cunningham.  In some respects I found this music to link more closely with the Debussy.  It would be interesting to know if that was the performer’s intention?  Either way, her choice shows much insight for excellent programming, and understanding of audience/participation.  For those unfamiliar with this work, it is in every sense of the word “traditional.”  As the title implies, it is a dream piece, for the most part running up and down minor scales.  It is affective music, and served its purpose well.

Prepared Piano

Up next is what most of the audience came to hear – and see – whatever it is that is called Bowed piano!  Like any prepared piano, this has the added effect of drawing nylon line across the strings.  The composition is in four movements (with the Couperin reference), each becoming more involved with the inside of the piano, until the keyboard is almost entirely ignored by the last movement.  In this space, with the available piano, some adjustments were required for resetting the “bows” between movements.  This necessity in one sense made it difficult to find any continuity from one movement to another.  On the other hand, it provided a nice opportunity to meet the wonderful people sitting next to us!

Sometimes when listening to a piece for the first time, it is hard to determine whether we are understanding the composer better or, if the music is simply getting better as it goes along?  All kidding aside, my sense was that the composer was exploring in this composition, and it finally came together in the last movement.  With a few more hearings my understanding might become more detailed yet, even in the program notes it says, “… a journey that parallels that of the exploring composer;…”  What is clear is that Ms. Lieurance has worked with this music for a long time, enjoys bringing it to the public, and firmly believes in its value.  The skill with which she conjures various sounds from within the piano is a fascinating pleasure, one that this listener will surely explore more deeply, and look forward to hearing more often.

The performer’s interest in this concept has grown to the point that she’s commissioned selected composers to write new music specifically for bowed piano and, she plans to make archival recordings of each project.  The first composer she commissioned, John Oliver (b. 1959) of Vancouver, BC, wrote Meditation for Barbara, which is the music she uses to close the program.  It is a beautiful piece in one movement, about six minutes in length, through composed yet, closely resembling a simple song form.  What is most striking is that within all this exploration of sound… shape and proportion remain the most important elements.  It is not possible to imagine that this music could have been performed any better than what we heard this evening.  Every type of mood, expression, articulation, dynamic, phrasing, you name it, was brought out by Ms. Lieurance – in a way that we understood – the music was most important.  No doubt, this woman will leave a lasting, and positive mark on the landscape of 21st Century music.  She may be Out of the Box yet, she IS in step with the music.

Post Concert peak Inside the Box (piano)

After the music, the audience was invited to look Inside the Piano while she informatively answered every question.  One bit of information that Ms. Lieurance shared that was not lost on anyone in the audience was; “…with everything going on inside the piano, the most important aspect is to know the instrument is safe.  Any time a new idea is introduced, I speak with the piano technician.  If we agree it is safe, OK.  Otherwise we find an alternative approach, in order to preserve the piano.”  Outside the Box must mean With responsibility!

Any opportunity you have to hear Ms. Lieurance, attend a Greater Boston House Concert activity, or do both, this writer recommends that you mark it on your calendar.  This performance was a memorable experience.

________   Frank E. Warren

Is a Composer, Publisher and Educator based in Boston. •

2011 – A Musical Year in Review

El Show de Fernandito w/Marisela Marrero & Leonard Caplan

Welcome to my first Year-in-Review.  All of the names words with underlines are links.  Please check out the amazing collaborators, awesome publications and very cool video and recordings.   Enjoy,


2011 started off with a bang with a program titled, “A Minor Concert of Major Works”.  The last third featuring the awesome Kai-Ching Chang on piano for the Concierto de Aranjuez.  The concert earned my first review with the Boston Musical Intelligencer (Read Here). I also returned to El Show de Fernandito for a performance & interview (Watch).  Got moving on Twitter:  @AaronLC

John McDonald

February: A return to Harvard University’s Pusey Room Series, directed by Carson Cooman with the wonderful Duo Diavolo (Orlando Cela).  My debut at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester (cupcakes included) was followed by a return to John McDonald’s Composition Seminar at Tufts University for a new lullaby sharing, and a trip out west to CSU Bakersfield, where Jim Scully & Roger Allen Cope hosted me for a recital and master class on their Guitar Arts Concert Series. Reviews of my New Lullaby CD appeared in Classical Guitar Magazine, Fanfare Magazine (2x), The Triangle, American Record Guide.

Woodville H.S., New Hampshire

Explaining the magic of nails at Lakeway Elem., Littleton, NH

March: A concert of contemporary music and a master class at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas was made possible by the wonderful New Lullaby composer Nolan Stolz (listen & watch on YouTube).  I returned to Colorado for concerts with the Alamosa Live Music Association (go Lucas Salazar!) at Adams State College, house concerts in Denver and Boulder, as well as much needed downtime in some amazing hot springs.  My return to Boston heard concerts for the Ligue Francophone and one of the most fantastic endeavors of 2011: a 13-performance, 3-concert and 3-workshop (20 events!) residency in one week in Northern New Hampshire (900 miles of driving!), sponsored by the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire (AANNH) and NEFA.  Amazing!

Alamosa after-party, Mexican style

Gabriela Granados

April: After a giant blizzard, the AANNH Residency finished with a concert by Duo Diavolo.  The magical dancer Gabriela Granados & I brought ¡Con Fuego! to Springfield for a lively concert with City Music Springfield.  I appeared solo on Canary Burton’s ‘The Latest Score’ on WOMR, Provincetown.  Reached 600 fans on Facebook!

May: Premieres of New Lullabies by Thomas Schuttenhelm and Michael Veloso in Cohasset & Boston, Mass.  Started Greater Boston House Concerts with the first performance by violinist Shaw-Pong Liu. Joined the faculty of the Boston Conservatory with Berit Strong and Olav Chris Henriksen to revamp the classical guitar program; a very cool month!

Thomas Schuttenhelm

June: Repeat performance of the May New Lullabies and ¡Con Fuego! was joined by cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer for its debut, during a downpour, at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT.  A repeat performance in Cambridge rocked!  WATCH Polo by De Falla (cello & guitar)

Rafael Popper-Keizer at Arts Ideas

July: Demonstrated how to say ¡Olé¡ at an Enrichment Program in the Berkshires (watch). Read review.  I gave a Spanish themed performance for the 2nd Greater Boston House Concert. (Read review)

Teo Morca, Catherine, Gabriela, Cee Bearden

August: ¡Con Fuego! set out west with Gabriela Granados, Catherine Larget-Caplan as navigator, for performances in Taos, NM (Taos Academy of Arts), & Alamosa (KRZA), Leadville (Tabor Opera House) and Centennial, Colorado.

September: Hurricane moved concerts and I moved people, musically speaking, on Cape Cod and at the University of Vermont in Burlington, where I premiered the first two 12-tone New Lullabies by Jacob Mashak and Patricia Julien and a 3-voice lullaby by Alan Fletcher.

October: Performances with pianist John Thomas and a solo enrichment program on the Cape and New Hampshire.  A new lullaby by Canary Burton was premiered as well.  Went down to Texas for debut performances at Esquina Tango in Austin & the Greater Houston Guitar Guild (radio too LISTEN). Sadly, Fort Worth fell through thanks to United/Continental (not fun!).  Texas premieres by Hayg Boyadjian, Jonathan Feist, Alan Fletcher, and Michael Veloso.  My work as an Artist Entrepreneur was featured in an article in the International Music Fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon’s magazine, The Triangle:  Building a career through talent and savvy.

Valerie Hartzell & GHGG

Apple Store Boston

November: Duo Diavolo teamed up for more concerts with Greater Boston House Concerts performing in Boston, Newton and Cape Cod the awesome music of Ravi Shankar, Astor Piazzolla, Enrique Granados and Toru Takemitsu. Reached 800 fans on Facebook!

Aaron & Orlando - Duo Diavolo

December: Duo Diavolo performed for the NEFA Idea Swap. The awesome chamber work Sextour Mystique (Mystic Sextet) by Villa-Lobos was performed by myself and  students from the Boston Conservatory.
• I recorded & released my first digital single:  Summertime by Gershwin arranged by Takemitsu (click to listen).
New Lullaby Project Concert was featured in the Jewish Advocate and the Dorchester Reporter.
A solo performance at the Apple Store was followed by a New Lullaby Project Premiere Concert of 12 New Lullabies (#’s 18-30) in Cambridge, MA and at Studio 99 in Nashua, NH, with seven composers present and milk & cookies.  The year ended with a performance and interview on Jewish Perspectives, a monthly program on Boston NBC 7.

New Lullaby Concert, 12/10/11, Francine Trester, Hayg Boyadjian, John McDonald, Martin Schreiner, Demetrius Spaneas, Patricia Julien and Jacob Mashak

2011 turned out to be pretty darn awesome!

***I know none of this would not be possible with the great love and support I receive from my wife Catherine Larget-Caplan and her sister Caroline. Thanks to the amazing composers who entrust their music to me; my duo partner Orlando Cela; all the organizations and people listed for making the concert/piece/article possible.  And to each person who takes a moment to just listen.  You rock!

Most Photos & Video courtesy of Catherine

A Spanish Evening in Review – Upham’s Corner News

On July 27, 2011, guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan played to a full house for the second of the Greater Boston House Concerts series.  His technique and interpretation are superb.  As much as the music could be considered one genre – Spanish – each selection introduced us to yet another musical style and method for using the guitar as a music generating instrument.  See program below.

Aaron Larget-Caplan playing live!

Everyone in attendance had their favorite pieces and for this writer Recuerdos de la Alhambra was that.  The artist infused his playing with such subtle interpretations as to make “your heart stop.”  The evening’s selection of music has yet to be recorded but we, the listeners, would surely scarf up the CD’s in no time were he to do that.

Program for A Spanish Evening

August 4, 2011 • Editor of Upham’s Corner News

See the original online review: