Music professor and mentor perform guitar and flute compositions

By Yvette Aguilar

Music filled the Recital Hall with sounds ranging from upbeat
and fast-paced to dark and ominous notes on Friday evening.

Cal Poly music instructor Peter Yates and composer Daniel
Kessner, a professor emeritus at Cal State Northridge, put on a
memorable performance to entertain a small, intimate crowd.

The show included solos from each of the two musicians and a
harmonious performance as a duo.

“It’s the first time we’ve collaborated in performance,” Yates

No one would have been able to tell.

Kessner and Yates gave a refreshing performance that had some in
the crowd tapping their feet and others bobbing their heads in line
with the tempo of the music.

Along with Kessner and Yates’ works, performances included
compositions from the Los Angeles Chapter of the National
Association of Composers, USA.

Bruce Sutherland, composer of the piece “Notturno,” was pleased
with the performance.

“The series was planned for flute and guitar,” he said. “It was
a delightful sound to hear [Kessner and Yates] together.”

The composers weren’t the only ones that were satisfied with the

Adrian Cruz, a third-year electrical engineering student,
described the music as different from the classical Mozart.

“It’s not common. It’s not something you would hear at a
recital,” Cruz said.

The music was unique and triggered different emotions. The
opening piece, “5 Masks,” composed by Yates, captivated the
audience with soft sounds fading quickly to an upbeat tempo, which
created a sense of mixed feelings and intensity.

The duo’s “Shades of Pastel,” composed by Kessner, gave the
audience a taste of different musical styles in one piece. Yates’
guitar produced quick, intense sounds that were picked up by
Kessner’s flute to create fluidity in the piece.

The variations from each piece made for a terrific combination
of overall sound, creating an acoustic, smooth experience for the

“…Before the Solstice…,” composed by David S. Lefkowitz, was
more intense, giving an adrenaline feeling of urgency and
hurriedness. The piece gave way to a soft, enticing sound to
recapture the audience after a brief intermission.

Kessner’s solo performance, “Silver and Gold,” grabbed the
attention of the audience because of the enticing and rhythmic
melody carried on by the flute.

The second half of the recital included Yates’ solo guitar
performance, “East of…West of…” which was quick-paced and
enchanting all at once. The guitar strings seemed to move faster
than the sound traveled, leaving the audience yearning for more, to
say the least.

“It’s great to see somebody mature. It’s satisfying to see him
grow up and see him perform,” said Kessner of his former student,
Yates. He hopes to be able to perform with Yates again.

The stealth performances by the duo brought forth frenzy at the
end of the performance with composers and musicians eager to praise
the performers.

NACUSA Los Angeles Chapter President Deon Price was thrilled
with the performance.

“I thought it was wonderful,” she said. “There was such a
variety of music that they performed. It was a mellow kind of
sound.”The finale left the audience applauding for several minutes,
forcing the duo to come back once more after its exit.

“I was very pleased with the performance,” said Howard Quilling,
who composed “Sonatina for Flute and Guitar,” the final piece of
the night. “It is through good performers that composers get

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