Mid-Week Recital Series

Now in its 21st year, the Mid-Week Recitals are back online for the Fall!

Presented by Dr. James E. Smith, First UMC Music Director, the Mid-Week Recital series is held on the second Wednesdays of the month (subject to change.)  Recitals begin promptly at 12:10 p.m. online (see ways to view below.)  


Cristina Montes Mateo, harp
Wednesday, October 13, 12:10 p.m.

View the Program – includes music titles

  • Facebook – Be sure to “follow” our page to receive notifications of when we go live. 
  • YouTube Channel – Subscribe to our channel and adjust your notification settings to your preference.
  • Website – View Sunday service and the recitals on the Livestream page.
  • New! The First UMC App  – Recital will be Livestreamed on the app. (To download, go to the App Store, search FirstUMC_SM)

Past recitals are available through these links as well.
We encourage you to leave your comments on Facebook or YouTube to let us know what you think of the performances.

About the Artist – Cristina Montes Mateo:

Winner of the unanimously 1st Prize in the XII Edition of the “Torneo Internazionale di Musica” (Rome, 2006) and the unanimously 1st Prize in the International Harp Competition “V. Bucchi” (2009)Cristina Montes Mateo is recognized as one of the leading harpists of her generation throughout the world. She has also won top international prizes at the Arpista Ludovico” International Harp Competition (Madrid, 2005), the International Nippon Harp Contest (Tokyo, 2007), and the prestigious Concours International de Harpe “Lily Laskine”  (Paris, 2011); as well as numerous national harp solo competitions like the “Jeunesses Musicales” Competition (2003) or “Victor Salvi” Special Prize at the “Arpa Plus” Contest (2001).

She follows an intensive career as a soloist with a great success around the world. She usually appears with major orchestras like the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Philharmonic Orchestra of Málaga, Francisco de Miranda Orchestra in Venezuela, Orchestra of the Theatre für Niedersachsen Hannover in Germany, or the Santiago de Chile Orchestra; under the direction of B. Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, G. Prêtre, P. Boulez, or D. Barenboim. She performs at many world leading festivals like “Les Flâneries Musicales de Reims” (France, 2010), the “7th International Harp Festival” in Rio de Janeiro (Brasil, 2012), or her most recent success at the Royal Palace of Madrid (Spain, 2015), in a concert offered for the King and the Queen of Spain and the President of the United Nations and broadcasted internationally. She has also played at the Berlin Philharmonie, Royal Albert Hall of London, Tonhalle in Zurich, Théatre du Châtelet of Paris or the Carnegie Hall of New York.

She is currently Solo Harpist at the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana in the Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía, an orchestra created by Lorin Maazel and conducted also by Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev and Riccardo Chailly. She has also been Principal Harp with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

A sought-after teacher, she is also head of Harp Department at the Conservatorio Superior de Música “Joaquín Rodrigo” of Valencia (Spain). She also gives Master classes at the renowned institutions of Berklee College of Music (2014, 2015, 2016), the Birmingham Conservatoire (2015), or the Musikhochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne (2016).

Cristina Montes Mateo also serves as adjudicator of main Harp Contests. She has been one of the jury members of the 12th and 17th Edition of the famous “Arpa Plus” Competition held in 2010 and 2015, as well as a permanent jury member of the harp auditions at the National Youth Orchestra of Spain since 2012.

In the words of Lorin Maazel (2009), “… she is a virtuoso harpist and extremely musical…”, in the Daniel Barenboim’s words (2009), “… I consider her playing to be of a very high technical level and to be a very fine musician. I am delighted…”, or in Plácido Domingo‘s words (2016), “… I have met and heard thousands of musicians but I can highlight only one of them in the harp world: Cristina Montes Mateo.” 

Top newspapers and magazines like the well-known “Magazine” (2007) have echoed her whole career and success, together with other classical music international magazines like “Ritmo” (2013).

One of her most important works is her Album “Obras para arpa” (2012), with eleven premières by Spanish women composers. Her recently released Solo Album “Voyage” (2017) has also become a huge success in critics and audiences.

Nowadays, she is living in Los Angeles where she shares her Solo concert agenda with the recording sessions in the greatest Studios in Hollywood.

Save the Date: November Recital Wednesday, November 10, 12:10 p.m.: The 3Gs Piano Ensemble (Kirill, Anna and Sophia Gliadkovsky)


Your financial support is now more important than ever. Please consider making a donation to support our music program by clicking: GIVING PAGE.

Various guest musicians alongside Jim Smith, Music Director, and Ty Woodward, resident organist, during the Sunday online worship service.

Past Recitals

View the October 2021 Mid-Week Recital, featuring Cristina Montes Mateo, harp

View the Program

September 2021 Recital: Tengyue (TY) Zhang, classical guitar

View Recital Program Here

May 2021 Mid-Week Recital: Rufus Choi, piano

Click to view the Recital Program

April 2021 Mid-Week Recital: Kevan Torfeh & Friends:

Kevan Torfeh, cello; Jim Smith, organ and piano; Tomasz Golka & Anna Kostyuchek, violins; and Linda Muggeridge, oboe.
View the Recital Program here

March 2021 Recital: David York, organ

View the Recital Program

February 2021 Recital: Aram Barsamian, baritone; accompanied by Mark Salters, piano.

View the Program

Wednesday, January 13: Ty Woodward, organ; David Searfoss, trumpet; Stephen Billington, trumpet
View the Recital Program here

Wednesday, December 9, 2020: Calico Winds, wind ensemble
View the Recital Program here

Wednesday, November 11 2020, Kirill Gliadkovsky, piano

View the Recital Program (list of pieces and artist bio)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020: Nancy Roth, violin; Lorenzo Sanchez, piano

View the Recital Program

Wednesday, September 9, 2020: Aaron Shows, organ

View the Recital Program for Aaron Shows

August 12, 2020 – Susan Greenberg, flute; Cristina Montes Mateo, harp


July 8, 2020 – Connie Sheu, guitar, and Elise Henry, flute


June 11, 2020 – Duo Imaginalis: Ekaterina Bessmettseva, piano; Hugo Nogueira, guitar


Learn more about Duo Imaginalis on their website and Instagram.

May 13, 2020 – Mark Robson, Piano Online Recital


January 8, 2020 – David Childs, baritone

David Childs is a baritone who specializes in Jewish Music. He holds a degree in Vocal Performance from UCLA and is an alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival. David’s past musical endeavors include singing solo roles with several performing groups: Guild Opera, Pacific Opera Project, Aspen Opera Center, & LA Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, David performed a recital with pianist Mark Robson as part of Boston Court’s Emerging Artist Series. David also played accordion with the Latin-American folk-pop band, We The Folk. He currently serves as Cantorial Intern at Sinai Temple in Westwood and is studying at the Ziegler School of Rabbinics at American Jewish University.

March 11, 2020 – Sergey Kosemyan, cello; Anna Markosyan, piano

Sergey Kosemyan is a recipient of the UNESCO Gold Medal, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Aram Khachaturian, 2008.  He is the prize winner of the following International Competitions:  Aram Khachaturian International Competition, 2006; Pierre Lantier International Chamber Music Competition (Grand Prix), Paris, 2002; the National Young Artist Competition in Yerevan, Armenia (1997) First Prize; and the winner of the Premier Prix de La Conservatoire National Superior de Paris, 2002.  He is the founder of the Classic Art Trio (2014), and Kosemyan Ensemble (2017) in Mexico.  His teachers have been Mstislav Rostropovich, Philipe Müller, Harry Hoffman, and Dominique de Williencourt.

Anna Markosyan is a graduate of the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory, and winner of the A. Babajanyan National Piano Competition (Armenia).  She has performed in chamber ensembles in Armenia, Russia, Europe, Mexico and the USA.

May 8, 2019 – David York, organ


April 10, 2019 – The Wilder Trio, clarinet, bassoon & piano


The Wilder Trio with Gernot Wolfgang, composer of “Uncle Bebop.”

March 13, 2019 – AlmaNova Duo, flute and guitar



February 13, 2019 – Lukas Hasler, organ 



March 14, 2018 – Duo Ondine: Boglárka Kiss, Flute; Alison Bjorkedal, Harp



February 7, 2018 – Althea Waites, Piano – February 7, 2018



May 10, 2017 – Jaebon Hwang, Organ

The finale of the 2017 Mid-Week Recital series is with award-winning composer and organist, Jaebon Hwang!  She is organist at Westwood United Methodist Church where she presides over one of the largest organs in the region.  Awarded the Fellow of American Guild of Organists, the organization’s highest level of certification, she is active as a recitalist and as a collaborative artist.


May 9, 2018 – Christoph Bull, Organ


YouTube Thumb Christoph Bull

Sign up for the Music Theater Arts newsletter for reminders on the Mid-Week Recital and other music updates.