YMMC March Concert – Migration

Soloist Lance Yang Bauer & Conductor Danko Druško

YMMC’s Winter Concert yesterday for a capacity audience at Sunset Center was a delight that just kept getting better as the afternoon progressed. Danko Druško, making his second appearance as Music Director and Conductor, was very much in command as he led the young musicians through ambitious repertoire performed by the YMMC Youth and Honors Orchestras. The Youth Orchestra bravely tackled challenging works by Verdi, Wagner and Sibelius, and managed to blow us away with a fun piece, Chamambo, by Manuel Artés. This piece, with YOSAL students joining the Youth Orchestra, charmed us with its Latino rhythms and infectious percussion effects.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Competition, Concerto, Orchestral


Monterey Symphony presents: Ovation

Music Director Max Bragado-Darman

It seemed like a gala evening at Sunset Center last night as the Monterey Symphony under the direction of Max Bragado-Darman presented its February concert: Ovation. “The 3rd Annual Women’s Night Out” attracted a whole bunch of well-dressed women for its 6:30 pm festivities, the pre-concert lecture in the theatre was well attended, and the orchestra, at the top of its form, received a well deserved standing ovation.

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Archived in these categories: Monterey Symphony, Orchestral, Romantic Era


Stravinsky – Music & Dance in Miami

Violinist James Ehnes

On Friday January 31, 2020, the New World Symphony and Miami City Ballet presented a fascinating program of Stravinsky and Balanchine at the New World Center on Miami Beach to a capacity audience. The program was conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas and the soloist in the Stravinsky Violin Concerto was James Ehnes, one of the greatest violinists of our time.

To accommodate the dancers on the the stage, players of the entire orchestra were seated in the seats of the lower level facing the stage where the audience usually sits.

The program opened with Stravinsky’s Apollo (written in 1927-28 and revised in 1947), with choreography by Balanchine and performed by the Miami City Ballet, an internationally acclaimed ballet company under Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez

The second half of the program opened with Stravinsky’s Circus Polka (1942-44) with Animations by Emily Eckstein (commissioned by the  NWS
in 2012). The visual animations in which the ringmaster was repeatedly deterred by a “lazy, hungry elephant” were projected on the hall’s three huge screens.

The concluding work was the Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1931) as
choreographed by Balanchine and performed brilliantly by violinist James Ehnes with the New World Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

Altogether an unforgettable evening !

End

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Dance, Orchestral


Santa Cruz Symphony: Catharsis

                     

Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) composed his Fifth Symphony in 1901-02 and conducted the first performance in Cologne on October 18, 1904. This symphony has presented us with the musical equivalent of a split personality, the same personality that in many ways reflected Mahler’s life. A musical composition of such polar opposites presented side by side: tragedy and joy, depression and mania, pain and pleasure, despair and hope, and more. In his Fifth Symphony Mahler composed these opposing attitudes and held them together using a tripartite structure that lays out an interesting formal course beginning with despair advancing towards ultimate joy. But as with his personal life, not without trials and tribulations. This challenge is by no means an easy undertaking for any conductor to render a masterful performance. 

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Archived in these categories: Orchestral, Santa Cruz Symphony


Easy Panache: Symphony Silicon Valley Concert

Soloist Nareh Arghamanyan

For those who braved the rainy weather on Saturday, December 8, the concert at the California Theatre in San Jose by Symphony Silicon Valley with Pietro Rizzo conducting proved most auspicious. Assisted by Armenian piano virtuoso Nareh Arghamanyan in the Piano Concerto in D-flat Major by Aram Khachaturian, all participants generated a colossal excitement in the course of this percussive, nationalist testament to the spirit of the Caucasus. Complementing the vivid colors of the 1936 Khachaturian Concerto, we had Rizzi’s conducting works by Glinka and Brahms that demonstrated a refined and sensitive approach to familiar staples that had the power to sound refreshed in their easy panache and suave execution.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Orchestral, Romantic Era