Restrained Fires: Symphony Silicon Valley Opening Night

Paul Polivnick

Symphony Silicon Valley began its 16th season Saturday, September 30 and October 1 at the California Theatre, with Paul Polivnick’s leading music by Wagner, Britten, and Beethoven. While each of the selections contained energy and fine colors, the one ingredient conspicuous in its absence remained inflamed passion and emotional abandon. Rather, each of the pieces maintained a careful, controlled pathos, true to the letter of the selected scores but rarely exceeding their prescriptions to burst into poetic ecstasy. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Orchestral

Cabrillo Festival – Music Tributes Part 1

Conductor Cristian Macelaru

After a most successful opening concert, the Cabrillo Festival continued with its second exciting concert at the Civic on Saturday, August 5. The concert began with Three Latin American Dances (2003) by Gabriela Lena Frank (1972); Violin Concerto Tributes (2009) by James Stephenson (1969) featuring highly distinguished violinist Jennifer Frautschi (West Coast Premiere); The Conjured Life (2017) by David T. Little (1978) and Double Play (2010) by Cindy McTee (1953). Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Concerto, Orchestral

The Other Side of the Cabrillo Festival — Annual Family Concert


Yes, there is another side of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Festival that in many ways is at least of equal importance as the incredible programming of newly composed modern music. The side in question is education in general and the introduction of what a symphony orchestra is and its importance to youngsters. All of this takes place at the annual Family Concert held in the Civic and it’s FREE of charge! It took place on Sunday, August 6 at 1 pm. By 12:30 pm there was an incredible line of parents and their young family members anxiously waiting for the doors to open. Youngsters ranging from infants to those making the double digit mark filled the Civic beaming with energy and curious expectations. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Orchestral

Opening Night – Cabrillo Festival  2017

Arguably, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is one the very finest anywhere to be found. To add the deserved exclamation point, add the Festival’s newly appointed Music Director Cristian Macelaru, affectionately called “Cristi.”  The Maestro has brought yet another amazing dimension to programming — the excellent selection of guest composers and artists, plus, of course, the splendid orchestra he has the pleasure of directing. “Cristi” is charismatic in his approach to the Festival Orchestra and its audience. In the short space of a week he has demonstrated how well prepared he is for the challenge of the scheduled contemporary works and to become the new, highly polished cornerstone of this unique Festival. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Concerto, Orchestral

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony Ends CBF First Week

The first week of Carmel Bach Festival 2017 ended not with a whimper, but with a bang, and quite a big bang at that. With three masterpieces on the program and seemingly a cast of thousands on stage, we were hearing the Carmel Bach Festival at its best.

In the pre-concert lecture David Gordon described the circumstances of the premier of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on May 7, 1824. It was by any standard a near disaster — hastily thrown together, under rehearsed and a bitter experience for Beethoven, not only because of his deafness, but also as a drain on his finances at a time in his life when he was most vulnerable. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Carmel Bach Festival, Choral, Classical Era, Orchestral