Santa Cruz Symphony: Enlightenment

Cellist Jeremy Tai

                    

Contemporary works are much like contemporary art. The major difference is one can spend time viewing an art work, looking at it from several angles in an attempt to better understand what in many cases the artist intended to depict. However, and unfortunately, music is performed in real time and as it passes, so too does the time it demands for a better understanding. 

“Enlightenment” is a most appropriate title for the opening concert of the orchestra’s 2019 season, and it was filled with wonderful surprises. Like the tortoise found in Hindu mythology, appearing capable of carrying the heavens on its back, one hears and witnesses towering achievements from our young conductor. In order to reach such heights, Maestro Stewart has created an impressive musical atmosphere based on mutual respect and partnership. When this occurs, impressive musical results are the artistic consequence, a fact the supportive audience has experienced during his tenure. He has built the technical quality of the orchestra much in the manner of the late Pierre Boulez, and his contemporary Esa-Pekka Salonen now of the San Francisco Symphony, who forever look for perfection in details and refinement in the intimacy of the works they perform. Especially evident was the orchestra’s sound in the Mozart Symphony No. 40. The orchestra’s development sounded like an impressive “major big city orchestra”!

San Francisco take note!

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Cello, Concerto, Orchestral, Santa Cruz Symphony


Santa Cruz Symphony: Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps

               

I have the good fortune of having heard two unforgettable performances. In ca. 1968 I attended a Cleveland Orchestra concert with Igor Stravinsky conducting Le Sacre du Printemps. In ca. 1971, I had the distinct pleasure of hearing a more profound performance of Le Sacre du Printemps with Pierre Boulez conducting. At that point in time the Cleveland Orchestra was considered among the great orchestras of the world in a  group that included the symphony orchestras of Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Concertgebouw and Vienna! When Maestro Gustavo Dudamel conducted his Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in Vienna, a major music critic wrote “Dudamel and his Venezuelan “band” are nipping at the heels of the great Vienna Symphony Orchestra.” Can you feel it San Francisco? Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Orchestral, Santa Cruz Symphony


Santa Cruz Symphony: Fidl Fantazye

    

The highly anticipated Mahler Symphony No. 4 was performed by the spirited Santa Cruz Symphony under the baton of Maestro Danny Stewart, Music Director and Conductor extraordinaire. To compound this intensity, once again Maestro Stewart conducted this masterpiece and the entire concert from memory! The venue was the Mello Center for the Performing Arts Sunday on October, 7. The fourth movement featured the superb voice of guest artist, Chinese soprano Meigui Zhang. It is quite obvious Stewart’s affinity for Mahler allows him to capture and magically express Mahler’s musical intensity. The performance had a tremendous impact on the audience, especially the ‘Mahlerites’ who filled the Mello with eagerness and appreciation. Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 is set for the following season.  Read full story

Archived in these categories: Orchestral, Romantic Era, Santa Cruz Symphony


Santa Cruz Symphony: Resurrection

 

Mahler’s Apocalyptic Second Symphony performed by the Santa Cruz Symphony at the Mello Center for the Performing Arts Sunday May, 6 was a brilliantly executed performance that had a tremendous impact on members of the sold out audience. It is indeed impressive when a young conductor makes musical magic on the podium and transforms the vast ideas of a composer such as Gustav Mahler into unremitting musical intensity. To compound this intensity, once again Maestro Daniel Stewart conducted this masterpiece from memory! Read full story

Archived in these categories: Romantic Era, Santa Cruz Symphony


The Santa Cruz Symphony Celebration

Maestro Daniel Stewart unveiled a tour de force of virtuosity and artistry supported by the ever more distinguished Santa Cruz Symphony. Sunday’s concert at the Mello Center opened with Mozart’s delightful Overture to The Marriage of Figaro (1786), with the orchestra bringing joy and spontaneity to each phrase. This work was the first of two works by Mozart, both impeccably performed and thoroughly enjoyed by all! Read full story

Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Classical Era, Santa Cruz Symphony