California’s Central Valley is such a beautiful place. I don’t think there’s another single area in the entire United States filled with as much geographic variety, whether the elegant stone-fruit orchards that surround the city, the stunning beauty of the foothills or the giant sequoias and Mt. Whitney itself (tallest in the lower 48). Paralleling that variety is the incredible agility of this orchestra. There’s nothing this orchestra can’t do. From their electrifying performance of The Rite of Spring this March or their passionate and moving accounts of Mahler 1st and Daphnis and Chloe, they somehow raise the bar at each and every concert. What a thrill to be a part of the blossoming of these musicians into a versatile, powerful and exciting orchestra. Handily, this has been one of the highlights of my musical life.
Tchaikovsky isn't the only composer who wrote great ballets. Americans wrote their own classic works for great choreographers too. Aaron Copland changed the course of American music with this three ballets. On this concert, we perform his first and (perhaps) greatest: APPALACHIAN SPRING. We will be joined, live onstage, by the State Street Ballet from Santa Barbara. On the second half of the program, the orchestra moves front and center to perform a musical suite from Duke Ellington's only true ballet score, "The River.
The pandemic year forced us to cancel our birthday celebration for Beethoven. We make up for that with this Birthday Bash featuring two of his famous "Fifths:" The Fifth Piano concerto, nicknamed "Emperor" and his pervasively famous Symphony No. 5.
We haven't performed this symphony in quite a few years, and a splashy birthday salute seems the perfect time to bring it back.
Celebrate the biggest names in American music with the first of three concert in our AMERICAN ICONS FESTIVAL. Concert one features Gershwin's AN AMERICAN IN PARIS and music of Copland. Joining these well-known selections is a new violin concerto in the style of a Spaghetti Western: THE ROSE OF SONORA.