Monterey, CA, September 16, 2018 — Monterey Symphony’s 2018-19 Season, “Sound Waves,” opens Oct. 20-21, at the Sunset Center in Carmel, and features a new work from composer Alex Berko commissioned in collaboration with the Big Sur Land Trust.
The Symphony’s 73rd season opens at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, with Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 9, "The Great," and Berko’s “Among Waves.” The concert will also be performed at 3 p.m. Sunday Oct. 21, at Sunset Center.
Berko, an exceptional student at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, spent a week in residence at the Glen Deven Ranch in Big Sur, drawing inspiration from the deep beauty of the landscape for inclusion in his new orchestral work. Glen Deven Ranch played a role in the first commission with the Big Sur Land Trust, resulting in “Big Sur, the Night Sun” by esteemed composer John Wineglass.
During the season, one hour prior to every performance there will be pre-concert lectures presented by musicologist Dr. Todd Samra.
The season continues Nov. 17-18, and ends May 18-19, 2019, with all concerts at the Sunset Center in Carmel. All concerts will be conducted by Symphony Music Director Max Bragado-Darman, except for concert number four, March 16-17, 2019, which will be guest conducted by Jung-Ho Pak. All concerts in the season will be held at 8 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at Sunset Center.
In addition, throughout each concert season, special events are held to benefit the nonprofit Monterey Symphony orchestra, and to provide educational and social opportunities for Symphony patrons. This season features a music course and a composer discussion, opening night party, luncheons with the Friends of the Monterey Symphony, Supper Clubs at the best local restaurants, and Gala by the Bay at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on May 3, 2019.
The season’s second concert will be held Nov. 17-18, with Carol Wincenc, professor of flute at Juilliard, who joins the orchestra for Carl Nielsen's “Flute Concerto,” composed in 1926 for the legendary flautist M. Holger-Gilbert Jespersen. Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, Op. 36 — often referred to as the "Fate" symphony because of the dark undertones — headlines the second concert of the season. Written in the shadow of Beethoven's masterful Symphony No. 5, Tchaikovsky echoes the great master's melancholy in this hallmark orchestral work.
This concert will also feature members of the Youth Music Monterey County Honors Orchestra playing side-by-side on Hector Berlioz's Overture, Le corsaire, Op. 21, which, like the Tchaikovsky symphony, was also composed during a period of great despair.
The season “Sound Waves” comes alive in the third concert Feb. 16-17, 2019, with four works all dedicated to the sea. Claude Debussy, the father of Impressionism in music, composed “La Mer” in the mold of a symphony, but eschewed the traditional title for one more authentic to the sound of the music. French composer Jacques Ibert, the director of French opera in Rome, wrote “Escales” — a suite for orchestra that perfectly resembles postcards from three Mediterranean ports — after finding his obsession with the sea.
This concert features "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes, Op. 33a, by Benjamin Britten, England's finest modern opera composer: composed in 1945, Grimes launched his career in the new post-war era. The gorgeous tone-poem “Oceanides, Op. 73,” by Jean Sibelius was inspired by the sea-nymphs referenced in Greek mythology: haunting and tempting.
Jung-Ho Pak guest conducts the fourth concert of the season March 16-17, 2019, with works by Tan Dun, Shostakovich, and Alan Hovhaness. Revolutionary experimental composer Tan Dun transposes the sounds of water — at play and at work — into the textures of his music, most literally in “Water Concerto” for water percussion and orchestra.
The symphonic poem “And God Created Great Whales” by Alan Hovhaness — commissioned in 1970 by the New York Philharmonic — features prerecorded humpback whale vocalizations, and was credited with early efforts to save whales from extinction. To celebrate the Soviet victory over Germany, Dmitri Shostakovich was commissioned to write Symphony No. 9, which, Leonard Bernstein described as a series of musical jokes (including purposeful mistakes)…completing a boisterous, 99.99% organic, and exciting concert program.
Three Romantic German composers are featured on the fifth concert of the season, April 13-14, 2019, opening with Mendelssohn's concert overture “Calm Seas and Prosperous Voyage, Op. 27,” inspired by Beethoven's work of the same name; along with fellow Jewish composer Max Bruch's popular Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 26, featuring solo artist Elmar Oliveira returning to play with the Monterey Symphony.
Robert Schumann's Symphony No. 4, Op. 120, originally his unpublished second symphony, underwent massive revisions in 1851 — five years before his death — proving his mastery over orchestration and increased expression in the final edition of this emotional Romantic symphony.
The sixth and final concert of the season, “Sound Waves,” May 18-19, 2019, will conclude in grand fashion with music by Wagner, Chopin, and Beethoven! Richard Wagner composed many brilliant overtures throughout his many German operas, including the overture from “The Flying Dutchman,” featured as the opening work in the season finale. Chopin's stunning Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 21, follows, with magnificent Cuban pianist Marcos Madrigal performing the popular work, composed before Chopin completed his formal education at age 20.
The season ends with one of the greatest compositions for the concert hall of all time: Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Op, 67. A favorite among experienced and new audiences, musicians and conductors, the fifth endeavor in the symphony genre struck a chord for Beethoven, as he discovered his true forte – it is the "Stairway to Heaven" of classical music.
The lineup of special events kicks off with a course that starts Sept. 18 (and the following four Tuesdays), with “The Music of Franz Schubert” with Dr. Todd Samra, at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU Monterey Bay in Ryan Ranch, Monterey. The course examines the music of Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828), and his process of composition.
For a complete list of special events, go to https://www.montereysymphony.org/special-events.htm.
To purchase tickets for individual concerts, go to www.montereysymphony.org.
About the Monterey Symphony
The mission of the Monterey Symphony is to engage, educate and excite our community through the performance and continual discovery of symphonic music.
The Monterey Symphony, under the artistic leadership of Music Director & Conductor Max Bragado-Darman, is the only fully professional, full-season orchestra serving the communities of the Monterey Bay, Salinas, Salinas Valley, Big Sur, and San Benito County. It provides double performances of a six-concert subscription series at Carmel’s Sunset Theater, as well as youth education programs that include in-class visits and culminate in full-orchestra concerts for school children.
The Monterey Symphony is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, supported through various generous individuals and through grants and corporate gifts from The Arts Council of Monterey County, The Berkshire Foundation, The Barnet Segal Charitable Trust, California Arts Council, The Community Foundation for Monterey County, The Harden Foundation, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Music Performance Trust Fund, Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Pebble Beach Company Foundation, S.T.A.R. Foundation, The Robert and Virginia Stanton Endowment, Taylor Farms, Union Bank, The Yellow Brick Road Foundation and many others.
For additional information, please call 831-646-8511 or visit the website: www.montereysymphony.org.
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901