Monterey, CA, April 01, 2019 — Monterey Symphony has announced its 2019-20 Season 74, Ovation, with six concerts, youth concerts, special events, luncheons and supper clubs through May 2020.
The Symphony opens Ovation Oct. 19-20, 2019, with Antonín Dvořák’s Romance for violin and orchestra, featuring concertmaster Christina Mok. The season continues Nov. 16-17, with pianist Kun Woo Paik returning to the Symphony to perform two piano concerti. Concert No. 3 is Feb. 15-16, 2020, featuring two massive symphonic works, both weaving elegant stories for the listener. The fourth concert of the season is set for March 14-15, 2020, and features guest conductor Oleg Caetani making his debut with the Symphony. Concert No. 5, April 18-19, 2020, features Symphony favorite, violinist Judith Ingolfsson performing Brahms’ violin concerto. The sixth and final concert will highlight works by Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler and be conducted by Symphony Music Director Max Bragado-Darman.
The roster of special events, luncheons and dinners kicks off Oct. 16, 2019 with the Symphony’s Paella Cook-Off pitting Maestro Bragado-Darman’s legendary paella in a friendly competition with a local celebrity chef and culminates May 17, 2020, with the Finale Celebration to give the Maestro a send-off worthy of his 15 years at the helm of the Symphony. Six preview luncheons will be hosted on the Thursdays prior to each concert and five supper clubs will be held on Sundays after the matinee concerts (October-April).
Eight Youth Concerts will be presented during the 2019-2020 season. Half the concerts will be held at Sherwood Hall in Salinas and the other half at the Sunset Center in Carmel. For more information, visit www.montereysymphony.org/youth-concerts.
Concert 1: October 19-20, 2019
The Monterey Symphony opens its 74th season Ovation with Antonín Dvořák’s Romance for violin and orchestra, featuring concertmaster Christina Mok. This delightful, single-movement work was commissioned to serve as an annual musical tradition for the Provisional Theatre Orchestra in Prague. Based on a theme from the second movement of his fifth string quartet, Romance is a lovely interplay between the violinist and the orchestra. Other iterations of the melody were presented in his later works — it was an obvious favorite of Dvořák’s!
Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique takes the mercurial, and often tragic, life of an artist and sets it to music. The title underlines not only the fantastic musical fireworks that take place on stage, but also a fantasy Berlioz was demonstrating. Written as an homage to unrequited love—the result of too many unanswered love letters — Berlioz uses the voices of the instruments to explain his emotions. The work travels through the artist’s life, culminating in his own funeral in the wildly intense final movement.
Violinist Christina Mok has captivated audiences with her solo performances, chamber recitals, and orchestral leadership. She has appeared as a soloist with the Russian Federal Symphony Orchestra, the Janacek Philharmonic, and the Seoul Symphony Orchestra, among others. The San Jose Mercury declared of one of her concerto performances, “She was a spellbinder as she dug in and let it fly — there was no need to long for Itzhak Perlman or Gil Shaham.”
As a chamber musician she has performed in Korea, Japan, England, Norway, Hong Kong, and the United States. Her recitals have been broadcast on the BBC and RTHK. She is the Concertmaster of the Stockton Symphony and the Monterey Symphony and the Associate Concertmaster of Symphony Silicon Valley.
Max Bragado-Darman, conductor
Antonín Dvořák / Romance, Op. 11
Christina Mok, violin
Hector Berlioz / Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14
Concert 2: November 16-17, 2019
Pianist Kun Woo Paik returns to the Monterey Symphony to perform two piano concerti. Paik, winner of the Naumburg award and gold medallist at the Busoni International Piano Competitions, is considered one of the finest pianists of his generation.
Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27, KV 595 is his last piano concerto ever written. Myths surrounding both its composition and premiere give the work an air of mystery.
Elegant in nature, the Mozart is complemented by Johannes Brahms’ 1st Piano Concerto, the first work Brahms ever premiered from the piano! Although Brahms was only 25 when he composed the work, the melodies are mature and sophisticated. The piece was composed two years after Schumann’s death and explores a complex set of emotions. Schumann played an important role in Brahms’ life and it is hard to not see the connection between them in some of his works.
Kun Woo Paik came to prominence at the age of ten performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Korean National Orchestra. His international career took off soon after with his first New York recital at the Lincoln Center and his orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall.
Paik has collaborated all over the world with the most renowned conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, Neville Marriner, Jiří Bělohlávek, Vladimir Jurowski, Dmitri Kitaenko, Paavo Järvi, and Ivan Fischer, with orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, BBC Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony, and the Deutsche Bremen Kammerphilharmonie. He has recently performed with the New York Philharmonic, Lucerne and Berlin Symphony orchestras and given recitals at Carnegie Hall, La Scala, the Mariinsky Theatre and all over Asia and Europe. His numerous recordings appear on BMG, Decca and Deutsche Grammophon. Kun Woo Paik studied at the Juilliard School in New York with Rosina Lhevinne and worked with Ilona Kabos, Guido Agosti and Wilhelm Kempff.
Max Bragado-Darman, conductor
W.A. Mozart / Piano Concerto No. 27, KV 595
Kun Woo Paik, piano
Johannes Brahms / Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15
Kun Woo Paik, piano
Concert 3: February 15-16, 2020
February’s program features two massive symphonic works, both weaving elegant stories for the listener. Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” are comprised of 14 separate movements sketching a different friend or close acquaintance. Rather than depicting the person as a whole, a single element of their personality or relationship with Elgar is illustrated musically. The movement titles contain cryptograms or keys to the identity of the subject! Elgar started the work casually at the piano as an exercise to capture someone musically, and evolved it into a large and beloved symphonic work.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade is based on the Arabian Nights. Replete with Russian folk melodies, many excerpts of this piece are used for Olympic figure skating – making it a well-known and recognized work. Rimsky-Korsakov worked tirelessly on this composition, along with his ornate Russian Easter Overture and the completion of Alexander Borodin’s opera Prince Igor. The work features stunning and virtuosic violin solos — not to be missed!
Max Bragado-Darman, conductor
Edward Elgar / “Enigma Variations,” Op. 36
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov / Scheherazade, Op. 35
Concert 4: March 14-15, 2020
Guest conductor Oleg Caetani hails from Italy and is making his debut with the Monterey Symphony. The son of famed conductor and composer, Igor Markevitch, Caetani completed his formal training at the Moscow Conservatory and graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He won the RAI Competition and third prize at the Karajan Competition in Berlin.
Tchaikovsky’s 3rd Symphony, “Polish,” opens the program. This symphony is unique in that it is his only Symphony both in a major key, and containing five movements. The piece, sans first movement, was used by choreographer George Balanchine for Diamonds, the third and final part of his ballet Jewels. Various instruments are showcased in this iconic work, including a lovely flute solo in the third movement.
The second half of the program contains Shostakovich’s 15th Symphony, written in 1971 and premiered in Moscow, which is full of references to other composer’s works. Shostakovich tips his hat to Rossini and Glinka, as well as featuring the “Fate” motif from Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Oleg Caetani, one of the greatest conductors of his generation, moves freely between symphonic and opera repertoire. Caetani has conducted all over the world including: La Scala in Milan, the Mariinsky in Saint Petersburg, the Royal Opera House in London, the Opera House in San Francisco, the Musikverein in Vienna, Lincoln Center in New York and Suntory Hall in Japan, working with the greatest soloists of our days.
Oleg was chief designate at the ENO in 2005, chief designate 2002-2005 for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Music Conductor and Artistic Director for the same orchestra from 2005 to 2009. Before that, Caetani was the Principal Conductor for the Staatskapelle Weimar, First Kapellmeister of the Frankfurt Opera and GMD in Wiesbaden and in Chemnitz.
Oleg Caetani, guest conductor
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky / Symphony No. 3, Op. 29
Dmitri Shostakovich / Symphony No. 15, Op. 141
Concert 5: April 18-19, 2020
A Monterey Symphony favorite, violinist Judith Ingolfsson returns in April to perform Brahms’ violin concerto. Judith is currently Professor at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart and co-artistic director and founder of the Festival “Aigues-Vives en Musiques” in France.
Brahms’ violin concerto was written for Joseph Joachim and is the only violin concerto he wrote. Marked by soaring melodies for the violin, it contains some of the most challenging passages for the instrument.
Jean Sibelius’ 2nd Symphony was started in Italy and completed in Helsinki. Sibelius himself declared the work “a confession of my soul.” The piece was premiered with the composer conducting and received three back-to-back sold out performances! A beloved work, after his wildly popular tone poem Finlandia, the 2nd Symphony is Sibelius at his finest with whimsical touches throughout!
Violinist Judith Ingolfsson is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, uncompromising musical maturity, and charismatic performance style. Based in Berlin and enjoying a global career, she performs as soloist, chamber musician and in recital as the Duo Ingolfsson-Stoupel. The New York Times has characterized her playing as producing “both fireworks and a singing tone” and Strings Magazine described her tone as “gorgeous, intense, and variable, flawlessly pure and beautiful in every register.”
Ingolfsson studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has also been appointed to the violin faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.
Max Bragado-Darman, conductor
Johannes Brahms / Violin Concerto, Op. 77
Judith Ingolfsson, violin
Jean Sibelius / Symphony No. 2, Op. 43
Concert 6: May 16-17, 2020
The season concludes with Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler. Both of these works require intense playing from the orchestra and give our fabulous Monterey Symphony the chance to boldly shine! Strauss’ Don Juan is a powerful tone poem for large orchestra featuring many passages used for Symphony auditions. The piece is based on the unfinished poem Don Juans Ende which tells the story of a man searching for love, which he never finds.
Symphony No. 1 by Gustav Mahler, or “The Titan,” was composed in 1887–1888 in Leipzig and premiered in 1889. There are as many as six versions of the work, as Mahler was impassioned about perfecting it. He borrowed from some of his own works, and highlighted certain lied, or songs, in the movements. At one point there was an additional movement, which Mahler rejected after the first few performances. This Symphony is massive, lush, and gorgeous — a fitting end to a season deserving of many ovations!
Max Bragado-Darman has served as Music Director of the Monterey Symphony since 2004. He was Music Director/Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Castile and León in Valladolid, Spain, for nine years. With this ensemble he recorded works of Turina and Rodrigo and the cello concerti of Alberto Ginastera on the Naxos Label. He also recorded the flute and clarinet concerti by Joan Tower on the Opus One label.
In 1995, Max Bragado-Darman was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. He has worked with artists Alicia de Larrocha, Teresa Berganza, Horacio Gutiérrez, Elmar Oliveira, Dubravka Tomsic, André Watts, Angel Romero, Gary Graffman, and Aaron Rosand.
In 2003, he made his debut at the Wexford Opera Festival with the Granados opera “María del Carmen.” His conducting has been guided by teachers Robert Fountain, Robert Baustian, George Szell, Igor Markevich and Franco Ferrara. He has been the conductor for the “Iturbi Piano Competition” in Valencia, Spain in several editions.
Max Bragado-Darman, conductor
Richard Strauss / Don Juan, Op. 20
Gustav Mahler / Symphony No. 1
Performances on Saturdays are at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. One hour prior to every performance there will be a pre-concert lecture in the Hall of Sunset Center.
Subscriptions renewals begin April 1, 2019. New subscriptions become available on July 1, 2019. Please contact the box office for availability at (831) 646-8511. For more information and pricing visit: http://www.montereysymphony.org/concerts-events/subscriptions
Single tickets go on sale Aug. 15, 2019, at 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