SAN BERNARDINO, CA- February is going to be a busy month for local music lovers in the Inland Empire as the San Bernardino Symphony will be offering three consecutive days of uniquely American fare as part of their current season themes, “By Request: The Music You Want to Hear.”
The first notes will sound less than four weeks away on the evening of February 5 at a special event to honor local arts and education supporters, Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown and Mr. Hardy Brown, Sr. Attendees will sample local restaurant fare and enjoy the smooth sounds of the Cal State San Bernardino Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Symphony Board Member Dr. Bob Knop.
“The Browns have actively supported the region for many years, setting the consummate example of selfless and focused community service,” said Symphony conductor Frank Fetta. “To be able to set aside an evening to say thank you to these pillars of the community is a true privilege.”
The following morning, Maestro Fetta will lift his baton for back-to-back student concerts as the Symphony performs “Musical Genius in America” including Ragtime selections from Scott Joplin, a medley of tunes from Duke Ellington, and William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony. This free student concert came out of a series of conversations with the San Bernardino City Unified School District as the two organizations sought to build an academically meaningful musical experience for the annual school event.
Said Symphony Executive Director Dr. Anne Viricel, “We felt this set of selections would both support and broaden the multi-cultural emphasis in the classroom during Black History Month.” As in years past, the schools will also be provided with corresponding teaching materials developed in line with California’s new Common Core standards. Students will learn about the composers, the historical context of each piece, and the contributions of American musicians to the various genres of orchestral music, as well as the historical venue.
Then, the evening of Saturday, February 7, the community will once again return to the California Theatre for the full presentation of Musical Genius in America, which will also include Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue interpreted by gifted pianist Yana Reznik.
The young Russian-born classical pianist has performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Toyota Concert Series at Disney Hall, was the winner of the 2010 Artists International Competition, and gave a sold-out recital at her Carnegie Hall Debut in New York in 2004. As the only classically endorsed pianist for Roland Corporation US, Reznik has presented the World Premier concert of V-Piano Grand at Zipper Hall (Los Angeles) and Lincoln Center (New York). In addition to her solo appearances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, San Bernardino Symphony, Redlands Bowl Orchestra, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, University of Southern California Symphony Orchestra and Concert Symphony Orchestra, the Torrance Symphony Orchestra and the Stanford Wind Ensemble, she has performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Santiago’s Gabriela Mistral and the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Zipper, Thayer and Steinway Halls in Los Angeles, and has as well been presented by the Jacaranda, Los Angeles Bach Festival, the Maestro Foundation, Laguna Beach Live, Sundays Live at Four (KUSC), the Sunset Series in Los Gatos, Classical Underground, the Colburn Chamber Music Series, the Huntington Arts Festival in New York, Classical Music Encounters of Orange County and the Western Society of Chamber Music. In 2008, as a Founder and Artistic Director of the Southern California Brahms Festival, Reznik performed the complete piano chamber works of Johannes Brahms. An active collaborator, she is a regular guest artist with the Gold Coast Chamber Players in San Francisco, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet.
The presenting sponsor for these concerts is the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
“This wonderful organization never fails to support activities that benefit the vitality of our community and we are so thankful to have them as part of our Symphony family,” added Viricel.
April 11, two Symphony musicians – Concert Master Todor Pelev and First Chair Cellist Ana Maria Maldonado – will team up to play Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Violincello. The evening’s concert, “Beethoven, Brahms & Bartholdy” will also include Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Symphony No. 3, The Scottish Symphony. This event will also include an exhibition of artwork by gifted local students based upon their interpretations of the pieces to be played.
Wrapping an amazing season will be the “Triumphant Season Finale” on May 23. The concert will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, and Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 featuring Icelandic horn soloist Joseph Ognibene. An internationally-known recording artist, Ognibene originally hails from Claremont and has been principal horn of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra since 1981.
“We are thrilled to provide this outstanding season full of beautiful music and exciting surprises,” added Maestro Fetta, “and we invite the community to come and enjoy all their San Bernardino Symphony has to offer.”
Tickets and Venue Information
All regular season concerts will be performed at the historic California Theatre, 562 W. 4th Street, San Bernardino. Both season and individual tickets may be purchased by calling (909) 381-5388 or visiting the Symphony box office at 198 N. Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino. General admission tickets are also securely available on line at www.sanbernardinosymphony.org, and with limited availability at the theater box office the evening of each event. (Students: $11; General: $20, $35, $45, $55.)