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Santa Rosa Symphony - Bruno Ferrandis, Music Director
Issue 82
February 2017

Three Alessio Bax titles will be available at performances of “Tales of Love.” The Scriabin/Mussorgsky disc includes Piano Sonata No. 3, Etude in C sharp minor and Prelude for the left hand by Alexander Scriabin, and Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on the Bare Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky (arr. By Konstantin Chernov and Alessio Bax). On Alessio Bax Plays Beethoven, Alessio plays the Hammerklavier and Moonlight Sonatas, as well as his own arrangement of The Ruins of Athens. Alessio Bax Plays Brahms features 4 Ballads, 8 Klavierstucke, Variations on a Theme of Paganini and Hungarian Dance No. 5 (arrangement by Cziffra and Bax). Each of the three CDs sells for $20 in the lobby during performances. The artist will be on hand to sign.  

Add a book to that ticket

Don Green’s biography, Defining Moments, is still available for sale in our Patron Services office downtown. Proceeds from sales support the Symphony’s four youth orchestras. The book, which is beautifully hardbound with many supporting photos, sells for $43.50. 

Wine sponsors

Grey Stack, Hook & Ladder Winery, Mazzocco Sonoma, Deerfield Ranch Winery, Rodney Strong Vineyards and Korbel will be graciously providing libations for our Private Reserve Club.

Season renewals 
are coming soon!

The 2017-2018 Symphony Season, with five conductor candidates and their unique programs, Bruno’s final two sets, innovative family programming and more are in the works and the new season brochure is in production. Current subscribers should watch their mail boxes for their renewal packets in the beginning of March. 

December and January brought much-needed rain for Sonoma County. Now we look ahead to February and the promise of spring. Have you made plans for Valentine’s weekend? We have the perfect romantic, musical element for your special Valentine’s weekend plans. Celebrate the passionate, yet tragic, romance of Romeo and Juliette and lose yourself in a dynamic performance of Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 by returning guest artist Alessio Bax.

Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day, past presidents or powdery slopes, February is an excellent month to take in a concert. 

Tales of Love with Alessio Bax

Valentine’s weekend, February 11–13, brings Alessio Bax to the Steinway at Weill Hall as he joins the Symphony for the epic Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2. The first movement calls for very quick piano fingers, which Bax, who has played with more than 100 orchestras, including the London and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, will deliver with what Gramaphone Editor’s Choice calls “almost hypnotic intensity.”
Here he is playing Brahms Ballade, Op. 10 No. 4.

Bruno Ferrandis begins “Tales of Love” with Berlioz’s “dramatic symphony,” Introduction to Roméo et Juliette, which commences with clashing on the streets between the Montagues and the Capulets, building until the Duke’s arrival, signaled by horns and trombones sounding out a demand to cease, which is only heeded when it is sounded again. The program concludes with Suites 1 and 2 of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, one of the greatest narrative ballets to come from Soviet Russia. The first suite includes dances, while the second plays out the drama of this timeless tale of love. 

Cultural historian and musicologist, Kayleen Asbo, will deliver pre-concert talks one hour prior to each Tales of Love concert, with the exception of the Discovery Open Rehearsal. The 30-minute pre-concert talks are free to ticket holders and are general seating. Program notes for the concert are also available on the SRS website. 

 Meet our musicians


Meredith Kufchak

Meredith Kufchak, our newest Viola player, resides in San Francisco and studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, the Yellow Barn Music Festival (2015-16) and the Tanglewood Music Center (2014).

Meredith has performed in the Bay Area as a substitute violist with the San Francisco Symphony and the New Century Chamber Orchestra. Meredith joined the Symphony in December, via a successful audition.

Two music heroes lost


Eugene Shepherd’s passing hit the local classical music community hard. Eugene, who died last month at 96, was concertmaster for the Santa Rosa Symphony for 33 years and founded its Youth Orchestra. He also performed and taught violin. Some of his students have gone on to prestigious careers.     

Diane Comstock played cello for the Symphony for 35 years, through three conductors, beginning in high school, with George Trombley. Diane was also a piano and cello teacher for nearly 50 years.

Eugene and Diane will be missed by many. Santa Rosa Symphony extends its condolences to their families.
Eugene’s photo by Tom Graves  

SRS Youth Ensembles news

Internationally-renowned Baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock will be presenting a Master Class on Monday, February 6, 6:30-8:30 pm, at Summerfield Waldorf School (Sophia Hall), 655 Willowside Road, Santa Rosa. This free Master Class is open to musicians or music lovers of any age or ability. Elizabeth is Concert Master for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and in residence for the Young People’s Chamber Orchestra.

On Saturday, March 4, Elizabeth will join the SRS Youth Orchestra and YPCO with Aaron Westman conducting for Concerto for Three Violins in F Major by Vivaldi. They will also be joined by one of the recent youth concerto competition winners, Alex Chui on violin. You can purchase tickets online for this concert at Weill Hall, Green Music Center now.

Simply Strings recently performed at Sonoma County Office of Education’s English Language Leadership Conference, receiving a standing ovation.

In a note to Director of Education Wendy Cilman and Simply Strings Coordinator Christina Penrose, Jenn Guerrero, EL Coordinator, SCOE, said, “Thank you again for all the time, work, and organization you put into the student performance at the EL Leadership Conference. I (along with everyone in the room) was so deeply moved by the students - their talent, spirit and hearts.”   

Simply Strings, Santa Rosa Symphony’s social action education program, with all 80 members, ranging from pre-orchestra to two levels of string ensemble, will perform in recital on February 17, 6 pm, at Resurrection Parish, 303 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa. This recital is free and open to the public, and requires no reservations.

SRS receives grant for Simply Strings and Student Financial Aid

Santa Rosa Symphony has secured a grant in the amount of $15,000 from the Kimball Foundation to support Simply Strings and financial aid for youth ensemble students. Inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela’s acclaimed social action music network, Simply Strings develops musical excellence and promotes social engagement for children, beginning in second grade. The participants receive intensive ensemble instruction for two hours, five days a week after school. The grant will also support increased financial aid awards to children and youth enrolled in our Training Young Musicians instrument training programs and youth orchestras.

SRS League News

It’s not too late to get tickets for You Got Older on February 2, a Santa Rosa Symphony League fundraising evening in partnership with Left Edge Theatre and the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. Make reservations online for this special 6:30 pm showing.

Save the date for an intimate musical evening with Norma & Corrick & Friends on April 22, 2017 at 2 pm. More information to follow.
Copyright © 2017 Santa Rosa Symphony, All rights reserved.

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Patron Services: (707) 546-8742