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Issue 89 | November 2017

This November, thinking about Thanksgiving, the Symphony, and indeed the county, has different sorts of “things” for which we are grateful. We are very grateful that so many people survived the devastating fires that consumed so many of our homes and landmarks. We are so thankful that Weill Hall was spared and that the Luther Burbank Center, where our Pops concerts are performed, was not quite as damaged as was first reported. Last, but not least, we so very grateful to the first responders who saved lives and homes so tirelessly. 

Reconvening back in the office after the smoke had sufficiently abated, we all agreed that the Symphony should respond in some fashion to help the community that it has been serving for 90 years. The remainder of our 90th Anniversary Classical Season will be dedicated to first responders and those who have lost homes in the firestorm that overtook us so relentlessly. What this means is that all first responders and individuals who lost homes may request free tickets* during the two weeks leading up to any of our remaining six Classical Series concerts November 2017 – May 2018.

We are so proud to be a part of such a giving, resilient, welcoming community. The stories of people stepping up to help their neighbor and total strangers will inspire us for years to come. Thank you for all you are and all you do. 

*Free ticket offer only good for Saturday and Monday performances and must be requested through Patron Services by phone  at (707) 546-8742 or in person.

Exhilarating Journey

Music Director Candidate, Mei-Ann Chen’s Exhilarating Journey is one of triumph and healing, of transformation and hope. It begins with Dimitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, written in 1954, for the 37th anniversary of the October Revolution of 1917, and  reflects the hope and joy that the composer must have felt at no longer living in terror under Stalin’s rule. Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 will showcase the clear talent and virtuosity of award-winning pianist Nareh Arghamanyan as she skillfully converses with the orchestra with dramatic opposition, then a gentle, rocking accompaniment. The piece incorporates a Ukranian folk song and its introduction was made popular, in a different rhythm, by Tin Pan Alley in the 40s.

The newest piece in the program is Jennifer Higdon’s blue cathedral, in which the composer attempts a glimpse at the afterlife, written after the death of her brother. Finally, the orchestra performs Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, Italian, an exuberant expression of the composer’s impressions from his first visit to Italy.

Critically-acclaimed Bösendorfer Artist, Nareh Arghamanyan’s busy 2016-2017 season included appearances with the Trondheim Symphony, the Krysztof Urbanski and the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestras. She also appeared as Artist in Residence of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, under the baton of Louis Lortie. She has taken home awards from the 2008 Montreal International Music Competition, 2007 Piano Campus International Competition in Pontoise and the 2005 Josef Dichler Piano Competition Vienna.



Music Director Candidate, Mei-Ann Chen

Mei-Ann Chen last conducted the Santa Rosa Symphony as a guest conductor in January 2016, to rave reviews. Now, she joins the Symphony on the stage again, this time as one of five Music Director Candidates. Chen is currently Music Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta. She was also named Conductor Laureate following her six-season tenure as Music Director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra in 2016. Musical America named her one of its 2015 Top 30 Influencers. Chen tours internationally to conduct such prestigious orchestras as the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Finland’s  Tampere Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Tucson Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan (Taipei) and the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (Taichung).
Mei-Ann Chen said of her program, “All these pieces of music are, to me, timeless in expression, emotionally powerful and meaningful. And I hope the audience will enjoy this journey!”
You can “meet” Mei-Ann and all the Candidates by watching a short film in which they each introduce themselves. In addition, don’t miss out on Santa Rosa Symphony Music Historian Kayleen Asbo’s description of Exhilarating Journey of the Symphony’s first five concert sets.

Candidate search – your opinion matters!

Just following each of the first five concert sets (Oct – Feb), patrons who attended the concert will receive an email with a link to a survey to provide experiential feedback, which will inform the Music Director Selection committee as they make that final decision between the five highly-qualified, extremely talented candidates. Please take the time to let the Symphony know your impressions. 

Nareh Arghamanyan CDs on sale at Exhilarating Journey

Nareh Arghamanyan will be on hand to sign CDs at Exhilarating Journey. Titles are Prokofiev, Khachaturian: Piano Concertos, Liszt: Piano Concertos, Hungarian Fantasy, Rachmaninov: Corelli Variations, Etudes-Tableax, Morceaux de Fantaisie.


Fall concerts by the SRS Youth Ensembles

Young People’s Chamber Orchestra
Aaron Westman, director
Saturday, November 11 at 7:00 pm
Phoenix Theater, Petaluma
Also: METALLICA: "Nothing Else Matters"
Preparatory Orchestra & Repertory Orchestra
Tristan Arnold, conductor & Dana Sadava, guest conductor
Sunday, November 12 at 3:00 pm
Jackson Theater, Sonoma Country Day School

Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra
Dr. Richard Loheyde, conductor
Special guest: Rebecca Roudman & The Dirty Cello Band
Sunday, November 19 at 3:00 pm
Weill Hall, Green Music Center
And JASON ECKL: Blues Cello Concerto with Rebecca Roudman & The Dirty Cello Band

In Advance: Adults $15/Youth $5/Group (10 or more) $10
At the Door: Adults $20/Youth $10

Rebecca Roudman & The Dirty Cello Band
Monday, November 6 at 4:00 pm
Weill Hall, Green Music Center
Free and open to the public. Reservations: 707-546-8742

Celebrating Donald Green

The Santa Rosa Symphony ushered in its 90th anniversary concert season with a celebration of philanthropist icon Donald Green and his immeasurable contributions to the Symphony, Sonoma County’s music community and beyond. This season-opening fundraiser welcomed 166 guests, with net proceeds of around $275,000—a record level in the Symphony’s 13-year history of such events.
President & CEO Alan Silow said, “It was a genuine pleasure to honor Don Green in this meaningful way, and we are so gratified at such generosity from patrons who share his love of the Symphony’s music education programs.”
Following a lively reception in the lobby of the Donald & Maureen Green Music Center, guests enjoyed an intimate recital by powerhouse pianist Joyce Yang, the Symphony’s guest artist in October, from their seats on the concert stage.
During a post-recital dinner at Prelude Restaurant, a number of speakers paid heartfelt tribute to Donald Green’s philanthropic, musical and business achievements: fellow Telecom Valley pioneer John Webley, Sonoma Bach Music Director Robert Worth, Symphony Board Chairman Jamei Haswell, and Symphony President & CEO Alan Silow. Board members who organized the gala presented to Donald Green a painting of his favorite bird, a black-shouldered kite, by artist and Emeritus Board Director, Diane Schoenrock.
David Green, a talented young trumpeter and member of the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra, performed for the guests and spoke as well. Before this year’s record-setting paddle raise, supporting the young musicians of the Symphony’s education programs, Donald Green himself said a few words.
“Music opens a world of wonder … that could benefit every student in every school,” he said. “It improves their ability to concentrate. It sparks creativity. It helps them practice good decision making. … Music positively shapes a child’s character for the better, and sets them up for greater success in life. Besides all that, owning and playing an instrument is a delight that endures!”


Santa Rosa Symphony,  50 Santa Rosa Ave, Suite 410, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Patron Services  54-MUSIC (707) 546-8742 Hours: M-F 9 am - 5 pm; W 10:30 am - 5 pm

Programs, pricing and artists subject to change.

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Santa Rosa Symphony
Administrative Office:
50 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Administration: (707) 546-7097

Patron Services Hours: 
M-F - 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
W – 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed Saturdays & Sundays
Patron Services: (707) 546-8742