Year of the Violin Concerto -- March 2022 Concert
On Saturday evening, March 26, 2022, the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro James Domine, returned to the Tutor Family Performing Arts Center at Chaminade to perform the third concert of a shortened season.
After the playing of the National Anthem, the concertgoers applauded Maestro Domine for bringing “Great Music Close To Home” back where it belongs.
The first piece on the program was the World Premiere - Inaugural Performance of James Domine’s Violin Concerto No. 3, with Yoo-Min Seo giving a stunning performance of skill and panache. The audience showed its appreciation of this brilliant concerto with a standing ovation and several curtain calls. This reviewer sees a very bright future for both the Concerto and Ms. Seo.
Following was Franz Shubert’s well-known Symphony #8 in B minor (the Unfinished). Kudos to the orchestra for its authoritative historical rendition of this much- loved work. The audience showed its pleasure with applause and cheers.
After a brief intermission, the Marckx sisters, to wit Olivia (‘cello) and Charlotte (violin),” came on stage to “put the icing on the cake.” The first piece these young women performed was based on the music of Mozart from Die Zauberflöte; the second was based on music of Bizet from Carmen. Their performances were so outstanding as to defy description. There is no doubt that they will illuminate the skies, and those of you who attended this concert will be able to boast that you saw them perform with the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra!
December Concert 2021 - Tchaikovsky, Domine, Rachmaninoff
On Saturday evening, December 11, 2021, the orchestra, under the baton of Maestro James Domine, performed its second concert since Covid caused all musical entertainment to be closed down in 2020. The Maestro took stage and warmly welcomed and thanked the audience, all wearing facemasks, for their presence.
Following the playing of our National Anthem, 15 year old pianist Michelle Bi performed Domine’s “Sonata #r3 in A minor” (Wind of Time) in a special arrangement for Chamber orchestra and piano solo. Ms. Bi, as always, played beautifully.
Excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s ,“The Nutcracker Suite,” namely the ever popular ’Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Waltz of the Flowers” followed. With Nara Petrosyan on celesta, it was delightful and at just at the right time of the year.
The Inaugural Performance of Domine’s, “Symphony #2 in D minor in five movements (Ancient Scenes) followed. This programmatic symphony was first performed in November, 2007 with Maestro Domine conducting the orchestra. Subsequently, it underwent an extensive process of editorial renovation. The result is a score that wonderfully reflects orchestral colors associated with modern and impressionistic musical styles. To this reviewer’s ears, and based upon the audience’s applause, cheers, and whistles, I give it an “A+”
After a brief intermission, Maestro Domine and soloist David Pinto came onstage to perform the “Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2 in C minor.” The collaboration of the SFVSO and Mr. Pinto is a long one. He has performed with the orchestra many times and was greeted warmly. The audience settled in to listen to what we already knew was going to be a wonderful performance. They acknowledged it with a standing ovation and, as they left the concert hall with smiling faces, many were heard remarking how very much they had enjoyed the evening.
SFVSO Fall Festival Concert 2021 - Two Violin Concertos
On Saturday, October 16, 2021, the musicians under the baton of Maestro James Domine finally returned to the concert stage. (Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Orchestra’s previous performance was on March 20, 2020.)
The program began with the playing of our National Anthem. It was followed by Franz von Suppe’s, “Light Cavalry Overture,” an exciting and rousing piece of music which musicians love to play and orchestras around the world include as a staple part of their repertoire. The audience showed their appreciation with a very nice ovation.
“Les Preludes,” by Franz Liszt, was next on the program, a dazzling, free-flowing symphonic poem that is by far his most popular prelude. It is said by some that it is the flagship for his daring style of “new music.” Liszt was famous for his ability to create beautiful textures, and had a smooth way of developing the whole piece from a simple melody. The audience was “dazzled” by it.
Max Bruch’s "Violin Concerto No.1" is one of the most popular violin concertos in the repertoire, and we were fortunate to have Fiona Shea perform it. Fiona is an up-and-coming star who is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at the Colburn Conservatory, where she studies with Professor Robert Lipsett. Her performance of the “Bruch” was magnificent in every aspect. She received a standing ovation, with cheering, whistling and thunderous applause. Those who had the privilege of hearing her perform are truly fortunate because one day, when she is famous, they can say, “I saw Fiona Shea perform with the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra.”
Following a 15 minute intermission, where the concertgoers were heard praising the conductor, the orchestra and especially the soloist, they returned to their seats for the finale, the "Inaugural Performance" of James Domine’s,"Violin Concerto #2 in B-minor." Performed by Ms. Shea, the work was well received by the audience who showed their appreciation with a standing ovation for its composer, the soloist and the musicians of the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra. Kudos to everyone who helped make it a magical evening of glorious music!
FYI, you can find Maestro Domine's Violin Concerto on his YouTube channel.
SFVSO Summer Concert 2021 - A Stellar Performance Under the Stars!
Wednesday evening, August 11, 2021, saw the return of the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra for the first time since January 2019, bringing much happiness to Maestro James Domine, the musicians, and the music lovers who came out in force once again to hear, “Great Music Close to Home.”
The SFV Orchestra’s annual “Concert in the Park: A Stellar Performance Under the Stars” at the Israeli-American Council Shepher Community Center in Woodland Hills, was everything it promised to be. The IAC graciously sponsored the event, providing rehearsal space inside the center, while the actual concert was performed outdoors in the park. It was a lovely setting for a magical evening of classical music composed by Verdi, Offenbach, Bizet, Saint-Saens and Strauss. Also featured on the program was a new medley of Cole Porter songs arranged and orchestrated by SFVSO violinist Cary Belling, followed by George Gershwin’s, “Summertime,” with music director James Domine's “Summer Solstice” concluding the program.
This concert featured the auspicious debut performance of vocalist Annie Miller singing the Cole Porter, Gershwin and Domine pieces. Annie was joined by the audience in singing “Summer Solstice” and, at the conclusion, they stood and applauded heartily. It was a delightful summer evening of musical magic.
The SFVSO is planning concerts for September 26th, October 16th, and December 4th of this year. Please visit www.sfvsymphony for more information.
Message from the Orchestra - August 9, 2021 - "Year of the Violin Concerto"
The upcoming concert year has been designated the "Year of the Violin Concerto" by the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra. We are working with Robert Lipsett, distinguished professor of advanced violin studies at the Colburn School in Los Angeles to provide an opportunity for some of the finest up-and-coming young virtuosi to perform with our orchestra. Each of the selected soloists will play the world premiere of a new concerto by James Domine composed over the last year in addition to one of the well-established best-loved concerti from the standard repertoire.
Fiona Shea will start the year as soloist for our Fall concert (date to be announced). She will be playing not one but two concerti, the Bruch G minor and the inaugural performance of Maestro James Domine's own Concerto #2 in B minor. This promises to be an unparalleled festival of violin music that will be a real treat for our listeners.
We look forward to you joining us for the "Year of the Violin Concerto" kickoff concert. You can view Ms. Shea's bio on our About The Orchestra page.