My adventure with the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra began on Saturday the first – April Fool's Day.
Nothing about this evening in North Hollywood was a joke. Seriously great music and incredibly talented artists and musicians held court at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood.
My guest for the evening was my dearest friend Elpe Villard. Elpe and I have shared wonderful experiences together over the years and music is one of them.
I also brought with me Mark Robinson who listens to KUSC daily. Mark is an early riser and classical music is on the radio when I hit the kitchen every morning. In addition, he’s learning to play the violin.
I am the newest member of the Board of Directors for the SVSO and unlike the other members who were charged with tasks during the event, as the newest member, I had an opportunity to just relax and enjoy the concert this time. Indeed I did.
We are so fortunate to live in a city with such an abundance of extraordinarily talented individuals. Bring them together and collectively they create the sound of music that is familiar, beautiful and classic.
Music that many of us in the audience remember from childhood. The program introduced us to Colburn student Wenlan Jackson, playing a favorite Tchaikovsky, the Violin Concerto in D Major. We also heard Beethoven’s Egmont Oveture and Schumann’s Symphony #4 in D Minor. In addition there were two new short pieces written by the founding Music Director James Domine, one of them a theme written at the request of a colleague of the Director featuring the intricacies of Chinese classical music.
This new music allowed your imagination to take you to mainland China through gardens filled with cherry blossoms at this time of year, coy ponds, Chinese architecture, art and of course this gentle, melodic music. Playing solo piano along with the orchestra was Caitlyn DePrano, a young student who was very lovely.
The orchestra’s musicians were professionals who have storied histories having played with outstanding companies all over the world. Their experience and expertise shines under the direction of Maestro Domine.
The evening and conversations by the Director felt comfortable and relaxed giving those new to the classics an opportunity to enjoy the performance because his nature and inviting warmth made you feel as though we were guests that he knew personally as well as the theater and stage was an intimate and ideal place for being a part of the experience.
It was magical. If you would like to hear the classics close to home in an intimate atmosphere of warmth and gentility, where ticket prices are affordable, and the entire family can come out and enjoy a night at a concert check out the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra.
You can order tickets through the orchestra’s website. The last concert of the season is Saturday, May 20th at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood.