Fresh Look 2020: The Symphony Exposed

Scott Foglesong


Stay tuned for more music education opportunities…

Instructor Scott Foglesong answers your classical music and symphony questions and more in Fresh Look: The Symphony Exposed, a four-class course that has sold out in both its previous years. For your comfort and convenience, this year the course is offered online, with class video replay available for up to one week after each live Tuesday evening broadcast.

Class 1: Orchestras 101 | You Could Google it, or…

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 from 7:00 to 8 :30 PM

We’ll start by tackling a pressing question: just what does a conductor do, anyway? After we’ve shone some light on that issue (with the aid of many conductors and orchestras) we’ll take a bird’s eye look at the orchestra from its early days to the present, culminating in a trip through the orchestra’s sections and instruments.

Class 2: Classical Music | Coming into its Own

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 from 7:00 to 8 :30 PM

Orchestral music began in the Baroque Era (1600-1750) with masters such as Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel, but it really came into its own with the Viennese Classical (later 18th century) with Haydn and Mozart. We’ll explore some pieces from both those eras (and maybe a little later), expanding to composers beyond the usual suspects, including those of African heritage and from Asia, as well as celebrating the significant contributions of women.

Class 3: Composers | The Political Animals

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 from 7:00 to 8 :30 PM

Musicians are political animals, just like the rest of us. Beethoven was a pioneering ‘political’ composer who expressed the gestalt of an age. Then it’s on to the 19th-century Romantics who followed Beethoven’s lead, and finally we’ll explore several 20th-century works imbued with extra-musical significance: Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.

Class 4: Music of Our Time | A Kaleidoscope

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 from 7:00 to 8 :30 PM

Beginning in the early 20th century and continuing to the present day, the music of the modern world offers a rich and multi-varied array of styles. We’ll dig into this kaleidoscopic banquet, beginning with Claude Debussy and moving through jazz-inspired composers such as George Gershwin, reaching the 21st century with works written within the past few years. Professor Scott Foglesong and California Symphony Music Director Donato Cabrera will close out A Fresh Look with a discussion about the past, present, and future of orchestral music.

Program Annotator Scott Foglesong is the Chair of Musicianship and Music Theory at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a contributing writer and lecturer for the San Francisco Symphony.

Fresh Look—The Symphony Exposed is offered with support from the Walnut Creek Library Foundation and Walnut Creek Civic Pride.