Fresh Look: The Symphony Exposed
What does the conductor do besides wave the baton? What is a clarinetist and where do they sit in the orchestra? Why do the violins sit half on the left and half on the right…except when they don’t? A new program launched in summer of 2018 in English with live Spanish translation, this introductory course for adults aims to answer the questions most orchestras don’t so you can better enjoy all kinds of orchestral music.
The inaugural class sold out and is confirmed to run again in 2019, is only $25, and includes four weeks of instruction with Scott Fogelsong (San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Symphony), workbooks, and a live performance finale by musicians of the California Symphony. You then get your $25 back as a voucher to use toward the future ticket purchase of your choice.
Sometimes it’s our composer-in-residence talking about how an idea in their head becomes notes on a page for an orchestra to play for the very first time. Sometimes it’s a soloist demonstrating their craft. Sometimes it’s the conductor sharing why they chose those specific pieces of music for that program. Almost always, Music Director Donato Cabrera is leading these discussions, and almost always, these talks happen at various public library locations around the region. Absolutely always, you get to ask your questions (How do you hear an entire orchestra in your head? Is there any piece of music you never want to perform?) and have the experts give you an answer.
Rossmoor Symphony Society
The newest addition to the California Symphony’s adult offerings, the Rossmoor Symphony Society is just like it sounds: a club made especially for the thousands of active residents of Rossmoor active senior adult community. Events throughout the year give insight into upcoming performances, introduce the players you see on stage, and explain how things work behind-the-scenes (what it’s like to audition for an orchestra, for example). These events are designed to bring residents together, enjoy some good wine, and learn about the top-quality orchestra about one mile away from your top-quality community.
Every concert is more enjoyable when you know more about the music being performed, the composers who wrote it, and the musicians that make it happen. Free to ticketholders, pre-concert talks begin one hour before the performance, are personally led by Music Director Donato Cabrera, and he usually brings out the guest artist(s) performing that day to join him. So come early and get a better parking space in the garage, bring your drink in the theater if you’d like, sit wherever you want, and enjoy this half-hour pre-party, leaving you thirty minutes between the talk and the performance to stretch your legs, use the facilities, and find your seat before showtime.