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Mayor's Concert Poses Questions
Esther Chu - Cello soloist.
There was a good turnout for the June 3rd concert – so-named the Mayor’s concert, in honor of the one who spearheaded the recognition of the Symphony as the Resident Symphony Orchestra of Anaheim.
Music buffs hoping for a photo op with the Mayor would have been disappointed since he had a more pressing family engagement, so he sent Mayor Pro Tem Harry Sidhu in his place. Trouble was – nobody saw him either. The case of the vanishing Councilor!
The concert was most notable for the delightful Esther Chu’s solo appearance in Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A. After a very slightly nervous start she relaxed into the piece with great sensitivity and power. She well deserved to be surrounded by family and fans for the rest of the evening.
The second half of the evening gave us variations on a theme of Haydn by Brahms, and Dvorak’s Symphonic Variations. I suppose I could best describe this long string of short pieces as two composers showing off the different ways they could tell a (musical) story. But after while you wondered how many more two minute variations there would be before the conductor could put his baton down. I found myself pre-occupied with trying to figure out which one, or maybe two, players buried in amongst the violins were the squeaky ones scrambling around in some of the more complex and unfamiliar sections of the score.
The announcements brought news of a new format for the fall. Concert are to start at 6:30pm, and will be a little shorter, giving folks time to get home to their favorite Sunday night shows. And from 6pm there will be an introduction to the music of the evening. I sure hope this works. California audiences are notorious for turning up at the last minute, so I wonder how many will be there at 6 for the preview. Now – make it fast, funny and entertaining and it will be a hit.
But make the concert a little shorter? I don’t think they have ever been long. A thirty minute concerto and then into the intermission is already too short.
Both David Rentz and Dorothy Rose spoke about the remarkable Gala event planned for July 7th. But I would have loved to see more razzmatazz; some ‘selling’ of the notion of buying tables at $50 a head and having a grand party as the band plays. Somehow the OCS audience needed to go home humming with excitement about all the friends they would bring with them to hear the exhilarating program.
You may get full GALA details here. And I suggest you start ordering those table seats as soon as possible. If this link fails - just go the www.ocsymphony.org.
The most heart-warming feature was the lovely farewell given to Principal flautist Alice Park, who is now moving elsewhere. She has been a tireless worker for the Symphony and has provided the most wonderful program notes over several years. She will be sorely missed. Alice stood with quiet modesty as Executive Director Dorothy Rose presented her with a couple of proclamations celebrating her achievements.
The new full season is now announced and at first glance it promises to be full of great musical treats. Dr Tony Mazzaferro will continue as musical director and conductor of the OC Wind Symphony. Expect to see the details on the OCS website very soon.
What with the Gala on July 7th, the Symphony on Birch Street, and the Wind Symphony back on August 26th there are plenty of goodies to look forward to.
Brad Pettigrew. Picture of Esther Chu
External links: OC Symphony website