The Santa Monica Symphony will take to the stage this Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for its second of five free concerts as part of its 2011-12 season.
The program will include William Mathias’ “Laudi,” Ginastera’s “Pampeana No. 3,” and Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 6.”
UCLA Professor of Musicology Raymond Knapp will present a pre-concert lecture on the repertoire beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Allen Robert Gross, Santa Monica Symphony music director, said he encouraged music lovers of all ages to attend – especially those community members who have never seen a symphony in action.
He said anyone with inhibition or trepidation about attending a formal orchestra concert need not worry.
“Some people are afraid to applaud and they are afraid to not know what do to at a symphony concert,” Gross said. “Part of my job on the podium when I talk to the audience is to allow them to relax and enjoy the music and steer to them to a few things they may find interesting in the performance.”
Each of the concerts in the symphony’s 2011-12 season is unique.
Gross said he programmed a variety of music each year that builds with each performance to add thrust to the season.
“For instance, we have done quite a bit of Latin America music over the years,” he said. “Especially, Mexican composers like (Silvestre) Revueltas and the Argentinian composer (Alberto) Ginastera. The interesting thing is the orchestra is getting very used to this style and enjoying these wonderful cross rhythms, which are typical of Latin American music.”
Gross said dance was a fundamental musical quality as well as a physical quality.
“Of course not all composers use dance rhythms up front, but dance rhythms since Bach, and even before that, have played a very important role in instrumental music, even music which is not just for dancing.”
One example is Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 6.”
“What is interesting is that the Czech country side that Dvorak portrays so wonderfully is also full of dance rhythms and extraordinarily enough, some of these have the same kinds of cross rhythms as the Latin American rhythms,” Gross said. “It’s a completely different orchestral style, completely different orchestral colors, but you can hear the connection”
No reservations or tickets are required for Saturday night’s free performance.
Upcoming concerts in early 2012 include Strauss’ “Death and Transfiguration,” John Adams’ “Eros Piano” with preeminent Adams interpreter Gloria Cheng, and the premiere of “Paisajes: Concerto for Flamenco Guitar and Orchestra” by Adam del Monte.
For more information, visit www.smsymphony.org.