January 29, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Symphony To Perform Romantic Era Works This Saturday: Santa Monica Symphony Adds Concert This Saturday To 2012/13 Season

In a surprise move, the Santa Monica Symphony has added an extra concert to their originally planned schedule of three concerts for the 2012-2013 season.

The Symphony will perform this extra concert this Saturday, March 9 at Barnum Hall on the campus of Santa Monica High School.

The concert will showcase three of the greatest works from the Romantic era: Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto, and Brahms’s 2nd Symphony.

The featured soloist in the Rachmaninov is the brilliant young pianist, Minh Nguyen.

Music Director Guido Lamell said he decided to hold this extra concert after the success and audience excitement displayed at the Symphony’s first two programs.

“I just couldn’t bear to wait until our planned concert on May 25 to give the Santa Monica community a chance to hear these great musicians again,” Lamell said. “Also, I felt that the orchestra was on a roll and I didn’t want that energy and momentum to fade.”

Lamell began planning this program immediately after the Jan. 20 Martin Luther King tribute concert. He polled musicians and members of the community about music they would most like to play and hear.

“Brahms was one of the first names spoken by many,” Lamell said. “So I proceeded to build a program around my favorite Brahms Symphony, the 2nd.”

The Second Symphony is generally considered to be Brahms’s “Pastorale” comparing it in many ways to one of Beethoven’s most beloved works, his 6th Symphony.

“It has a certain gentle and rich character combined with some of his most exquisite melodies and harmonies of all,” Lamell said. “It also has sections of true orchestral brilliance and power so it really has it all.”

The concert will open with the Berlioz Roman Carnival overture, which was selected for its pure virtuosic display.

Lamell, who himself is a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic when he’s not standing on the SMS podium, said the opening allows all the sections of the orchestra to show-off in full stride.

“I know how important it is to let musicians blow out the stops every once in a while,” he said. “If you were a Grand Prix race driver, you’d have an irresistible urge to push the pedal to the metal as often as possible. Well these players are the ‘Grand Prix’ musicians of Santa Monica and it’s fantastic to see them take off.”

Having selected an early Romantic overture in the Berlioz and a “heart-of-the-Romantic-Era” Brahms Symphony, Lamell went on the hunt for a late Romantic piano concerto.

He wanted the piano in particular in order to showcase the magnificent Fazioli concert grand piano at Barnum Hall that was donated to Santa Monica High School a few years ago by a generous and supportive Santa Monica family.

After calling several piano professors and players around Los Angeles, he was introduced to Minh Nguyen, a freshman at UCLA, and was told that Minh was ready to perform the Rachmaninov 3rd.

Lamell thought this was astounding.

“When I first heard that such a young player could play this work, I couldn’t help but be skeptical,” Lamell said. “The Rachmaninov 3rd is considered to be one of the greatest and most daunting, perhaps, of all works ever written for the piano. It’s also daunting for the orchestra. Pianists spend their lifetimes trying to master this monumental concerto.”

This concerto was the subject of the 1996 film “Shine” which chronicled pianist David Helfgott’s lifelong struggles with the work.

“I’d like to recommend that anyone who might be interested in coming to our concert should rent that movie or live-stream it before coming to hear Minh play it,” he said. “I did meet with Minh to hear him and I could hardly believe my ears and eyes. He played it brilliantly and made it look easy. I just can’t bear for anyone to get the wrong impression.”

The concert is scheduled for 7:30 pm on March 9 in Barnum Hall on the Santa Monica High School campus, 601 Pico Boulevard.

Admission to the concert is free, although donations to the Symphony are gratefully accepted in the foyer before and after the concert.

Visit the Santa Monica Symphony website at smsymphony.org for more information and specific parking instructions.

Lamell said he also urged people to sign-up to the Symphony’s email list online so that the SMS can follow up with attendees about future announcements, program updates, and other information.

Related Posts

“Love Actually Live” – a Holiday Gift to You at the Wallis

December 23, 2021

December 23, 2021

Dazzling.  Remarkable.  Superb.  Thrilling.  Stunning. Spectacular. Glorious. Sparkling.  Sensational.  Glittering.  Mesmerizing.  Astonishing. Brilliant. Vibrant.  Enthralling.  Enchanting.  Riveting.  Fascinating. Innovative. If...

SMC’s “Broken Layers” Wins Best Student Film at The Emerging Filmmaker Showcase During the 2021 Cannes Film Festival

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

“Broken Layers”—a short film written and directed by Santa Monica College (SMC) film student Niccolo Rolim—has won “Best Student Film”...

Santa Monica High School Gets New Mural

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

A new mural has come to Santa Monica High School thanks to Beautify Earth, an organization that connects local artists...

Getty Acquires 16th-Century Painting Never Seen by Public

November 17, 2021

November 17, 2021

Jacopo Bassano’s The Miracle of the Quails, 1554, has been rarely seen by scholars and never by the public By...

Día de Los Muertos Community Celebration Coming to Third Street Promenade

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

Saturday, October 30 from 5 – 10 p.m. By Staff Writer A Día de los Muertos celebration is planned for...

Film Review: Venom: Let There Be Carnage

October 16, 2021

October 16, 2021

Rated PG-13 90 Minutes Released October 1st in Theatres Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a sublimely cathartic experience –...

Closing Celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month Today

October 14, 2021

October 14, 2021

This Friday, October 15, the Santa Monica community is invited to a closing ceremony for Santa Monica’s first Hispanic Heritage...

Sneakertopia Brings the History and Culture of Sneakers to Life

October 12, 2021

October 12, 2021

Sneakertopia is the ultimate expression of art and culture for all things sneakers offering a massive in-person experience paired with...

Review: Ted Lasoo Season 2

September 19, 2021

September 19, 2021

Rated TV-MA 12 30-Minute Episodes Released on Apple TV+, one 30-minute episode each Friday from July 23rd to October 8th...

Santa Monica Partners with McCabe’s Guitar Shop for a Reimagined Annual Concert Series

September 14, 2021

September 14, 2021

Americana in the Park, a New Free Concert Series Launches this September and October By Sam Catanzaro The City of...

Auditions Open for HVS Conservatory’s Inaugural Vocal Program

September 5, 2021

September 5, 2021

Hollywood Vocal Studios and Adreana Gonzalez are proud to announce the founding of Hollywood Vocal Studios (HVS) Conservatory—a post-secondary school...