Symphony Season Finale Features Mahler, ‘Red Violin’

The Tulare County Symphony finishes its 2014-15 season by performing three powerhouse pieces at 7:30pm on Saturday, April 18 at the Visalia Fox Theatre.

Lindsay Deutsch
Lindsay Deutsch

Two years ago guest violinist Lindsay Deutsch wowed audiences with her performance of “Rhapsody in Blue.” For this concert, she performs music from the 1998 film “The Red Violin,” which tells the story of a mysterious instrument and its many owners over three centuries.

Composer John Corigliano received an Oscar for the Best Original Score for the film. He used the Baroque device of a chaconne, a repeated pattern of chords, performed alongside “Anna’s Theme,” a lyrical yet intense melody representing the violin builder’s doomed wife.

The composer scored the film just for the solo violin and string orchestra (to emphasize the “stringness” of the movie) but later fleshed out the 17-minute concert work for violin and full orchestra.

Born in Houston, Texas, Deutsch became concertmaster of the Disney Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra at age 12. She has performed around the world and played the solo violin sound track for the 2006 movie “The Good Shepherd” starring Robert De Niro. Her performances have also been heard on National Public Radio.

Mahler Symphony No. 5

The symphony always ends its season with a giant work, and Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler certainly fits that description. It was composed in 1901 and 1902, and features a trumpet that opens the work and the frequently performed fourth movement, Adagietto.

The Adagietto is probably Mahler’s most famous composition and is the most frequently performed of his works. Leonard Bernstein conducted it during the funeral mass for Robert Kennedy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, on June 8, 1968. It was used in the 1971 film “Death in Venice.” And Ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir from Canada won gold medals using the theme at the 2110 Winter Olympics and the 2010 World Championships.

Sibelius “Finlandia”

“Finlandia” is a symphonic poem by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius which features the melodic and well-known Finlandia Hymn. Often incorrectly cited as a traditional folk melody, the hymn actually was written by the composer. Most of the piece is rousing and turbulent music evoking the national struggle of the Finnish people. To avoid Russian censorship, it had to be performed under alternative names, including “Happy Feelings at the Awakening of Finnish Spring” and “A Scandinavian Choral March.”

Tickets are $30 to $39.50 at the symphony office, 208 W. Main Street, Suite D, Visalia, downstairs in Montgomery Square. Student prices are $10. Tickets are also available at 732-8600 or go to www.tularecountysymphony.com.

The concert begins at 7:30pm, but the audience is invited to attend the pre-concert preview by music director Bruce Kiesling at 5:45pm.

Brochures and tickets for next season are now available by contacting the Symphony.

SYMPHONY PLAYERS PERFORM CROSSOVER CONCERT AT CELLAR DOOR

In what the Tulare County Symphony hopes will be the beginning of a series, guest violinist Lindsay Deutsch will perform a contemporary crossover concert with symphony music director Bruce Kiesling at the piano at the Cellar Door at 8pm on Thursday, April 16.

The special concert will be held two days before Deutsch performs at the symphony’s season finale concert at the Visalia Fox Theatre on Saturday, April 18.

The Cellar Door concert is made possible by a grant from the City of Visalia Arts Grant program.

The idea to reach new audiences by featuring a classically trained violinist in a contemporary concert is the brainchild of Kiesling and local promoters Aaron Gomes and Ryan Stillwater. The concept of pairing crossover classical artists with genres that have popular appeal (pop and indie rock) has been an ongoing dialogue between these three music enthusiasts for years. Stillwater produced the Airpborne Toxic Event in cooperation with Kiesling, and Gomez is the long-time promoter for the Cellar Door and founder of the Sound N Vision Foundation.

Deutsch seemed the perfect performer to kick off the series. She and her sister run a non-profit called Classics Alive, which exposes youth to music and supports their pursuit of musical learning. Critics praise her for bringing a fresh perspective to classical performances and for having a stage presence and style far beyond her years and a charisma that enthralls audiences.

Tickets are $12 at the Symphony office, 732-8600, or at the door.

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