Pleasanton Weekly

News - March 28, 2014

Symphony potpourri -- von Weber, Mozart, Dvorak

Concert includes guest musicians on violin, viola

Livermore-Amador Symphony's third concert of its 51st season, "A Potpourri of Favorites," will take place April 5 at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore. The concert begins at 8 p.m. with a talk on the music from 7-7:30 p.m. Also at the concert, education awards will be presented to four area high school students.

The program includes the Overture to "Oberon" by Carl Maria von Weber, Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra by Mozart, and Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World." Conducting will be Dr. Arthur Barnes, who is in his 50th and final season as music director of the symphony.

Carl Maria von Weber was a German composer and a reformer, whose work made a transition from classical to romantic music. "Oberon," an English opera, is about a fairy king, and the overture opens with three notes from Oberon's horn. The strings answer the call, then the woodwinds enter and the audience is ushered into the fairy world.

Mozart wrote the Sinfonia Concertante in 1779, a combination of a symphony and concerto that features one or more soloists and was particularly popular in Paris during the 18th century. For this composition Mozart called for the viola to be tuned higher than usual, which produces a brighter sound.

The Mozart piece will feature Kristina Anderson, who has been concertmaster of the Livermore-Amador Symphony since 2008, on violin. She began her orchestral career in the first violin section of the New Orleans Philharmonic and has been concertmaster of the West Bay Opera Orchestra in Palo Alto, the Diablo Symphony and the Santa Cruz Symphony.

The Mozart will also feature Holly Barnes, currently assistant principal viola with the Boston Ballet Orchestra and director of the chamber music program at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. She has performed with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Boston Lyric Opera and was a member of the New England String Quartet from 1988-1991. She is the daughter of music director Barnes.

The final piece by Dvorak, known to many as "The New World Symphony," was written in 1893 when the Czech composer was the director of New York City's National Conservatory of Music of America. He was influenced by African-American and Native American music, and he used Native American themes when he composed the 9th Symphony. In 1969, Neil Armstrong took a recording of "The New World Symphony" on the Apollo 11 mission for the first moon landing.

Find ticket information at www.bankheadtheater.org or call 373-6800.

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