There is a buzz that begins around this time of year. A buzz that grows steadily, accompanying the anticipation of another summer season of concerts by Maestro Victor Vener and his California Philharmonic.
Under the stars, and surrounded by the breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountains that only Santa Anita Race Track can offer, the second-to-none setting is home, once again, to this summer’s spectacular line-up of Cal Phil concerts.
On June 28, the 2014 blockbuster season kicks off, appropriately, with John Williams & Friends. Maestro Vener and Cal Phil bring the big screen to center stage with a selection of pieces from some of John Williams’ most memorable scores, including Star Wars, E.T., Jaws and Jurassic Park. Concert-goers will also be treated to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Father and son duo, cellist Dennis Karmazyn and violinist Max Karmazyn, will perform both a special violin/cello arrangement of the Theme from Schindler’s List and the finale of Brahms’ Double Concerto. And if all of that isn’t enough to create a musical spectacular, the Cal Phil Chorale joins the orchestra for Karl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
Get ready to saddle up on July 12 with Cowboys & Copland, the season’s second concert. It’s a salute to the wild west with music from screen classic including The Magnificent Seven, How The West Was Won, The Good and The Bad and The Ugly, plus Copland’s Billy The Kid and Rodeo-music that set the tone of the west in music for the concert hall, stage and screen. And for good measure, there will be a musical detour south of the border to El Salón México. Copland’s patriotic masterpiece Lincoln Portrait-with a special guest narrator-rounds out the program, proving America never sounded so good.
Magic, Fantasy & Adventure abound on July 26 as imaginations run wild when captivated by beautiful music from The Lion King, Beauty and The Beast and The Little Mermaid. The Cal Phil Chorale, under the direction of Cal Phil Chorus Maestra Marya Basaraba, give voice to the stories of these beloved animated classics. The magic continues with Dukas’ fantastical Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Bach’s haunting Toccata and Fugue in d minor and excerpts from Stravinsky’s glittering Firebird Suite.
August 9 is dedicated to Movie Masterpieces, celebrating 150 years of music for film and television including themes and cues from Pirates of the Caribbean, Game of Thrones and Titanic as well the finale of Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, heard in many movie soundtracks, including Babe, and Brahms’ 1st Symphony from Die Hard 3, aka Die Hard With A Vengeance. In a case of life imitating art imitating life, Elizabeth Pitcairn will display virtuosity and lyricism as she performs John Corigliano’s The Red Violin: Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra on the real “Red Violin,” a Stradivarius famous not only for its sound, but it’s unique pigment-the actual violin which inspired the story of the film The Red Violin and it’s Oscar-winning score.
The final concert of the 2014 season ties together Broadway & Bolero on August 23. Broadway sensations Randall Keith and Joan Almedilla-both known for starring in Les Miz on Broadway and National Tours-lend their tremendous voices to songs from hit shows including Chicago, Evita and Cats. This sensational season finale also boasts acclaimed classical and flamenco guitarist Adam Del Monte turning up the heat in a performance of Rodrigo’s beloved Concierto de Aranjuez. And to ensure Cal Phil’s 2014 season ends on several high notes, the evening’s program includes performances of Ravel’s hypnotic Bolero and Chabrier’s effervescent Espana.
“California Philharmonic is stronger than ever, rejuvenated, at the top of our craft and eager to do what we do best for the best audiences in Southern California,” said Vener. “We have an exciting line-up, world class musicians and special guests and an amazing outdoor venue. Let’s have some fun…you don’t want to miss a note!”
A Cal Phil show is more than just a concert, it is an experience. Gates open at 5:30pm to pre-concert dining including delicious gourmet food offerings available on-site, full bars and live jazz. Concerts begin at 7:30pm. Table and lawn seating on the lush green grass of Santa Anita Race Track’s infield are available, complete with the area’s best unobstructed view of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains.
The magic continues Sunday afternoons at the incomparable Walt Disney Concert Hall. Cal Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall performances start at 2:00pm, with the intimate pre-concert Talks With The Maestro at 1:00pm in BP Hall.
The California Philharmonic is supported by the California Philharmonia Society, a new non-profit community benefit organization whose main emphasis at this time is to support the California Philharmonic.
To purchase tickets to attend the incomparable Victor Vener and his California Philharmonic concerts at Santa Anita Race Track, call 626.300.8200 or www.calphil.com.
Tickets for Walt Disney Concert Hall are available for purchase through Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.