Welcome to the Santa Monica Symphony's 2000-2001 season!
This will be a special year for me, as it marks my tenth year as Music Director. These have been ten wonderful years of working with enthusiastic and dedicated musicians, as well as seeing our audience and profile in the community grow. I hope you will enjoy what we have planned for you.
We begin our season featuring a new work by Maria Newman, one of Southern California's most exciting composers. Five years ago, Maria wrote a lovely opening work, Bledsian, for the Symphony's Fiftieth Anniversary season, so it seemed appropriate for us to present the West Coast premiere of her new piano concerto entitled Ninnescah in this anniversary year. Also on the program will be Beethoven's Fourth Symphony, which completes our cycle of all the Beethoven symphonies that I have conducted in Santa Monica.
Our December program will feature music of time and the seasons - even though some people will maintain that in Southern California neither concept is terribly relevant. We will performa Schumann's "Spring Symphony" along with a delightful piece by the French composer Jean Francaix, The Flower-Clock, a musical depiction of flowers that bloom at different hours of the day. Catherine Del Russo, our long-time Principal Oboist, will be the soloist. We end the season with two orchestral blockbusters, Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique in March and Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra in May.
As always, we are proud to collaborate with our area's world-class professional musicians as soloists. In addition to Catherine Del Russo, I am delighted to once again have the incomparable cellist Ronald Leonard appear as soloist with us (in the Lalo Cello Concerto in March), and pianist Delores Stevens in October, who premiered Maria Newman's concerto last year. I look forward to seeing you at our concerts!
ALLEN ROBERT GROSS
Music Director and Conductor
Music Director/Conductor of the Santa Monica Symphony since 1991, Allen Gross continues to delight the public with enthusiastic and well-prepared performances of a challenging and diverse repertory that embraces the new and the old, the familiar and the unfamiliar. A native New Yorker, he studied with Pierre Monteux, Walter Susskind, Sandor Salgo and Hans Swarowsky, beginning at Queens College and UC/Berkeley before earning his doctorate at Stanford and continuing at the Vienna Music Academy and the American Institute of Orchestra Conducting. From 1972-1978, he directed the Heidelberg Castle Festival, also serving as conductor of the Junges Kammerorchester Heidelberg and in the opera houses of Freiburg and Aachen. Back in the United States, Gross directed the orchestra and opera programs at the University of Louisville before joining the music faculty at Occidental College in 1983 to serve as Director of the Occidental-Caltech Symphony Orchestra. He has since served as Music Director/Conductor of the Pasadena Young Musicians Orchestra and the Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra and has appeared with the Los Angeles Monday Evening Concerts, the Minnesota Composers Forum, broadcast concerts from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and honors orchestras in California and Nevada. Last Season, Mr. Gross returned from China, where he conducted a concert with the orchestra of the Shenwang Conservatory of Music. The past two summers, he has traveled and concertized in Italy, the Czech Republic and other Eastern European countries with members of the Santa Monica Symphony.
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