By Larry Taylor/Garden Grove Journal
Next week is big for Orange County music lovers. On Saturday afternoon, March 5, the Orange County Philharmonic Society presents the first appearance in Orange County for popular Gustavo Dudamel with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He will lead a performance of Bruckner’s 7th Symphony, preceded by Takemisu’s Requiem for Springs, and Webern’s Five Pieces for Orchestia.
Just two days earlier, next Thursday, March 3, will herald the appearance of the world famous Vienna Symphony orchestra. Both concerts will be at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
Classical music’s wonder boy, Dudamel hired at 28 to lead the Philharmonic has performed with the orchestra to wild acclaim around the world and was recently seen on TV.
Considered as one of the most exciting and compelling conductors of our time, Dudamel was born in 1981 in Venezuela, where he studied violin at the Jacinto Lara Conservatory. In 1996, he began his conducting studies with Rodolfo Saglimbeni and that same year was named Music Director of the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. In 1999, he assumed the Music Director position of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra and brought it to international attention with his triumph in the inaugural Bamberger Symphoniker in May 2004.
His numerous achievements and awards have grown since then, culminating when he was named one of the 100 most influential people of 2009 by Time magazine and featured twice on CBS’s 60 Minutes, Maestro Dudamel’s infectious energy and exceptional artistry have made him one of the most sought-after conductors by orchestras and opera companies around the world. A leader of major orchestras on three continents, Dudamel also serves as Music Director of the Gothenburg Symphony and enters his eleventh year as Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela.
For its part, the Vienna Symphony is considered one of the world’s best. It also makes a rare stop in Orange County. For next Thursday, Semyon Bychkov, will conduct a program featuring Mahler’s Symphony No. 6. First premiered in Germany in 1906, under Mahler’s direction , it was a rare success for the composer during his lifetime, it was greeted by eight ecstatic curtain calls.
Mahler grew up within hearing of a military barracks and the massive final movement is dominated by a theme that may suggest an epic hero struggling onward, surviving blows of fate, until a third blow proves fatal. The image, if true, is both ironic and tragic. Within a few years of completing this work, Mahler himself would suffer three crushing blows: the diagnosis of a heart condition, the loss of his job as conductor in Vienna and the sudden death of his daughter.
Both concerts will be held in Segerstrom’s Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.
To add to next week’s riches, Friday, March 4, jazz greats Gary Burton and Chick Corea, join forces for a duo concert in the Concert Hall. Both multi-Grammy® Award winners, pianist and composer Corea and vibraphonist extraordinaire Gary Burton bring a joyous virtuosity to the stage which has helped them create one of the greatest collaborations in the history of jazz.
For tickets to these events, (714)556-2422 or go to www.scfta.org