Press Release

New West Symphony

Emma Pell FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
epell@newwestsymphony.org February 6, 2017
805-435-2778

 

 

 

Violin Virtuosa Anne Akiko Meyers Joins

Guest Conductor Joshua Gersen to Perform

with the New West Symphony

 

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – February 6, 2017) —The New West Symphony performs its fourth concert in its Masterpiece Series, ‘The Four Seasons’ featuring violin virtuosa Anne Akiko Meyers and guest conductor Joshua Gersen. The program begins with Le Tombeau de Couperin by Maurice Ravel, followed by Ms. Akiko Meyers performing The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. The program concludes with Symphony No. 40 in G minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

 

Guest Artist Anne Akiko Meyers

Anne Akiko Meyers is world renowned for her passionate performances and her modern interpretations of classics, in particular Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. About her playing of this piece, The Strad Magazine said “A no-nonsense account…she vividly portrays the varying moods in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with playing that is quite remarkable in its dexterity and technical brilliance.” The New York Times wrote, “There is an old-world glamour to Ms. Akiko Meyers’ playing, with her high-gloss, singing sound and her liberal use of sighing slides from one note to another…in the most hazardous tempo changes and transitions their interaction was impressively relaxed.” A frequent soloist with the top orchestras in the world, Ms. Akiko Meyers makes her fourth appearance with the New West Symphony.

 

"I am thrilled to return to the amazing New West Symphony and look forward to performing one of the most iconic and beloved compositions of all time - the Vivaldi Four Seasons,” said Ms. Meyers. “I'm so excited to work with Joshua Gersen and my New West Symphony friends again."

 

Ms. Meyers has produced stunning videos with excerpts from each of the seasons in Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons:

Spring: https://youtu.be/hqtY68kvZPQ

Summer: https://youtu.be/Qa4ZUTWJlKU

Autumn: https://youtu.be/HmUN7pkmYOA

Winter: https://youtu.be/spNh_HujVRc

 

Guest Conductor Joshua Gersen

Joshua Gersen makes his conducting debut with the New West Symphony, and he is the fourth candidate being considered for the role of Music Director. Mr. Gersen is currently assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and was previously the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, where he served as assistant conductor to Michael Tilson Thomas. He also served as principal conductor of the renowned 2013 Ojai Music festival. Mr. Gersen is a graduate of the Curtis School of Music where he studied conducting, and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied composition.

 

"I cannot wait to come out and meet everyone at the New West Symphony.  This is a wonderful program that spans centuries of classical music and features some of the most famous and beautiful pieces in the entire repertoire.” Mr. Gerson continues, “ I can't wait to make music with the musicians of the orchestra and am thrilled to work the esteemed and wonderful Anne Akiko Myers."

 

Here is a video of Mr. Gersen conducting a performance of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, a piece also being performed at our upcoming concert: https://youtu.be/ncpNbpybq2I

 

The Music

Le Tombeau de Couperin by Maurice Ravel

(b. Ciboure, France, 1875; d. Paris, 1937)

Composed in 1917 for piano; orchestrated in 1920.

 

Each of the movements of Le Tombeau was dedicated to one of six friends of the composer who had fallen on the battlefield during World War I, a musical memorial to his countrymen, as well as to his mother whose death had caused him to fall into a deep anguish. Despite its heavy burden of associations, Le Tombeau displays little of Ravel’s distraught mental state, especially in its effervescent orchestral version.

 

The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi

(b. Venice, 1678; d. Vienna, 1741)

Composed around 1720.

 

Originally published as part of a collection of twelve concertos for solo violin and orchestra by Antonio Vivaldi — Il Cimento dell’Armonia e dell’Inventione, or “The Contest between Harmony and Invention,” Op. 8, the first four concertos, those depicting the seasons of the year, seem to have especially excited Bohemian Count Wenzel von Morzin’s admiration, a potential patron, so Vivaldi made specific the programmatic implications of the works by heading each of them with a sonnet.

 

Symphony No. 40 in G minor  by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

(b. Salzburg, 1756; d. Vienna, 1791)

Composed: 1788.

 

Mozart was broke, his 6-month old daughter had recently died, his wife had fallen ill and his health was in rapid decline, leading to his death within three years. Yet amid all these difficulties, he produced, in less than two months, the three crowning jewels of his orchestral output, the Symphonies Nos. 39, 40 and 41. The G minor alone of the last three symphonies may reflect the composer’s distressed emotional state at the time of its composition. It is among those great works of Mozart that look forward to the passionately charged music of the 19th century while epitomizing the structural elegance of the waning Classical era.

 

Detailed program notes can be found at: https://www.newwestsymphony.org/prog_template.php?program=48

 

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