New West Symphony Presents

 Beethoven to Brubeck

Thousand Oaks and Camarillo, November 4 and 5, 2023

Eileen Roberts

October 12, 2023

Thousand Oaks, CA – New West Symphony presents one of the greatest classical pieces in history, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 on November 4 in Thousand Oaks and November in Camarillo.

Also on the program will be Dave and Chris Brubeck’s GRAMMY® Nominated piece Ansel Adams: America, which features over 100 images by American photo legend Ansel Adams projected over the orchestra. As an added initiative in New West Symphony’s commitment to music education, select high school and university students will be invited to perform Samuel Barber’s timeless Adagio for Strings in a side-by-side experience with its professional musicians.

“Beethoven’s mighty Fifth Symphony is one of the most known musical works; it’s thrilling to hear and experience live. When artists capture the very essence of our humanity, whether in music or through the lens of a camera, we are forever transformed. Beethoven, the Brubecks, and Ansel Adams changed our understanding of the world in indelible ways, and I am so pleased to bring their works together,” said Artistic and Music Director Michael Christie.

Composed between 1804-1808, it is known that the time of the creation of the Fifth Symphony was one of the intense activities for Beethoven. As was his practice with almost all his important works, Beethoven revised and rewrote the Fifth Symphony for years. What remains is the most recognizable piece in history used throughout the decades in films, television, commercials, music covers, and more.

Also featured in the program is Dave and Chris Brubeck’s one-movement piece Ansel Adams: America, a symphonic tribute saluting one of America’s most cherished artists, Ansel Adams, including images of or by Adams cinematically synchronized above the orchestra to the piece. This is the first time that permission has been given by the Ansel Adams Trust to allow his masterful American photographs to be used in a concert setting.

Ansel Adams was well on his way to becoming a serious concert pianist until he was seduced by the beauty of Yosemite and succumbed to the lure of photography. This fact inspired Dave and Chris Brubeck to read the wonderful book “Ansel Adams, An Autobiography.” At age 88, Dave Brubeck began to write a piano score that was driven in style by Bach and Chopin, immortal music learned and played by Adams as a young man. Because the architecture of some of Adams’ photographs was so like the complex structure of a Fugue, son and co-creator Chris suggested to his father that he write one to be the heart of this new composition. Chris continued to compose and reshape the piece and orchestrate more specifically to exact images. The 22-minute, one-movement piece, fully integrates sweeping models with over 100 of Adams’ striking images.

New West Symphony will create lifetime memories for select high school and university students by offering a unique side-by-side performance opportunity with its professional musicians, together performing Samuel Barber’s timeless Adagio for Strings. These students will be selected from the local area.

“New West Symphony is building a ‘culture of creating and partnership’ with area residents of all ages by mentoring students to participate in a professional level performance before a full audience. This is an experience these students will never forget, whether or not music is a profession or pastime later in life. It is also a point of pride for our community that we are nurturing talent in such a proactive way. It will permeate their ongoing music education,” says Music Director Michael Christie.

“Our performance opportunity of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings is the ideal extension to our Laby Harmony Project initiative, which provides underserved students the opportunity to receive professional music lessons on an instrument they are given, and be a member of an orchestra in which they can practice and perform. Our November 4th and 5th concerts are the next level; to provide the professional environment and mentoring in an actual symphonic performance to further student development and enthusiasm as the next generation of classical music lovers,” says CEO Natalia Staneva.

In acknowledgement of November 11th and to honor our veterans, Maestro Christie will conduct the Symphony playing America’s national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. The concert launches a three – year artistic programming initiative to celebrate 250th anniversary of America on July 4, 2026.

Beethoven to Brubeck Tickets & Information

Starting at $30 with student tickets at $10


Dates & Venues

November 4, 2023, 7:30pm | Thousand Oaks
Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center
2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

November 5, 2023, 3:00pm | Camarillo
Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center
4235 Mar Vista Dr., Camarillo, CA 93010

Program for Beethoven to Brubeck

Michael Christie, conductor

Francis Scott Key  |  Star-Spangled Banner

Dave and Chris Brubeck  |  Ansel Adams: America*

Barber  |  Adagio for Strings, from String Quartet, Op.11

Beethoven   |  Symphony No. 5 

*Featuring the photos of Ansel Adams

About the New West Symphony

Now in its 29th season, the New West Symphony draws its players from the rich talent pool of professional accomplished Southern California-area musicians. Performances are held at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks and Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center in Camarillo.

Highlights of the upcoming season include:

  • Holidays with Jennifer Holliday, featuring Tony and GRAMMY® Award-winning Jennifer Holliday on December 2 & 3, 2023.
  • The dazzling exploits of Cirque de la Symphonie, feats of human skill synchronized to live symphonic masterpieces.
  • The 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s timeless Rhapsody in Blue and Ottorino Respighi’s spectacular Pines of Rome.

Making their New West Symphony main stage debuts are pianists Daniel Vnukowski, playing Rhapsody in Blue, and Lara Downes playing Scott Joplin’s Four Rags for Piano and Orchestra.

About Michael Christie

Named Artistic and Music Director of the New West Symphony in December 2018, GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor Michael Christie is a thoughtfully innovative conductor, equally at home in the symphonic and opera worlds, who is focused on making the audience experience entertaining, enlightening, and enriching. Deeply committed to bringing new works to life, he has championed commissions by leading and emerging composers alike. For further information, visit and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.