Joseph Nemeth, composer and Ukiah Symphony board member has been culling through the non-profit organization’s storage unit. He finds programs from
The Symphony has provided a means for gifted local and regional musicians to share their talent and express their love for classical music, through the presentation four annual concerts.
Last year, Dr. Phillip Semyon Lenberg became the Symphony’s music director, stepping into the very large shoes left by director Les Pfützenreuter, who announced his well-deserved retirement after 29 years, alongside his retirement from Mendocino College after 32 years as music
“We’re really enjoying our inaugural season with Phillip,” says Joseph. Dr. Lenberg has guest-conducted throughout the United
Like his predecessor, Dr. Lenberg is currently serving as professor and conductor of instrumental ensembles at Mendocino College. “Phillip is bright, energetic and is continuing to inspire the orchestra to higher levels of performance,” says Joseph.
Joseph notes that the Symphony is looking toward a bright future. “The California Symphony has been making headlines—growing as a symphony orchestra, which is unusual these days. They began paying attention to their audience. They changed their look and feel, and we borrowed some of their concepts.” To that end, the Ukiah Symphony has modernized its website and now accepts credit cards for ticket sales. In another effort to respond to changing audience demographics, Dr. Lenberg will be presenting half-hour talks about each concert prior to the performance.
“Philip’s talks will be great for those interested in learning more about the music. Because there isn’t much music appreciation taught in schools anymore, there is a disconnect between classical music and the people who might listen to it. Leonard Bernstein used to talk about the music he conducted, and Philip is going to do something similar. People are hungry for information. They love knowing about the lives, loves, trials and tribulations of the composers,” Joseph smiles.
Another thing the Symphony is doing is providing the audience with a bit of mental lubrication. “We’ve got a liquor license,” Joseph laughs. “We’ll be serving wine and beer before the performance and during intermission. The college is allowing us to serve covered beverages in the auditorium, which we hope will engender a relaxed, fun atmosphere.”
Another enjoyable part of the concert experience is the college gallery, located next to the theater. “Starting last year, the gallery is open during the concerts for audiences to visit before the performance or during intermission.”
On December 7 and 8, the Symphony presents “Finished and Unfinished: Sibelius and Schubert,” featuring solo violinist Polina Sedukh, who has been a member of the violin section of the San Francisco Symphony since 2009. She will be performing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47—the “Finnish” portion of the concert. The “Unfinished” section features Symphony No 8 in B minor, D. 759, known as the “Unfinished Symphony,” composed by Franz Schubert—his personal, powerful statement of individuality.
“Baroque Revisited” takes place
The season closes with “Bohemian Borders” on May 16 and 17. The Symphony will perform pieces by four composers from four different countries that comprised Bohemia less than 100 years ago—Gustav Mahler, Fredric Chopin, Beethoven
Saturday’s performances begin at
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