Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra Returns to Open the 2013-14 Cheng Family Foundation Youth Orchestra Series
The highly talented Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (PSYO)-last season lauded as "Classics Alive Youth Orchestra of the Year- returns to open the 2013-14 Cheng Family Foundation Youth Orchestra Series with its "Fall Concert," featuring favorite classical pieces. Led by Assistant Conductor Alejandro Gutiérrez, PSYO is poised to charm the audience with harmonious and exciting melodies, including the ill-fated love drama of Verdi's Overture from "La Forza del Destino," the rousing enthusiasm of Grieg's "Norwegian Dances" and the enchanting organ tunes in Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3, featuring guest organist Kristen Lawrence. PSYO's concert takes place on Sunday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $12 general admission; for more information or to purchase tickets, call the box office at (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.
"My hope is that this concert will make the students aware of the high potential they possess as individuals and all the wonders they can achieve through the synergy of working as a team," says Maestro Gutiérrez. "It is great music and they are enjoying it very much, which means that the communication with the audience will be fantastic. I can't wait to see the excitement of those in attendance because it is going to be an inspirational concert."
The program begins with Verdi's Overture, taken from his opera "La Forza del Destino." The opera is associated with the famous literary movement of the time-realism; it focuses on common characters facing everyday problems and comments on current events as a form of social critique. The story takes the audience into a stimulating journey of forbidden lovers, Leonora and Alvaro, determined to elope and find happiness. The Overture concentrates primarily on two themes: one driven by a "fate" motive, which is heard in the strings, and the other is a slower and more lyrical melody taken from a prayer sung by the doomed soprano in the second act.
"'La Forza del Destino' is musically very powerful and dramatic," says Gutiérrez. "However, for the Youth Orchestra, I changed the negatives of the opera story to the positive force of destiny, where these young artists are destined to succeed in whatever they do in their careers and life."
In "Norwegian Dances" by Grieg, audiences are treated to the composer's clever variety of rhythms reflective of peasant folk dance. Grieg's melodies are short, motivic and very repetitive, which makes the music seem familiar and catchy; the rhythms alternate between boisterous, frenzied activity and light, comedic, child-like liveliness.