Oakland East Bay Symphony Closes 25th Season with BERLIOZ REQUIEM Tonight
Every inch of the historic Paramount Theatre stage in Oakland will be packed with the complete, 25-year-old Oakland East Bay Symphony, the 55-year-old Oakland Symphony Chorus, 50-year-old Oakland Youth Orchestra, Music Director and conductor Michael Morgan and guest tenor Thomas Glenn, who will collectively pull out all the stops in one performance only of Berlioz' monumental Requiem tonight, May 16, at 8 pm.
"I can't think of a better way to bring together all these organizations on one stage to mark our significant anniversaries as part of the Bay Area music scene," says Morgan.
The performance will be preceded by a pre-concert talk by John Kendall Bailey at 7 pm and the evening is sponsored by Bell Investment Advisors. Tickets are priced $25-$75 and may be purchased at www.oebs.org or by calling 510-444-0801.
Berlioz so esteemed his grand Requiem that he wrote, "if I were threatened with the destruction of the whole of my works save one, I should crave mercy for the Messe des morts." The full-evening works was composed in 1837 to memorialized soldiers who gave their lives in the Revolution of July 1830. Berlioz took full advantage of the technological advancements in musical instrument design of his time, beefing up the woodwind and brass sections, including the addition of four antiphonal brass ensembles usually placed at the four corners of the stage amid an exceptionally large orchestra and chorus.
About the Artists
Oakland East Bay Symphony at 25
A unique and dynamic blend of high-caliber performances and innovative programing, a following as diverse as its home base, promotion and partnership with young musicians and composers and a roster of guest artists ranging from top classical soloists to Carlos Santana and Joan Baez set Oakland East Bay Symphonyapart as it celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2013-2014. The Symphony is a nationally recognized orchestra that serves the diverse population of the East Bay and greater San Francisco Bay Area. Together with the Oakland Youth Orchestra and Oakland Symphony Chorus it operates as a unified organizational entity providing performances and music education to youth and adults.
Oakland East Bay Symphony has gained wide recognition for its compelling convergence of artistic excellence and community engagement as exemplified by Music Director Michael Morgan's expansive and inclusive programming philosophy that is regarded as a national model for re-defining symphony orchestras' artistic profiles and, especially, their relevance to the communities they serve. On any given Oakland East Bay Symphony season, masterworks of the standard repertory are presented in masterfully crafted programs that also include new and less well-known works by composers of non-Western traditions and exceptional works from the musical theater world, all delivered with humor and a casual sophistication that draws audiences from all age groups and backgrounds.
Under the artistic leadership of Maestro Morgan, Symphony activities reach over 50,000 people annually, with more than one-third of the operating budget dedicated to education and outreach programs. These programs include several acclaimed engagement programs under the umbrella of the MUSE (Music for Excellence) Program: In-School Mentor and Instrumental Instruction, Young People's Concerts, Ensembles in the Schools, Young Artist Competition, Free Ticket Distribution and regular school visits by Michael Morgan and other musicians. These programs serve over 20,000 young people each year.
Oakland East Bay Symphony was incorporated in July 1988 through the efforts of the Oakland Symphony Musicians Association and the Oakland Symphony League. Michael Morgan was appointed Music Director in 1990. Concerts were performed at the Calvin Simmons Theatre until moving to the Paramount Theatre in the 1994-95 season. The Symphony's growth has resulted in such landmarks as the addition of the American Masterworks Series including concert performances of Bernstein's Mass, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and Sondheim's Follies; the "Notes from" series of programs featuring music from non-Western traditions; the annual "Let Us Break Bread Together" that expands the definition of holiday concert; and numerous awards including ASCAP's Award for Adventurous Programming in 2006.
Oakland East Bay Symphony has fostered collaborations with local arts organizations from children's choruses to jazz ensembles to dance and opera companies and museums. The Symphony showcases new American works in performance and encourages young artists. In its efforts to support new music, the Symphony formed a multi-year partnership with The James Irvine Foundation in 1998 to initiate various commissioning projects including the newly established New Visions/New Vistas initiative. For five years, the Symphony has presented a free Independence Day concert and celebration at Richmond's Craneway Pavilion with more than 5,000 attendees annually.
About Oakland Symphony Chorus
For 55 years the 120-member Oakland Symphony Chorus has been recognized as one of the East Bay's finest choirs and a premier resource for continuing education in the choral arts. It has received consistently impressive concert reviews and has developed a wide range of educational programs for the community.
Lynne Morrow became Music Director of the Oakland Symphony Chorus in 2005. During her tenure, the scope of the chorus has expanded to include contemporary, international and neglected works along with traditional classical repertoire. She conducts the Chorus' workshop performances of major works and a spring Messiah, hosts summer choral outreach "Sing-ins" and prepares the chorus for work with Oakland East Bay Symphony as well as other local community and youth orchestras, such as the Oakland Youth Orchestra and Young People's Symphony Orchestra, with which the Chorus collaborates. Together with the Oakland East Bay Symphony and Oakland Youth Orchestra, it operates as a unified organizational entity providing performances and music education to youth and adults.
About Oakland Youth Orchestra: Celebrating 50 Years
Founded in 1964 as the educational arm of the Oakland Symphony, Oakland Youth Orchestra is recognized as an outstanding musical organization in Oakland and San Francisco. The Youth Orchestra features eighty-five talented music students aged 12 to 22 from throughout the region. Oakland Youth Orchestra maintains a commitment to cultural exchange and has toured extensively in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean Islands, Costa Rica, Mexico and Cuba, Italy, Australia and New Zealand, Greece and, most recently in 2013, Argentina and Uruguay. In addition the organization has a history of commissioning, premiering and recording the works of American composers. Oakland Youth Orchestra is a member of the League of American Orchestras, Arts First Oakland, ASCAP, Association of California Symphony Orchestras, BMI and Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Together with the Oakland East Bay Symphony and Oakland Symphony Chorus, it operates as a unified organizational entity providing performances and music education to youth and adults.
About Thomas Glenn
Tenor Thomas Glenn has performed at the San Francisco Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Netherlands Opera and The English National Opera among others. His roles include Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte and the title role in La Clemenza Di Tito, as well as Italian bel canto roles such as Nemorino in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, Count Almaviva in Rossini's Il Barbiere Di Siviglia and Tebaldo in Bellini's I Capuleti E I Montecchi. He equally, has a great love of Twentieth Century operas, particularly those of Britten, Stravinsky and Janácek.
He frequently performs with the Atlanta Symphony as well as orchestras like The Cleveland Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, the China National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Marin Symphony, and Santa Rosa Symphony.
He is a graduate of the prestigious Adler Fellowship at San Francisco Opera where he enjoyed performing the Steersman in Der Fliegende Holländer, Vitek in Janacek's The Makropulos Case, and Gherardo in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. Also at San Francisco Opera, Thomas created the role of Physicist, Robert Wilson in the world premiere of John Adams' Doctor Atomic. He reprised this role in many productions and won a Grammy Award for the 2011 recording with the Metropolitan Opera on the SONY label.
In the 2012-13 season, Thomas appears as Beppe in Cincinnati Opera's production of I pagliacci and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi; as Charlie in Mahagonny and Taco Bell in Vera of Las Vegas with Berkeley Opera; as Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte with Intermountain Opera; as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Sacramento Opera; and as Spalanzani in Les contes d'Hoffmann at San Francisco Opera.
Thomas holds three degrees in music performance: a bachelor's from Brigham Young University, a master's from The University of Michigan and a doctorate from Florida State University. He is a past winner of the Concours International de Chant de Canari, France and a semi-finalist in the Monserrat Caballé Competition.