If you haven’t been to a symphony in recent years, you may be surprised to see how it’s changed. Unlike the stuffy, high-falutin” settings of yesteryear, the San Diego Symphony is vibrant and exciting, with something special to offer all members of the family.
To illustrate what this looks like, you can download a video from their site about the life of Tschaikowsky entitled “Pateticheskaya, Pathetique, A Compassionate Sorrow.” This video is narrated by Nuvi Mehta (and yes, he is related to famed conductor Zubin Mehta, his father’s cousin). Mehta walks us through Tschaikowsky’s life and music, bringing him to life, through stories and photographs. This multimedia approach makes the symphony as captivating to watch as it is to hear.
For a taste of this year’s program, download “Shostakovich.” You’ll see that their excitement about this concert is infectious.
They even offer a podcast, so that you can carry the symphony around with you on your iPOD. This is definitely not a symphony stuck in tradition.
If you have children in San Diego, you may be fortunate enough to attend one of the symphony’s children’s concerts (such as ”An American Celebration“), either on a school field trip or on your own. Children’s concerts are usually a bit shorter versions of a symphony concert, interspersed with some explanation and familiar music from the likes of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, while scenes from the films are shown. There’s nothing more wonderful that you’ll see at the symphony than the recognition and excitement on the children’s faces, when they realize that “I know this one!”
This year’s Family Festival includes “Beethoven Lives Upstairs.”
Through drama, music history and some fun, experience the genius of Beethoven, the beauty of his music and the torment of his deafness through the eyes of young Christoph.
For a lighter fare, Marvin Hamlisch will conduct “A Gershwin Salute” as part of their Winter Pops series.
Copley Symphony Hall, built in the 1920’s as the Fox movie theater, remains today as one of San Diego’s true architectural masterpieces. Free tours are available, as are virtual tours online, but perhaps the best way to experience the Copley is to take a trip back in time, attending the Silent Film version of Ben Hur, to the accompaniment of the full symphony orchestra. Just the thought of it gives me goosebumps!
The San Diego Symphony has taken the best elements of yesterday’s symphony – music, history, and culture – leaping with it into the 21st century, adding a multimedia experience today’s audiences appreciate.
The schedule for the symphony has now been added to our Calendar, so be sure to check there for these and other upcoming concert events.