• 03/21/2020


On Saturday evening, November 30, 2019, Maestro James Domine came onstage, as always, to speak briefly to the audience, after which the orchestra played our National Anthem.

In  keeping with the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra’s mission to provide young people with classical music performance opportunities, 10 year old Benjamin Hsu opened the concert with a wonderful performance of the third movement of Concertino for Piano by James Domine. The next piece was John Williams’ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Suite for Orchestra.  The first movement, Hedwig’s Theme, was conducted by 10 year old Echo Hexum. Needless to say, the audience showed their delight with these two young performers. Hopefully they will have a very bright future ahead of them, aided through their exposure by Maestro Domine to performing with this Orchestra. 

Jacques Offenbach’s Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld, a great and much loved piece, was next on the program. The orchestra, and especially the soloists, Geoff Nudell  on clarinet and Ruth Bruegger on violin, were  outstanding!  In keeping with the theme of the program, Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens, with Ruth Bruegger as soloist, followed. The audience applauded and cheered in appreciation.

After intermission, the orchestra and James Domine returned to the stage to tie-up the threads of the program with the Maestro’s  composition, Frankenstein Fantasy, once again with Ruth Bruegger as soloist. This piece depicts the monster awakening in the laboratory of Dr. Frankenstein and beginning to walk. The second part is a romantic theme depiction from Frankenstein’s Bride, and the piece concludes with a section subtitled Saving Peter that portrays a frantic attempt to rescue a child from the monster. At the end of this final scene, the boy is saved as the monster falls to his final doom into the churning, murky depths below. Without a doubt this is a highly dramatic and fascinating piece of music which the orchestra performed wonderfully!

Concluding this great program was Franz Liszt’s pyrotechnically challenging piece, Totentanz, which  pianist David Pinto performed so brilliantly and with such fire that it brought down the house. The audience stood as one, applauding, cheering and whistling through several well-deserved curtain calls. What a perfect way to end a perfect night of, “… great music close to home.”

If you were unable to attend this performance, please check out our website for the next wonderful concert on January 18, 2020. We will be pleased to see you there.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!                                                                                                                              SAN FERNANDO VALLEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA


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(The San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra is a non-profit 501-c3 organization)