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2016-2017 CONCERT SEASON



(downloadable PDF order form)

Our 32nd year! Eight exciting concerts featuring our wonderful Chamber Orchestra and outstanding guest artists.

All single tickets are $35 each. Subscription prices are significantly discounted. After online payment is complete, tickets are held at Will Call. You may also download a PDF order form to pay by check.

All concerts are Friday at 8:00 pm (except June)


COMING UP NEXT


Michele Zukovsky, Clarinet

October 14
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October 14 at 8pm
2016 – 2017 Season Opener
The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s
Michele Zukovsky, Clarinet

  • Mozart: “Jupiter” Symphony
  • Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
  • Lutoslawski: Dance Preludes
  • Baermann: Adagio for Clarinet

We are thrilled to present Michele Zukovsky, Principal Clarinetist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for more than fifty years. Michele will perform the jazzy Dance Preludes by Witold Lutoslawski and the stunningly beautiful Adagio for Clarinet and Orchestra by Heinrich Baermann.

The ‘Jupiter’ earned its nickname for its good humor, exuberant energy, and unusually grand scale. The symphony was completed in 1788 and was Mozart’s last major orchestral work. It is the largest and most complex of his symphonies and concludes with a double fugue that would do J.S. Bach proud. At moments jovial, as if Jupiter himself were laughing heartily in the celebratory key of C Major, the work contains dark and serious moments that foreshadow grand Romantic masterpieces of the next generation. In 1835 Robert Schumann wrote, “About many things in this world there is simply nothing more to be said—for example, Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ symphony.”

Wagner composed the beautiful Siegfried Idyll in 1870 as a Christmas present to his wife Cosima and it was premiered on Christmas morning by local musicians from the staircase of the Wagner villa in Lucerne, Switzerland. It is a quiet and touching work, with gentle hints of the forest music from his opera “Siegfried.”


Yabing Tan, violin

November 11
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November 11 at 8pm
Music of Beethoven and Prokofiev
The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s
Yabing Tan, violin (Grand Prize Winner, Classics Alive Young Artists Competition)

  • Prokofiev: Classical Symphony
  • Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1
  • Beethoven: “Eroica” Symphony

Despite massive unrest in Russia, 1917 was the most richly productive year for Prokofiev, composing the Classical Symphony, the Violin Concerto No. 1, two piano sonatas and the Piano Concerto No. 3.

At its premiere, the work did not please Parisian audiences who wanted their modern music to carry a certain shock value. The concerto was simply too Romantic, with one critic pronouncing it Mendelssohnian – the kiss of death. Ironically, people in Prokofiev’s native Russia loved it. The music, full of contrasts, is by turns amusing, naughty, for a while even malevolent, athletic, and always ingenious and brilliantly virtuosic.

Beethoven planned the “Eroica” as a tribute to the heroic achievements of Napoleon, who he hoped would lead Europe toward a more ­humanist, free, and egalitarian society. When Napoleon declared himself emperor, Beethoven so forcefully scratched the dedication off the title page that the paper was left with a gaping hole. The work has been seen as autobiographical, tracing Beethoven’s journey from recognition of his hearing loss, to despair, resolution and ultimate triumph.


Peter Kent, violin

December 9
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December 9 at 8pm
Annual Holiday Concert
The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s with the Choir and Soloists of St. Matthew’s Parish
Peter Kent, violin

  • Bach: Magnificat in D Major
  • Bach: Violin Concerto in E Major
  • Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4

We welcome back Peter Kent, Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra from 1987 - 1997 for a performance of Bach’s delightful Concerto in E Major.

Written while Bach was a young man working in the court of Weimar, this concerto must have been a favorite of Bach’s. Some twenty years after writing it, he reworked it as the Harpsichord Concerto in D, no doubt with himself in mind as soloist. The concerto was most probably premiered by the Leipzig Collegium Musicum at Zimmermann’s Coffee House or the adjoining beer garden.

Bach’s Magnificat in D for choir, soloists and orchestra with three trumpets and timpani will resound through St. Matthew’s Church. The work, first performed in 1733, is formal, architectural, and varied in its emotions and textures. Along with its dramatic choruses, solos and ensemble pieces, it contains one of the era’s most common musical puns: at the end of the work, when the chorus sings “Sicut erat in principio,” (“As it was in the beginning”), Bach reprises the music heard at the very beginning of the piece.

The concert concludes with our traditional audience sing-along of Handel’s ­“Hallelujah” Chorus


Ines Thomé

January 20 at 8pm
Ines Thomé and Friends
Music for guitar, string quartet, percussion and voice
Concert generously underwritten by Charles and Jessie Cale

German-born Ines Thomé, a multifaceted musician who performs internationally as a solo and ensemble artist, brings a varied program of music that covers more than four centuries.

She has toured in Italy and Germany and has performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Zipper Hall and the Colburn School. Her program will include music by Bach, Benjamin Britten, John Dowland and the great “Fandango” Quintet for Guitar and Strings by Baroque master Luigi Boccherini.

January 20
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Music Director Thomas Neenan

February 10 at 8pm
Baroque and Beyond 2.0
Members of The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s
Los Angeles Vocal Artists

Following the overwhelming response to our 2016 concert, “Baroque and Beyond,” Tom Neenan and the Chamber Orchestra are joined by twelve of LA’s finest choral artists for performances of music for multiple choirs and instruments by Gabrieli, Monteverdi and Jakob Handl.

The first half concludes with Bach’s sumptuous motet, “Der Geist Hilft.” After intermission, the singers change things up with close-harmony arrangements of Broadway show tunes, torch songs and jazz standards, complete with a rhythm section of drums, guitar and bass.

February 10
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Deborah Buck, violinist


The Lark Quartet

March 10 at 8pm
The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s
Deborah Buck, violinist • the Lark Quartet
Appearance by Deborah Buck and the Lark Quartet underwritten by the Music Guild Endowment Fund

  • Vaughan Williams: Fantasy on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
  • Erwin Schulhoff: Concerto for String Quartet and Winds
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 1

Deborah Buck, Concertmaster from 1997 - 2000, returns as First Violin of the critically acclaimed Lark Quartet for a special program of music for string quartet and orchestra.

Vaughan William composed the Tallis Fantasy in 1910, and he splits the string orchestra into three parts; a large orchestra; a smaller one of nine players; and a string quartet. The second is used almost as an echo of the first, providing a “halo” of sound. The appeal of the work is its beauty, and its ghostly, mystical sound effects.

Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff is one of hundreds of artists whose careers were prematurely terminated by the rise of the Nazi regime. Today, his music and that of other “Silenced Voices” is being recognized as coming from a lost generation of great composers. Schulhoff composed his Concerto for String Quartet and Wind Orchestra in 1930, and, according to one critic, it provides “a fascinating inversion of the traditional concerto grosso style, with winds providing the framework of the piece as a whole, while the string quartet appears as contrast and solo.”

Beethoven’s first foray into the symphony took Vienna by storm with its “wrong key” introduction and unprecedented rhythmic drive and syncopation. A special feature of this symphony is the heightened role given to the woodwinds who add color and rich textures to the orchestral fabric.

March 10
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Maria Newman, viola

May 5 at 8pm
Free Community Concert
The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s
Maria Newman, viola
The Paul Revere Middle School Chamber Orchestra

  • Newman: Viola Concerto
  • Beethoven: Fifth Symphony
  • Music of Mozart and John Williams
  • Commissioned work (World premiere)

Maria Newman was a founding member of The Chamber Orchestra and its first concertmaster. She is the featured soloist in her own dynamic Viola Concerto.

Violinist, violist, pianist and composer Maria Newman has been awarded commendations from the U.S. Congress, California State Senate and Assembly, and the Annenberg Foundation.

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, composed and premiered in 1808, has become the symphony of symphonies that embodies all of the power and possibilities of instrumental music – the template for a journey from tragedy to triumph that would become a musical and dramatic blueprint for all that followed.

We are pleased to welcome back the Paul Revere Middle School Chamber Orchestra who astounded us with their virtuoso performance in April 2015. Members of The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s will join the Revere orchestra in music of Mozart and John Williams.


The Creation

June 2 at 7:30pm
Haydn: The Creation
The Choir and Soloists of St. Matthew’s Parish
The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s
Thomas Neenan, conductor

Haydn’s life-affirming oratorio The Creation is a glorious celebration that encompasses all of nature, and many consider it his greatest achievement.

Premiered in 1799, the oratorio is scored for vocal soloists, chorus and large orchestra. At the public premiere, Haydn enlisted an orchestra of 120 and a chorus of 60, both extremely large for the day. The Oratorio tells the creation story using fragments of the biblical account with beautiful poetic observations on everything imaginable, including the Big Bang, roaring lions and tigers, the fish and whales of the sea, the birds of the air and, finally, human beings. Two outstanding choirs and soloists unite for these performances of one of the greatest works from the turn of the 19th Century.

June 2 @ 7:30pm
St. Matthew's
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