July 27, 2010

Many thanks!

We would like to thank all the volunteers who offered their time last week to help with the ticket mailings. Because of them, we were able to send out all the subscription orders by the end of the week! Many thanks to the following volunteers, we couldn't have done it without them:

Al and Natalie Davis
Luce Denney
Jubillee Gee
Ellen Thiel
Marcia Wire
Pat Wolf

July 21, 2010

A needed change of perspective

Most of our staff will be attending the Association of California Symphony Orchestras 42nd Annual Conference this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Much like the League of American Orchestras earlier this summer, ACSO is sounding notes of a minor key: "Orchestras and choruses are struggling. Slashed funding, declining attendance, and increased costs are just a few of the problems we have to wrestle with as a community. Join your colleagues... to learn new techniques and acquire new tools that are necessary to remain competitive and viable in this ever-changing world."

We recently read two articles that suggest that we need to shift our perspective a bit to realize just how vital classical music is to our world today.

In 66 days...

... we'll get to see our Nic conduct Mozart here in the Bay Area. For now, we'll just have to read about him conducting Mozart elsewhere.

For you impatient fans out there, subscribers will begin to receive their tickets this week(!) and single tickets go on sale in 15 days on August 5.

July 20, 2010

Japanese Handel?

Is of course courtesy of our Music Director! Who else did you expect!

Read more.

July 15, 2010

FREE-harmonia Baroque Orchestra...

Don't miss a FREE performance by a small ensemble of musicians from the orchestra. On Sunday, September 26,  at 5 p.m. the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Ensemble performs at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley Campus. Part of the Cal Performances Open House "Free For All," the ensemble performs Haydn's Quartet for Oboe and Strings in C major and String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 64, No. 6, as well as Mozart's Quintet for Oboe and Strings in C minor. The event is free and open to the public. This will be the perfect way to warm up for our all-Mozart concert with fortepianist Robert Levin later that evening.

TRIVIA: Austrian composers Haydn and Mozart were contemporaries – though there was a substantial age difference (Haydn being 24 years older than Mozart). Were the two friends? Find out here.

Hint: The above engraving is supposed to be a portrait of Mozart & Hadyn in Mozarteum, Salzburg.

Gonzalo in the Wall Street Journal

One of the volunteers who is helping us with our season ticket mailing mentioned this morning that Gonzalo Ruiz is featured in today's Wall Street Journal. He talks about transcribing Bach's "Orchestral Suite No. 2," with it's famous flute solos, for oboe. We played this back in October 2008 to rave reviews.

Hear for yourself: 

July 12, 2010

Speaking of jokes...

Alex Ross posted (and Scott thankfully forwarded) this hilarious spoof radio commercial from 1977 that ever so gently jibes the more contemporary compositions that you will probably never hear our orchestra perform, not even on period instruments.

Fun — and fart jokes — in classical music

That was the sub-headline of the great feature in The Aspen Times this weekend on our Music Director.

That's right, so soon back from Oregon and Nic's off in Aspen (and we wish we could go see him conduct, but we'll have to wait until September when our 30th Season kicks off).

Here's a bit of our favorite part from the article:

"McGegan believes that injecting that sort of jollity into classical music is hardly a radical notion, or even a departure from early concert-going.

"'Mozart loved it when people clapped in the middle of a movement,' he said. 'I have no problem with people clapping between movements. If you're playing Mahler Nine, it's a different atmosphere than [Mozart's] 'Jupiter' Symphony, or Haydn, which had genuine jokes in it.' McGegan mentions a Haydn passage in which two bassoons play some loud, rude notes: 'It could only be associated with the back end of a cow. You can be sure the original audience laughed their asses off.'

"The notion that classical music is strictly serious business wasn't around at the birth of concert music. McGegan imagines a dinner party where the guests are all noted composers, and he believes there would be plenty of drinking, laughter and off-color behavior.

"'Haydn would be delightful, charming. Mendelssohn — wonderful,' he said. 'Mozart would probably tell naughty jokes and fart and throw bread rolls at the women. He wasn't well-trained for the house. Poor Beethoven — he'd probably be tortured, because he couldn't hear the conversation. Wagner would just talk about himself.'

"A review of a recent concert McGegan did with the Philadelphia Orchestra referred to McGegan and Robert Levin as 'the two naughty boys of early music.' But McGegan finds nothing inappropriate about his approach to music. When the music calls for an austere respect, he has no trouble moving into a more solemn mode. In any event, his credentials as a proper gentleman were solidified last month, when he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

"But McGegan sees his role not so much as standing erect next to the queen, but in getting the classical music world off its high and mighty throne."

July 7, 2010

You Like Us, You Really, Really Like Us!

Become of fan of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra on Facebook!

Thank you for your support!

Kick off the year with Intrada

We are pleased to announce “Intrada,” the our 30th Anniversary Opening Night Celebration, which takes place on Friday, September 24, 2010, in the Green Room at the War Memorial Veterans Building (401 Van Ness Avenue), across from City Hall. The Opening Night Celebration begins at 6:00 p.m. with a delicious strolling supper and concludes with the first concert of our 2010/11 Season, an evening of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart featuring fortepianist and Mozart scholar Robert Levin.

Wines are provided by board member Randall Grahm, founder and owner of Bonny Doon Vineyard.

Tickets are $85 per person (event only) or $110 per person (includes balcony seating for the concert performance in Herbst Hall). Purchase tickets now using PalPal:


Or contact Jeff Thomas, Associate Director of Development, (415) 252-1288 x312.

If you're wondering what an "intrada" is, we'll quote our Grove for you: "an instrumental piece used to accompany an entrance, to inaugurate some festive event or to begin a suite [of dance music]" that was very popular in the Baroque era. What a great name for our 30th Season kick off party!

July 2, 2010

Nic in Oregon this weekend!

Nic flew up to Eugene, Oregon, this morning just in time for rehearsal for tomorrows’s 40th Anniversary Gala Concert at the Oregon Bach Festival. He probably thought he'd be having a nice, quiet long weekend in Berkeley, however pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane just had to cancel his appearances at the festival because of illness.