Celebrate Your Summer with the Spectacular Cal Phil!
by Christina Linhardt
Southern California is filled with sensational summer activities. We live in the land of spectacle. Entertainment can be found on every street corner.
So, quite often we may not be aware of local hidden gems, amidst all the clutter clamoring for our attention. The California Philharmonic is one such diamond in the rough. How could a symphony orchestra possibly captivate jaded Los Angeles audiences who have seen it all? It is due to its unique and innovative approach to music. A Cal Phil concert is not just a concert, it is a show, a production, a class act cabaret. Maestro Victor Vener, the founder and conductor of the Cal Phil presides over the performance like a first-rate Vaudeville MC, talking to the audience, engaging the crowd, explaining the music and making the experience that much more fulfilling, with both class and humor.
A Cal Phil concert educates as well as delights and the programming is diverse. Truly, there is something for everyone: from classical symphonies, to film scores with jazz and musical theater in between. The 2018 season kicks off on June 24th with their ‘Made in America’ concert featuring film and television star Aldis Hodge narrating the most iconic piece of American music, ‘Lincoln’s Portrait‘. If you miss that concert or loved it so much you want more, you can take flight with the Cal Phil and some of the most ravishing and sensuous operatic music ever written with their ‘Phantom Meets Puccini’ performance on July 8th. The orchestra managed to contract award-winning Broadway star and international concert Artist James Barbour, who recently starred as the ‘Phantom on Broadway‘ to sing some of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s classic songs.
Lovers of dance will get the opportunity to witness fresh new choreography in the ‘Symphonic Dances’ program on July 29th, with Alyson Stoner‘s street hip-hop style rendition of Stravinky’s ‘Rite of Spring‘. If that isn’t enough for one evening, America’s foremost classical saxophonist Harvey Pittel will perform John Williams’ ‘Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra’. As a way to fit some of the most beloved music of all time on to one evening’s bill, the fourth concert of the California Philharmonic on August 12th, is titled “Beethoven Celebrates Bernstein’s 100th Birthday” and features excerpts from everyone’s favorite, ‘West Side Story‘ as well as one of the greatest and most famous symphonic works of all time, ‘Beethoven’s 9th‘! The glorious Cal Phil Chorale will have an opportunity to shine on this evening, as well as renowned International opera soloists.
For the final performance on August 19th, you can relive some of your most favorite cinematic experiences through the music of multiple Oscar and Emmy winner John Williams, composer of the most popular and recognizable soundtracks of all time.
As an especially fun and rare treat, Maestro Vener has selected 9 members of the orchestra to play their instruments, some of which are rarely heard solo!
Experiencing the California Philharmonic is cultural and enriching, but above all it is fun! With its exciting programming for all tastes, a Cal Phil concert is the perfect summer activity for the whole family, for a special date idea, or for those who just want to soar away into the sultry SoCal music of the night!