Southern California music lovers have one more opportunity to experience the magic of Maestro Victor Vener and his world-class orchestra this weekend during the California Philharmonic 2015 summer season finale, Postcards From Abroad. The highly anticipated concert, which will be packed with riveting entertainment and awe-inspiring performances, takes place on Saturday, Aug. 22 at Santa Anita Race Track and Sunday, Aug. 23 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Concertgoers will travel to Europe with “Capriccio Espagnol” and “Il Postino,” rediscover the rhythms of New York City with Gershwin’s “Second Rhapsody,” featuring fan favorite and consummate pianist Bryan Pezzone, and explore Kenya with “Out Of Africa.”
“The ‘Second Rhapsody’ was very carefully constructed – complex, rich but with accessible orchestration, plus it’s filled with the kind of great tunes and catchy rhythms only Gershwin could write,” said Pezzone.
The “Second Rhapsody,” long considered Gershwin’s least famous concert work, has gained in popularity recently, with musicians and audiences embracing it wholeheartedly. Gershwin himself regarded it as a milestone achievement, stating, “In many respects, such as orchestration and form, it is the best thing I have written.”
And for something a little more out-of-this-world, audiences will also be transported to the fantastical worlds of “The Hobbit” and “Harry Potter.”
Another treat for those who attend the concert on Sunday, Cal Phil is hosting the KCET 50th anniversary community kiosk at Walt Disney Concert Hall prior to and following the concert. A 19-year-and-counting proponent of building community through arts, education and entertainment, California Philharmonic encourages concertgoers to interact with KCET’s community kiosk which invites the community to become part in KCET’s 50th anniversary narrative, “Inspiring a Better State,” by asking the question: “How do you envision a better state?” The kiosk has generated many interesting responses and continues to travel to cultural institutions and civic centers throughout the year to involve as many community members as possible. Responses may be seen at http://www.kcet.org/about/50/participate/index.html.
Gates for Saturday concerts at Santa Anita Race Track open at 5:30 p.m. to pre-concert dining including food trucks available onsite, full bars and live jazz. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Table and lawn seating on the lush green grass of Santa Anita Race Track’s infield are available, complete with the area’s best unobstructed view of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains.
The magic continues Sunday afternoons at the incomparable Walt Disney Concert Hall. Cal Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall performances start at 2 p.m., with the intimate pre-concert Talks With The Maestro at 1 p.m. in BP Hall. For tickets to concerts at Santa Anita Race Track, call (626) 304-0333 or www.calphil.com. Tickets for Walt Disney Concert Hall are available for purchase through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.