By Ted AYALA
Though the days are long and the heat is still strong, it’s only a couple of more weeks until Labor Day and with it the unofficial end of summer. Both the California Philharmonic and Southwest Chamber Music have al fresco music-making at the ready to bring their vibrant summer seasons to a dazzling close.
The strains of Leonard Bernstein and Les Misérables bring down the curtain for the season this weekend at the California Philharmonic. Concerts on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25, held at Santa Anita Park and Walt Disney Hall respectively, will include some of the most cherished musical works of Leonard Bernstein. Excerpts from his West Side Story, On the Town, as well as the Candide Overture will share the program with selections from Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Les Misérables. Joining Maestro Victor Venor and the orchestra will be singers Randal Keith and Melissa Lyons, both of them the stars of the Broadway and touring productions of the musical based on Victor Hugo’s epic novel. Also taking the stage will be the California Philharmonic Chorale in what promises to be a grand finish to a stunning season.
Reflections on youth set the tone for Southwest Chamber Music’s final summer season concerts at the Huntington Library in San Marino this weekend, also on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25. Its final summer concert continues the citywide celebration of the centenary of the birth of English composer Benjamin Britten with its inclusion of his “A Birthday Hansel” and his “Eight Folksong Arrangements.” Among the performers will be local tenor Daniel Chaney, whose consummate musicianship and silvery voice has made him one of the most distinguished singers in the region. The spunky “Mládí,” a late wind quintet by Leoš Janáček and the late Hans Werner Henze’s “L’autunno” for the same forces rounds out the program.
For tickets and more information about the California Philharmonic concerts, visit www.calphil.org or call (626) 300-8200.
For tickets and more information about Southwest Chamber Music, visit www.swmusic.org, or call (800) 726-7147.