Three area ensembles are kicking off their mainstage seasons this weekend: the Peninsula Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and Marin Symphony, with prize winning soloists and featured composers to get things off to a good start. Music directors Mitchell Sardou Klein, Benjamin Simon, and Alasdair Neale have programmed works from Beethoven through a couple of world premieres with stops in Germany, Russia, and Norway along the way.
For its ‘Platinum Anniversary Season’ (that’s the 70th), Peninsula Symphony begins with a new work by Ron Miller called, appropriately enough, Platinum Fanfare. They’ll then pay a visit to Wagner’s Nuremberg, with the rousing prelude to Die Meistersinger. Soyeon Kate Lee returns for the Grieg Piano Concerto – the 2010 winner of the prestigious Naumberg International Piano Competition last played with them three years ago, with a Rachmaninoff concerto. The finale is Sergei Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony.
The admission free concerts by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra will include Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Sixth Symphony (which conductor and Music Director Benjamin Simon will talk through before the full performance), as well as a world premiere by their composer in residence, Michael Gilbertson, which gives the concert its name: Overture to a Season. Gilbertson was a finalist earlier this year in the selection of the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
Marin Symphony welcomes violinist Dylan Jenson for its first Masterworks concerts Saturday and Sunday called ‘Brilliant.’ The all Russian program has the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (she was a silver medalist in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow when she was 17), as well as the dramatic Tenth Symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich, both led by Alasdair Neale at the Marin Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium.