Mainly Mozart scoops up idle musicians


Gabor Takacs-Nagy conducting Bizet. Georges Bizet’s *Symphony in C* was written when Bizet was only 17 years old.

At this point, Mainly Mozart has gone far beyond turning lemons into lemonade. They are now turning lemons into a sumptuous limoncello from the Amalfi Coast.

In February and April, Mainly Mozart will be producing drive-in concerts at the Del Mar Fairgrounds with the title of Mainly Mozart Festival of Orchestras. What does that entail?

In February, players from both the LA Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony will come together to perform music by Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Rossini, Mascagni (?!), and Benjamin Britten. Soloists for the concerts will feature principal players from Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In April, players from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the National Symphony will come together to perform music by Mozart, Vivaldi, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Rossini, and Vaughan Williams. Soloists will again be drawn from the orchestra’s principal players. However, Metropolitan Opera soprano, Susanna Phillips, will be singing in two of the April concerts.

I hate to play favorites, but of the seven concerts, the one that beckons to me is on April 15, 2021. The title of the concert is String Favorites and that is no exaggeration. Thankfully, Barber’s “one-trick-pony” Adagio isn’t one of them, fight me.


Bizet Symphony in C

Gabor Takacs-Nagy conducts the Vervier Festival Chamber Orchestra

Gabor Takacs-Nagy conducts the Vervier Festival Chamber Orchestra

No, no. The pieces on the program are Vivaldi: Concerto for Four Violins in B minor, RV 580 with soloists: Violins – David Chan, Nurit Bar-Josef, Marissa Regni and Ying Fu. The next two pieces are the ones I’m most interested in. They are, Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Op. 40 and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48.

I’ve been a fan of the Holberg Suite. It could be the best piece of music you’ve never heard. If you have heard it, you probably share my anticipation of hearing a live performance.

The Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings is one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. Again, fight me if you must.

Another concert of interest to me is the February 14, 2021 affair. The main attraction of Georges Bizet’s Symphony in C. This melodic piece was written when Bizet was only 17 years old. A live performance is rare but this tuneful symphony will leave no doubt that Bizet’s penchant for melody, a la Carmen, came at an early age.

Nancy Laturno, Mainly Mozart co-founder and CEO, summarized the approach her organization is taking:

“We are at an unprecedented moment in time when orchestras across the country are side-lined, leaving these great musicians available to perform. This is an opportunity for Southern California to experience some of the world’s greatest orchestral playing at a time that it cannot be experienced even in the home cities of these great orchestras.”


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