Past concerts

The Sinfonia begins its 33rd Season with a "Musical Tour" Concert. The program will include music from several countries, featuring

  • Germany Beethoven's witty and powerful Symphony No. 8.
  • Austrian Franz Joseph Haydn's dramatic Symphony No. 49, "La Passione,"
  • French composer Gabriel Faur?'s lovely Pavane,
  • Norwegian composer Johan Svendsen's evocative Romanze for Violin and Orchestra, with Randall Brinton as soloist,
  • and the energetic "Faniska" Overture, by Italian Luigi Cherubini.
An interesting aspect of this international program is that despite their differing countries of origin, several of these composers shared some connections. Svendsen received most of his musical education in Germany; a large part of Cherubini's career was spent in Paris, before he moved to Vienna, where his opera "Faniska" made a big impression on Beethoven, who had earlier studied with Haydn, and so on. It was truly a small musical world.
This Concert will take place on Sunday, November 11, at 7:00 p.m., at the Paradise Valley 7th-Day Adventist Church, in National City. The Church is located at 2701 East 8th St., in National City, not far from the 805 freeway. Admission and parking will be Free.
"Looking East," a program highlighting music of eastern Europe, featuring Dvorak's mighty Symphony No. 7. Also featured in this concert will be a perennial favorite, young winners of the Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition, in pieces to be announced.

The Sinfonia returns to the beautiful Church of St. Mary Magdalene on Sunday, June 3, at 2:00 in the afternoon, with a concert featuring Antonin Dvorak’s profound Symphony No. 7, in D Minor. Considered by many to be the composer’s finest symphony, this work has passages of darker drama than we often hear in Dvorak, yet also has his trademark lovely melodies and Czech flavor. Also featured will be Carl Maria von Weber’s Andante and Hungarian Rondo, with Music Teachers Association Competition winner Zackery Edwards as bassoon soloist. Rounding out on this program will be the haunting “Blades of Grass,” for English Horn and Strings, by American composer Romeo Cascarino, and two of the vibrant Hungarian Dances of Johannes Brahms. The Church is located at 1945 Illion St., atop a hill with a spectacular view of Mission Bay.

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church Concert Series, with a program entitled “A Vienna Connection,” highlighting composers with ties to that celebrated city. The featured works will be Mozart’s last symphony, his masterful “Jupiter,” and the lovely Variations On a Theme of Haydn, by Johannes Brahms. (The theme turned out not to be by Haydn, but that hasn’t dimmed the reputation of the piece, which is also remarkable for being the first large-scale independent set of orchestral variations by any composer.) The Sinfonia is also delighted to welcome back British cellist Sophie Webber, in Antonin Dvorak’s evocative Rondo in G Minor, and Paganini’s showpiece for cello, Variations On One String On a Theme By Rossini.

  • Coriolan Overture Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
  • Overture: "Beautiful Melusine" Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
  • Palladio - Allegretto, Palladio - Allegretto (b. 1944)
  • Kol Nidrei. Palladio - Allegretto (1838-1920), Sophie Webber, soloist
  • Symphony No. 1 in C Minor Felix Mendelssohn
    1. Allegro di molto
    2. Andante
    3. Menuetto & Trio
    4. Allegro con fuoco

A graduate of the Trinity College of Music, London, where she was awarded the Sir John Barbirolli memorial prize for cello, Dr. Sophie Webber also studied with Janos Starker and Tsuyshi Tsutsumi at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She has taught cello for Lake Forest College, the Music Institute of Chicago, Southeast Missouri State University, Jacobs School of Music Summer Clinic, Oxford Cello School and Trinity College of Music, and she performs regularly in solo and chamber music settings in San Diego, Chicago, and in her native UK. A traditional and contemporary music enthusiast, Sophie's focus is on new ways of presenting music, whether it be classical, folk or electronic in nature. In 2009, she founded Fused Muse Ensemble, an Illinois non-profit organization with a mission to increase awareness of local and global concerns through new artistic works that seamlessly integrate music with other media. The organization is currently focusing on the issue of homelessness and is developing a sister chapter in San Diego, where she now resides. She teaches privately and is working towards a 2017 European tour and recording of the complete Bach Suites' for Solo Cello. Information about her performances and Fused Muse Ensemble can be found at and

Beethoven no doubt identified with Shakespeare's story of the lone man struggling heroically, and wrote this Overture for a production of Collin's version of the play. Coriolanus rails against the corrupt plebians and the Roman Senate, for which he and his family are exiled. Embittered, he agrees to lead the enemy in battle against Rome, but the Romans send out his mother to dissuade him. One can imagine Coriolanus' fury in the stormy first theme, and his pleading mother in the gentle second theme. But there is no way out for Coriolanus:? in Shakespeare he is killed by the Volscians, and in Collin he falls on his own sword; the plaintive violins and cellos sing his last thoughts.
After hearing a lackluster opera setting of the fairy tale of Melusine, Mendelssohn was inspired to write his own concert overture on the theme. The story of a water sprite who takes human form, but is cursed to turn into a serpent or fish from the waist down every Saturday night offers plenty of drama. She marries, with the condition that her husband stay away on Saturdays; but eventually the suspicious husband discovers her secret, and things do not go well. Although Mendelssohn made a point of saying that his overture did not literally tell the story, it is still easy to hear Melusine and her watery home in the first theme and the conflicts of the curse and her terrestrial marriage in the second.
Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins titled his work for string orchestra "Palladio" in homage to the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, whose mathematical structures Jenkins admired. Written in 1995, this first movement has become an international hit, in many arrangements, and was used in the De Beers TV commercial, "A Diamond Is Forever."
It comes as some surprise that the composer of this well-beloved setting of the traditional Jewish melody "Kol Nidrei" was not Jewish. But Bruch, a Protestant, treated it (as he did many other melodies), as a folk tune, trying to capture the spirit of its tradition. "Kol Nidrei" begins prayerfully, moving through the cantorial invocations by the cello to a beatific section of blessing for the new year, for.which Bruch adds the color of the harp.
Although Mendelssohn had already written a dozen string symphonies, he considered them to be 'student' works, and intended that this bigger and bolder Symphony in C Minor would announce him as a force in the musical world (he was 15 by then). For those who know the composer only by the lighter strains of "Midsummer Night's Dream," the dark drama and muscularity of this work are surprising. In the outer movements, he seems, like many who came after Beethoven, to be wrestling with the notion of what a symphony could express within and beyond its customary forms. The powerful first movement extends its recap, and adds harmonic shifts to, the major. The slow movement is more usual, starting as a simple song, steadily becoming more intricate with elaborate figures in the winds and strings. The Minuet is brusque and highly syncopated, and is paired with lovely long melodies in the Trio


  • In this program, the Sinfonia will present music with a kind of Austro-Anglo connection. We’ll start off with the “Exodus” from the Oratorio?Israel in Egypt, by the quintessential English composer, George Frederic Handel (who was actually German by birth).
    For this, the Sinfonia wil be joined by organ and chorus.
  • Overture to?Abduction?from Seraglio, by Mozart, who had lived for several years in London. There he studied and came to greatly admire the music of Handel, of whom he said, "He is the greatest of us all."
  • Military” Symphony (No. 100)?of Franz Joseph Haydn. Written during the 2nd of Haydn’s wildly successful journeys to London, the work gets its name from its battery of extra percussion.?

Symphony No. 2, in B Flat
George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931)
1. Andante non troppo; Allegro con brio
2. Allegretto scherzando
3. Largo e maesoso
4. Allegro molto animato
Amazing Grace Arr. Elliot Del Borgo (1938-2013)
Three Works by Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
1. Variations on a Shaker Melody (from "Appalachian Spring" - 1944)
2. Our Town (Suite from the Film Score - 1.939)
3. Hoe-Down (from "Rodeo" - 1942)

American Rhapsody Richard Meyer

Concert Notes

Concerto for Two Violins in D minor (BWV 1043), J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750), Thomas Duncan and Ken Jerahian, soloists
Symphony in D, Juan Crisostomo Arriaga (1806-1826)
1. Adagio; allegro vivace
2. Andante
3. Minuetto e Trio
4. Allegro con moto
Piano Concerto No. 1, in C Major, Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Ines Irawati, soloist
1. Allegro con brio
2. Largo
3. Rondo: Allegro

The Sinfonia will close this season with “A Romantic Flair,” a concert of 19th Century music featuring

  • the colorful Scherzo Capriccioso of Anton?n Dvor?k,
  • along with the Sinfonie Singuli?re of Swedish composer Franz Berwald.
  • The Sinfonia will also host two inspiring young winners of the Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition: Kenin Lin, in the Ballade for Flute and Orchestra, by Carl Reinecke,
  • and Susan Lee, in a movement from the Violin Concerto No. 3, by Camille Saint-Sa?ns.

Tthe New City Sinfonia returns to the Unitarian Church to present “An Evening of Mozart,” the orchestra’s first-ever all-Mozart program. This concert will feature the dramatic

  • Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, with New York pianist Dan Franklin Smith
  • Divertimento No. 1 in D Major for Strings
  • Serenade No. 11 in Eb Major, for Winds and Horns
  • Presto from the Haffner Symphony
  • Overture to “Idomeneo,” considered the composer’s first mature opera.

“A French Fete,” a concert of 19th Century French music.

The program will feature

- Georges Bizet’s ebullient Symphony No. 1 in C Major,
- and will include the lovely Suite from “Pelleas et M?lisande,” by Gabriel Faur?,
- the elegiac Last Sleep of the Virgin by Jules Massenet,
- and the colorful Overture to “La Belle Hel?ne,” by Jacques Offenbach.

Friday, March 5th 7:30PM First Unitarian Church: Russian Byriukov in Haydn's Cello Concerto in D


Sunday, May 23rd, 2PM St Mary Magdalene Church: Dvorak Symphony No 9: The New World

Toccata Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643), arr. Hans Kindler

Suite for Strings No. 1 Arkady Luxemburg (1939-)

  1. Humoresque
  2. Hora
  3. Dance

Mandolin Concerto No. 1 in G ("Diana of the Uplands") Roland Chadwick (1957-), Chris Acquavella, soloist

  1. Hunting Tune
  2. Prayer
  3. Dance and Ballade


Symphony No. 2 in D Major Ludwig van Beethoven (1779 - 1827)

  1. Adagio molto; Allegro con brio
  2. Larghetto
  3. Scherzo Allegro
  4. Allegro molto