If you had known what exhilarating lives classical musicians lived, would you have practiced your recorders a bit more in grade school?
When I caught up with Classical Tahoe artistic director and principal conductor Joel Revzen he had just arrived in Morocco for a special performance with members of his summer festival orchestra.
“I attended a concert of the Morocco Philharmonic tonight,” he says from beneath the darkened skies of Marrakesh. “They’re loaning us their timpani and double basses for our concert next week.”
Beginning next week, Revzen will lead the seventh season of Classical Tahoe through a diverse presentation of symphonies, suites, rhapsodies, concertos and popular music with performances through Aug. 12.
“For a magical three-week period each summer, Classical Tahoe draws many of the finest musicians from the great orchestras of North America and beyond to share their artistry in the inspiring natural setting that is Lake Tahoe,” says Revzen.
Classical Tahoe Orchestra features virtuoso musicians from the world-renowned New York Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, to name a few.
This year a grant from the Firefly Scientists Foundation has given it the ability to expand its core group to 55 musicians; they are now ready to take on the symphonic masterpieces of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Bernstein and Dvorak in the traditional arrangements. The same grant has also provided the opportunity to launch a music institute to bring multiple generations together to learn about and create classical music together.
Other firsts for this summer’s season will include the world premiere of a new Double Concerto for Violin and Cello by Chris Brubeck set to be performed by soloists Jaime Laredo on violin and Sharon Robinson on cello.
“Along with pianist Joseph Kalichstein, these musicians comprise the longest-standing and arguably most famous piano trio in the world today,” says Revzen.
This season’s guest artists boast long resumes of major international careers, including Cuban-born pianist Leonel Morales from Madrid and Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk, who has sung leading roles at all the major opera houses including La Scala in Milan, Covent Garden in London and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
“Each of these artists have performed both individually and together as soloists with virtually all the major orchestras in North America, Europe and Asia,” says Revzen.
The festival will present 15 events through the season. Each night’s program is performed only once in an intimate 400-seat acoustically designed pavilion on the outdoor campus of Sierra Nevada College.
July 20 | Simone Dinnerstein & Simon Dinnerstein
July 27 | “Made in America”
July 28 | “French Romance”
July 29 | Family Concerts
July 31 | Chamber Concert
Aug. 3 | “From the Opera House to the Concert Hall”
Aug. 4 | “Russian and French Nights”
Aug. 5 | Chamber Concert
Aug. 7 | Chamber Concert
Aug. 10 | “7th Season Celebration”
Aug. 11 | “East meets West”
Aug. 12 | The Brubeck Brothers Quartet in Concert
“The community has the opportunity of getting to know the musicians both as artists and members of the community,” says Revzen. | classicaltahoe.org