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New West Symphony (NWS), with Grammy-winning conductor Michael Christie as artistic and music director, has announced a 2020-21 season of digital concerts, paired with engaging complementary content, to be available streamed or on-demand. 

Christie is programming eight mini-festivals, held from October through June, that highlight the music, cultures and family traditions throughout Greater Los Angeles, while emphasizing connections with orchestra repertoire. The opening concert, A Tour of Japan with Anne Akiko Meyers, premieres online on Sunday, October 18 at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET, and will be recorded by the orchestra outdoors at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, in the regional home of New West Symphony. The orchestra is hosting a free, online season preview event with Michael Christie on Monday, October 5 at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET for those who would like to learn more about the 2020-21 season. In addition to NWS’s concerts, mini-festivals will include Meet the Artist/cultural expert interviews, curated playlists, food and lifestyle explorations, restaurant discounts, and after-party invitations. Single tickets, all-access passports for the mini-festivals, and digital memberships for the full season are now available at www.newwestsymphony.org.

“Music allows humans to tell stories, share traditions and express our complex emotions. Like a kaleidoscope, as a melody or rhythm is shared, it subtly or dramatically reflects the vibrancy of that time and place. Classical music wouldn’t be the same without the global influences that have left their indelible mark on the art form,” said Christie. “The New West Symphony’s reimagined 2020-21 season spotlights the vivid cultural influences that have shaped classical music and SoCal itself.”

Each tradition – with Japanese, Indian, South Korean, Mexican, Persian or Chinese cultural influences, Violins of Hope, or Black History Month – has strong connections to symphonic music of the past and present. Repertoire will include works composed by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Elgar, Gershwin, Mahler, Mozart, Schubert, Vaughan Williams, Scott Joplin, Florence Price, Toru Takemitsu, George Walker, and more. Contemporary composers include Valerie Coleman, Reena Esmail, Shinichi Yuize, and more.

The opening mini-festival which begins on October 18 will feature Los Angeles-based violinist Anne Akiko Meyers performing the Bach Concerto for Two Violins in D minor with New West Symphony concertmaster Alyssa Park and NWS musicians, conducted by Michael Christie. The concert includes Michio Miyagi’s Haru No Umi (“Sea in Spring”), Toru Takemitsu’s Three Film Scores, and Shinichi Yuize’s Concerto No. 2 for Koto and Strings (3rd mvt.), and performances by Pasadena-based Makoto Taiko, a Japanese drum ensemble; San Diego-based koto performer Reiko Obata; and pianist Benjamin Krasner. The program is inspired by Japanese educator and musician Shinichi Suzuki, who founded the Suzuki Method of teaching music, combined with the mesmerizing sounds of Japanese traditional music and music from Japan over recent decades.

“I’m thrilled that we will partner with Ronald Reagan Presidential Library as our venue for our fall productions. While our connections with our audiences are now via digital platforms, we value our patron relationships tremendously, as they support our musicians and the performing arts in our community during the pandemic. We hope that audiences everywhere will engage in these entertaining and educational online events,” said NWS chief executive officer Natalia Staneva.



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