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Gerald Carpenter: New West Symphony to Send ‘Suite Serenade’

Boris Brott will conduct concerts Friday and Saturday

The New West Symphony will play its next concert, called “Suite Serenade,” at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, in the Oxnard Performing Arts Center and at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, in the Fred Kavli Theatre of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.

Music Director Boris Brott will conduct, with violinist Corey Cerovsek as guest soloist, and the Smoke & Mirrors Ensemble of the Colburn School of Music, with director Jack Van Geem.

The concert’s program contains works that are each somehow identified as either a “suite” or a “serenade,” but which also seem to feature a considerable percussion presence: the Trio Per Uno for Percussion Trio, Opus 27 by Serbian-born Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic; the Critic’s Corner for Strings and Percussion by Canadian Alexander Brott; The Serenade for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion (after Plato’s Symposium) by Leonard Bernstein; the Canticle No. 3 for Percussion by American Lou Harrison; and The Carmen Ballet for Strings and Percussion by Georges Bizet (freely arranged by Russian Rodion Shchedrin).

For a detailed exposition of this fascinating program, click here to consult the New West Symphony Web site.

Some random observations include the fact that Alexander Brott (1915-2005) is the father of both the New West’s maestro Boris and the exceptional cellist Denis, whose playing and teaching graced the Music Academy of the West for several summers.

Critics’ Corner is a collection of coded portraits of his contemporaries, a kind of humorous version of the Enigma Variations. The Bernstein Serenade of 1954 was inspired by Plato’s Symposium, and is a violin concerto in all but name.

Harrison (1917-2003) is a fine American composer who sometimes made alarming pronouncements — “I think that any sound that can be generated by a musical instrument is legitimate, so long as that method does not injure the instrument” — but never wrote alarming music. And, until the Soviet Union ceased to exist, Shchedrin was one of the most important — and powerful — Soviet composers. He was chairman of the Union of Russian Composers from 1973 until 1990, took on extracting a ballet out of Bizet’s opera, Carmen, after the project had been turned down by both Shostakovich and Khachaturian.

Tickets to the concert can be ordered by phone at 866.776.8400.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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