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May 08, 2016
Mercury News
Review of "Prokofiev & Sinfonietta"
Impassioned Paremski delivers a fierce Prokofiev performance at Symphony Silicon Valley
On Saturday evening at San Jose's California Theater, Prokofiev and Natasha Paremski were spiritually united in the composer's Third Piano Concerto in C Major. Conductor Gregory Vajda and Symphony Silicon Valley completed the distinctly Russian-Czech program with works by Leos Janacek and Bohuslav Martinu.
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January 25, 2016
San Francisco Classical Voice
Review of "Schubert, Bruch, & Hindemith"
Shimono and Baek Return to SSV with Fine Results
Symphony Silicon Valley invited two of its most popular guest performers, conductor Tatsuya Shimono and soloist Ju-Young Baek back for a concert at San Jose's California Theatre on Saturday, Jan. 23. The results were gratifyingly intricate and well-wrought rather than merely spectacular.
Symphony Silicon Valley invited two of its most popular guest performers, conductor Tatsuya Shimono and soloist Ju-Young Baek back for a concert at San Jose's California Theatre on Saturday, Jan. 23. The results were gratifyingly intricate and well-wrought rather than merely spectacular. - See more at: https://www.sfcv.org/reviews/symphony-silicon-valley/shimono-and-baek-return-to-ssv-with-fine-results#sthash.n9GcgMpt.dpuf

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October 06, 2015
San Francisco Classical Voice
Review of "Beethoven & Schumann"
Symphony Silicon Valley Pays Tribute to George Cleve
Throughout this fine performance the musicians were unanimously bright and alert, with delicate hands on the string bows, plus perky winds and gentle brass.
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October 04, 2015
Mercury News
Review of "Beethoven & Schumann"
Symphony Silicon Valley's season opener is a fitting tribute to the late George Cleve
Saturday evening at the California Theatre in San Jose, David Amado and Symphony Silicon Valley honored the late George Cleve with ravishing, heartfelt performances of works by Beethoven and Schumann.
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October 27, 2014
San Francisco Classical Voice
Review of "Beethoven & Brahms"
Romantics Reign Supreme at Symphony Silicon Valley
It takes the world's greatest orchestras to not seriously risk bobbling something in here, and, by that criterion, SSV was a great orchestra on Saturday.
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October 26, 2014
Mercury News
Review of "Beethoven & Brahms"
Symphony Silicon Valley delivers gorgeous Romantic program
If Saturday's concert, the second in the orchestra's 2014-15 season, demonstrated anything, it was that even the most familiar Romantic war horses still have the power to surprise and delight an audience.
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September 28, 2014
Mercury News
Review of "An Italian Tour"
Symphony Silicon Valley's sparkling season opener
This crisp, spirited performance popped like a champagne bottle at its conclusion; like a good short story writer, [Conductor Karen] Kamensek understands the value of a strong ending.
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May 17, 2014
Mercury News
Review of "Nakamatsu Plays Rachmaninoff"
Nakamatsu and Rach 3, together again in San Jose, in a brilliant partnership
This reviewer wasn't prepared for the "Rach 3 Unbound" happening that engulfed the theater. Unleashing waves of powerful energy in tandem with the 72-piece orchestra.
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March 22, 2014
Mercury News
Review of "Carmina Burana"
Symphony Silicon Valley's ovation-inspiring 'Carmina Burana'
The quandary: where to begin this description of Saturday's electric program by Symphony Silicon Valley. Perhaps with the soulful spectacle of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, performed by more than 200 musicians (orchestra members, choristers, solo singers) and led by Argentinian guest conductor Carlos Vieu -- an hour-long eruption that elicited the loudest ovation this reviewer ever has heard at the California Theatre.
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March 22, 2014
San Francisco Classical Voice
Review of "Carmina Burana"
Choral Awesomeness: Carmina
Guest conductor Carlos Vieu led Symphony Silicon Valley, its Chorale, the Cantabile Youth Singers, and soloists in a vividly exciting and intensely text-oriented performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana at San Jose's California Theatre on Saturday.
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January 25, 2014
Mercury News
Review of "Beethoven, Strauss, Liszt"
Symphony Silicon Valley and Nobilis Trio
Symphony Silicon Valley's exciting Saturday program began without the orchestra. That's right. The Nobilis Piano Trio -- three musicians, alone -- played an arrangement of themes by Tchaikovsky. It was elegant and heartfelt. It instantly gripped the audience. It established a benchmark for this varied and imaginative program at the California Theatre.
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December 07, 2013
Mercury News
Review of "Kamio Plays Tchaikovsky"
Kamio wows Symphony Silicon Valley audience
Chances are that violinist Mayuko Kamio is going to be famous. But maybe you already know that, having witnessed one of this weekend's programs. Hats off to Andrew Bales, Symphony Silicon Valley's savvy president, for bringing back this impressive player.
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October 26, 2013
Mercury News
Review of "And the Beat Goes On"
Symphony Silicon Valley steps outside the box
More than most regional orchestras, Symphony Silicon Valley has a way of stepping outside the box. Once or twice a season, it dispenses with Brahms, Dvorak and the like, inviting its audience to take a less familiar ride. Saturday's excursion was potent, pairing Shostakovich's monumental Symphony No. 10 and William Kraft's exotic Timpani Concerto No. 2, "The Grand Encounter."
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September 28, 2013
Mercury News
Review of "Symphonie Fantastique"
Christoph Campestrini's Symphony Silicon Valley debut
Symphony Silicon Valley, which features a continuing slate of guest conductors, instead of a single music director, opened its 2013-14 season Saturday night at the California Theatre with debuting Austrian conductor Christoph Campestrini leading threeconcert staples by Glinka, Prokofiev and Berlioz.
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June 02, 2013
Mercury News
Review of "A Hero's Tale"
Tatsuya Shimono's Symphony Silicon Valley debut
Saturday's performance at the California Theatre, the first of two, was vital and dramatic, sweeping through the hall with its juicy melodies and stormy interludes. Guest conductor Tatsuya Shimono -- a dynamo, whose signaling is crisp, clear and sweepingly expressive -- connected with his players. Viewed from the balcony, the performance looked and felt like a real collaboration, if not a love affair.
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May 12, 2013
Mercury News
Review of "An American in Paris"
Symphony Silicon Valley plays Gershwin, Bernstein, Adams, Korngold
Symphony Silicon Valley's weekend program at the California Theatre was an all-American mini-festival. You had your mandatory Gershwin (warm and splashy), your cinematic Bernstein (depicting tragedy on the Jersey docks), your pace-setting Adams (rolling out a wacky fox-trot for Chairman Mao). And you had your Erich Korngold, the centerpiece of Saturday's Symphony Silicon Valley program.

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March 24, 2013
Mercury News
Review of "Verdi's Requiem"
Symphony Silicon Valley delivers smoking Verdi Requiem
Saturday night at the California Theatre in San Jose, Symphony Silicon Valley offered a smoking performance of the Verdi Requiem, the first of two performances with the 80-voice Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale and four game soloists. It had many perfect moments, and even when the performance became a tad unruly, it was perfectly marvelous -- a soulful event. It even had a surround-sound dimension: trumpeters in the balconies, bathing the listeners in Verdi's call to the next world.
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June 05, 2009
Mercury News
Lord Nelson Mass
Symphony Silicon Valley ends seventh season in grand style

Saturday at the California Theatre, Glover led Symphony Silicon Valley through a delicious, season-ending program that danced, sang and contained numerous victory shouts. It was grand entertainment...Music fans in the nation's 10th-largest city should start lining up for season number eight.
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May 08, 2009
Mercury News
Review of "Spring Symphonies"
From conductor Gregory Vajda and pianist Jon Kimura Parker spectacular fireworks at Symphony Silicon Valley
(Maestro) Vajda...had the orchestra singing...(with) strength and finesse, rhythmic precision and concerted vitality. The strings were plush and thrumming. The winds were beyond exceptional — what a great bunch of players...Principal bassoon Deborah Kramer's solo..was a consummate statement of existential anguish; you will not hear it better played in any orchestra.
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March 27, 2009
Mercury News
Review of "Brahms & Dvorak"
With Symphony Silicon Valley, violinist Ju-Young Baek goes straight to the heart of Brahms
Violinist Ju-Young Baek has established a special rapport with the musicians of Symphony Silicon Valley over the past few years. Thursday, having flown in from Seoul to perform with the orchestra at the California Theatre, she seemed to ride the jet stream, straight to the heart of Brahms...
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March 15, 2009
Mercury News
Review of "The Organ & the Great C"
Shake, rattle and roll with the Wurlitzer organ at the California Theatre
There were two story lines in play during Symphony Silicon Valley's extremely fine and fun concert Saturday at the California Theatre.  One story had to do with guest conductor Paul Haas, who shook up the orchestra, opening up new expressive possibilities. The other had to do with the night's soloist, Jonas Nordwall, who nearly unhinged the San Jose theater from its foundations with his finely wrought, yet supercharged performance on the California's mighty Wurlitzer organ with its 1521 pipes.
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January 16, 2009
Mercury News
Review of: "A Nakamatsu Premiere"
Pianist Nakamatsu and Symphony Silicon Valley debut spellbinding Amram concerto
Symphony Silicon Valley is forging ahead with the most ambitious project in its seven-season history...Thursday night at the California Theatre, the orchestra gave the world premiere of David Amram's "Three Songs: A Concerto for Piano and Orchestra" with soloist Jon Nakamatsu...A local hero with an international career, this wonderful player deserves the honor of having his own concerto.
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December 06, 2008
Mercury News
Review of "Mozart & Tchaikovsky"
A cushion of beauty on a hectic night
Symphony Silicon Valley closes concert with dazzling performance of Tchaikovsky
...then the orchestra began: light and frothy sounds, a soufflé, riding a cushion of air out into the concert hall. It was the "Pique Dame" Overture by Franz von Suppé...The orchestra sounded great, relaxed and far, far away from the surrounding gridlock.  But let's get to the best: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 in F minor, which closed the concert in a furious bedazzlement...
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October 22, 2008
Metro News
Review of "Mendelssohn & Beethoven"
Range of Vision
George Cleve brought out the best in Symphony Silicon Valley in three different styles
    Cleve's style and efficiency underscored a confident and vividly colorful reading (of Debussy) by the orchestra...Associate concertmaster Christina Mok took center stage as soloist in the Mendelssohn, making the great concerto her own. Facing the audience with a firm feet-apart stance, Mok set her tone for the performance at the outset, drawing a broadly phrased line and reinforcing it throughout with strong tone and no small degree of the virtuosity that the score asks for. 
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September 28, 2008
Mercury News
Review of "Dances at an Opening"
Infectious kickoff to Symphony's Silicon Valley's new season
Conductor Leslie B. Dunner turned Saturday night's season-opening concert by Symphony Silicon Valley into the most infectious event in the young orchestra's history. He had his players whooping like gauchos and created enough havoc at the California Theatre to raise gleeful shouts from the audience. It was a night of pure communication: What better way to start off the seventh season? The orchestra sounded jubilant, its members seeming to enjoy themselves as much as their guest conductor. Classical music needs more of this uninhibited spirit.
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June 11, 2008
Mercury News
Review of "The Rite of Spring--Beyond the Score®"
Symphony Silicon Valley goes 'Beyond the Score'
Program Tells Story Behind 'Rite of Spring'
It began with a multimedia recounting of the music's back story, a sort of Ken Burns goes to the symphony presentation - created by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra...Then, with the audience steeped in the "Rite's" history - and the history's relationship to key points in the musical score - the program continued with a powerful performance, led by guest conductor Martin West, who has a way of turning on this orchestra...it was possible to listen with new ears to the "Rite." You could hear, as Stravinsky put it, "the beating pulse of spring."
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May 14, 2008
Metro News
Review of "George Gershwin's 1920s Radio Hour"
Rhythm Queen
An all-Gershwin program was just enough of a good thing at Symphony Silicon Valley
Anyone's prior belief that an all-Gershwin concert by Symphony Silicon Valley is too much of one thing was crushed under a roar of audience approval Sunday at the California Theatre...Pianist Gwendolyn Mok('s) performance bristled and danced shamelessly, whle she made the solo cadenza of the sultry middle movement deeply personal...and got a well-deserved standing O.
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March 29, 2008
San Francisco Classical Voice
Review of "Beethoven's 9th"
More of These Tones, Friends
SSV has a knack for rising to the challenge on particularly grand occasions, like this one... (giving) a solid, involving performance under the cool, clear beat of guest conductor Fabio Mechetti. (Scott Bearden)...sang with as much power and clarity of articulation as the finest bass-baritone in the world. It was a truly thrilling moment in a generally exciting evening.
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March 19, 2008
Metro News
Review of "Simple Gifts"
Tony the Tuba
Symphony Silicon Valley tubist Tony Clements starred in solo turn on Vaughan Williams' Bass Tuba Concerto
Guest conductor Sara Jobin, who has made some attention-getting strides in her young career, gave Symphony Silicon Valley a clean-cut and precise figure to follow on Sunday afternoon.  The symphony, in turn, gave her briskly confident readings of tricky scores by Copland and Richard Strauss...In the end, it was (Tony) Clements who gave the afternoon its take-home personality.

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March 17, 2008
Mercury News
Review of "Simple Gifts"
Symphony Silicon Valley, Clements mine tuba's range
Imagine how the London Symphony Orchestra's directors felt when they asked Ralph Vaughan Williams, dean of English composers, to contribute a new piece - and were offered a concerto for tuba. A real crowd-pleaser, right? Actually, in the right hands, it can be. And over the weekend, the Concerto for Bass Tuba and Orchestra in F minor was in the right hands: those of Tony Clements...
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January 19, 2008
Mercury News
Review of ""Violins & Enigmas
Silverstein Conducts and Plays Solo Violin
Symphony makes old favorites fresh again
(A) well-chosen, highly enjoyable concert of repertory standards...comprised of Elgar's "Enigma" Variations, Ralph Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending" and Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major ("Turkish")...made the familiar sound new again. Much of the evening's success was due to violinist Joseph Silverstein (who) set a high standard, delivering his parts with flair and inspiring stylish, uplifting playing from the orchestra.
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May 16, 2006
Mercury News
Review of "Tango Fantastique"
Symphony winds up 4th season with ripsnorting 'Fantastique'
Symphony Silicon Valley completed its fourth season over the weekend: The South Bay's "new" orchestra is now a fact of life, playing to generally sold-out houses at the California Theatre. The skeptics have pretty much taken to the hills...
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April 04, 2006
Mercury News
Review of "Nakamatsu Plays Grieg"
Nakamatsu, symphony reveal concerto's beauty
Nakamatsu (the San Jose native played to sold-out houses Saturday and Sunday) offered a performance that was letter-press crisp, but also nimbly playful and rippling... The orchestra was right there with him, shadowing his themes, steadily adjusting volume and mood, responding to Boughton's clear, lean gestures... It was an impressive performance.
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March 27, 2006
Mercury News
Review of "Video Games Live"
Multimedia show delights crowd in S.J.
Symphony Silicon Valley married symphonic music and digital art at the Video Games Live concert Friday at the San Jose Civic Auditorium.  The sold-out crowd loved all 2 1/2 hours...
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March 27, 2006
Videogames at Yahoo.Com
Review of "Video Games Live"
GDC 06: Music makes games go 'round
Video Game Live concert misses a few beats, but catches the essence of what games are supposed to be--fun.
This year's concert was once again played before a sold-out audience, but it had an even more diverse focus on games. Hosted by game composer and event organizer Tommy Tallarico and conducted by co-organizer Jack Wall, the concert gathered together some of the most memorable game themes since the birth of the video game industry.
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March 22, 2006
Classical Voice
Review of "Mozart Requiem"
Vocal Mozart
... It is altogether fitting to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth with his Requiem in D Minor, a work as full of life itself as any he wrote, even though his death stopped it in midstream. Such was the spirit of Symphony Silicon Valley's production of the work Sunday afternoon at San Jose's California Theatre, when George Cleve conducted and the combined SSV Chorale and San Jose State Concert Choir sang.
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March 21, 2006
Mercury News
Review of "Mozart Requiem"
Symphony, opera team up on Mozart festival finale
'Requiem' provides showcase for voice, orchestra
This one, with George Cleve conducting, was a Ringling Bros. affair, with more than 200 instrumentalists and singers on stage at the California Theatre as Symphony Silicon Valley completed its mini-Mozart festival, which started back in December. The concert was a charmer, as mellifluous and dignified as it was large.
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January 26, 2006
San Jose Metro
Review of "Mozart & Brahms"
Roman à Cleve
Symphony Silicon Valley welcomed back conductor George Cleve with open arms at weekend concerts
Cleve's second appearance with Symphony Silicon Valley was nothing less than a love-in. Following an energized reading of Brahms' First Symphony, the orchestra welcomed Cleve into their midst like a politician who had just received the nod of his party, with hugs and kisses all around.
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January 24, 2006
Mercury News
Review of "Mozart & Brahms"
Brahms brings gifts to Mozart Festival
Cleve inspires excellence
For whatever reason, conductor George Cleve programmed Brahms' Symphony No. 1 in C minor as the climax to this, the second of three festival programs...  He led the orchestra in a performance that was gutsy and fresh sounding, that really got at the bloodthirsty as well as the incredibly tender aspects of this warhorse.  It wasn't a rote performance.
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December 15, 2005
San Jose Metro
Review of "Mozart Festival"
Mr. Mozart
Symphony Silicon Valley, with George Cleve at the podium, explores the multitudes of Mozart
Cleve is one of those maestros who, like Charles Mackerras... can do anything well.
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December 12, 2005
Mercury News
Review of "Mozart Festival"
A familiar guest
Veteran conductor Cleve leads Symphony Silicon Valley in Mozart program
The first chord was dignified, strong -- and immediately fell to a ``hush.'' There was a golden serenity about the music, but with an edge, pointing toward Beethoven.
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November 03, 2005
San Jose Metro
Review of "American Originals"
All That Jazz
Symphony Silicon Valley grafted classical and jazz motifs in weekend concert
...Jazz and classical music don't usually reconcile. Instead they tend to collide.  ...David Amram, currently 75, gave it a go famously in his Triple Concerto for Wind, Brass and Jazz Quintets in 1971 and has spent his career doggedly forcing the issue.  ...The concerto, heard Sunday in a Symphony Silicon Valley concert, in fact made a powerful argument for the efficacy of such a hybrid.
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October 31, 2005
Mercury News
Review of "American Originals"
Orchestra conjures up a brave new world of symphonic jazz
Fighting for its niche in the cultural marketplace, Symphony Silicon Valley could hang on and play it safe, trotting out warhorses by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Dvorak and little else. This weekend it took a risk: It played symphonic jazz and it seemed all charged up. It was one of the orchestra's best programs yet.
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October 03, 2005
Mercury News
Review of "A Midsummer Night's Dream on the Waterfront About Beethoven"
Orchestra Opener Triumphs with the Tried-and-True
Fresh approach in the playing of Beethoven, Bernstein and Mendelssohn featured in season premiere
Conductor Patrick Flynn's grandfatherly charm radiated a reassuring tone that helped Symphony Silicon Valley's fourth season get off to a strong start Saturday.  …This concert, which began with three segments of Mendelssohn's music for ``A Midsummer Night's Dream'' and a symphonic arrangement of Bernstein's unexpectedly audience-friendly 1955 film score for ``On the Waterfront,'' was built for comfort, and successfully so.
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October 01, 2005
Classical Voice
Review of "A Midsummer Night's Dream on the Waterfront About Beethoven"
Rigors Well Met
Impressive as the Beethoven was, the concert's really outstanding work was the Bernstein score for the 1954 film On the Waterfront. .. it functions as a single movement, a twenty-minute tone poem in the tradition of Liszt or Richard Strauss, serially integrating a variety of moods.
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June 01, 2005
2004-2005 Concert Season Reviews
Condensed reviews of the 2004-2005 Season
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June 07, 2004
2003-2004 Concert Season Reviews
Condensed reviews of the 2003-2004 Season
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P.O. Box 790, San Jose, CA 95106-0790
325 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113
Phone or Fax: (408) 286-2600

Supported, in part, by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San José