June 01, 2005
2004-2005 Concert Season Reviews
Past Concerts Review Excerpts
San Jose Mercury News (excerpt) June 1, 2005 "Blockbusters All"
Symphony's Finale for season closes on good note By Richard Scheinin Mercury News Music Critic
• Thompson('s) conducting was clear, precise, fluid – and all those qualities emerged in the music, which had a coiled tension about it, but also a lilting quality, along with lot of detail, including finely graded dynamics
San Jose Mercury News May 3, 2005 "Beethoven & Strauss"
A Magnificent Day for Music in Downtown San Jose TOUCHING TRIBUTE TO SJSU CHORAL DIRECTOR AND A STUNNING SYMPHONY PERFORMANCE MARK A VITAL SCENE
By Richard Scheinin Mercury News Music Critic
• The California (is) at the center of a revitalized downtown music scene… it was nearly full again Saturday night, when Symphony Silicon Valley presented a program of Beethoven and Richard Strauss, showcasing a remarkable improvising horn virtuoso from Los Angeles, Richard Todd
• Strauss's ``Don Juan,'' the tone poem about the legendary Casanova, began with a crack -- really fast, with keening high-wire strings, rubber-band tight. The music felt alive, almost tingly...
• Todd…plays his inherently treacherous instrument with a sort of mellow cock-sureness: ``I've got it under control.'' Which he did…playing with a plummy tone that grew cotton-soft, and dashing, when needed, through tricky top-to-bottom flourishes.
• In) Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, the ``Eroica.''…there was a churning nobility to the music.
San Jose Mercury News February 28, 2005 "A Mozartean Romp"
Flutist shines in Symphony Silicon Valley concert spotlight By Richard Scheinin Mercury News Music Critic
• The performance had a grandeur about it; it felt triumphant. It's remarkable how well Symphony Silicon Valley is playing.
• Spontaneously, the audience rose up. This performance deserved the thousand cheers it received.
San Jose Mercury News February 28, 2005
Symphony finds its rhythm ELLINGTON, MINI-MOZART FESTIVAL ON 2005-06 SCHEDULE
By Richard Scheinin Mercury News Music Critic
• Symphony Silicon Valley began as a phoenix orchestra, rising from the ashes of the old San Jose Symphony. But after three seasons, the 'new' orchestra…is becoming a fixture on the scene, with its own way of doing things. One night it may play Ellington, the next, Mozart.
• Symphony Silicon Valley has begun carving out its own identity with numerous guest conductors, some unique repertory and a celebrated new home at the California
• …even bigger news is that George Cleve, a Mozart specialist…will conduct three programs hitting on just about every aspect of Mozaret's orchestra output…his engagement by Symphony Silicon Valley represents a turning point.
San Jose Mercury News January 17, 2005 "The Continental"
Violinist energizes orchestra By Richard Scheinin Mercury News Music Critic
• 28-year-old Baek, making her Bay Area orchestra debut, is an exceptional performer. … she ripped up to the heights while felling technical challenges along her path…here's to a return engagement for the violinist.
• Symphony Silicon Valley keeps surprising audiences with little-heard works and unexpected combinations.
San Jose Mercury News December 27, 2004 Yearend Review
Where the music flows: classical 2004 By Richard Scheinin Mercury News Music Critic
• It was San Jose's most important classical music event in years: the opening on Sept. 18 of the lavishly restored California Theatre…one of the classiest music venues in Northern California…
• The sound seems as clear and immediate as ``wraparound sound'' in a home theater -- only better.
• Symphony Silicon Valley's 'Schubert, Singers & More' Named one of 2004's
five best classical music presentations
• Symphony Silicon Valley's final concert of 2004 …More than 200 instrumentalists and singers crammed the stage for a holiday program that was rousing, joyful and handsomely performed.
San Jose Mercury News December 14, 2004 "Schubert, Singers & More"
The more the merrier at symphony concert By Richard Scheinin Mercury News Music Critic
• This was among the best programs yet by the young orchestra. It just felt right.
• There were lots of cameos in this program, and you needed to hear them, because the playing was so uniformly fine.
Metro Silicon Valley Thursday, November 4, 2004 "The Red Violin"
In Like Flynn By Scott MacClelland Metro Silicon Valley Critic
• Guest conductor Patrick Flynn led Symphony Silicon Valley to new heights in its new home…. The standing ovation that followed was altogether warranted – and as spontaneous…
• … a new benchmark…the orchestra sounded fabulous.
San Francisco Chronicle October 11, 2004 "Homage to the California Theatre"
Old movie house suits symphony By Joshua Kosman Chronicle Music Critic
• Symphony Silicon Valley took up residence in San Jose's beautiful California Theatre Saturday night …The sound is warm inviting, the sightlines clean, the ambience intimate…the California should be an illustrious home.
San Jose Mercury News October 11, 2004 "Homage to the California Theatre"
Gershwin music dazzles in new venue By Richard Scheinin Mercury News Music Critic
• …rich, massed strings, zings of harps, a cooing clarinet, and a long, low horn solo that nearly raised the specter of Miles Davis… an amazing experience... In fact, I've rarely heard such vivid in-your-ears sound as I did Sunday at the California.
• The concerts made you love those songs all over again.