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Upcoming Performances

The Music of Led Zeppelin
part of season: 2014-2015 Special Events
Saturday 8:00 pm September 20, 2014

For one night only, the legendary songs of Led Zeppelin, accompanied by Symphony Silicon Valley, performs at the City National Civic! Bridging the gulf between rock n’ roll and classical music, Silicon Valley Symphony performs The Music of Led Zeppelin at City National Civic of San Jose on Saturday, September 20 at 8:00 PM. Amplified by a full rock band and accompanied by singer Randy Jackson’s screaming vocals, creator Brent Havens guest conducts the ensemble as they capture Led Zeppelin’s “sheer blast and power,” riff for riff while churning out new musical colors.

“My concept for The Music of Led Zeppelin was to take the music as close to the originals as we could and then add some colors to enhance what Zep had done,” says Havens. “The wonderful thing with an orchestra is that you have an entire palette to call upon. The band is reproducing what Led Zeppelin did on the albums, verbatim, and then having an orchestra behind the band gives the music a richness, a whole different feel, a whole different sense of power.”

Delivering a note-for-note interpretation, vocalist Randy Jackson (lead singer of the rock band Zebra), shrieks brilliantly, acting as a window between the audience and reworked material. “The music itself is one thing, but Jackson more than captures the spirit of legendary Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant,” says Havens.

Why the music of Led Zeppelin? Havens felt Led Zeppelin’s intricate rhythm patterns and unusual progressions contained within straight-forward rock n’ roll makes them an ideal choice for scoring.

“I was quite impressed with the complexity of the rhythms,” says Havens. “I’ve asked myself if they actually sat down and said, ‘alright we need a three-eight bar here, or we need to go from four-four to seven-eight and back…’ I don’t think so. I think they just banged it out and it worked and it felt good.”

The 2-plus hour concert features 18 Zeppelin tunes, including Stairway to Heaven, Heartbreaker, Black Dog and Immigrant Song.

“On Immigrant Song I have the violins doing that ‘Ah-ah-ah part,’ up an octave from Jackson, and the French Horns are doing it with him in the same register,” says Havens. “Then we have the brass kickin’ in the back, doing the accents. It rips.”

The symphonic rock hybrid has met with approval on both sides of the podium.

“When we first came on stage, the audience gave us polite, almost classical applause,” says Havens. “Then we hit the first note and they realized it was a rock show.”

Classical musicians also enjoy the change of pace; “In one concert, during Stairway to Heaven, the entire string section pulled out Bic lighters!” laughs Havens.



An Italian Tour
part of season: 2014-2015 Classics Season
Saturday 8:00 pm September 27, 2014
Sunday 2:30 pm September 28, 2014

Join us to explore Italy in September. All three works on our season opening program reflect a bit of the sunny Mediterranean landscape. Respighi’s charming take on 17th century Italian dances is followed by Verdi’s tribute - beloved for its glorious violin solo - to the legendary pearl christened The Wanderer. In Harold in Italy Berlioz conjures up his own wanderings in rustic Abruzzi, complete with misty landscapes, pilgrims and tolling bells, roving musicians and riotous brigands. Orchestra principal Patricia Whaley is featured in this romantic all-but-concerto for viola.

This concert is part of Subscription Series A, B, C, & D.

Conductor: Karen Kamensek
Soloist(s): Patricia Whaley, Viola
  • Ottorino Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 2

  • Giuseppe Verdi: La Pérégrina (ballet from Don Carlo)

  • Hector Berlioz: Harold in Italy

About Karen Kamensek
About Patricia Whaley

Karen Kamensek


Beethoven & Brahms
part of season: 2014-2015 Classics Season
Saturday 8:00 pm October 25, 2014
Sunday 2:30 pm October 26, 2014

This program is a fine example of the magic that comes from pairing the best with the best. Maestro Nelson is one of America’s most distinguished and sought-after conductors; Jeffrey Kahane is an internationally  renowned pianist (and conductor) who regards Nelson as a key mentor.  They will partner to present two of classical music’s greatest works.  Brahms and Beethoven, Nelson and Kahane — an October program not to miss.

This concert is part of Subscription Series A, B, E, & F.

Conductor: John Nelson
Soloist(s): Jeffrey Kahane, Piano
  • Carl Maria von Weber: Oberon Overture

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major

  • Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor

About John Nelson
About Jeffrey Kahane

John Nelson


Turkish Romance
part of season: 2014-2015 Classics Season
Saturday 8:00 pm December 6, 2014
Sunday 2:30 pm December 7, 2014

Our tongue-in-cheek title gives a nod to both works on this program. The Symphony’s star soloist, violinist Mayuko Kamio, returns for the third time in three years to perform the concerto Mozart wrote as a supremely gifted 19-year-old. Lyrical, melodic, boisterous, rhythmically inventive, it set a new standard of technical prowess for the violin. When Maestro Shimono conducted Symphony Silicon Valley in Ein Heldenleben for his first American engagement, he became an instant audience and  musician favorite.

He returns to us from Japan to lead Bruckner’s romantic Symphony No. 4 — a big work to match his huge talent.

This concert is part of Subscription Series A, B, C, & D.

Conductor: Tatsuya Shimono
Soloist(s): Mayuko Kamio, Violin
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, "The Turkish Concerto"

  • Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major, "Die Romantische"

About Tatsuya Shimono
About Mayuko Kamio

Tatsuya Shimono


Carols in the California
part of season: Chorale Season 2014-2015
Saturday 7:00 pm December 13, 2014

A Family Holiday Tradition! Artistic Director Elena Sharkova and the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale present the 10th Annual Carols in the California, an exciting and festive program!  Come for the traditional sing-along of your favorite carols and prepare to be dazzled by the 2014 version of “Twelve Days of Silicon Valley Christmas”, all in the warm glow of the California Theatre.

Click here to donate to the Chorale! 


Conductor: Elena Sharkova
Soloist(s): Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale
About Elena Sharkova
About Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale

Elena Sharkova


Wishing You A Musical New Year!
part of season: 2014-2015 Special Events
Wednesday December 31, 2014

The time is short--but your generosity can still make a difference to you AND benefit our community. Your fully tax-deductible donation to the Symphony will ...

...underwrite dynamic, engaging concerts in the spectacular California Theatre...bring 17,500 elementary school children to dozens of ArtSPARK educational performances this school year...provide outdoor summer pops concerts, family-friendly and free, for 22,000 listeners of all ages...and much, much more.

The outstanding musicians of our Symphony family offer joy and discovery to listeners throughout the year, thanks to investments like yours. As you make your final year-end gifts, please include a contribution to Symphony Silicon Valley and its many services - artistic, educational and community-building. 

Click here to donate today!  Your generosity is our most critical resource.

Happy New Year,
Andrew Bales, President




Nakamatsu Plays Ravel & Gershwin
part of season: 2014-2015 Classics Season
Friday 8:00 pm January 16, 2015
Saturday 8:00 pm January 17, 2015
Sunday 2:30 pm January 18, 2015

Local icon Jon Nakamatsu joins the orchestra to perform both of the great Gershwin concertos.  In the roaring twenties, jazz found its way into classical composition, and the result was a musical revolution. This program of works from the 1920’s contrasts the French composer Ravel with Gershwin the New Yorker, and the different worlds on either side of the Atlantic.

This concert is part of Subscription Series A, B, C, D, E, & F

Conductor: Ward Stare
Soloist(s): Jon Nakamatsu, Piano
  • Maurice Ravel: Boléro

  • George Gershwin: Concerto in F

  • George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

  • Maurice Ravel: La valse

About Ward Stare
About Jon Nakamatsu

Ward Stare


Shostakovich: Gentleman Comrade
part of season: 2014-2015 Classics Season
Saturday 8:00 pm March 14, 2015
Sunday 2:30 pm March 15, 2015

State composer of the Soviet era, Dimitri Shostakovich was both celebrated and terrorized in his own country.  In March, our program presents two works by Shostakovich the debonair musical gentleman paired with his redeeming and triumphant Fifth Symphony — the one he HAD to write.  Pianist Stephen Prutsman returns from this past January’s triumph to perform Shostakovich’s buoyant Second Piano Concerto, the work that accompanied The Steadfast Tin Solider in Disney’s Fantasia 2000.

This concert is part of Subscription Series A, B, E, & F.

Conductor: Tatsuya Shimono
Soloist(s): Stephen Prutsman, Piano
Featured Artist(s): Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1

  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major

  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D minor

About Tatsuya Shimono
About Stephen Prutsman

Tatsuya Shimono


The Bells
part of season: 2014-2015 Classics Season
Saturday 8:00 pm May 9, 2015
Sunday 2:30 pm May 10, 2015

Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale figures throughout our May program, all under Maestro Vajda’s brilliant leadership. Local composer Pablo Furman’s premiere introduces the ‘bell’ motif with the choral voices. Debussy’s Nocturnes treats women’s voices as instruments, blending them with the orchestra to evoke the shifting sea.  Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Bells, which evokes changing bell-tones using the melody of words, inspired Rachmaninoff’s brilliant adaptation - a choral symphony that was his favorite of all his works.

This concert is part of Subscription Series A, B, C, & D.

Conductor: Gregory Vajda
Soloist(s): Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale
  • Pablo Furman: Overture for Orchestra and Choir (World Premiere)

  • Claude Debussy: Nocturnes

  • Sergei Rachmaninoff: The Bells

About Gregory Vajda
About Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale

Gregory Vajda


Elgar & Schumann
part of season: 2014-2015 Classics Season
Saturday 8:00 pm June 6, 2015
Sunday 2:30 pm June 7, 2015

This concert is part of Subscription Series A, B, E, & F.

In our final program of the season, cellist Julian Schwarz, superstar-in-the-making, makes his first appearance with Symphony Silicon Valley performing Elgar’s great concerto. This follows the return of the Chorale and orchestra in Vaughan Williams elegiac Serenade to Music; and the evening is capped by Schumann’s magnificent, almost euphoric Rhenish Symphony. English maestro William Boughton will bring the year to a brilliant close.

Conductor: William Boughton
Soloist(s): Julian Schwarz, Cello
Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music

  • Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

  • Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 3 “Rhenish

About William Boughton
About Julian Schwarz
About Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale

William Boughton


Past Performances from This Season

Symphonic Strings
part of season: Target Summer Pops 2014
Saturday 7:00 pm July 26, 2014

Maestro Peter Jaffee leads Symphonic Strings – popular classical works written for strings only, performed by the musicians of Symphony Silicon Valley. Composers will range from Tchaikovsky and Dvorak to Takemitsu, Grieg and Copland.

  • Holberg Suite Prelude (Grieg)
  • Serenade for Strings in E major (Dvorák)
  • Eine kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart)
  • Romanian Folk Dances (Bartók)
  • Serenade for Strings in E minor (Elgar)
  • Waltz (Takemitsu)
  • Boisterous Bouree (Britten)
  • Serenade for Strings in C (Tchaikovsky)

Concert takes place at San Jose State University's iconic Tower Lawn
(located behind the MLK Library at 4th and San Fernando)

Conductor: Peter Jaffe
About Peter Jaffe

Peter Jaffe


Opera Pops
part of season: Target Summer Pops 2014
Sunday 5:30 pm July 27, 2014

Presented with Opera San Jose. Symphony Silicon Valley and Opera San Jose collaborate on an evening of vocal pyrotechnics. Maestro Peter Jaffee conducts an evening of arias, songs and comic turns from opera and operettas. Free Ice Cream Social, provided by Treat Ice Cream of San Jose.

  • Die Fledermaus Overture (Strauss)
  • The Magic Flute: Papageno! Papagena! (Mozart)
  • The Magic Flute: Queen of the Night (Mozart)
  • The Marriage of Figaro: La vendetta (Mozart)
  • Rigoletto: Bella figlia dell'amore (Verdi)
  • The Marriage of Figaro Overture (Mozart)
  • Lakmé Flower Duet (Delibes)
  • The Barber of Seville: Largo al factotum (Rossini)
  • La Bohème: Quando m'en vo' (Puccini)
  • Fiddler on the Roof: If I Were a Rich Man (Bock)
  • Porgy and Bess: Summertime (Gershwin)
  • Rigoletto: La donna è mobile (Verdi)
  • Carmen: Votre toast (Bizet)

Concert takes place at San Jose State University's iconic Tower Lawn
(located behind the MLK Library at 4th and San Fernando)

Conductor: Peter Jaffe
Soloist(s): Opera San Jose
Kirk Dougherty, Tenor
Silas Elash, Bass
Matthew Hanscom, Baritone
Isabella Ivy, Soprano
Chloe Smart, Soprano
About Peter Jaffe
About Opera San Jose
About Kirk Dougherty
About Silas Elash
About Matthew Hanscom
About Isabella Ivy
About Chloe Smart



Mariachi Sol de México
part of season: Target Summer Pops 2014
Friday 7:00 pm August 1, 2014

Presented with Viva Fest. Jose Hernandez leads world-famous Mariachi Sol de Mexico and guests from Viva Fest in a program showing off these virtuoso musicians’ Mexican flair and some special classical arrangements.

Concert takes place at San Jose State University's iconic Tower Lawn
(located behind the MLK Library at 4th and San Fernando)

Soloist(s): Mariachi Sol de Mexico
About Mariachi Sol de Mexico



Classical Mystery Tour
part of season: Target Summer Pops 2014
Saturday 7:00 pm August 2, 2014

The stars of Classical Mystery Tour, alums of Broadway’s Beatlemania, return for an evening of the Beatles’ greatest hits, backed by Symphony Silicon Valley.

Concert takes place at San Jose State University's iconic Tower Lawn
(located behind the MLK Library at 4th and San Fernando)

Soloist(s): Classical Mystery Tour
About Classical Mystery Tour



Cole Porter Songbook
part of season: Target Summer Pops 2014
Sunday 5:30 pm August 3, 2014

Target Summer Pops closes with the music of Cole Porter from All of You to You’re the Top. Led by Maestro Larry Blank, the Symphony is joined by Broadway talents Lisa Vroman, David Burnham, and Christina Saffran.

Free Ice Cream Social with Treat Ice Cream of San Jose.

Concert takes place at San Jose State University's iconic Tower Lawn
(located behind the MLK Library at 4th and San Fernando)

Conductor: Larry Blank
Soloist(s): Lisa Vroman
David Burnham
Christina Saffran
About Larry Blank
About Lisa Vroman
About David Burnham
About Christina Saffran

Larry Blank



© 2014 Symphony Silicon Valley
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