San Bernardino Symphony to perform a Night at the Pictures

Maestro Ming Luke will lead the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra in their presentation of “A Night at the Pictures” on February 9.
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The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra will return to the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts February 9th for the fourth installment of their widely-praised 2018-19 concert season. This creative concert concept originated with audience members who recalled their love of classical music being fostered in front of the Saturday morning cartoons.

“So many of us were introduced to classical music as children,” said Symphony Board President Dean McVay. “This seemed like a wonderful way to pay homage to that cultural awakening and create a marvelous evening of fine arts!”

This family friendly concert will include a selection of memorable music including Mozart’s Magic Flute Overture, Strauss’s Overture to Fledermausfeatured in Tom and Jerry at the Hollywood Bowl, Rossini’s Overture to Barber of Seville featured in The Rabbit of Seville, and two pieces by Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain featured in Fantasia and Pictures at an Exhibition.

“This is a perfect concert to introduce young music lovers to the Symphony,” added McVay, noting this concert was also selected to be performed twice for local students on Friday morning, February 8 as part of the Symphony’s ongoing partnerships with the San Bernardino City Unified School District and the Upland Unified School District. “It is an honor to welcome over 3,400 young people to our principal performance venue, the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts. Music education is an important part of our mission as an organization, and we cannot think of a better way to actualize it than by sharing the music we love with future audiences.”

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The conductor for this concert is Maestro Ming Luke, the eighth talented contender in the Symphony’s two year-long music director search. The extremely versatile Luke has excited audiences around the world conducting the Bolshoi Orchestra in Moscow, performances of Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella at the Kennedy Center, at Sadler’s Wells with Birmingham Royal, conducting Dvorak’s Requiem in Dvorak Hall in Prague, recording scores for the 2017 Francis Ford Coppola film “Torch”, and over a hundred performances at the San Francisco War Memorial with San Francisco Ballet.  He has been recognized nationally for his work with music education and has designed and conducted education concerts and programs with organizations such as the Berkeley Symphony, Houston Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera and others.  

Wrote Allan Ulrich of the San Francisco Chronicle, “Ming Luke delivered the best live theater performance I’ve ever heard of [Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet]”and in 2016 Luke’s War Requiem was named best choral performance of 2016 in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

Luke currently serves as an Assistant/Cover Conductor for the San Francisco Symphony, opens the Berkeley Symphony’s season, works with the ARIA program with San Francisco Opera, and will return to the Kennedy Center and Sadler’s Wells in London with San Francisco Ballet. This multi-talented musician has written, arranged, and performed over 150 education concerts with the Berkeley Symphony and has served on grant panels for the National Endowment of the Arts and the Grants and Cultural Committee of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. He has also created and conducted a variety of pops concerts in many venues, from baseball stadiums, to picnics in the park with over 4,000 people in attendance, traditional concert halls and recording for Major League Baseball.

Maestro Luke holds a Master of Fine Arts in Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Piano Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

“We hope the entire community will join us for this marvelous evening which is sponsored, in large part, by the very generous San Manual Band of Mission Indians,” concluded McVay. “In addition, those in attendance will be the first to hear about our upcoming 91st season and, without divulging too much, I believe they will be delighted with all we have planned!”

March and April Concerts

Two inspiring concerts will follow the February performance.

March 16, 2019, the Orchestra will present An Evening with Melissa Manchester under the baton of our Maestra Sharon Lavery. The first half of the concert will be dedicated to the music of George Gershwin, including selections from Porgy and Bess, and pianist Bernadene Blaha will perform Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. In the second half, Grammy award-winning singer/actress Melissa Manchester will take the stage to perform her tribute to “The Fellas” and some of her own popular songs. 

To complete the 90th season, on April 13, 2019, the Orchestra will present Celestial Sounds. Guest conductor David Cubek will lead a space-age evening of music including Holst’s haunting The Planets, Ravel’s glorious Sunrise, and Williams’ soaring Star Wars Suite. To add to the fun, audience members are encouraged to dress as their favorite Star Wars character.

Ticket Availability

Tickets are available by calling the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra office at (909) 381-5388 or through our website: Student and active military tickets are always $15; all other tickets are available at $30. $45. $55, and $65. Monday through Friday, tickets are also available at the Symphony’s new business office in the Garcia Cultural Center, 536 W. 11th Street, Suite 1, in San Bernardino.

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