Symphony’s March concert showcases two “instrumental” stars

Photo SBSO: Maestro Anthony Parnther will lead the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra in a March 28 digital concert… and perform Vivaldi’s Concerto in D minor on his recently returned bassoon.
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The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra is preparing for the second concert in their hybrid 92nd season. “Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi & Grieg” will premiere digitally Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. on the Symphony’s new SBSOtv platform accessible from their website,

The performance will include selections prominently featuring two very special instruments: the Maestro’s recently returned bassoon and an historic 1929 Wurlitzer organ.

Shared Maestro Parnther, “Tchaikovsky and Grieg penned two of the most compelling and deeply expressive works for string orchestra; Tchaikovsky’s Serenade in C Major and Grieg’s Holberg Suite, respectively. We will perform excerpts from both of these incredible works.”

Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in D minor, one of the Maestro’s personal favorites, will also be performed, but with a creative twist. Specifically, Maestro Parnther will be tackling dual roles as both soloist and conductor on this dazzling work for solo bassoon and orchestra. As mentioned, the bassoon the Maestro will be playing is the very same instrument that was recently returned to him after it was stolen just two days before the March 2020 concert was canceled due to Covid restrictions.

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“For my bassoon to be taken two days before my Mozart concerto performance last year… and gifted back in a time for the replacement Vivaldi concerto a year later… there is a sign in all of this,” said Parnther.

As repairs are still underway to the Symphony’s local performance venue, San Bernardino’s historic California Theatre, the concert will be recorded at Bandrika Studios in Tarzana which is owned and operated by composer Nathan Barr.

This world-class studio is constructed around the 1928 Barr/Fox Wurlitzer Theater Organ, which lived on the famed Newman Scoring Stage at Fox Studios from 1928 to 1998. It can be heard in dozens of classic film scores including The Sound of Music, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Witches of Eastwick, and Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Said Parnther, “With 1,366 pipes and a plethora of real percussion instruments, this organ truly must be heard to be believed.”

Years after the organ was removed from Fox in 1998, Barr purchased it from Ken Crome of The Crome Organ Company in Reno, Nevada, and thus began a four-year restoration by Crome’s team. Since Bandrika’s opening in May 2018, the Barr/Fox Wurlitzer has re-entered the world of film music and can be heard extensively in Barr’s score for Amblin/Universal’s The House With a Clock In Its Walls and also in Danny Elfman’s score for Universal’s hit adaptation of The Grinch (2018).

The Symphony will feature this magnificent instrument on two works in this program, including the Albinoni Adagio, and a solo work that will use every feature on the instrument.

“This concert is not to be missed,” said Symphony Board of Directors President Dean McVay. “We were incredibly gratified with the audience response to our February digital concert, and we believe this one will also please the discriminating musical palates of our patrons.”

A Hybrid Season… and Ticketing Options

The Symphony’s online concerts are presented in high resolution digital format and made easily accessible online through our website’s new SBSOtv platform using the password provided to each purchasing patron.

Following the March concert, a third digital offering, “Mozart and Beethoven,” will premiere on May 1, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

Two live concerts – slated for October 23, 2021 and December 11, 2021, will follow. The live concerts are scheduled to be held at the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts in downtown San Bernardino. Tickets for the digital concerts are $65 per household, and single assigned-seating tickets for the live concerts range from $30-$100. All tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at (909) 381-5388. Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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