February 27, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

San Bernardino Symphony Presents Rhapsody in Blue at 100

3 min read

The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra will open their 95th performance season March 2 with two performances of “Rhapsody in Blue at 100” under the baton of Maestro Anthony Parnther.

The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra will present “Rhapsody in Blue at 100” on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 3 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. at the historic San Bernardino Valley College Auditorium.

“George Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue celebrates its 100th birthday in 2024, and we are excited to premiere the new Gershwin Critical Edition to mark this occasion,” explained Symphony Music Director and Conductor Anthony Parnther. “Gershwin’s music, with its blend of classical, jazz, blues, and popular song requires careful editing due to varying conventions of musical notation and over time, published editions have been found to contain errors and inconsistencies. At this concert, audiences will experience Rhapsody in Blus in its most accurate representation of the creator’s vision and I cannot imagine a more appropriate pianist to premier this piece than longtime Symphony friend, Dr. David Kaplan.”

The internationally-acclaimed Kaplan has been classified as “excellent and adventurous” by the New York Times, and praised by the Boston Globe for “grace and fire” on the keyboard. He has appeared with the Britten Sinfonia at London’s Barbican and Das Sinfonie Orchester Berlin at the Philharmonic. He has also performed at the Ravinia Festival, Sarasota Opera House, Music on Main in Vancouver, Washington’s National Gallery, and New York’s Carnegie and Merkin Halls. Past San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra patrons may remember him from his masterful performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in 2021.

In addition to the Gershwin, this powerful All-American season opener also pays tribute to legendary artists like Tina Turner, Carole King, Aretha Franklin, and Simon and Garfunkel, and will feature works by William Grant Still, Valerie Coleman, and Abraham Alexander. Two outstanding vocalists will accompany the Orchestra.

“I’m excited to bring the incredible Maiya Sykes and Cedric Berry to San Bernardino. These are two of the most evocative and powerful voices I have ever worked with, both being able to sing with great conviction and command in any genre,” shared Maestro Parnther.

Maiya Sykes is a classically trained vocalist, producer, and vocal arranger. She studied independently with Nina Simone and Betty Carter. After graduating from Yale University, she went on to further her musical education at The Musicians’ Institute.

Added Parnther, “Audiences will recognize Maiya from her time as a finalist on The Voice as well as in the world-famous Postmodern Jukebox. She is legendary for her powerful and soulful presence on the mic.”

Award-winning bass-baritone Cedric Berry’s experience spans opera, Broadway, American Song Book, jazz, and gospel. He has performed with the LA Opera., Long Beach Opera, Savolinna Opera Festival of Finland, Banlieurs Bleues Festival of France, and the Ravinia Music Festival. He has appeared with the Pacific Symphony, Arizona Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, Pasadena Pops Orchestra, California Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

“I most recently worked with Cedric Berry on Anthony Davis’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning Opera The Central Park Five and on Tamar Kali Brown’s We Hold These Truths at the Los Angeles Opera. He has garnered considerable national and international praise and it’s exciting to work together again,” expounded Parnther.

The March 2nd concerts lead off a year of exciting performances including May 25th’s “Revolutionaries” concert featuring the world premiere of Andres’ Martin’s violin concerto Morgante, a jazz retrospective of Ella Fitzgerald and Chet Baker on September 7th, and three of the Symphony’s most beloved events: the annual evening under the stars with fireworks “America, the Beautiful” on July 6th, the annual film and television concert, “Movies with the Maestro” on October 26th, and the annual holiday celebration, “A Christmas Festival” on December 14th.

Tickets and Location Details
Tickets for both March 2nd performances of “Rhapsody in Blue at 100” are available at $20-$100 per seat and may be purchased online at www.sanbernardinosymphony.org or by phone at (909) 381-5388 Monday through Friday. Single tickets for students and Active Military are always $15.

The historic San Bernardino Valley College Auditorium is located at 701 S. Mt. Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino. Free, lighted parking is available directly across from the Auditorium. Venue box office sales are planned prior to performances, but the availability of seats cannot be guaranteed.

Season tickets are also currently on sale in money-saving bundles of three to six concerts.


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