Songs of Destiny – MW3 – Press Release

MW3_2017_WebsiteSan Rafael, CA, February 14, 2017 – The Marin Symphony returns to the Civic Center for its Masterworks 3 Program, Songs of Destiny, in early March. The performance features the Symphony and Marin Symphony Chorus, performing masterpieces by Brahms and Elgar. Per Marin Symphony Executive Director, Tod Brody, “You will not want to miss the unmatched power, joy, and beauty of 200 instrumentalists and singers live on stage – there’s nothing like it!”

The program begins with two choral works from Brahms entitled Nänie and Schicksalslied. Brahms composed the first piece in 1881, in memory of his deceased friend Anselm Feuerbach. Nänie is a lamentation on the inevitability of death. With the Schicksalslied, Brahms created a very personal interpretation on the theme of fate in a timeless piece of music that will not fail to impress.

The concert concludes with a performance of Edward Elgar’s magisterial First Symphony. Best known for his Pomp and Circumstance marches and Enigma Variations, Edward Elgar was a not only a composer of enormous passion and imagination, but also a true master of composing for a large symphony orchestra. One of Maestro Alasdair Neale’s personal favorites, Elgar’s First Symphony is a generous and noble work, with a breathtakingly beautiful slow movement.

As Music Director, Alasdair Neale shared, “I’ve paired Brahms’ music alongside another great romantic composer, and one of my personal favorites, Edward Elgar.  Many of you may know that I grew up in the United Kingdom, so for me Elgar’s music has always been part of the furniture, so to speak. But I know that, with the exception of the Enigma Variations, the Cello Concerto, and of course “Pomp and Circumstance”, his music is not especially familiar to audiences across the pond. I hope, then, that you’ll enjoy getting to know his First Symphony, which I think is an unqualified masterpiece.”

The concerts are played at the Marin Center Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael.

Pre-concert talks begin at 2:30 pm (Sunday) and 6:30 pm (Tuesday) and are free for all ticket holders. All concert attendees are also invited to the post-concert gathering at Gaspare’s Pizzeria in San Rafael, minutes away from the concert hall, following Tuesday’s performance. Tickets for the concerts are $40-$80 (adults) and may be purchased at  or by calling 415.473.6800.

Sunday, March 5, 2017 – 3:00 pm
Tuesday, March 7, 2017 – 7:30 pm

Brahms: Nänie
Brahms: Schicksalslied

Elgar: Symphony No. 1

Adult: Starting at $40

Youth 6-17: Starting at $20
Children under 6: Free

Call 415.473.6800 (Marin Center Box Office)
Group discount for 10 or more: 20%

Marin Center Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium
10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, California 94903

About Marin Symphony
The acclaimed Marin Symphony Orchestra, established in 1951, presents classical Masterworks and Pops concerts in the Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium and other venues in Marin. Under the music direction of Alasdair Neale, more than 80 professional symphony musicians, 110 chorus members and world-class guest artists come together to bring live classical music performances to the community. Over 150 musicians participate in the Symphony’s youth programs, including the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra. Discover more at or call 415.479.8100.




Celebrate the Music and the Myth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

A Mozart Extravaganza!mozart_extravaganza_web-site-crop

The Marin Symphony and the Lark Theater are thrilled to present a sensational night of music and theatre.  On Tuesday evening, Feb 7, the Lark Theater will host Music Director Alasdair Neale and members of the Marin Symphony. Mozart scholar, Marin Symphony Board President (and violist) Steve Machtinger will give a brief and entertaining presentation illustrating some of the connections between Mozart’s music — performed live on stage by Marin Symphony musicians — and his philosophies of life.

The evening concludes with an exclusive screening of the live broadcast of English National Theater’s production of Amadeus.

Special rates for the February 7 performance apply for Marin Symphony subscribers and Lark Theatre members.  Get your tickets today!

Midori Comes to Marin! – Press Release

Midori_16-17 Season pic
San Rafael, CA, January 10, 2017 – Marin Symphony and Youth Orchestras and conductor Alasdair Neale welcome international violin phenomenon Midori for two concerts capping off a week’s residency focusing on community and school programs in January. As the sole recipients of Midori’s prestigious Orchestra Residency Program award this year, Marin Symphony and Youth Orchestra will host the violinist in a variety of venues and programs designed to enhance music education in the schools and community. She will then perform Britten’s Violin Concerto with the Symphony on a program that also includes Bay Area composer Mason Bates’ Devil’s Radio and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra at 8 pm Friday and Saturday, January 27 and 28, at the Marin Center Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael. Pre-concert talks begin at 6:30 pm and are free for all ticket holders. All concert attendees are also invited to the post-concert gathering at Gaspare’s Pizzeria in San Rafael, minutes away from the concert hall. Tickets for the concerts are $15-$80 and may be purchased at tickets, or by calling 415-473-6800.

“We are thrilled and honored to welcome Midori to Marin,” says Music Director Alasdair Neale, “and are grateful to the generosity of her Foundation for making it possible for Marin Symphony and Youth Orchestras to be the only organizations this year to present a full week of residency programs and concerts with her. Those familiar with the extraordinary caliber of our musicians and our acclaimed education programs know that the Marin Symphony is an exceptionally accomplished orchestra with deep connections to the community. Midori’s Award underscores this stature and recognition and supports an important bridge between it and the Youth Orchestra and our community.”

About Midori’s Marin Residency

Designed by Midori as a means of supporting the American youth orchestra, the Orchestra Residencies Program is a collaborative project which provides meaningful musical experiences for the next generation of classical musicians. The program aspires to help establish the youth orchestra as a presence in the community, as well as to build upon relationships with the local professional symphony, visiting artists and administrative staff.

In Marin, Midori will participate in a wide range of activities tailored to optimize the involvement of the youth orchestra. Through masterclasses, performance workshops, and meals with Q&A sessions, a substantial portion of the residency is devoted to the youth orchestra and its members. During her tenure in Marin, Midori will be participating in the following activities:

Symphony Day – Friday, January 27, 2017: 4th grade classes are invited to the concert hall at the Civic Center to hear Midori perform with the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra. Concert will be 45 minutes and tickets are free to Marin County Schools. Interested schools should visit the Symphony Day page to learn more and sign up at

Midori School Visits:  Midori will be available for 30 minute visits to Marin County schools Thurs-Fri, January 26-27, 2017.

Decision Makers meeting: Midori will address and confer with an assembled group of Marin County decision-makers, including county Supervisors, mayor, school superintendents, and others. The meeting will focus on the importance of music in school and community settings, and the need to support youth music programs.

Orch’apalooza! – Concert with Marin Symphony Youth Ensembles:  In the grand finale of her residency, Midori will perform with all three of our youth orchestras on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 3:00 pm.

For inquiries about school visits or Symphony Day, please contact Jenny Douglass at

About Midori

Midori is one of the most admired violinists of her generation. In addition to performing at the highest levels internationally, giving master classes and participating in prominent artistic residencies, she has made a sustained commitment to the violin repertoire of the future, commissioning new concerto and recital works over a period of many years.

Beyond her performing and recording career, Midori has been recognized as a dedicated and gifted educator and an innovative community engagement activist throughout the US, Europe, Asia and the developing world. Among many honors she has received in recent years, she was named a Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and received the prestigious Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In recent seasons, Midori has added several new recordings to her extensive discography: Bach’s complete Solo Sonatas and Partitas, a recital of sonatas by Bloch, Janáček and Shostakovich with pianist Özgür Aydin, and Paul Hindemith’s violin concerto with the NDR Symphony Orchestra and conductor Christoph Eschenbach in a recording that won a Grammy for Best Classical Compendium. In February 2016, Sony Classical released The Art of Midori, a 10-CD set containing some of her most important recordings for the label. DoReMi, the violin concerto written for her by Peter Eötvös and performed with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under the baton of the composer, was released in May 2016.

In 1992 Midori founded Midori & Friends, a non-profit organization in New York City that brings music education programs to underserved schoolchildren. Two other organizations, Music Sharing, based in Japan, and Partners in Performance, based in the U.S., also bring music closer to the lives of people who may not otherwise have involvement with the arts. Midori’s commitment to community collaboration and outreach is further realized in her Orchestra Residencies Program, which involves week-long residencies with American youth orchestras.

Midori was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1971 and began studying the violin with her mother, Setsu Goto, at an early age. In 1982, Zubin Mehta invited the11-year-old Midori to make her debut at the New York Philharmonic’s traditional New Year’s Eve concert, on which occasion she received a standing ovation and the impetus to begin a major career.

Today, in addition to her performing and outreach activities, Midori serves as Distinguished Professor of Violin and holds the Jascha Heifetz Chair at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. She is also a Guest Professor at Japan’s Soai University and at Shanghai Conservatory and an Honorary Professor at the Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music.

Midori plays the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù ‘ex-Huberman’. She uses four bows – two by Dominique Peccatte, one by François Peccatte and one by Paul Siefried.


Marin Symphony Announces Its 64th Season & Midori Residency Program

Midori_16-17 Season picSAN RAFAEL, CA — The Marin Symphony is excited to announce its 64th season at Marin Center with conductor Alasdair Neale celebrating his 16th season as Music Director. The 2016-17 Season will be a memorable one as the orchestra welcomes internationally acclaimed violinist, Midori to Marin. The Marin Symphony and its Youth Orchestra have been selected as this season’s sole recipient of her Prestigious Orchestra Residency Program Award. In addition to working with the youth programs and providing outreach to Marin schools, Midori will be the featured guest artist for the Orchestra’s Masterworks 2 program. Overall, the season offers four Masterworks concerts and one holiday pops concert, each putting orchestral power on full display.

The season kicks off October 30th with “Masterworks 1: Bold Beginnings” featuring works by Adams, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff.  The program leads with John Adams’ joyful exuberant piece, Short Ride in a Fast Machine, brilliantly scored for a large orchestra.  This kinetic gem evokes the excitement-cum-terror of a late-night thrill ride in a sports car. Guest artist Jon Nakamatsu, will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” on piano. The evening concludes with Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. Today many regard it as his finest music, perhaps even comprehensive enough to be his Fourth Symphony. [Read more…]


Tod Brody_Marin SymphSAN RAFAEL, CA – After a three-month national search, the Marin Symphony Association today announced the appointment of Tod Brody as its Executive Director, effective August 1st. Brody succeeds Jeff vom Saal, who was recently appointed Executive Director of the Spokane Symphony after a four-year tenure in Marin.

Brody comes to the Marin Symphony with fifteen years of executive experience in the performing arts, having most recently served for the past three years as Executive Director of San Francisco-based Opera Parallèle.  During his tenure with Opera Parallèle, he oversaw a period of significant artistic and financial growth. Brody is also a professional flutist and a lecturer in Music at UC Davis. He and his wife, Susan Walker, live in Petaluma with their ten-year old son Gabriel.

Brody said that he is honored and excited to be appointed Executive Director of the preeminent organization in the cultural landscape of Marin County.  “I’ve been part of the Marin Symphony community in a multitude of ways, for many years, and to have the opportunity to participate in leading the organization onward and upward is a really natural next step for me. I’m looking forward to making strong connections with the Symphony’s supporters, to partnering with the board, the musicians, the staff, and to working alongside Alasdair Neale, whom I’ve long admired.” [Read more…]

Marin Symphony’s Beth Vandervennet Receives National Award

The Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service


Congratulations to the Marin Symphony’s Beth Vandervennet, one of five exemplary orchestra musicians selected to receive Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service! A League of American Orchestras program made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund, the awards celebrate orchestra musicians and the essential work they do in their communities.  Beth and her fellow musicians are receiving their awards at the League’s National Conference in Baltimore, June 9-11, 2016.

Elizabeth Vandervennet received a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan where she studied applied cello with Jeff Solow, Nina DeVeritch, and Jerome Jelinek. Upon graduation she received high honors in Music Theory as well as a Minor in Arts Administration. Her Master of Music in Cello Performance from Carnegie Mellon University was obtained under the guidance of Anne MartindaleWilliams, the Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Vandervennet currently lives in Oakland California as an active freelance musician, teacher, and advocate for arts education. She is a member of the Oakland Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Marin Symphony, and Principal Cellist in Vallejo Symphony. Vandervennet’s chamber music posts include: cellist of Squid Inc, string quartet, and Rosin Coven, theatrical Pagan Lounge ensemble. In additional to teaching throughout the community of Oakland, she holds the post of Education Coordinator for the Oakland Symphony’s MUSE (MUSic for Excellence.) program.

Photo Credit: Seano Whitecloud