On Saturday, November 21st, Symphony Napa Valley presented “A Grand Overture - 10th Anniversary Gala” led by Maestro Michael Guttman, at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater. The Gala 10th Anniversary Celebration was a tribute to the dedication of the Friends of the Lincoln Theater. This small group of people raised the money to remodel the Lincoln Theater at the Veteran’s Home and create a world class performing arts center.
The Gala Event is destined to be the most magical night of the season as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Lincoln Theater’s grand opening. The Symphony Gala will feature soprano, Marnie Breckenridge and tenor Christopher Bengochea. A Grand Overture pays tribute to all of those who built the Lincoln Theater with multiple overtures by Mozart, Verdi, and Bernstein as well as some of Classical Music’s most cherished pieces, such as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, ‘Brindisi’ from La Traviata, ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story, and more.
In 2005, the Napa Valley community came together to raise funds for a much needed restoration of the Lincoln Theater in Yountville. Several supporters of the theater and the symphony worked tirelessly to raise the $23 million needed to perform structural repairs and modernize the building, which was built in 1957 on the grounds of the Yountville Veterans Home. The Lincoln Theater is now a beautiful, modern building and one of the most sophisticated facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Michael Guttman is an eminent violin soloist, conductor and music director of festivals around the world. At age ten, he became the youngest student ever to be admitted into the Brussels Royal Conservatory of Music. Encouraged by his late mentor Isaac Stern, Guttman studied at the Juilliard School in New York with Dorothy Delay, the Juilliard Quartet and Felix Galimir. Guttman has earned critical acclaim from the New York Times for his “incredible wealth of tone colors and his sound of melting beauty“, and was described by the Jerusalem Post as the “Chagall of violinists“. He has performed in halls such as London’s Barbican Centre, New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, Paris’s Salle Pleyel, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Tokyo’s Bunko Kaikan. He collaborated with the late conductor and composer Lukas Foss at the Music Festival of the Hamptons, a relationship which initiated his conducting career.
Much in demand as a chamber musician, he is regularly invited to perform at festivals by Martha Argerich (Lugano), Yuri Bashmet (Elba), Natalya Gutman (Kreuth), Boris Berezovski (Moscow) or Salvatore Accardo (Vicenza), among others. In the coming season, Guttman is scheduled to premiere the concerto for violin and cello by Philip Glass in the US, Asia and Europe. He will tour the UK with the Brussels Chamber Orchestra and appear with the Dallas Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philarmonic, the Royal Flanders Philharmonic and will premiere a concerto by Steven Stucky in 2013.
Mr. Guttman is the principal guest conductor of the Brussels Chamber Orchestra, the leader of the acclaimed Arriaga Quartet and of the Michael Guttman Tango Quartet, as well as the founder and artistic director of Pietrasanta in Concerto, the highly praised music festival in Tuscany. The Paris Camerata, an ensemble created by Guttman, will make its Italian debut at both festivals this summer. As a conductor, he has collaborated with such artists as Martha Argerich, Peter Serkin, James Galway and Richard Stolztman. Following his recording of three concertos by Israeli composers with the London Philarmonic and the late David Shallon, Mr. Guttman performed with most Israeli orchestras and will play the concerto by Noam Sheriff with the Israel Philarmonic. Like his mentor Isaac Stern, Guttman is dedicated to helping young artists, notably at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Brussels.
Gina Gallo and Jean-Charles Boisset
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