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Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                CONTACT: JOHN BALDON
February 11, 2014                                                             (805) 497-5837
Photos Attached                                                     



Music Director Marcelo Lehninger Returns to Podium

Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medal winner Cristina Ortiz will make her New West Symphony debut on the next 2013/2014 Masterpiece Series concert playing Momoprecoce by Heitor Villa-Lobos .  New West Symphony music director Marcelo Lehninger will lead three performances of the program that also includes Maurice Ravel's Suite from Ma Mère L'oye ("Mother Goose") and Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky in the Ravel orchestration.

The first performance will take place on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, located at 800 Hobson Way in Oxnard.  The program will be repeated on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks and on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm at Santa Monica's Barnum Hall, located at 601 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica.

Tickets:  Tickets priced from $25 to $98 are available by phone, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday at 1-866-776-8400.  Tickets are also available in person at the New West Symphony office, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday and through the Symphony web site at, 24/7.   Tickets are also available at the respective concert hall box offices.

Hear & Now Live:  This lively and informative, pre-concert discussion about the music on the program begins at 7:00 pm on Friday and Saturday evenings and 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon.  The programs are free and open to ticket holders for the respective performances. 

Brazilian pianist Cristina Ortiz is widely considered one of the pre-eminent interpreters of the music of Villa-Lobos. Praised for the passion and intensity of her playing, she has garnered rave reviews for her performances on world stages of the standard concerto and solo repertoire as well as works by lesser known composers.  In recent years she has become more involved in chamber music performances and in conducting orchestras from the keyboard.  For a full biography of Cristina Ortiz, please Click Here

In 1908 Maurice Ravel composed Ma Mère L'oye ("Mother Goose") for piano, setting five of the favorite fairy tales of the children of family friends. He orchestrated the pieces in 1911 and added additional orchestral material to create a ballet.

Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazil's greatest composer, was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1889 and died there in 1959.  Villa-Lobos was enthralled with the indigenous songs and dances of his native land, and he made several trips into the Brazilian interior to study the native music and ceremonies. Between 1919-1920, while living in Paris, he composed a set of eight piano pieces based on children's songs under the title Carnaval das crianças brasileiras ("Carnival of the Brazilian Children"), depicting the merry-making of the youngsters during the annual Carnival celebration in Rio de Janeiro. In 1929, the Brazilian pianist Magdalena Tagliaferro, then also living in Paris, requested that Villa-Lobos create a new work for her appearances during the upcoming season. Villa-Lobos arranged the Carnaval das crianças brasileiras as a fantasy for orchestra and solo piano, and titled the score Mômoprecóce, a term meaning both "precocious lad" and "young Momus," i.e., the King of the Brazilian Carnival.

Modest Mussorgsky composed  Pictures at an Exhibition as a set of piano pieces depicting paintings by his friend Victor Hartmann that had been shown at a memorial exhibit for Hartmann who had died an untimely death at the age of 39.  In 1922, Maurice Ravel orchestrated the work for the Parisian concerts of conductor Sergei Koussevitzky.

For complete program notes, please Click Here.

About the New West Symphony:  Founded in 1995, the New West Symphony is a professional orchestra that draws its players from the rich talent pool of professional Los Angeles-area musicians. Led by music director Marcelo Lehninger, the Symphony is the resident company of the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, and Barnum Hall in Santa Monica.  It presents six Masterpiece Series concerts annually, performing major works from the symphonic repertoire with internationally-acclaimed artists as guest soloists.  The Symphony also provides quality outreach and educational opportunities for the communities it serves through its annual Symphonic Adventures concert programs for youth, its traveling Music Van, and its partnership with New West Symphony Harmony Project of Ventura County, a year-round music and leadership program for underserved students.

New West Symphony
2013/2014 Masterpiece Series Concert No. 4
Friday, February 21, 2014  8:00 pm
Oxnard Performing Arts Center
800 Hobson Way, Oxnard
Saturday, February 22, 2014  8:00 pm
Bank of America Performing Arts Center at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks
Sunday, February 23, 2014  4:00 pm
Barnum Hall, Santa Monica
601 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica

Marcelo Lehninger, conductor
Cristina Ortiz, piano

Ravel Suite fromMa Mère L'oye ("Mother Goose")
Villa-Lobos Momoprecoce
Pictures at an Exhibition