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Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                CONTACT: JOHN BALDON
February 12, 2015                                                             (805) 497-5837
Photos Attached                                                     




Music Director Marcelo Lehninger Will Conduct

The New West Symphony continues its 20th Anniversary season theme of "Breaking New Sound" with performances of two works new to the Symphony's repertoire. Music Director Marcelo Lehninger will lead the orchestra in the Symphony's first performance of Igor Stravinsky's Second Suite for Small Orchestra and Sergei Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Opus 27. Van Cliburn International Piano Competition medal winner Sean Chen returns as soloist for Camille Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 2 in G Minor for Piano & Orchestra, Opus 22. Mr. Chen last appeared with the orchestra during the 2008/2009 season.

The first performance will take place on Friday, February 27, 2015 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 28, 2015 at 8:00 pm at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks and on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm at Santa Monica's Barnum Hall, located at 601 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica.

Tickets:  Tickets priced from $29 to $102 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.

About the Soloist
In 2013 pianist Sean Chen, a native of Oak Park, California and a former New West Symphony Discovery Artist, won the American Pianists Association's DeHaan Classical Fellowship, one of the most lucrative and significant prizes available to an American pianist. That same year, he won Third Prize at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, becoming the first American to reach the finals since 1997. Sean Chen has appeared as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Gerard Schwarz, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Corpus Christi, New West, Phoenix and San Diego Symphony orchestras and the Suwon City Philharmonic in South Korea.

Highlights of Sean Chen's 2014-15 season include debuts with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra at the Kimmel Center and the symphony orchestras of Hartford, Tucson, Santa Fe, and Carmel. For a complete biography, Click Here

About the Music
Igor Stravinsky took four sections of his Eight Easy Pieces for piano duet to create the Second Suite for Small Orchestra. Three of the movements became caricatures of his friends Sergei Diaghilev, Erik Satie and Alberto Casella with the fourth becoming a caricature of the St. Petersburg Folies Bergères.

Camille Saint-Saëns was the renaissance man among the great Romantic composers. His interests extended well beyond music to include the sciences (especially astronomy), theater, drawing and caricature, archeology, poetry, mathematics and literature. His prowess as a composer and pianist were on display in the creation of the Second Piano Concerto. The work was promised for a concert to be held in three weeks' time. The Concerto was finished in seventeen days and had its immediate premiere with Saint-Saëns as soloist.

The premiere of Sergei Rachmaninov's First Symphony was a complete disaster.  So poorly was it received that it drove the composer into deep despair and he composed nothing for two years.  In 1900 he began consulting with Dr. Nicholas Dahl whose use of hypnosis and method of auto-suggestion (and probably his enlightened conversation about music) helped restore Rachmaninov's confidence. He began composing again, producing among other works, the Second Piano Concerto which brought him international fame. In 1906, he moved his family to Dresden and shortly thereafter began work on the Second Symphony.  The Symphony was an immediate success when it received its premiere in 1908 in St Petersburg with e Rachmaninov conducting. For complete program notes, Click Here.

New West Symphony
2014/2015 Masterpiece Series Concert No. 4

Friday, February 27, 2015  8:00 pm
Oxnard Performing Arts Center
800 Hobson Way, Oxnard

Saturday, February 28, 2015  8:00 pm
Bank of America Performing Arts Center at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks

Sunday, March 1, 2015  4:00 pm
Barnum Hall, Santa Monica
601 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica

Marcelo Lehninger, conductor
Sean Chen, piano

Stravinsky Second Suite for Small Orchestra
Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 2 in G Minor for Piano & Orchestra,
  Opus 22
Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Opus 27