Press Release


January12, 2016 (805) 497-5837
Photo Attached




New West Symphony music director Marcelo Lehninger will lead the orchestra in a Masterpiece Series concert featuring the music of Gershwin and Ravel.   Prize-winning pianist Denis Kozhukhin will make his New West Symphony debut with three performances of Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G. The program also includes George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, A Symphonic Picture and An American in Paris and Ravel's Second Suite from Daphnis et Chloé.
The first performance will take place on Friday, January 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center located at 800 Hobson Way in Oxnard. The program will be repeated on Saturday, January 23 at 8:00 pm at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks and on  Sunday, January 24, 2016 at Barnum Hall in Santa Monic located at 600 Olympic 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:  These lively and informative, 30-minute, pre-concert discussions about the music on the program begin one hour prior to the performances.  The programs are free and open to ticket holders for the respective performances.

About the Soloist
Russian born pianist Denis Kozhukhin was launched onto the international scene after winning First Prize in the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels at the age of 23. Mr. Kozhukhin's  career blossomed with appearances in major concert halls and at international festivals. During the 2014/15 season, he made his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo in Brazil.
As a recitalist, Mr. Kozhukhin also made debut appearances that season at the Concertgebouw's Master Pianists series, the Tonhalle, Wigmore Hall, the International Piano Festival at the Mariinsky Theatre, Mecklenburg- Vorpommern Festival and the Prague Dvorak Festival.
For a complete biography, Click Here

About the Music
In 1925, DuBose Heyward wrote a best-selling novel called Porgy. George Gershwin read the book in 1926 and immediately contacted Heyward about turning the book into an opera. Heyward agreed, but it would be seven years before Gershwin was able to sign a contract to compose the opera.  Porgy and Bess finally had its Broadway premiere on October 10, 1935 to moderate success. Many of the show’s songs became pop standards and helped maintain the show’s reputation.  In 1975, the complete score was given a concert performance by Lorin Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra and was staged a year later by the Houston Grand Opera. The Metropolitan Opera presented that production in 1985.

Following a successful 1928 tour of the United States, Maurice Ravel began planning for a return tour.  The Concerto in G was to be the featured work on the tour with Ravel as soloist. The American tour never materialized but he did tour the work in Europe in 1932 with Marguerite Long as soloist. The tour took a toll on his health and the Concerto in G was his last major work.

George Gershwin was visiting Paris in March 1926 when he hit upon an idea of a “walking theme” to  capture the impression of an American visitor to the city as he listens to the street sounds and absorbs the French atmosphere.  Late in 1927, Walter Damrosch, music director of the New York Symphony, commissioned Gershwin for a new work for the orchestra.  Using sketches from his Parisian sojourn, he set to work on An American in Paris. The work received its premiere on December 13, 1928.

 In 1910, the impresario of the famous Ballet Russe Sergei Diaghilev commissioned Maurice Ravel to write the score for ballet based on an ancient Greek pastoral.  Daphnis et Chloé had its premiere in Paris on June 8, 1912.  The ballet was not well received but the score immediately became popular with orchestras around the world and remains one of the most popular of 20th Century scores.  Ravel extracted two Suites comprising some two-thirds of the work’s length from the complete ballet. The Second Suite parallels the action of the ballet’s final Scene: Daybreak, Pantomime of the adventure of Pan and Syrinx, and the concluding General Dance.
  For complete program notes, 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 New West Symphony Harmony Project of Ventura County, a year-round, tuition–free music and leadership program for underserved students.

New West Symphony
2015/2016 Masterpiece Series Concert No. 3

Friday, January 22, 2016  8:00 pm
Oxnard Performing Arts Center
800 Hobson Way, Oxnard

Saturday, January 23, 2016  8:00 pm
Bank of America Performing Arts Center at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks

Sunday, January 24, 2016  4:00 pm
Barnum Hall, Santa Monica
600 Olympic Boulevard, Santa Monica

Marcelo Lehninger, conductor
Denis Kozhukhin, piano
California Lutheran University Choral Ensembles,
  Wyant Morton, director


Gershwin Porgy and Bess, A Symphonic  Picture
Ravel Piano Concerto in G New
Gerswhin An American in Paris
Ravel Suite No. 2 from Daphnis et Chloé