Conductors got their name by both guiding orchestras and wielding copper batons that deflect lightning away from the brass section. Behold an electrifying performance with this GrouponLive deal to see Orchestra Santa Monica's Black History Month Concert at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church on Sunday, February 3, at 3:30 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Choose between the following options:
- For $20, you get two general-admission tickets (a $40 value).
- For $40, you get four general-admission tickets (an $80 value).
Tickets for full-time students are regularly $10 each, and children get in free with an accompanying adult.
Now in its first season, Orchestra Santa Monica’s collaboration of Los Angeles–area professionals and emerging young musicians is determined to share classical music with as wide of an audience as possible. The ensemble takes its cues from the baton of music director Allen Robert Gross, who was described by the Los Angeles Times as having “the rare ability to excite an orchestra, to get it to reach beyond its capabilities.”
The night opens with the Chevalier de Saint-George's Symphony in D Major. Born in 1745, Saint-George developed an elegant style that influenced the burgeoning classical school. His symphony opens with forceful staccato strings that ascend to light-filled, full-orchestra chords, evoking the consuming sensory dazzle of the period's lavish balls and intimate chamber concerts.
Contemporary composer Andre Myers contributes his new piece, Quilting, for its premiere at the concert. Myers has experience as a composer in residence for the Michigan Philharmonic and an intern for some of the country’s most dexterous grandmothers.
Dubbed the "dean of African-American composers" during his lifetime, William Grant Still flooded the middle decades of the 20th century with works that made use of the era’s riot of developing popular genres. His Danzas de Panama explores the kinetic rhythms of traditional Latin-American dances. The Cumbia y Congo section kicks off with galloping cello pizzicato, punctuated by syncopated eighth notes from the violas. The violins pipe up with high-pitched chirps that gradually coalesce into a flowing melody.
The evening closes with Mozart's Symphony no. 41, dubbed Jupiter by its admirers for its grand sweep and towering ambition. The last symphony Mozart completed, Jupiter culminates with a fourth-movement coda that combines all the movement's melodies into a dazzlingly complex, five-voice fugato.
Behind the Music
Known as the "black Mozart," Saint-George was born to a former slave and wealthy landowner on the French-Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Sent to Paris at an early age for his studies, the dashing young man became famous throughout Europe for his fencing prowess, equestrian talent, and skills as a conductor, violinist, and composer. A favorite of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, he led orchestras in the aristocratic courts of the ancien régime before following the political currents to lead a regiment of African-descended volunteers on behalf of the revolution in the wars that followed the monarchy’s fall.
Though this merchant sometimes offers a discounted price online, this Groupon is still the best deal available.