The symphony is a guiding voice behind Silicon Valley’s upcoming 20th anniversary season, and it’s one that may be familiar to San Jose radio listeners: Bob Kiev, the late president of Empire Broadcasting, owner of radio stations KLIV and KRTY.
Kiev, who died in May 2020 at the age of 98, was a longtime symphony supporter who has never been shy about expressing his opinion. And the advice he often had for Symphony president and general director Andrew Belles was to make sure the season always had crowd-pleasers on schedule.
So the symphony is honoring his memory by dedicating the season to Kiev, and the program includes several pieces he lobbied to perform over the years for the orchestra. “Bofo blockbusters are everywhere this season,” said Belles, borrowing a phrase from Kiev.
Those caveats include two Beethoven symphonies—numbers 5 and 7 (“If Beethoven’s 250th birthday last year was a big deal, how big should 251 be?” quipped Belles), as well as Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” ,” Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” Orff’s “Carmina Burana” and a favorite by Gershwin and Copeland. A local treasure, pianist John Nakamatsu, will return as the soloist of Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 5” at the California Theater the following May.
But Belles is quick to point out that Symphony Silicon Valley is strongly honing its commitment to new works and variety this season, beginning with “D’Colonialiste California,” a flute symphony by Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz. With the world premiere. “He’s a big deal in the world of classical music right now,” Belles said. “It’s opening our season in October, and it’s the right piece at the right time.”
And there’s something special to brew for Labor Day weekend in September. Although the Bells can’t say much yet, the calendar on the symphony’s website, www.symphonysiliconvalley.org, listing it as a “community concert”, brings back memories of the delightful Target Summer Pops outdoor concerts held many years ago. Stay tuned, because I’m sure that whatever it is, Kiev will probably like it.
‘follies’ returns a: After a three-year hiatus, Los Altos Stage Company is bringing back its music review parody with “Follies Reboot 2.0: The Sequel” on July 31. The fundraising show will combine pre-recorded material and live performances from the Bus Barn Theatre.
“We’re taking a ‘buff’ look at some common experiences over the past year of being stuck at home, coping with Zoom school, seeing our politics derailed,” said WikiReader. , who is teaming up with “Follies” regular David Hussio to co-direct and produce the show. Hsaio has helped him and other cast members get up to speed on audio and video recording technology.
Tickets are $50 to stream from your own device, or $150 per person for a VIP ticket that features a pre-show reception and big-screen live-stream viewing at a private venue. For more information and reservations, visit losaltosstage.org/follies-reboot-2-0.
the plot thickens: A little more light is shed about the disappearance of the howitzer cannon, which was part of the William McKinley Monument in San Jose’s St. James Park. A city spokesman told me that Cannon’s disappearance was reported in late May or early June 2020 – around the same time that protests against the killing of George Floyd were taking place in downtown San Jose. But Jane Lawson, a retired City Park ranger, says the timeline isn’t perfect and it actually happened in January or February.
“An employee on the Downtown Streets team noticed it missing and got word to the park’s facility supervisor, who oversees the park,” Lawson said in an email. “I was training a new ranger to take the report.”
That ranger followed to see if there was any useful surveillance video on the street or in the courtyard of the light-rail station, and they went with a photo to local recycling centers to see if anyone had recycled the bronze cannon. – which they were told would only bring money in the pound because it was full of poor grade metal and cement.
By the way, Lawson knows that it all happened before May 2020 as she retired from the city on March 23, 2020, after 30 years of service.