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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Symphony Silicon Valley dedicates ‘Bofo’ season to Bob Kiev

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.

Andrew Belles, president and general director of Symphony Silicon Valley, pictured at the California Theater in 2014. (Nhat v. Meyer / Bay Area Newsgroup)

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.

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