New Century Chamber Orchestra

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Music Director

Thursday, November 10, 7:30pm, Concert Hall

The Grammy-nominated New Century Chamber Orchestra relies on the virtuosic skill of each individual—instead of a conductor—to achieve its improvisatory sound, with power, color and precision. Performing standing, their rhythmic unanimity and velvety smooth string tone will knock your socks off and remind you of all that’s delicious in the world. Program includes Mendelssohn’s String Symphony, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Bolcom’s Violin Concerto Romanza, and Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen.

Reserved Seating: $40, $30, $15; FC, GCC, STCC and 17 & under $10

Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra celebrate the Ensemble’s 20th Anniversary Season with an East Coast concert tour including a performance at the Fine Arts center Concert Hall. This will be Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s fourth season at the helm of the New Century Chamber Orchestra.

The New Century Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1992, looks for fresh, exciting ways to present classical music in the San Francisco Bay Area by combining performances of extraordinary quality with innovative programming. World-renowned violin soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg was appointed Music Director and Concertmaster of the 19-member string ensemble in January 2008. New Century, comprised of local musicians and those who travel from across the U.S. and Europe to perform in the Bay Area together, performs without a conductor. Musical decisions are made collaboratively, resulting in an enhanced level of commitment on the part of the musicians to concerts of remarkable precision, passion and power.

In addition to performing classic pieces of chamber orchestra repertoire, New Century commissions important new works, breathes life into rarely heard jewels of the past, performs world premieres and brings pieces from other genres such as jazz and rock into the chamber orchestra setting.

Nadja’s first two seasons as Music Director were hailed as a tremendous success by audiences and critics alike—“a marriage that works,” in her words and “one of the most burnished and exciting ensembles in the Bay Area,” according to Rich Scheinin of the San Jose Mercury News.

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s professional career began in 1981 when she won the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. In 1983 she was recognized with an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and in 1999, she was honored with the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg was born in Rome and immigrated to the United States at the age of eight to study at The Curtis Institute of Music. She later studied with Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School.

The Orchestra has released six compact discs, including LIVE: Barber, Strauss, Mahler, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s second recording with the Orchestra as Music Director. The new disc was released November 2010 on NSS Music, and features live recordings from the Orchestra’s 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. Other recordings include a 1996 collaborative project with Kent Nagano and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra featuring the work of 20th century-Swiss composer Frank Martin, and Written With the Heart’s Blood, a 1997 Grammy Award finalist, both on the New Albion label. A year later, the Orchestra recorded and released works of Argentine composers Alberto Williams and Alberto Ginastera on the d’Note label. In 2004, the Orchestra recorded and released Oculus, a CD of Kurt Rohde’s compositions on the Mondovibe label. In 2009, the Orchestra recorded and released Together featuring works by Piazzolla and 2008-2009 Featured Composer Clarice Assad on the NSS Music label. All of the recordings have been distributed both internationally and in the United States.

New Century is committed to being a vital part of the community and to educational outreach in the communities where it performs. The orchestra provides musical education to 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students in an intensive program at schools in Marin City and San Rafael’s Canal District. In addition to several annual classroom visits by a string quartet, selected students are offered free instrumental music instruction with a goal of having the students on as close of an educational equivalency as possible with their suburban peers.
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9 Replies to “New Century Chamber Orchestra”

  1. The New Century Chamber Orchestra was quite amazing last Thursday. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg was energetic and brilliant. The choice of music was interesting especially in that the Rossini piece was written when he was 12 and the Mendelssohn when he was 16! Makes you want to start all over. My favorite piece to my surprise was the Balcom violin concerto. The emotions ranged from very dark to the final joyful movement called “Cakewalk.” A pleasant concert.

  2. The performance was exquisite. I enjoyed all four pieces including their composite movements. I also took part in both the pre-concert talk at the University Club as well as the post-concert talk with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.

  3. the Bolcom piece had an extraordinary range of sounds.

    what so impressed me in this performance were the smiles from the performers. it is rare to see the obvious delight of the musicians in their work.

  4. It was an exciting evening of music. This was the level of performance that I hope for and look forward to. Please continue booking artists of this quality. Also nice to see so many talented WOMEN…

  5. What a great concert. I saw Nadja about 20 years ago with St. Martin-in-the- Fields, and she is still as exuberant as she was then!

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