Berkeley Symphony 50th Anniversary Fanfare
Berkeley Symphony is reimagining the contemporary role of a community orchestra by infusing our art with a commitment to honor the people and spirit of Berkeley with culturally relevant and challenging work that is representative of the breadth of diversity that makes our city so rich. In a fitting tribute to our city for the opening of our fiftieth anniversary season, we have commissioned Jimmy Lopez to compose a new work that will premiere alongside Beethoven’s 9th Symphony celebrating our tradition of taking programmatic risks and presenting major new works alongside fresh interpretations of the classical repertoire.
Jimmy came to Berkeley from Lima, Peru in 2007 and has used his work to address current social issues that are relevant to our city. His 2018 oratorio “Dreamers”, with lyrics by Nilo Cruz, focuses on the stories of young people who were brought to this country by their parents and seeks to create empathy, stir emotions, and encourage dialogue that restores humanity to a topic that has become a political weapon. For this commission, Jimmy is inspired by Berkeley’s rich cultural heritage as well as Berkeley Symphony’s fifty-year history as a leading arts organization in the community. This will be the first time BSO commissions and performs a work by Jimmy and it is also the first time our new Music Director Joseph Young will have worked with the composer whose work he has long admired. As Joseph said, “My role as the leader of the orchestra is to reach out to the community through music.” With this commission, we are supporting local talent and in particular amplifying the voice of an artist who is eager to contribute to the thriving Bay Area musical culture.
This project speaks to the legacy, future, and deep values of Berkeley Symphony. As Jimmy says “by engaging composers who are part of the community, the orchestra strengthens its ties with the community it serves. It is important and necessary to expose audiences to international talent, but it is equally important to show that such talent is also to be found from within.” Partnering with Jimmy we are thrilled to embark on our fiftieth season of presenting symphonic music that engages, inspires, and challenges audiences from across the Bay Area.
This is a video of Joseph Young making his debut as Music Director of Berkeley Symphony conducting Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The video helps to illustrate the rapport that Joseph has established with the orchestra. The audio is from the opening night concert and demonstrates artistry of the musicians.
Start and End Dates
10/01/2021 — 10/31/2021