November 2013

Spencer Myer

New American Portraits

  • Saturday, November 16 – Laxson Auditorium, Chico, 7:30pm
    Sunday, November 17 -
    Cascade Theatre, Redding, 2:00pm

Conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett will give a free pre-concert talk one hour before the concerts begin.

Ticket info

Our November concerts have a consortium of business and individual sponsors. Please let them know you appreciate their support of the North State Symphony!

Chico concert sponsors:

  • Eagle Security Systems/Apollo Pianos/Park Forest Homes by New Urban Builders
  • Chico guest artist – (Chris Navarrete)  Rupert and Joan McDowell/Dennis Letcher and Victoria Simone-Letcher Chico
  • Chico guest artist – (Kira Weiss) CSU Chico Alumni Association

Redding concert sponsors:

  • MD Imaging
  • Redding guest artist – (Chris Navarrete) Dwain and Mary Jane Spencer  
  • Redding guest artist – (Kira Weiss) Don and Heidi  Weidlein

Program Notes


Christopher Navarrete, trumpet

Christopher Navarrete is a graduate student at California State University, Chico, where he received his B.A. in 2013. During his time at Chico State, Chris's study emphasis has been on Music Education, Trumpet Performance, Composing and Arranging, and Jazz Studies. His studio instructors are Dr. Richard Winslow and Professor Rocky Winslow. He has been involved with many of the top performing ensembles Chico State has to offer, such as the CSUC Wind Ensemble, Jazz X-Press, the North State Symphony, and several more. Currently he is student teaching under the supervision of Todd Filpula at Chico Junior High School and Chico High School.

Mr. Navarrete’s goals are to complete the Teaching Credential Program at Chico State and then further his education at a graduate school in pursuit of his masters and doctorate in music. Christopher Navarrete grew up in Redding, CA and attended Shasta High School.

Kira Weiss, cello

Kira Weiss has been playing cello since she was five, and piano since she was three. She complained about practicing and threatened to quit until eleven years old, but now loves her cello, Mendel, and plays every day.

Kira loves cats, exploring cities, and spending time with friends and family, as well as playing music with others: orchestra, chamber music, pit orchestras, jamming.   Kira studied with Carol Jacobson, North State's principal cellist, for the past eight years. This September she started at University of Puget Sound, where she is studying with David Requiro, who will be appearing as a soloist with North State Symphony in May.

Kira's latest career dream is to set up water treatment marshes, but has many other interests she might like to explore. Kira is delighted to return to the symphony where she has played in the cello section for the past two years. She considers it a great privilege to play this piece she loves, with such a wonderful group of musicians and people.

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Danzón no. 2
Arturo Márquez (b. 1950)

Arturo Márquezis a Mexican composer of orchestra music who uses musical forms and styles of his native Mexico and incorporates them into his compositions.

Márquez was born in Álamos, Sonora, the first born of nine children. Marquez's father was a mariachi musician in Mexico and later in Los Angeles and his grandfather was a Mexican folk musician in the northern states of Sonora and Chihuahua. He was exposed to several musical styles in his childhood, particularly Mexican "salon music" which would be the impetus for his own later music.

In his late childhood the family immigrated to Southern California settling in La Puente, a suburb of Los Angeles. While living in La Puente he started formal studies in music enrolling in violin and trombone lessons. He had started piano studies in Alamos, Sonora and in the U.S. he continued more extensive piano lessons. He started composing at the age of 16 and then attended the Mexican Music Conservatory. Márquez was then awarded a scholarship by the French government to study composition in Paris with Jacques Casterede. Subsequently, in the U.S., he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and obtained a MFA in composition from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.

His music started to reach the international stage with the introduction of his series of Danzones in the early 1990s. The Danzones are based on the music of Cuba and the Veracruz region of Mexico. Danzon no. 2 was included on the program of the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel on their 2007 tour of Europe and the United States. As a result of the strong public response to the orchestra's performance of the piece, Danzon no. 2 has established itself as one of the signature pieces performed by the orchestra. It has also opened the door for the discovery of other pieces by the composer.

Marquez's music has been performed and recorded worldwide by a variety of chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras and soloists. He has composed numerous scores for film and dance works.

He lives with his family in Mexico City. Márquez has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors. Marquez was awarded the National Arts and Sciences award of Mexico by President Felipe Calderon on December 14, 2009. In February 2006, he made history when he became the first musician to receive "La Medalla De Oro De Bellas Artes de Mexico" (Gold Medal of Fine Arts of Mexico), one of Mexico's most coveted award for career accomplishments in the fine arts. Marquez has also been honored at several musical festivals throughout Latin America where his music has been performed extensively and has obtained a large following. In 2005, the Arturo Marquez International Music Festival was commenced in Caracas, Venezuela in honor of the composer. His Danzones are increasingly being used for ballet productions throughout the world. He is a popular composer among the Latin American public and is widely recognized as one of the most important and admired Mexican composers of his generation.

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Cello Concerto, Mvt. 1
Édouard-Victoire-Antoine Lalo (27 January 1823 – 22 April 1892)

Lalo was a French composer. He was born in Lille (Nord), in northernmost France. He attended that city's music conservatory in his youth, then, at age 16,  at the Paris Conservatoire. For several years, he worked as a string player and teacher, playing viola and violin. Lalo's earliest surviving compositions are songs and chamber works.

Julie Besnier de Maligny, a contralto from Brittany, became his bride in 1865. She aroused Lalo's early interest in opera and led him to compose works for the stage. Unfortunately, they were deemed too progressive and Wagnerian and were not initially well received despite their freshness and originality. This led him to dedicate most of his career to the composition of chamber music and works for orchestra.

Symphonie espagnole for violin and orchestra still enjoys a prominent place in violinists' repertoire. Lalo is also known for his Cello Concerto in D minor.

Édouard Lalo wrote his Cello Concerto in D minor in 1876. The first movement opens lento, then moves into an allegro maestoso, which continues throughout the rest of the movement. The opening has several measures of orchestral music before the solo cello enters with an ad lib theme that is played three times. This leads into the fast section, which features many fast and aggressive arpeggios, and quick and relentless sixteenth notes.

Lalo's idiom is notable for strong melodies and colourful orchestration, with a rather Germanic solidity that distinguishes him from other French composers of his era.

It was not till his late forties that Lalo gained fame as a composer. Le roi d'Ys (The King of Ys), an opera based on the Breton legend. He was made a knight (chevalier) of the Legion of Honour in 1880. He died in Paris in 1892.

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Trumpet Concerto
Johann Baptist Georg Neruda, (c. 1708 – c. 1780)

Johann Baptist Georg Neruda was a classical Czech composer.

Neruda is little known, and his dates of birth and death are only approximations. He was born in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, to a well-respected musical family. After spending his earlier years as a violinist and conductor in Prague and Germany, Neruda became Konzertmeister of the Dresden court orchestra.

His compositional output includes eighteen symponies, fourteen instrumental concertos (including the trumpet and a bassoon concerto), sonatas, sacred works and an opera Les Troqueurs.

One of the composer's more significant works is the Concerto in E-flat for Trumpet and Strings. Originally written for the "corno da caccia" or "natural horn" using only the high register, it is now rarely performed on anything other than an E-flat or B-flat trumpet. The manuscript for this piece is in the National Library in Prague.

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Symphony No. 3
Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990)

Aaron Copland was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and conductor. Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, he is often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers" and is best known to the public for the works he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s in a deliberately accessible style which the composer labeled his "vernacular" style. Works in this vein include the ballets Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid and Rodeo, his Fanfare for the Common Man and Third Symphony.

The open, slowly changing harmonies of many of his works are archetypical of what many people consider to be the sound of American music, evoking the vast American landscape and pioneer spirit. In addition to his ballets and orchestral works, he produced music in many other genres including chamber music, vocal works, opera and film scores.

After initial studies with composer Rubin Goldmark, Copland traveled to Paris, where he studied three years with Boulanger. He composed orchestral music in a "modernist" style but (partly with the goal of financial success), he shifted in the mid-1930s to a more accessible musical style that could serve utilitarian and artistic purposes. During the Depression years, he traveled extensively to Europe, Africa, and Mexico, formed an important friendship with Mexican composer Carlos Chávez and began composing his signature works.

During the late 1940s Copland felt a need to compose works of greater emotional substance than his utilitarian scores of the late 1930s and early 1940s. He was aware that Stravinsky, as well as many fellow composers, had begun to study Arnold Schoenberg's use of twelve-tone (serial) techniques. In his personal style, Copland began to make use of tone-rows in several compositions.

The Third Symphony is in the more traditional format (four movements; second movement, scherzo; third movement, adagio) and is his most famous symphony. At forty minutes, it is his longest orchestral composition. He composed it with Koussevitzky's unique character in mind, "I knew exactly the kind of music he enjoyed conducting and the sentiments he brought with it, and I knew the sound of his orchestra, so I had every reason to do my darnedest to write a symphony in the grand manner." Among the details of interest in the work is Copland's use of palindromic structure—whole movements as well as melodies end as they began.

Completing the work after World War II was won by the Allies, he stated that the symphony was "intended to reflect the euphoric spirit of the country at the time." The work received generally strong acclaim. Koussevitzky "declared it simply the greatest American symphony ever written."  Leonard Bernstein "deemed it the epitome of a decades-long search by many composers for a distinctly American music." It is the best known, most performed, and most recorded American symphony of the 20th Century.

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