Music on a Mission in California

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SLO Symphony invites guests on California Missions Tour 2013

California Missions

California Missions Tour 2013 features re-created early mission music in the venues that inspired them.

The California Missions Tour 2013 features world-renowned violinist Shunské Sato, the SLO Symphony Chamber Players and Maestro Michael Nowak on the weekend of Jan. 12 and 13.

The San Luis Obispo Symphony (SLO Symphony) invites guests from all across the state to take a unique journey featuring three amazing concerts at three historic Central Coast missions for one weekend only in January.

Shunské Sato, known as one of the most promising and versatile young musicians of his generation, will join the SLO Symphony on its California Missions Tour 2013 to perform Vivaldi’s beloved “The Four Seasons” and composer Dr. Craig Russell’s beautiful new work, drawn from re-discovered and re-created early mission music, “Ecos armónicos.”

“This is a remarkable opportunity to spend the weekend on the Central Coast, traveling from one mission to the next, enjoying the beautiful music of Vivaldi along with newly re-imagined music from California’s past, performed where it was originally inspired,” said Russell, the award-winning California Polytechnic State University professor and musicologist who discovered snippets of tunes and themes in mission archives from the late 18th and early 19th centuries and crafted a new work he calls “Ecos armónicos.” “I hope the guests hearing it will enjoy it as much as I do.”

California Missions Tour 2013 features Sato, the SLO Symphony Chamber Players and Maestro Michael Nowak on the weekend of Jan. 12 and 13. Guests can enjoy spectacular concerts at Mission San Miguel (Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m.), Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (Jan. 12 at 8 p.m.), and Mission Santa Barbara (Jan. 13 at 3 p.m.). Tickets range from general to premium seating and cost between $15 and $35 for each concert.

The SLO Symphony is offering this tour because it continually strives to support an outstanding community orchestra, foster symphonic and chamber music education, and contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of the Central Coast community.
Because of the size of the missions, seating is limited for each concert. Guests can purchase tickets online at or by calling (805) 543-3533.

Since 1961, the San Luis Obispo Symphony has grown from a fledgling community orchestra to a thriving cultural presence that has toured the world, playing well-known venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Symphony also dedicates fully one third of its annual budget to music education, serving thousands of children and adults throughout San Luis Obispo County every year.

“The Four Seasons” is a set of four violin concertos by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, composed in 1723. It is his best-known work and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music. Perhaps most well known for its unique texture, each concerto resembles its own respective season.

“‘Ecos armónicos’ is a thoroughly modern composition that explores the sounds from California’s past, drawing up on snippets of tunes that resonated in the various mission communities and presidio fortresses in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In a sense, they are echoes of influences brought from Spain by Franciscan friars that were then repeated as the native communities learned them – and in some ways transformed them—adding their own levels of harmony.” ~ An excerpt from program notes by composer Dr. Craig Russell.

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Patty Thayer
SLO Symphony
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