The British are coming to Old Town Temecula as the California Chamber Orchestra prepares to salute composer Benjamin Britten in his centennial year.
“When we think about British classical music in the 20th Century, nobody is as important as Benjamin Britten,” said Music Director and Conductor Dana Mambourg Zimbric in a released statement.
“In chamber music, opera, and orchestra music, he was among the most important composers. Not just in England, but throughout western music,” Zimbric said.
The orchestra’s February 2 concert, “Blue Britten,” includes two of Benjamin Britten’s works: the “Simple Symphony” (1934), and the “Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings” (1943).
The program also features two works by Henry Purcell, a 17th century British composer.
“We often think that once a composer dies, his influence wanes,” Zimbric said. “But Purcell proves that’s just not true. He had a huge influence on Britten and other composers of the 20th century. In fact, the rock band The Who claims Purcell as one of their important influences. The two Purcell works we’ll perform had a direct influence on Benjamin Britten’s compositions.”
Two soloists will be featured: Tenor Robert MacNeil and horn virtuoso Darby Hinshaw.
The concert, underwritten by a gift from Elaine and Robert F. Culverhouse, Jr., is dedicated to the memory of Hattie Hedrick (1953 – 2012).
“Hattie was one of the founders of the Golden Valley Music Society,” said Gregory Prudhomme, the organization’s president. “She believed very strongly that a community like ours needs a professional orchestra, and she worked very hard to make that happen.”
The concert, part of the Temecula Presents Classical series, is planned for 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 at Old Town Temecula Theater located at 42051 Main Street in Temecula.
For tickets or to learn more, visit www.temeculatheater.org.
*Contributed by California Chamber Orchestra