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Marin Symphony Announces 63rd Season

May 28, 2015

The Marin Symphony.When the Marin Symphony’s 63rd season opens on November 1, music, not business, will be front and center, much to everyone’s relief.

Largely thanks to the symphony’s music director, Alasdair Neale — who will be celebrating his 15th year with the orchestra when he raises his baton next year — the symphony’s outlook is hopeful. The organization has rallied in the last three years, although its finances remain only in fair condition. Concerts and staff have been cut back: Last year, the symphony held four masterworks concerts and three pops concerts; this year there will be three masterworks and one pops. The spring pops concert was cancelled, and the wildly popular waterfront pops concert, scheduled for September 12, is in doubt. That production demands a mammoth stage, and the $180,000 cost to put on the concert seems a bridge too far.  

Nevertheless the symphony’s education outreach program has been increasingly effective, particularly the guest artists program in which performers come to the schools to perform and talk about music.

The season’s opening concert will include “Masterworks 1: Russian Spectacular.” Guest artist Gleb Ivanov will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor on piano, followed by Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony in E minor.

On December 15, the symphony will offer a holiday concert with pop classics, traditional carols, and holiday film themes. On February 28 and March 1: “Masterworks 2: The Romance of Rodrigo.” The program includes Brahms’ Fourth Symphony; Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, performed with guest artist Robert Belinić, and Bartók’s Rumanian Folk Dances.

The season ends on April 24 and 26 with “Masterworks 3: Boléro!”, featuring Ravel’s evergreen crowd-pleaser along with “Excerpts from Carmen, Suite 1 and 2.” On the second half, the orchestra offers Maurice Duruflé’s meditative Requiem, performed with the Marin Symphony Chorus.

In addition the symphony has begun to focus more of its mission on education programs and outreach.

The Marin Symphony Orchestra performs at the Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium and other venues in Marin. The symphony includes more than 80 professional symphony musicians, 110 chorus members and world-class guest artists.  In addition, more than 100 musicians participate in the symphony’s youth programs, including the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra, Crescendo, and Symphony Schools programs. Discover more at or call 415.479.8100.

Mark MacNamara, a writer and journalist based in Asheville, North Carolina, has written for such publications as NautilusSalonThe Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Vanity Fair. From time to time, his pieces in San Francisco Classical Voice also appear in  Noteworthy examples include a piece about Philip Glass’s dream to build a cultural center on the Pacific Coast; a profile of sound composer Pamela Z and an essay on the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. MacNamara recently won several awards in the 2018 Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards presented by the San Francisco Press Club.  His website is