Symphony for the Senses: An Evening with the Marin Symphony

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The purpose of a symphony is, naturally, to delight the aural senses. The Marin Symphony in particular boasts a very talented chorus of 100 people, a unified and engaging orchestra, and various guest soloists which combine to create a delightful play of sound. On Jan. 31, the Symphony presented the works of Mozart and Brahms in an evening titled "The Bridge Between Here and Beyond." A pre-concert presentation featured author Roger Housden in conversation with conductor Alasdair Neale. They touched upon many subjects but the most memorable was Housden's recitation of a favorite poem of his which describes the relationships between love and the ethereal, correlating nicely with the title of the Symphony's feature presentation.

After this brief pre-concert talk, audience members found their assigned seats and the concert began. The first half of the show was dedicated to Mozart's Requiem, K. 626, which adequately demonstrated the beautiful voices of the entire chorus and orchestra as well as those of four soloists, Helene Zindarsian (soprano), Anna Jablonski (mezzo soprano), Corey Head (tenor), and Jeffrey Fields (baritone). Zindarsian's performance was my favorite not only because of her gorgeous voice and delicate handling of notes, but even more so because of the way she modestly showcased herself and her talents. A slight tilt of the head as she sang; a slowly sweeping gaze as she held that perfect high note; and the way her red evening gown barely rustled as she turned to include the farthest audience-members; all added up for a very beautiful performance. Add the expertise of the rest of the symphony to her skilled performance, and the first half of the show was a success.

What came next, though, topped the evening off as a complete joy. Brahms' Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 77, as performed by a limited orchestra and main violinist Vadim Gluzman. Clearly the highlight of the evening, Gluzman was not only engaging in his presentation, dancing gently as the music seemingly coursed through his body, but his musicianship was spectacular. He stole my breath with his bow, twirled my heartstrings around the delicate stem of his violin, and made my soul soar with the beautiful sounds he produced with his instrument. He truly understands how to make music a living, breathing being and then share that vision with his audiences. An absolute joy to experience. I was among the first to stand for his ovation, and my hands were among the last to cease their frantic beating as I desperately tried to convey the impact of his performance. Imagine my delight when Gluzman returned for an encore!

A delicious evening of sight, sound, and sweet symphony. I much anticipate future such evenings at the Marin Symphony.

EBAC thanks the Marin Symphony for providing access to this concert.

Maia is a UC Berkeley student working towards a bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern Studies and a minor in Dance and Performance Studies. Maia has also been a student of piano since the age of 4, and has been a performer all her life. She is Co-Chief Editor of Vagabond, UCB's Multilingual Literary Journal, and is an avid fan of live artistic performance. Maia can be reached at

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