44th Season of Festival Mozaic Concludes
The 44th season of Festival Mozaic concluded on Sunday, July 27 with a chamber music concert in which the audience leapt to their feet for three standing ovations. The preceding nine days swept up San Luis Obispo County in a whirlwind of classical music performed by top classical musicians from orchestras and chamber music groups from around the country and the world. With four orchestra concerts, four chamber music concerts, three fringe concerts, five notable encounters, three master classes, three open rehearsals and the first-ever live audio simulcast (of the flagship Mozart in the Mission concert on July 23), the 2014 Summer Music Festival was a resounding success.
“The musicians were superb and were received enthusiastically by our audiences. We are also pleased that we were able to present a number of free events for the community. We greatly appreciate the support we receive from our donors, sponsors and ticket buyers,” said Festival Board President Steve Bland.
The organizers are still determining final numbers, but preliminary reports show that attendance and income increased this summer. Buoyed by record-breaking ticket sales in its off-season WinterMezzo Chamber Music series, the summer festival attracted a local, statewide and international audience of more than 800 individual ticketbuyers who purchased more than 4,000 tickets.
Some highlights of the Festival included a program of serenades at the historic Mission San Miguel. Preceded by a gourmet dinner, the concert featured works by Brahms, Haydn and others. Another highlight was the all-baroque program presented at Chapel Hill in Shandon, featuring Robert Walters, oboe d’amore (Cleveland Orchestra) and Nick Zammit (countertenor).
Artistically the festival was a huge success. Music director Scott Yoo said, “We presented some of the most difficult pieces in the repertoire and our artists were up to the task. Each year we aim to do better than the last; this year we hit a high watermark.”
Over its four decades, the festival has come to be known for presenting emerging artists early in their careers, including Richard Goode, Jeffrey Kahane, Hilary Hahn, Sir Neville Marriner, the Kronos Quartet, Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and the first American premiere performances of Maxim and Dmitri Shostakovich with Mstislav Rostropovich, immediately following their defection from the Soviet Union in 1981.
The press has taken note. Sunset Magazine featured Festival Mozaic as one of the top ten picks for “Best of the West.” The article cited Festival Mozaic’s unique concert venues as one of the reasons saying that the festival is “almost as much fun for architecture buffs as it is for music lovers.” Performing Arts Live visited the festival and declared, “This is without a doubt the finest music festival of its kind in Southern California. Their performances at amazing concert venues are world-class and truly exceptional.”
Cellist Brian Thornton spent his seventh summer here, playing in the orchestra, in chamber music groups and leading a master class. He had this to say, “Having played in the Cleveland Orchestra for almost 20 years, I understand the necessity for an atmosphere of support and excellence in an artistic community. This is combined in Festival Mozaic in a very special way. The artistic genius of Scott Yoo and the support from the audience set up the potential for incredibly inspiring concerts. I have performed in over 3,000 concerts around the world, and the concerts in San Luis Obispo and the surrounding areas meet or exceed the quality of any of those other concerts that I performed in. What a festival!”
Local artist Sharon Harris donated her painting “Antonin’s Dance” to the Festival for use in its marketing and promotional materials. The original painting was sold in silent auction for $5,200. All proceeds will benefit the Festival.