Dear Friends,

Autumn is my favorite time of year; I eagerly await nature’s radiant colors and the crisp air! Performances have kicked into a higher gear and we’ve all been looking at this time for signs of what the winter concert season will bring. It’s been busy on the podium and home! Here’s what has been going on.
Recent Highlights
We’re back and we’re live!!

Hats off to everyone out there for pushing through the challenges of the past year and a half and a huge hug as we all venture into the new territory of pandemic concert-going!

My wife Alexis and I have been to a handful of performances in different cities this autumn and the organizations, big and small, have handled the protocols and the performances themselves well. Clearly, there is a huge appetite for experiencing humans creating art. But there is reluctance that we will be at the mercy of for some time to come.

New West Symphony launched into in-person performances in the middle of October and what a thrill it was!

The program, “Delights and Dances,” was designed to embrace music of multiple genres and eras in venues embedded in our supporters’ communities. The title is befitting both for what I felt and had the desire to do while conducting the likes of Grieg’s Holberg Suite,” the magnificent “Delights and Dances” of Michael Abels and especially the “Hoe-down” from Copland’s Rodeo, alongside students from Malibu High School and Pepperdine University.

It is clear to me that initiatives our industry has been discussing for decades about audience and community collaboration is going to play an even larger role in sustaining our organizations, and at New West we are embracing this need with passion and urgency.
Upcoming New West Symphony Highlights
Looking ahead to the end of the year and into 2022, I’m not wasting a moment or an ounce of creativity as I enter my third season as Artistic and Music Director with the New West Symphony. Our 2021-2022 six-concert Masterpiece Series kicks off in December with the program “Tales of Winter,” which will feature the full New West Symphony along with four dozen guest performers in an array of winter inspired symphonic masterworks by Rimsky-Korsakov’s Snow Maiden Suite, Waldteufel’s Skater’s Waltz, and more, alongside holiday traditions that span the globe.
Our intention is to lay the groundwork for an annual holiday event befitting the rich heritage of the SoCal region and the vibrancy of its diverse entertainment industry.
Going into the new year, there will be a broad assortment of entertaining programming, which will include performances of works by four American women composers: Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, Jessie Montgomery’s Strum, Reena Esmail’s Meri Sakhi Ki Avaaz (My Sister’s Voice), and the world premiere of Pauline Frechette’s Tales of Winter.

The new season will also feature a diverse array of guest artists. Many of these musicians will be making their solo debuts as part of New West Symphony’s six concert Masterpiece Series, including violinist Elena Urioste, guitarist JIJI, New West Symphony principal trumpet James Grinta, double bassist Xavier Foley, pianist Andrew von Oeyen, the Son Jarocho ensemble Cambalache, Hindustani soprano Saili Oak, soprano Toni Marie Palmertree, mezzo soprano Sarah Coit, tenor Yongzhao Yu, and baritone Craig Irvin. The return of our Masterpiece series marks the Symphony’s return to a full season of live performances – Saturday evenings in Thousand Oaks at the Thousand Oaks Bank of America Performing Arts Center and Sunday afternoons in Camarillo at the Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center – after presenting seven virtual Global Sounds, Local Cultures festivals during lockdown.
As much as the pandemic has fostered more thoughts of living in and appreciating the moment, which includes savoring the joy of live performance, I’m also thinking beyond the experiences of single concert programs and toward fostering lasting relationships with even more people from more backgrounds – from the seasoned concert-goer, to local community families, and even those who have never attended concerts before. This season is about entertaining, enriching, and enlightening for years to come.
Upcoming Opera Performances
I’m also brimming with anticipation for the arrival of spring, when I will return to Lyric Opera of Kansas City (March 11-13, 2022), as well as make my debut with Atlanta Opera (April 30, May 3, 6, 8, 2022). With both companies, I will be leading Mason BatesThe (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, an opera which won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, for the world premiere recording I conducted with the Santa Fe Opera (PENTATONE).
Michael Christie's Full 2021-2022 Season Concert Details
New West Symphony 2021-2022 Masterpiece Series
All Saturday Performances at 7pm at Thousand Oaks Bank of America Performing Arts Center (2100 E Thousand Oaks Blvd. | Thousand Oaks, CA)

All Sunday Performances at 3pm at Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center (4235 Mar Vista Dr.| Camarillo, CA)

Tales Of Winter! Celebrate The Holidays with New West Symphony
Symphonic wintertime delights and beloved holiday traditions will have you skating in the aisles. The orchestra will be joined by the Los Robles Children’s Choir, traditional Mexican music ensemble Hermanos Herrera, members of the California Contemporary Ballet, and special guest host, actor and impressionist Jim Meskimen, all under the direction of Michael Christie.
December 4 & 5, 2021
Michael Christie, conductor
Jim Meskimen, guest host
Hermanos Herrera, guest ensemble
California Contemporary Ballet
Los Robles Children’s Choir 
TCHAIKOVSKY: Selections from The Nutcracker
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Snow Maiden Suite
WALDTEUFEL: Skater’s Waltz
FRY: The Twelfth Elf
FRECHETTE: Tales of Winter (world premiere)
ANDERSON: Sleigh Ride

Our American Roots
From majestic mountains to Hollywood’s Silver Screen, America inspires great music. Antonin Dvořák wove a musical tapestry that blended American styles with Western European symphonic traditions, influencing the works of Aaron Copland, Joan Tower, Erich Wolfgang Korngold and John Williams.
January 29 & 30, 2022
Michael Christie, conductor
Elena Urioste, violin
COPLAND: Fanfare for the Common Man
DVOŘÁK: Suite in A Major, “American”
TOWER: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
KORNGOLD: Violin Concerto
WILLIAMS: Star Wars Suite

Music To My Ears: The Science of Sound
Music is one of humanity’s most treasured and enduring experiences, combining physical science with human emotional response. Together we will explore how the characteristics of musical instruments and concert venues themselves create our vibrant acoustic experience.
February 26 & 27, 2022
Michael Christie, conductor
JIJI, guitar/electric guitar
James Grinta, trumpet

GABRIELI: Canzon noni toni a 12
VIVALDI: Concerto for Guitar in D Major
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
MOZART: Serenade No. 6 in D Major, “Serenata notturna”

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3
Written within a few years of each other, Rachmaninoff’s epic concert showpiece, Sibelius’ beautiful folk-influenced symphony and Joplin’s ragtime-inspired opera each capture a spirit of national pride and musical awakening that distinguished early 20th Century music.
April 2 & 3, 2022
Michael Christie, conductor
Andrew von Oeyen, piano
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor
JOPLIN: Selections from Treemonisha
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 3 in C Major

Masters Of Melody
Timeless melodies lead us from the heights of ecstasy to the depths of despair. Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony and classic melodies from Mexico and The Great American Songbook connect us to our past and carry us through our lives.
October 1 & 2, 2022
Michael Christie, conductor
Xavier Foley, double bass
Hermanos Herrera, guest ensemble

MUSIC FROM The Great American Songbook and Beyond
BOTTESINI: Double Bass Concerto No. 2 in B Minor
MOZART: Symphony No. 41 in C Major, “Jupiter”

Ode To Joy
New West Symphony ends the season with a celebration of unity. Beethoven’s triumphant Symphony No. 9 and Reena Esmail’s My Sister’s Voice explore themes of human connection beyond borders and the passage of time.
November 19 & 20, 2022
Michael Christie, conductor
Saili Oak, Hindustani soprano
Toni Marie Palmertree, soprano
Sarah Coit, mezzo soprano
Yongzhao Yu, tenor
Craig Irvin, baritone
California Lutheran University Choral Ensembles & Arete Vocal Ensemble
Wyant Morton, director
Pepperdine University Choral Ensembles
Ryan Board, director
ESMAIL: Meri Sakhi Ki Avaaz (My Sister’s Voice)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, “Choral”

Opera Performances
Mason Bates: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
Lyric Opera of Kansas City
March 11, 12, 13, 2022

Mason Bates: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
Atlanta Opera 
April 30, May 3, 6, 8, 2022

While each of us in the realm of live performance continues to work hard to safely present our art to you, I take heart in the uplifting and welcoming energy that accompanies new ideas and opportunities – both of which fill several months to come. I greatly look forward to seeing more of you at performances and forging new relationships as the New West Symphony enters the new year. 

Wishing you all the best,
Header Photo Credit: Michal Daniel

All Photos of Michael Christie with the New West Symphony Credit: Eugene Yankevich

Final Photo Credit: Kenny Backer
Ron Merlino, MusicVine
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Christina Jensen, Jensen Artists
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