New Century Chamber Orchestra’s new identity under Salerno-Sonnenberg

Posted on: November 20, 2009

In Thursday’s (11/19) San Francisco Chronicle, Steven Winn writes about Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. “Almost two years into her leadership of the conductorless San Francisco string ensemble founded in 1992, the Roman-born violinist has accomplished a fair portion of her ambitious agenda. The national and international profile of the previously obscure orchestra has never been higher. Critics have been praising an energized sound. ‘Together,’ a beguiling new CD of Piazzolla, Bartók, Gershwin and an orchestra-commissioned world premiere by Clarice Assad, released on the music director’s own NSS Music label, showcases a supple musicianship, emotional range and sparkling wit. … Not one to sit back and bask, she wants to take the orchestra on tour… She wants to record the Bach violin concertos, with Salerno-Sonnenberg herself as soloist—‘my absolutely favorite pieces in the world to play.’ She wants to program Mahler (a chamber version of the Symphony No. 4) and commission more new work. … Salerno-Sonnenberg hinted strongly that she’s inclined to stay a fourth year (she’s on a three-year contract), for New Century’s 20th anniversary season. … New Century concerts have taken on the fascinating cast of a soloist meshing her distinctive traits with an integrated orchestral texture.”

Photo by Jim Block

Posted November 20, 2009