At 26, California’s Redwood Symphony ventures beyond repertory favorites

Posted on: September 17, 2010

In Thursday’s (9/16) San Jose Mercury News (California), John Orr writes about the Redwood Symphony, set to open its 26th season on Saturday with a program of Shostakovich, Adès, Paganini, and Copland. “Eric Kujawsky was still an undergrad at UCLA when the idea occurred to him: Program for modern symphonic music, and musicians would line up for the chance to play it. … When Kujawsky nailed down his doctorate in conducting from Stanford in 1985 … he decided it was time to test his undergraduate theory, and formed the Redwood Symphony. It has worked out for him, after a fashion. True, he doesn’t make much money at it—the entire budget for Redwood Symphony is only about $50,000 a year, with most of it going to music rental and hall rental—but he does get to conduct some exciting tunes outside of the canon of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach … ‘We don’t have to do too much recruiting,’ he said. … ‘Occasionally we are short on strings. But for brass and percussion, we have people waiting to come in. … At our concerts, there is a level of danger and excitement. On a tightrope, with no net.’ ”

Posted September 17, 2010