Berkeley Symphony Reviews
Review: Berkeley Symphony celebrates end of its 50th season with Beethoven — in English
Joshua Kosman – June 13, 2022
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and specifically its choral finale with the famed “Ode to Joy,” has always come to us through the German poetry of Friedrich Schiller. It makes sense, too — that was the text around which Beethoven, after long searching, shaped his music.
Stream of consciousness & magnificence at Zellerbach
Joseph Gold – February 9, 2022
The mood was festive in Zellerbach Hall this past Sunday afternoon. A large and enthusiastic audience cheered the Berkeley Symphony as it embarks on its Golden Jubilee season, exactly two years to the day since its last concert in Zellerbach.
Doing things right
Joseph Gold – December 15, 2021
The Berkeley Symphony does things right, and much of the credit must go to Artistic Director René Mandel. Their ongoing series of chamber music concerts, now in its ninth year at the Piedmont Center for the Arts, is a perfect example.
Stuart Canin: Sometimes time stands still
Joseph Gold – November 24, 2021
Stuart Canin’s violin concert on Sunday at Piedmont Center for the Arts brought back beautiful memories. You could almost see the hands of the clock flying backwards. Or maybe time just stood still. I was transported back to the memorable days of my youth, a time when musical artists were complete personalities.
Review: Berkeley Symphony conductor makes a thought-provoking debut with S.F. Symphony
Joshua Kosman – June 4, 2021
Conductor Joseph Young came into our lives suddenly and unexpectedly in 2019, when a last-minute substitute appearance led to his appointment as music director of the Berkeley Symphony. He hadn’t even completed his first season before COVID-19 blew things up.
Berkeley Symphony Promotes Women’s Achievements in “You Have A Voice”
Michael Zwiebach – February 11, 2020
Berkeley Symphony pulled out the Brahms Symphony No. 1 on Thursday night and, with a large string section leading the way, did a first-rate job with it. But that was clearly not the main story. The focus of the concert, in the centenary year of the passage of the 19th Amendment, was on two works celebrating women and feminism, with the Brahms tacked on because, well, bums in seats. Read More…
Review: Berkeley Symphony’s terse premiere gives voice to teenage concerns
Joshua Kosman – February 7, 2020
There’s a wonderful flavor to the adolescent voices in composer Mary Kouyoumdjian’s choral piece “Become Who I Am” – a blend of confidence and self-doubt, of anxiety and bravery, that is familiar to anyone who has passed through that precarious stage of life. Behind their simple self-descriptions (age, gender, interests) and their observations about the world, you can detect an entire emotional substratum that is constantly churning. Read More…
Women Conquering Berkeley
Paul Hertelendy – February 6, 2020
BERKELEY, CA – The highlight of the Berkeley Symphony program the other night was, astonishingly, the surprise vocal encore running close to 10 minutes in length: The S.F. Girls Chrous singing a near-a-cappella work with mezzo obbligata, “Only in Sleep” by the Australian Eriks Esenvalds. If ever there was proof of the emergence of the creative female, it was in this mellifluous chorus for the girls as led by the SFGC director, Valérie Sainte-Agathe. Read More…
Berkeley Symphony Season Opener: Celebrating a New Era
Joseph Young’s appointment last year as the Berkeley Symphony’s new music director came as a delightful surprise to nearly all observers. The conductor hadn’t even been in the running, but one concert as a late replacement for an ailing colleague was all it took to land him the job. Read More…
Joseph Young takes lead of Berkeley Symphony
Conductor heads up diverse, premiere-laden 2019-20 season
JAMES AMBROFF-TAHAN – Oct. 22, 2019 12:30 p.m.
Joseph Young, who had an auspicious debut as guest conductor of the Berkeley Symphony under short notice in January, leads the orchestra as its new music director this week as it begins its 49th diverse, premiere-laden season Thursday at Zellerbach Hall. Read More…
Classical picks: New era begins at Berkeley Symphony
Conductor Joseph Young, making his first appearance as Berkeley Symphony’s new music director, inaugurates the orchestra’s 2019-20 season Oct. 24. He’ll conduct Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Olly Wilson’s “Shango Memory” and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, with Conrad Tao as soloist. Details: 7 p.m. Oct. 24, Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley; $15-$96; 510-841-2800, www.berkeleysymphony.org.
A New Era Begins at Berkeley Symphony
While rehearsing an opera in Baltimore this past January, Joseph Young received a call from Berkeley Symphony, asking if he would be able to step in as a last-minute substitute conductor. He said yes, and within days had conducted the concert, impressing the players and audience enough to ultimately put him at the top of the list as new Music Director. He’ll be leading his first regular season performance this Thursday night in Zellerbach Hall, with a concert of music by Olly Wilson, Ravel, and Beethoven. Read More…