San Clemente, CA – Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, a nonprofit southern California cultural center, welcomes the California Chamber Orchestra for a unique performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s famous Four Seasons concerti on Thursday, February 8, 2018. The concert, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Dana Zimbric, will include eleven string musicians and a harpsichordist. The violin lead will be performed by guest soloist Annelle K. Gregory, winner of the 2017 National Sphinx Competition for string music.
Casa Classic: California Chamber Orchestra is made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Rafik and Eileen Daher, San Clemente-based patrons of the arts and owners of Rafik Daher CPA. The Casa Classic series as a whole are underwritten by Fluidmaster.
“Hearing a professional orchestra in the Casa Romantica Main Salon will be a truly remarkable experience with its acoustics being well-suited for this period of music,” says Casa Romantica Executive Director Berenika Schmitz.
The community is invited for a rare opportunity to experience the entirety of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in concert. Outside of the concert hall, its music is so famous that excerpts appear frequently in films, in television shows and commercials, and in wedding ceremonies. The Italian composer published the Four Seasons in 1725. They consist of four concerti (Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter), with each piece following a fast-slow-fast tempo pattern to mimic the weather patterns and atmosphere of each season.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, it was one of the earliest and most detailed examples of what would later be called “program music;” that is, music with a narrative element. Vivaldi even composed poems to accompany the concerti, which will be in the program notes for patrons to read at Casa Romantica’s concert.
California Chamber Orchestra
The California Chamber Orchestra is the region’s professional chamber orchestra, made up of working musicians from southwest Riverside County, San Diego, and throughout southern California. The orchestra has been led by Artistic Director and Conductor Dana Zimbric since 2010. Zimbric, past conductor of San Diego’s Orchestra, shares Casa Romantica’s commitment to making music education accessible to youth. In addition to her work as a conductor, she serves as Music Director of San Diego’s Classics Philharmonic Orchestra, where she leads an ensemble of professional musicians performing educational programs for San Diego area students
A ‘chamber orchestra’ is distinguished from a ‘symphony’ or ‘philharmonic’ orchestra primarily by its smaller size, typically consisting of between 10 and 25 musicians. The term originated in the early 18th century, when secular music was usually performed in the entertaining chambers (yesteryear’s living rooms) of nobility. The Casa’s Main Salon is perfect for this sized ensemble. Today’s chamber orchestras perform a wide range of music, from early Baroque pieces to works by today’s contemporary composers.
Soloist Annelle K. Gregory
Award-winning violinist Annelle Kazumi Gregory is the First Prize & Audience Choice Award winner of the 2017 National Sphinx Competition and a Laureate of the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition. She was also awarded the 2017 Isaac Stern Award, the 2017 “Grand Prize Virtuoso” International Competition, the 2017 NANM National Strings Competition, the 2016 American Protégé International Concerto Competition, and the 2017 Beverly Hills National Auditions. As a soloist, Gregory has performed with the symphonies of Detroit, La Jolla, San Diego, Chicago, Houston, and Nashville, among others. In 2013 she opened for the Moscow Ballet, performing a solo with the principal ballerina. Gregory has made appearances at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, and the Kennedy Center, as well as abroad in Russia, the U.K., Germany, and Portugal, and in radio concerts aired by the BBC and American Public Media. Gregory graduated first in her class, summa cum laude from USC’s Thornton School of Music, in 2017.
Presenting Underwriters Rafik and Eileen Daher
Mr. and Mrs. Rafik and Eileen Daher have elected to underwrite Casa Classic: California Chamber Orchestra in support of Casa Romantica’s wide-ranging Casa Classic series. “We hope to provide the opportunity for people of all ages in our community to enjoy a classical performance by professional musicians at an affordable cost,” says Eileen. “Casa Romantica’s cultural and arts education programs impact the Orange County community by enriching their knowledge, creating ideas and giving a deeper understanding of each other.” The San Clemente residents and business owners have supported Casa Romantica as members and as volunteers for nearly a decade, and gift Casa Romantica with philanthropic support annually as sponsors at the arts institution’s annual gala, Toast to the Casa.
Casa Classic series
Casa Romantica’s Casa Classic performance series features the work of internationally-recognized artists. Recent artists have included Garrick Olsson, an award-winning classical pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway, a multi-platinum-selling singer, and singer Ivan Rutherford, who stared as Jean Valjean in Broadway’s Les Miserables over 2,300 times. Casa Classic has notably also featured the renowned Christ Church Cathedral Choir from Oxford, England. In March 2018, the institution welcomes Billboard Top 10-earning jazz pianist, singer and composer Tony DeSare. The Casa Classic series is generously underwritten by Fluidmaster.
Casa Classic: California Chamber Orchestra is Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 7:00 PM at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens. General admission is $30; member admission is $25. Tickets may be purchased online at CasaRomantica.org/Calendar, by telephone at (949) 498-2139, or in person at the front entrance box office.
About Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens maintains a robust series of year-round programs in arts, music, history, horticulture, and literature for all ages. Under the leadership of Executive Director Berenika Schmitz, Casa Romantica has commissioned several critically-acclaimed works, including Casa Coastal: Rebecca Louise Law (2017; visual art), Casa Kinetic: Contemporary Dance Collective (2017; contemporary dance), The Beauty of the Butterfly (2017; visual art), Casa Kinetic: Carrie Lee Riggins (2016; contemporary dance), Casa Drama: Slings & Arrows (2015; theater), and Open Casa: The Photographs of Douglas Kirkland (2015; visual art). The 2017-18 Casa Captivating season includes a new jazz series, visual and performing arts commissions, and an enhanced wellness program.
“Casa Romantica strives to be the epicenter for innovative artistic experiences in our southern California community,” says Casa Romantica Executive Director Berenika Schmitz.
Casa Romantica also hosts a variety of free arts education programs for children year-round. The institution’s annual Casa Romantica Music Festival and Academy has received critical praise for its comprehensive two-week music studies program in cello, piano, viola, and violin. Casa Romantica also offers a Summer Dance Workshop, a Spring Break Arts Week, various art, literature, and horticulture events to grades K-12, and welcomes over 2,000 children from the Capistrano Unified School District each year for STEAM-based field trips that examine the history of San Clemente and the coastal environment.
Mission Statement: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and is the historic home of the founder of the City of San Clemente. Casa Romantica provides programs for all ages in arts, music, history, and horticulture and is a premier Southern California cultural center.
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is located at 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, CA 92672. Hours: Tuesday—Thursday 11 am—4 pm; Friday—Sunday 10am—2pm; closed Mondays and holidays. General admission is $5; Casa Members and children under age 13 visit for FREE. For more information, call (949) 498-2139 or visit CasaRomantica.org