2018/2019 Season | MUSIC MEANS...


What does music mean? The great Danish composer, Carl Nielsen, wrote that music is life! Nielsen’s quote got me thinking about what music means and how it can help enrich lives in a community.

Our sold out performances are just the start. The orchestra’s school concerts touch the lives of thousands of young people throughout Solano County.

In this season we are excited to present performances that tell a story. Throughout the season we will explore three overtures that Beethoven wrote for his only opera, Fidelio. It’s a chance to see into the mind of a genius as he grapples with ideas of melody, form and emotion. We also focus on three stunning symphonies by Beethoven’s heirs — all written in the 1920s. These singular works by Nielsen, Sibelius and Shostakovich take inspiration from Beethoven’s unique vision. Add a perfect violin concerto, a piano concerto that defines “romance,” and an ethereal choral work sung by the amazing American Canyon Chamber Choir, and I think we have a recipe for great excitement — one that support’s Nielsen’s lofty statement.

Please join your orchestra for “Music means...” in the stunning acoustic of Vallejo’s Empress Theatre!

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 2.20.19 PM copy.jpg


Concert 1 - VIBRANT 

Sunday, October 14, 2018 3pm

Empress Theatre, Vallejo

Beethoven | Leonore Overture No. 1

Shostakovich | Symphony No. 1 

Rachmaninoff | Piano Concerto No. 2

Marc Taddei, conductor 

David Fung, piano 

Musicians often speak of prodigy composers, and Shostakovich is a special example of this. He wrote his first symphony when he was 19 and still at university. It appears fully formed, with all of his trademark sardonic wit and vibrancy. Partner this youthful masterpiece with the luscious Rachmaninoff piano concerto and the excitement of starting an overture cycle by a great master like Beethoven, and I think we have a recipe for great enjoyment. 

Fung2.jpg

David Fung

“...everything you could wish for!”
Cleveland Classical

“...agile and alert interpreter of Mozart’s crystalline note-spinning”
The Plain Dealer

“...impossibly virtuosic, prodigiously talented.....probably does ten more impossible things daily before breakfast."
- Edinburgh Guide 


Concert 2 - INDIVIDUAL

Sunday, February 10, 2019 3pm

Empress Theatre, Vallejo

Beethoven | Leonore Overture No. 2

Mozart | Violin Concerto No. 3

Nielsen | Symphony No. 5

Marc Taddei, conductor

Livia Sohn, violin

When I think of individuality, I immediately think of the great Danish composer Carl Nielsen. His powerful fifth symphony arose from the aftermath of the First World War, and features the most extraordinary snare drum solo in the entire symphonic repertoire. Never has a drum solo expressed as much. The two classical masterpieces that balance this work feature the perfection of Mozart and the intense humanist emotion of Beethoven.

sohn copy 2.jpg

Livia Sohn

“...a stunning musician”
- Opus Magazine

“Livia Sohn possesses a remarkably lithe and transparent tone of exceptional purity. [Her] virtually blemishless accounts are nothing short of remarkable. Even when under the most fearsome technical pressure at high velocity, every note rings true with pinpoint accuracy.”
- Strad Magazine


Concert 3 - PROFOUND

Saturday, March 30, 2019 8pm

Sunday, March 31, 2019 3pm

Empress Theatre, Vallejo

Beethoven | Leonore Overture No. 3

Sibelius | Symphony No. 7

Fauré | Requiem

Marc Taddei, conductor

Shawnette Sulker, soprano

Brad Walker, baritone

American Canyon High School Chamber Choir - Jaime Butler, director

Concerts like this are a gift to a performer! Our final performance of the season features three profound works. Here we see Beethoven arriving at a perfection of form, culminating in his greatest overture. We will also experience the sublimity of Fauré’s gorgeous Requiem. Finally, we will perform the last symphony of Sibelius: a work in one movement that expresses the sublime in the most awesome blaze of C major in the repertoire. I’m particularly excited to be sharing the stage with the gifted voices of American Canyon High School’s Chamber Choir - make no mistake, these young musicians are world class!

ss brad.jpg

Shawnette Sulker has been described as a singer “...displaying a bright, superbly controlled soprano with perfectly placed coloratura.” On the operatic stage, Ms. Sulker has been a featured artist in three San Francisco Opera productions: Porgy and Bess, The Mother of Us All, and Louise.

American bass-baritone Brad Walker has been invited to join the illustrious Adler Fellowship at San Francisco Opera, where he will spend the next two years.

 Established in 2010, the American Canyon High School Chamber Choir, under the direction of Jaime Butler, is gaining recognition in the Bay Area for excellence on and off the risers through music and service. The ACHS Chamber Choir is very excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Vallejo Symphony.

Established in 2010, the American Canyon High School Chamber Choir, under the direction of Jaime Butler, is gaining recognition in the Bay Area for excellence on and off the risers through music and service. The ACHS Chamber Choir is very excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Vallejo Symphony.