June 21, 2018

Topanga Symphony Presents “Inspired Compositions,” March 9



Topanga Symphony Presents “Inspired Compositions,” March 9

Violinist Goeun Shin will perform the “Violin Concerto in D minor” by Jean Sibelius with the Topanga Symphony on Sunday, March 9.

On Sunday March 9 at 3 p.m., the Topanga Symphony, under the direction of Jerome Kessler, will present another free concert at the Topanga Community House.

The March concert of the 31st Season will include inspired compositions from Mozart, Sibelius and Brisk. Barry Brisk, Music Director of the Beach Cities Symphony, is a frequent guest conductor of the Topanga Symphony. He will conduct his “Serenade For Strings” that premiered with the Beach Cities Symphony in May 2007. In this concert, maestro Brisk also celebrates 22 years playing viola with the Topanga Symphony.

As a composer, Brisk describes the inspiration for “Serenade For Strings” as coming to him when he was “hiking in the Rocky Mountains in the summer of 2005” with his wife Cathy. “The basic idea was to present several emotions in short movements,” he says. Topanga listeners can surely relate to inspiration discovered during a hike in the mountains. Musical inspiration is a gift presented to the composer and is only successful when conveyed through an experienced, gifted musician and composer such as Barry Brisk. The soloist for this concert will be violinist Goeun Shin performing the alternating melodic and showy “Violin Concerto in D minor” by Jean Sibelius. Goeun Shin was born in Korea and began playing the violin at the age of six. At age ten she gave her solo debut with the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra. She is currently a member of the first violin section of the American Youth Symphony and is a senior at the Bob Cole Conservatory at California State University, Long Beach.

The Finnish national identity took form through the music of Sibelius. Living in the stark environment of the Arctic Circle inspired him to use the rapture of music to transcend the harshness of the climate into musical joy and delight. In his only concerto, Sibelius uses all the virtuosic violin techniques available to the composer to represent the love for his native country.

Beginning with the softly mysterious violin tremolo to the formidable technical demands of the third movement, Sibelius’s violin concerto is considered one of the greatest romantic concertos for violin. With this piece, Goeun Shin takes on the intensity of the moods of nature in the Nordic part of the world.

The final movement is affectionately referred to as the “polonaise for polar bears.”

The concert repertoire also includes the powerful “Symphony No. 35, ‘Haffner’” by Mozart. This powerful piece is comfortingly familiar to the classical music fan. ­­­Mozart found his inspiration for the “Haffner Symphony” through his friendship and a financial commission provided by the Haffner family. It was originally written as a serenade and then converted into a complete symphony that was commissioned for the ennoblement of Sigmund Haffner in 1782. This piece is a very popular symphonic work and embodies myriad emotions that are found in the exquisite classical music that is distinctly Mozart. This concert represents the best of classical music, with local composers, soloists, and orchestra members dedicated to the quality and stewardship of the classical music genre.

Please plan to attend this wonderful concert with your family and friends.


The Topanga Symphony is a true community orchestra that survives only with generous donations from the Topanga Community House, businesses, grants and individuals who wish to see classical music sustained in Topanga.

For further information about the Topanga Symphony please visit topangasymphony.com where you can become a Friend of the Topanga Symphony.