Symphony of the Vines is pleased to announce the 2018–19 season under the direction of Dr. Greg Magie, music director.



Symphony of the Vines is in its ninth year bringing live performance of classical works, as well as new compositions, to north San Luis Obispo County. The season consists of eight chamber performances in the “Off-the-Vines” series, and two Symphony of the Vines orchestra concerts. Our performances will feature talented local musicians, as well as nationally and internationally-acclaimed guest performers including Paul Merkelo, solo trumpet for the Montreal Symphony and Jirí Havlík, French horn with the Czech Philharmonic and member of the Czech-American Horn Duo.

Eight “Off-the-Vines Chamber Music Performances!

Two Symphony of the Vines Orchestra Concerts!

North County has become a California wine country destination and Symphony of the Vines is pleased to be partnering with three local wineries for this season’s performances. “Our chamber performances will be at Cass Winery and Pear Valley Winery, which have wonderful rooms that showcase the intimate nature of small ensembles,” said Greg Magie. “Our guests love our chamber series because they enjoy the close proximity and personal nature of the experience.” Our Off-the-Vines chamber performances begin at 4 pm, and our orchestra concerts at 3 pm, giving guests an opportunity to experience these world-class wineries before the doors open. 

“Our guests love our chamber series because they

enjoy the close proximity and personal nature of the experience.”

Dr. Greg Magie, Music Director

The season will reflect beloved classics from Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Haydn, as well as modern composers such as Mary Bianco, whose piece will be featured in Piano Trio, October 14, at Cass Winery. “We love working with today’s artists because it gives us the opportunity to understand the emotions and motivations that guided the composer,” said Magie. “We all love working with Mary. Her work is bright and very inspiring.”

James Brescia, County Superintendent of Schools and Symphony of the Vines board member, encourages parents to bring their children to performances. “Children K through 12 are free with a paid adult. Symphony of the Vines gives our kids the opportunity to be enriched by live performances and to be intrigued by artistic expression,” Brescia explained. A recent question from a student got the superintendent thinking about the rehearsal process. The student wanted to know “What does the guy with the sticks do?” That made everyone laugh, but it triggered a memory. “During a rehearsal, I listened as Greg worked with the musicians to bring out a more romantic tone from their instruments,” Brescia remembered. “When they played again, the difference was breathtaking. That’s what the guy with the sticks does. He brings the vision and artistry to a peak level.”

“Children K through 12 are free with a paid adult. Symphony of the Vines gives our kids

the opportunity to be enriched by live performances and to be intrigued by artistic expression,”

Jim Brescia, County Superintendent of Schools

The full 2018/2019 chamber ensemble and orchestra concert schedule can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. The company’s musicians, board members, sponsors, donors and volunteers are proud of the entire 10 concert season. Here are just a few of the season’s highlights:

Horns and Strings, September 30, 2018, Pear Valley Winery

“Classical composers loved to include pairs of horns in their music. The timbre is different between the two instruments creating a gorgeous sound that moves from bright to mellow to sometimes harsh,” Magie said. “Along with the strings, it’s special and fun.” In addition to Dr. Magie on horn, the concert will also feature the talents of Steve Gross on French horn. Dr. Gross is a professor with University of California, Santa Barbara and he was the Principal Horn of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra for 24 years. Rounding out the ensemble is Grace Seng, violin, Sabine Venet, violin, Michael Whitson, viola, and Hilary Clark, cello.

Piano Trio, October 14, 2018, Cass Winery

Mary Bianco, a prolific composer who happens to live in Paso Robles, composed one of the evening’s works, Peninsula Trio. “My trio is the culmination of having worked with many musicians and feeling that a piano trio is a particular way to highlight chamber music and musicians whom I admire.” Dmitriy Cogan, a world-renowned pianist will also be featured in this trio. Mr. Cogan studied at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Juilliard in New York, and has toured extensively throughout Europe, Russia and the United States for many years. He will be joined by Grace Seng, violin, and Hilary Clark, cello.

Piano Recital, November 18, 2018, Cass Winery

“We are pleased to bring back Torsten Juul-Borre. He is a gifted pianist and he weaves entertaining stories into his program,” said board president Ellen Greenman. “He’s an audience favorite!” Each summer Juul-Borre, who is a Templeton resident, tours Denmark performing recitals, and in the fall his Symphony of the Vines performance is speckled with stories and anecdotes about his travels, as well as interesting and amusing facts about the composers and their music.

The Russian Connection, January 6, 2019

“We are very pleased to present Paul Merkelo, Principal Trumpet with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He is nationally and internationally recognized as a premier trumpet musician,” said Magie. “He solos and records with symphonies all over the world and we are thrilled that he will play a Shostakovich Trumpet Concerto with our Symphony of the Vines orchestra.” The concert will showcase composers associated with the Saint Petersburg Conservatory of Music in Russia including Glazunov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

Mendelssohn in Scotland, March 24, 2019

In the summer of 1929, 20-year-old Mendelssohn traveled extensively in Scotland. The experience inspired several of his most beloved works, The Hebrides Overture and Symphony No. 3 Scottish – the latter being a very difficult work. “It’s a challenging piece that will be interesting to our audience, but it’s also a rich, warm, and romantic composition.” Returning for this concert are the Czech-American Horn Duo of Steve Gross and Jirí Havlík, as well as Catherine Litaker, harp, and Suzanne Duffy, flute.

The full 2018-2019 Season for Symphony of the Vines is at the top of this page. Download for easy printing.








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