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 two 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. “We have two orchestra concerts in 2019. The Russian Connection will be at the beautiful sounding Atascadero Methodist Church, and Mendelssohn in Scotland will be at the always wonderful San Miguel Mission,” said Greg Magie. “We our very thankful for all the venues who have sponsored Symphony of the Vines.”

“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 reflects beloved classics from Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Haydn, as well as modern composers such as Mary Bianco, whose Peninsula Trio was featured at Cass Winery on October 14. “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,”
We thank Jim and Carolyn Brescia for sponsoring students who come to any Symphony of the Vines concert!

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

Sponsors make it all possible!
Tickets only cover a fraction of our expenses. We are very thankful for our sponsors and donors for making Symphony of the Vines possible. We appreciate all donations! You can give online using the PayPal button below or mail to:

P.O. Box 2848
Paso Robles, CA

Here are a few highlights as the season continues into 2019:

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. The Russian Connection features “Concerto for Trumpet and Piano with Orchestra” written by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich in 1933. Paul Merkelo recommended virtuoso pianist Robert Cassidy for the challenging pianist role. Cassidy has a doctorate in piano chamber music and performance from Ball State University. He teaches master classes, workshops and maintains a private studio at The Music of the West in Santa Barbara.

Paul Merkelo has been the Solo Trumpet of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 1995. He has played with orchestras throughout the United States, and extensively toured North and South America, Europe, Russia and Asia. He made his New York debut at Lincoln Center with the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson in 1998.

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.”

Only two concerts remaining!


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