Classical concert series is a feast for the senses

By From page B9 | August 01, 2014

Metropolitan Opera Star Matthew Polenzani and U.S. Billboard Classical Chart best-selling pianist Simone Dinnerstein will be thrilling audiences as soloists for the 2014 Lake Tahoe SummerFest.

Held the first three weekends in August, the classical concert series will offer two evening concerts, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and a new chamber music series called “Meet the Music” on Sundays at 4 p.m. The festival runs weekends Aug. 1-17.

Polenzani will headline the classical music festival, Aug. 1-3 and Dinnerstein will be featured Aug. 7-9.

For the individual musicians who travel to Tahoe, the festival is the ultimate summer camp. Their home symphonies include some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world — the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the symphonies of San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, among others.

Now in its third season, the 40 member orchestra performs in a 500-seat, intimate acoustical tent pavilion on the campus of Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nev. Audience members are reminded of their unique setting as they enter the tent nestled under hundred-year-old towering trees and within a half mile of the Lake Tahoe shore.

Lake Tahoe SummerFest artistic director and conductor Joel Revzen has conducted and recorded symphonies and operas throughout the world, including with the London Symphony, the Mariinsky Orchestra, (formerly the Kirov), Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow Symphony. He is currently in his ninth season on the conducting staff of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

“It is a great privilege to help bring masterpieces of music to life with these extraordinary artists in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the world,” Revzen said. “Our audience can experience musical intimacy rarely found in most large concert halls. With only 500 seats and vibrant acoustics, the music virtually reaches out and touches you.”

Repertoire highlights this season include Beethoven’s “4th Symphony;” the rarely-heard gem Britten’s “Serenade for tenor, horn and strings;” Mozart’s “Symphony No. 40;” Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 2;” Strauss’ “Concertino for clarinet, bassoon, strings and harp;” a newly-orchestrated concerto for timpani and orchestra; and Mendelssohn’s “Scottish Symphony.”



Connection between the audience and musicians has always been central to the SummerFest performances and that will be served by two new additions to the season.

“Meet the Music/Meet the Musicians” Sunday concerts will bring intimacy and electricity between the artists and audiences as the musicians explore weekly themes based on the great classical music centers of Europe — Vienna, Paris and London.

“We began with a vision to make Tahoe a summer destination for arts and culture and we are continuing to deliver on that promise,” said Madylon Meiling, Lake Tahoe SummerFest founder and chair. “Ticket sales have grown every year and our patrons come from all over California, Nevada, and from as far away as Texas and Arizona. The event’s success speaks to the quality of the experience.”

The Lake Tahoe SummerFest season begins Friday, Aug. 1 with the opening concert in the acoustically designed concert tent on the grounds of the Sierra Nevada College, 999 Tahoe Blvd., Incline Village, Nev.

For tickets and season subscriptions information go to


Lake Tahoe SummerFest 2014 schedule

Weekends Aug. 1-17
Aug. 1 – 7 p.m. Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture, Britten: Serenade — Matthew Polenzani — tenor, Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
Aug. 2 – 7 p.m. Stravinsky: Danses Concertante, Selected Arias with Metropolitan Opera star Matthew Polenzani — tenor, Mozart: Symphony No. 40
Aug. 3 – 7 p.m. “Meet the Music!” Intimate concerts highlighting individual musicians with music from Vienna, “City of My Dream”
Aug. 8 – 7 p.m. Faure, Beethoven: Piano Concerto #2 – Simone Dinnerstein, piano, Mendelssohn: Scottish Symphony
Aug. 9 – 7 p.m. J.S Bach Concerto – Simone Dinnerstein, piano, Brahms: Serenade No. 4
Aug. 10 – 7 p.m. “Meet the Music!” Intimate concerts highlighting individual musicians with music from Paris, “I Love Paris”
Aug. 15 – 7 p.m. Elgar: Serenade for Strings, Haydn: Cello Concerto, R. Strauss: Duet Concertino, Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin
Aug. 16 – 7 p.m. Mozart: Overture and Ballet music to Idomeneo, R. Peterson: Concerto for timpani, Schubert: Symphony No. 4
Aug. 17 – 7 p.m. Grand Finale: “Meet the Music,” with music from London “Salute To London”

Lake Tahoe SummerFest is a celebration of the arts that enriches the cultural, educational and economic vitality of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Lake Tahoe SummerFest provides world-class music, art, theater and seminars to local, national and international audiences while supporting cultural tourism and economic development.

For more information visit


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