The Healing Power of Music Expressed in Mike Garson's New Symphony
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The last date listed for Symphonic Suite for Healing was Saturday March 1, 2014 / 8:00pm.
Currently at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts:
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Showcasing a stunning fusion of circus acrobatics and orchestral favorites, Cirque de la Symphonie and the Pacific Symphony join forces for the third time to bring the magic of music and movement together in the center ring. This unique cirque event pairs aerial fliers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers and strongman acts with classical and contemporary pieces to wow audiences of all ages. Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman and the orchestra provide the live score with favorites like John Williams' "Flight to Neverland" from the movie Hook, Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake waltz, and works from classical and contemporary composers like Leonard Bernstein, Camille Saint-Saëns and more, creating a visual and aural experience like no other. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Caroline McNabb
view more less of this review
The first half of this show was absolutely inspired by the gods of music! These veteran jazz/rock/classical musicians riffing on a Theme from Paganini, using a children's choir for the vocals of "Ground Control to Major Tom," taking the Brubeck Rondo a la Turk at a rollicking clip, and improvising multiple Gershwin melodies could not have been better. I would be remiss not to mention the celestial flutist Jim Walker. In collaboration with Mike Garson, Mr. Walker made me feel as if the heavens themselves could open up a portal right over the flute and piano and shine it's love down on all of us in the audience through these two geniuses.
The Symphonic Suite for Healing was an ambitious and lovely journey through music as a healer. The opening with the huge Gillespie Pipe organ being played by Lori Loftus was chilling in way only massive vibrating pipes can be. The tender flute and harp of the New Life movement warrants mention and the touching Tango de Curacion with an elderly couple dancing behind a scrim, one of whom was afflicted with Parkinsons, was especially touching. Lullaby for our Daughters was a sweet and moving ode to rest for the little ones in us all, and the movement called Symphony for the Man on the Street was an 80's pop ballad, up-tempo piece of reminiscent joy. But what could match the obvious raison d'etre, Mr. Garson's ten year old grandson with Autism joining him on stage to play the bongos at the end. The boy's simple rhythms were a delightful addition to and comment on the inclusiveness of the healing power of music. And having the audience sing at the end some backup singer "aah's" added to the wonderful feeling of healing envelopment one gets not just from listening to, but from making, music.
Mr. Garson should be proud, not just of his long career as David Bowie's keyboardist, but of his wonderful forray into and meditation on the healing power of music.
Concert sponsored by the Foundation for Neuroscience, Stroke and Recovery. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter; the National Parkinson Foundation Orange County Chapter; and RTH Stroke Foundation *
Mike Garson, composer/piano/keyboard
Bruce Donnelly, orchestrator
Southern California Children’s Chorus (Lori Loftus, choir director)
Lori Loftus, organ
David Arana, keyboard
Joe La Barbara, drums
Drew Tretick, violin
Sang Yoon Kim, clarinet
Jim Walker, flute
Riria Niimura, flute
Bob Shepherd, saxophone
and other artists
PAGANINI/GARSON: Jazz Variations
BOWIE/GARSON: Space Oddity
BRUBECK: Blue Rondo A La Turk
GARSON: Symphonic Suite for Healing (world premiere)