Every year I make a big deal of the upcoming Mainly Mozart Festival, and I do this because it actually is a big deal. I had been writing about classical music for about five years when I finally went to my first Mainly Mozart concert experience. I was flabbergasted by what happened in that concert. The Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra is simply the best the of the best. There is no argument. I began regretting the years of the festival I had missed.
I moved to San Diego in 1991 to attend college. That was the third year of the Mainly Mozart Festival. I began hearing about the festival not too long after, as I worked at both The Wherehouse and Tower Records on Sports Arena Boulevard. For 23 years I missed the festival. It was always over before I realized it had happened — and I was a Mozart fan.
Having come of age in the 80s, I was severely seduced by the movie Amadeus, and Mozart was the pinnacle of my musical experiences. I had purchased scores of his music, mostly choral works, and listened to endless hours of piano concertos, operas, symphonies, et cetera.
Regret is a useless emotion in many ways, but I couldn’t help feeling a certain sense of loss after that first Mainly Mozart concert. I haven’t missed one since.
This year the festival runs June 1-24 and the theme is Brave New World: From Rebel to Entrepreneur. This is year three in a six-year journey through Mozart’s life and music as established by Mainly Mozart music director Michael Francis.
The meat and potatoes of the festival are the festival orchestra concerts at the Balboa Theatre, the first of which is June 9. However, the most interesting concert of the festival might be the very next day, June 10.
- Sunday, June 10, 2018, 7 p.m.
868 Fourth Avenue,
$15 - $88
Derek Paravicini has been featured multiple times on 60 Minutes and other national news shows due to his extraordinary skills as a pianist. Derek was born blind and severely autistic, to the point where he cannot dress or feed himself, yet he can play every song he’s ever heard in any key and in any style. He is a confirmed musical savant.
Derek Paravicini on 60 Minutes
The Mainly Mozart Festival has commissioned a piece of music for piano and orchestra for Derek which will receive its world premiere on June 10 at the Balboa Theatre. The concert will also feature members of the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra playing side by side with the festival orchestra, and LA Philharmonic concertmaster Martin Chalifour will solo with the orchestra in Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending.