From Joe Sekon of Peninsula Reviews:
"On Sunday, May 8, at the Mello Center, the sign above both ticket windows read SOLD OUT. I understand the Saturday performance at the Civic in Santa Cruz posted the same news. How and Why? Maestro 'Danny' Stewart and the incredible, newly-energized Santa Cruz Symphony can take the credit!"
"Stewart was masterful in maintaining excellent balance between the complex counterpoint of themes and ideas...Most impressive, both Nyx and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony were conducted from memory, without a score!"
"Under Stewart’s keen ear, orchestral balance, tonality, dynamics were simply uplifting...A spectacular finish to the 58th Symphony’s season, BRAVO!"
From Heather Morris of the Santa Cruz Sentinel:
Regarding Esa-Pekka Salonen's "NYX": "Stewart captured this intoxicating mix admirably, coaxing the instruments in powerful orchestral gestures."
"Exuberance and vitality continued in Beethoven’s Ninth, which followed, on the 192nd anniversary of its first performance. The buoyant jovial second movement was played with precision..."
From Susanne Mentzer of Performing Arts Monterey Bay:
"I can understand why the organization has thrived for 58 seasons...Appropriately the audience in Watsonville jumped to their feet at the end and gave the day a standing ovation."
Founded in 1958, the Santa Cruz Symphony's mission is to inspire, educate and engage through artistic excellence, distinctive musical performances, and varied activities that celebrate and enhance cultural vibrancy. With Maestro Daniel Stewart as music director since 2013, the Symphony partners regularly with regional and international guest artists in both traditional and modern concerts, as well as offers Music Education programs to students throughout Santa Cruz County. A cornerstone of the performing arts in the Greater San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas, Santa Cruz Symphony receives frequent critical acclaim. Visit santacruzsymphony.org for more information.
(Photo of the Santa Cruz Symphony with Guest Soloists, Michelle Bradley, Avery Amereau, Kang Wang and Shenyang, with the Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus by Loretta McClellan)