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  • Mello Center for the Performing Arts 250 East Beach Street Watsonville, CA, 95076 United States (map)


Our season begins with a program centered around Mahler's enchanting Symphony No. 4, once again featuring a soloist from the Met, soprano Meigui Zhang.

Noah Bendix-Balgley, first Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, will be featured in the West Coast premiere performances of his own Klezmer-infused violin concerto, Fidl-Fantazye.  

Glinka's exhilarating overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila leads the program.



GLINKA                     Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila    [Listen]

BENDIX-BALGLEY      Fidl-Fantazye: A Klezmer Concerto

                                             Noah Bendix-Balgley, Violin


MAHLER                    Symphony No. 4                             [Listen]                                  

   Bedächtig, nicht eilen (Moderately, not rushed)
   In gemächlicher Bewegung, ohne Hast (Leisurely moving, without haste) 
   Ruhevoll, poco adagio (Peacefully, somewhat slowly)
   Sehr behaglich (Very comfortably)

                                            Meigui Zhang, Soprano

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Friday October 5, 2018, 11:30 Luncheon, Seascape Golf Club, Aptos. Visit to register

League Preview

Friday October 5, 2018, 7:30 pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

Open Rehearsal

Saturday October 6, 2018, 5:30 pm, in front of the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

Street Party!!

Saturday October 6, 2018, 6:30 pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Sunday October 7, 2018, 1:00 pm, Mello Center for the Performing Arts

Pre-Concert Talks


Friday, November 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm on KKUP 91.5 FM


Concert Sponsor: John Dickinson & Nancy Van Natta
Concert Co-Sponsors:  Robert & Julie Mazurek, Peter & Mary Ann Orr
Soloist Sponsors: Richard & Mary Solari Charitable Trust, David Fulton & Natalie Grant
Co-Soloist Sponsor: Mary Maselli




First Concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Noah Bendix-Balgley has thrilled and moved audiences around the world with his performances.

Since becoming a Laureate of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and gathering top prizes at further international competitions, Noah has appeared as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Utah Symphony, the Auckland Philharmonia, and the Nagoya Philharmonic. In 2016, Noah performed the world premiere of his own klezmer violin concerto, Fidl-Fantazye with the Pittsburgh Symphony, conducted by Manfred Honeck. Recent and forthcoming highlights include his concerto debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in January 2018, recital tours in Taiwan, China, and Europe and performances of his klezmer concerto with orchestras in the USA and with the China Philharmonic, as well as his period instrument debut, performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Apollo’s Fire Orchestra in Cleveland.

From 2011 until 2015, Noah was Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. His Pittsburgh debut recital in January 2012 was named the “Best Classical Concert of 2012” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Noah also performed his own version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” for solo violin in front of 39,000 fans at the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day at PNC Park.

Noah is a passionate and experienced chamber musician. He currently performs as a member of the multigenre septet Philharmonix, which features members of both the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras and will release their new Deutsche Grammophon album in early 2018. Noah performs in a piano trio with cellist Peter Wiley and pianist Robert Levin. Noah appears regularly at music festivals in Europe, North America, and Asia, including the Aspen Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society, the Sarasota Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, Domaine Forget, the Zermatt Festival and the Le Pont Festival in Japan.

Born in Asheville, North Carolina, Noah began playing violin at age 4. At age 9, he played for Lord Yehudi Menuhin in Switzerland. Noah graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Munich Hochschule. His principal teachers were Mauricio Fuks, Christoph Poppen, and Ana Chumachenco.

In his spare time, he enjoys playing klezmer music. He has played with world-renowned klezmer groups such as Brave Old World, and has taught klezmer violin at workshops in Europe and in the United States.

Noah performs on a Cremonese violin made in 1732 by Carlo Bergonzi.



Chinese soprano Meigui Zhanghas been chosen to joining the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program in the fall of 2018. She recently sang the role of Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress at Mannes School of Music and made her debut with Merola Opera Program this summer in the same role. Last summer she participated in the Bel Canto at Caramoor Young Artists Program. Previously, she studied at the Chautauqua Institute where she sang the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Her other roles include Despina in Così fan tutte, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and the title role in Roméo et Juliette. She has also performed the role of Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia (Asian premiere) with the Tianjin Grand Opera in China.

Ms. Zhang earned her master’s degree from the Mannes School of Music and completed her bachelor's degree at Shanghai Conservatory and Sichuan Conservatory.  She also enjoys playing the violin and scuba diving.

Earlier Event: October 6
Later Event: October 26
League Preview: Rites of Spring