By Bill Peters
This Saturday, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia hosts the second concert of the California Philharmonic Orchestra’s summer series, Festival on the Green, with a musical tribute to the dramatic music of movies and opera. The program is repeated Sunday afternoon at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.
Although the music of film composer John Williams and opera’s famed Richard Wagner have been offered on programs numerous times during Cal Phil’s 15-year history, this program has some special twists that make it more interesting than many past concerts.
Conductor of Cal Phil, Victor Vener, has selected two orchestra members, Dennis Karmazyn and Michael Arnold to solo with the orchestra. Karmazyn, principal cellist, will be heard in the cello solo from Williams’ “Theme from Schindler’s List”. Arnold, principal clarinetist, will perform the “Viktor’s Tale” from Williams’ score for the film “The Terminal”.
Arnold has been with the Cal Phil organization since its founding and was a first season soloist. The South Pasadena resident, who also is a practicing attorney along with accepting gigs as a full-time freelance musician, has a great feel for music.
“Music has great power to make us aware of our humanity,” Arnold told me a few years back as he prepared to solo at a Cal Phil concert at the winter series then held at Haugh Performing Arts Center at Citrus College.
Karmazyn, another Cal Phil veteran, began to play the cello under the direction of his father who was a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As early as age 15 he was in the recording studio with prolific composer/arranger Jimmy Haskell. That started his studio musician career that, in spite of more than 4000 motion picture, television, record and commercial scores, continues unabated. An Arcadia-Arboretum connection in his musical career exists. He was principal cellist to Randy Newman’s score for “Meet the Fockers”, a film that extensively used the Arboretum’s lagoon and Queen Anne cottage as a set for the movie. The busy artist also performs in classical music groups and has been heard recently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts’ “Sundays Live”.
Filling out the card at the concert will be excerpts from “Star Wars”, “E.T.”, and two rings—Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Shore’s “Lord of the Rings”. A laser show by Star Lasers is also planned.
California Philharmonic Festival on the Green, Saturday, July 24 at the Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. Grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking; the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. The concert program repeats Sunday, July 25 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles with concert beginning at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices start at $20. For information, please call (626) 300-8200 or visit calphil.org online.