Arts & Events

Press Release: Gerard Schwarz Replaces Joana Carneiro in Berkeley Symphony's Opening Night Concert

From Rene Mandel
Friday September 27, 2013 - 10:16:00 AM

Conductor Gerard Schwarz will step in for Music Director Joana Carneiro at Berkeley Symphony’s season opening concert Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall. Maestra Carneiro has had to cancel her appearances due to medical conditions that prevent air travel at this time. The program features the world premiere of Ossicles (Tiny Bones) by Bay Area-based composer and UC Berkeley composition faculty member Edmund Campion, a co-commission with Cal Performances. Ossicles is Campion’s fourth piece for orchestra and refers to the three smallest bones in the human body located in the middle ear. Italian pianist Alessio Bax joins the Orchestra as soloist in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.2 with Wagner’s symphonic poem Siegfried’s Idyll also featured on the program. 


Widely regarded for his tenure as Music Director of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, LA Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony and Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz’s most recent project is the All-Star Orchestra. Taking a cue from baseball, Schwarz created an “all-star” team of top musical ‘athletes’ from America’s leading orchestras and brought them all together in New York to create this new eight-episode series now airing throughout the United States on public television. Dedicated to commissioning and performing new music, Schwarz has led more than 300 world premieres throughout his career. Also a prolific recording artist, the conductor’s total discography numbers nearly 350 on labels such as Naxos, Delos, EMI, Koch, New World, Nonesuch, Reference Recording, RLPO Classics, Columbia/Sony and RCA. Schwarz’s pioneering cy cles of American symphonists such as William Schuman, David Diamond and Howard Hanson have received high critical praise, as have his acclaimed series of Stravinsky ballets, symphony cycles of Robert Schumann, Gustav Mahler and Dmitri Shostakovich as well as orchestral works of Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and Rimsky-Korsakov.  


“It is a huge honor for Berkeley Symphony to welcome Gerard Schwarz,” said Executive Director René Mandel. “I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to make music with this consummate musician, as the Maestro gave me my first job as a violinist back in 1983 with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Jerry has always amazed me with his ability to lead a vast range of repertoire, including an extraordinary amount of contemporary music, at the highest artistic level. In addition to his many musical talents, Jerry is dedicated to educational projects and is exceedingly generous in mentoring young musicians. He is a true mensch. On behalf of the entire organization, we want to thank Maestro Schwarz for his willingness to step in at this last minute to open our Berkeley Symphony season in such an exciting manner.” 


Founded in 1969 as the Berkeley Promenade Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony has established a reputation for presenting major new works for orchestra alongside fresh interpretations of the classic European repertoire. Berkeley Symphony has been recognized in nine of the past 11 seasons with an Award for Adventurous Programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). In addition to its subscription concerts and Under Construction Series, Berkeley Symphony regularly partners with Cal Performances, the performing arts presenter and producer of the University of California, Berkeley, to provide music for visiting artists. Berkeley Symphony’s award-winning yearlong Music in the Schools program reaches every public elementary school student in Berkeley. San Francisco public radio station KALW 91.7 FM is Berkeley Symphony’s broadcast partner, airing all Berkeley Symphony subscription concerts. 

Opening Night: Program I  

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 7 p.m. 

Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley 

Performers Gerard Schwarz, conductor 

Alessio Bax, piano 


Program Edmund Campion: Ossicles (Tiny Bones) 

(World Premiere co-commission with Cal Performances) 

Wagner: Siegfried Idyll 

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 


Single ticket prices range from $15 to $74 and can be placed online at; over the phone at (510) 841-2800, ext. 1; faxed to Berkeley Symphony’s box office at (510) 841-5422; or mailed to 1942 University Avenue, Suite 207, Berkeley, CA 94704. 


Discounts are available for groups of six or more. Berkeley Symphony offers a $7 Student Rush ticket one hour prior to each performance for those with valid student IDs. For more information or to request a brochure, call Berkeley Symphony at (510) 841-2800, email or visit