OLLI, Nevada County’s Community Orchestra, presents “Mozart, Mason & More” on Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m. Two pieces by Mozart will be performed. “The Living Daylights” Bond-film fans will recognize his “Symphony No. 40.” This tragic symphony contrasts well with his rambunctious “Overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio,” also featured on the program.

OLLI Orchestra Concert May 7 2023

OLLI introduces the work of young composer Quinn Mason to Nevada County. Mason, who is based in Dallas, Texas, is just 27 years old. He currently serves as Artist in Residence of the Hartford (Connecticut) Symphony Orchestra. He also recently served as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Classical Roots Composer in Residence for 2022, the youngest composer ever appointed to that role.

Mason has been described as “a brilliant composer . . . who seems to make waves wherever he goes.” Texas Monthly wrote, “One of the most sought-after young composers in the country.”

Mason’s featured composition, “Petite Symphonie de Chambre Contemporaine,” isn’t likely to be known by even the most dedicated classical music enthusiasts. It was written just three years ago, when Quinn was 24.

Jean Sibelius’s “Belshazzar’s Feast” is included in the concert lineup. The work, inspired by Orientalism, contains fascinating tone colors and exotic melodies. Sibelius was a Finnish composer of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He composed a trio at just 16. He is widely regarded as Finland’s greatest composer.

Italian Gioachino Rossini began to compose at the age of 12; his first opera was performed in Venice in 1810, when he was 18 years old. His “Overture to Il Signor Bruschino” is a one-act operatic farce. The composition is forward-looking in its use of new musical effects. This lighthearted, energetic overture has gained considerable importance in the modern concert repertoire.

OLLI Orchestra, sponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Sierra College, began in 1978 under a few other names. Many of the musicians have played with OLLI for up to 30 years. All performers live locally and volunteer to rehearse and play together.

Maestro Wayland Whitney conducts the orchestra. He educates, entertains, and delights local audiences with his charm and razor-sharp wit.

Mozart and Mason

OLLI Orchestra’s concert “Mozart, Mason and More” takes place at 2 p.m. at Sierra College in Grass Valley on Sunday, May 7. Parking is free and there will be signs at the college entrance pointing to the Multipurpose Room N12. Although the concert is free, OLLI you must sign up on EventBrite for tickets.

WHO: OLLI Orchestra, Nevada County’s Community Orchestra
WHAT: Free concert “Mozart, Mason and More”
WHEN: Sunday, May 7, 2-3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Sierra College, Multipurpose Room N20, 250 Sierra College Dr., Grass Valley 94545
TICKETS: Free, but required in order to reserve a seat: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mozart-mason-more-free-concert-tickets-599967016497

INFO: Free parking. Follow signs at entrance. Info, map, and access to free tickets: www.olliorchestra.org