Gloria Cheng Joins the Santa Monica Symphony

Saturday was a perfect night to hear beautiful music from the Santa Monica Symphony. The concert, held at the Civic Center Auditorium on Main St., was directed and conducted by Allen Robert Gross, who hosted special guest pianist Gloria Cheng. The performance of the evening was Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B flat major.

Ms. Cheng’s educational background includes graduate degrees in music from UCLA and USC. She has pursued solfège and piano studies in Paris and Barcelona, and is currently part of the UCLA faculty She also carries a B.A. in economics from Stanford University. Cheng’s greatest accolade to date is a Grammy award from 2009 for “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance.”

As Cheng walked on stage, the audience paid generous respect through applause.

Cheng played to the accompaniment of the orchestra. Musical notes fluctuated throughout the auditorium. Starting out light, the orchestra suddenly would move to very vibrant and energetic music.

The program embodied a wide range of moods and tonalities, feelings of happiness coming from sounds that would make anyone crack a joyous smile, with minor key movements that seamlessly transitioned into pensive, dramatic, and soulful sounds.

Cheng’s performance lasted for twenty minutes, and by the end of it, the audience erupted into ecstatic applause.

The audience continued as the director paid thanks to each section of the symphony.

A 2008 article by The New York Times, “Selections From Really Long (and Not So Long) Ago,” summed up the experience of hearing Cheng perform, “It’s not just that Ms. Cheng plays these daunting pieces with such commanding technique, color, and imagination. She has brought together works that fascinatingly complement one another.”

A not-for-profit organization, the Santa Monica Symphony keeps its doors open by selling merchandise.

Coffee mugs, a variety of shirts, and other souvenirs, along with traditional donations, keep the Symphony in business.

The Symphony’s next show is scheduled for Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Concerts are free of charge, but patrons are encouraged to donate.