DOWNEY - When you bring together on one stage an elegant, polished soloist who will appear in four different gowns, a professional string orchestra, and the 300-year-old star that inspired this combination, you have a rare event indeed.All this is coming to Downey Saturday evening, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m. The stage is our Civic Theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd.; the orchestra is the Downey Symphony; the soloist is the captivating Elizabeth Pitcairn; and the celebrated centerpiece, that ageless star, is the renowned Stradivarius violin she plays. Known as the Red Violin because of its unusual veneer, and esteemed for glorious tone and beauty, this instrument was somehow lost for much of its life, remembered as one of the world's masterpieces, but shrouded in mystery. When it resurfaced in 1999 it was offered at auction by Christie's in London and purchased for Elizabeth Pitcairn by her grandfather. Elizabeth will play Antonio Vivaldi's wonderful "Four Seasons," in concert with the Downey Symphony under Music Director Sharon Lavery, who presents a discussion of the evening's music at 7:15. Also on the program are Edvard Grieg's "Holberg Suite" and Benjamin Britten's "Adagio for Strings." Tickets for this extraordinary concert are $35 and $30, $10 for students, and are available at the theater box office (562) 861-8211, or online at downeytheatre.com. Parking is free. But wait - there's another free goodie. In conjunction with this concert, you are invited to a screening of the film that the Red Stradivarius Violin inspired. It stars Samuel L. Jackson as an expert evaluator of fine musical instruments, and depicts the imagined history of what might have happened to this lost violin. Come to the Downey Civic Theatre at 2:30 on Saturday, Feb. 1, for this free motion picture, no tickets required, though please note that the film is rated R. There will be drawings for prizes, an intermission, and you will have time for dinner before the evening's performance - when you will become one of the world's fortunate few, in the presence of The Red Violin.
********** Published: Jan. 16, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 40