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The Topanga Symphony

Will commence the 36th Season of Free Concerts

With return of Aubree Oliverson - Virtuoso Violin Soloist



By, Jeanne Mitchell


            In August of 1982 the Topanga Symphony presented the first free concert at the Topanga Community House under the baton of Jerome Kessler.  On August 27, 2017 at 7:30 P.M. Kessler will craft the downbeat of the 36th Season of free concerts. This performance at the Topanga Community House will feature the return of virtuoso violinist Aubree Oliverson as soloist. In June 2017, the American Youth Symphony announced Aubree Oliverson the winner in their prestigious and highly competitive concerto competition.  With the Topanga Symphony she will be performing the popular and emotional Violin Concerto in G minor, Op. 26 by Max Bruch.  The concert will begin with Tragic Overture, Op 81 by Johannes Brahms and conclude with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony # 8 in F, Op. 93

            Aubree Oliverson’s first performed with the Topanga Symphony on March 13, 2016 with an acclaimed performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Concerto in e minor.  She has appeared on National Public Radio’s popular program From The Top four times, and was also an invited soloist at their year-end Gala in Boston. Aubree was a winner in the American Protégé International Strings Competition and soloed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall at age twelve.   Ms Oliverson is the recipient of the 2016 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a YoungArts National Winner for Violin Performance.  The 18 year-old talented violinist has just returned from three weeks in Japan performing with Music Masters from around the world.  Ms Oliverson’s return appearance with the Topanga Symphony is a special and wonderful treat for the classical music lovers in the Santa Monica Mountain community.

            The concert begins with the Tragic Overture, Op 81 by Johannes Brahms. It was written in the summer of 1880 and musically represents the emotions of deep sorrow we all endure when we are faced with a tragic event.  Reaching into this shadowy place, from a musical perspective, can help purge the painful hurt as the listener is immersed in the beautiful musical expression conveyed by the master of composition, Johannes Brahms.  For about 15 minutes the audience can collectively emote a tear that strengthens our understanding that we are all part of the fragile human race.  Then the vibrant, young, fresh and joyful Aubree Oliverson will enter the stage to bring a renewed sense of hope and confidence for the future. Her very presence will surely bring a smile to the faces of the classical music lover’s demeanor ensuring that we are ready to remember the importance of enjoying the short time we have together.

            The intermission will be time to gaze upon and enrich yourself in the beautiful grounds of the Topanga Community Center, mingle with those who just shared in the memorable music and those who look forward to the Beethoven piece coming up.  A sip of your favorite beverage and nibble upon a sweet snack can surely bring your happy place back into focus.

            Beethoven’s Symphony # 8 is sometimes referred to as “containing musical jokes” and “the little symphony in F” because of the light-hearted nature of the composition coming from the usually explosive and dramatic Beethoven.  The piece was begun in the summer of 1812 when the composer was 41 years old and enmeshed in complicated personal entanglements.  Perhaps Beethoven was attempting to overcome his anxiety of the time by creating the emotional antithesis in his composition.  A technique of coping we can all identify as a good strategy.

            Attending this concert, marking the beginning of the Topanga Symphony’s 36th Season, will be time well spent.  These amazing concerts free to the public are not without costs.  Ensuring the continuation of the fantastic performances requires the support of the community.  Place an ad in the program, become a “Friend of the Topanga Symphony”, bring a friend to the concert.  These actions can help to keep the music alive. Additional information is available on the website at

            The 4th Annual Topanga Symphony Fundraiser will be held on October 1st at Tuscali in Topanga.  Tickets are $65.00 each and can be purchased online through the website or by mailing a check written to the Topanga Symphony to: Jeanne Mitchell c/o Topanga Symphony P.O. Box 361 Topanga CA90290 please include your email or phone number.  The event begins at 2:00 P.M. and includes chamber music, beverages and hors d’oeuvres.  There will also be a Silent Auction.  If you would like to donate an item to the Silent Auction please contact Jeanne Mitchell at 310 455-3025 or by email at  The success of this important Annual Fundraising Event is essential to the preservation of this orchestra. 

Photo by Tom Mitchell  Taken on March 13, 2016 at the Topanga Symphony Concert.

Photo by Tom Mitchell

Taken on March 13, 2016 at the Topanga Symphony Concert.




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