Virtuoso Violinist

Aubree Oliverson performing with the Topanga Symphony on March 13, 2016. Photo by Tom Mitchell

In August 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.

The concert will begin with the “Tragic Overture, Op 81” by Johannes Brahms and conclude with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony # 8 in F, Op. 93 and features the return of virtuoso violinist Aubree Oliverson performing the popular and emotional “Violin Concerto in G minor, Op. 26” by Max Bruch. In June, she was named winner of the American Youth Symphony’s prestigious and highly competitive concerto competition. 

At age 12, Oliverson, now 18, was a winner in the American Protégé International Strings Competition and soloed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. She is the recipient of the 2016 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a YoungArts National Winner for Violin Performance. She has appeared on National Public Radio’s popular program, “From The Top,” four times and was an invited soloist at their year-end Gala in Boston.

She first performed with the Topanga Symphony on March 13, 2016. with an acclaimed performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Concerto in e Minor.” She has just returned from three weeks in Japan performing with Music Masters from around the world, which makes her return appearance with the Topanga Symphony a special treat for the classical music lovers in the Santa Monica Mountains 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 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.

Intermission will be a 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. A sip of your favorite beverage and nibble upon a sweet snack can surely bring your happy place back into focus.

Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 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 useful strategy.



Attending this concert that marks 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 help keep the music alive. For more information:

SAVE THE DATE: October 1

The Fourth Annual Topanga Symphony Fundraiser will be held on October 1 at Tuscali in Topanga. The success of this important Annual Fundraising Event is essential to the preservation of this orchestra.  Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased online or by mailing a check payable to the Topanga Symphony to: Jeanne Mitchell c/o Topanga Symphony, P.O. Box 361, Topanga CA 90290. Please include your e-mail and phone number.  The event begins at 2 p.m., and includes chamber music, beverages and hors d’oeuvres. We are seeking donations for the Silent Auction. Please contact Jeanne Mitchell at (310) 455-3025; or Tuscali in Topanga is located at 1224 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290.


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