After having conducted three exciting programs to conclude South Africa’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Games in Durban, South Africa in 2010 and leading both the Opening Ceremony for the 2011 International Pan American Games and the Opera/Ballet Gala performance “Carmen” in Guadalajara, Mexico, Leslie Dunner continues to excite audiences with vigorous and innovative performances. December, 2012 sees Dunner’s return to the OFJ as guest conductor for the upcoming Christmas and New Year's concerts.
The Christmas concert will open with three sparkling jewels from the Baroque period: Johann Sebastian Bach's Third Orchestral Suite, Georg Friedrich Handel's Entrance of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon, and Bach's well-known Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, featuring OFJ soloists Sava Latsanich (violin) and Nury Ulate and Nathali Garcia, flutes.
After a brief intermission, audiences will be treated to a rousing fanfare (from La Perì, by French composer Paul Dukàs of "Sorcerer's Apprentice" fame), followed by beloved popular classics by Von Suppe, Tchaikovsky, Humperdinck and Bizet, and - as the grand finale - Leroy Anderson's Christmas classic "Sleigh Ride."
The New Year's Concert will begin on a dramatic note with the opening of Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra but then move quickly on to lighter fare, with a delightful romp through such favorites as the Suppe "Light Cavalry" Overture, the Johann Strauss "Tritsch Tratsch Polka" and the "Skater's Waltz" by Emìle Waldteufel. Mr. Dunner and company will also allow the audience to discover a few lesser-known gems of the same style and period, such as the Johann Strauss, Jr. waltzes "An Artist's Life" and "Gold and Silver".
All in all, we can expect to be treated to "A Night in Vienna" that we're sure to enjoy.