Classical music often turns out to be unexpectedly familiar, even to those who have never intently listened to it, as it tends to be used in various forms of background music, in films and more. And even listening for the first time, you might be surprised at the melodies that stick in your head instantly.
A wide selection of music is performed at PMF each year, and this page features introductions to a small selection of pieces scheduled to be performed at PMF 2016. We hope that you'll find something here that piques your interest, and that you'll come and experience the music live!
The free listening period for these samples has ended. Samples of the PMF 2019 program will be available here at a later date.
This fresh and energetic masterpiece is full of well-known music, familiar from the 1957 Broadway musical and the 1961 film, and remains highly popular to this day. Its influence on the music world has been immeasurable. "Symphonic Dances" is a "concert suite," meaning that it gathers many phrases from the original musical, capturing its essence. Perhaps the most well-known moment is when the musicians shout "Mambo!" (at 9:48 in the sample below). It is very rare to hear the voices of the musicians in an orchestra; you can almost feel the overflowing youthful energy of post-World War 2 New York!
This quartet was written in 1781, when Mozart was 25 years old, for Friedreich Rum, the most famous oboe player of his time. When a composer meets a top-level player, the composer must surely dream of the musical possibilities; the 3rd movement of Mozart's quartet has a very difficult section for the oboe, almost concerto-like, showing off the brilliance and beauty of this fascinating instrument. At PMF 2017, the musical craftsmanship of Eugene Izotov (Principal Oboe of the San Francisco Symphony), along with the other musicians of PMF AMERICA, will be on full display!
"Les préludes" refers to a line from a poem by Alphonse de Lamartine, "What is our life but a succession of preludes to that unknown song whose first solemn note is sounded by death?" However, rather than emphasizing death, this piece seems to focus on living life to the fullest. And the brass fanfare section (at 14:25 in the sample below) may sound familiar from its use in TV commercials.
The performance on Sunday, July 23 is an opportunity to see the Conducting Academy lead the PMF Orchestra!
This Wagner masterpiece is so richly detailed that it may leave the listener with the impression of having heard the entire 4-hour opera! The "Pilgrim's Chorus" theme gradually builds up the emotions at the beginning, leading to the entrance of the full orchestra in music that will surely be familiar (at 2:13 in the sample below), as it frequently appears in film. This piece requires very high-level technique and concentration on the part of each player. Don't miss the PMF Orchestra's performance conducted by Maestro Valery Gergiev!