Maestro Allen Robert Gross (right) leads Orchestra Santa Monica into its second season. (Photo courtesy Orchestra Santa Monica)

DOWNTOWN — Building on the success of its inaugural season, Orchestra Santa Monica is heading into its second season with the theme Classics, Cultures, and Charisma.

Maestro Allen Robert Gross (right) leads Orchestra Santa Monica into its second season. (Photo courtesy Orchestra Santa Monica)

The orchestra, under music director Allen Robert Gross, will be presenting four concerts at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica, officials with the orchestra announced this week in a news release.

Featured soloists will be 14-year-old violinist Angela Bae, a winner of this year’s Music Center Spotlight Awards and a student at the Crossroads School in Santa Monica; guitarist Ricardo Escobar; organist Patricia Maimone; and renowned flutist David Shostac, longtime principal flute of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Its programs continue Orchestra Santa Monica’s mission to present music that represents the diversity of the cultures in the region. This year’s programs will feature a North American premiere of “Las Primas del General Calles” (“The Cousins of General Calles”) by Enrique Gonz√°lez Medina, a Mexican composer long active in southern California as a composer and teacher. The work will be featured in the February concert entitled North and South of the Border.

Beginning the orchestra’s Spanish and Latino theme in the Oct. 27 opener, violinist Bae will perform Lalo’s popular “Symphonie Espagnole,” along with Beethoven’s “Seventh Symphony.”

Maestro Gross is excited about the coming season.

“Last year’s show of support for our orchestra was tremendously encouraging, and has enabled us to expand from three to four concerts this year,” Gross said. “I’m especially thrilled about presenting Angela Bae, who at 14 already plays with maturity and personality.”

Gross is also enthusiastic about expanding the orchestra’s repertoire into the realm of chamber orchestra repertoire.

“On March 30 we’re doing a chamber orchestra concert that features Bach, early Mozart, and Handel, repertoire that will go perfectly at Mt. Olive. Most larger orchestras don’t do enough of this style, and Bach in particular is mostly relegated to period-instrument ensembles these days.”

Orchestra Santa Monica has received two grants from the city of Santa Monica to support its programs this year.

“We’re very proud that after only one year we have shown ourselves to deserve support from the city”, said Executive Director Jennifer Frain.

One of the grants is to promote the North and South of the Border concert by presenting talks and guitar workshops featuring guitarist Escobar at the Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center and the Santa Monica Boys and Girls Club.

Complete information about the season’s programs can be found at

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