Tag Archives: scott yoo

Announcing the 2013 Summer Season

Greetings from Festival Mozaic headquarters! We’ve been very busy behind the scenes. We had a fantastic WinterMezzo weekend in early March (with record ticket sales!) and we announced our 2013 summer season to our supporters.

Scott Yoo has put together an incredible array of musical events this July – from grand orchestra in the world-class Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center to intimate chamber music concerts in venues that showcase the Central Coast to the comic stylings of Italy-based Duo Baldo. Click here to flip through the season brochure.


Congratulations to San Luis Obispo artist Drew Davis, who is this year’s winner of our resurrected poster art contest. His original work of art, “Trio” was created specifically for Festival Mozaic and will be featured on posters and other publicity materials this summer. Learn more about Drew by clicking here.

Subscription tickets go on sale April 1. Enjoy – and we’ll see you this summer.


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2012 Summer Scrapbook, Part II

Best festival EVER!! The Summer portion of Festival Mozaic ended on Sunday with a bang, and we’ve been trying to catch our breath ever since.  Until then…

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The best deal around

What would you pay for a decadent French dinner specially crafted just for you and seven friends?  Or a four-night stay in Tahoe? Or an iPad 3?

How about $20?

Well, folks, it could happen.  The 2012 Summer Festival Raffle is almost underway, which means you could win an unbelievably cool prize and support an unbelievably cool organization for just $20 per ticket, or $100 for six.

Tickets will be available at all 2012 Festival Mozaic events from July 11-22, or by visiting the Festival office in San Luis Obispo at 2050 Broad Street. And remember, when you purchase a ticket, you’re supporting the Festival’s mission of bringing the best in music-making to the Central Coast.

And here’s more info on the prizes.  Bonne chance!

Dinner for 8 prepared by Chef Jose Dahan of Et Voila! at the Avila Beach home of Shirley and Mike Ritter

Chef Jose Dahan

A native of Toulouse, France, José was professionally schooled in Paris where he spent six years at restaurants such as Le Relais Paris Est and Lucas Carton, followed by seven years of additional training in Belgium. He later moved to California to work in leading L.A. area restaurants including Le Dôme, L’Orangerie, and Le Beaujolais before opening J’Adore restaurant in Palos Verdes which he ran for nine years. Settling on the Central Coast of California in 1997, José opened Et Voilà for private parties and occasional public events. Chef José offers a broad range of specialties from traditional French and international to more contemporary cuisine. This sumptuous meal will take place at the beautiful Avila Beach home of Mike and Shirley Ritter.

Two tickets to the November 3 WinterMezzo Notable Encounter Dinner 

Join other music lovers at the Festival’s WinterMezzo weekend November 2-4, 2012. You and your guest will be seated at a table with Festival Mozaic Music Director Scott Yoo at our Notable Encounter Dinner on Saturday night. Enjoy scintillating conversation with Maestro Yoo before being dazzled by his amazing musicianship.

iPad 3

You’ve seen the Festival Mozaic artists perform using their Apple iPads for storing music. The iPad 3 has four times more pixels than iPad 2 with Razor-sharp text and richer colors. The Retina display on the new iPad features a 2048-by-1536 resolution, 44% greater color saturation, and an astounding 3.1 million pixels — in 9.7”of space. That’s four times the number of pixels in iPad 2 and a million more than an HDTV. You still get up to 10 hours of power to read, watch, play, write, and create. Generously donated by Dr. Samantha Curran.

4-Night Stay in Lake Tahoe

Located in beautiful Tahoe Keys, South Lake Tahoe, this 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 3-story newly refurbished townhome sleeps up to eight and is complete with updated kitchen, whirlpool bath, washer and dryer, internet, DirecTV, single car garage and additional off street parking. There is a view of the Tahoe Keys Marina and access to a private beach. There are also an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts and private gym available for a small additional charge. Come and enjoy all the wonderful Tahoe sights and activities that are here waiting for you, like skiing, snowboarding, and snow shoeing in the winter and water sports, kayaking, and hiking in the summer. No holidays; subject to availability. Generously donated by Vance and Virginia Rodgers.

Case of 12 assorted wines donated by the Festival’s Favorite Wineries

A selection of a variety of delicious reds and whites assured to please every palate donated by Anglim, Cass, Claiborne & Churchill, Halter Ranch, Harmony Cellars, Laetitia, Lone Madrone, Kenneth Volk, Kynsi, Niner Wine Estates, Tablas Creek and Vina Robles.

A CD of the Final Concert of the 2012 Summer Festival!

Take home the live recording of the Festival Mozaic Grand Finale concert on July 22, 2012. This is the only CD recording available of this exciting concert. Add this to your collection and re-live the concert again and again!

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Bettina’s Top Five Must Not Misses for the Summer Festival

Festival Mozaic’s Executive Director, Bettina Swigger, is steadily plowing toward her second Summer Festival.  While no good mother would EVER admit to having favorites, here are the events she’s looking forward to most.

1) Chamber music at Hearst Castle this summer on July 14 – Brahms and Dvorak. Not only will guests get to enjoy the amazing views from the hilltop and get to hang out with our super-duper rockstar music director Scott Yoo, but the concert takes place in the theater, so it’s a one-of-a-kind experience. Well worth the $175 price! Hearing Brahms and Dvorak side by side is always a wonderful musical exercise, since Brahms was a mentor to Dvorak.

2) Classical Musicians Doing Decidedly Un-Classical Things – This one last year was a real barnburner and this year it promises to be even better, with Caroline Campbell and her virtuoso Sonus Quartet and the gifted and hilarious John Novacek rounding out the evening. I love seeing these generally-staid musicians really rock out.

3) The Mandolins on the Fringe concert at See Canyon Fruit Ranch featuring Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg. It’s an outdoor concert in a beautiful setting. Beer, wine and boxed lunches will be available. Plus – Mike Marshall is probably the number two mandolin player behind Bela Fleck (do you ever listen to NPR’s show Car Talk? He played the theme for that show!) Their program will feature Baroque, Classical and American mandolins and mandocello performing baroque music, Brazilian choro music and Mike Marshall originals.

4) We’ll be heading to Mission San Miguel for the first time in many, many years! The Festival Orchestra will be performing in this exquisite historic mission, which has been lovingly restored after it sustained massive damage in a 2003 earthquake.  It’s a lovely setting, and the repertoire for this concert couldn’t be more delightful. I love Mozart’s oboe concerto, and Anne Marie Gabriele is a fantastic performer. Plus, Scott conducting Beethoven Symphony No. 2? Yes, please!

5) The Chapel Hill concert is the most magical place for me. It’s a private chapel way out on Highway 46, built with remnants from the Hearst Castle as a place of worship by Judge William Clark.  Last year was my first time attending, and I was moved to tears by hearing such timeless music performed in an unimaginably beautiful setting. Plus, this year Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg are soloists.  People bring picnics and wine (and Chuck Hiigel will be pouring beers out of his reserves) to share before enjoying the indoor/outdoor concert – it’s just lovely. Click here to watch a video shot by an audience member a few years ago at Chapel Hill and see for yourself why this is a truly special offering at Festival Mozaic.

Well, shoot. I can’t choose just FIVE! So here’s a bonus.

*) We’re also doing a Notable Encounter Insight at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles. This is a very cool, interactive presentation will highlight my very favorite string quartet of all time in a very great space- working artists studios in downtown Paso Robles, which is really happening right now.

Bettina Swigger, Executive Director, developed a love of music when she began playing the viola at age five. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bettina joined Festival Mozaic in 2011 from Colorado Springs, where she served as executive director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, an arts advocacy organization. Prior to that, she was the manager of the Colorado College Summer Arts Festival, which includes a Summer Music Festival, Dance Intensive, Vocal Arts Symposium and film series. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from Colorado College. A passionate advocate for all the creative arts, Bettina has served as an elected member of the National Emerging Leaders Council for Americans for the Arts. She sits on the Music Education Committee with the San Luis Obispo Symphony and is on the board of directors of Arts Obispo, the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council.

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SCRAPBOOK: WinterMezzo, February 2012

Last weekend was Festival Mozaic’s spectacular February WinterMezzo weekend, and we’re all still walking on air.  The audience for each event on Friday, Saturday and Sunday was packed and high-energy, the performances from the musicians (Scott Yoo, Nina Fan, Paul Severtson, Andy Smith) were knockouts, and the venues showcased everything incredible about the Central Coast.  Really, there aren’t enough superlatives.

Here, we’ve compiled a little scrapbook of the weekend.  Enjoy!

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P.S. To see more of Scott’s master class with San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony violinist Joseph Wyer, check out this video of them in action.

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Happy birthday, Mozart! by Scott Yoo.

With today being Mozart’s birthday, it is apropos that we at Festival Mozaic recently came across the following essay. Penned in 2006 by Music Director Scott Yoo, it lauds Mozart’s creativity and genius on the occasion of his 250th birthday.  (When Maetro Yoo wrote the piece, Festival Mozaic was still called the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, but we honor and revere Mozart’s musical legacy as much today as we ever have.) Thanks to local newspaper The Tribune for printing the original words.

Scott Yoo


This weekend marks the beginning of worldwide celebrations honoring the 250th birthday of one of the greatest musical artists the world has known, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The celebrations across the globe have given me occasion to muse on what Mozart meant to his own time, to ours and to the future.

In my travels as a guest conductor, I am fortunate to work with orchestras in many countries. My recent musical travels have taken me to a 2-week stint of guest conducting Mozart in Hong Kong and I am now guest conducting an orchestra on the East Coast in a Mozart program as well. A musician in Hong Kong remarked to me that that he could play Mozart all year round and be completely satisfied, which led me to wonder: what is it about Mozart’s music that makes it so easily ‘portable’, not only through time zones, but thorough cultures as disparate as America and Asia? And why does his music still feel so fresh, after almost a quarter of a millennium?

Despite the entertaining but historically-suspect film Amadeus, which depicts Mozart as a puerile idiot-savant, Mozart the man remains an enigma to us. Unlike some of the latter composers who followed him, it is difficult to tell from Mozart’s music what was happening in his life. He didn’t necessarily write ‘sad’ music when he suffered loss or set-back or ‘triumphal’ music when he achieved something of great public acclaim. His output remained constant and consummate in quality, in scope and in sheer creativity.

Legends of his genius come to us because of the process by which he created music, which was so effortless, that it was said to come directly from God’s mind to Mozart’s hand. Musicians still stand in awe of this ability, knowing what it entails. The ease with which he created is not what makes him so popular with audiences, whose appreciation of music is not based on how difficult something is, but what it elicits emotionally and imaginatively.

Mozart’s supernatural ability to span a range of emotions from happy to sad, aggressive to plaintive, jovial to funereal, in a matter of seconds, without ever sounding abrupt is partly what makes him unique among composers. As we multi-process and multi-task our way through modern life, there is something in this ability to “turn on a dime” that so mirrors the way we perceive the world, think and feel inside ourselves, that makes this music feel so natural to us, so human, that it resonates across cultures and centuries. This is what makes Mozart so lasting and eternal, from Virginia to Hong Kong and all places and eras in between.


The Central Coast is indeed fortunate to have a festival that celebrates this expressive and creative legacy each summer and throughout the year. Although festivals, orchestras and opera houses across the world will honor Mozart with performances of his works both great and small throughout the year, here in San Luis Obispo, we have chosen to take a different approach. This year, the San Luis Obispo Festival celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of its namesake by showcasing the greatest works by the master himself and the musical titans who followed him in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many composers have contributed to the rich legacy of the classical tradition we enjoy today, but three in particular stand out and will be showcased as part of this summer’s festivities. Mozart’s poignant and effervescent classicism in the 18th century gave way to the thunderous output of Beethoven in the 19th century and the musical and personal struggles of Shostakovich working under Stalin’s repressive regime in the 20th century. Each of these three giants of music not only represented but defined their times. Mozart’s era encompassed the Enlightenment and the birth of the greatest democracy in the history of the world, our nation. Beethoven’s music championed the spirit and dignity of the individual, which arguably led to Shostakovich’s work as a lightning rod of the conflict between the stifling ideology of Stalinism and the irrepressible creative impulse of humanity.

In celebrating Mozart this year as the starting point for the musical titans in the centuries that followed, the 2006 Mozart Festival celebrates the triumph of the creative spirit through music, in our history, in our community and in ourselves.


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Why start a blog?

Yes, we here at Festival Mozaic are diving into the social network with both feet.  We are starting a blog.

But don’t expect this blog to be the same-old, same-old.  After all, we are Festival Mozaic, home of extraordinary music performed by extraordinary artists in extraordinary spaces.  So here’s the plan for this new venture:

We’ll take you inside the music.

Sure, you’ll find brilliant program notes by Dr. Alyson McLamore in your concert program. But here, that information on composers and pieces will gain depth and breadth with mixed media like photos, video, and audio clips.

We’ll bring you closer to the musicians.

Scott Yoo

Festival Mozaic’s unmatched artistry is no mistake: Conductor Scott Yoo seeks out and cultivates relationships with some of the world’s finest musicians to perform here on the Central Coast.  This blog will feature guest bloggers from among the orchestra (as well as Scott Yoo himself) to share their take on playing the Festival, as well as featurettes on how they spend the rest of their year.

We’ll introduce you to your fellow listeners.

Festival Mozaic at Chapel Hill

Music – or any other art form, for that matter – can only exist so long as there is a composer, a performer, and an audience.  Without you, all would be silence!  This blog will allow a center space for faithful Mozaic-goers to share encounters with the music and thoughts on what it means to listen.

If you’d like to follow the goings-on of this new blog, please click “Subscribe” to receive new posts published in real time directly to your inbox.  We certainly hope we do.

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