Clarinetist Michele Zukovsky Opens New Season at Pacific Palisades’ St. Matthew’s Church

St. Matthew’s Music Guild opens its 32nd season at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, with a program of works by Mozart, Wagner and von Weber. Clarinetist Michele Zukovsky, recently retired principal clarinet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is the guest soloist.

Zukovsky began her career with the L.A. Philharmonic in 1961 at the age of 18 and remained with the orchestra until last fall. Since then she has been in great demand as a soloist throughout the United States, while continuing to teach at the USC Thornton School of Music.

At the Oct. 14 concert, Zukovsky will play the “Fantasia” and “Rondo Finale” from Carl Maria von Weber’s Opus 34 Quintet for Clarinet and Strings.

Clarinetist Michele Zukovsky
Clarinetist Michele Zukovsky

Conductor and St. Matthew’s Music Director Thomas Neenan will lead the Chamber Orchestra as they begin with Richard Wagner’s birthday present for his wife Cosima, the “Siegfried Idyll,” which he presented to her on Christmas morning in 1870.

For that occasion, Wagner arranged for a chamber ensemble from the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra to array themselves on the staircase of the family’s villa in Lucerne, Switzerland. He later expanded the orchestration and used several moments from the piece in his Ring cycle opera Siegfried.

Mozart’s “Jupiter” symphony will round out the program. The piece earned its nickname for its humor, energy and unusually grand scale. Completed in 1788, it was Mozart’s last major orchestral work and the most complex of his 41 symphonies.

The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s is a critically acclaimed ensemble made up of some of the finest freelance and studio musicians in the city.

The Music Guild’s series is held in St. Matthew’s Church, 1031 Bienveneda Ave. Admission at the door is $35. Visit or call (310) 573-7421.

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