I have been blessed by music and the opportunity for great music making throughout my life. There is no greater feeling and joy for me than sharing these blessings with as many people as possible. I couldn’t be happier to be here tonight with this precious community, especially knowing how closely my artistic purpose aligns with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra’s mission, “to provide the best possible performances of great music for the widest possible audience, and provide musical education for the young people of Kern County.”

I am originally from Costa Rica, and grew up experiencing the transformative power of music. In 1972, the country’s then president, José Figueres Ferrer, made the monumental decision to use music as an instrument of continued peace, making music education for all children a reality and prioritizing the cultural enrichment of all Costa Ricans. From that vision came his famous phrase “Para que tractores sin violines” (Why tractors without violins).

Having personally benefitted from accessible music education and having seen the positive effects of music on the people of my home country, my vision for my tenure with the BSO would not only include innovative artistic leadership and close collaboration with an outstanding group of fellow artists, but it would also give me the opportunity to share my passion for music, music making, and music education with the people of Kern County. Through music, my dream would be to engage with the active spirit of the community, foster mutual respect, and enrich the lives of community members of all ages.

Tonight’s musical delights could not be more exquisite than with these two iconic works of the orchestral repertoire. The Cello Concerto in B Minor Op. 104 by Antonín Dvorak represents one of the composer’s highest accomplishments and remains one of the most important masterpieces of the cello repertoire, due to its creatively wrought musical details, great expressiveness, fine architecture, and technical demands. The Symphony No. 4 in F Minor Op. 36 by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky will take us through a musical journey full of evocative images – fate, drama, darkness, melancholy, hope, light, and triumph.

Let us all – orchestra, soloist, and audience – open our souls and let the magic of music flow around us, unite us, and transform us with its energy.

Thank you for this great privilege, allowing me to collaborate with the outstanding musicians of the BSO and allowing us all to share the great joy of music together.

Alejandro Gutiérrez

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