Author and talk-show host Dennis Prager conducts the Santa Monica Symphony in a rarely heard performance of Haydn’s Symphony No. 51. Music Director Guido Lamell shares the podium for Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Prager is donating his services to support this benefit concert for the Santa Monica Symphony. During the last 20 years, Prager has guest conducted in Los Angeles, supporting local orchestras such as the Pasadena, Glendale, West LA and Brentwood Symphony orchestras. In 1994, Prager conducted the L.A. Philharmonic in the Star Spangled Banner at the Hollywood Bowl. Prager has a deep knowledge of and passion for classical music.
“I conduct orchestras because I love classical music and I want to introduce people who have never heard a symphony to classical music. I want to help raise money for local orchestras. And I want the wonderful opportunity to make music as a conductor,” says Prager.
Music Director Guido Lamell says, “I remember sitting on the Hollywood Bowl stage as a member of the L.A. Philharmonic in 1994 when Dennis Prager walked onto the stage to conduct the Star Spangled Banner. An enormous roar of cheers and applause from 17,000 fans shook the Bowl shell about the same as when John Williams conducts his film programs these days. On his radio program he often talks about the glories of music. His bumper music that introduced his program every day was a Haydn symphony in F major. He has studied this composer more deeply than anyone I have met. We classical musicians saw then in Dennis and continue to see the greatest and most vocal supporter of classical music on earth.”
Board of Directors member Bob Hamilton added, “An orchestra is by definition a non-political entity. We are here to encourage cultural enrichment and welcome all people who are on all ends of the political and social spectrum who love music. Mr. Prager is simply an individual who has a deep love and an incredibly rich knowledge of classical music. He is an amateur conductor who has conducted other orchestras.”
About Dennis Prager: Prager is one of America’s most respected nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts, authors and public speakers. He is also the founder of PragerU, a popular online video site that explains American and Western values through 5-minute, animated videos presented by renowned thinkers. In 2016 alone PragerU’s videos received over 250 million views. He is invited regularly onto Fox News and CNN to offer his commentary on current events. The Dennis Prager Radio Show, has over 1 million daily listeners. His most recent book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph, was published by Harper-Collins in 2012 and quickly became a NY Times bestseller. Dennis has lectured on all seven continents, in 45 states, and in 9 of Canada’s 10 provinces. He also periodically conducts orchestras.
About Guido Lamell: L.A. Philharmonic violinist/conductor, Lamell has been the Santa Monica Symphony’s Music Director since 2012. He was Associate Concertmaster of the Louisville Orchestra and Concertmaster of the Mexico City Philharmonic before joining the L.A. Phil. in 1979. He was music director of the Topanga Philharmonic, and has conducted the LA Philharmonic in its InSchool Youth Concerts Program, the L.A. County High School for the Arts Orchestra, the L.A. Doctors Symphony and the New Valley Symphony Orchestra.
About Santa Monica Symphony: The mission of the Santa Monica Symphony (SMS) is to enrich the community by presenting performances of high artistic value and to serve as a music education resource for the Santa Monica community. Since 1945 the SMS has provided high quality concerts of works from the classical and contemporary symphonic repertoire FREE of charge. The SMS enhances lifelong learning through special open rehearsals and performances at local schools, libraries and community events. The SMS presents four to five concerts annually at Barnum Hall and other locations including the annual Martin Luther King Day concert at Santa Monica’s SGI auditorium and receives support from the City of Santa Monica.
Tickets range from $30-$100. For tickets call (323) 850-2000 or go to www.musiccenter.org. The VIP Packages are $250. They include premium seating and a special post-concert reception with the artists. For VIP packages please call 310-395-6300 or email Christine@smsymphony.org.