The Simon Sinfonietta was created in 2004 to bring together great musicians to perform music for enthusiastic audiences. Each season the 40-piece chamber orchestra features the finest symphonic players from the Boston-Providence-Cape Cod triangle to perform in historic Falmouth, Massachusetts. Proceeds benefit Falmouth Academy, Historic Highfield, and WCAI.
The chamber orchestra, an orchestra comprised of approximately 40 musicians, originated in the baroque and classical eras. Differing from the large-scale symphony orchestra that grew up in the late 19th century, its clarity of sound, brightness of spirit, and aura of intimacy has also attracted composers of the 20th century, such as Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland.
The Simon Sinfonietta connects a rich repertoire of familiar and rarely performed pieces with great musicianship to create sparkling seasons of musical delights.
Stephen Simon, Music Director
A Message from Bonnie Ward Simon
This past summer was Stephen Simon’s 30th summer in Woods Hole. For 20 of those, he claimed that he would never conduct on the Cape. Woods Hole was where he came to rest, recharge his batteries, compose, arrange, and play the pipe organ in our home that he loved. Then on a sparking summer day 10 years ago, we sat on our deck having lunch with Susan Shephard, who had spearheaded the Historic Highfield restoration, Bruce Buxton, then head of Falmouth Academy, and Robert Wyatt, the new director of the Cape Cod Conservatory. Together we all talked about how these three institutions clustered on the hill could become a cultural center for Falmouth. I always think that that was the moment when Stephen decided that he would give back to the community that he had come to love the greatest gift he knew, the gift of live music.
For the past 9 seasons, we have all enjoyed Stephen’s unique brand of joyful music-making. He created concerts that were interesting for audience and musicians alike, and brought exceptional soloists who came, not because they had ever heard of Falmouth, MA, but because they loved Stephen. Tonight’s concert is a quintessential Stephen Simon program: one of his favorite Handel organ concerti played on the chamber organ that he purchased once for the Kennedy Center and then a second time to have it here in Falmouth; the CPE Bach Symphony, to give you something you probably have never heard before; and the joyful Mendelssohn Italian Symphony that Mendelssohn himself said expressed the joy that the Italians - and, of course, Stephen - felt for life.
I want to thank Joe Marchio who agreed to conduct this concert on very short notice. He not only knew and admired Stephen, but was a fellow music-maker on Cape Cod. I want to thank the members of the orchestra, many of whom have been here since the beginning. Stephen always felt you were fellow-travellers on the musical journey. And, I want to thank you for being an enthusiastic and supportive audience. Good audiences make good concerts.
Finally, I want to say that while this is the final Simon Sinfonietta concert, this is not the end of arts on the hill. Programs on the hill continue to thrive, and as spring turns into summer, I like to think that someone new will be inspired on a sparkling Cape Cod day, and something wonderful and unexpected will come to pass. I know that Stephen would like that.