"The Symphony’s program, titled “Pacific Perspectives,” included two works composed right on our doorstep: Lou Harrison’s “Pacifika Rondo” (1963) and maestro Daniel Stewart’s “Sinfonia” (2011). The room was bursting with excitement as the audience waited with anticipation to hear the new maestro’s own composition. The piece was a colorful patchwork combining jazz elements, blues scales, syncopated rhythms and instrumentation of Argentinean tango with a vocabulary of ostinato, polytonality and a smattering of aleatoric notation, and featured exciting woodwind solos, lush warm unison strings and a battery of percussion instruments.
Musical elements from Korean and Japanese court music and Chinese chamber music, with a smattering of Mexican and Spanish-colonial music come together in “Pacifika Rondo” that, like the ocean has a circular form in its seven movements. The Santa Cruz Symphony was joined on stage by musicians renowned for their expertise in performing on the piri, sheng, kayageum and fipple flutes that Harrison’s score requires, exposing the audience a variety of timbres that was most refreshing."