May 29, 2014

Townsend Opera director wins fellowship to study in Austria

Arts Briefs

Townsend Opera Music Director Ryan Murray has won the prestigious Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors to study at the Salzburg Festival in Austria this summer.

Murray will spend August in residency with the Vienna Philharmonic as it prepares performances under such renowned conductors as Bernard Haitink, Ricardo Muti and Gustavo Dudamel. The Ansbacher Fellowship selects one promising American conductor under 30 to attend the Salzburg Festival each year.

As part of the fellowship, Murray will live in the same residence hall as the musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic, attend all rehearsals and performances and have one-on-one time with the Dutch conductor Haitink, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Muti and Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Dudamel.

Murray recently was appointed music director for Townsend Opera and previously served as principal conductor for the organization. He also is the associate conductor for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra and music director for the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra. Additionally, he serves as the artistic director of the Napa Valley Youth Symphony and will make his Carnegie Hall conducting debut with that group later this year. Since 2004, Murray also has served as the assistant conductor and director of vocal activities for the Vocal and Instrumental Teaching Academy in Sacramento.

Graffiti Summer

Graffiti Summer events kick off with the movie that started it all.

The State Theatre screens George Lucas’ seminal coming-of-age film, “American Graffiti,” at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The historic downtown Modesto theater owns owns a 35mm archival print of the film that will be screened. Ticket prices will be rolled back to $3, and root beer floats will be for sale in the lobby.

Graffiti Summer events continue Sunday with the ninth annual Graffiti Classic Car Show from the Modesto Area Street Rod Association. The free public show will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McHenry Village.

Then through the week, check out the free public Mid-Valley Chevy Club Park n’ Shines from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday throught Thursday at various locations. Monday will be at American Chevrolet, Tuesday at Liquid Trends, Wednesday in downtown Modesto and Thursday at Cool Hand Luke’s in Riverbank. For more, call (209) 499-2163.

On Wednesday, the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route Walk of Fame will be unveiled along 10th and 11th streets in downtown Modesto. The free public event will be at 7 p.m. on 10th Street between J and K streets, at the same time as the Mid-Valley Chevy Club’s Park & Shine. The 10 Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame inductees will be Leroy Applequist, Bart Bartoni, Chuck Billington, Candy Clark, Pete Hischier, Bo Hopkins, Paul Le Mat, George Lucas, Terry McGrath and Gene Winfield.

For more, visit www.modestocruiseroute.com.

Waterford concerts

Modesto isn’t the only city bringing music to parks this summer. Waterford hosts its eighth annual Concert in the Park series starting Friday.

The free event runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays through June 27 at Beard Park, 540 C St. The kickoff concert will be “Graffiti Night.” That will be followed by “Waterford Round Up” on June 6; “Community Connection,” June 13; “Fiesta Waterford,” June 20; and “Swinging Summer,” June 27.

For more, call (209) 874-2328, ext. 102.

‘Rez Sisters’

The Modesto Junior College theater department continues its run of the American Indian play “Rez Sisters.”

The production, written by award-winning Canadian Indian playwright Tomson Highway, follows the lives of women on a reservation who dream of striking it rich. The show runs 7:30 p.m. Fridays to Sundays through June 7 with a 2 p.m. matinee on the final day at the Modesto Junior College little theater, 435 College Ave.

Tickets are $10 general, $8 students. Call (209) 575-6776 or visit http://mjc.tix.com.

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