May 19 Tchaikovsky Symphony To Mark End Of Ponti’s 11 Year Run With SB Orchestra

SAN BERNARDINO—With the conclusion of the 2011-12 performing season next month, Carlo Ponti, Jr. will end his 11-year run as conductor and music director of the San Bernardino Symphony.
“Maestro Ponti brought the orchestra to unprecedented levels of artistic achievement,” according to a statement from symphony board president Mary Schnepp. “During his tenure with the orchestra, Carlo has brought a dedicated intensity to his role as music director and conductor. Carlo contributed to the community though his artistic presence and by bringing the orchestra to an unprecedented level of financial stability. While he was conductor donations and subscriptions increased dramatically.”
Ponti first conducted the San Bernardino Symphony in March 2000. Ten months later, at the age of 33, he was named music director and principal conductor.
The son of film producer Carlo Ponti and Italian movie star Sophia Loren, Carlo Ponti, Jr. worked at the Conductor’s Institute in Hartford, Connecticut under the direction of Harold Farberman from 1994 to 1996, worked with Mehli Mehta, Zubin Mehta and Andrey Boreyko in Los Angeles from 1997 to 1999 and furthered his studies at the Vienna Musikhochschule from 1999 to 2001 under Leopold Hager and Erwin Accel.
At various different times he has conducted  the American Youth Symphony, the Budapest Concert Orchestra, the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Napa Valley Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orquesta de Valencia, Pro Arte Orchestra, Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the UCLA Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra.
He began appearing with the Russian National Orchestra in 1998 and in 2000 was appointed associate conductor of the Russian National Orchestra. In May 2010 he conducted the Russian National Orchestra in a premier performance of His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev’s Song of the Ascent before Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican’s Sala Paulo VI.
Ponti is married to violinist Andrea Meszaros. They have two children, both born in Geneva, Switzerland: five-year-old Vittorio Leone Ponti  and Beatrice Lara Ponti, born March 15th, 2012. Ponti currently is with his family in Geneva, where his mother has a home.
He will return to San Bernardino later this month to prepare for the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra’s May 19 performance of  Concierto de Aranjuez  by Joaquin Rodrigo  (featuring David Cahueque, guitar; Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op.36  by Tchaikovsky and Prelude to “Afternoon of a Faun” by Debussy.
While in San Bernardino, Ponti proved instrumental in furthering the symphony’s education programs, working with student music ensembles at area schools, establishing an endowment fund and expanding and diversifying the orchestra’s audience base.
In a prepared statement, Ponti said, “The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, its musicians, board members and staff will always hold a special place in my heart. I am proud of the music we made together and of the impact our collaboration had on this very special community. It has been a privilege for me to serve as the symphony’s music director and principal conductor for 11 exciting seasons, and I wish this wonderful orchestra and its dedicated supporters the brightest of futures.”
Frank Fetta,  conductor of the Torrance Symphony as well as the artistic adviser  and conductor of the Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival, will succeed Ponti.
Fetta has been guest conductor of the San Bernardino Symphony and has guest conducted the Honolulu Symphony, the Irvine Symphony, the Flagstaff Symphony, the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, the Fresno Philharmonic, the Fresno Ballet, the Inland Dance Theatre and the San Diego Symphony. Fetta will continue to be the conductor at the Redlands Bowl

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