First among first symphonies: Mahler
Conductor Guillermo Figueroa became well known to local audiences through his tenure as music director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, which he led for 11 years until its demise in 2011. He also spent a decade as concertmaster of New York City Ballet and was a founding member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Emerson String Quartet. This weekend he appears as guest conductor with the Santa Fe Symphony. The audience will be treated to Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos, spotlighting orchestra members Dana Winograd and Joel Becktell, and the ballet music from Mozart’s opera Idomeneo. Those charmed works share the program with a later, more towering masterwork, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, possibly the most extraordinary “first symphony” ever unveiled by a composer (or at least rivaled in that regard only by Berlioz). The concert takes place Sunday, Jan. 18, at 4 p.m., at the Lensic Performing Arts Center ( 211 W. San Francisco St.). Tickets ($ 22 to $ 76) are available by calling 505-988-1234 or visiting www.ticketssantafe.org).
— James M. Keller