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Celebratory tone ushers in New Year

Soprano Ava Pine will sing a Handel piece with Performance Santa Fe in its New Year’s Eve concert. (Courtesy of Diana M. Lott)

Soprano Ava Pine will sing a Handel piece with Performance Santa Fe in its New Year’s Eve concert. (Courtesy of Diana M. Lott)

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Year’s Eve moves us from the old into the new, from winter’s darkness into the hope of spring.

Performance Santa Fe will usher music lovers through that transition with a Handel aria, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and Bruch’s exuberant Violin Concerto No. 1.

Nationally touring soprano Ava Pine will set the celebratory tone with music from Handel’s “Julius Caesar.”

“Caesar frees Cleopatra from the tyranny of her brother at this moment in the opera,” artistic director Joseph Illick said. “She sings this athletic, virtuoso aria.”

A Texas native, Pine sang the role of Cleopatra in the Florentine Opera production of “Julius Caesar.”

The First Symphony marked the joyous debut of Beethoven’s genius.

“He was 30,” Illick said. “He’d written his first piano concerto at 14. It really explodes onto the scene; everybody took note.”

Beethoven took the classical format of Haydn and Mozart, adding both harmonic and rhythmic twists with his own melodic inventions.

Pine next moves from the Baroque to Viennese opera with Franz Lehar’s “My Lips They Kiss So Hotly” from his musical comedy “Giudittam” about a celebrated cabaret singer.

Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman will perform a Bruch concerto on New Year’s Eve. (Courtesy of Marco Borggreve)

Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman will perform a Bruch concerto on New Year’s Eve. (Courtesy of Marco Borggreve)

Bruch’s famous concerto is the signature piece of internationally acclaimed violinist Vadim Gluzman. The Israeli violinist appears regularly with the Chicago Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony, among others. Gluzman’s big break came in 1990 when Isaac Stern granted him five minutes to perform at an Jerusalem exhibition of young performers.

After about an hour, Stern procured a violin, a stipend and a scholarship for the 17-year-old musician, who moved to the United States to study at the Juilliard School.

The Bruch is “one of the pillars of the classical violin concertos,” Illick said. “A person who doesn’t know classical music would know the last movement.”

The concert marks Performance Santa Fe’s 30th tribute to the New Year.

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