Beth Wood, U-T San Diego, 26th May 2019

A gathering of high-caliber musicians from prestigious orchestras from around the world is a treat for both audiences and musicians. It also raises the level of the performance, which makes everyone involved even happier.

This synergistic dynamic is a big reason behind the Mainly Mozart Festival’s success and longevity.

“Musicians are inspired playing with musicians they don’t normally play with,” said Nathan Hughes, principal oboist of the Metropolitan Opera and a regular Mainly Mozart orchestra member since 2007. “It becomes a melting pot of ideas that are shared at the festival. It creates inspired music-making that audiences and musicians alike enjoy.”

While the Mainly Mozart Festival kicks off Thursday at the The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center with an opening concert featuring pianist Derek Paravicini, the festival orchestra — led by Michael Francis, its music director — will launch its series of concerts June 8 at the Balboa Theatre.