By MICHAEL AUSHENKER Staff Reporter
Conductor Carlo Ponti Jr. and Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra, the 22 string- piece symphony he founded, hit a crescendo last week to benefit select Los Angeles County schools, including one in the San Fernando Valley.
On May 23, Ponti performed Felix Mendels- sohn’s “Violin Concerto in D minor” at Theater Raymond Kabbaz in Los Angeles. The orchestra’s performances benefit music education by giv- ing 100 percent of net subscription revenues to schools such as Andrés and María Cárdenas Elementary School in Van Nuys.
The concert’s dress rehearsal, held the day prior, took place at Cárdenas Elementary.
“In Van Nuys, to see us rehearse, to see what goes into creating a performance, they also interact with the musicians,” Ponti told the Business Journal.
Ponti comes from an artistic family as the son of actress Sophia Loren and the late movie producer Carlo Ponti. Congressman Brad Sherman recently presented Ponti with a special congressional recognition certificate for Virtuosi Orchestra’s work in “supporting and developing music education in our schools and community.”
A resident of Studio City, Ponti has con- tributed to Cárdenas Elementary for the last three years. The donations helped purchase violins for the school’s music students.
This chorus class always starts the day with vocal warm ups. It’s an important exercise and chorus is one of student Kristen Duran’s favorite classes at Arcadia High School.
Music director Dr. Stephen Pu treats every rehearsal like a mini recital.
“They improve as singers during this time and then when they’re singing their repertoire, that’s when they can apply the technique they’ve practiced,” says Pu.