Sold Out Event Draws Attention to Central Coast SLO Symphony California Missions Tour Hugely Successful

Both the Mission San Miguel and Mission Santa Barbara shows were completely sold out, while the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa show was nearly sold out with just 10 seats left.

“People attended the concerts from as far away as Alaska and New Hampshire, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the community support,” said SLO Symphony Executive Director Jim Black. “All our guests loved it! Maestro Nowak put together a unique and compelling program, the string ensemble played beautifully and of course violinist Shunské Sato was absolutely amazing. People were moved and inspired by Dr. Russell’s ‘Ecos armónicos’ and the mission venues set the perfect mood.”

Presented by the San Luis Obispo Symphony (SLO Symphony), the California Missions Tour united versatile young violinist Shunské Sato with the SLO Symphony Chamber Players and Maestro Michael Nowak on Jan. 12 and 13. Guests enjoyed the intimate chamber music concerts at Mission San Miguel on Saturday afternoon, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa on Saturday night, and Mission Santa Barbara on Sunday afternoon.

The tour garnered a lot of media attention for the Central Coast. It was covered in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The California Report, on KDB Radio Santa Barbara, K-Mozart, KUSC, the Santa Barbara Independent, The Tribune, KSBY, and KCET Artbound, to name a few.

KCET Artbound even decided to feature the story of “Ecos armónicos” in a 30 minute mini-documentary that will air soon on KCET and be featured on its website,

History buffs and music lovers attended these unique concerts and were moved by the lush, exquisite sounds of a skilled string orchestra performing Dr. Craig Russell’s “Ecos armónicos,” Pietro Antonio Locatelli’s “Concerto Grosso in D Major, Op. 1 No. 5,” and Antonio Vivaldi’s beloved “The Four Seasons.”

Drawn from re-discovered early mission music by composer Dr. Craig Russell, “Ecos armónicos” translates into “Harmonic Echoes” and was originally inspired by the Missions of California. Their walls offer distinctive acoustics that can’t be replicated anywhere else. Russell, an award-winning California Polytechnic State University professor and musicologist, discovered snippets of tunes and themes in mission archives from the late 18th and early 19th centuries and drew from them to craft the new work.

Proceeds from the tour benefit the SLO Symphony and its programs. For more information, visit


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