Pianist Rusty Choi will perform at the Aug. 22 finale of the summer concert series “Classical Thursdays” in Marina del Rey.

Pianist Rusty Choi will perform at the Aug. 22 finale of the summer concert series “Classical Thursdays” in Marina del Rey.

By Michael Aushenker
“It’s like Hollywood Bowl by the ocean” is how Frank Fetta, music director of the Marina del Rey Summer Symphony, describes “Classical Thursdays,” which will draw to a close with “Russian Reprise,” featuring pianist Rufus Choi, at Burton Chace Park Thursday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m.
Fetta said he has seen a lot of growth since “Classical Thursdays” began back in 2000.
During the symphony’s 14th full season these past few weeks, locals have enjoyed Fetta and company as they performed movie themes by Leonard Bernstein and Craig Safan with celloist Rusian Biryukov, and played Antonin Dvorak’s “Carnival Overture” and Richard Strauss’ “Don Juan” with violinist Roberto Cani.
With Choi on the ivories, attendees can expect a plethora of favorites wafting in the Chace Park atmosphere by Russian composers Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky (“Circus Polka”) and Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (think the story of the Arabian Nights unfolding in musical notes).
Five years ago, Choi, a Julliard graduate who recently finished his second album, won a $50,000 first prize and the People’s Choice Award in the prestigious Jose Iturbi International Music Competition.
“Rufus is a great pianist,” said Fetta, adding that thanks to the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, “Classical Thursdays” are lovelier than ever to take in.
“The (Marina del Rey) WaterBus is a huge asset,” he said. “They’ll go to dinner at Fisherman’s Village or (the gourmet food truck area) Beach Eats, and then they’ll get out at the water taxi and see the concert.”
Also appearing Aug. 22 is concert master Nancy Roth, who will perform a violin solo during the Rimsky-Korsakov piece.
Burton Chace Park is at 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey.
Michael@ArgonautNews.com

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