We’re hearing the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, conducted by Paul Perry, and recorded last June.
Music in the Mountains is now a fixture on this region’s musical landscape. But in the early 1980s, there wasn’t a summer concert series in Nevada County, and conductor Paul Perry has established a career in the Bay Area, with a secure job on the staff of the San Francisco Opera.
Then, unexpectedly, Perry was invited to give all that up, move to Nevada City – an area known for gold mining history, but the hinterlands in terms of classical music – and help organize a festival, pretty much from scratch.
Perry knew he was taking a chance, but he decided to give the new festival a try, building on a local choral group.
Of course, you can’t have a festival without an audience. Very early, Perry got an indication that his concerts might catch on.
Over the course of 25 years leading the festival, Perry has also changed. When Perry started, he was very much a city boy – Miami, New York, Chicago, San Francisco. But after he settled in Nevada County, Perry began to reconsider some of his attitudes about music, and about life.