Photo courtesy Mill Valley Philharmonic.

Mill Valley Philharmonic is diving into its first season without founder and artistic director Laurie Cohen with aplomb.

New executive director Richard Aldag this week unveiled a slate of nine performances for its 19th season of bringing free concerts of orchestral music to the community. The season kicks off with a trio of shows in November, continues with another three performances in March and concludes with three shows in May. 

With Cohen’s retirement in May, the organization is featuring three prominent guest conductors for the season, all of whom are candidates to become artistic director and join Aldag, the former executive director at the Napa Valley Symphony, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and Lincoln Theater Napa Valley, in filling part of Cohen’s role. Aldag spearheads the organization’s day-to-day operations and plays a leadership role in fundraising and community-building in partnership with the Board of Directors. 

The three guest conductors – Paul Phillips, the director of orchestral studies and associate professor of music at Stanford University; Dana Sadava, the artistic director of Pasadena Opera, among myriad other roles; and Alexander Kahn, associate professor of music and director of orchestral activities at Sonoma State University, where he directs the Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra – will each lead a three-show series for the 2018-19 season. Based on input from the musicians and audience members, MVP will then select one of them as its next permanent artistic director/conductor.

The mission of MVP is “to enrich the cultural life of the Bay Area by offering free orchestral programs to people of all ages and means in their own communities,” according to the organization’s website. “As an organization, MVP believes that music is a vital part of individual and community life. Whether participating as a player or as a listener, music engages our imaginative powers, awakens our aesthetic sensibilities, and inspires our creative expression.”

Here are the details for the 2018-19 season (all shows are at the Mount Tamalpais United Methodist Church on Sycamore Avenue in Mill Valley):

FALL 2018

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 7pm
Friday, November 9, 2018 at 8pm
Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 4pm
Paul Phillips, Conductor
Carol Wincenc, Flute

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 7pm
Friday, March 15, 2019 at 8pm
Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 4pm

Dana Sadava, Conductor
James Stopher, Pianist

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 7pm
Friday, May 17, 2019 at 8pm
Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 4pm

Alexander Kahn, Conductor
Brynn Daley, Violoncello

Carl Maria von Weber – Overture to Der Freischütz    
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Concerto for Flute & Orchestra in G Major, K. 313
Antonin Dvořak – Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70

Domenico Cimarosa – Overture to Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage)
Jan Sibelius – Karelia Suite Op. 11
Ludwig van Beethoven – Concerto #5 for Piano & Orchestra in Eb, Op. 73 (Emperor), Mvmt. I
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Symphony #5 in E minor, Op. 64

Franz Liszt – Les Préludes
Camille Saint-Saëns – Concerto #1 in A minor for Violoncello & Orchestra, Op. 33
César Franck – Symphony in D minor