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We hope you enjoyed our

Classical Crash Course Mini-Series

In three sessions of just 45 minutes each, Artistic Director Dana Sadava led us through a quick, fun exploration of some of Classical music’s most influential people. No prerequisites or need for a musical background!


In addition to her work with Mill Valley Philharmonic, Dana is on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and also teaches courses on Classical music at Santa Clara University as part of their Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Leonard Bernstein and West Side Story

Composer, conductor, pianist, and educator Leonard Bernstein is arguably the most important musician of the 20th century. A tour of his groundbreaking musical West Side Story will reveal the fascinating elements of his genius and personality. 


Books link to Amazon; consider using Amazon Smile and listing MVP as your charity!

Leonard Bernstein by Humphrey Burton

Leonard Bernstein: a life by Meryle Secrest

West Side Story: the Jets, the Sharks, and the Making of a Classic by Richard Barrios

Famous Father Girl by Jamie Bernstein

The Unsettling Sound of Tritones, the Devil's Interval (NPR article)

Watch a recording of our Bernstein session:

Bernstein and West Side story

Gustav Mahler and his Symphony No. 4

The magical, powerful, and strange music of Gustav Mahler captivates performers and audiences alike. In this session, you’ll hear some of the most beautiful music he ever wrote as we look through his 4th Symphony, currently scheduled for performance by MVP in 2021!


Books link to Amazon; consider using Amazon Smile and selecting MVP as your charity!

Mahler: a life by Jonathan Carr

Mahler by Henry-Louis de La Grange (if you want to know EVERYTHING Mahler ever did or said!)

Mahler: the Symphonies by Constantin Floros (more technical)

Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall

Recommended recordings:

Sir Simon Rattle and Berlin Philharmonic 

Claudio Abbado and Vienna Philharmonic or Lucerne Festival Orchestra

Lorin Maazel/Kathleen Battle and Vienna Philharmonic


We forgot to record the Mahler session. Please enjoy the books and recordings!

Mahler and Symph 4

Nadia Boulanger

A multi-disciplinary genius, Nadia Boulanger’s influence defies categorization. You’ll learn why she is a legend in the Classical music community and why people like Aaron Copland, Philip Glass, and Daniel Barenboim credit her with their careers.


Books link to Amazon; consider using Amazon Smile and selecting MVP as your charity!

Nadia Boulanger: a Life in Music by Leonie Rosentiel

The Tender Tyrant, Nadia Boulanger: a Life Devoted to Music by Alan Kendall

Mademoiselle / Conversations with Nadia Boulanger by Bruno Monsaingeon

Watch a recording of our Boulanger session:

Nadia Boulanger
Wedding Band

Our Mission

The mission of Mill Valley Philharmonic is to enrich the cultural life of Marin County by providing access to quality orchestral programs to people of all ages and means in their own communities.

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