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Wednesday, May 07 2014 11:54 AM

'First Look': Symphony conductor bids farewell

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    The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra's John Farrer discusses his last show as conductor during a segment of "First Look with Scott Cox."

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John Farrer raised his conductor's baton in front of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra for the first time in 1970 as a guest conductor. Now, 44 years later, he will retire his Bakersfield baton.

"It will be a very emotional experience," Farrer said Wednesday on "First Look with Scott Cox."

His last show as conductor of the local symphony will be Saturday, as he leads his orchestra in the powerful Tchaikovsky resounding Symphony No. 5 in E-minor.

It will be a bittersweet concert, as that exact music is what Farrer conducted in 1970. But this time around, Farrer said he has studied the scores of music line by line and found hidden harmonies in Tchaikovsky's piece.

"It's perfect work in the way this man put together these beautiful pieces," Farrer said. "It takes craftsmanship to know how to make an orchestra sound."

Symphony No. 5 begins with a sad tone but later becomes triumphant.

"It's music that hits directly into the hearts and minds of listeners," he said. "I want the audience to experience something they don't experience in their everyday life."

Although Farrer will retire from the Bakersfield Symphony, he will still be a music director at two symphonys and will travel the world conducting in places such as Brazil and Italy.


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