On the list of occupations to which little girls aspire, it's safe to guess that "orchestra conductor" doesn't rate nearly as highly as "fairy princess" or "Mrs. Justin Bieber" but nonconformity never inhibited the career of Alondra de la Parra. This 29-year-old dynamo already holds the distinction of being the first Mexican woman to conduct in New York City, which must have been very exciting for Gothamites. What excites us is that she's bringing her increasingly renowned talents and our local classical stars outside for a free airing at San Francisco Symphony Celebrates Mexico's Bicentennial. The musical program is eminently suited to the occasion four shorter works by Mexican composers, capped off with Antonín Dvorák's New World Symphony, in case the afternoons theme of transcending borders and breaking down cultural barriers was lost on anyone. (The Dvorák symphony is also just one hell of a musical composition; you probably already know it without knowing that you know it. You'll have few better opportunities to remedy that epistemological gap.) Take note, fairy princesses in training: When de la Parra waves her wand, real magic happens. She also appears fully housed with the symphony July 22-24.
Sun., July 25, 2 p.m., 2010