Concerto Concert

If you are interested in classical music performed by young, audacious performers, you should definitely attend the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (SOTA) instrumental concerts. Since I don't have a lot of time to write a decent introduction, I'm going to simply skip the formal introduction part and jump right into the opinion section.

The first piece performed on the program was Concerto for Horn and orchestra in B-flat Major, Op. 91, Allegro composed by Reinbold Gliere and performed by Avery Roth-Hawthorne. I especially relished the brass-like sounds make by Mr. Roth-Hawthorne and the "a cappella" sections. When everyone was applauding, there were lots of flowers thrown at him as well as a rose from backstage (every performer was presented with a single rose by Stephanie Blanco and Anna Chen).

The second piece was Concerto for Oboe and Strings by Domenico Cimarosa and performed by Dario Cadoppi. This piece was very light-hearted, and Mr. Cadoppi seemed to enjoy every sound he produced with the Oboe. The main role of the performer, be it a musician, actor, dancer, or anyone else, is to be a conduit between the composer and the listener, the music being the channel.

Ema Jordan, on Double Bass, performed Elegie en re no. 1 by Giovanni Bottesini. The beautifully long and melodious phrases were accompanied by a brick wall of emotion. I can say the same thing about the next performer (Raphael Chinn on Viola performing Der Schwanendreher by Paul Hindemith). Emotion is a very important component of a well-performed piece. Without it, music would not be music.

Federico Strand Ramirez, performing Cello Concerto in e minor, Op. 85  by Edward Elgar, was a joy to hear as the last performer in the first half of this effulgently programmed concert. I found his performance very charismatic in a musical sense. I left my seat for intermission with a good mood.

Jericho Tabirao performed Concerto in D for violin by Igor Stravinsky, and did an excellent job at that. Personally for me, I always ended up falling asleep by the end of any piece composed by Stravinsky, but last night's experience proved to me that it's not all that bad.

Violin Concerto, Op. 14 by Samuel Barber was performed by Malia Bow. Samuel Barber is another composer I have never felt any positive emotions towards, but once again, Ms. Bow performed it in such a way that it was intriguingly evoking the attention of the listener.

The next performer was Nathan Spielman on double bass. He was performing Chanson Triste, Op. 2 by Serge Koussevitzky.  This piece had mellifluous tones resonating through the walls of the Dan Kryston Memorial Theatre. Gabriel Anguiano performed Suite Hebraique by Ernest Bloch on viola. The silvery tones of the viola and the performance of Mr. Anguiano demonstrated beauteous music.

The very last performer was Jesse Jenks on cello, performing Cello Concerto no.1, Op. 136 by Darius Milhaud. (I want to mention a little story from the introduction of Mr. Jenks. For every performer, somebody from the orchestra would come up to the microphone and announce the upcoming soloist. For Mr. Jenks, cellist Oliver Herbert was announcing him, and after a few words about the piece and why Mr. Jenks likes it, Mr. Herbert addressed the percussion section for a drumroll. One of the percussionists, Simon Clinton, replied to Mr. Herbert's request with a drumroll. "Jesse Jenks!" announced Mr. Herbert and Mr. Jenks came on stage.) His performance was an excellent finale for the recital and I think all of the soloists were stunning in last night's recital. Can't wait for the next concert!