Monday, November 15, 2010

Philharmonic concert review by Laurie Orloff

I attended the GDYO concert on Sunday, November 7, 2010 at the Morton H. Myerson Symphony Center. Performing were GDYO's Flute Choir, Philharmonic and Wind Symphony. I wanted to write a little about the Philharmonic. Under the baton of James Frank, they performed Overture to Nabucco, by Giuseppe Verdi, Mock Morris, by George Percy Grainger, the first movement of Camille Saint-Saens Cello Concerto in A minor with soloist Eugene Kim and the finale of Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 in D Major.

The concert was so amazing. This group sounded like a professional orchestra, hands down. I closed my eyes many times during it so that I could imagine I wasn't watching children, but long time seasoned professional symphony musicians. I did open my eyes quite often though because seeing that these pieces were played by students, made my heart sing.

The attention to detail, the concentration and the musicianship displayed by these students was remarkable to say the least. Unfortunately, I meant to write about each piece and mention certain details, but I left my pad of paper and pen in the car, so I resigned myself (I use that term very loosely) to just listening and enjoying.

Eugene Kim played the Saint-Saens so beautifully and with such precision and much attention to detail and phrasing. He has a beautiful musical career ahead of him. The orchestra accompanied him very carefully. One could see the eyes of the orchestra members glued on Mr. Frank for direction and accurateness in following the soloist.

Nabucco and Mock Morris were done beautifully as well. The finale of the Sibelius was outstanding and was my favorite. I have played this piece before and it took me back to when that I did it. It was so wonderful just floating with the lush, rich melodies and not having to worry about producing the music, myself. I don't even think the performance I did of it with the Yale Symphony sounded this good. There is so much to be said about young performers who have the leadership that they do discovering their abilities in the mix of dozens of other musicians with the same goals in mind.

If you haven't heard any of the GDYO groups yet, please make it a point to go to the concerts. There is so much to appreciate on so many levels. You can't help but leave the hall feeling on top of the world and optimistic about the future of music and about life in general headed by these students who have yet to be viable adults making this world what it is yet to become.

Laurie Orloff,
Symphony Violist, Private viola and violin teacher
Author of: How to Handle Your Cranky and Stressed Out Parents: A Teen Survival Guide

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