Zurich Chamber Orchestra , Daniel Hope
- Daniel Hope becomes Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra
- Nelson Freire: Schumann elegantly realised by artist of note
- Patti LuPone kicks off Music Worcester season with Broadway pizzazz
The Worcester Telegram
- Liszt: Transcendental Studies; Paganini Studies CD review – delicacy, dazzle and virtuosity
- Bumper Jacksons play College of Saint Rose
- Defying terrorism through music and an exhilarating Jeremy Denk: September's best classical concerts
- Critics pick favorites at upcoming Met Opera season
Herald & Review
- Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero Signs Five-Year Contract Extension, Committing to the Orchestra Through 2024-25 Season
- New Century Chamber Orchestra Finds Gold in Their Silver Season Opener
San Francisco Classical Voice
- Daniil Trifonov Is Named Gramophone “Artist of the Year” 2016
SLSO gives powerful performance
Ward Stare, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By Sarah Bryan Miller
Resident conductor Ward Stare is by now familiar to St. Louis audiences for pops and Youth Orchestra performances. Friday night’s performance was his first regular St. Louis Symphony Orchestra subscription program.
He definitely has the chops to conduct at that level. Stare is a compelling figure on the podium, clear in his commands and graceful in his movements and the music still sounds good with one’s eyes closed.
The program paired two 20th-century works — Samuel Barber’s thoughtful “Second Essay for Orchestra” and music from Serge Prokofiev’s ballet “Romeo and Juliet” — with a Late Romantic symphony, Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 n E minor, “From the New World.”
The Barber opened the concert, and was in some ways its most completely satisfying piece, beginning in as melancholy a mode as autumn, and working its way to joy. After a couple of infelicitous moments early on, the orchestra came together strongly.
Rather than choosing one of the familiar suites from Prokofiev’s score, Stare put together his own, in the order they would be heard in the ballet. That provided a nice dramatic arc, but at a cost: “The Death of Tybalt” was composed to end Act II and cries out for applause. Since it hits at the three-quarter mark in the suite, Stare gave a spoken introduction to the suite in order to ask for silence after it.
Dvorak filled the second half. English horn Carolyn Banham played the familiar “Going home” theme beautifully, and most of her colleagues offered strong playing as well, a little scrappiness from the upper strings (early on) and the horns (sporadically) aside.
The performance deserved the huge ovation it received from the large audience. That brought an encore: No. 8 from Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dances,” vividly and accurately played.