<< -- 2 -- Lawrence Budmen A MUSICAL HOMECOMING
Violinist Daniel Jordan is presently concertmaster of the Florida West Coast Symphony in Sarasota -- an orchestra that counts fourteen former New World players in its ranks. (The orchestra's music director Leif Bjaland was New World's former Resident Conductor.) Jordan saw the performance as 'a great opportunity to reinvent your enthusiasm and passion. The spirit of Tilson Thomas and the players was infectious. It reinvigorated everyone. This orchestra now has a world vibe. It allows you to grow so much.' (The New World's global reach is exemplified by Brazil's Sao Paulo State Symphony -- an ensemble that includes ten NWS alumni, three in first chair positions.)
Electricity was in the air as clarinetist Todd Levy (principal clarinet of the Milwaukee Symphony) and his colleagues took the stage to open the concert with some of Mozart's most autumnal music -- the opening Allegro of the Quartet in A for Clarinet and Strings, K581. Levy's glistening cascades of tonal warmth were pure instrumental bel canto. The string players (Leonid Sigal, concertmaster of the Hartford Symphony; Chen Zhao, violinist in Tilson Thomas's San Francisco Symphony; Mark Butin, principal viola of the Honolulu Symphony; and Peter Steffens, cellist in the Dallas Symphony) offered warmly aristocratic shaping of Mozart's gleaming instrumental lines.
Pianist Michael Linville, now the New World Symphony's Director of Admissions, played with stylish musicality in the Allegro, ma non tanto from Dvorák's Quartet in A for Piano and Strings Op 81. The richly burnished string sound of violinists Jordan, and Naomi Kazama (San Francisco Symphony), violist Rita Porfiris-Pizzitola (Houston Symphony), and the commanding Mark Votapek (principal cello, Honolulu Symphony) was a joy to hear in the rhapsodic stanzas of Dvorák's Bohemian melodies.
Copyright © 16 June 2005
Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA