Mei-Ting Sun and the
Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia
reviewed by LAWRENCE BUDMEN
The vision of veteran orchestral administrator Marshall Turkin has given South Florida a new, fully professional orchestra. With the demise of the Florida Philharmonic in 2003 and the lack of any successor organization, Turkin (a former top executive of the Pittsburgh and Detroit Symphony Orchestras and the Cleveland Orchestra's summer Blossom Festival) formed the 31 member Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia. Already an impressive ensemble, the orchestra made a splendid showing at the second concert of its inaugural season on 18 December 2005 at the FAU University Theater in Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
The comfortable, modernist lines and bright acoustics of the University Theater provided the perfect showcase for this highly promising ensemble. (The orchestra is composed of many former Florida Philharmonic musicians. Violinist Misha Vitenson and violist Michael Klotz of the Amernet String Quartet grace the string section. Former Florida Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Jeffrey Kaye is orchestra personnel manager.) Alastair Willis, Resident Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, was a lively presence on the podium. As musical icing on the cake, Mei-Ting Sun (Winner of Miami's 2005 American Chopin Competition) played impressive Beethoven and a stunning party piece of an encore.
The Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia
Willis commenced the afternoon with a vigorous, crisp performance of the Overture to Beethoven's ballet score The Creatures of Prometheus. Willis's brisk, no nonsense manner drew disciplined playing from the chamber orchestra. He vividly delineates a score's inner voicings. Willis did not neglect Beethoven's Olympian side. The overture's opening chords and stately introduction had weight and gravity. Willis is the type of conductor who knows how to obtain optimum results from any orchestra he leads.
Copyright © 12 January 2006
Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA