Following Maestro Domine's opening remarks, the Concert on Saturday evening, January 23, 2016, commenced with the gorgeous "Intermezzo" from Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana," beautifully played by the Orchestra.
Charles Fernandez then took the baton to lead the Orchestra in performing his own composition, the "Lovers Dance" from "The Statue," a beautiful and charming work that was warmly and enthusiastically rewarded with great applause.
The next selection, Tchaikovsky's "Variations on a Rococo Theme," featured the very talented and exceptional 17 year old 'cellist, Ernest Carbajal, Jr., currently a student at the prestigious Colburn Academy. This work, on its own merits, is truly wonderful. In Ernie's hands, it was absolutely marvelous. Those who were present for this performance will one day be able to say they saw him in concert before he achieved the stardom that undoubtedly is his future. Of course, Maestro Domine and all of the great musicians in the Orchestra are to be commended in supporting the soloist to perfection. After a standing ovation and several curtain calls, Ernie returned to treat the audience to two encores. He was cheered mightily! An intermission followed, where glowing praise of the first half of the program was heard over and over again.
After intermission, Maestro Domine and the Orchestra returned with the evening's "piece de resistance," the "Manfred Symphony in B minor" by Tchaikovsky. This is a programmatic piece, as explained by the Maestro in his opening remarks, which is rarely performed live. We were most fortunate, and thank him sincerely, for giving us this opportunity. Kudos to him and the Orchestra for a wonderfully entertaining program from beginning to end.