On Saturday evening, the 18th day of the New Year, 2020, Maestro James Domine came onstage to thank everyone for coming to the concert at the Tutor Family Center. He spoke briefly about the program they were about to hear, and then led the orchestra in our National Anthem.
In keeping with the orchestra’s mission to provide opportunities for young people to perform with a symphonic orchestra, we were treated to a performance by 17 year old Ben Rosen of a blues-based jazz piece, Vanilla Variations: Sonata in Blue, written and arranged for solo trombone and orchestra by Maestro Domine. Ben was outstanding and wowed the audience with a great solo improvisation. They showed their appreciation with applause and cheers.
Following was Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, perhaps one of his best. In the hands of soloist Steve Piazza, who played brilliantly, this concerto depicts the clarinet's abilities to reach multiple octaves with beautiful clarity and angelic tone and sound. Accolades to the performer, orchestra, conductor and, of course, the composer. The audience loved it!
Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance #2 in E minor was performed next. This piece evokes both sadness and beauty that are superimposed exquisitely. The orchestra played beautifully under Maestro Domine’s direction, and the audience was absolutely mesmerized!
Following a brief intermission, the orchestra returned to perform Maestro Domine’s Eurosuite Symphonic Dances. This collection of orchestral arrangements of folk dances from Russia, Moldavia, and Romania included lively, melancholy, wistful, and exciting melodies. The concertgoers expressed their delight with applause and cheers.
The finale was the magnificent Beethoven Violin Concerto, performed brilliantly by 22-year old Gallia Kastner, a student of Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles. Everyone knows this violin concerto is one of the best in the repertoire so there is nothing more to say about that, but must add that the orchestra played splendidly under the baton of Maestro Domine, and Ms. Kastner was sheer perfection! The audience cheered, applauded, whistled and came to its feet to acknowledge a fantastic performance and a great concert!