On Saturday evening, January 26, 2019, the orchestra, under the baton of Maestro James Domine, gave another stellar performance before a large and appreciative audience.
The concert opened with our National Anthem, followed by Maestro Domine's composition, "Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, III," played by 15 year olds Dara Moayer and Maylian violin, students of Elyse Goodman.
Dara and Maylian were chosen to play in this concert as part of the “Domine Sampler,” a program that affords an opportunity for exemplary students to perform one of Maestro Domine’s works at each of his concerts, thereby introducing new works by him and offering rare opportunities for students to perform with an orchestra. These very talented young violinists were warmly applauded by a delighted audience. Maestro Domine was later heard to say how extremely pleased he was with their wonderful performance of his Concerto.
"Bridges: An Ecological Tone Poem," was composed and conducted by Cary Belling, who is also a violinist with the orchestra. This being a brand new piece and its inaugural performance, Cary chose to speak to the audience and paint a verbal picture of its meaning before having the orchestra paint the musical picture, and a very colorful musical picture it is. To paraphrase the composer, the message speaks to the importance of balancing humanity's technological demands without diminishing our biosphere. The orchestra did an outstanding job of interpreting and performing what I expect was extremely demanding.
Next on the program was the delightful Haydn's Symphony #103 in E-flat major (Drumroll) which he wrote when he was already an old man, but has all the daring, inventiveness and imagination of a young person setting out to break new ground. To quote a real critic ... "such extraordinary sounds, which still sound contemporary today (from the very first notes on the timpani). What craftsmanship and wealth of ideas!" The orchestra performed the piece expertly and received hearty applause and cheers!
After intermission, the SFVSO's first ever scholarship competition having been concluded, awards were presented to the winners by Joanna Ezrin and Nara Petrosyan. Emma Chau, 2nd place overall winner, was given the honor of playing the Domine Sonata #3, which she did beautifully.
The piece de resistance that concluded the evening's concert, Dvorak's Violoncello Concerto in B minor, was performed brilliantly by the Orchestra and with utter perfection by our soloist, Daniel Grab (YoYo Ma, watch out)! When the music ended, the house erupted with applause, cheers and whistles until Danny sat back down and favored us with an encore of the Bach Cello Suite #2 in D minor, Prelude.
As the audience exited the concert hall, many people were heard expressing their enjoyment of the music; their admiration for the great orchestra and outstanding soloist; and their gratitude to Maestro Domine for continuing to bring, "great music close to home!