Friday, November 28, 2014

Music I'm Listening To: Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra and Young People's Chamber Orchestra

I attended the November 22 Fall Concert of the Santa Rosa Symphony's Youth Orchestra and Young People's Chamber Orchestra (YPCO). The two groups played with guest artist Lyndsay Deutsch here doing a residency sponsored by the Classics Alive Foundation. The Youth Orchestra is conducted by Richard Loheyde, the YPCO is directed by Aaron Westman. The concert, at the main hall of the Green Music Center, began with performances by the YPCO followed by the Youth Orchestra after intermission. Both programs were ambitious. The Youth Orchestra played the Hoe-down from Aaron Copeland's Rodeo, Beethoven's Egmont Overture, an arrangement of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, "Mars" and "Jupiter" from Holst's The Planets, and "The Russian Sailor's Dance" from The Red Poppy, by Gliere.

The Gershwin was an interesting arrangement by Cristian Macelaru and Howard Cable, commissioned by Lyndsay Deutsch, that makes a violin the main soloist--although the famous opening clarinet solo is left to the clarinet. My son played the opening solo and acquitted himself quite well, I thought. After the concert, Ms. Deutsch told me she's played the piece with several professional orchestras and that my son handled the solo better than some of the professionals she's worked with--which was gratifying to hear--but the entire orchestra played wonderfully. It includes some very talented young musicians.

I had never seen or heard Ms. Deutsch play before, but I was very impressed by her focus and energy on stage, not to mention her gracious and friendly manner off stage. She has real charisma. I expect we'll be hearing more about this young violinist in the future. I took photos during rehearsals at the request of the Youth Orchestra, so I got to hear much of the program from the stage, up close, which was a lot of fun. The photograph above shows Deutsch and Conductor Loheyde discussing the Gershwin in rehearsal. The next concert featuring the Youth Orchestra and the YPCO will be March 6, 2015, with guest artists Trebuchet.      

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