Talk about big expectations. July 4 was the first evening that Bill Conti conducted for San Diego Symphony’s Star Spangled Pops.
David Atherton’s farewell concert as Music Director of the Mainly Mozart Festival Saturday offered high spirits, pristine music making, and a touch of valedictory symbolism. At age 69 the intrepid British conductor is stepping down from his festival post, at the top of his form, to give someone else a chance to interpret this repertory. The program included Mozart’s First Symphony in E-flat Major, K. 16, his Symphony No. 41 in C Major (“Jupiter”), K. 551, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto with Adam Neiman.
Thursday at the Balboa Theatre, the Mainly Mozart festival orchestra under Music Director David Atherton’s precise baton flaunted its refined, buoyant sonority as well as its interpretive finesse and masterful unity of execution in a varied program of Mozart, Schubert, Fauré and Poulenc.
Mainly Mozart’s festival orchestra under the baton of maestro David Atherton sounded as sleek and sonically unified as we have come to expect from this cadre of first-chair players drawn from orchestras across North America. But it was the three stellar soloists, clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, and violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, who made us feel we were attending one of those chic European festivals nestled in an historic spa-town instead of a restored movie palace in downtown San Diego.
San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival 2013 inaugurated its newest series, “Evolution: Celebrating Innovation,” with a program of chamber music from Mexico played in the stylish Abbey on Fifth Ave. in San Diego’s trendy Park West.
Violin virtuoso Joshua Bell brought prodigious technique and welcome musical insight to Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in a spellbinding performance with the San Diego Symphony under Music Director Jahja Ling Friday . . . .