The San Diego State University Symphony premiered composer Joseph Martin Waters’ “Suite Noir” Sunday (March 22) with soloists from the virtuoso avant-garde performance ensemble Swarmius at SDSU’s Montezuma Hall . . .
No matter how celebrated the composer, a commission is always a gamble. David Bruce’s “Night Parade”— the slightly jazzy, atmospheric tone poem he wrote for the San Diego Symphony’s Carnegie Hall debut and China tour last year—proved amiable, but it was no show-stopper. His new Violin Concerto “Fragile Light,” which Gil Shaham premiered under Music Director Jahja Ling and the San Diego Symphony Friday (Dec. 12), however, struck pay dirt . . .
Sometimes the designation “competition winner” is a scarlet letter, a mark denoting that soulless technical wizardry capable of impressing judges, but Vadym Kholodenko, first prize winner of the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, demonstrated probing emotional depth and daring individuality in his stunning account of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto Sunday . . .
Acclaimed French organist Christophe Mantoux returned to the recital series at All Souls’ Episcopal Church in Point Loma on Sunday (Feb. 16) to play a recital devoted to the music of J. S. Bach. Touching on almost every important Baroque genre that Bach championed . . .
Friday’s performance (Jan. 10) by tenor Aaron Sheehan and Musica Pacifica for the San Diego Early Music Society made a winning case for Jean-Phillipe Rameau’s distinctly French Baroque style, complementing this repertory with more familiar pieces by J.S. Bach, G.P. Telemann, and G.F. Handel.