One of San Diego Symphony Music Director Jahja Ling’s laudable traits is affording the virtuoso players within his orchestra opportunities to appear in solo concertos. This Friday Principal Timpanist Ryan DiLisi amazed and pleased the Copley Symphony Hall audience with his solo turn in William Kraft’s Timpani Concerto No.1 . . .
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 . . .
The San Diego Symphony titled last Friday evening’s Jacobs Masterworks program “Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony”, but when the audience rose to its feet in wonderfully noisy acclamation just before intermission, it was pretty clear that they had spontaneously re-named the evening “Jeff Thayer’s Second”, to honor the San Diego Symphony’s concertmaster for his impressive performance of one of the monuments of the violin repertoire, Béla Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2…
Within the San Diego arts community, participation in Pacific Rim culture is at most only intermittently experienced. But at Saturday’s (Feb. 8) San Diego Symphony concert, a performance of Zhao Jiping’s Second Pipa Concerto featuring the internationally known pipa virtuosa Wu Man sent a clear signal that San Diego claims its Asian connection.