Although the mandolin as a featured solo instrument is not one that symphony audiences regularly encounter, young mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital offered splendid concertos by J. S. Bach and Antonio Vivaldi with the San Diego Symphony last weekend.
Excitement at the San Diego Symphony: Conrad Tao’s Electrifying Account of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto and a Premiere by Javier Álvarez
Friends who know me well will quickly attest that they have never heard me exclaim, “I am dying to hear another performance of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto!” However, after hearing pianist Conrad Tao’s spectacular performance of this popular work with the San Diego Symphony, Friday, November 2, I have been completely converted.
The ritual of culminating the San Diego Symphony’s Summer Pops season with canons and fireworks punctuating Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” is too much fun for everyone involved to give it up, and Associate Conductor Sameer Patel followed tradition on Friday, August 31, at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Encountering Opera NEO’s annual Aria Marathon Sunday, July 15, at Palisades Presbyterian Church in Allied Gardens signaled that Opera NEO’s summer festival is again at hand. This marathon is a ritual that gives each singer participating in the five-week festival the opportunity to sing their best opera aria to a captive audience.
If the most rewarding moments of a Mainly Mozart Festival concert can occur during the performance of music by other composers, Saturday’s (June 16) Mainly Mozart program made a great case for that possibility with Johannes Moser’s brilliant solo in Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme,” Op. 33, and Stravinsky’s sparkling “Dumbarton Oaks” Concerto.
After the San Diego Symphony rose to such great heights performing exciting, compelling new works in the recently completed “It’s About Time” festival, Pinchas Zukerman’s uninspired evening of standard repertory proved a crashing letdown . . .