BRUCH VIOLIN CONCERTO at Charlotte SymphonyFeb 26, 2023
Perry Tannenbaum, Broadway World --
But until now, not a word about the meteor that struck the Knight Theater in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. Her name is Mei-Ann Chen, and we can only hope that the guest conductor now in our midst is vying for the vacant music directorship at the Charlotte Symphony. It would be grossly unfair, no doubt, but it wouldn't a bad idea to sign her up before she left town.
Chen's impact on - and appeal to - the Symphony's musicians and subscribers was nothing short of electric.
The orchestra had never performed Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel's Overture in C Major before, yet they attacked the work zestfully, conveying its sharp contrasts and drama with unmistakable fervor. Flutist Amy Orsinger and principal oboist Hollis Ulaky excelled, jointly and separately, in the piece's gentler moments. Although we had heard the CSO play the BRUCH VIOLIN CONCERTO as recently as 2016, Chen ignited the ensemble with fresh fire rather than receding to a subsidiary role behind concertmaster Calin Ovidiu Lupanu.
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