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Lan Shui's Rachmaninoff Is a Special Gift – and a Flexion Point for Charlotte Symphony

Apr 28, 2023

Perry Tannenbaum, CVNC -- 

It's time to admit that the Charlotte Symphony has flipped the script. After a string of four consecutive concerts that I've reviewed in 2023, with four different guest conductors, every one of them immaculately played, I can no longer agree that CSO is in search of a new music director who will take the orchestra to the next level. The virtuosity and consistency are here, the responsiveness to varied composers and conducting styles is here, and the mastery of a multitude of musical styles can no longer be overlooked. My moment of revelation came after the intermission in this week's program at Belk Theater with guest conductor Lan Shui. Everything had been wonderful so far: Samuel Barber's "Overture to The School for Scandal" had been colorful, cohesive, and melodious; the accompaniment of guest pianist Mari Kodama's scintillating work on Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1 had been as robust as the support Canadian soprano Alexandra Smither received on Benjamin Britten's Les Illuminations with guest conductor Vinay Parameswaran on the podium.

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