08 December 2019

Young and younger

My God, they are getting younger! We went to the Canberra Youth Orchestra last night and the soloist was a 12 year old who made the rest of the orchestra look like mid-lifers. Christian Li was little, young, wildly capable, a winner of international awards, now studying at ANAM. He played the Bruch violin concerto with confidence and clear virtuosity and an understanding which far passed his years. That was the final piece for the night. Before that, the orchestra itself had performed in full form, a decent size, and we were hugely pleased. Intonation was nice; dynamics impressive (something to learn there!); interpretation apt. Perhaps later, after interval, after we moved and could hear the full ensemble more clearly, I caught some slips or mis-pitches, but minor. The first half was under Max McBride. Then Max retired to the bass section and Rowan Harvey-Martin took the baton. First half was Enescu Romanian rhapsody no.2 and Holst Perfect fool, both little known at least to us. The Holst was quite a strange piece but entertaining in its oddities, fitting the title. The second half was Delius Walk to the Paradise Garden and Bruch Violin concerto no.1 Gmin. Most impressive all round and the group grows younger and younger. But another positive, the numbers: are they growing? It was mentioned by the hosts and I didn't hear a call for violas and basses before this concert. All round, a great listen and a positive local outlook. We hope, as the arts shrinks in governmental thoughts. Carbon prevails, I guess. Proof: the night ended with an announcement to not fret: the hall was not on fire. Just that the smoke from bushfires outside Braidwood had entered the aircon. Outside, it was smokey and ANU alarms were in whooping. Our brave new world.

The Canberra Youth Orchestra performed at Llewellyn Hall under Max McBride and Rowan Harvey-Martin (conductors) with soloist Christian Li (violin).

No comments: