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Standing ovation for young performers

The Young Soloists on stage at the Snow Concert Hall. Photo: Peter Hislop

Music / The Young Soloists, artistic director Alexander Gilman. At Snow Concert Hall, Red Hill, November 25. Reviewed by LEN POWER.

IN its first Australian concert, The Young Soloists, an award-winning group of virtuosos between the ages of 14 and 23, showed why its world-class reputation has preceded it.

Established in 2013 by violinist Alexander Gilman, who plays in the orchestra, the group members perform as soloists with the orchestra, accompany each other, and share their passion for music. They have performed in many of the prestigious concert halls in the world.

In the first half of the concert, the ensemble performed a wide-ranging program of works by the composers Holst, Bruch, Paganini, Skoryk and Bottesini.

The whole orchestra commenced with Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite”, a work full of colour with dramatic moments that clearly showed the skill and passion of these players.

“Kol Nidrei” by Bruch was the second item, with 14-year-old Lyam Chenaux playing solo cello with the orchestra. His assured performance of this well-known work was one of the highlights of the concert. Chenaux may not yet be as tall as his cello but he showed he will be a giant in the music world in years to come.

Paganini’s “La Campanella” from Concerto No.2 is a formidable work for any violinist to play. Ji Eun Park skilfully played the solo part on viola, giving it a rich, appealing sound. There was a second Paganini work, the ‘Variation on the Moses theme by Rossini” and Tara Stranegger played the solo cello part with great sensitivity and passion.

The “Melody” by Skoryk was given a beautiful, romantic performance by Agnes Oberndorfer on solo viola. Clarissa Bevilacqua, on solo violin, and Alexander Heather, on solo double bass, played Bottesini’s “Gran Duo Concertante”, giving an electrifying performance of this dynamic work. They made parts of it seem like a good-natured duel between their instruments.

The second half of the program was a performance of Beethoven’s “Sonata No. 9 (‘Kreutzer’) Op. 47 for Violin and Strings”. Haeun Honney Kim played the solo part on a rare and priceless Stradivarius “Kreutzer” violin.

The first movement was full of drama with an excellent performance by Kim. The second movement with its beautiful melodies and then its rousing finale made this a memorable performance by the orchestra and soloist deserving of the standing ovation given by the audience.

Two encores followed – “Czardas” by Monti with Emmanuel Webb on solo violin and Alexander Heather on solo double bass and a superb arrangement of, surprisingly, “Yankee Doodle” with Haeun Honney Kim on solo violin.

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"Cellist Ilse De Ziah clearly loves performing and sharing her music with others. Constantly smiling, her relaxed rapport with guitarist Ian Date and the audience was very appealing," writes music reviewer LEN POWER.

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