Young artists steal the show
IT WAS a night of special anniversaries and a memorable debut on the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's final Sidney Myer Free Concert for 2013. Celebrating 10 years since first conducting the MSO at the Bowl with the orchestra, associate conductor Benjamin Northey directed a program of Mozart and Mahler.
A highlight of this year's Bowl series has been the opportunity to hear the artistry of five young Australian soloists. Forced to cancel last year due to illness, violinist Kristian Winther joined the orchestra as soloist in Mozart's Concerto No. 3 in G major, K216.
In the outer movements an agreement on tempo between soloist and orchestra seemed difficult to resolve. Notwithstanding his evident technical skill, a series of stylistically awkward cadenzas was unsettling and the usual rapture of the slow movement was poorly communicated.
The MSO's best work of the night was in Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with soprano Siobhan Stagg as radiant soloist in the work's final movement. Oboist Jeffrey Crellin stood out among excellent woodwinds, horns were flawless and guest concertmaster Natsuko Yoshimoto had fine solo passages.
On Saturday the MSO and the Starlight Children's Foundation made one young man's dream to conduct an orchestra a reality. Matthew brought the crowd to its feet as he conducted a moving encore performance of Mozart's overture to The Marriage of Figaro.