Thursday, April 07, 2011

Manhattan School of Music Symphony concert

7 April 2011

We were fortunate to be able to round off our New York holiday with a concert at the Manhattan School of Music. The MSM Symphony, conducted by Philippe Entremont, played ‘Appalachian Spring’ by Copland before giving the New York premiere of ‘Souvenirs’, written by MSM Professor Richard Danielpour as a tribute to the musical life of Philippe Entremont. This engaging and entertaining piece consists of five movements, each reflecting a place where Entremont has been a resident conductor: New York, Tokyo, New Orleans, Paris and Vienna. The second half of the concert was a performance of Bernstein’s Symphony No 2 ‘The Age of Anxiety’. Based on WH Auden’s poem ‘The Age of Anxiety: a Baroque Eclogue’ this powerful work showcases Bernstein’s unique mix of serious, lyrical, playful, dramatic and jazz-inspired and features a fiendishly difficult role for solo piano, here played by the impressive young Egyptian pianist Mohamed Shams. The student orchestra was fantastic, reaching a very high standard and creating and electrically exciting atmosphere. Great concert.

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