The Juilliard School
The Juilliard Orchestra
(Juilliard Orchestra Web Page)
Fabio Luisi, Conductor
Angie Zhang, Piano
Alice Tully Hall
Media Relations: Gloria Gottschalk
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 24, 2016
Brahms (1833-97): Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90, “Allegro con brio”, “Andante”, “Poco allegretto”, “Allegro – Un poco sostenuto”.
Mozart (1756-91): Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491, “Allegro”, “Larghetto”, “Allegretto”, Angie Zhang, Piano.
Beethoven (1770-1827): Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b.
There is no conductor who could be more perfectly suited for leading the multi-talented student orchestra from Juilliard, than Fabio Luisi. Maestro Luisi, from Genoa, Italy, is Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and General Music Director of the Zurich Opera. As an opera conductor, Mr. Luisi is a specialist in drawing impassioned phrases and searing tonalities, with nuanced musical imagery, at each turn of a composition. For these lucky music students, working with Mr. Luisi must have been an extraordinary experience. The chemistry, throughout tonight’s Tully Hall performance, was thick, not only between orchestra and conductor, but also between individual students and Mr. Luisi. I was fortunate to be accompanied at this concert by a ballet conductor, who thoroughly enjoyed the concert as well.
In the Brahms Symphony No. 3 in F major, the “Allegro con brio” was powerful and tight, conducted by the Maestro with sweeping arm gestures and rhythmic body language from the podium. The effect was swirling, bucolic lyricism. The “Andante” was musically seamless, eloquent, and romanticized. The “Poco allegretto” was a gorgeous, familiar theme, with the students focused on the sumptuous refrains. The “Allegro-poco sostenuto” was infused with march-like syncopation, that followed a feverish pulse.
The Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor featured a very professional Angie Zhang, who is a Secondary Piano Teaching Fellow at Juilliard and a pianist in the Barnard-Columbia-Juilliard Exchange. The high point of this Concerto was its interlocking, thematic poignancy. The orchestra-piano conversations were either overlapping in differentiated rhythms and blended tones or completely meshed in theme and tempo. Ms. Zhang performed with regality and feeling, personifying the elegance in Mozart’s Concerto. The orchestra and pianist fully focused on their spotlighted give and take.
The Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3 was filled with stormy bluster and muted, distant-sounding horns. Leonore was a Beethoven opera that later became known as Fidelio. This Overture No. 3 is one of several by the composer, as he struggled to forge his opera’s success. The students reveled in the tempestuous, dervish momentum, that showcased their individual and communal talent. It was a fitting finale to a most impressive evening at Lincoln Center’s Tully Hall. Kudos to the Juilliard Orchestra, and kudos to Maestro Luisi.
Fabio Luisi, Conductor
Courtesy of Barbara Luisi