Concert Review: Carneiro debuts with Berkeley Symphony

Posted on: October 19, 2009

In Saturday’s (10/17) San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman writes, “The Berkeley Symphony inaugurated a new chapter in its history Thursday night, as Joana Carneiro took the helm of the orchestra as its first new music director in more than 30 years. … A 33-year-old native of Lisbon, Portugal, who recently did an acclaimed stint as a [League of American Orchestras] conducting fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carneiro reportedly dazzled the search committee that spent the past two years looking for a successor to longtime music director Kent Nagano. … The evening’s most heartening development came after intermission, with a robust and often impassioned account of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. As a showpiece for orchestral virtuosity, the performance required a little indulgence. But as a vehicle for close collaboration between conductor and orchestra, it was ideal. Carneiro proved adept at shaping the potentially unwieldy rush of sound in the concerto’s two outer movements, and brought delicately pointed expressivity to the second-movement ‘Game of Pairs.’ The central ‘Elegy,’ with its air of mysterious moodiness, elicited particularly eloquent playing from the orchestra.” The first half of the program included John Adams’s The Chairman Dances and Peregrinos by Gabriella Lena Frank, whom Carneiro has enlisted as “creative adviser.”

Posted October 19, 2009