In Thursday’s (6/10) New York Times, Vivien Schweitzer writes, “An exuberant cacophony greeted audience members entering Riverside Church before a concert by the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra on Tuesday evening, as ensemble members sat onstage energetically rehearsing. Significant collective and individual preparation had clearly gone into their terrific concert, the orchestra’s New York debut appearance, celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding by Leonard Slatkin, the former music director and now conductor laureate of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Ward Stare, music director of the youth ensemble (comprising musicians ages 12 to 22) and resident conductor of the St. Louis Symphony, has trained his charges exceptionally well. The string, woodwind, brass and percussion sections also received coaching from members of the New York Philharmonic before the concert, which was a benefit for the Riverside Food Pantry. Mr. Stare inspired the musicians to impressive heights here, opening with a polished and suitably spirited rendition of Brahms’s ‘Academic Festival Overture.’ ” Also on the program were Mendelssohn’s “Reformation” Symphony, Vaughn Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival. Ward Stare was a League of American Orchestras American Conducting Fellow, 2007-2008.
Posted June 10, 2010