Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra makes New York debut

Posted on: December 11, 2013

“There’s a good chance that a vast majority of musicians who have come up through this country’s student orchestras and concert bands have stormed through the inexorable finale of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5,” writes Steve Smith in Wednesday’s (12/11) New York Times. “Far fewer musicians of any age will have played the famous conclusion in the manner that the conductor Benjamin Zander molded it during a concert by the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on Monday evening … during the New York debut of this ensemble, established last year as an offshoot of Mr. Zander’s admired Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. The members of the youth orchestra, ages 12 to 21, play with a maturity and cohesion well beyond their years…. In the Shostakovich, especially the finale, Mr. Zander is a stickler for the composer’s tempo markings and note values as indicative of the expressive intent. The movement starts at 88 to the eighth note, mounts to a feverish 184, then retreats back to 92—at which point notes double in length. Thus, the ostensibly triumphal coda … is meant to sound beaten down and labored…. Those qualities were enacted convincingly at the close of a brilliantly played, fervently felt account.”

Posted December 11, 2013