Review: Lansing Symphony’s 90th-anniversary season-opener, with Audra McDonald

Posted on: October 2, 2019

In Thursday’s (9/26) Lansing City Pulse (Michigan), Lawrence Cosentino writes that it will be “hard to top” the opening program of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s 90th season with Music Director Timothy Muffitt leading the orchestra with vocalist Audra McDonald and her trio. “McDonald, Muffitt and the orchestra turned out some 20 tunes from Broadway and the Great American Songbook, each one … musically polished and emotionally committed … The orchestra … wove an almost unbearably tender nest for her as she sang ‘You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught,’ from ‘South Pacific,’ giving the song’s message of racial tolerance an understated urgency…. McDonald swung into the jazzy ‘Cornet Man’ from ‘Funny Girl,’ garnished by a swaggering solo from principal trumpet Justin Emerich…. From start to finish, she had a packed house in complete thrall. By the time she put a killer bend into …the word ‘time’ from the standard ‘Summertime,’ a man in the audience pretty much lost it. That man, the first to shoot up in the ensuing standing ovation, was California composer Bruce Stark, who was having quite a day. Before McDonald’s part of the program, the orchestra gave a vigorous, deep-breathing performance of Stark’s ‘Symphonic Dances.’ ”

Posted October 2, 2019