Review: Taipei Symphony, now 50 years old, performs Chin double concerto plus Bernstein and Brahms at Strathmore in Maryland

Posted on: November 19, 2019

“Taiwan’s Taipei Symphony Orchestra offered up a vibrant and celebratory performance Friday evening at the Music Center at Strathmore … in a program spanning three centuries and three continents,” writes Grace Jean in Saturday’s (11/18) Washington Post. “Under the baton of guest conductor Jahja Ling, the 91-member orchestra [struck] a warm balance between the radiant strings, majestic brass and glowing winds in Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to ‘Candide.’ In commemoration of its 50th-anniversary, the Taipei Symphony programmed a work that it had commissioned in 2002: the Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, composed by compatriot Gordon Shi-Wen Chin…. Ling, who premiered the concerto when he was the San Diego Symphony’s music director, guided the orchestra through a colorful and intensely focused performance … featuring Taiwan-born, U.S.-based violinist Paul Huang and Taiwanese American cellist Felix Fan, for whom the concerto was written…. The musicians dove into [the concerto’s fourth movement] ‘Yearning: A Sweet Torture’ with operatic verve. Their runs and riffs propelled the soloists to a peak where violin and cello traded emphatic statements before agreeing on a joyous ending.” Also on the program was Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 and an encore of a traditional Taiwanese folk song.

Posted November 19, 2019