Review: BMOP’s all-Zwilich concert, with composer in attendance

Posted on: April 13, 2022

Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s Friday “portrait concert of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich [took place at] Jordan Hall, with artistic director Gil Rose on the podium,” writes A.Z. Madonna in Wednesday’s (4/13) Boston Globe. “Zwilich, who celebrates her 83rd birthday later this month, has been steadily turning out works for ensembles small and large…. This concert was [part] of BMOP’s long-running ConNECtion series in partnership with New England Conservatory, and eagerly listening students filled several of Jordan Hall’s seats. The composer was also present.… Zwilich’s orchestral amuse-bouche ‘Upbeat!’ set an exuberant tone with its homage to Bach’s Violin Partita No. 3. [Flutist Sarah Brady was soloist for] the spiralic ‘Concerto Elegia,’ which the composer wrote in memory of her husband…. [Zwilich’s] concerto for solo violin and string orchestra, ‘Commedia Dell’Arte,’ is a showpiece par excellence. [Violinist Gabriela] Diaz, who is usually found sitting in the concertmaster’s chair at BMOP concerts … proved herself the perfect player to introduce the audience to this seldom-played concerto…. Zwilich’s Symphony No. 5, subtitled ‘Concerto for Orchestra’ … wandered through many moods and modes…. Rose led the charge with clear direction, and the orchestra whipped around the piece’s roller-coaster twist and turns with confidence.”