And it's a pretty good echo! *L* The concert began with the ESO playing Mozart's "Symphony No. 41 in C, K. 551". Very pastoral and very nice. I freely admit that I did snooze a few times but hey...I've been up since 6 am so cut me some slack! *G* Next we had a brief intermission and then our competition winner. The music was Mendelssohn's "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor, op. 64".
Marat Gabdullin is a very nice looking young man who was born in Russia and began studying the violin at age 5. By age 7 he was a soloist in a performance of the Vivaldi Violin Concerto in A Minor with the Ufa Chamber Orchestra in Russia. My ears, especially when it comes to violin music, are completely untrained, my brain, however, is NOT...and Vivaldi at 7 years old is pretty doggone good!!!
Not only did he play the entire performance (approximately 40 minutes of music) from memory, he also showed a presence and sense of performance you don't generally see in someone in their early 20's. The violin was no more and no less than an extension of his arm. If you watched his face as he played you could actually see love for the music and love for the mere sound of the violin flow across it. In fact, it appeared that his love of the music was so great that, when he received a standing ovation, he almost looked embarassed - as if to say, "I'm just the vessel but isn't this music awesome????" *L*
Marat won the 1st prize of $3000 and apparently the competition was quite stiff. They introduced the second place competitor and, for the first time ever, awarded a second place prize because this young man was also so good. Doug Newell, our Maestro, explained about getting some pretty well-credentialed adjudicators to judge the performances and he was really glad that he didn't haveto make the final decision - the three finalists were all that good!
All in all it was a very enjoyable evening - David and Marilyn have excellent seats! *LOL* I'm generally up for taking their tickets any time they offer them. They have front row in the balcony and since it's such an intimate venue they are probably among the best seats in the house. Aren't connections wonderful sometimes?? *G*