Maestro 2: Pure Poetry | Adelaide Youth OrchestraPhotos – Tony Lewis

When you hear the talent, dedication and skill of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra in performance there is no excuse for ever denigrating the “youth of today”!

The cream of Adelaide’s 12 – 24 year old musicians celebrated the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Adelaide Town Hall, and entranced a capacity audience with their notable ability, energy and sheer enthusiasm in a splendid concert befitting the occasion.

Right from the opening bars of Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger, the rich sonority of the full orchestra heralded an exciting performance. Strong brass neatly dovetailed into the strings and woodwinds, giving little indication of their youth. Fine precision and blend was apparent in the exposed fugal sections, together with an exuberant mastery of the rich maestoso of the triumphal ending.

Young Adelaide pianist Mekhla Kumar shone in her performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 in G. Oozing ability, finely honed musicality and well-founded confidence she teamed expertly with the orchestra throughout. She calmly mastered the technical complexities Beethoven challenged her with, as well as the more sombre mood of the second movement, and the exuberance with which the third movement emerges from it. This was a very impressive performance by both orchestra and soloist.

Conductor Keith Crellin’s intense musicality and sensitively avuncular direction of his devoted band demonstrated the reason why the Adelaide Youth Orchestras have flourished and grown during the 13 years he has been their Artistic Director. 

In Tchaikovsky’s less frequently heard Symphony No 2 in C minor – the “Little Russian”, he elicited fine horn and bassoon solos and perfect pizzicato precision in the strings. He set and held a disciplined and cracking pace in the vigourous 4th movement, and his young charges rose eagerly to the occasion.

All in all, this was a fine concert on a splendid occasion. This orchestra and its ancillary groups are one of Adelaide’s hidden treasures, which is blossoming under the direction of its board, management and musical directors, and which deserves continuing nurture and support.

Adelaide Youth Orchestra presents
Maestro 2: Pure Poetry

Conducted by Keith Crellin OAM

Venue: Adelaide Town Hall
Date: June 21, 2016

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