Young violinist wows at Mountains concert

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Young violinist wows at Mountains concert

Dmitri Berlinsky takes a cue from conductor Guillermo Figueroa during his solo Sunday on Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor.
Orchestra brings crowd to its feet

It wasn’t just Samson who brought down the roof. On Saturday, at the Festival Tent at Durango Mountain Resort, the Music in the Mountains orchestra pulled the audience to its feet after an utterly splendid performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Danse Bacchanale from “Samson et Dalila.” It was the first concert of the 26th season.
Oboist Erin Hannigan transported the audience to a Middle Eastern bazaar with a melody better known to modern pop culture fans as the snake charmer’s song from Bugs Bunny cartoons, and the four-man percussion section drove the wild pace.
The entire second half of the concert was a showcase for the orchestra. It’s always remarkable that Maestro Guillermo Figueroa melds together musicians from more than 20 symphonies from around the nation to create the festival orchestra, but to hear them perform so well on the first concert out of the gate is even more impressive.
The second half began with Darius Milhaud’s “Le boeuf sur le toit” or “The ox on the roof.” Inspired by his time in Brazil, Milhaud’s piece contains snippets of tango, samba, maxixa and fado from 23 Brazilian composers – whether it’s plagiarism or homage is in the eye of the beholder – and constantly changes tempo and key. At times, different sections are playing in different keys at the same time. It takes a conductor in complete control to pull off, and Figueroa never missed a beat or a transition.
The first half featured Music in the Mountains Artistic Director Gregory Hustis as the soloist on Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat, K. 495. In a rare misstep, apparently struggling with the heat, he made several errors.
About 30 concertgoers attended Fort Lewis College Professor Emerita Linda Mack’s pre-concert lecture. In a witty and informative talk, she explained everything from basic notation to the history of the pieces on the program, leaving everyone better prepared to enjoy and understand the music.
Mack will be offering her final free pre-concert lecture of the season at 4:15 p.m. Saturday at the Durango Mountain Club at DMR.
abutler@durangoherald.com

Review & Preview

“Elegance and Excitement!”, featuring Gregory Hustis, horn, Saturday, July 14 at Durango Mountain Resort.
“Tour de Force,” featuring Dmitri Berlinsky, violin, Sunday, July 15 at Durango Mountain Resort.
Today: Family Festivo, free concert and storytelling, 11 a.m., Rotary Park.
Tuesday: Next Generation II, Conservatory Young Artists Competition, 7:30 p.m., $10-$18, Roshong Recital Hall at FLC.
Wednesday: Pops Night benefit dinner with vocalist Steve Lippia, 5:30 p.m., $150, Festival Tent at Purgatory at DMR.
Wednesday: Next Generation III, Conservatory Young Artists Competition, 7:30 p.m., $10-$18, Roshong Recital Hall at FLC.
Thursday: “Bach’s Gift,” chamber concert, 7 p.m., $20-$39, St. Columba Catholic Church, 1801 East Third Ave.

Young violinist wows at Mountains concert

Dmitri Berlinsky takes a cue from conductor Guillermo Figueroa during his solo Sunday on Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor.
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