Osmo, Opera, and More at MAW

By Richard Mineards   |   July 2, 2024
Osmo Vänskä with bariton Michael Segura and the Academy Festival Orchestra (photo by Andre Yew)

Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä, 71, former musical director of the Seoul Philharmonic, was in fine form at the Granada when he led the Academy Festival Orchestra in its first performance of the summer festival season.

Just tasty snippets of opera at MAW’s return of Opera Scenes (photo by Zach Mendez)

The highly entertaining concert opened with Wagner’s Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. and Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, concluding with Sibelius’ “Symphony No. 2 in D Major,” which the composer described as “a confession of the soul.”

Just 24 hours earlier the spotlight was on Hahn Hall for a selection of opera scenes by the likes of Donizetti, Menotti, Leoncavallo, von Flotow, Catan, Tchaikovsky, Gounod, Mozart, and Strauss.

An evening of high note.

Hahn Hall was in the spotlight again on Thursday for the X2 Series opener with two tony trios performing Brod’s Duo from Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” with Eugene Izotov on oboe, Dennis Michel on bassoon, and Deven Shah on piano, followed by Schumann’s “Piano Trio in D Minor” with exquisite violinist Qian Chang, cellist Alan Stepansky, and pianist Jonathan Feldman.

The hugely entertaining concert concluded with another performance by artists in residence, the Takács Quartet with Dvořák’s “Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major” with Alice Zhang on piano.

The X2 performances opened with Eugene Izotov, Dennis Michel, and Deven Shah (photo by Zach Mendez)

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