Tag Archive: stephen brookes

  1. Washington Post: Alexandria Symphony offers a sensuous ‘Rite of Spring’ at National Gallery

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    May 29 marks the 100th anniversary of the wonderfully scandalous premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” when a near-riot broke out in the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Performances of this still-spectacular work are being staged all over the world this month, and one of the most striking may have been Sunday evening’s performance by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, in the Atrium of the National Gallery of Art’s East Building. With its slashing angles, kinetic spaces and eruptive heights, the Atrium echoes “Rite’s” own brash and fearless modernism — and from that perspective, at least, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect setting.

  2. The Washington Post Profiles Midori For Her March 2012 Residency With ASO

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    It would have been a heart-stopping moment for any violinist. Midway through the last movement of Leonard Bernstein’s wildly difficult “Serenade” — with Bernstein himself conducting the orchestra — the tiny, doll-like soloist Midori suddenly felt the E string on her violin snap. She calmly turned to the concertmaster, who  handed her his own instrument (which was much larger than hers), and she picked up where she had left off — until the E string on that violin snapped as well. Midori didn’t miss a beat. She turned back to the concertmaster to borrow a second violin and finished the piece flawlessly.

    The crowd at the Tanglewood Music Festival exploded to its feet, and Bernstein swept her up in a tearful hug as the orchestra broke out in cheers. The headline in the New York Times the next day summed it up: “Girl, 14, conquers Tanglewood with 3 violins.”

  3. Stephen Brookes Describes ASO’s 2011 Opening Weekend as “A Jaw-Dropping Performance.”

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    The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra might not be considered among the world’s top orchestras, but don’t tell its players that. Opening this year’s season Saturday night under the baton of Music Director Kim Allen Kluge, the ASO turned in a jaw-dropping performance, premiering a virtuosic cello concerto by David Balakrishnan and infusing Hector Berlioz’s venerable old war horse, the “Symphonie Fantastique,” with so much vitality, electricity and excitement that it sounded like it was written last week.