Dearborn Symphony, guest pianist set hearts afire

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The old adage of stopping to smell the roses reminds people to take time out of their busy schedule to take in the splendor of life; and to this end, few things remain more compelling than love.

From the time poets spoke, writers wrote and composers composed, this intangible, illusive theme echoes from the ache of adoration lost to the glory of it found. It would seem humanity, despite a violent history, in the end, is just as much a hopeless romantic.

In that spirit, it was more than just a chance meeting Nov. 14 at the the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, as the Dearborn Symphony and guest pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, under the dreamy baton of Kypros Markou romanced music patrons with the composers who held dear the glory of relationships.

Markou engaged Hector Berlioz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, David Diamond, and George Bizet in a promise of glorious entertainment delivered.

It seemed as if the symphony and the music were indeed a match made in heaven opening with the heartfelt Berlioz work “Beatrice and Benedict Overture.” The flirty score opened the night’s performance with starry eyed anticipation, a whimsical tease that grew into a thundering conclusion brought together by Markou’s masterful execution and flawless timing.

More than just infatuation, Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 21 K467” coupled with Lee took center stage with scores that roared and soared. Lee, equally playful as Mozart’s melody cooed with captivating rhythmic resolve and bold imaginative authority, driving the keys with riveting precision.

Ending her performance with an unscheduled encore — Chopin’s “Farewell” waltz — Lee’s charming goodnight salutation closed the first half of the show.

The second half of the night’s performance was more than puppy love when Markou joined Diamond’s contemporary music for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” with Bizet’s long standing “Suite from Carmen.”

With riveting selections from Diamond’s “Romeo and Juliet” that went from the birth of their forbidden love to its tragic death, the symphony moved with synchronistic and tender ease. A well-crafted classi, articulate rendering of Bizet’s “Suite from Carmen” closed the show with a powerful marriage of both old and new.

While love makes it own destiny, lucky it would seem Markou makes his own rules.

Feb. 13, marks the next Dearborn Symphony performance at the Ford Center. The annual Pops Concert features guest conductor Rich Ridenour leading a show called “My Funny Valentine-Piano Romance.”

The show will feature romantic favorites by Gershwin, Bernstein, Andrew Lioyd Webber, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and more. The concert is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $10 to $30 and can be bought in advance or at the door. For more information go to dearbornsymphony.org or call 313-565-2424.