From Beethoven’s ‘Piano Concerto’ to Dvorak’s dances, varity strikes a chord with the Dearborn Symphony

PhyllisThe dictionary defines variety as range of different things. Under a multiplicity of direction — Music Director Kypros Markou and guest pianist Pauline Martin — the Dearborn Symphony, wheeled a variety show of classic expression.

The gamut of composers from greats like Beethoven, Wagner, Barber, Chadwick, Still and Dvorak filled the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center with a mixture of familiar timeless favorites March 4.

Well executed, the three-minute Richard Wagner “Prelude to Act 111 from Lohengrin” opened the night’s performance with ease. The orchestra sounded rich and sparked with excitement.

“In this program I incorporated suggestions from the members of the artistic committee to include some familiar classics,” Markou said. “The reasoning is so that that the program would appeal to a broader audience.”

Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” followed. The orchestra played beautifully. Markou was enthusiastic, and pleased with the responsiveness. The “Adagio” highlighted the warm sound of the strings.

Martin played Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 4.” It was apparent that she and Markou shared a unified vision of the work. Together they gave the audience a cohesive and inspiring performance.

The second half included works from two American composers, George Whitfield Chadwick and William Grant Still. It is worth noting that Still’s “Afro-American Symphony” was the first symphony by an African American composer to be performed by a major American orchestra in the 1930.

The orchestra played Chadwick’s “Jubilee” brilliantly, and played the “Afro-American Symphony” with deep feeling and expressive emotion.

Antonin Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dances” was exciting. Dvorak, even though a Czech composer, had a strong connection with America. He spent years as director of the National Conservatory of Music of American in New York. He was a big influence on many American composers who followed his example of seeking inspiration in the folk music of their countries.

The program closed with two bouncy dances by Dvorak. As an encore, Markou and orchestra played Dvorak’s “G-Minor Dance,” and brought the audience to their feet.

It was obvious at the end of the performance, orchestra, conductor and audience enjoyed a particular impressive concert.

The Dearborn Symphony will conclude this year’s season at 8 p.m. April 22 with “Mozart’s ‘Haffner’ Meets the Lone Ranger!” Continuing a long-standing tradition, the Dearborn Symphony celebrates the future of classical music by featuring today’s outstanding young musicians.

With seasoned professionals alongside young arts performing the music of Mozart and Rossini, the evening guarantees entertainment.

Ticket prices range from $10 to $30. For more information call 313-565-2424 or go to www.dearbornsymphony.org.