Dearborn Symphony’s music director search continues

phyllisA music director and conductor search, combined with classical greats was a winning combination of entertainment Feb. 15 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. Still on the quest, the Dearborn Symphony continued its 2018-19 season with music director and conductor hopeful Jason Altieri.

Altieri was the second of three guest conductors to lead the orchestra in a concert, “Classical Greats!” The evening’s performance featured guest cellist Dmitri Atapine as well as members of the orchestra.

Altieri is music director of the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and associate conductor for the Reno Philharmonic. He has an extensive touring background. His far-reaching touring experience has seen him conducting in most of the major performance venues in the United States and Asia, including The People’s Hall in Beijing and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

Altieri was funny and knowledgeable. He connected with the orchestra as well as the audience. His demeanor was authentic. He led with elegance and just enough humor to make him likable.

Altieri introduced himself and gave brief and interesting highlights about the music. There were plenty of standing ovations and “bravos;” the audience responded well to Altieri as well as to the musicians.

“The orchestra gave an extremely clean and energetic performance,” Altieri said. “I felt I was able to communicate with the orchestra very quickly. This says a lot about the musicians and their mastery. I was impressed with the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, a real gem for Dearborn.”

In honor of the New Year, the show opened with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The orchestra played gallantly while Altieri encouraged patrons to sing.

The opening was followed by, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Overture to the Marriage of Figaro.” The playful and melodic tune gave the orchestra a chance to shine.

Next in line was Achille-Claude Debussy’s “Petite Suite.” The orchestra was very clean. The orchestra responded well to Altieri’s direction.

“I was extremely pleased with how the orchestra played the contrasting styles within the program,” Altieri said.

Atapine played with impressive unyielding passion and meticulous technical precision on Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme for the Cello & Orchestra.” He wowed the audience.

“He was one of the finest soloist I have every worked with,” Alteri said of Atapine.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No 1 in C major, Op. 21” closed the night’s performance with strength and exuberance.

“The concert was alive with different textures, dynamics and rhythms,” Dearborn Symphony President Sandy Butler said. “I was pleased with the entire concert, overall. The concert and musicians sparked.”

The Dearborn Symphony continues its 57th season March 29 with its annual Pops Concert “Music of the Knights!” featuring guest conductor and pianist Rich Ridenour.  Celebrating a cast of Broadway stars performing music by Sirs Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John and Paul McCartney, hear songs like “Memory,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Circle of Life,” “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude.”

Ticket prices range from $25 to $45 for adults and $10 to $15 for those under 19, and can be purchased in advanced or at the door. For tickets or more information call 313-565-2424 or go to dearbornsymphony.org.