The pledge — a matter of honor — for the performers of the big top transcended into very life blood of show business.
In that same tradition, the Dearborn Symphony, under the uncompromising baton of Music Director Kypros Markou, welcomed special last-minute guest artist, Stephen Waarts, a 19-year-old violinist Oct. 9 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.
“It was wonderful to have such a gifted and uniquely musical artist to fill in for the concert without having to change the programmed concerto by Sibelius,” Markou said.
Waarts, a Young Concert Artist, stepped in at the eleventh hour for scheduled guest violinist Benjamin Beilman. Beilman, an Ann Arbor resident and 2007 Dearborn Solo Competition winner, was asked to fill in for Midori Goto in another concert.
“We all had a treat when Stephen stepped onto the stage at the last moment,” Dearborn Symphony President Sandy Butler said.
The Dearborn Symphony celebrated the performance opportunities for both young men, and look forward to Beilman’s return to the Dearborn stage.
The season opened with a beautiful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” followed by Ferdinand Herold’s “Overture to Zampa.” This comic opera, considered to be one of the finest ever written, premiered just two years before the composer’s death. Markou and the orchestra gave a thrilling performance of this delightful curtain raiser and the audience responded enthusiastically.
This was followed by Jean Sibelius’ “Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 47” with Waarts as soloist. Waarts approached the stage with masterful authority and a soulful expression far beyond his years. He gave an impeccable performance so mesmerizing that at the end of the first movement a patron’s noticeable internal dialogue of “Wow!” surfaced, and with a humble nod of appreciation Waart’s continued.
Markou and the orchestra were clearly enthusiastic about their collaboration with Waarts.
The night’s performance concluded with Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64.”
Authors Lawrence and Elisabeth Hanson summarized: “The Fifth Symphony is splendid music, grand and dignified, and its form expresses the content more satisfactorily than in any other of Tchaikovsky’s large works for the orchestra.”
Markou and the orchestra gave a passionate and committed performance of this highly emotional work. The orchestra was very responsive to Markou’s conducting, and the level of playing was exceptional.
The beautiful horn solo in the slow movement was performed by principal horn Nick Castellanos. His playing flowed naturally and his interpretation was very musical and expressive.
Other noted solos by orchestra members included Shantanique Moore on flute; Joni Day, oboe; and Jonathan Boyd bassoon. And, of course, the trumpets shone throughout the work but especially during the triumphant closing of this magnificent symphony by Tchaikovsky.
The season must go on with the next scheduled performance Nov. 13, featuring “Hits From the Silver Screen!” with guest conductor Leif Bjaland. Music of Gershwin, Bernstein, Williams and more will be featured.
Tickets range from $10 to $35 and can be purchased in advance or at the door. For more information, go to dearbornsymhony.org or call 313-565-2424.