Rhode Island Philharmonic opens on high note

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After 20 fabulous years under the direction of conductor Larry Rachleff, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra begins a new era as the orchestra searches for a new leader. It promises to be an exciting year as a different conductor takes the baton for each concert, some of whom will be candidates for the position.

The season opened on a high note last weekend with James Sommerville, one of the leading Canadian classical musicians of our time, leading the orchestra in a brilliant interpretation of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2. Guest artist, 19-year-old violinist Simone Porter, was absolutely brilliant in her playing of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 35. Of particular note was the synchrony among Sommerville, Ms. Porter and the orchestra.

Sommerville chose to open the program with a new work, “Blue Cathedral” by Jennifer Higdon, which was well received by the audience. Prue on Podeum in October Eckart Prue, music director of the Spokane Symphony, Stamford Symphony and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, will conduct the Philharmonic on Friday, October 13 for the Rush Hour concert at 5:30 p.m. and again on Saturday, October 14 at 8 p.m. for the Taco Classical Series.

Guest pianist Alon Goldstein will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20. The program includes Saint-Saens’ thundering “Organ Symphony” (Symphony No. 3) and Del Aguila’s “Conga-Line in Hell.” Tickets are available by calling 248-7000.

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