Young performers shine at the ACO Pearl Amster Youth Concerto concert

~posted by Hannah Kate Schaeffer, KMFA Administrative Assistant

I had a chance to attend the Austin Civic Orchestra perform at the Bethany Lutheran Church this past weekend.  It’s a local event, with local artists providing their talents to a local audience. It isn’t every weekend you can hear live, classical music in this city, so I felt lucky to have two tickets to this performance.

The program began as a showcase of the talents of four talented winners of the Pearl Amster Youth Concerto competition. Three violinists and one pianist played along with the orchestra as if they had been performing like this for the entirety of their young lives. One blond violinist rocked out on his violin, like a young Mick Jagger who plays Scottish-themed concertos with symphonic orchestras instead of classic rock bands. Their parents and family members watched proudly as the young talents performed. Sure, a few of them have already  performed at Carnegie Hall, but that evening they had their own orchestras to back their solo performances in their home town.

Collin Turner, age 18, performing the final movement of Scottish Fantasy by Max Bruch as part of the ACO sponsored Pearl Amster Youth Concerto Festival at Bethany Lutheran Church on March 10, 2012

After a quick intermission filled with a deep yearning for a slice of the gigantic celebratory cake that sat in the back hall (to be eaten after the performance), ACO played the suite from Bernstein’s quintessential Broadway composition, West Side Story. I later asked conductor Dr. Ferrari why she chose this piece, assuming a connection between the young performers present and the young characters in West Side Story, but she just explained that she loved the musical, and the timing happened to be perfect. Well fine, Dr. Ferrari, but I’d still like to think that there’s something of a cosmic link between the young hopefuls at the concert that night and the adolescents who sang about their life’s springtime in West Side Story. But there at Bethany Church, the world provided a concrete ending to an age-old story that is rarely ever finished – the kids won.
    ~posted by Hannah Kate Schaeffer, KMFA Administrative Assistant

One thought on “Young performers shine at the ACO Pearl Amster Youth Concerto concert

  1. Hannah, thanks for coming to the concert and for blogging about the experience. I like your take on the connection between WSS and our young musicians. I’ll buy it 🙂

    Best wishes…

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