Sunday, September 22, 2013



Friday and Saturday nights kicked off the vibrant 89th season for our Amarillo Symphony Orchestra.  What a season it promises to be with our new maestro, Jacomo Bairos. Young, energetic and charismatic, he is full of the promise of what can be.  It was with great anticipation that we've awaited the first downbeat of the new season and by evening's end, well worth the wait. 

The first order of the might,  the presentation of this year's Symphony Belles and Beaus. As always,  Dr. McKay ably introduced this year's bevy of beauties, and at roughly half their numbers, the year's  band of beaus.

To start the evening musically, our national anthem.

First on the program, a piece by Paul Dooley, commissioned especially for this inaugural concert under the new maestro's baton and said to be inspired by Jacomo himself.  Velocity Festivals is a classy, if not classical piece, paying homage to the latest developments in electronica. Not something you might have heard under Jim Setapen's baton for sure, and perhaps not under Kimbo's either. A hint of things to come?  We shall see.

Next on the program, Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Violin Concert in D Major, Op. 35 ably conducted by maestro and splendidly played by the evening's guest artist Bella Hristova on violin. (pictured below) It is a piece reminiscent of movie themes from an earlier time and remindful of film scores written by John Williams and Klaus Badelt.  But "Korngold came first" reminded Jacomo. Indeed Korngold may have written the first big time movie score. The movie?  The Adventures of Robin Hood in 1938.

 Photo: Photo courtesy Cissy Fenn Burch
The 89th season begins as a number of firsts. In these inaugural concerts, it is among the first times Jacomo has conducted the symphony as its new maestro and the first times Velocity Festivals has been played for ASO audiences.  And to bring this season's inaugural concerts to a resounding climax, Ludwig Van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, played for perhaps the first time in any ASO season (I'm not sure about that), it was the first time Jocomo has conducted the Beethoven's 7th. Scratch that one from his bucket list.

 He led the evening's program with an alacrity beyond his years.

Saturday night's audience was abuzz on exiting the hall.  Most assuredly they, and we, are keenly anticipating what the remainder of the season may hold.  Whatever it may be, bring it on Jacomo, bring it on.


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