Review of Look to The East

Saturday, September 21, 2019 — The Klein Memorial Auditorium



The 2019-2020 season premiered on September 21st, as Eric Jacobsen returned for his sixth season and welcomed members of Yo Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble — Indian tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das, Persian kamancheh (or spiked fiddle) master Kayhan Kalhor and American cellist Karen Ouzounion –  for “Look to the East,” a concert combining modern masters such as  “Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur” with the iconic Russian masterpiece, Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto” performed by 17-year-old West Hartford violinist Matthew Hill, a recent winner of GBS’ Youth Instrumentalist Competition.

The Program
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, 1840-1893.       
Violin Concerto in D Major (1878), Op. 35.

With Matthew Hill, Violin, Co-winner of the GBS 2019 Young Instrumentalists Competition

Colin Jacobsen, 1978                
Atashgah (2011)

With Kayhan Kalhor, Kamancheh, Matthias Kunzli, Percussion, Karen Ouzounian, Cello

Kayhan Kalhor, 1963.              
Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neybashur (2000).

With Sandeep Das, Tabla, Kayhan Kalhor, Kamancheh, Karen Ouzounian, Cello

Responses from the Audience
This concert was without a doubt the most amazing display of virtuosity and passion we’ve been privileged to enjoy. We were stunned and moved and grateful.

Unbelievably wonderful
The first concert this season was a testament to the continuing excellence of GBS. Thank you for all of the Creative efforts in making GBS a go-to event.

The Violinist [Matthew Hill] was truly amazing. Another exceptional evening of music and so close to home! A win-win!

Particularly loved the collaboration between GBS and Silkroad musicians on gorgeous pieces that we had never heard before. We were on the edge of our seats for those two pieces GBS musicians perfectly supported these Eastern Soloists and distinguished themselves as superb collaborators with all the Silkroad musicians.

Fabulous concert

It was fascinating. A masterful blending of exoctic individual instruments and performers with a full symphonic orchestra. A delightful performance.

Eric continues to expand and enrich what I know about music. We are so fortunate to have him. His energy, his connectons and his kindness are exemplary. Thank you, Eric.

Always First Class. The Greater Bridgeport Symphony is a blessing for all Fairfield County citizens

The Silkroad Ensemble’s mission is to create “music that engages difference, sparkling radical cultural collaboration, and passion-driven learning for a more hopeful and inclusive world,” conductor Jacobsen said in a news release before the concert. “In times like these, when political tensions are running high, Kayhan’s music is a bridge to one of the most ancient cultures on the planet. Through music, we can discover that differences between people are not monolithic.”

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