In Tuesday’s (1/29) San Jose Mercury News (California), Cheryl North writes that the Berkeley Symphony’s catchphrase “Defiantly Original” hardly does the group justice. “Berkeley Symphony leadership engaged Lisbon, Portugal-born Joana Carneiro, 36, as its music director in 2009. Her conducting of orchestras throughout the world has provoked reams of near-purple prose. Consider this from the Sydney Morning Herald: ‘The young Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro is energized, clear, balanced and, above all, striking.’ ‘An amazing life force’ was how described her, and the Times of Oman raved, ‘The young conductor made an immediate impression of energetic competence when she briskly walked on stage, slipped into position and lifted her arms like wings in an astonishing fusion of tight control and flowing grace.’ Expect more such exhilaration when Carneiro steps up to Zellerbach Hall’s podium Feb. 7 to direct the Berkeley Symphony’s next concert. The program, titled ‘The Illuminators,’ will feature ‘Alfama,’ a world premiere commission from Portuguese composer Andreia Pinto-Correia; Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Op. 45 Symphonic Dances; and Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto, with cellist Lynn Harrell as soloist.”

Posted January 29, 2013