“On Saturday evening, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Music Director Toshi Shimada will be pushing the shuffle button so audience members won’t have to,” writes Milton Moore in Thursday’s (11/20) TheDay.com (New London, Connecticut). “Shimada and his talented corps of musicians and guest star, violinist Bella Hristova, will perform a program Shimada calls a ‘shuffle concert’—nine short classical works, each about eight to 12 minutes in length and spanning the centuries and styles, from Dvorák’s gorgeous Romance for Violin to Elgar’s stirring ‘Nimrod’ from the Enigma Variations to John Adams’ propulsive ‘The Chairman Dances’ from Nixon in China to a brand-new ECSO commission by Brooklyn hipster composer William Brittelle.” The program also includes Smetana’s The Moldau and Ravel’s La Valse. “ ‘I’m always thinking of a younger audience, but not forgetting our regulars,’ Shimada says. ‘This is the 21st century, so why not just mix everything together?’ And, of course, the inveterate shufflers in the audience can punch up the ECSO app before the concert for info about the musicians and the music—and afterwards to post comments. Even the orchestra’s dress code will be a bit more unbuttoned.”

Posted November 21, 2014