Conductor James Blachly. Photo by Lucy Gellman.

“For New Haven Symphony Orchestra Music Director candidate James Blachly, conducting was partly about finding a listener’s perspective,” writes Adam Matlock in Friday’s (4/14) New Haven Independent (CT). “ ‘What drew me to this field in the first place was a magical experience as a listener, and I spend my career trying to continue that experience for other listeners and musicians, in every hall I enter.’ That’s not to say that musical and thematic links are not a significant factor for Blachly. Judging by the program he’ll present on Sunday at SCSU’s Lyman Center for the Performing Arts, the conductor is eager to explore all manner of threads that tie the pieces together.” The program includes Soul Force by Jessie Montgomery, who is a longtime friend; William Levi Dawson’s ​“Negro Folk Symphony,” and the Beethoven Violin Concerto with soloist Simone Porter. “The sequence of the program—reverse chronological order from Montgomery, to Dawson, to Beethoven—is important to Blachly. Audiences will hear two very different attempts to sonically convey aspects of the Black American experience, with Montgomery’s piece seeming to comment on Dawson’s. Then Dawson’s formal mastery will ​‘help audiences hear more’ in the Beethoven.”