From left: composer Roberto Sierra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Andreas Delfs, and Concertmaster Juliana Athayde at the world premiere of Sierra’s Violin Concerto. Photo: Tyler Cervini

“Call it ‘A Concert for Lydia,’ the daughter of Andreas Delfs, music director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra,” writes Gil French in Thursday’s (5/12) Classical Voice North America. “She died in 2020 at age 23 after a long illness. The family … established the Lydia Delfs Foundation, which commissioned a work from Delfs’ longtime friend, composer Roberto Sierra…. Consider the world premiere of Sierra’s Violin Concerto (a la memoria de una niña valiente) (2021) as the fulcrum for the RPO’s concerts May 5 and 7…. As the opening tragic chord faded, soloist [RPO Concertmaster] Juliana Athayde … emerged with a held note more than two octaves above middle C…. The slow second movement (‘Expressivo’), lyrical in three-quarter time, with solo horn and woodwinds, is filled with melismatic violin flourishes… The May 7 performance … was on fire. Athayde’s presence and tone were authoritative; there wasn’t a single missed note or shady intonation. Delfs and the RPO also played as if possessed. Accents, ensemble, and emotional thrust simply consumed me. Violinist, conductor, and orchestra were one.” The program also included Mendelssohn’s Fair Melusine Overture, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, and “On the Beautiful Blue Danube, a favorite waltz of daughter Lydia.”