“The South Bend Symphony Orchestra delivered an evening characterized by … an infusion of youthful energy,” writes Jack Walton in Tuesday’s (4/16) South Bend Tribune (Indiana). “Orchestras all over the world are increasingly mindful of engaging young new audiences.… On Saturday at the Morris Performing Arts Center, the SBSO presented a concert that pulsed with lively dance rhythms and relied heavily on the contributions of a young composer and an even younger soloist…. SBSO Music Director Alastair Willis was wise to program works by [Mason] Bates … ‘Mothership’ evokes a propulsive flight through space.… The main effect of the electronics is to spurt forth a motoric drum machine beat … Principal cellist Lara Turner, who had a terrific night all around, cut through the orchestral sound most clearly, and with fine lyricism…. Willis conducted [Bates’s Cello Concerto] with mastery, coaxing razor-sharp playing from the SBSO, and [cellist Joshua] Roman was incandescent.… Willis and the SBSO are in the midst of a complete cycle of the Beethoven symphonies, and it was a perfect time for the seventh, because its enthusiasm and rhythmic drive fit right in with the tone of the evening.”

Posted April 17, 2019