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Copley Symphony Hall

750 B Street, Downtown San Diego

When I saw the size of the orchestra on the stage at Symphony Hall for David Bruce’s Night Parade, I knew we were in for a rumpus. I love, love, loved, this piece of music and even brought myself to shout out a rare “Bravo!” when the composer took the stage with maestro Ling.

The music came at us with all the energy of New Orleans during Mardi Gras, New York on New Year’s Eve, Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day, and LA during the film awards season.

Bruce’s music felt like an event in and of itself.

Following David Bruce was Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto with violinist Augustin Hadelich. Mr. Hadelich killed it.

In general I find violin concertos to be a challenge for performers in a large venue. With a piano or horn concerto there is no mistaking the solo part but with string concertos the soloist can become obscured just by the acoustics of the space.

The combination of Barber’s writing, Hadelich’s playing, the orchestra’s playing, and maestro Ling’s conducting kept the solo where it needed to be at all times. We were able to hear with clarity the moments when Barber had the soloist hand the orchestra the pitch. We all waited with anticipation, during the second movement, for the soloist’s delayed entrance and there was no mistaking it.

Regarding that second movement, I can’t think of a time when I wanted a soloist to play more than I wanted Hadelich to. Barber gives the main theme of the second movement to the oboe first and it is beautiful.

The audience sat there waiting for Hadelich to join the love scene that was playing out in Barber’s composition. As he slowly raised his bow to his instrument I wanted it--bad. When Barber finally gave that achingly gorgeous theme to Mr. Hadelich it was breath taking.

At intermission a young man came and sat down in front of me as the lights were going down. I didn’t think anything of it until I realized it was Augustin Hadelich who had hustled to get there in time to hear the Prokofiev. I LOVE that.

After the concert I was able to congratulate Mr. Hadelich in the lobby and I had to agree with the woman standing by his side when she said, “Oh, he just inspires romance.”

Mr. Hadelich will be performing with members of the San Diego Symphony on Tuesday, October 8th at 10640 John Jay Hopkins Dr. in La Jolla. The concert starts at 8:00 pm.

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