Violinist sets the tone for super concert

Lisa Wigmore, Joo Yeon Sir and Graham Jones

Lisa Wigmore, Joo Yeon Sir and Graham Jones

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Review of the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra

by John Thornley.

THE EASTBOURNE Symphony Orchestra’s recent summer concert provided a platform for a stunning performance of Tchaikowsky’s Violin Concerto by Korean violinist Joo Yeon Sir.

Winner of the ESO’s prestigious annual young soloist competition, 20-year-old Joo Yeon’s virtuosic performance provoked a standing ovation at the end of one of the ESO’s best concerts in its 30 year history.

Her warm vibrant tone was evident at the outset in a strong but sensitive performance of the first movement.

The gentle muted folk-like second movement evoked a yearning quality, sympathetically accompanied by the strings with some beautifully shaped wind phrases.

The finale was taken at a rapid but exhilarating pace, bringing the concerto to a triumphant conclusion.

The orchestra, expertly conducted by maestro Graham Jones, started with Mendelssohn’s Ruy Blas which contrasted slow majestic chords from the wind and brass with some exuberant fast passagework from the strings.

Then Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, which was taken at a sprightly tempo throughout and allowed the woodwind soloist the opportunity to shine, not least in the famous birdsong ending of the slow movement.

The Orchestra’s autumn concert is at 7pm on October 23 in the Birley Centre, Eastbourne College, adjacent to the Towner Gallery.

The piano soloist will be Gamal Khamis, runner-up in the ESO’s competition, who will play Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A K488.

The programme will also include Elgar’s Serenade for Strings and Dvorak’s New World Symphony. For more information: www.eso.org.uk