Also featuring photos from our monthly supplement...

Beethoven, Mozart and Shostakovich
light up DPO concert

Maestro Neal Gittleman and The Dayton Philharmonic are working toward making Dmitri Shostakovich an honorary citizen of Dayton. Over the past seasons, Maestro Neal has brought Dmitri into the Schuster Center’s magnificent concert hall often enough to make him an old friend.

A couple of seasons ago, we all celebrated his birthday with several wonderful symphonic parties. While there never was a cake and candles, all the other trappings were there.

This season, Dmitri and his 6th Symphony made an unforgettable visit. Less well-known among his symphonic opus, the 6th reflects Dmitri’s changing political fortunes under the stern eye of the Soviet dictator Stalin.

Following the enthusiastic reception of the 5th Symphony, the 6th remains a political and musical enigma. Four movements become three. The opening movement, not lively and forceful, is a plaint of serious, even tragic proportions. It begins with a deep but not ponderous statement in the lower strings proceeding through delicate passages and quiet interludes.

Politics, history are forgotten. The songs of the flutes lead us, breathlessly, to a silent ending marked by a few blows of the tympani. The second movement, by contrast, is a lively lilt and a show piece for the wonderful woodwind section of the orchestra.

The symphony ended with a presto gallop, again starring the woodwinds. Finally, the patient brass section got to show off their fireworks punctuating a lovely violin solo by Jessica Hung and the rich sound of the strings. The final notes had the audience on its feet. The sustained applause for a Shostakovich symphony played by a regional orchestra is a golden diadem to be relished by the orchestra and its loyal audience.

The magnificent Shostakovich was sandwiched between Mozart, the short and lively La Clemenza di Tito Overture, and Beethoven’s magnificent Violin Concerto. The overture, to Mozart’s final opera, is rarely played but an orchestral romp when so well performed.

The soloist in the concerto was American Stephanie Chase. Chase, a child prodigy now an acclaimed veteran, brought a very restrained reading of this familiar and iconic concerto. The opening movement, a strong interplay between orchestra and violin, lost some of its pith and moment. The sweetness of the Larghetto second movement was radiant.

The important cadenzas were Chase’s own compositions. Not bravura, they were musical, highly original and full of light and essence. The familiar themes all three movements, heard in the acoustic wonders of the Schuster, were a gift.

The Prima Trio

Vanguard Concerts is our most international venue. Impresaria Elana Bolling tunes her unerring ear into the far corners of the world to find great musicians.
What seemed to be an almost local group, the Prima Trio, originally hailing from the northern Ohio music conservatory of Oberlin College, has its roots on several continents. The trio highlighted the compelling voice of the clarinet along with violin/viola and piano.

The clarinetist, Boris Allakhverdyan, was born in Azerbaijan and is of Armenian descent. He lives in Cleveland and studies with my dear friend Franklin Cohen of the Cleveland Orchestra. The pianist, Anastasia Dedik, was born in Russia, and lives in New York. The versatile violinist/violist, David Bogorad is Danish. He expresses his internationalism as a principal with the Thessalonica State Orchestra in Greece.

If those facts impress you, you should have heard them play. Each is a virtuoso instrumentalist. They began while all were at Oberlin Conservatory. Now far apart, they play so harmoniously that you would imagine that they all live within shouting distance of each other,

The trio played a full program of works by Mozart, Max Bruch, Aram Khachaturian, Igor Stravinsky, Peter Schickele and, in encore, their own transcription of a Piazzolla Tango. If the literature for these instruments is small, the concert was expansive. What a joy to hear new sounds so beautifully played.
The next Vanguard season, the 48th, will be another triumph. A full report will come later.


DCDC2 doesn’t deserve that name. The DCDC, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, fits them perfectly. There is nothing “2” about this talented, beautiful and energetic dance company.

Their annual concert at UD’s Boll Theatre was proof positive that these dancers are on a par with the best contemporary companies. Directed by DCDC star Shonna Hickman-Matlock, they are a large company dancing with the verve and inspiration of Jeraldyne Blunden and her dream which became DCDC.

The program featured works by choreographers Daryl Foster, Crystal Michele, Rodney Brown, William McClellan and Hickman-Matlock. I was fortunate to sit with DCDC dancer Rebecca Sparks who served as my “spotter” identifying the dancers.

Rebecca was able to point out Alexis Britford, LaMoi Hedrington, Edgar Page and Jordan McMahan, among the many fine dancers. The full company is simply beautiful. The dances, highly varied and full of lively vigor are a credit to their director, teachers and the spirit of DCDC.



“World’s Best Young Violinist” to perform
at DPVA Designer Show House May 10

The Dayton Philharmonic Volunteers Association (DPVA) is pleased to announce the special appearance of musical prodigy Chad Hoopes, concert violinist, on Sunday, May 10 at 1 PM in the Grand Salon of the 2009 Designers’ Show House & Gardens.

At age 14, Chad Hoopes already possesses the kind of technical mastery, ease of expression and joyful talent that come along only once in a generation. In April 2008, he won first prize in the Young Artists Division of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. In addition to appearing with the Orchestra of the Yehudi Menuhin School (Cardiff, Wales), Chad has performed with numerous ensembles throughout the world including the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Cleveland Pops, South Dakota Symphony and Erie Philharmonic.

Ticket prices are $20 at the door or $15 in advance at the following locations: online at, AAA (all area locations), Dorothy Lane Market (all three stores), Elder- Beerman (Dayton Mall, Centerville, Kettering, Fairfield Mall and Huber Heights) Ashley’s Bakery, Coldwater Café, Troy Home Comfort Gallery, Central Perc and the Little Exchange in Oakwood.

For a complete list of these special events and a description of the house and grounds, go to


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May 5, 2009
Volume 18, No. 18

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