Latest DSO performance features soloist Wang ’14

by Dongjun Suh | 11/10/13 5:22pm

11.11.13.arts_.dso_Gavin-Huang
The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra performed on Saturday night.
by Gavin Huang / Gavin Huang

On Saturday night, Spaulding Auditorium was packed as the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra unveiled the culmination of its hard work this term with Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E minor.

The orchestra began its first piece wonderfully with soloist Sarah Wang ’14. When Wang started playing, the lone sound of the piano echoed through the auditorium, enrapturing the audience, before it was joined by the grand sounds of the orchestra. The piece displayed Wang’s talent as a pianist and formed a beautiful harmony between piano and orchestra. When the piece was finished, nearly the entire audience was standing up to give Wang a standing ovation.

After intermission, the orchestra once again astounded the audience with its rendition of Brahms’ symphony. The performers brought Brahms’ work to life by drawing out the emotion of the piece.

“It’s so great for the orchestra to play this symphony,” Alice Wang ’16 said. “You can really express something while playing it versus it all being about form, perfection and rigor. Those things are obviously still important, but it’s this turbulence of the human spirit that everyone can relate to immediately.”

The symphony and the concert ended on a loud minor, an issue that Wang said was initially debated. The orchestra had considered a piece that would end on a more uplifting note, but eventually decided to defy convention. It was a wise choice, as audience members commented that the concert had ended with a bang.

Conductor Anthony Princiotti’s enthusiasm and passion for music clearly showed as he carefully guided the players through various transitions in the pieces.

“The conductor’s energy definitely made the performance a lot more dynamic and exciting,” audience member Kevin Li ’17 said. “I was impressed by the skills of the orchestra, and the members played the pieces really well.”

Nearly 30 freshmen were accepted during this fall’s auditions, previously unheard of. The orchestra sees strength in its spike in membership, and this is a positive sign for the future of performing arts at Dartmouth.

Members of the orchestra said they are focused on sharing quality classical music with their community, though it has been more difficult for members to grow close together with the large increase in membership.

“DSO is a really rewarding experience because I really learned a lot and also had a lot of fun,” member Joanne Hyun ’17 said. “It is a great opportunity to truly bond with the other members, and it was just great to gain more experience playing in an ensemble.”

Live classical music is becoming less appreciated in today’s society, but there is a definite difference between hearing something live and simply listening to a recording. Even those not familiar with the works of Schumann and Brahms could enjoy the cathartic experience of feeling the music reverberate throughout the auditorium.

“There’s an energy that’s just there when you’re listening to a live performance,” Wang said. “You’re experiencing the music with the performer and you can feel something very tangible. You’re just hit with the vibrations of sounds in the auditorium.”