A strictly classical concert with two prodigies

By David Amos

David Amos

David Amos

SAN DIEGO –The program is titled just that,  “A Strictly Classical Concert”. After all, you could hardly have a more conservative program of traditional music which has stood the test of time.

By the time Beethoven composed his “Symphony No. 8”, he was famous and well recognized; when publishers approached him for a new composition, he named his fee, and it was promptly paid. This symphony was performed, and the newspaper critics of the day complained that his latest symphony “was not as good as his Seventh”. Beethoven furiously wrote back to the editors that he “considered his latest symphony to be much better than his Seventh”. But, this composer’s odd numbered symphonies have all been his most famous, and the more melodic, even-numbered ones (sometimes called “damsels between two giants”) have been less frequently performed, even though their quality and lasting value is equal to all the others.

The Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra will play Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, and together with two outstanding young soloists, Ilana Hirschfeld, violin, and Jonathan Sussman, viola, one of Mozart’s greatest masterpieces, his “Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola, and orchestra”.

The Sinfonia Concertante is often named as one of the most perfect works that Mozart composed. There is a delicate balance and interplay between the violin and viola solos and the orchestra, as they effortlessly complement each other. It also touches in what Mozart composed later in his career, the drama of his operas, and the emergence of the Romantic Music of the 19th Century. This work is one of the all-time favorites of many renowned soloists.

Ilana Hirschfeld

Ilana Hirschfeld

Ilana Hirschfeld is a sophomore at University City High School, where she is the concertmaster of the orchestra. She has been a principal player in the San Diego Youth Symphony for the past two and one-half years, and she participated in the orchestra’s tour of China this past summer. Ilana was featured as soloist in Bartók’s  Romanian Folk Dances as the concertmaster of the San Diego Unified School District all-City Honor High School Orchestra in the spring of 2015. Last summer she performed at Disney Hall with the Idyllwild Arts Chamber Orchestra.

Ilana was a principal player in last summer’s International Youth Symphony, and she also with the La Jolla Music Society as part of a joint venture with SDYS. She also won First Place in the Southern California Mozart Youth Festival.

Jonathan Sussman, 17, also has an impressive list of accomplishments. He has been playing the flute since the age of 6 and began playing the violin and viola at age 9.

Jonathan Sussman

Jonathan Sussman

In 2015 he won first prize in the winds instrumental category of the Musical Merit Competition, 1st prize in the Rancho Bernardo Chorale Scholarship Competition, Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) Senior Scholarship Competition, MTAC VOCE North County Branch, and San Diego Symphony “Hot Shots” Concerto Competition, and 2nd place in the La Jolla Symphony and Goodlin Competition. The list goes on and on.

As a violinist, Jonathan received honorable mention in the Southern California Mozart Youth Festival.  He was the principal violist in the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of Rancho Bernardo, and is a member of a local chamber group that voluntarily performs at retirement and convalescent residences. He is presently attending the USC Thornton School of Music as a flute performance major and plans to double-major in biomedical engineering.

I have already rehearsed this program with these two very talented teenagers on the Mozart Concertante, and can promise you an exciting and musical performance.

This program will be presented once at Tifereth Israel Synagogue on Tuesday February 2, at 7:30 p.m. The other concert with the same music and soloists will be this Sunday, January 31, 4:00 p.m., at Chula Vista’s First United Methodist Church.

For more information on the concerts, individual or group tickets (The Chula Vista concert is admission-free), reservations or a season brochure, call (619) 697 6001, or you can buy your tickets online at www.tiferethisrael.com/TICO.

Amos is conductor of the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra (TICO) and has guest conducted professional orchestras around the world.  He may be contacted via [email protected].  Comments intended for publication in the space below must be accompanied by the letter writer’s first and last name and by his/ her city and state of residence (city and country for those outside the U.S.)

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