More Mozart with the Omaha Symphony


February 28th, 2013

The Magic Flute is over, but more Mozart is on the way this weekend.


This Friday and Saturday the Omaha Symphony presents an all-Mozart concert conducted by Nicholas Cleobury. The program includes Mozart’s Overture to “The Clemency of Titus” and the “Symphony No. 39 in E-flat.” It also features the Omaha Symphony’s new concertmaster, Susanna Perry Gilmore. Gilmore says she originally started off playing piano, but discovered violin when she observed her younger brother’s Suzuki violin class.

“I was completely mesmerized by the violin. I thought, ‘this sounds alot like my voice. I understand this, I connect to this instrument more than the piano.’ I also knew all the songs that they were playing, and I wanted to go out there and play them because I’ve been doing them already on the piano. Third, I thought ‘Hey, I’ve gotten a raw deal. I’ve just been sitting on a piano bench by myself all this time? I want to play with all these other kids, they’re having so much fun!’”

Gilmore will perform Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 5,” not only as a soloist, but also as member of the orchestra.

“I feel like there’s opportunities for the soloist to really be a part of the orchestra ensemble. I’ll be starting off sections with the orchestra and playing with them and then going off and doing my own solo work. I’m excited about moving in and out of the different roles.”

Gilmore compared the “Violin Concerto” to Mozart’s stage works. For example, when solo violin first comes in, she says the role reminds her of a narrator.

“Suddenly, there’s silence, and the violin comes in with two notes that are slow, they kind of come from somewhere far away. In my imagination it’s like the violinist is saying, ‘Once upon a time…’”

While the second movement could be a tender love scene, she says the third movement adds key action and drama to the concerto.

“In the last movement, before the ‘Turkish’ music even happens, there’s a moment where I feel like the music completely goes through the rabbit hole of an opera scene. The orchestra interrupts the soloist in a minor key *sings* this music comes out of nowhere *sings,* the violinists shift our register over to the e string *sings* – to me, those are two different characters.

The Omaha Symphony’s all-Mozart concert is this Friday and Saturday, March 1 and 2 at the Holland Performing Arts Center. Both performances begin at 8 pm.

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