ORONO — The Bangor Symphony Orchestra opened its 114th season on Sunday at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono. Lucas Richman, the first of five finalists for the post of music director, conducted.
The concert was as much about Richman and the young soloist, Wilson Bristol, as the music they presented. Both captivated the audience from the get-go and acquitted themselves admirably.
Zoltan Kodaly’s “Dances of Galanta,” chosen by Richman, was first on the program. A mixed brew of gypsy tunes, sounding quasi-improvisational, and the romping rhythms of peasant dances showcased Kirsten Finkbeiner’s impassioned clarinet. Susan Heath’s Pan pipe flute sound and Liz Downing’s piccolo were also charming above a beautiful synthesis of viola and cello.
Kodaly and Richman have a common interest and ability to communicate music’s appeal to the young. The decades of the mid-20th century saw a fresh approach to music education worldwide with the introduction of the Orff-Kodaly method of teaching. Richman has picked up on this with his own works written especially for children. He has promised, if elected to Bangor’s podium, to bring his animated friend, Picardy Penguin, along.
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