Review: IVCI Laureate Series 

click to enlarge Chih-Yi Chen and Augustin Hadelich helped deliver a faultless, 5-star concert.
  • Chih-Yi Chen and Augustin Hadelich helped deliver a faultless, 5-star concert.

5 stars

Indiana History Center; Oct. 9

A sunny Sunday afternoon, a filled IHC Basile Theater and a confluence of instrumentalists created one of those musical events where everything seemed to work - where nothing went wrong. The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis' Laureate Chamber Series starred, in its opening concert, Augustin Hadelich, the gold medalist in the Seventh Quadrennial IVCI of 2006.

His appearance then strongly confirmed my feeling that he has become one of the finest few on the tour today and overall the best find of our competition to date. Furthermore, he was joined by other chamber musicians who seemingly played at his level - pianist Chih-Yi Chen for one. They started with Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 6 in A, Op. 30 No. 1. They followed with Ravel's well-known display piece, Tzigane, also often played with violin and orchestra.

Then came a most unexpected entry: Introducing Galia by Atar Arad (b. 1945) for three violins, one offstage. Three different players: Brian Allen and Amy Lidell on stage, Gregorio Lopes off. What can I say: They were all good - faultless, even, in conveying a yearning Irish style with matching tones and perfect ensemble work.

Finally the IU String Academy Chamber Orchestra entered with the satiric Battalia in D by Heinrich Biber (1644-1704), in eight sections, one in particular well ahead of its time. Hadelich then returned and led the group while playing the solo part in Haydn's Violin Concerto in C for String Orchestra. With those forces encoring two Fritz Kreisler favorites, "Liebesleid" ("Love's Sorrow") and "Liebesfreude" ("Love's Joy") I left, not being able to imagine a better played concert by anybody.

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Tom Aldridge

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