Review: A "Golden" Laureate/Ronen concert 

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click to enlarge IVCI 2006 bronze medalist Celeste Golden Boyer
  • IVCI 2006 bronze medalist Celeste Golden Boyer

When she was awarded the bronze medal in the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, her name was Celeste Golden. In the interim she has married and become Celeste Golden Boyer. She's a top flight fiddle player by any name. In the 2006 event, I felt she was exceeded only by that year's gold medalist, Augustin Hadelich. Her string talent has, if anything, improved since then. She played in all four works the program offered.

Boyer was best highlighted in Stravinsky's Suite Italienne for Violin and Piano, excerpted and rescored from the composer's Pulcinella ballet music, a slightly modern take on the very-short-lived Baroque composer Giovanni Pergolesi (1710-1736). Once again we had the piano services of Chih-Yi Chen, perfectly backing up Boyer's nicely controlled tone, technique and musicality.

Ronen clarinetist David Bellman joined the above pair in Stravinsky's ensuing L'Histoire du Soldat Suite, originally scored for small chamber orchestra. Bellman added a darker, richer color to this exercise in rhythmic punctuations.

Our performers opened with the Trio Sonata in G Minor for Oboe, Violin, and Basso Continuo by Georg Phillip Telemann (1681-1767), with oboist Timothy Clinch and cellist Ingrid Fischer-Bellman added to Boyer and Chen (playing a piano instead of the usual harpsichord).

Prokofiev's Quintet for Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Viola and Double Bass, Op. 39, employed the largest forces, violist Nancy Agres and double bassist Ju-Fang Liu appearing only herein. The composer's spiky modernism demanded much from the five performers, but they delivered what they were given, in an altogether pleasing program from start to finish. March 13, Indiana History Center

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Tom Aldridge

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