Review: UIndy's gala opening concert 

click to enlarge Raymond Leppard conducts on the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center stage.
  • Raymond Leppard conducts on the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center stage.

UIndy's gala opener found a nearly full house treated to an evening of exceptional music-making, all under the knowledgeable and skilled hands of Maestro Raymond Leppard.

JS Bach's Concerto in C minor began the concert, with soloists Pamela French, oboe, and Austin Hartman, violin, showing themselves to be a dynamic duo. They blended and complemented each other's playing superbly.

Leppard then led the ensemble (sans winds) in a thoroughly charming performance of Edvard Grieg's From Holberg's Time. The small string ensemble's sound was rich and full, as if produced by a group double its actual size, yet still had the intimacy of a quartet's.

The second half was devoted to Mozart with the ensemble was joined by the University of Indianapolis Concert Choir, beginning with a sweet reading of his Ave Verum Corpus. Two movements from Vesperae solennes de Confessore then followed, with versatile soprano Kathleen Hacker as soloist for the simple yet moving Laudate Dominum.

Students Hannah Holmes (soprano), Elisabeth Kleinsmith (mezzo), Andrew Wegg (tenor) and Glen Hall (bass-baritone) were featured for the Magnificat, and blended well as a quartet.

If this concert is an indication of the rest of the season, then it looks to be an excellent one.

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