Youthful violin "stars" of today, and tomorrow
by Rita Kohn
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Hilbert Circle Theatre
Youthful violin "stars" of today, and tomorrow, played to perfection for an over-flow audience seated chamber-style on the Hilbert Circle Theatre stage.
The fifth, and final, Sunday chamber concert in the Mozart Festival, this program featured Soovin Kim, Bronze medalist, and Laureate Frank Huang, of the 2002 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and the 10-member IU Violin Virtuosi. Together, they easily met the demands of Vivaldi's "Summer" and "Winter" from "The Four Seasons," paying special attention to each other in the contest between harmony and invention.
Violist Michael Isaac Strauss, cellist Perry Scott, bassist Gregory Dugan and harpsicordist Chih-Yi Chen rounded out the ensemble. Huang, Kim and Chen brought joyful comradeship to Moritz Moszkowski's Suite for Two Violins and Piano in G Minor, Op. 71, playing the first and second movements in reverse order. Omitting the third and fourth gave Kim and Huang time for a repeat of their Friday and Saturday concert encore - the absolutely delightful Variations on Happy Birthday by Bruce Dukov. This, of course, opened the way for the Violin Virtuosi to showcase the styles across the 19th century that all serious violinists must master.
Particularly noteworthy is the group's attention to ensemble playing, watching each other for unity in bowing and clarity in note attack.
Standing in a semi-circle with the lead player for that piece facing in, the Virtuosi exude extraordinary stage presence for players ranging in age from pre-teen to high school.
Violin virtuosi director Mimi Zweig was an ISO violinist prior to joining the IU music faculty.