Symphony on the Prairie; Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Conner Prairie; July 13-14
Violinist Thomas Huntington, 2007 winner of the Michael Ben and Illene Komisarow Maurer Young Musicians Contest, embraced the audience with his poise and they in turn embraced him as he brought clarity of interpretation to Movement III from Dvorak’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A Minor, Op. 33. The 14-year-old South Bend native, currently on scholarship at Julliard, brought forward the work’s ethereal qualities while avoiding any attempt at being elusive. Guest conductor Alexander Mickelthwate and the ISO players worked well together for a thought-provoking view of love on various levels, including the Overture to Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro, symphonic dances from Bernstein’s operatic musical West Side Story, Suite No. 1 from Bizet’s opera Carmen, Suite from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet and Ravel’s Bolero. What surfaced was the arc of love — sometimes ill-fated, sometimes merely challenging, yet always within the context of time, place and socio-political structures.