Concert Review:

Deftly orchestrated

Glendale Youth Orchestra wows the concert crowd with works by Mozart, Mendelssohn.

June 06, 2009|By Michael Bolger

Without exception, the Glendale Youth Orchestra is something special. The stunningly talented youth group packed a mesmerizing classical performance with selections from Mozart and Mendelssohn, in celebration of its 20th anniversary season finale Tuesday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

The concert, under the gifted hand of Conductor Brad Keimach, who is Juilliard trained and a protégé of Leonard Bernstein, highlighted the youth orchestra’s exceptional talent with an efficiently laid out program worthy of a Disney Hall audience.

Beginning with Mozart’s Overture to “The Marriage of Figaro,” arguably one of Mozart’s most famous pieces, the youth group played with tremendous enthusiasm and vigor. Performing the evening’s first solo was Ashlyn Kaneshiro, who played Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, 1st Movement.


The 14-year-old wunderkind has been studying violin under private instruction from Cesar Chicco while also attending the Bella Musica Conservatory. Her eight years of formidable education reveal ever so clear her position as a magnificent soloist.

Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, 1st Movement, also one of the most famous works of the composer, was performed by Hector Gonzalez.

His solo was an absolute testament to the 17-year-old’s amazing talent. Currently a junior at Renaissance Arts Academy, it is hard to believe Hector is self-taught. His tremendous abilities have afforded him a position with the Junior Philharmonic as violist as well as a rare opportunity for any young performer, which was to play at Shea Stadium for the New York Mets last summer.

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, 1st Movement, was performed by Aram Garibyan. Aram, also 17, began his love of the violin at age 7. A student of Vladik Seiranian since the age of 8, he enhanced his music education at Lark Music School, and has gone on, many times, to take first place in classic music competitions nationwide. While this is his first year playing with the youth orchestra, there is no denying that he is more than a perfect fit.

During the intermission a silent auction was held to benefit the scholarship program for the youth orchestra. Items on the block consisted of an array of gift baskets, wines and certificates from local retailers including Calidora Skin Clinic and Pinkberry.

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