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Arturo Toscanini 1867-1957
 


With orchestration to prick up the ears, conductor Kenn Gartner defines a “Devil’s Trill”
A musical night in Mountain View – November 20, 2006

Giuseppe Tartini once dreamed he handed his violin to the devil and asked the devil to test his skill. The devil accepted the challenge and played with masterful virtuosity. When Tartini awoke he urgently tried to put on paper that which he had heard in dream – and the piece was called: “The Devil’s Trill Sonata.” Under the baton of conductor Kenn Gartner, and featuring violinist Joseph Gould, the piece was performed Monday evening at the Community School of Music and Arts at Finn Center, Mountain View by The San Francisco Concerto Orchestra Ensemble. A steady, emotionally focused conductor, Gartner built the piece in power and intensity allowing violinist Gould to sing in tone while leapfrogging across chords and strings in blistering abandon. With orchestration choices to prick up the ears, conductor Kenn Gartner inspired a haunting presentation of the “Devil’s Trill.”

Reviewed by Conductor Tracks

 

Balancing heart and talent in the palms of his hands, Conductor Stephen Pu
Community
School of Music and Arts, Mountain View – November 20, 2006

Recently conductor Stephen Pu led the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra Ensemble in an embracing meditation of “Adagio for Strings” (Samuel Barber.) Guiding his orchestra through the slow building melodic lines of a string choir, Pu created a shimmering texture of quiet beauty, balancing heart and talent in the palms of his hands. Directing an undeniable string choir of angels, there was nothing for Pu’s audience members to do but close their eyes and follow his dream.

~Jean Bartlett for Conductor Tracks

Shaping a musical performance, conductor Kenn Gartner directs The San Francisco Concerto Orchestra
An evening at Victorian Englander House – November 11, 2006

The piece was “Concertino For Flute, Opus 107” by Cécile Chaminade. The soloist was Elizabeth Gaston on flute and The San Francisco Concerto Orchestra played under the baton of conductor Kenn Gartner. Well able to communicate with his orchestra, Conductor Gartner displayed a well-trained inner ear, able to direct his orchestra and his flutist through an easy elegance of tempo and beat. His physical gestures were calm and confident and his obvious respect for his orchestra allowed the music to truly capture the accessible dance that is the music of Cécile Chaminade.

Reviewed by Conductor Tracks

 

Conductor Stephen Pu cues with hands of grace
Victorian Englander House – November 11, 2006

Edvard Grieg’s “Piano Concerto in A minor, Opus 16” was presented Saturday evening at Victorian Englander House in San Francisco under the baton of conductor Stephen Pu. The piece, a beautiful mixture of sound capturing all the colors of the rainbow was performed by extraordinary pianist Sandra Simich and the always impressive San Francisco Concerto Orchestra. Pu is an easy conductor to watch. He conducted Grieg with hands of grace and his movements were lean yet precise, pulling forth from the musicians a complimentary sound consistent with the nobleness of the piece. A very seductive performance from conductor, pianist and orchestra.

~Jean Bartlett for Conductor Tracks