August 2006 Convention
Pittsburgh, PA

Gala Concert: Iconic Concerti

August 12, 2006

If you missed this year’s Gala Concert: Iconic Concerti at the convention you missed some of the finest flute playing assembled on one concert that you may ever hear.

Marina Piccinini

Marina Piccinini

The night began with an impressive performance by the Pittsburgh Flute Club Flute Choir and the ICONS Orchestra. It isn’t often that you see 161 flutists performing together; their performance of The Secret Language of Snow by Kurt Vogel filled the entire room. Conductor Steven Byess led the orchestra superbly throughout the concert.

The Concerto performances followed, beginning with the Flute Concerto by Martin Kennedy, who is quickly making himself and his music known to flutists. Marina Piccinini was the soloist for this work, and her beautiful, soaring tone highlighted both the singing melodies and playful technical passages.

Marianne Gedigian

Marianne Gedigian

The Aram Khachaturian Concerto performed by Marianne Gedigian closed the first half of the performance. Gedigian’s penetrating low register cut through the room with a power difficult to achieve on a flute; however, she made her way through the piece with the tenacity necessary to carry of the work. Beautiful whispers of sounds were highlights of the second movement, and dazzling, fiery technique the third.

Amy Porter

Amy Porter

Yu Kurata performed the Concerto in G major K.313 by Mozart with elegance in sound and demeanor. Her style seamed very appropriate to the time period, while at the same time her individual ideas came through. It was thoroughly enjoyable to hear Mozart played well especially since this year marks the 250th anniversary of his birth.

The concert concluded with the Lyric Concerto by William Bolcom performed by Amy Porter. Having played piccolo on Porter’s premiere recording of this work, I knew the piece and her playing of this extremely challenging work well. Porter handled the piece with confidence and finesse, and she took on an individual character for each very distinct movement. The third movement, “Memory,” was haunting and at the same time beautifully poignant, transporting the listener, creating an otherworldly experience. “A Bespoke Rondo” finishes off the concerto, and Porter showed off her jazzy side, flying through this last movement to its rousing finale.

—Nicole Esposito