Host: Tsvika Hadar
Conductor: George Pehlivanian
Notorious for his vulgarity and populism, I didn't believe Tsvika Hadar would be a very good choice to host a symphony concert.
However, I was glad to be proven wrong. Although occasionally resorting to his vulgar mannerisms, Hadar's overall appearance was one of appreciation for the classical genre and its performers.
This culminated in the welcome idea of highlighting three of the players in the back rows, allowing them a one-time opportunity to stand in the spotlight and tell the audience about themselves and about their instruments. My only reservation was Hadar's mispronunciation of names. Thus, the late conductor Mehli Mehta was transformed into "Mali Matta", and conductor George Pehlivanian was also incorrectly presented. This is not the first time this has happened at a Jeans concert. It might be a good idea for the IPO managers to prepare their hosts' in the future.
A frequent guest conductor at the IPO, conductor Pehlivanian gave his regular white-hot performance, this time with Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" overture. For the main course, he and the orchestra were joined by renowned cellist Misha Maisky in a sensitive, poetic, and enjoyable reading of Dvorak's Cello Concerto. With a relatively young audience and a cheery atmosphere, the Jeans Philharmonic is still the IPO's most fun series, although surely not the most serious one.
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