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Naples Daily News
The sixth and final program of the Phil's Classical Series was absolutely off the charts excellent. The three selections would, in and of themselves, have produced more than a small whimper of ecstasy from any lover of fine music.

But the variable that made the evening's program successfully reach for the stars, was the presence of guest violinist, Giora Schmidt. Only 25, the son of professional musicians, raised in Philadelphia but of Israeli descent, he is already performing to kudos throughout the world, all while on the faculties of the Julliard School and the Perlman Music Program.
That's right. Itzhak Perlman is his mentor. Indeed, although he is very much his own person, as he made quite clear during the Conductor's Prelude, anyone who ever saw Perlman perform as a teenager and a young man, cannot help but be struck by the stylistic similarities between the two. And yet . . . the way he constantly moves in space is truly reminiscent of Nadja Sonnenberg at the same age.

The very emotionality and physicality of his performance, virtually always moving, almost dancing, at times nearly transforming himself into a whirling dervish, is glorious to watch.

And so it was that the evening's second of three selections: Sibelius' monumentally difficult "Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47," replete with the sounds of passion and longing, was hands down my choice in the program.
Even more wonderful: Not only did Schmidt make the hugely difficult piece look easy - so did the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. From the heavily vibratoed opening in the string section, to the crisply performed complex 3/2 rhythm, to the nearly deafening fortississimo moments - to an ending so soft and tender it was nearly a whisper - once again the musicians brought to this performance a whole new level of excellence.
Peg Goldberg Longstreth Naples Daily News
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