RAVE REVIEWS FOR THE EUYO'S US CONCERTS
"Among the elite institutions of its kind," "remarkable character, strength and beauty," "tremendous - electric and ecstatic, " "sumptuous warmth, sharp detail and stormy power," are just some of the ways in which leading reviewers described the concerts by the EUYO on their recent US tour. The Orchestra received standing ovations after every performance, and audiences everywhere burst into cheers when the EUYO responded with a very special encore: an arrangement of Leonard Bernstein's "I want to be in America."
Following the EUYO's performance at the Kennedy Center on 15th April, the Washington Post described how "ensembles of young musicians [...] have set the standards high for orchestral players of any age, let alone those at the student level. As they amply demonstrated at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, the European Union Youth Orchestra need fear no competition." On Strauss, the Post celebrated "Ashkenazy's extrovert approach [which] juiced all the ecstatic and cataclysmic moments in this opulent score and traeted the more lyrical material with a songful warmth. The musicians - so plentiful they stuffed every square inch of the Concert Hall stage - responded with burnished brass chording, thunderous accents from the percussion and a gorgeous sheen on their voluminous string section."
The New York Times raved about the EUYO's Carnegie Hall performance on 18th April, referring to the Orchestra as "among the elite institutions of its kind. The ensemble made a grand opening splash with an assured account of Copland's stately "Outdoor Overture," highlighted by nimble, fluent playing from Luis Saul Rubio Diaz, the trumpet soloist." The Times went on to note the orchestra's "pert, effervescent accompaniment for Itzhak Perlman" in Mozart's Violin Concerto in G, K.216; and commented how "Mr Ashkenazy's handsome moulding brought out sumptuous warmth, sharp detail and stormy power" in Richard Strauss' highly demanding Alpine Symphony.
"Fresh-faced orchestra rises to rare heights in energetic mix" was the headline for the Boston Globe's review of the concert at Symphony Hall on 20th April, which highlighted the Orchestra's "energetic, full-bodied performances," in particular in the Strauss: "Bobbing and weaving like a boxer, Ashkenazy led a variegated Technicolor performance; the nine French horns were particularly glorious."
But perhaps it is the Chicago Tribune that best summed up the feeling of both audiences and critics alike, in its review of the EUYO's final concert at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois: "If more concerts were performed with as much dedication and passion, maybe the audience for serious music again would be growing." Amen to that.