Last night, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra regaled the packed auditorium in the first of two entirely sold-out New Year concerts. The orchestral party has proven to be the one of the most popular events in the city, since the Kolarac Hall was brimming with curious concertgoers eager for philharmonic surprises.
Directed by our dear guest, conductor Fabrice Bollon, the Belgrade Philharmonic took the audience for a walk on New York’s sidewalks, playing Jazz and Broadway melodies. In the atmosphere of the Great Gatsby, Prohibition and the times when radio receivers were the latest innovation, the Belgrade Philharmonic played cheerful, but also romantic and festive melodies for all those who were lucky enough to get hold of tickets for this concert.
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Leonard Bernstein’s Divertimento opened the New Year concert in the rhythm of the blues and samba, with philharmonic acrobatics that immediately sent a shockwave of joy across the auditorium. Special attraction of the night was the seventeen-year-old Jazz pianist A Bu, a soloist of extraordinary talent, who mesmerised the audience with his interpretation of Gershwin. Firstly in the Concerto in F and then in I Got Rhythm, the Chinese jazz wizard showed that he had much more than just rhythm when jazz is concerned:
“Jazz is a synonym for freedom of expression and imagination! I was so keen to play with the Belgrade Philharmonic, the orchestra I have heard so much about”, said the young jazz pianist, a student at the eminent Juilliard School of Music. “It is very important to establish a good connection with the orchestra, which was so easy with the Belgrade Philharmonic because the players are unreserved, but above all professional. It was a pleasure to play Gershwin with them”, said A Bu, satisfied with the concert. The audience rewarded him with a warm applause, for which he treated them to a special rendition of the famous Moon River theme for encore.
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The New Year’s concert finale featured one of the most favourite pieces of orchestras and audiences worldwide. Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 2 seduced the audience with appealing and singing melodies, making everyone feel like standing up and dancing.
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Fabrice Bollon, our frequent guest, felt honoured to conduct the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year concerts. After the performance, he wished everyone happy holidays and, in unison with the orchestra musicians, a happy New Year. The orchestra’s skilled percussionist surprised the audience with shining confetti exploding on the stage and announcing a Duke Ellington melody for encore! The orchestra will play the same programme in the second New Year concert.
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