An exciting new era begins as Delfs picks up the baton
Let the amazing journey with Andreas Delfs begin! Maestro Delfs is about to start his tenure at the helm of the Honolulu Symphony, and many of us are feeling the typical yet exhilarating jitters of a new relationship.
There is tremendous excitement at the prospect of a bright future together -- a future that starts in style this weekend, with Maestro Delfs, superstar violinist Sarah Chang and an enthusiastic orchestra in a beautiful musical showcase. (Concert details above.)
"Bringing the best to the most" is one of the maestro's sayings. Judging from his early days in Switzerland and Germany to his latest stop in Milwaukee, this motto rings true wherever he has held a position. Already, the musical world is looking at Honolulu with greater reverence, simply through association with his name.
As Maestro Delfs has yet to discover all the splendors of Hawaii, Sarah Chang would be a wonderful tour guide, as she loves to visit the islands. Personally, what I'm most happy about this time is the music she's bringing to perform with us. The Sibelius Violin Concerto has her name written all over it, requiring the most demanding technical skills, sheer passionate playing and intense rhythmic drive.
"Take the bull by the horns" is a saying that comes to mind when I think of both the Sibelius Concerto and Chang's playing. They couldn't be a more perfect match. The concerto is quite unusual, unlike any other written during the Romantic era. The eerie introduction reminds me of the icy flat landscapes of Finland, the birth nation of Sibelius. The pulsating finale has a warriorlike feel, reminiscent of the Finns in their historic fight against the invading Russians.
To let you in on something you could never imagine, Sarah Chang once confided to me that her favorite pop singer is Beyoncé. Think about it and it makes perfect sense. They both share a striking similarity in their stunning, electrifying energy released onstage, shown in different fashions, literally.
You might be wondering if an orchestra sounds any different under the baton of a new maestro. Every titled conductor leaves an imprint characteristic of his or her artistic personality. Sure, the work and its composer take precedent, but the interpretation is what classical music is all about. Be the judge as we perform Tchaikovsky's famed Symphony No. 5 -- "Tchaik 5," as we call it.
I am greatly looking forward to the first rehearsal with Maestro Delfs. From the solo horn of the slow movement to the waltzing violins and heroic brass, Maestro Delfs will craft these musical colors into his own personal work of art, all for a single purpose: the enjoyment and appreciation of every concertgoer.
Ignace "Iggy" Jang
is the Honolulu Symphony's concertmaster. His column appears on the Monday prior to each concert of the season to illuminate works to be performed. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org